Just did my first oil change by myself...

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1,483
Location
SW Indiana
Well, I finally took the plunge. After so much time on BITOG, I decided to do it myself. Only took me about 30 minutes (not counting the trip I had to make to the hardware store for the drain plug washer [Roll Eyes] ). As I declared earlier, I went with the TropArtic 5W-30 at $1.48/qt at wally world and a ST7317 filter. Speaking of which, on my '02 Frontier, it was a pain in the arse to get to the filter, through the wheel well, taking of the mud shield, and weaving my big hands and arm through various and sundry hose, tubes, etc. But managed without too much difficulty using my cap-style filter wrench. Used my new Rhino ramps, wheel chocks, and a center-wheels-style creeper that sucked (it's going back)! The drain plug looked like it had a copper washer on it...I didn't have one and used regular steel...is that okay? And what about a neoprene washer in addition as a seal? Will the heat cause a problem? Otherwise, all looks great, no leaks, oil pressure light off, and I couldn't be more pleased. I think I'm going to LIKE doing this! [Happy]
 
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1,251
Location
Akron, OH
Welcome aboard, Lou. I just changed my wife's this afternoon. The Wal-Mart guy before me must have used 9 billion ft-lb of torque to tighten that drain plug. I swear I was about to lift myself off the ground tugging on the wrench before the thing finally turned.
 
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1,550
Location
North Texas
You likely need a crushable aluminum/copper washer that slightly "crushes" when you tighten it to give you a great seal. Next time you go to the dealer buy 6 or 12 of them. You can use them 3 or 4 times each, turning them over each time. With a steel washer you are risking stripping out the plug not to mention developing leaks at the plug. Do not use a teflon washer with the steel one, just go get some of the proper copper/aluminum ones. If you are skillfull, wait till the engine is COLD, pull the drain plug, put a finger over the drain hole, use the other hand to change the washer, then reinstall. If you are careful you can do it all with only spilling 1 OZ or less of oil out. (I know cause i've done it before to cure a leaking drain plug). Can you access your filter from the top-side? You might experiment some. Do you have the 2.4 ltr 4 cyl or the 3.3 ltr 6? From your description, i assume you have a 4x2 with the 2.4 ltr 4 banger. Good choice on oil and congrats on your first plunge into the oily underworld. [Wink]
 
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8
Location
Arkansas
This is the '02 Frontier you're talking about? What happened to the original drain plug washer? Normally you reuse, rather than replace them. They're usually copper, or something fairly soft so that they seal up without needing a lot of torque on the plug--- You don't want to strip it. A 'regular' washer may not be the best thing to have there, but if you've got it all buttoned back up and it's not leaking, I think I'd wait until next time to change it. EDIT- Sorry; I was typing and didn't see the reply above mine. But, yes, I agree. Jason
 
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8,937
Location
SC
Congrats on your first oil change! The most common mistake newbie oil changers make is overtightening the drain plug (followed by forgetting to put the oil in). Just remember it's not a bolt holding someting together; it's just a plug. You just want to snug it tight. Using the correct washer is the key to no leaks, not tightening the plug too much.
 
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11,284
Location
Spring HIll
quote:
Originally posted by LouDawg: it was a pain in the arse to get to the filter, through the wheel well, taking of the mud shield, and weaving my big hands and arm through various and sundry hose, tubes, etc.
That's *the* reason I only use Mobil1 or Amsoil filters...they can go 12K miles and you don't have to deal with disassembling the car just to change the filter. I change the oil a time or two or three for every time that I must change the filter. By the way: CONGRATS on doing it yourself!
 

LouDawg

Thread starter
Messages
1,483
Location
SW Indiana
quote:
Originally posted by hominid7: You likely need a crushable aluminum/copper washer that slightly "crushes" when you tighten it to give you a great seal. Next time you go to the dealer buy 6 or 12 of them. You can use them 3 or 4 times each, turning them over each time. With a steel washer you are risking stripping out the plug not to mention developing leaks at the plug. Do not use a teflon washer with the steel one, just go get some of the proper copper/aluminum ones. If you are skillfull, wait till the engine is COLD, pull the drain plug, put a finger over the drain hole, use the other hand to change the washer, then reinstall. If you are careful you can do it all with only spilling 1 OZ or less of oil out. Can you access your filter from the top-side? You might experiment some. Do you have the 2.4 ltr 4 cyl or the 3.3 ltr 6? From your description, i assume you have a 4x2 with the 2.4 ltr 4 banger. Good choice on oil and congrats on your first plunge into the oily underworld. [Wink]
Thanks...I'll go get some this week. Yes, it's the 2.4L 4 banger...got it for gas mileage. I cannot access the oil filter from the top...wish I could, though!
 

LouDawg

Thread starter
Messages
1,483
Location
SW Indiana
quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: Congrats on your first oil change! The most common mistake newbie oil changers make is overtightening the drain plug (followed by forgetting to put the oil in). Just remember it's not a bolt holding someting together; it's just a plug. You just want to snug it tight. Using the correct washer is the key to no leaks, not tightening the plug too much.
It was on really tight, so I snugged it back up pretty good, but I don't think I overtightened it. At least, I hope not! There were no leaks anywhere, even after driving it for a bit, but I'm going to keep my eye on it for a while. What is the appropriate torque to put on a drain plug?
 
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1,550
Location
North Texas
quote:
Originally posted by TomJones76: Welcome aboard, Lou. I just changed my wife's this afternoon. The Wal-Mart guy before me must have used 9 billion ft-lb of torque to tighten that drain plug. I swear I was about to lift myself off the ground tugging on the wrench before the thing finally turned.
15 or so years ago when i was getting my oil changed at quick-lube places I had the good fortune of having to replace the drain pan to fix the stripped out drain plug those bone-heads did for me by doing just what you said. Thats when i started changing my own oil, and have enjoyed doing it ever since.
 

LouDawg

Thread starter
Messages
1,483
Location
SW Indiana
quote:
Originally posted by needanother1: This is the '02 Frontier you're talking about? What happened to the original drain plug washer? Normally you reuse, rather than replace them. They're usually copper, or something fairly soft so that they seal up without needing a lot of torque on the plug--- You don't want to strip it. A 'regular' washer may not be the best thing to have there, but if you've got it all buttoned back up and it's not leaking, I think I'd wait until next time to change it. EDIT- Sorry; I was typing and didn't see the reply above mine. But, yes, I agree. Jason
This one was definitely copper, but it was crushed/broken beyone reuse. I'm going to have to get some, I guess.
 
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1,550
Location
North Texas
quote:
Originally posted by LouDawg: What is the appropriate torque to put on a drain plug?
It's different on each make/model, but it should be in the neighborhood of 25 ft lbs.
 

LouDawg

Thread starter
Messages
1,483
Location
SW Indiana
quote:
Originally posted by GoldenRod: Napa drain plug for your truck shows a fiber gasket: Drain Plug
That's interesting...the last change was at the dealer using a copper washer and no fiber or other gasket material anywhere, for sure. Wonder why NAPA shows fiber, or is copper just naturally better so dealer used it? They also used a Nissan filter...are they any good? I used the SuperTech cause I've heard they were really good, especially for the money...
 
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671
Location
Houston
Just think: If the filter is that hard to change, imagine how many times the Iffy Lube morons never bothered to change it. Good job on deciding to change it yourself! It's definitely worth it, and before too long you'll wonder why you ever let the Iffy Lube monkeys touch any of your cars in the first place.
 
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6,425
Location
New Braunfels
Get dealer crush washers.. they are cheap and will work for your vehicle. You did good on oil and filter selection, you will get better at the filter with repetition.
 
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