What new cars have intelligently placed oil fillers?

Not open for further replies.
Dec 21, 2004
Sudbury, Ontario
I've decided that this will be the only thing I take into consideration when I buy my next vehicle. Okay, maybe not, but I'm sick and tired of spilling oil all over the place. It should not be necessary to aim a flow of oil from a 1 gallon jug around several obstacles and down a 2 foot drop. I don't think I should need a funnel either, they just create a secondary mess somewhere else. My 1987 Ford E-150 with inline 6 has a decent oil filling spot. My motorcycles have always had decent oil filling spots. Any transport I worked on was great, pop the hood and sit on the front tire while you pour. My 2.0 Cavalier was a PITA. My parents Mercury Topazs were no better. Same with their 1997 RAV-4. My 1992 VW Diesel is also a pain. All that needs to be done is add a 3" neck onto the valve cover hole. Bring that sucker up to about 1" below hood level and all will be fine. It's not like it would be a hazard, the airbox is always up high. [I dont know] Steve
The GM Ecotecs have a cartridge type filter that lies inside of a housing built into the top side of the motor. Very easy to change. I also noticed that the new GM Colorado/Canyon have the filter mounted under the engine in a very easy to reach location.
Could be a mixed blessing. On the 3.7L Jeep Liberty, there is a large diameter plastic vertical extension at the right front of the engine. It's easy to add the oil. I honestly don't remember now if I use a funnel also or not, but my funnels are made from the various-sized Coke bottles -- 2L, 24oz, 16oz, etc. The other side, however, is that this plastic extension runs cold and is not warmed to engine temperature, causing a build-up of mayonnaise-like moisture emulsion in winter. The PCV valve is located here and draws fumes through here. Maybe that contributes. Common observation on these engines.
Ive found that only 4 cylinder cars have easy oil fill locations. Doesnt really matter which, theyre all easy: my 04 saab, my 91 BMW, father's 94 toyota previa, mother's 97 plymouth breeze, GF's 94 avura integra. Easiest has to be my 83 MB 5 cyl turbodiesel, and similarly, my father's 96 MB 6 cyl diesel. RWD, so the inline engines are lined front to back, with the oil filler at the front. My brother's 94 mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 is pretty easy, as the v6 is in the engine bay side-to-side, with the filler at the front bank of cylinders. Worst is my chevy s-10 4.3L v6. Its at the back of the v6 (laid in front-to-back), so no matter how you want to access it, you have to lean across and its easy to spill without a funnel, because the opening is so darn narrow. As for filters, the DUMBEST location has to be right under the intake manifold, wedged in between the block and firewall on my GF's 94 integra. Best designs are the european cars: my bmw, my saab, my MB and my father's MB, all of which have cartridge filters on the top of the engine. Makes it SO EASY, clean and painless. Best filter location on a non-euro/cartridge filter car i9s my mother's plymouth breeze. The filter is straight up and down right next to the oil drain bolt, so both can be done at once. Access is easy, removal is easy. Next best would be my brother's mitsubishsi, since I guess mitsu and chrysler share some ideas, and they do it the same way (but the inderside of the car is busier). My chevy truck, with the remote filter mount makes it relatively easy. JMH
My Mustang 5.0 (ok that's a discontinued engine, but still) and my V6 Contour (that Duratec 2.5L V6 might be a discontinued engine too? But the Duratec 3.0L V6 has the oil fill in the same place) both have very easy oil fill locations.
My wife's 87 Riv was very simple. The filter was about 2 inches from the drain plug and vertical. The oil fill was right up front with the dipstick. Any 92+ H-body would be similar except the filter is a little farther away and at an angle. -T
You just can't beat the filter(paper element-no metal surround) on my BMW 3 liter 530i. It's right on top in front of engine. Just unscrew the top, lift the filter element out, replace, and your done!
My Pontiac Vibe with the Toyota 1.8L engine is well thought out in this regards. The fill cap is right on top the engine, you dont even need a funnel if you're careful. The filter is on the front pointed down and easily accessible. There is a plastic panel that partially covers the access area but I just leave it off. Even the power steering, washer fluid, coolant, master cylinder and air filter are out in the open and easy to check/add/replace. My Montana vans arn't too bad but could be better. You can only get one hand on the oil filter and changing the air filter is a 20 minute job. Changing a headlight bulb is a real hassle too.
The ZD30 (designed by Renault, produced by Nissan in the 4WDs downunder. The filter housing is an alloy casting that unscrews from a location on the block. Inside is the replaceable element. Housing has a half inch drive. Unscrew three turns and two holes line up, draining the housing into a tundish beneath it. When drained, unscrew fully replace element and o-ring.
The latest generation 4 cyl Camrys have the oil filter in the front of the motor, pointed down. Accessed from underneath right behind the belly pan there is little spillage when removing, and the new one is easy to pre-fill and install.
Hyundai accents sound like that camry. Just have to see under the (low) air dam to grab the filter. Where the oil goes in works without drama too. [Off Topic!] Anyone notice that operating a 5-quart jug at the incline needed to start pouring is the biggest challenge? The bottom of the container has to fit somewhere below the level of the top of the valve cover then swing up with a steady hand. Otherwise the oil has like a foot of space to pour and test one's depth perception. If it goes in too fast and backs up in the engine...
I can't remember owning anything that wasn't a pain, mostly the valve covers with a bunch of other stuff near them. I see no excuse for the Quad 4 in my 92 Grand AM. It had a separate tube that could easily have come up another 2-3'' without hitting the hood. I think the engine designers may vaguely remember the bulk oil dispensers at the dealer ship. Likely they get free oil changes at work while they sit at their keyboards with nice clean hands. I usually use up part of a quart prefilling. Then I lay a rag around the oil filler hole, and quickly stick the neck of the part full bottle in the hole. I then cut the bottle in 2 giving me a clean, new disposable funnel. Doesn't work quite as well with the 4-5 quart bottles. I don't prefill with the Ecotec either. Some here are commenting on oil filTers too. The cartridge in my Ecotec is great. The only really bad filter I remember was the one on my 318 Valiant. Lengthwise above the torsion bar between the engine and the body.
Th pre-2003 Cavaliers had a neat combo oil filler/dipstick. Great idea, placed near the front of the engine bay and I don't recall having to use a funnel.
4.0Ls are interesting. You can aim it and it will go into the hole that is in the center of the valve cover. I just use a funnel. The oil filter is extremely easy on the Grand Cherokee. It's mounted horizontally and there is nothing hot to touch (like a manifold, there's alot of room under there) when changing it.
Chevy 350's have always been easy, although I've never changed the oil in an LS1 so maybe its different now. My LT1 has a nice fill tube extension that requires no funnel and is very easy to reach. That combined with the verticle oil filter mount makes oil changes a breeze. My old Nissan 280ZX was another story, the fill was easy to access but the horizontal mounted oil filter was a nightmare. Everytime you unscrewd it the oil would run down the block and onto the steering linkage thus it would drip for at least a day. Even more fun was the maze you had to follow to get the filter out of the engine bay.
Originally posted by EmbarkChief: Chevy 350's have always been easy, although I've never changed the oil in an LS1 so maybe its different now.
It's is exactly the same....just smaller filter. My wife's Corolla is VERY easy as well. My friend's MR2 Turbo is a pain and has to be replaced empty. It's at a 45* angle and mounted on the side of the engine, back side (transversly mounted engine.)
My 2005 Corolla is very easy. 2000 Chev Small Block v8 is easy. 2005 Saturn Vue with Honda v6 is good. 2003 PT Cruiser is very good. My uncles 1993 Explorer with the 4.0 ltr V6 is the worst I've seen. [Mad] I would love to make the clowns who designed that change the oil on everyone of those! They would never work again... Bill
The worst I've seen was my old 1986 Oldsmobile 98 with the 3.8L. The filter was on the back passenger side directly above the frame rail. The brilliant GM engineers of the 80's decided against relocating the filter to a more suitable location, and thought it was better to split the frame rail into 2 halves in that area so you could have just enough room to stick your hand through and grab the filter. The problem was you had no leverage. And even after you struggled to loosen the filter, you ended up with oil running down your arm all they way to your shirt sleeve. [Bang Head]
2.4 Camry is verticle and is easily reached from under the car. It is right next to the oil pan. The Tacoma's with the new 4.0 V6 are easy as the filter is on top and can be reached by opening the hood. The old 2.7 Tacoma was a PITA and the 4.7 Tundra is a PITA.
I have had some tough ones and honestly after one changing they are all easy. But if not invest 30 bucks in a set of Rhino Ramps and this tool  - and you'll be ready for anything
Not open for further replies.