How to Change the Engine Oil
1990-1994 Lexus LS400
Changing the engine oil is the single most important thing you can do to prolong the life of your engine. Sure, you can get this done for about $30 at a Jiffy Lube type of shop but you don't get the satisfaction of knowing the job was done right and you also get the cheapest oil available. My local Lexus dealer charges around $45 for an oil change and it takes about an hour. Again, the dealer puts in cheap oil. If you change the oil yourself you can save money and put higher quality oil in your engine for the same price. The first time you do a DIY oil change it will probably be more expensive because you need to buy the tools, but after that you save.
The manual recommends changing your engine oil every 6-7.5 thousand miles depending on how you drive. Everyone has there own opinion on oil change intervals. I think it should be done every 5,000-6,000 miles or 6 months, whatever comes first. If you use synthetic oil you can stretch the interval a bit longer.
- Socket set, 10mm & 14mm
- Ramps or jack & jack stands
- Oil filter wrench
- Oil drain pan
- 5 gallon bucket to store used oil
- Torque wrench
- 6 quarts of oil (I used Mobil 1 5W30)
- Oil filter, part #90915-YZZD3
- Oil filter gasket, part #90430-12031
- Old newpapers, shop towels
1) Start the car and warm up the engine until the temp gauge gets in the normal range. The oil will drain out easier when it's warm.
2) Put the car on ramps or jack stands.
3) Remove the 11 10mm bolts that hold the engine under cover and set the cover aside.
4) Remove the oil filler cap.
5) Place an oil drain pan under the oil drain plug. Also put some old newspapers underneath just in case. Remove the 14mm oil drain plug to drain the oil. Hint: Loosen the plug with your wrench and then do the rest by hand. Loosen the plug while pushing on it until you can tell it is out, then quickly remove the plug and you can avoid a mess. I don't get any oil on my hands anymore ;) Keep an eye on the oil drain because you will have to adjust the oil pan location periodically.
Optional: After most of the oil had drained out I add about half a quart or whatever is left over from the last oil change to "flush" out more of the old oil.
You will need an oil filter wrench, a new oil filter (part #90915-YZZD3) and a new drain plug gasket (part #90430-12031). There are many kinds of oil filter wrenches on the market. I bought the adjustable Craftsman model in the pic because I wanted a wide range.
6) Clean up the oil pan area and then install the oil drain plug with a new gasket. Torque the oil drain plug to 14 ft-lb (20 N-m or 200 kg-cm). Now move the newspapers and drain pan under the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench unscrew the oil filter. Just get the filter loose with the wrench and do the rest by hand. Once the seal is broken between the oil filter and mounting area some oil will drain out. Be careful when removing the filter as well because it is filled with oil.
7) Once all the oil has drained out of the oil filter mounting area clean it up. This pic shows what mine looked like before cleanup.
8) Lubricate the new oil filter gasket by running some new oil over it with your finger. Screw in the filter by hand until the filter comes in contact with the seat of the filter mounting. Then give it an additional 3/4 turn using the filter wrench.
9) Refill with new SAE 5W-30 engine oil and then replace the oil filler cap.
- w/oil filter change = 5.3 liters (5.6 US qts, 4.7 Imp. qts)
- w/o oil filter change = 5.0 liters (5.3 US qts, 4.4 Imp. qts)
- Dry fill = 6.0 liters (6.3 US qts, 5.3 Imp. qts)
10) Start the engine and check for leaks. If you don't see any leaks then stop the engine and check the engine oil level.
11) Properly dispose of the used engine oil. What I do is I dump the drain pan into a 5 gallon jug I bought to store used oil. When the jug is full I bring it in to my county recycling center or to the local auto store. Most Checker and Autozone locations accept used oil; there is no charge. DO NOT dump used oil in your backyard or down the drain, it is illegal!!!
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