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Old 07-19-2010, 11:32 AM   #1
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Stupid Question of the Day: Changing Own Oil

Hey all, here's my stupid question of the day... well, I am certainly a newbie to the Wrangler world. I just bought my first Wrangler this past weekend and am glad to be back in a Jeep. Prior to this I had a 1997 Cherokee and loved the car, I only traded it in because I was lured into the savings of the cash for clunkers. Well, now after trading in a 9 month old car I am glad to be making monthly payments on something I actually love and enjoy.

I'm 25 and have never really worked on cars before. I'd like to become more hands on with my vehicle. One thing I'd like to save money on is oil, specifically changing my own oil. With the Wrangler being higher off the ground do you find changing your oil even easier than a car. I'm just curious if someone could lend and a hand and offer a few tips on useful tools to remove the filter, or if a light jack is needed (if it all).

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Old 07-19-2010, 11:39 AM   #2
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I have never worked on the new JKs but I know that I never needed any tools for my TJ when it came to changing my oil, except a ratchet to remove the drain plug. No jacks, no oil filter tools. I dunno about the JKs, but the engine compartment on the TJ is very open and easy to work on. Enjoy the new wrangler

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Old 07-19-2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cons_Table View Post
I have never worked on the new JKs but I know that I never needed any tools for my TJ when it came to changing my oil, except a ratchet to remove the drain plug. No jacks, no oil filter tools. I dunno about the JKs, but the engine compartment on the TJ is very open and easy to work on. Enjoy the new wrangler
Thanks! I'm tired of Valvoline charging 32.99 for a basic oil change... I remember I used to fork over almost 70 bucks for their high mileage change. Its nice to just roll up, and have them take care of it in 15 minutes but I'd rather save some coin and feel proud just doing it myself. Oil is so cheap these days, especially since synthetic is only like 21 bucks.
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:39 PM   #4
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I just did my 29th oil and filter change on my jeep yesterday. Very easy to do, cheap also, but most DIY'er do not grease the front end. This is a must. I went to the expense of buying a Lincoln Battery operated high pressure grease gun to do all my vehciles. If you are going to do your own work then invest in the proper tools and get good tools.
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:54 PM   #5
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You may want the JK forum but changing the oil on the new 3.8's is much easier than the 4.0's....everything is in the wide open
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:23 PM   #6
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I always run mine for about five minutes, then pull the plug right after shutting it off. Move your hand out of the way quick to avoid a mess. But, being warm and thin you'll get it all out fast.

Then, pull the filter without bumping the hot exhaust!

Let 'em drain for at least ten to fifteen minutes. It'll only be dripping at the end if flowing at all.

Put your drain plug back in, pre-oil half the filter (fill it half way with oil) to prevent dry cranking and wipe oil onto the rubber gasket. This helps it seal really good. Crank it on as tight as you can by hand, then 1/2 of a turn with a filter wrench. Thats all you need, over tightening will trash your gasket.

Fill it up with the required amount of oil, wait 2-3 minutes, check oil level, if its good your done. Or, level it off... A little above or below the line is ok, just don't leave it more than a half court low or a half court overfull.

...even after two or three times you'll think its a piece of cake. Common mistakes are;

1. forgetting to put the filter or plug back in before filling and the oil runs out on the ground.
2. leaving the oil filter dry and having your engine dry for the first few cranks after starting.
3. over-filling the oil
4. over tightening the filter so it becomes impossible to get off the next time your in there
5. not funeling the oil in and spilling it all over...

Common tools you'll need...

Socket to pull the drain plug
Strap wrench or other filter plyers
Drain pan
Funel
litter or oil dry for spots if you drip anywhere
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Old 07-19-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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Your local recycling center may give you oil collecting buckets for free. Its a 3 or 4 gallon bucket with a lid you use to collect the oil, the you take it back to the recycling center.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:56 PM   #8
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my buddy always jokes about i'm the youngest person he's ever seen that owns a grease gun.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:23 PM   #9
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Also make sure the gasket comes off with the old filter. If it sticks to the block and you screw on the new filter with it's gasket you'll have a big mess!
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:25 PM   #10
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Also make sure the gasket comes off with the old filter. If it sticks to the block and you screw on the new filter with it's gasket you'll have a big mess!
And a blown engine if you not quick to shut it down.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:26 PM   #11
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I have never once in my life paid anyone to change my oil on anything I have ever owned!It takes less than 30 minutes on my '03 TJ,and costs approximately 15 bucks!
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenservices View Post
I always run mine for about five minutes, then pull the plug right after shutting it off. Move your hand out of the way quick to avoid a mess. But, being warm and thin you'll get it all out fast.

Then, pull the filter without bumping the hot exhaust!

Let 'em drain for at least ten to fifteen minutes. It'll only be dripping at the end if flowing at all.

Put your drain plug back in, pre-oil half the filter (fill it half way with oil) to prevent dry cranking and wipe oil onto the rubber gasket. This helps it seal really good. Crank it on as tight as you can by hand, then 1/2 of a turn with a filter wrench. Thats all you need, over tightening will trash your gasket.

Fill it up with the required amount of oil, wait 2-3 minutes, check oil level, if its good your done. Or, level it off... A little above or below the line is ok, just don't leave it more than a half court low or a half court overfull.

...even after two or three times you'll think its a piece of cake. Common mistakes are;

1. forgetting to put the filter or plug back in before filling and the oil runs out on the ground.
2. leaving the oil filter dry and having your engine dry for the first few cranks after starting.
3. over-filling the oil
4. over tightening the filter so it becomes impossible to get off the next time your in there
5. not funeling the oil in and spilling it all over...

Common tools you'll need...

Socket to pull the drain plug
Strap wrench or other filter plyers
Drain pan
Funel
litter or oil dry for spots if you drip anywhere
Personally I tighten my oil filters as tight as I can get it by hand and that's all. After 40+ years I never had a leak and they come off a lot easier.
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Retired my 94 YJ 4cyl 5spd @ 200K
Now in a 04 TJ 4cyl 5spd CV @120K+
Both as a commuter vehicle in NW, NJ
April 2012.downsized and now a 99er.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:00 PM   #13
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Yes,atthehop is right,just handtighten the filter as tight as you can,it'll be fine.
Another good idea is to switch to synthetic oil,like Amsoil or Mobil1.Just get a can of oil flush to get all the old oil out and then put the syn.oilin.You can go longer between oil changes and just have a cleaner engine.Use oil filters for this purpose.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:05 PM   #14
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all good tips! thanks guys!
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atthehop View Post
Personally I tighten my oil filters as tight as I can get it by hand and that's all. After 40+ years I never had a leak and they come off a lot easier.
I agree... I used to tighten mine a little extra with the wrench, but after seeing how much my mechanic buddy twisted the filter trying to get it off this last oil change, I'll stick with hand tightening from here on out.

I like what he has to say when he sees people tightening their filter on with a wrench... "You better get that wrench off of there unless you want to lose that hand!"
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:55 AM   #16
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I second "Atthehop" comments about the greasing. My mechanic told me about customers that are so proud of doing their own oil changes but do not grease where needed and end up replacing ball joints etc. more frequently. A couple of squirts with every oil change is necessary.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:20 AM   #17
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Hi Transcender, what areas do you grease? I'm a newbie looking to start with changing my own oil.
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Old 09-26-2010, 02:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by beserkur View Post
Yes,atthehop is right,just handtighten the filter as tight as you can,it'll be fine.
Another good idea is to switch to synthetic oil,like Amsoil or Mobil1.Just get a can of oil flush to get all the old oil out and then put the syn.oilin.You can go longer between oil changes and just have a cleaner engine.Use oil filters for this purpose.
I would not recommend putting any kind of engine flush or engine "product" in a new engine especially but any engine. If you are running a good quality oil there is no need, and can cause you a world of problems. If you choose to switch to a synthetic just let it drain for a while with the drain plug out and filter off. Heck let it sit for a couple hours even and let gravity do the work. I would also check with JK peep's as I am not sure but you may have sealed components on that vehicle that require no greasing, but I am not sure on that.

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