ORIGINALLY POSTED BY: Nial on Dec 22, 2013

How To - General Maintenance - How to change the oil.

I need to add pictures but it is raining very heavily at the moment, as soon as it stops I will grab the camera. If this post is in the wrong place or there is an existing how to then feel free to delete it and accept my apology.

In this “How To” I will try to cover some of the common questions that crop up around performing an oil change….these are all based largely on my opinion and experience and should not be mistaken for fact. Follow them at your discretion.

Also bear in mind that this is based on an ST205, other versions my vary, but I don't think there is a great deal of difference.

Will start with the simple stuff and a task that will no doubt be one of the first jobs that anyone will do when taking over a new car, regardless of what make/model it is. An Oil change.

An oil change is in the grand scheme of things a straightforward task, a few minor irritations are all you should come across, a stuck sump nut and stuck oil filter…but will get to those later.

First thing to do will be to purchase the correct pieces of equipment. You will need………

Oil – you’ll need about 4.5 litres
Oil filter – OEM Is my preferred option but many are available
Sump plug washer – Very important, don't forget this, all good parts departments will include a sump plug washer as a matter of course when supplying a new oil filter.

That’s it, not a lot but it will coast in total around £65 max depending upon which oil you decide to buy and which oil filter you decide on.

Oil – There are many many types of oil, brands and viscosity, everyone has their favourites and everyone will recommend something different, I wont say, “Don’t use that” or “You must use this!” I will leave the decision of which to use to you, I will however tell you what I have used in the past

Currently I am running with Halfords (a national parts store in the UK) own brand motor sport oil 5W40, I haven’t seen it very often but so far its doing its job…is it doing its job any better or any worse than any other oil? I wouldn’t know how to tell…but it cost about £40 for 5 litres
Halfords Fully Synthetic. 10W40 IIRC I have used this too without issue costs about £35 for 5 litres
Silkolene Pro race S 10W50 By all accounts great oil used it about 30% of the time. Costs roughly £50 for 5 litres
Milers Fully Synthetic 10w40 I have used this oil the most, its expensive at around £55 for 5 litres, but my car has covered 230,000 miles on its original engine so it must be doing something right.

Oil Filter - There are 4 or 5 types available, but I have only ever used Toyota Oil filters and it’s all I will ever use, cost around £10 from the dealers

Sump plug washer – A small blue material based washer available from the dealers for not a lot…probably less than £1 but you should get into the habit of fitting a new one EVERY time you do an oil change.

Tools required for the job

14mm spanner or 14mm socket and ratchet – this is to undo the sump nut…remember rightly tighty. Lefty losey.
Some sort of oil filter removal tool – There are several available, due to space I prefer the chain whip type but what ever suits you and your model of Celica the best,

A jack – to lift the car

Axel stand – to rest the car on whilst undertaking the work

(You may prefer to use ramps if you have them)

A Phillips or Possidrive screwdriver to remove the under tray (you’ll only need to do this if you have an ST20X)]

10mm spanner – sometimes the under tray is held on with small 10mm self tapping bolts

A catch can - to put the old oil into

Funnel - to help guide the new oil into the oil filler kneck

So, you have all the tools at hand and you have all the parts you will need…its time to get dirty.

Before you start its good to do a bit of preparation. Sweep the driveway where you are going to be working…there is nothing more painful than a knee or elbow interface with a small stone. Lay a sheet down to catch any stray oil and I personally wear a pair of nitrile gloves to help keep my hands clean so a box of them at the ready.

Start by taking the car for a very short run for a minute or just let it tick over for a min or two, this will heat up the oil and reduce its viscosity; this will enable it to drain more easily from the sump. Don’t get it too hot though as you will just end up burning yourself on hot exhaust parts or scalding yourself with hot oil.

If you are concerned about working around a hot car then you can do this from cold, you dont have to warm the oil, but it does help.

So with the car at a workable temperature you need to start jacking up the car. Make sure the car is in gear and the hand brake is on securely

Place the jack at a suitable jacking point. If you are using the standard scissor jack then you need to use the jacking point marked on the sill lip by the two cuts

If you have a hydraulic jack then you need to choose more carefully, do not use these jacks on the sills, use chassis points or sub frames and use a piece of wood to avoid damaging the underside of the car.

(NOTE crushed sills will soon result in an MOT failure in the UK so be aware of this when jacking the car up)

Once the car is at the desired height, set the axel stands in place, again be careful where you put them so you don’t cause damage to the car, or impede any of the work areas, there is nothing more frustrating than having to re jack a car because the axel stand is in the way of where you want to be working.

Next up lay down a sheet to work on, it makes work a little more comfortable and will help keep the driveway clean.

First thing to do it to undo the oil filler cap….why? Well, this will help the air to get into the engine allowing the oil to drain quicker. Put the cap somewhere safe, I usually leave mine resting in its hole so it can’t fall anywhere and it will keep foreign bodies out of the engine.

Next up is to remove the sump plug. You will need either a 14mm spanner or a 14mm socket and ratchet to undo this.

The sump plug is at an angle on the side of the lowest part of the sump, you won’t have much movement for a spanner, but after a turn or so it will be loose enough to finish by hand. If it is on very tight you may have a bit of a fight on your hands, there is limited space under their so if you use a breaker bar you will only have a few degrees of movement, typically this is taken up by the slack in the joints rendering it useless, I find the best way is to link two spanners together or use a long ratchet bar.

Have the catch can at the ready and remove the sump plug by hand, mind your fingers as it will be hot, ON an ST205 the oil will come out at a slight angle heading towards the middle of the car so position your catch can in a suitable place, but be aware that when the initial flow is over the oil will just drip straight down from the sump plug. (Not sure of the sump hole location on other models but probably not a million miles away.)

Leave the sump plug off and let the oil drain for at least a good half an hour,

Next up is to remove the oil filter, now on the ST185 this is on the front of the engine near the exhaust manifold at a downward angle and is a right pain in the arse to remove.

On and ST205 it is on the right side (drivers side) of the sump pan at an upward angle.

With engines that have the oil filter on the front of the block, put some rags under the oil filter, when you remove the filer a lot of oil will escape, the filters hold a surprisingly large amount of oil…about a pint which will potentially end up either all over the floor or all over your engine, about 2/3 of this will have exited the filter when you start draining the oil, but there will still be a good amount remaining. Use a suitable oil filter removal tool to loosen the filter to a point where you can use your hands but before the seal is broken…about half a turn should do it, then as quickly as possible undo the filter and tip it on its end to stop any more oil escaping.

With celicas where the oil filter iis near the sump, its time to get messy.........Undo the drivers side under tray, you will not need to undo all of the retaining screws, just enough to allow access to the oil filter. Again put some rags down as some oil will escape when you remove the filter. Use a suitable oil filter removal tool…there will be limited space so be careful. Again undo enough to allow you to finish removal by hand, but not enough to break the seal and allow the oil to run out. Then by hand, remove the filter as quickly as possible and tip it up to prevent any more oil escaping….some oil will drop out of the oil filter locating point…about ¼ of a pint so be ready with the rags.

A stuck filter can be an incredible pain in the arse, if you have the right tools for the job then it shouldn't be difficult, but in the past I have found oil filters who's structure isn't strong enough to enable its removal and has collapsed in on itself, I have had to resort to hammering a screw driver through the filter, this can work in an emergency but makes a mess and can leave you with a torn filter and nothing left to grip to remove it. I have also had occasions when all I was left with is the threaded ring on the bottom of the filter and nothing else, you then have to resort to hack sawing the base of the filter off but if you get to that point, be very careful not to mark the seal face of the engine or you will have oil leaks for ever more....hopefully though the oil change won't be that disastrous and the filter will come away easily.

Right, so you now have the sump plugs off, the oil is draining away and the filter is off. Time for a cup of tea.

After a nice hot cup of tea…or coffee if you prefer, there are a couple of small cleaning jobs to do. Quickly check that there is no more oil left to drain away, there might be a slight drip drip, but you will take for ever to drain away all the oil. For me that is good enough.

Firstly with a very clean cloth wipe around the oil filter location, clean off any old oil and debris that might have fallen onto the seal area…be careful not to introduce any contamination into the oil ways…clean clean clean is the way forward. Especially careful on the ST205 as this is subject to a lot or road dirt/grit

Also clean around the sump plug and the plug itself, remove any remnants of the old sump plug washer. You might also want to take this opportunity to examine the oil, make sure it has no metal particles in it, make sure it has no froth or discolouration…by the time your changing the oil it should be a pretty even black colour…any brown in the oil indicates contamination by coolant.

Right, you are now ready to start putting things back together.

Start off by refitting the sump plug with its brand new sump plug washer, put it back into the sump finger tight, and complete with a spanner, there is a correct torque figure to use, but I usually do it up as tight as I dare.

Next open the box containing the new oil filter, the OEM filter will have a plastic cover to keep it clean, remove this.

Then place the filter on the ground still in the box with the bottom (open end) facing up….open up your chosen oil and fill the filter up. This will help prevent the momentary oil starvation to the engine when you first start up.

(In the olden days it was recommended that you wiped around the rubber seal of a new oil filter with some clean oil, this helps to prevent to rubber seal from distorting when you tighten it in place, but the OEM filters come with the rubber seal greased up so you don’t need to do that….if you have a blueprint or other brand of filter they may not come pre greased so you will have to do this….don’t forget to do this as it could prevent a seal from being created and you will be left with a leaky oil filter)

When the filter is finger tight. Give it a quick tighten by hand as much as you can…there is no need to use a tool for this as oil filters are self tightening from use, as long as you create a seal then the filter will do the rest…it also makes it easier to remove come the next oil change.

With an ST205 you will need to refit the under tray, wipe off any spilt oil and secure it in place.

Remove the oil catch can and place the old oil filter into it…you can take these away for recycling at a local dump or recycle centre.

You now need to return the car to level, so you will need to jack the car off the axel stands…remember the jacking points and the use of wood to help prevent damage. Remove the axel stands and place well out of the way, then lower the car to the ground making sure that there are no tools or equipment in the way.

Once the car is back on the ground it’s a good idea to put most of the tools away so they don’t get stuck under the car or you don’t run them over on the test drive.

Now you are ready for the last task….fill it up with oil.

Move the oil filler cap out of the way, quickly inspect it for debris/contamination and place somewhere clean and safe.

Place the funnel into the oil filler hole, make sure the funnel is clean so it won’t add contaminants into the oil ways,

Place a rag around the rocker cover, helps to catch any oily dribbles.

With one hand hold the funnel in place, it’s bound to fall over if you don’t and with the other hand, pour in the new oil. Once you have added about 4 litres of the oil stop and using the dip stick, check the oil level – Remove the dip stick, wipe with a clean cloth, place the dip stick back into the hole, leave for a second and remove it again. On the bottom of the dipstick are some hashings and two lines, the oil needs to be above the bottom line (minimum mark) and below the top line (maximum mark) Be aware though that you can only check the oil level about 4 times before oil that gets dragged up the dipstick tube making it almost impossible to take an accurate reading.

This is taken with old oil mid drain which is why the level is low, you can see by the colour, new oil is obviously a clear golden brown colour.

I always fill up to the maximum line when using new oil.

When this is complete, wipe down the rocker cover, wipe the filler cap and secure back into place finger tight.

The job of changing the oil is now complete.

What you should do now is take the car for a short run, be careful on start up though as there will be little oil in the oil ways, it will only take a second or so but that is potentially time when the oil isn’t fully lubricating everything as it should so no revving straight way.

Go for short drive…just around the block will do, come back and check the oil level with the dip stick once again. If you are happy then job done, if not add some more oil if needed of drain away any excess via the sump plug if you have over filled the oil.

That’s it, you have no successfully completed an oil chance.

So you have now completed the task…for some that will be the first ever job on a Celica or in deed any car…revel in your glory for a few mins then get ready for the next task as trust me, there will be a "next task"

Good luck.