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I found that changing my own oil wasn't too hard even for a first timer. I bought Mobil 1 extended performance fully synthetic oil along with the correct size mobil 1 fully synthetic extended performance oil filter. I believe it was called A-108 or some such measurement. Not gunna lie amazon.com and its garage feature made this possible.

My first major concern after acquiring jack stands was figuring out the correct place to put them, I've never been under a car until this point and was relieved to see to jack stand points in the shape of protruding metal rectangles towards the engine. My stands fit perfect no fuss. I used the traditional behind the tire spare tire jacking method which I gotta say saved me money for buying a floor jack but time in not using the actual spare tire jack.

From there I found my oil drain pan, which I learned the plug doesn't come all the way out so you gotta give it some play/wiggle room to let your oil get in the pan and not overflow lol.

The hardest part honestly was getting the damn drain plug off, it took some serious elbow grease and about 15 minutes with my wrench, the wrench definitely is the way to go, you gotta use the bot shaped side of it, I believe it was a 12mm wrench.

Finally the oil poured out, at this time my newbie anxiety of the car falling on me subsided (LOL) and I layed back and relaxed as that oil drianed out.... occasionally wiggling the drain pan screw.


After it finished draining I used a disposable blue shop towel to wipe up the drain plug area and inspected the plug to make sure the gasket was intact. People recommend you replace the plug each and every oil change but mine fit well and looked brand new still. I might use it again before replacing it!

So, if your like me and never been underneath your car until well, now- chances are your not going to find the oil filter because its hidden by some very nice plastic sheetlike material that weatherproofs the important components from direct exposure of road salt/water/dirt flying up from the front tires and damaging the goods.

When you wiggle that out (mine had no secured screws on the left and right back portion, its very easy to just peel it down with one hand and with the other hand unscrew your oil filter and let that oil drain, keeping it peeled back as to not get oil on your protective plastic thingy.

Sorry for my descriptive words lol, hopefully I help someone new.

Once that was done putting the new filter on was a breeze, just make sure the gasket from the old oil filter came off and isn't still stuck to the hole lol.

I read online its a good idea to take a fingertip of new oil and rub it around the new gasket to form a air tight seal upon impact with the oil filter housing/cavity , if thats what that hole left in the car would be called.

It screws on easy, just don't go too tight as to set yourself up for failure next go around. I did 2 and three quarters extra turns after it became snug. (as with the drain plug)

Finally measure your new oil out and pour it on in the engine oil reservoir. I used a lovely funnel that has an on off hatch which si operatde via screwed to stop and unscrewed to release flow of measured fluids. There is even a little filter at the flow hatch to stop any contaminate that might have fallen in whilst measuring (like a small pebble.) (About 5 bucks for the spiffy funnel at walmart.)

Putting the new oil in I think was the longest process of this all lol. After that lower your car down, making sure you take the jack stands off, obvi.

I started it up and let it idle for about 5 minutes before returning it to its parking space to let that oil swoosh around my engine.


Some notes!!!!!

Mobil 1 fully synthetic extended performance oil is what my car was using since before I purchased it, I got the mobil 1 fully synthetic extended performance filter as a nice touch :D 2 filters for 4 dollars, who can beat that?

Did I mention why I used the higher priced oil known as mobil 1 and its spiffy filter?

Both fluid and filter are guaranteed 15,000 miles between changes. As for me I'm monitoring the dirtiness level and will change most likely at 10,000 even if its still squeaky clean. It's been 4,000 miles so far and it looks fresh out of the bottle. I'm blown away.

Well I hope I helped, if this gets approved I'd love for this newbie guide to be posted into the How To Section of the forum!!!!!

A great website I used too was CarCareKiosk - Free videos that show you how to fix YOUR car

I look forward to posting more DIY For Dummies Edition maintenance procedures so everyone can save money. Aside from oil and filter, everything else I used was under 10 bucks at walmart lol.

Be sure to recycle your oil by pouring it into an empty milk jug and bringing it to a disposal center. I know walmarts with a tire lube and express center take 5qts at no charge per person :D


If this helps you please give feedback :)



Thank you community :grouphug:
 

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Glad you could do it yourself and save some money and knowing that you put the filter on correctly and didn't forget the drain plug or put it on loosely. Believe me i've heard of horror stories of places forgetting to tighten a drain plug etc.

Next time get a new crush washer for the oil drain plug. After all oil is out and new filter on and drain plug on put about 3-3.5 quarts of oil and start car, make sure oil filter is seated and not leaking any oil. Lower car and shut engine off, check oil level, add oil to correct level on dip stick.

Anyways once you do it it's a piece of cake. Do yourself a favor and get some ramps or a decent floor jack because it will save you loads of time doing your next oil change/tire rotation. I hate using the factory jack because it takes way longer to lift a car with it then with a floor jack/bottle jack.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Glad you could do it yourself and save some money and knowing that you put the filter on correctly and didn't forget the drain plug or put it on loosely. Believe me i've heard of horror stories of places forgetting to tighten a drain plug etc.

Next time get a new crush washer for the oil drain plug. After all oil is out and new filter on and drain plug on put about 3-3.5 quarts of oil and start car, make sure oil filter is seated and not leaking any oil. Lower car and shut engine off, check oil level, add oil to correct level on dip stick.

Anyways once you do it it's a piece of cake. Do yourself a favor and get some ramps or a decent floor jack because it will save you loads of time doing your next oil change/tire rotation. I hate using the factory jack because it takes way longer to lift a car with it then with a floor jack/bottle jack.
I own a small floor jack, just not one of those massive garage floor jacks. The washer seems to make sense to change just to play it safe, id imagine over tightening is the number one cause of drain plug leakage, the washer bends and the next go around KAPOWEEE! :thumb2:

I would love a Do It Yourself For Dummies Edition Tutorial on how to flush the coolant/radiator. Costs about 300 dollars for it to be done where I'm at. I'd love to learn it and post a tutorial based on my experience or read one from yours. I heard theres a way to do it with a new garden hose piece and a gallon of distilled water. Items that cost under 10 dollars and I payed 330.00 plus tax for it to be done/lost my car for the day.
 

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Nice write up, hopefully this could inspire others to begin doing their own basic maintainence. I have been driving for 34 years and have always done my own oil changes so I can offer up a little more based on experience.

Definitely wipe some clean oil on the oil filter gasket before screwing the new one on. Tighten the oil filter by hand (no tools) as tight as you can. Never had one leak, nor is it hard to get off 5000 miles later.

When Removing the oil filter, you need to have an oil filter wrench that fits. I have never seen an oil filter that would come off without using an oil filter wrench. If it is coming off, without needing to use an oil filter wrench, it is too loose. Consider yourself lucky that the oil didn't leak out.

After you have completed the oil change, wipe everything clean, then start the car. Crawl back underneath and check for leaks at the drain plug and the oil filter.

Dispose of the used oil and filter properly. Take it somewhere that will properly dispose of it, usually by recycling.

I am not sure what you meant when you said the drain plug wouldn't come completely out. It just screws out. Break it loose with a ratchet with the proper size socket, then unscrew it by hand. If it is not coming out easily, like that, someone before you has abused the bolt by tightening it too much or cross threading it, or both.
 

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Roughly how long did this take you? It's been years since I have done my own oil change. Depending on how long and comparing the wait at the shop I may start doing it myself again. Thanks for the post!
 

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I had to do my first oil change on my V on Sunday. Really, once you get down to it, the longest part of the process is just letting the oil drain out. It took me maybe 30 minutes total.

Its a 14mm wrench or socket that you need to get the plug off (9/16" is about the same size as 14mm, so they are interchangeable.) Don't even try to use an open-end wrench - use the box end. The open-end will flex too much.

You'll need a 10mm wrench or socket and a flat screwdriver to get the plastic underpan off the car. You'll need a filter wrench to get the filter loose. These are pretty cheap, especially at Harbor Freight, if you have one near you. ONLY use the filter wrench to take the old filter off. DO NOT use it to put the new filter on.

I used Valvoline synthetic blend high-mileage oil - 5W30, in the red bottle. I also HIGHLY recommend the Purolator Pure One filter (and I'm not the only one who recommends it.)

Here's a trick I learned on my own from my G35 Coupe that I had before the Versa: Both the G35 and the Versa call for the same oil filter. From memory, the Purolator part # is L14612 for that one. What I did on the G35 and now the Versa was I used the filter recommended for a 2000-2003 Maxima, which is a Purolator L14610. It's the same diameter and thread as the L14612, but it's about 3/4" longer, for a bit more capacity. Having the larger oil filter just makes me feel better about extending out my oil changes, since I drive so many miles. There's plenty of room in there for the larger filter, so I don't know why Nissan went with the smaller one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the posts guys!!!

Answers in no particular order...

@vinco- if your down for getting the most for your money spend the extra on mobil 1 fully synthetic extended engine performance oil and the corresponding filter. I drive 2,000 miles a month and every month the oil is still clean. I may change at 12,000 miles instead of 15,000 miles because I'm a sap for six month intervals.... I check each month by doing a quick bleed out check and dipstick check. Something like a 15,000 miles guarantee should be met with some scepticism but it really is working. Also removing the back part of that plastic covering is a great way to not have to fuss with it ever again and just tuck it back into place after each oil change, no screw drivers ever that way.

@Ziggy Star Dust- it took me about 50 minutes my first time. Keep in mind I used a floor jack, jack stands, and have never done so before. So a lote of the time was making sure the jack stands were in the right place, and unscrewing the damn oil drain plug.... I'll get into the drain plug in my next @capa.

@Sooner4x4- what I meant, judging by the difficulty of getting the plug off was either 1 of two things.... the first possibility was that the dealership used a freakin high powered bolt turner (be it air pressurised or electrical i dont know.care lol) and the second would be that there was no disclaimer saying you need to use the box end of the wrench to get the damn thing loose with elbow grease torque. These things all led to a bit longer than estimated oil change. I love how clean my oil still is. about 30.00 bucks for oil and 2pack of Mobil filters and I'm good for 12,000 miles easy, 15,000 miles probably.
 

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One trick on breaking loose the oil plug is to hold the wrench on the plug with the box end on the plug and the other end hanging down. Hold the wrench with your hand right up on the nut. Then give the loose end a good whack with a hammer (making sure you're hitting it in the correct direction for loosening the plug!!!) This is functionally the same thing as an impact wrench does. Plus, assuming you don't hit yourself with the hammer, it's actually much safer to do it this way than to pull and tug on the wrench with steady pressure while the car is up on jack stands or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One trick on breaking loose the oil plug is to hold the wrench on the plug with the box end on the plug and the other end hanging down. Hold the wrench with your hand right up on the nut. Then give the loose end a good whack with a hammer (making sure you're hitting it in the correct direction for loosening the plug!!!) This is functionally the same thing as an impact wrench does. Plus, assuming you don't hit yourself with the hammer, it's actually much safer to do it this way than to pull and tug on the wrench with steady pressure while the car is up on jack stands or whatever.
An excellent suggestion! I will do that if I happened to tighten it too tight this go around. I'm sure over time it gets stiff too.

I love working on cars on weekends. My neighbors think I'm crazy. I don't give a damn. :D
 

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On the dozen or so oil changes done thus far on the Versa, I have not had to remove or loosen the plastic splash pan under the car. Makes it a little more difficult to get the oil filter wrench up to the filter to loosen it, but not bad.

+1 on the Purolator Pure One oil filters. The grippy texture on those are especially appreciated on this car.

Bolts always seem to be tighter when you go to loosen them. I just give a sharp tap with the palm of my hand to the 3/8" drive ratchet and the oil drain bolt breaks loose every time. No guarantees if you are following behind a shop done oil change.

To Brian,
Actually, the fact that you do work on your own car, means that you DO give a damn. You give a damn that it is done correctly. That's what really matters in my opinion.
 

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First DIY oil change.

Changed the oil in my 2012 Versa hatch. Very easy.

Like the 370, the Versa has a cover underneath the engine. If you don't want a mess and want to reach the filter easily, take the cover off. Easily accomplished by removing 4 bolts and 4 plastic rivets.

Drain the oil into a pan. Replace the crush washer on the drain plug. Next remove the filter. Now, here's where I have a problem with this car. The oil filter is almost perfectly horizontal. So when you remove it, you're going to make a mess. When will car companies learn? Fortunately, the excess from the filter is easily wiped clean with a rag. (At least Nissan didn't mount it above the starter or something else.)

Replace the drain plug and don't over tighten it. If you are using the Nissan crush washer, as the washer compresses, you'll see just how tight it should be. Next, slightly fill the filter with some fresh oil. Lube the rubber gasket on the filter with some oil and replace the filter.

Replace the cover you removed when you started. And fill the engine with fresh oil. I used Amsoil 5W30 full synthetic (same as the 370). I used 4-3/4 quarts and the level on the dipstick showed about 3/4 between the L and the H.

Start the engine and check for leaks. You're done. It took me about 20 minutes to do and I'm sure it will take less time since this was the first time I've ever worked on a Versa. Sorry I don't have pictures. I completely forgot. I will take some next time and post for all to see.
 

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There is a howto for changing oil with pics and part numbers here http://www.nissanversaforums.com/how-tos/1122-how-change-engine-oil-hr16de.html. It says hr16de but covers mr18. It was written awhile ago so not sure if anything has changed. I will be doing one for the coolant when I finally change it this spring/summer.
Please note the disclaimer at the end of that post:

"Note* all pics from a 2009 1.6l Versa so it may differ from your vehicle."


The vehicle I was working on was a 2012 Versa hatch 1.8L. And yes, I will post pictures next oil change so those who have this model can see the differences.
 

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Look forward to the writeup with pics. My disclaimer was incase people saw the pics and wondered why theirs might have looked a tiny bit different. The procedure is identical except fill capacity which I noted. More writeups, info, and posts the better. Keep the good stuff coming.
 

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Change Car Oil Quick, Clean & Easy with Fumoto Valve - YouTube Have had my Versa for 6 years now and change my oil all that time. I do suggest purchasing a quick change oil valve. So many times I've heard of people stripping the oil pan bolt, do to over torquing the bolt too many times. I also have a pair of plastic car ramps that makes it easy to get the car high enough to work. The new oil filter I fill up with oil and let it sit for 5 minutes so it soaks the paper filter real good. Another thing I do is wet the oil filter gasket, then using my thumb and two fingers I hand tighten the filter. When it's time to remove it, it's easier to remove by hand. I've been doing my own oil changes like this for 40 years and haven't had a problem.
 

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Its (Haynes manuals)not recommended to use a socket as this may round the drain plug. The old oil definately helps the seal and is also in the Haynes repair manuals.


I have hammered sockets on a rounded drain plug to remove it. if the drain plug is started to get rounded, replace it before it too late.
 

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Some Tips:

1. You can remove the oil filter without a filter wrench, just use a large enough pair of channel lock pliers to loosen it* and then remove by hand.



* It does not matter if the filter gets damaged since you are replacing it.


2. You can replace the oil filter without a filter wrench, as per the Nissan Versa (C11) Service Manual (page MA-13):

"Screw oil filter manually until it touches the installation surface, then tighten it by 2/3 turn."

Otherwise torque the oil filter to 17.7 N·m (13 ft-lb)


3. You do not need to remove the plastic splash guard to get to the oil filter (though it does make it easier). Just place a large rag or a bunch of paper towels directly under the filter to catch the oil that comes out of the filter when you remove it.


4. Torque the oil drain plug to 34.3 N·m (25 ft-lb)*

* Ironically the Nissan Versa (C11) Service Manual does not list this in their oil change section but it can be found on page EM-24.


5. Always use the correct oil viscosity your engine was designed for. For the Nissan Versa (C11) use 5W-30.* As per the Nissan Versa (C11) Service Manual (page MA-12):

"SAE 5W-30 viscosity oil is preferred for all temperatures. SAE 10W-30 and 10W-40 viscosity oil may be used if the ambient temperature is above −18°C (0°F)."

"Use of 5W-30 viscosity oil will increase fuel economy."

* Using thicker oil to "quiet" a noisy engine is an urban legend that can cause engine damage.


6. Only use Nissan recommended API graded oil or newer, as per the Nissan Versa (C11) Service Manual (page MA-11)

"Recommended Fluids: API grade SH, SJ, SL or SM, Energy Conserving" *



* You can use newer API ratings such as SN, which will be backwards compatible and the newer ratings always meet higher standards.

C11 = First Generation (2007-2011 U.S.)
 
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