This was my first time changing the oil in my car! I've decided to post a how to. I know you guys know how to change your oil, but the most informative part of the how-to is how I got the car in the air.
My car is too low to get a jack under…now before everyone jumps all over hating stance etc. It is a performance mod that also happens to look good (and is really not that low). If my car were lower it would handle even better! Anyways, normally to change the oil I would just drive it up on a piece of wood and then drive it onto ramps, but this time I also needed to rotate the wheels. So the car had to go up on jack stands.
Given recent events, some of you may be swearing off jack stands. Do not be afraid. Jack stands can be your friend if you use them in a paranoid what-if-there-is-an-earthquake kind of way.
Getting the car up is easy, but a little fiddley. The first step is to drive the car up onto some wood so that he jack will fit.
There is no place to jack the car up in the front or back so it has to be done from the sides. Bird has this nifty adapter for the jack that allows the car to be jacked up from the pinch welds safely (it is made for a Miata, but works for the Abarth too).
So you jack up one side, place the jack stands, jack up the other side, place those jack stands a little higher, then jack up the original side and raise those jack stands to match. My car only sits on one of the jack stands in the back, so the other one is there for safety. I also left the jack in the final place we used it for safety.
Here's the car half way up. I don't seem to have a picture of it all the way up.
So now the car was in the air. Time to get under it and take a look around. I was surprised how clean the underside of my car is. I've had it for a year and a half and it looked brand new!
There's a large plastic tray that covers up the oil pan that needed to be removed. Bird acted as my assistant and we found the right sized socket to get the bolts out. With the tray removed I took a look around. There seems to be a little bit of oil seepage between the engine and transmission, so I'll need to get that checked out.
Now to drain the oil. I know from experience that you need to use something to direct the oil coming out because the drain hole is angled so they the oil shoots out parallel to the ground and hits a piece of metal on the way down. This made a huge mess the first time we drained the oil. I placed a funnel in front of the hole and took out the plug.
Success! I had to lay there for a few minutes before enough oil was drained and the funnel would stay in place on its own.
While we waited for the rest of the oil to drain I started removing the filter. The oil filter in my car is fairly deep in the engine bay and some parts need to be removed to get to it. The oil filter housing barely fits through the opening even after removing things.
The filter is way deeper in there than this picture makes it look.
Once the filter was out I removed it from the housing and replaced the rubber ring with a new one. To do this I used a hook tool.
I also notice that insulation around the battery has completely disintegrated, when I touched it there was a puff of dust. The canyon drive over Thanksgiving was more spirited than I thought! (I also kinda melted my center caps). We took the battery insulation off, so that will need to be replaced asap because the battery is very close to the turbo. Luckily I didn't really go anywhere this week, so it should be fine.
Back under the car the last of the oil had drained so I put the plug back in. I replaced the plastic tray while Bird put new oil in the car.
I use Rotella T6, which is actually branded for diesel engines so it has zinc in it. According to Bird and a bunch of guys on the internet this is good for turbo motors, so that's what I use. If it's good enough for a bulldozer it's good enough for me! (kidding, this was a well researched decision). It is the recommended 5w-40 full synthetic.
Next we rotated the wheels and lowered the car. The main thing to remember here is to lower it back onto the wood or you won't be able to get the jack out.
Last step was to torque the lug bolts and adjust the tire pressures for their new positions. We noticed that the fronts were showing wear signs from over inflation (even though I run them 2psi under recommended anyways) so we put a little less air in the new fronts, I probably won't know until the next canyon ride if that fixes the problem, but the ride quality on crappy L.A. roads feels as good as it can with stiff suspension.
So that's it. I changed the oil and everything still works! Thanks for reading!