Sunday, June 20, 2010

2006 Chevy Impala SS 5.3L V8 DIY (Do it yourself) Oil Change

This post serves two purposes

  • Step by step guide to changing oil on a 2006 Chevy Impala SS 5.3L V8
  • Unlocking the truth about Amsoil.  Is it is as good as they say it is?  As an Amsoil Independent Dealer this is very important to me as I sell products to personal friends, co-workers, and family.

As of 6/16/2010 this car has 31,937 miles and has been running conventional oil change intervals of 3000 miles.  My customer is very busy. He operates a business full time, has two young children, is married and likes to spend time with his family doing things he enjoys on the weekend.  Currently he puts an average of 18,000 (he has not owned car since new) miles a year on his car.  With this kind of mileage he was changing oil 6 times a year, on the weekends at a lube center, when he would rather be spending time with his family. He is thrilled that he will have to only change once per year with the occasional top off - all backed with a warranty and an oil analysis.

What I Hope To Achieve?

  • Save my customer time and money by not changing oil six times per year. By doing so he will also be producing a lot less waste oil.
  • Using oil analysis at the end of one year roughly 18,000 miles. Take an oil sample and provide the results here online to show that Amsoil does last 17,500 -35,000 Miles or one year based on driving habits.
  • Show everyone that oil changes can surpass 3000 miles. GM Oil Monitoring Systems already recommend 5,000 -7,000 mile oil change intervals on conventional oil.  Is it really hard to believe a quality synthetic can go 17,500-35,000 miles before changing? (Keep in mind that you have to change the oil filter per manufacturers recommendation.) Not a problem here, the Amsoil Ea Oil filters are good of 1 Year or 25,000 Miles whichever comes first.

2006 Chevy Impala SS 5.3L V8

6/16/2010 - Car with 31,937. I will be doing an oil analysis (read more at the end) and changing the oil  around 49,937 Miles or one year whichever comes first.

Here is the back of the Amsoil SSO 0W30 Full Synthetic Bottle.  My customer will be following the severe service guidelines.  This is the Chicago area... All driving is severe!

Here is the box for the Amsoil EAO 32 Oil Filter.  It is a 1 Year 25,000 Mile filter.

  • Remove oil cap and pull out dipstick.  On some vehicles this may help the oil drain faster. It is also a nice reminder once you return the car to the ground that you still need to fill it.
  • Jack up the car, and use jack stands to support the weight, or use drive on ramps. Never let the jack support the weight of the vehicle. Believe me jacks DO fail. In shops I have seen cars that were on professional lifts come down - this could be avoided by simply using the safeties that are built into these lifts.  As a do-it-your-selfer your safety is the jack stand! Here is what I did.. Place a 2x4 behind the right rear wheel.  Jack underneath the cradle (engine and transmission support that bolts to body) at the left front of the vehicle behind the front tire or anywhere that is part of the sub frame.My aplogies.. no pic Then I placed my jack stand near the front left of the cradle and lowered jack to allow stand to support weight of vehicle. I did not need to raise the right side because I had plenty of room to change the oil and filter lifting only one side.

Once the car is up locate the engine oil drain plug.  For this application I used a 13mm Snap On wrench.  Any 13mm socket with ratchet or wrench will do. Well mostly, not all tools are created equal. Most of the tools found at the big box hardware stores or Sears will do just fine.  Some of the cheaper brands break and strip out or round out the fastener you are trying to remove.  When this happens you usually need to pull out a pair of vice grips right after you bandage your bloody knuckle from slamming into a metal object.

Here you have a nice pic of the oil draining and an OK view of the oil filter with a oil filter wrench as well as my skinny arm. Location - Front dead center underneath car.

What's nice about this oil drain and oil filter location is that you can place a pan underneath both and remove at the same time.  Remember "righty tighty lefty loosy"

While the oil is draining I take the time to fill the filter.
From the picture two above you may have noticed the filter is installed in an upright position.  This is not always the case. This allows me to fill the oil filter prior to installing it. This will help the engine build oil pressure quicker. Many people do not do this and while it may not be necessary, or even possible on other cars it can not hurt, so if it's an option I fill it before installing.

Here you can see the oil filter is full.  You will also notice that I have applied oil to the black gasket.  This will help the filter seal, and make the filter easier to remove when it needs to be changed. BE SURE the filter you removed has the gasket attached to the filter before installing your new filter. Double gaskets will not work..I have to mention it because I have seen it done many times.. I have to admit I did it once or twice 12 years ago when I started. This is why you always check for leaks before driving off! Take your time no need to rush!
Installing the filter. Spin on - contact - then another full turn should do. Most filters have this info on the box.  You really should not need to use an oil filter wrench ( you may damage the filter) on a filter this small since your grip should be pretty good.  Big trucks sometimes require a little help from an oil filter wrench.
Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil drain plug gasket at oil change.  This is rarely done, but if you feel that it is necessary most part stores will carry them. Obviously if the gasket is torn, missing, ripped etc... replace it.

Here is the type of drain pan I recommend you use.  You can seal it at all ends which eliminates the need to fill bottles to take off to the local recycling center. Just seal it up and put in it your car. (you may want to put it on a dirty towel, cardboard etc..) Always recycle your oil. Many parts stores will take the oil as well as most lube centers and repair shops.

After lowering the car fill it up.  This car takes 6.1 Quarts.  I added 5 (already have some in the filter) to start with. Install cap, dipstick and start it up.  What you are looking for is your oil pressure light to go out on the dash (should happen real fast) and then go around to the front of the vehicle and peek for leaks.  If you have any leaks that are not residual leftovers from changing the oil turn it off immediately and find the source of the leak..  Did you tighten the oil filter? How about the drain plug?

Now that you have verified no leaks it would be a good time to reset the oil maintenance light and/or and fill out an oil change sticker.
To reset the oil maintenance light for this application you turn the key on (don't start) press the gas pedal to the floor three times and the indicator should go back to 100% oil life.  This info is also in your owners manual.
Now that a few minutes have gone by you need to check the oil and add as necessary until you reach near the full mark. You are looking to be in the cross hatched area.  For this car it was 6.1 quarts. Here you can find specs for oil fill, and drain plug torque specs for this application.

Now that the oil has been changed here is what I am going to do.
I will update any information that my customer gives to me or any work that I perform that is related to the oil, and/or performance.  Also, any concerns, testimonials, change in MPG or anything that is relevant to this post.  I will also provide any info including date, mileage and amount of oil that needs to be added to make it 18,000 miles.  I know my customer will be changing to the Amsoil Ea Air Filter in the near future.  I will also post date and mileage when this happens.

To eliminate any skepticism regarding the oil analysis I have included a Poll that has three different oil analysis companies and I will let the viewers decide. Please pass this page on!

To view the poll and the most up to date comments, and updates the original article is hosted here.  Scroll to the bottom and you will find the poll as well as the comments.

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