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Oil Change for V6 - Step by step with pictures

63735 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dwendt44
I just did the 1st oil change on my 6cyl Terrain and would like to share the how-to with pictures

Step #1 - Be prepared with the following:
1.- Shop towels paper or Rags (lots)
2.- Filter Part PF48 (I bought it from the dealership)
3.- 5 lts of you oil of choice, mine is Mobil 1
4.- Oil pan or bucket of at least 8 lts (9 qts) capacity
5.- Open or close wrench of 15 mm
6.- Oil filter removal wrench (some call it filter removal wrench draper)
7.- Vinyl gloves (oil is harmful for the skin) or mechanic gloves that you don't mind getting oil on them
8.- Cat litter or other spill absorbant (cause you will spill oil)
9.- Funnel (any kind except paper and make sure is clean!!)
10.- Safety Glasses. (cause you want to protect your eyes)

Step #2 - Warm up the Terrain/Equinox and park it in the garage (assuming is level), In my case I went to fuel up and came back, that was enough to warm it up without being scorching hot.

Step #3 - Loose the oil filter using your hand or a wrench, in my case it was installed by a gorilla so wrench was the only choice.
Remember just loose it a bit, DO NOT remove yet. (The purpose is to release any vacuum left in the filter)

Step #4 - Get your arm under the car and using the 15 mm wrench loose the oil drain plug. (I was on the floor in front of the passenger wheel, very tight if you're on the heavy side of the human spectrum).
Check which one as in the picture.
Just loose it enough so you can remove with hand.

Step #5 - Place oil pan/bucket under the drain plug and remove the plug.
WATCH OUT! The drain plug is like an inch from the exhaust and you will get burned unless you're wearing mechanic gloves.
Place oil pan under the drain plug and undo the bolt.
WATCH OUT! The drain plug is facing the back of the SUV so when you completely remove it the oil will shoot back like 5 inches from it so be prepared! Place the pan not right under but in place to catch the oil (ask me how I know what mess it can make)
You will get on the floor in front of the SUV and reaching with your left arm, your head will touch or very close to touch the front wheel
I suppose you can drive on ramps of something but nah..

Step #6 - Remove by hand the oil filter
Place a shop towel under the filter so you don't spill any oil (the filter is horizontally mounted).
WATCH OUT! The filter will be hot and to pull it from above you'll have to practice how are you planning to pull your arm up because is very tight due to hoses. Really practice squeezing your arm in there.
I think the design is to handle that from under the car but for that you need a car lift.

Step #7 - Let it drain...
Give yourself a pad on the back for a job half way done... (and if possible crack open a cold one cause you have to wait...)

Step #8 - Re-install the drain plug
Go under again and re-install the drain plug, the torque is 15 ft. lbs. (just enogh to feel it tight, no need to super tight it cause it has a rubber gasket that you may want to replace if its damaged, in my case I didn't use the replacement because it was in perfect condition. Maybe next time or in the future when needed I'll replace it.

Step #9 - Install the new oil filter.
Get the new filter and pour a few drops of oil on the rubber gasket and smear it with your finger, then install. The torque is 22 ft. lbs. (as per GM specs) but realistically just turn it 3/4 after it touches the gasket. No more than that or you'll break the gasket. The box flaps has the instructions too.

Step #10 - Get the oil and funnel ready
Give yourself another pad on the back for a job almost done... and if possible crack open another one cold one just because...

Step #11 - Pour Oil into engine
Before you open the oil filter cap blow or clean any dirt or debrie around it.
Open the cap and put aside upside down so you don't let it touch any dirt!
Place the funnel and pour 5.3lts of oil (as per GM Specs for oil change with filter). I pourred 4 then one more and yes, GM was spot on! It is 5.3 lts (5.6 US Quarts)

Step #12 - Start up the SUV and reset the oil life via DIC (just press the clear button when showing the oil life and you'll be prompted to confirm if you want to clear)

Step #13 - With the engine running let it idle and check for leaks.

Step #14 - Re-bottle the old oil and dispose it responsibly.

Note: After the oil change the new oil is so clear that you can barely read it on the rod!
Note 2: The engine is MUCH quieter and I could swear is running smoother.. This Mobil 1 seems to be good stuff!

I hope this help others tackle this very simple job. (I saved like $170 because the dealership was going to do a 99 point inspection as well as the oil change, heck I'll do it myself and save a lot of money which also give me some lovin' points with the wife ;D)


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Some other pics (I wish I could insert the pics in the right spot but the attachments management in this website is not flexible, and no I don't want to host this on my photobucket so this remains available forever.)


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Can I jot this down? This will help me save a lot too. The DIY instructions are well said and very detailed. Also there are measurements on Oil levels like on the oil pan as well as cleaning the Oil Pan Gasket[/color] which I find essential.
On Step 2 you said to warm up the engine, but didn't give a hint as to how warm.
I have read in various publications that you should drive the car for at least 10 miles to get the oil hot enough to suspend all the gunk so it will drain easier. If you really care about how your oil is doing, you should send a sample to an independent lab. Amsoil sells test kits along with other places. Cost should be around $25 including return postage. I do it for my bike oil, but not for the car ...... yet.
Since the V-6 holds 6 qts of oil, I'll need a new drain pan. The one I have had for years is 5 qt size.

I always change the filter first, filling the filter with oil; even horizontal ones. Rarely spill any.
Of course, this is a new-to-me vehicle with tight quarters for the filter. We'll see.
I always change the filter last so it will cool down and easier to handle while the oil is draining. Nothing like scalding hot oil spilled on skin to make your day. Even though I wear gloves it's almost a sure thing that some oil will drip/splash on you. Some cars are worse then others in trying to get the filter out.

I also prefill the filter before installing.

That looks like a fairly restrictive "Y" pipe.
Hey guys this is kind of a stupid question (probably stupid that I don't know the answer)

I want to change my oil myself as I want to put synthetic and save a ****load of money but I was wondering if this affects your warranty at all? I read on the internet that aslong as you keep receipts and logs its ok. I live in Canada so I'm not sure if it would be different policies than the US
KFUDGE88 said:
Hey guys this is kind of a stupid question (probably stupid that I don't know the answer)

No question is a stupid question 8)[/color]

I want to change my oil myself as I want to put synthetic and save a ****load of money but I was wondering if this affects your warranty at all? I read on the internet that aslong as you keep receipts and logs its ok. I live in Canada so I'm not sure if it would be different policies than the US
Your absolutely fine by running fully synthetic and no issues with warranty, for sure keep all your receipts but also remember, the Tech can run a diagnostic report that will show him every time the oil was dumped out - low/no oil pressure and engine runtime during low/no oil pressure after oil change start up will log. If there were are any warranty issues related to no oil pressure or engine was starved of oil etc.

The engine oil life monitor will log as well everytime you reset it.
Hi guys, just found the forum.

My dad has a 2006 Equinox LT (3.4L V6 Engine I believe) -- is the procedure similar to this?
Just an FYI -
And GM's Official dexos 1 list of Approved Motor Oils.

Mobil 1 is on the list :thumb:

I didn't see BP, Amsoil, Red Line, Castrol, RP and a few other oils on that list. I know Amsoil states their oil is dexos equivilent and I'm sure the others say the same thing - they just don't pay the slush money in order to put a symbol on the bottle.
The article says dexos is superior to most non synthetic oils and it keeps comparing it to syn oils so I'm assumiong dexos is a spec only for non synthetic oils??? Maybe that's why all synthetic oil mfg.s say their syn oil is comperable to dexos.
Can't wait to see the first court case for this.

I wonder how the Magnuson-Moss act applies to this "Use it or lose it" threat.
I'll have to read it when I get some time - unless someone else has already read it.
Castro info @ imakenews:


Magnuson - Moss Warranty Act :
Simply put, manufactures(GM in this case) must prove that the oil (in this case) caused the failure, if they do not, they cannot void the warranty just because the consumer did not use the certified oil.


It seems like a licensing/certification/$$$ issue. Non certified full synthetics such as Castro/Valvoline/AMSOIL state their synthetic oils meet or exceed the dexos 1 specs and stand behind their products. Valvoline also stated that their synthetic oils pass all of GM tests, but the dexos 1 license didnt benefit its consumers so decided to not purchase the license and not raise its prices.

GM with its dexos 1/2 certification is side stepping the API (American Petroleum Institute) certification by creating its own. In my opinion, it looks like GM wants to make some $$$ by doing this.

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To repeat and reiterate, the Dexos 1 spec. is equal to a strong 'BLEND". Most any synthetic oil will equal or better Dexos specs.

You can even BLEND your own oil if you wish. That's how the oil companies do it. Three quarts of conventional oil + three quarts of synthetic oil and you're still better than what Dexos calls for.

Dexos 1 is around 60% conventional and 40% synthetic.
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