Routine Maintenance 101: Changing The Oil

Jack It Up First!

Andrew Bolig Oct 1, 2000 0 Comment(s)

Step By Step

As shown in the top photo by our hydraulic jack wielding model, start at the back of the car and jack up the rear from the center of the rear crossmember. Make sure that you don’t contact the spring, because gouging it could mean you’ll need to replace it. Set the jackstands just inboard from the rear control-arm bolts.

With the rear secure, start jacking up the front of the car by the front crossmember right in front of the oil plug. Put the jack in behind one of the front wheels and make sure that you do not come in contact with the oil pan. It’s very flat and made of aluminum like the crossmember.

Position the front jackstands so that they contact the crossmember at the front adjustment bolts of the lower control arm. Keep them as close as possible to the crossmember for stability. Because the oil pan is very wide and shallow on the LS1 engine, it will expedite draining the pan if the rear of the car is slightly higher than the front.

Once the car is secure you can start to change the oil. You’ll need a 15mm wrench for the oil plug. The system holds 6-1/2 quarts with the filter so make sure you have a container large enough to hold all of the used oil.

Chris warns us that if you still see any oil running out of the engine—WAIT! As we have stated, the pan is very shallow so there could be a good amount of used oil still in the pan. Even a fast drip can go on for a while.

While you’re waiting for the remainder of the oil to drain, take the opportunity to check out the car. Look up under the front of the car at the radiator. Is there any debris that can keep your car’s radiator from cooling properly? This is also a good time to check for evidence of any leaks.

While the oil pan is still draining you can remove the old oil filter. Make sure that the old filter’s gasket did not stay on the engine. The filter will be snug, so a filter wrench will be handy to have.

Prepare the new filter by filling it with Mobil 1 Tri-Synthetic 5W-30 motor oil. Keep in mind that the entire system holds 61/2 quarts including the filter. Put a little oil on the new gasket to keep it from sticking to the engine the next time you change the oil.

Now that the oil pan has finally emptied and no more oil is coming out, you can install the oil plug again. Remember that the oil pan is aluminum and you don’t want to strip the threads. It’s much easier to snug up the oil plug a little bit later than to have to repair the threads in the oil pan.

With the new oil filter and oil plug in place you can begin filling the engine with oil. Remember, you already put some oil in the filter so start by putting in only 6 quarts and check the level periodically.

Before you even think of starting the car you should wait for at least 10 minutes.

This will give the cooler, thicker oil time to reach the pan and give an accurate measurement of how much oil is really in the engine.

The final step after achieving the proper oil level is to start the car and bring it up to operating temperature. This thins the oil and increases the synthetic oil’s already enhanced tendencies to seep around gaskets and seals. If there is a small leak present at the filter gasket or the oil plug you’ll be able to correct it with a little snug of the wrench before it coats the underside of your Corvette.

You are one of the blessed who can admit to ownership of the latest generation of Corvettes to have rolled out of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Whether it is your first or simply the most recent, there are differences from the earlier cars that can set fear and trepidation in the hearts of those who may want to do regular maintenance on their Corvettes. One such task that seems so simple but has enough “special procedures” to be intimidating is changing the oil in C5 Corvettes. The Corvettes that have rolled off the assembly line since the introduction of the ’97 model have used some technology that’s new to the Corvette. The gratuitous use of aluminum under the car and composite body panels that wrap under the perimeter of the vehicle will limit your options for lifting the car. Chris Petris of the Corvette Clinic took the time to show us his procedures for making this mandatory chore a success.

Now you know the proper procedures for changing the oil in your ’97 or newer Corvette. Since this issue focuses on women who own or drive Corvettes, this topic may even be useful to those women who want to change the oil in their own cars. But, ladies, if you’re reading this story and you notice your significant other peering over your shoulder in hopes of gleaning some information, try not to notice.

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