Sunday, October 9, 2011

DIY: VW Jetta/Golf MKV 2.5L Oil Change

Alright, so this is my guide to changing the engine oil and the oil filter in the MKV Jetta 2.5L. This was the very first time I did this by myself and as such it took much longer than I had hoped for/expected. That being said, I do enjoy DIY-ing stuff and definitely enjoy working with cars.

Another point I'd like to raise before actually going ahead with the guide is that if you're planning on doing a oil change just to save money, depending on your car make/model, I would first seriously shop around dealers and independents for good prices. My local VW dealer had a synthetic oil change special (the usual 5 quarts + filter) for $59.99 a week or so ago. Even at $69-79.99, the savings aren't obvious. The savings certainly add up in the long run (especially if you change your oil+filter every 5000 miles/6 months, like me), but for me, it was more about the fun of doing it myself and more importantly, the knowledge that I've put in the best possible oil and filter and did everything "right". To add finally, the usual disclaimer; I've written this guide purely to help folks out, based on my own experience. I'm not responsible for anything good/bad that may happen to you/your car as a result of following this guide. May the force be with you! :)

Moving forward, you'll need the following tools/items to make the process as straightforward and easy as possible:

  1. Torx (T25) screw driver (one with a swivel head highly recommended)
  2. Ratchet with a size 19 socket
  3. An oil wrench (or an oil filter cup for a wrench, size 74/76)
  4. Oil filter (HU 719/6 X)
  5. A funnel 
  6. Jack (more on this below)
  7. Rags and a few newspapers (fashioned a 'mat' out of some old newspapers)
  8. Gloves
  9. Drain pan capable of holding up to 6.5 qts (preferably a shallow one, especially if you don't jack the car up) 

 Regarding the use of the jack, strictly speaking, it isn't required. That being said however, I recommend jacking up the car (especially if this is your first time) just so that you get a MUCH better view of the exact location of the parts you'll be working with and some much needed room to maneuver. Once you get the hang of it the first couple of times though, you'll be able to reach out without the car jacked up. I've also read in other guides where people have said that the jack that comes with the car is not recommended. Frankly, I went ahead and used the standard jack with no issues, but then again, I do realize that a 3230 lbs Jetta on my face wouldn't be a big loss for the world either... :p

Step 1: Open up the hood/bonnet and open up the oil cap to help drain the oil. Next, once you've jacked up the car (if you decided to jack up that is), the first thing you need to do is to remove the under-body cover that, well, covers the front under portion of the car. This is fairly easy using a T25 torx head screw driver (especially with a swivel head). If you don't have a swivel head screwdriver and have decided to not jack the car up, you might have some clearance issues, depending on the length of the screw driver stalk.

There are 8 screws in total that need to be unscrewed for you to be able to remove the under-body cover (done so by sliding the cover towards the back of the car, after all 8 screws have been removed). Do note that there are 8 other torx screws right up front, securing the front bumper. You do not need to remove these!


Step 2: With the cover now removed, you should be able to see the oil filter housing clearly.


The oil filter housing cap will be attached to a little plastic lanyard which can be detached simply by pushing it into the bigger hole. Once this is done, using the oil wrench, remove the filter housing by securing it and rotating the wrench counter-clockwise. There isn't much room to make a complete rotation, so make sure the wrench holds on to the housing securely before you try and move it. A few firm rotations should get it loose. Make sure you have some rags or an oil pan in place before you remove the oil filter housing completely.

NOTE: You may first want to unscrew the little circular piece at the bottom, to which the lanyard was attached. This will show an orange rubber nipple which can be pushed away to drain the oil in the housing. I however chose to remove the filter housing directly anyway. This is definitely messier, but quicker.

Step 3: With the oil filter now removed and having drained all the oil from the housing, we now need to locate and unscrew the oil drain plug. The oil pan can be identified as a black tub-like structure. The drain plug is located right behind it (facing towards the rear of the car).

Using the size 19 socket, ratchet out the drain plug, rotating counter-clockwise. Ensure that you have rags and the oil drain pan placed correctly below the drain plug. Once the drain plug has been unscrewed completely, let the oil drain out completely. Store the drain plug (and the crush washer) safely after cleaning it thoroughly to remove any possible debris. 

NOTE: You will need to change the drain plug (and the crush washer) at least every alternate oil change, if not every time. The part number for the drain plug is N 908-132-01 in case you need to order it.

Step 4: With the oil draining out, now it's time to replace the oil filter and the O-ring in the filter housing. The new filter you purchased should come with a new rubber ring. I picked up an OEM Mann HU719/6X from Amazon.

 You can remove the old filter from the housing by screwing it out; this is fairly easy. Following this, drain out any excess oil that might still be in the housing. Following this, you'll need to replace the rubber O-ring seal at the top of the filter housing. You might need to wedge a flat-head screwdriver against the small tab to remove the rubber ring.

Step 5: With the old filter and rubber O-ring removed, you need to put the new O-ring in. Before you do this, lightly dab the new ring with some fresh oil and then put the new ring in. This ensures a uniform and perfect seal when the housing is put back. Following this, screw the new oil filter in slowly. Once this is done, make sure to fill the housing about half-way through with some fresh oil. Remember to not fill more than half the housing as any excess will spill out when the housing is put back. This step ensures that the engine is not starved of oil, even for a couple of seconds, when it is first started after the oil change.

Step 6: After the new filter has been put in place in the housing along with the new rubber ring, we need to put the oil filter housing back where it belongs. This is fairly straightforward and you can hand-screw it back (clockwise) most of the way and then use the oil wrench to further tighten it. For the anal-retentive, you need to tighten it up to 25 Nm of torque. Following this, you also need to tighten back (clockwise) the drain plug. Do not put the front under-body cover back yet. 

Step 7: After securing the oil filter and the drain plug, it is now time to pour in the fresh oil. This time, I used Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W-40. This oil meets the VW 502.00/505.00/503.01 specs. I selected this oil over the standard 5W-40 recommendation purely because of the driving conditions my Jetta is put through; frequent cold starts and very short driving distances (often barely enough to heat the engine up). This is also the reason why I replace the oil every 5000 miles/6 months. 

I filled in 5 quarts of Mobil 1 0W-40. Following this, secure the oil cap in place and start the car. Let the engine run until it's warm. Following this, turn the ignition off and check the oil level on the dip stick. Top up if needed. Also check below the car to ensure there are no oil leaks. Once this has been confirmed, you can secure the under-body cover by sliding it in place and screwing in the 8 torx screws.

Step 8: You now need to reset the service reminder. The procedure described next is for cars without the MFD. If you do have a car equipped with the MFD (most SE and above Jetta's/Golf's), Google is your friend! :) For the rest of us 'simple' folks, get in the car and close the door. Put the key in the ignition (do not turn yet). Hold the trip reset button and turn the ignition; the service interval 'wrench' icon will now show up. While still holding the trip reset button, press the 'minute' button. The service reminder will now be reset for another 5000 miles.

 Step 9: Funnel back all the used oil into the empty oil bottles for safe disposal. This can get a bit messy if you try to hurry through. Most AutoZone's should accept used oil for disposal. 

The oil change is now done! Enjoy your VW Jetta/Golf 2.5! The 2.0L Turbo found in a few other VW's/Audi's follows a very similar process, with very minor differences. I will update/add to this guide when I change oil in the Eos next! :)