Since the Aveo is a starter car for a lot of people, I thought it might be helpful to write up a How-To with pictures on Oil Changes. Exodus had a good write up, but for someone who has never changed their oil before, they probably need pictures. This is Aveo specific, and should be applicable for all 2004-2008 models. Hopefully, it will inspire at least 1 person with no car knowledge at all to change their oil on their car. Note: This may seem amateurish to probably 95% of the people on this board... but for that 5%, I hope it helps.
Oil Change on a 2007 Aveo in 12 easy steps. Aren't all 12 step programs easy?
Step 1. Buy/gather the products that you need.
1. Oil, 4 quarts of 5w30 (I use Mobil 1 5w30 full synthetic, any 5w30 will do)
2. Oil Filter (Mobil M-101 shown, other ones that work include Fram Ph3387A, DG3387A, AC/Delco PF47, STP S3387A, K&N HP-1001)
3. Towels, paper or cloth works fine
4. Socket Set with 17mm socket
5. Oil Wrench (shown 3 varieties, I prefer the adjustable plier type in the Aveo)
6. Drain pan
7. Safety Glasses
8. Gloves (not 100% necessary)
9. Light (flashlight, in this case, just in case the garage is dark
11. Cardboard, to lie on/catch any oil spills
-Something to raise the front end a bit unless you’re skinny (I’m using ramps, wood blocks work just fine, jack stands are OK)
-Garage, or some other place to do it
-Something to put the used oil in
Step 2. Let the car run for about 5 minutes idle, maybe a bit longer if it is cold outside. However, if you’ve just been out driving for awhile, let the car cool down for a half hour to an hour. You want the oil temperature above 100 degrees F, but not so hot that it will burn you when it’s coming out. Basically, you want the oil to flow as freely as possible.
Step 3. Raise the front end of the car. You can use ramps, wooden blocks, maybe jack stands (not really necessary). It doesn’t have to be much, just enough for you to get under the car. Make sure the parking brake is set. I find that ramps work alright with front wheel drive vehicles. They won’t work if you’ve got a body kit on though. Also, pop the hood. Now that you’re done driving for awhile, have a beer.
Step 4. Drain the oil. Use the 17mm socket to loosen the drain plug, and be prepared for a rush of oil. Here is the drain plug, there is a yellow line right above where it is. It is facing backwards. If your legs are sticking out from the front of the car, this is about what it should look like.
Make sure the drain pan is underneath the projected path of the oil. Now is a good time for gloves and goggles. Used motor oil is carcinogenic, so gloves aren’t a bad idea. Loosen the plug shown until you can do the rest by hand. As soon as you get the plug out, the oil will drain. Note the oil draining out, sorry for the bad camera work, cell phone cameras aren’t the greatest.
Let it drain for a few minutes. If you want, now is a great time for a beer or two. I chose a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2008.
Step 5. Pull off the old filter. This can be somewhat difficult to do. I like using the adjustable plier type wrench. It is easier to use from underneath the car, especially since clearance near the fan isn’t great. Note the position of the filter from above. I couldn’t get a great shot of it, but you’ll see it to the left and below the yellow dipstick. It should be marked as an oil filter. Mine is black, but some are orange with black, some are white. It all depends on the manufacturer.
Overall, it’s not too bad to get at. The spider type filter wrench will definitely get any filter off though, so that’s not a bad investment. And for the really inexperienced, it is screwed on, so when I say “pull it off”, I mean unscrew it. Just look at the new filter you bought and you will understand.
Make sure to have the cardboard and drain pan underneath the filter when you pull it off, because some oil is still inside the filter. I like to loosen the filter with a wrench from underneath the car, then take it off by hand from the top. This is probably the most difficult part of the job. Once you’re done, it’s all downhill from there. Have a beer to celebrate being done with the most difficult part.
Step 6. Put the drain plug back on. Again, use the 17mm socket to tighten the drain plug. Some models require a crush washer. If that’s the case, put a new one on before tightening. Below is the drain plug and crush washer so you know what they look like.
Step 7. Lube the new filter. Open up your oil, and put some oil on your finger. Then take your lubed finger and run it around the rubber gasket of the new filter. This ensures a tight fit and that no leaking will occur (hopefully).
You may also want to add a bit of oil inside it so that theres a bit of oil in it when you start the engine. This is tough to do though because the filter lies horizontal in the engine.
Step 8. Attach the new filter. Again, just screw it on. You can hand tighten it if you want. To be on the safe side, maybe just a little turn from your filter wrench to make sure its secure wouldn’t hurt.
Step 9. Fill the crank case. The Aveo uses 4 quarts. Use the funnel to ensure there is no spilling. Note the measuring strip on the side of the oil container.
Step 10. Get your Aveo off the blocks/ramp and let it run for a minute or two to make sure everything is good and there are no leaks. Now park the car on level ground, shut off the engine, and check the oil level. It should be right in between the “MIN” and “MAX” indications on the dipstick.
Step 11. Dispose of the used oil and clean up. You can pour the used motor oil back into an empty container. I use a 5 gallon gasoline container that is clearly labeled “USED MOTOR OIL”. In the state of New York, I believe it is required that any institution that sells motor oil must take used motor oil for recycling. This means any gas station, auto parts store, even Wal-Mart should take used motor oil. I use a 5 gallon gas container because most places have a 5 gallon limit.
In Florida where I live currently, I believe Advance Auto Parts will take up to 5 gallons to recycle at a time.
THROWING AWAY OR DUMPING USED MOTOR OIL IS ILLEGAL.
Step 12. Celebrate with used motor oil, or beer that looks like it. I chose Bell’s Double Cream Stout to honor our many members from the state of Michigan. Michigan sure knows how to brew. And enjoy the sunset, despite me having taking pictures with my cell phone.
Note: Feel free to correct anything. I'm no mechanic by any means. Just trying to be helpful. Hopefully this won't be my last How-To. I'm planning on manual gear oil change How To, but considering I'm only at 5000 miles, it might be awhile.