Do you remove front tire when changing oil?


#1

Do you remove front tire when changing your oil to get easier access to the drain plug or just go further under the car?


#2

All I do is slightly elevate the front end with a jack. Put the cardboard down and I’m able to reach the drain plug without much trouble. I don’t crawl under the car much or remove any tires. To me that would be dangerous. With the Acura though, it’s high enough that there is enough room to reach without elevating it at all.


#3

Only if I am rotating the tires anyways. There are a few cars that removing one of the front tires makes getting to the oil filter easier.


#4

No. I’ve changed oil in a lot of cars and trucks and have never had to remove a front tire.


#5

What vehicle?
On my '91 Camry I could reach under the front with the car on the ground. The filter could be reached from under the hood.
On my '89 Toyota Pickup I could reach under the truck just aft of the RF wheel, and the filter could be reached from under the hood.
On my current '05 tC, I use ramps and slide under on corrugated cardboard.
Every vehicle is different.


#6

Depends on the car and where the oil drain plug is. Some can be a real pain to get to the drain or the filter without taking a tire off.

I usually rotate tires on an oil change so, Yes, I remove all 4.


#7

I’ve never removed a tire to change the oil. Of course I’ve never owned a front wheel drive car either. I just drive the car up some rhino ramps, chock the rear wheels, put it gear, set the parking brake and slide under it.


#8

Do you ever feel like the car might roll off the ramps onto you?


#9

No, not at all. My ramps have a sort of hump that the front wheels have to go over in order to seat on the top of the ramps. The place where the tires rest is also soft of shallow semi-circle It would be exceedingly difficult for the front wheels to get back over the hump in order for the car to roll back down the ramp. If order to back the car down, you usually have to give it a little gas to get the front wheels back up and over.


#10

I use ramps to change the oil and block the rear wheels. Matt, could I suggest you take a course in car repair at your local community college or similar? Glad that you are asking questions and not blindly charging forward, but a course could help you out a lot.


#11

Sometimes. Nissan pickups and Pathfinders had oil filters that were much easier to access with the wheel off, as did many GM products. Of course in a shop setting it might take all of 15 seconds to remove a wheel.


#12

I’ve never had to remove a wheel to change the oil on anything.


#13

Nope. I make sure it’s secure with the parking brake on.


#14

Like a lot of folks here, I have never removed a wheel for an oil change either. I use jack stands with the jack sitting there as back up. I do not have ramps. It is just too many stuff to store in my small garage.

I agree with @SteveCBT here on a course. When I was 17 yrs old, my dad did not know much about cars and couldn’t care less. So I found this ASE class that you would do 3 hours of class and then work in the afternoons so it would pay for the class. This was in another country, but nonetheless you got to learn things the right was (somewhat!) and also practice. I ended up working there for another 6 months until my life took a different path. But that knowledge and experience has helped me throughout life and it has had non car applications too.


#15

Do you like to change your oil from the front or the side?


#16

Matt, it depends on the vehicle. They’re all different. What vehicle are YOU changing the oil on?


#17

My cars are transverse engines so the oil filters are on the right front and the drain plug is closer to the right than the left so I go in from the passenger side. My dad used to use a monkey wrench and turkey baster but I use a ratchet wrench on the drain bolt. Sometimes it is too tight for limited leverage underneath so I have a 12" square tube to put over the wrench handle for more leverage.

This is what I do:

  1. Set the oil and filter out on the bench.
  2. Put the cardboard under the car and take the drain pan out of the cabinet and put it under the car…
  3. Jack up the front end about 4-6" depending on whether the car needs it or not.
  4. Refer to my chart on the cabinet door for the correct socket size and filter wrench and position those by the right wheel.
  5. Grab some paper towels and undo the drain plug.
  6. While draining, fill the filter with fresh oil and lube the gasket and position the filter by the front wheel.
  7. Re-position the drain plug and tighten it.
  8. Change the socket to the filter wrench and put the pan under the filter and loosen it letting the oil drain into the pan. Remove the filter by hand and put it in the pan, pushing the pan out of the way.
  9. Clean the filter surface on the engine and install the filter and tighten it with the filter wrench.
  10. Remove the drain pan, cardborad, and jack and pour the old oil into a one gallon jug for recycling. Let the filter drain into the jug.
  11. Dump the new oil into the engine and put the empty containers in the recycling bin.
  12. Start the engine, note the mileage, re-set the OLM to 100%, and check for leaks with the trouble light. Shut the engine off, close the hood. Put the oil filter in a pan for recycling and put the jug of old oil away in the cabinet for recycling.
  13. Take my gloves off and record the date, mileage, and OLM % in my maintenance book. Also attach the oil filter sticker to the oil purchase receipt for any warranty issues.
  14. Have a smoke. End of procedure. Total time 30 minutes while listening to Bob Dylan CDs.
    Re-check the drain pan bolt if I can’t remember for sure if I tightened it.

Details details details.


#18

I just drive the front end up on ramps, then access the drain plug and oil filter from under-neath. But there’s many possible ways to accomplish the same thing, and removing a wheel might work just as well. And every car’s engine configuration is different, so what works well for me might not work at all for you. For example, my truck sits high enough I don’t need to do anything more than crawl underneath.


#19

I’m guessing you want to do that bi-annual oil change on your Accord. My (older) Accord had the oil filter on the rear (firewall) side of the engine so I used ramps. My ramps are steel with a little depression in the top for the tires. I just drove up the ramps till I hit the stop, put it in neutral and let it settle into the depression. Then I set the parking brake.

Some composite ramps do not have that depression so I can see your concern.

On my truck, when I do my bi-annual oil change, I have to get to the oil filter through the wheel well. The truck has enough ground clearance that I don’t need ramps or a jack (and stands) so I just turn the wheel all the way to the right.


#20

@Bing;Nice write up. Similar to what I do and probably everyone else. Now I did not see jack stands mentioned.

In my case, I always double check I have go the correct oil weight/specs since I maintain a few cars. On the newer Hyundai’s I have noticed that the torque on the drain bolt does actually matter, not sure why, but I put that on my work bench so I don’t have to search for the specs each time.

For me, most of the time is spent on cleaning and disposing of the oil, but I also timed myself last week on my Camry and all in all took me 45 minutes with listening to music and dancing around. Beats going to the shop IMHO.