Oil Change

2006 model. I just purchased it a few months ago and love the car. I’m up for my first oil change and have run into a few issues.

First, that stupid plastic shield under the car makes it nearly impossible to change my oil without first installing a lift or a pit in my garage (neither of which am I going to do). Does anyone have suggestions (besides just removing the shield) on how I can change the on my own?

If removing the shield is the only option, I’ll just have it changed elsewhere. This leads to my second question of the 0w-20 oil. I’ve seen the prices and it hurts my wallet just thinking about it. Can I substitute 5w-20?

Your owners manual will tell you if you can use other grades of oil. Please follow what it tells you as the oil needs to flow readily when the engine starts. Since it is a hybrid, I’m assuming it starts and stops often.

You don’t need a lift or a pit. Just get a set of ramps.

Many owner’s manuals will give you an overall recommendation but also give options based on temperature ranges. E.g. one of mine calls for 5-30, though gives 10-30 as an option for temps above 0 deg F.

If your manual doesn’t say anything else then I wouldn’t use anything else.

Can’t help you with the shield. It’s part of the aerodynamics package and if you remove it permanently it will reduce fuel mileage.

Have you tried ramps? I use them to change the oil on my Honda, which has the filter on the rear of the engine.

I suggest you stick with the 0-20 oil. Again, this is to maximize the benefit of the hybrid drive train.

I meant to add a note about the shield to - in addition to what mcparadise said about aerodynamics those shields also often act as debris deflectors.

I have a van that remove & reinstall a shield for each time I change the oil. I would not run it without the shield.

Yes, removing the shield permanently was out of the question for me. I had considered ramps, but did not have any in my arsenal of automotive tools and hoped someone had another option.

Thanks for the suggestions, both you and mcparadise. I appreciate it.

There’s always jack and jack stands.

Jack stands and ramps both are fairly inexpensive for basic DIYer quality.

I do have a floor jack and stands. I did try them, but the problem I ran into was that the drain plug was so close to the hinge on the shield that the front end of the car would need to be about 4’ off the ground (estimating, but not a wild guess, either) before the shield would drop down enough to get the drain pan under the car.

Yes, ramps are good, but if you prefer you can also use a floor jack and jack stands. It all depends on the work space you have.
As for the shield, a 1 inch drill bit or a hole saw bit will cut a nice hole in the shield so that you can reach the drain plug with a socket wrench.
Follow the manufacturers advice for the oil you use, as the engine was designed for a specific oil. Regardless of the cost of oil, a new engine costs more, esp. if the warranty is void because of wrong oil.

Good thought about the hole saw. I’ll take a look and see what I can figure out. Thanks.

There isn’t a warranty on the car, so no issues there. :slight_smile: It is a rebuild (but a very minor rebuild) that I purchased from a guy who bought it wrecked when it was almost brand new. About all the dealer will do for me is recall notices. Still, I got an incredible deal on the car, so I’m still way ahead. Given that I commute about 100 miles per day, the car has been amazing compared to the 1996 V6 Camry I was previously using.

After some discussion with my father, I think we’ve come up with another option… siphon pump. A friend also suggested a special drain pan plug with a quick connect fitting to replace the regular plug. Just some thoughts in case anyone else asks the question again.

Thanks again for everyone’s thoughts.

Use the 0w20, which is I believe is synthetic too. It is especially important in this car due to the frequent starting.
Most cars have the splash shield underneath. Breakage is common. Lots of people remove them, or don’t replace them when they break. My wife has been without hers for years. The primary purpose is to help deflect water when driving throguh puddles and rain. Perhaps a very slight boost to mileage, but we saw NO decrease when hers came off.

Not most (all?) cars it is possible to change oil from the top. I have a Pella (brand name) manual pump that will such the oil out through a hose that goes in thought the did stick access. It is safe quick and clean. Note there are other brands. Some with motors (I chose one with a manual pump, I suspect if I ever need a new one I will opt for the electric one.

Good Luck

The Spectre kit on Amazon is pretty complete. The price is worth it for the half of the hardware they include. It’s actually a remote mount kit, but includes the banjo bolt(s) to do the oil extraction from the top. Just put Spectre 5971 into Amazon automotive.

that’s not bad. harbor freight has one with a built in reservoir for $140, but the $60 and dropping it into my existing drain pan sounds better (if potentially easier to spill).

You could also just take the guard off and reattach it when you are done. Or, for the twice a year that you’ll need an oil change, you could just pay a mechanic to do it.