C4 Corvette: How to change the oil
Changing the oil in your C4 Corvette
Oil (Check your owners manual for the proper amount and type)
Oil Filter (If your manual doesn't tell you a filter size, check your local parts store)
Wrench or Socket Set for the oil plug
Oil Filter Wrench (Not needed, but it can be helpful)
Open your hood. Remove the oil cap on the valve cover, as well as pulling the dipstick and checking your oil. Many people are unaware of oil problems until it is too late so check your oil regularly.
Jack up the front of your Corvette by placing the jack head on the frame rail behind the front wheel on the driver’s side. Place a jackstand next to the jack, under the frame rail in case the jack fails. If your Corvette is too low to fit your jack under the car, drive-on ramps with a long ramp area make changing the oil a great deal easier but make sure that the ramps you use clear the bottom of the front fascia.
Slide the catch pan under your Corvette. The oil filter on most C4 Corvettes is on the driver’s side right next to the oil pan, and the oil pan plug is generally facing the rear of the car (this may vary based on modifications). Loosen the drain plug a bit and then move the catch pan under the engine. Keep in mind that when the plug first comes out, there will be enough pressure to create a “stream” of oil – it will not trickle straight down at first but as it empties out it will drip directly down so make sure that your pan is located to catch all of the oil. Once the oil has slowed to a trickle, you can then remove the oil filter. Oil will still run down the filter as you loosen it and spinning it quickly to remove it faster will cause the oil to splatter around so take your time. If the oil is hot, be careful not to let the filter splash into the oil pan. Let the engine drain like this for 5 minutes and while you are waiting inspect the threads on your drain plug. If the threads are flattened out it may not tighten or it can strip the threads in the oil pan and that is an expensive fix. If the plug threads are in good shape, simply clean it off.
Fill the new filter with new oil, and then take some of the oil in the filter on your finger and rub it around the filter gasket. Before installing the new filter, inspect the filter mounting surface, or the old filter, and be certain that the old filter gasket isn’t stuck on the filter mounting surface. Once you have made sure that the old gasket is not stuck to the engine, screw on the new filter. Never use tools to tighten the filter; it should only be hand tightened. Then put the oil plug back in, and be very careful not to cross thread the plug, and don’t over-tighten it, as it will ruin the plug, and sometimes the oil pan. Just make certain that the plug is nice and tight, but it doesn’t need to be torqued down.
Remove the jackstands and lower your Corvette once the plug and filter are on and tightened. Most C4 Corvettes take 5 quarts of oil, but some higher performance models will take as many as 8 quarts. Check with your owner’s manual to be sure of what amount of engine oil to use. Also, if you have oil system modifications like a deep sump oil pan, check with the manufacturer for recommended oil amount.