C5 Corvette: How to change the oil
Changing the oil in your C5 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.
Due to the underbody design of the C5 Corvette, the oil pan is completely flat and the drain plug is at the front of the pan. This means that if you only jack up the front of the car, you will not achieve proper drainage. However, if you don’t jack up the front of the car it is near impossible to reach the filter and drain plug. To fix this issue, you will need to either use a set of drive-on ramps AND a floor jack. Pull the front of your C5 Corvette onto the ramps, making sure that you have enough clearance to the front fascia. Once the front end is on the ramps, you can move on to step three. The jack will be used later on in the oil change.
Slide the catch pan under your Corvette. The oil filter is towards the rear of the pan, with the bottom of the filter nearly flush to the bottom of the pan and the plug is at the front so I recommend doing them one at a time to prevent spills. Slide the drain pan under the drain plug (towards the front of the car) and remove the plug. 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.
While the oil is draining, get your floor jack, placing it under the rear cross member. Jack the back of the car up high enough so that the oil pan is now pointed downhill and place jack stands under the rear of the car to make it a bit safer. This will ensure that as much oil drains out as possible. Once the oil has slowed to a sporadic drip, 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. Once you have tightened the oil plug, lower the rear of your Corvette.
Once your oil filter and drain plug are tight and you have lowered the back of the car, pour in 6 quarts of the oil recommended by your owner’s manual (actual amount of oil may vary based on special engines or modifications-check your manual for engine oil requirements). Once the 6 quarts are in, start your Corvette and let it build some oil pressure and in the mean time, back the Corvette carefully off of the ramps. Shut the car off and let it sit for around a minute then check the oil. Many C5’s take 6.5 quarts of oil, so expect to add in a half quart over the original 6 and check your oil to make sure that it is full.