C5 Corvette: How to change the oil

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Changing the oil in your C5 Corvette

Items Needed:
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)
Floor Jack
Catch Pan
Paper Towels
Wrench or Socket Set for the oil
Oil Filter Wrench (Not needed, but it can be helpful)

Step One
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.

Step Two
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.

Step Three
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

Step Four
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.

You’re done!

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