Engine Oil Change


Although the standard oil change interval is 15,000 km, if the vehicle is driven under "severe conditions" such as frequent short trips, the interval is reduced to 7,500 km or 6 months.

I drive only about 2000 km a year so my policy is to change it about every 9 to 11 months, ideally just before I put the car into storage before embarking on a long trip. I now change the filter every two oil changes as it should not deteriorate over time. After three years of this I've never seen any sign of water in the oil or under the oil cap from condensation.


This is a fairly difficult job as the filter is very hard to access and small hands are required. You will need an end-style socket-drive filter wrench, pictured below, as there is no room for any other style. Note also the drain plug is an odd outer hex size of 21mm, but the inner hex is a standard 8mm. Allow 1.5 hours for the task.

Tools required:

12mm socket with 3" extension and drive ratchet
10mm socket with 6" extension and drive ratchet

Filter wrench described below with 1/4" x 3" extension and 1/4" x 6" ratchet handle
#2 Phillips screwdriver
8mm Hex (Allen) wrench
(2) small flat-blade screwdrivers
Correction fluid (white-out)


i) a new filter, PURFLUX LS923 which is a French brand repackaged and sold under Suzuki part number 16510-66G02 or Peugeot part number 1109.T0 This is a top-quality filter so don't dare try to substitute a Fram!

ii) 5 liters of oil. Per my owner's manual the spec is:

5W-30 API CF (not CF-2) or ACEA B3-98 for -29° to +30° C

15W-40 API SG/CF (not CF-2) or ACEA B2-96 for -14° to +41° C

But, the New Zealand Warranty book is more specific - presumably to suit the limited oil availability: 10W-40 Semi-Synthetic API SJ/CF ACEA B3

There are several suitable oils: Mobil Super S 10W-40, Shell Helix Plus 10W-40, and Elf Turbo Diesel 10W-40. I picked the Elf as it also had the better ACEA B4 diesel spec and was named as diesel-specific oil. However as this later became unavailable locally I switched to the Shell Helix Plus.

I suspect most diesel owners around here use the cheap conventional 15W-40 (CH rated or higher) oils packaged in 10 liter drums without understanding that these grades are not usually optimal for newer vehicles. Hence the better-quality semi-synthetic diesel-only oils like the Elf don't sell well.

Detailed Procedure:

(1) You can go straight to draining the oil first if you wish, but I'll describe removing the filter first.
(2) It might pay to start filling the new oil filter with new oil now as it takes time to soak in.

b) Remove the ECU (engine computer) cover's (3) 10mm screws, disconnect the (3) large cable anchors, and unplug the (3) solenoid valve connectors. Be careful with these last items to understand how the snap fittings are released as they require little effort once you get the knack.

Flip the cover assembly upside down over the engine.

c) Remove the engine underside cover by removing (4) 12mm screws, (2) #2 phillips screws, and two pull-out snaps, the later using the two flat-blade screwdrivers. If the weather is hot, keep the cover out of the sun. I didn't and it partly melted!

d) Open the sump drain plug using an oddball 21mm socket, or an 8mm hex key. Preferably place a 8+ liter container underneath first. It pays to hold the plug against the opening to throttle the oil flow rather than just letting it shoot out all over the place.

> Disconnect the battery negative terminal before continuing.  There is danger of contacting the alternator terminal with the filter wrench. <

e) Place a large rag under the oil filter (over the coolant hose and engine mount) and remove the filter using ideally an end-type filter wrench with 3/8-drive and a 3" extension. You may need to thread your right arm next to the battery to apply force to the ratchet handle. Wipe off the filter mounting surface but leave the rag in place for the next step.

f) Fill the new filter with new oil until it settles about 2cm from the top. Install the new filter per the instructions printed on the filter, that is 3/4 turn after first gasket contact. At first gasket contact mark the upper-end with "WhiteOut" so you know how far it needs to be tightened. When they say "first contact" they really mean it, so if you are only able to obtain 2/3 turn by hand with your best effort, consider it tight enough.

g) Remove the rag and check that no oil has spilled on rubber parts. Replace the ECU cover (with connections) and coolant tank.

h) Clean up around the drain plug. Clean the drain plug and washer.

Comments: In my experience with other vehicles that used this type of special crushable washer, they work very well and will keep the drain plug tight, but ideally should be replaced every two oil changes and not overtightened. I would further suggest you avoid substituting a standard copper or aluminum washer - they are too rigid and don't accommodate thermal expansion of the aluminum threads. And never use a fibre washer as they soften and allow the plug to become loose.

Install and tighten the drain plug.

Comment: I think the specified torque is way too high (it is 25 ib-ft, 34 N-m) and it is nearly impossible to fit a full-size torque wrench in the space available. I simply hand-tightened it firmly with an 8mm hex key (allen wrench.) If you use a new crushable washer try to avoid completely flattening it so you can get another use out of it.

i ) Fill the engine with new oil via the filler cap. Although the specified volume of new oil is 4.75 L, I found I needed the whole 5.0 L to reach near the full mark on the dip stick.

j) Start and run the engine for several minutes at least. Check for leaks around the filter.

Comment: To minimize damage to the engine during the short time it takes to fill and re-pressurize the oil system, aside from pre-filling the filter my policy is to get the engine running again as soon as possible rather than leaving it till the next time I need to drive the car. The idea is that the longer you wait, the more oil drains off the bearings and cams.

k) Replace the engine underside cover and tighten the four 8mm screws firmly. (I didn't tighten them very much one time and all of them loosened after only 2000 km.) Replace the two snaps and two phillips head screws.

l) Check the oil level after letting it sit for 5+ minutes.