Old Library

The information here is no longer maintained.

Please go to our NEW LIBRARY where we have imported this page and added more.

[GTI-VR6 Library] [GTI-VR6 Mailing List]     
Changing Oil On A VR6

Changing Oil On A VR6

[ 21 August 2001 ]

Tools needed:
  • Jack, if you need to jack the car up to get underneath
  • oil drain pan
  • 19 mm socket, for oil pan drain plug
  • 6 mm Allen wrench (a.k.a. hex key), for filter housing drain plug
  • 36 mm socket, for filter housing
  • torque wrench

Parts needed:
Let's go do it:
  • If the engine is cold, go for a drive until the coolant temperature reads 170-190'F.
    If the engine is hot, pop the hood and wait a while for it to cool down.

  • If necessary, jack the car up so you can get underneath.
    (Jack the car up on the driver's side. This will help the oil drain more completely because the drain plug is on the passenger side. )

  • Put an oil drain pan underneath and undo drain plug (19mm socket).
    The drain plug is at the lower back edge of the oil pan on the passenger side.
    You should wear some kind of gloves because a. the oil might be hot, and b. keeping your hands clean(er) will cut down on the clean-up time afterwards.
    Openning the oil filler cap will help the oil drain a bit faster & more smoothly.

  • While oil is draining, undo the drain plug in the bottom of the oil filter housing's bottom cap (6 mm Allen wrench) and let it drain.
    The oil filter housing is at the bottom front driver's side of the engine. Remember to scoot the oil drain pan over a bit so it'll catch this oil too!

  • When the filter housing has drained, use a 36 mm socket to unscrew the filter housing cap.
    You can do it on the cheap with a pair of slip-joint pliers or big Vise-Grips. If you're going to do all of your own oil changes, spend the $$$ to get the 36 mm socket; it makes the job much easier & more enjoyable. Some people say they can unscrew the thing with their bare hands, but I think it's because theirs had not been properly tightened!

    Separate the filter from the filter housing cap. Have a few sheets of newspaper or a rag nearby to put the oil filter on. (I put the old filter in the plastic bag & box of the new filter.)
    Wipe the threads of the filter housing cap; replace its O ring.
    Put the new filter into the filter housing cap. The end of the filter with the hollow goes on the bottom.

  • Replace the O ring on the filter housing drain plug. An awl (or any pointy thing) makes removing that O ring easier.

  • Wipe the threads of the filter housing cap.
    Screw the filter housing drain plug back in to the filter housing cap.
    Screw the filter housing cap back on to the filter housing, finger tight.
    Optional: fill the filter with new oil beforehand.

    By now, the flow out of the oil pan drain have slowed to drips. (If you jacked the car up to get underneath, temporarily lower the car to let all the oil drain out.) Wipe the oil drain plug & put on a new copper gasket. When the flow has slowed to about one drop per five seconds, screw the oil drain plug back.

  • Torque everything!
    Oil drain plug: 22 ft-lbs
    Filter housing cap: 22 ft-lbs (this is why one shouldn't be able to undo it with bare hands!)
    Filter housing drain plug: 89 ins-lbs, that is, 7.4 ft-lbs. Since I don't have a torque wrench that can metes out such a low level of torque, just "hand tight" has been good enough for me. (Note that "hand tight" is much less tight than "bulging veins" tight!)

  • Put in new oil. A funnel or a make-shift funnel cut from an old oil bottle makes it easier & prevents spillage.

    After four quarts, stop and check the dipstick. Some VR6 engines only take 4.5-5 quarts, while others take as many as 6 quarts. My 1995 GTI VR6 takes just a bit shy of 5 quarts.

  • Drain the old oil into heavy plastic bottles; I use plastic 1/2-gallon orange juice jugs. Windshield wiper fluid jugs are especially good: they're made of heavy-gauge plastic and are translucent so you don't have to wipe the garage floor after overfilling.
    Gather up the oil, used oil filter, empty oil bottles & oil rags and take to an auto parts store or your local "hazardous waste" recycling center. (Keep the jugs for future oil changes & to keep them out of the landfill.)
©1995-2015 -- All Rights Reservered