Getting started:

It's your cars birthday. And what do cars love more than cake? That's right oil! So first let's assemble the tools you'll need. As well as a jack, axle stands and wheel chocks (or house bricks) you'll need:


  • Something to catch the oil!
  • Newspaper to avoid messing up your driveway.
  • Oil (obviously) – don’t forget, the more expensive the oil, the more you love your car!
  • Oil filter – you might as well while your under there. It costs about £8 and your engine will love you for it.
  • Sump plug / crush washer – I believe the service guide says to change the crush washer every time. I change both For £2.50 why risk a leak!!
  • Torx bit [T25] – to remove the under tray.
  • Socket [19mm] – to remove the sump plug.
  • Oil socket [36mm] – to remove the filter.
  • Torque wrench [25-30nm]

Jacking the car up safely:

Take the car for a quick run first to allow the oil to warm up. Then leave it to cool a little while you assemble your tools.

Make sure you are working on a flat(ish) surface away from traffic / people. Chock the rear wheels (I use chocks, but previously used house bricks). When you jack the front, the rear will also lift off the ground, so effectively at a point only one rear brake is stopping the car rolling off down the street! I’d also make sure the handbrake is on. It is? Are you sure or you think you are sure?


Use the reinforced sills as a jacking point (they have arrows on the skirt of the car to locate them).


Yes, I know my sills are knackered. Use a rubber puck or a piece of wood to spread the load if yours aren't and you value them.


Jack the car high enough in the air to get an axle stand under. I use the control arms as an axle stand point because of their shape and sturdiness. I usually have them set at 5 notches.


Do the same for the other side. I then let the jack down and put it back up so it lightly touches the jack point. This acts as a backup should an axle stand fail, without actually supporting the weight of the car on the jack.


Now give the frame a light shove. If it moves (at all), you’ve done something wrong. If it doesn’t, give it a couple of progressively harder shoves. If it’s going to fall off the axle stands, now is the time to find that out! All good to go? So onto the oil change.

Changing the oil:

With the front of the car now in the air and firmly supported on axle stands, you can go under and start undoing the undertray [T25] torx bolts. There should be [10] of them


The undertray attaches to the body with plastic clips at the front. Note how these fit back in before you pull the undertray diagonally down and away from the front bumper.


Next locate the oil sump plug.


This is where you should have your oil pan ready and newspaper down on the floor so you don’t ruin your fancy block paving. I’ve found the best way to avoid a sleeve full of old oil is to crack the sump plug with your [19mm] ratchet to the point where it can be turned by hand. At this point nothing should be coming out. If it does, tighten it a little by hand. Now put the ratchet down, hold your pan up and undo the bolt by hand. Aim to move the bolt sideways when it's out so it won't be in the waterfall of oil.

Once the oil starts to flow, get it out as quick as possible. Don’t drop the bolt in the pan or you’ll be fishing back out when you bottle the old oil up for recycling.

NB Crack is a mechanical term for loosening a bolt to a point where it can be easily turned, not the other usage meaning split in half. Also, feel free to use a longer wrench to crack it, just use it without an extension bar (or if you have to, the shortest possible).

Now sit back and wait whilst all that [email protected] comes out of your sump.


Once the flow stops clean around the sump and the thread with a rag. Insert your new sump plug (make sure the new crush washer is on and the old one is off) by hand. Once it starts to get tight, take your torque wrench and tighten it to [30nm].

Changing the oil filter:

Next locate the oil filter housing.


Unscrew the cap on it, there’s an orange nib on a spring. If you push it straight up, it comes straight back down through the hole. But you can push it in, then carefully to the side to balance it on the lip so it stays open. This will empty the oil out of the filter into your pan. When empty, use your screwdriver to move the nib back into the center. You will feel the spring hold it shut.


Once empty, take your [36mm] oil socket and again crack this so it can be loosened by hand. Have your oil pan ready. Unscrew the housing by hand and carefully tip its contents into the pan. Now get your rag and clean the threads of the oil filter housing.


Pull the old rubber gasket out of the housing (it has a tab, use needle nose pliers if you can’t pull it).


Give the paper filter a yank to remove it! Give the housing a clean with your rag.


Rub fresh oil around all of the new gasket and put it into place around the housing (make sure the tab is up and it sits in the lip the old one came out of!!). Now insert your new filter and push it on till it clicks.

At this point, I put about 250ml of fresh oil into the oil filter housing. You can do this if it’s a vertical housing (don’t try it with horizontal). It just stops the engine having to start dry. Now push the completed housing back up into place and screw in by hand being careful not to pour the new oil down your arm. Take your torque wrench and tighten to [25nm].


Now the annoying bit. Move the undertray out from underneath the car because we’re leaving it off. You’ll have to remove the axle stands. Jack the car a little bit each side so you have clearance to remove the axle stands and slowly let it back down.

Open the bonnet and remove the oil filler cap. You want to fill it with fresh oil so that it’s between the min and max line (above half way will do for now). Let me give you a clue. Your going to need at least 4 litres. So get that much in first! Then pour a bit at a time checking the dipstick till its about half way between min and max.


So, did you put at least 4 (up to about 4.5) litres back in? And did you check the dipstick is past min? You sure? Want to check again? If your happy, replace the oil filler cap, start the car and let it run for 5 minutes. Looking under the car, can you see anything dripping from the sump plug or filter? Regardless, turn the engine back off. Go back to the jacking section and get the car back up on the axle stands. Don’t forget to recheck your chocks as they may have moved!!

If anything leaked, check the troubleshooting section before carrying on.

You can now reattach your undertray and get the car back down. Line the tabs up like in the picture where you took it off. If your struggling, it's ok to pull the plastic panel it clips into down by hand to help you get the tabs back in.

Clean the dipstick and fill the oil now to the max mark. In total, because the filter holds about 600ml, you’ll likely have used 4.8l of oil. Dispose of the old oil correctly (not down the drain!!). Clean up and we’re done!


I’ve done everything you said, but the sump plug is still leaking.

Did you use a new crush washer?

Is the new crush washer on?

Do you have the old washer? If not, where is it?

Did you start screwing the sump plug by hand? (If you start it with a wrench, you risk cross-threading it).

Did you use a torque wrench? (Overtightening is actually worse than undertightening).

If you tightened to 25nm give it a little tweak at eg 28nm. The torque wrench could be out, only a slight tweak is required. You only need enough force to crush the crush washer.

I’ve done everything you said, but the oil filter is still leaking.

Did you remove the old rubber gasket?

Did you fit the new rubber gasket?

Did you fit the new rubber gasket with the tab facing up?

Did you lubricate the new gasket with fresh oil?

Did you push the new gasket into the lip all the way round?

Did you start screwing the filter housing by hand? (If you start it with a wrench, you risk cross-threading it).

The oil filter housing is 25nm +- 5nm. So it’s safe to tweak it up to 28 or 30nm.
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