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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just did the oil change for my 1.4L Dart and figured I'd take some photos for those who would like to try it themselves.

The tools you need:

1. A ratchet with 7mm, 10mm, 13mm, and 27mm socket wrenches, with extenders for the 27mm socket.
2. New oil filter.
3. 4 quarts of 5W40 oil.
4. A method to raise the car (i.e. ramps, jackstands, lifts, etc).
5. A torque wrench (optional, but recommended)

Let's begin.

Step 1. Run the engine until the oil is at normal temperature.

Step 2. Shut off the engine and pop the hood.

Step 3. With the 10mm socket, remove the two screws holding the engine cover (see circled items below) and remove the cover. It will resist a little as there is a ball joint towards the back of the cover acting as a third support.
Engine Cover.png

Step 4. On the left side of the engine bay (reference inset photo), find the oil filter housing, circled in red. Place an oil absorbent cloth around the base of the housing and remove it with the 27mm socket. Set it aside for later.
Oil Filter Housing.png

Step 5. Raise and support the car.

Step 6. Crawl under the car and open the access door marked "Oil Drain Plug". Use the 7mm socket to remove the screw.
Plug Cover.png
Plug Cover 2.png

Step 7. I don't have a good picture for this one, but right inside the access door you will find the drain plug about where the red arrow points. Remove it with the 13mm socket, taking care to place a drain pan under the path of the oil (the drain plug is horizontal, so the oil may shoot backwards at first until enough is drained to drip straight down).
Drain Plug.png

Step 8. Once the oil is drained (it will continue to drip for a bit), reinstall the drain plug and torque to 27 N-m. If you don't have a torque wrench, hand-tighten it and then give it a fraction of a turn with the ratchet. The goal is a snug fit without being tight; overtightening the drain plug could strip the threads.

Step 9. Close the oil drain plug cover and reinstall the screw with the 7mm ratchet.

Step 10. Lower the car.

Step 11. Remove the old filter and ring seal from the oil filter housing. Lightly lubricate the new ring seal in clean engine oil, then install the new seal and filter in the housing.

Step 12. Install the housing back onto the engine. Tighten with the 27mm socket to a torque of 25 N-m.

Step 13. Fill the engine with new oil. If some oil spills onto the engine, clean it up as best as you can with an oil absorbent cloth to minimize the smell of burning oil when the engine gets up to temperature.

Step 14. Clear the oil warning message in the following manner:
A. Turn the ignition to the RUN position (if keyless, hold the start button WITHOUT pressing any foot
pedal). DO NOT START THE ENGINE.
B. In the space of 10 seconds, fully press the gas pedal three times (gas all the way down, release,
repeat).
C. Turn off the car.

Why do this now? You'll start the engine shortly, and if you did it right the oil warning message will not display when you do so. If it still comes on, simply repeat the procedure until it doesn't.

What if you're doing the oil change on your own intervals and not by when the computer says? You should still do this procedure to reset the oil life monitor, otherwise the car will not know you did an oil change and will continue calculating the life of the oil you just changed out. Which means the warning message may come on at some point in the future when your oil doesn't need to be changed.

Will this be done for me if I take it to a shop? Depends. A dealer should do it if you brought it to them with the oil warning message on. A chain place like Jiffy Lube or an independent shop may not know how to do this procedure. If you brought it to them with the oil warning on and you get the car back without the oil warning, they did it for you. If you brought it to them on your own without waiting for the computer, or if the warning still displays, do it anyways.

Step 15. Start the engine. Check for warning lights and oil leaks.

Step 16. Shut off the engine. Check the dipstick, make sure the oil is at the correct level.

Step 17. Reinstall the engine cover.

Congratulations, you're done!
 

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Great write up!!

One question, though. After which step do you stop to drink a cold one?;)
 

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awesome! I am going to have someone do it but still print out your guide (if you dont mind). This is one of the best things about this forum. Read and learn.

ed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great write up!!

One question, though. After which step do you stop to drink a cold one?;)
That would be Step 21. 18, 19, and 20 are open a cold one, congratulate yourself, and open a second cold one ;)

awesome! I am going to have someone do it but still print out your guide (if you dont mind). This is one of the best things about this forum. Read and learn.

ed
I don't mind at all! Community is getting and giving back, so I'm giving.
 

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That would be Step 21. 18, 19, and 20 are open a cold one, congratulate yourself, and open a second cold one ;).
Great! Now I'm all set... Thanks!!!:)
 

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Great write up but would like to know what kind of oil did you use? My Dart is at about 3,000 miles and I want to change the oil. I read somewhere that Chrysler recommends Pennzoil Ultra synthetic 5-40.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Great write up but would like to know what kind of oil did you use? My Dart is at about 3,000 miles and I want to change the oil. I read somewhere that Chrysler recommends Pennzoil Ultra synthetic 5-40.
That's what I used, Pennzoil Ultra synthetic. Though I know there are threads on this forum discussing the advantages and preferences for other oils. Really, what matters is that it be 5W40 and (especially if you'll use the computer to tell you when to change oil) fully synthetic. The correct weight because the engine was modified for it, and full synthetic because that's the oil life the computer will calculate. Non-synthetics will not last as long and may not lubricate as well.
 

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Pennzoil ultra synthetic is not very good oil. You want Euro Pennzoil ultra synthetic. I have owned a modded turbocharged car for 10 years now so I know oil.
 

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I have a question on Step 1 (seriously!)

I have always read this in owners and how-to manuals but wonder why we need to run the engine prior to changing the oil? My thinking is this: The object is to change the oil to get all the old oil (and crud) out right? So for the past 30 years of changing oil in my driveway I always put the car up on ramps (such that the oil plug slopes down) Friday night. All night long the old oil drips into the oil pan (like it should), in the AM I drain as per your instructions. While it drains I go inside and have my cereal (saving the beer for later in the day!). Then I proceed with your directions. THIS WAY, all the old oil and crud has drained into the pain all night long and is not freshly distributed up into the engine right before I want to get it out of there. I have never felt any ill-effects of doing it this way. Some cars I have driven new to 150,000+ miles with no problems. I don't think it is doing any harm to the engine as when it is first started with the fresh oil, it's as if it was first thing in the morning with the old oil lubrication-wise and it all has to get shot up into the engine at start-up anyway. SO - why start the engine and warm it up BEFORE changing the oil? Forum opinions?

PS: Excellent write-up and pictures though! Wish I had this resource thirty-years ago (pre-internet!)
 

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My experience is that the warmer oil drains faster than colder oil, so that would be one reason for it being warmed up. Also, in theory, all the crud should be in the filter and not the oil, so you shouldn't have to worry about that being in the bottom of the pan to drain it out. Actually, if you have pieces of anything in the pan or your oil when drained, you most likely have a problem. Especially on newer cars. They are built with way tighter tolerances, so they don't have the issues that older engines do.

I'm sure others will have better info than I've got and I'm not sure of other reasons to warm up the engine first. I have always been taught that it was better to do it after the engine has been warmed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Pennzoil ultra synthetic is not very good oil. You want Euro Pennzoil ultra synthetic. I have owned a modded turbocharged car for 10 years now so I know oil.
It was Euro Pennzoil, sorry. I didn't think the 'Euro' was an important addition to the label.

I have always read this in owners and how-to manuals but wonder why we need to run the engine prior to changing the oil?

My experience is that the warmer oil drains faster than colder oil, so that would be one reason for it being warmed up.
m88s22 gave the reason why it should be warmed up: it drains faster. I don't particularly see anything wrong with the way you do it cold and overnight, though (but I'm not a tech). I just don't have the time to do that; I live in an apartment with on-street parking, so I have to go to my parents' house to do oil changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What would a valid documentation of an oil change be? Like for warranty purposes. Just write down what mileage you changed it at or what?
Probably writing down the mileage and keeping the receipts for the new oil and filter, but I'm not a tech. There are some Chrysler techs on these boards that could probably give you the definite answer.
 
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