TIME: 1 Hour
MECHANICAL TALENT: EASY
- Porsche 986 Boxster (1997-04)
- Porsche 986 Boxster S (2000-04)
- Porsche 987 Boxster (2005-08)
- Porsche 987 Boxster S (2005-08)
- 2 ton Jack
- Jack Stands
- Pad Tool
- Filter Removal Tool
One of the most common tasks to perform is replacing your engine oil. Frequent oil changes are perhaps the most important procedure you can do to maintain and prolong the life of your engine. However, with the better oils that are available today, the requirement for frequent changes is diminishing. Even though Porsche now recommends oil change intervals that are much farther apart than in the past, I usually recommend that you keep the changes under the 5,000-mile limit. If you don’t drive your car too often, you should change the oil at least once a year to keep things fresh.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have everything that is required for the job. Nothing is more frustrating than emptying your oil, only to find out that you don’t have a replacement filter or enough oil. You will need an oil filter, the special Porsche oil filter removal tool, a roll of paper towels, a very large oil pan or bucket, and between 7-9 quarts of oil. You’ll also need an 8 mm hex socket tool to remove the drain plug from the bottom of the engine sump. Start by driving the car around, and let it heat up to operating temperature. You’ll want to empty your oil when it’s hot, because the heat makes the oil flow a lot easier, and more particles of metal and dirt will come out when the oil is emptied.
Once you get the car parked, place the oil pan bucket underneath the oil sump of the car. At the bottom of the engine sump there is a plug that is used for draining oil. If your Boxster is too low to the ground to fit your oil change pan bucket underneath, then you will have to raise the car off of the ground. Remove this plug carefully, and make sure you have a very large oil pan: at least a 10-quart capacity – under it, with a drip pan under the bucket in case you underestimate. The oil will be very hot, and will empty out extremely quickly, so be careful not to burn yourself (wear rubber gloves). There will be no time to grab any more buckets or oil pans if you underestimate, so make sure that the one you choose is big enough.
While the oil is draining, it is a good time to remove the oil filter. You want to make sure that you remove the filter with the oil pan still under the car because the oil filter is full of oil, and this oil will have a tendency to drip down out of the filter into the engine and out the drain hole. The Boxster filter is a cartridge-type filter, which is contained within a plastic oil filter housing next to the bottom sump underneath the car. You will typically need the factory oil filter housing removal tool, or a comparable one in order to remove the housing. Remove the plastic housing, and underneath you will see the cartridge filter. Simply pull on it to remove it from the engine: it will be stuck on a pipe pointing down out of the engine. Have plenty of paper towels on hand, as oil will spill from the filter if you’re not careful.
While all of your oil is draining, take the drain plug from the engine, and carefully clean it with a paper towel. When the plug is clean, replace it in the car with a new metal gasket. Torque the plug to 50 Nm (37 ft-lb).
Now install the new oil filter. Simply take the filter cartridge and place it on the oil pipe exiting the bottom of the engine. One side of the filter should be slightly beveled to enable you to easily slip the filter onto the pipe. Clean out the inside of the oil filter housing and replace the o-ring with a new one before installing the new oil filter cartridge. Slightly lubricate the o-ring with some fresh motor oil prior to installing it. Now, screw on the filter housing and make it snug tight. Torque it to 25 Nm (19 ft-lb).
Now it’s time to fill up your Porsche with motor oil. A lot of people aren’t really sure what motor oil to use in their car. Traditionally, the characteristics of motor oil were linked closely to its weight. Heavier-weight oils protect well against heat; lighter-weight oils flow better in cold. In general, if you live in a cold climate, you should use a 10W-40 or similar oil. This oil is a 10-weight oil that behaves and protects against heat like a 40-weight oil. In warmer climates, you should use a 20W-50 oil. This oil doesn’t flow as well at the colder climates, but gives an extra “edge” on the hotter end. I have put a lot more info on motor oils on the 101Projects.com site: check there for more recommendations.
The question of whether to use synthetic or traditional “dinosaur” oil often comes up among car buffs. Consumer Reports (July 1996) ran an extensive test on the two types of oil, altering amongst many different brands. The testers installed freshly rebuilt engines in 75 taxicabs, and then ran them through the harshest conditions on the streets of New York City. Placing different brands, weights, and formulations in the cars, they racked up 60,000 miles on the engines, tore them down, measured, and inspected the engine components for wear. The oil was changed at 3,000 miles in half of them, and the rest were changed at 6,000 miles. The results: regardless of brand, synthetic or dino, weight, and oil change interval, there were no discernable differences in engine component wear in any of the engines. Their conclusion? Motor oils and the additives blended into them have improved so much over the years that frequent oil changes and expensive synthetics are no longer necessary.
Still, some people swear by synthetic oil. In practice, I don’t recommend using synthetic oil if you have an older car with old seals in the engine. There have been many documented cases in which the addition of synthetic oil has caused an otherwise dry car to start leaking. If you own an older Boxster that doesn’t have fresh seals in the engine, I would stick to the non-synthetics. However, if synthetic oil was the only type of oil that your engine has seen, I usually recommend sticking with it.
Fill your oil tank from the oil filler hole located in the rear trunk. Add about 5 quarts to the engine, and check the dipstick (1997-04), or the oil level gauge (2005-). Continue to add about a half a quart at a time and keep checking the level (total capacity should be about 9 quarts). Fill it up until it reaches the top mark of the dipstick or gauge – the engine oil level will automatically lower when the oil filter fills up with oil. Make sure that you put the oil filler cap back on the top of the filler hole, otherwise, you will end up with a messy trunk compartment when you drive away. While you’re at it, also check the seal in the oil filler cap. A vacuum leak in this cap will cause rough running when you go to start the engine.
If you had the car up on jack stands, lower it down to the ground. Now, start up the engine. The oil pressure light should stay on for about a second or two and then go out. Hop out of the car and look at the engine underneath, then take a quick look underneath the car. Verify that there’s no volume of oil seeping out of the engine. Take the car out for a drive and bring it up to operating temperature. Shut the car off and then recheck the oil level (careful, the car will be hot). At this point, I like to top the oil off at the top point on the dipstick. Make sure that you dispose of your old oil at a respectable recycling station.
Link to original site, with pictures: