Real Average Joe Review


How to: Honda Civic SI oil change

I’ve been changing the oil in this car since the day we purchased it NEW back in 2007. I believe it’s the most efficient way to do it.

You will need:

1) 17mm wrench/socket<<<  for oil plug, ( torq spec 29 ft-lbs)

2) 19mm socket <<<< wheel lugs nuts. (torq 80 ft-lbs)

3) Torque wrench <<<< Oil plug and lug nuts  

4) 4.6 qts motor oil 5w30

( I used 5 qts full synthetic mobil 1 0w30.)

5) Car jack and jackstand.

6) Rubber gloves

7) Oil catch pan

8) Oil funnel

9) Oil dry

10) Shop rages or old t-shirts you don’t use anymore.


I have a few tips in here that most people don’t cover. For those that just want to look at the pictures and do the job, cool, however, at the end, I will explain why I take these extra steps.  

Please take your time and don’t get into a hurry.


I like to warm up the engine so the oil drains faster (on a hot summer day a minute or two will suffice.) Turn off the engine and apply the emergency brake.  Use the 19 mm socket to slightly loosen the lug nuts.  Place the jack in the proper location, jack up the car, then place the jack stand for safety.  Back out the lug nuts and place the wheel out of the work area.  

Before we start draining the oil I like to remove the oil cap so the oil drains freely. 

Take the 17 mm wrench and break the oil plug loose. Now move the bucket/pan below the engine oil pan.  Unscrew the plug and adjust the catch pan slightly so no oil is spilled.  

At this point, you may have dropped the oil plug into the bucket and need to fish it out. (It happens to the best of us!) Once the oil comes to a slow drip, screw the oil plug back in.  Slowly move the bucket out of the way so you can torque the oil plug.   Show me your skills…don’t spill any oil J.  

If you have a large oil catch pan, move it under the oil filter or if the pan is almost full empty it ( I had an extra empty 5qt jug lying around).

Remove the 2 clips from the inner cover.  Pry the center piece out with a screw driver while pulling with pliers. (IMO, this is the hardest part of the job). Once the clips are loose enough, just move the cover down and out of the way.

Next, unscrew the filter a little at a time to control the oil spill. Try to keep the filter upright when removing because it has a small amount of oil still in it. Pour the excess into the catch pant.  I like to place the old filter upright in the new filter box for storage. 

*tip* Check the old filter to ensure the O-ring is still intact. (Pic below: shows it is.) Always feel to make sure there is no old O-ring stuck to the engine.   What can happen and has happened... the new filter is installed and the old filter o-ring was still stuck onto the engine. Then you have double o-rings which leads to oil leaks which, in turn, leads to the engine starving of oil (Engine failure).  


Let’s prepare the new filter. Fill the new oil filter with fresh oil and watch the level drop while it soaks in. 

Lube the o-ring with fresh oil, install the new filter and hand tighten it. (I snug it pretty good).

Check point: oil plug is torqued, new oil filter is tight, and you have the keys so no one can start your vehicle! 

Reinstall the inner cover, pop the 2 clips back in.

Find your funnel and pour in the oil. You are almost done. 

Mount the wheel back on, screw in the lug nuts and snug them in a star pattern. Remove the jack stand then lower the jack. Now that the vehicle is on the ground, torque the lug nuts in a star pattern to 80 ft-lbs. (side note: not good to put torque force while the vehicle is in the air)

How to reset the oil %: Press the set/reset button until it scrolls back around the 15% display. Now, as you are looking at the 15% display, press and HOLD the set/reset button till the 15% begins to blink then release the button. Let the 15% blink 2 or 3 times, then press and HOLD the set/reset button again and do not release until you see 100%. 


·         Oil plug torqued

·         Oil filter on and tight

·         Engine has new oil and at proper level.

·         Lug nuts are torqued.


Start the car and let it run for a minute or two. Turn off and check dip-stick.

Recycle your old oil and filter.

Good job! You’re done!




·         Move the old oil away from work area, so, if you spill some, you are not working in a mess.  (I usually have little to no oil spillage, but I have to admit that during my last oil change I was spilling stuff like a two year old.

·         Upgrade to a magnetic oil plug. It will grab the metal shavings in the oil, which can damage parts in the engine.

·         If you not familiar with an impact :great and fast for removing lug nuts, but when installing lug nuts, start by threading in the lug nut by hand, first. This will avoid cross-threading the stud by zipping on the lug with the impact.

·         I keep receipts, record miles, and date it. It will help with resale and if the oil filter fails… it will help with any warranty claims.  

·         If you have extra cardboard lying around use it!  It is a safety net for oil spillage. 





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