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Old 12-08-2007, 05:10 PM   #1
01SL1SATURN
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Default Oil Filter Location

I want to know if the engineer who decided the location of the oil filter is fired or not yet.

Changed the oil today on my SL1. It took an hour, yes, an hour to get the filter off. Firstly, it is located right above the differential. I removed the front passenger side tire and the plastic behind it to get at the filter but ended up getting it off from underneath the car. I used numerous tools. Anyway, after cursing and my hands drenched in oil from piercing the filter trying to get it off I was relieved.

The monkey who put it on at the mechanic shop last tightened that thing REALLLL good. Anyway, I can tell the filter was not replaced from my last oil change place (we get oil changes there and their type of filter was not on it but rather an older one). Not going to go there anymore now!

Anyway, put a new Super Tech filter on there, and filled her up with Mobil 1 Syn 5w-30 (for the harsh winter season).

That was the hardest oil change I've ever done. Everything was smooth except removing (or rather trying to remove) the filter. Wish I had ramps.

...
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Old 12-08-2007, 05:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

you'll be able to do it in about 10-15 min eventually

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Old 12-08-2007, 05:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by rc1488 View Post
you'll be able to do it in about 10-15 min eventually
Yup!

You can even do it with the car on the ground. Just turn the wheel all the way to the left and remove the plastic shroud, you'll have enough room.

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Old 12-08-2007, 06:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

Not another "these oil filters are impossible to get to" thread. The difficulty you had getting it off is the fault of some ignorant moron who thinks it has to be wrenched down like it is holding the entire engine together, not the engineers who designed the car. I wouldn't let Jiffy Lube or Wal-Mart change the oil in my lawn mower. The horror stories about these places will make you loose sleep at night.

Again I will repeat, these filters are not hard to get to. In my over 35 years of doing my own oil changes and the years I worked on cars for a living, I assure you, these are among the easier filters to get to. Even my 1985 Chevrolet S-10 with the 2.5 pushrod engine was much more difficult. By the way, the filter is not over the differential. It is above the right axle, the differential is on the left (drivers) side of the car.

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Old 12-08-2007, 08:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

I actually see evidence of good design, such as the built in 'gutter' that directs to oil to fall in a good spot. and, like said, all you have to do is pop off the dust shield and get the filter off through the wheelwell ( I found it quicker too to just remove the wheel, than trying to jack up the cat and get under it). I leave the dust shield off on any S car I change the oil on.
of course, it's NOWHERE near as easy as my 4 cyl VUE. I think I can train my cat to do it, and she's sleeping most of the time.

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Old 12-08-2007, 08:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

The "S" series is absolutely the worst... . All you have to do is change oil on a Chrysler 2.2-2.5l engine to realize how wrong Saturn got it. Filter location was planned by someone who assumed the owner would always go to Quickie-Lube or had a lift in their garage. Worst part of owning a Saturn is changing the oil, IMO.

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Old 12-08-2007, 08:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSaturn View Post
The "S" series is absolutely the worst... . All you have to do is change oil on a Chrysler 2.2-2.5l engine to realize how wrong Saturn got it. Filter location was planned by someone who assumed the owner would always go to Quickie-Lube or had a lift in their garage. Worst part of owning a Saturn is changing the oil, IMO.
Try changing the oil on a 1.8T Passat....you'll thank the lord each and everytime you change the oil in your S-Series. There really is nothing to changing the oil in an S-Series.

...
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

Forgot, here's a few pictures
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5

...
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

I may get yelled at for saying this but I have found the best tool for removing the oil filter on a Saturn is a medium or large pair of channel locks. They work really well and I have been using this method for about 5 years now. Hope this helps

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Old 12-08-2007, 10:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

Actually Saturn was quite proud of their filter location and access. If the car was level, the oil pan edge was bent upward to catch dripping oil and guide it away from the sub frame. You could strategically place the oil drain pan in a location to simultaneously catch the oil from the filter and the drain plug opening. This only worked if the car was level. I always used ramps and the oil overflowed the drip rail and leaked on the sub frame.

I never once took off the inner fender liner to get to the filter. A 3/8" ratchet with the appropriate oil filter cap always did a fine job for me.

...
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

when I change my Saturn oil drive the front up on two ramps, then jack up the rear and put two more ramps under the rear and slide under it on a creeper and it takes about 5 minutes to remove the drain plug and filter so the oil drips out into my bucket. I use a filter wrench that looks like a cap and you put a wrench on it to loosen the filter. works great!

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Old 12-08-2007, 10:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 02sc2 View Post
when I change my Saturn oil drive the front up on two ramps, then jack up the rear and put two more ramps under the rear and slide under it on a creeper and it takes about 5 minutes to remove the drain plug and filter so the oil drips out into my bucket. I use a filter wrench that looks like a cap and you put a wrench on it to loosen the filter. works great!

Why! It took him an hour to do the oil change, and you want him to drive up on ramps, and then lift the back of the car too? That'll add another 15 minutes to the job by the time you raise and lower the car.

Like someone else said, just turn the wheel all the way to the left reach in with your left hand and a strap style filter wrence and you'll be able to do the entire job in 15 min.

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Old 12-08-2007, 11:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

First time this car has seen a fully synthetic. I'm curious if it will start burning oil. Anyway, the car seemed quieter at high RPMs after the synthetic but it could just have been me.

I think I will keep using Mobil 1 if it works out well. It was only $22 for 5 quarts and $3 for the filter at Wal-Mart. It costs $28 from an oil change place and they use conventional. I'd rather do it myself and put a better quality oil in it. My friends were like "Mobil 1 in a saturn? What do you think it is? A race car?!" They seem to think buying the cheapest dino juice they can find and changing every 8k miles it acceptable.

I plan on keeping this car for a LONG time until it falls apart (literally) and I mind as well give it some good oil.

...
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Old 12-09-2007, 12:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

The Saturn was more intended to be serviced in a garage on a hoist. The back yard mechanic wasn't asked how he would like to do the oil change.

There's lots of worse cars if that makes you feel better. My brothers TDI Jetta was pretty tough, threading a hot filter between all the hoses and body parts in the way was a challenge. I'd say the Saturn's in the better than average range. The old EJ22 Legacy's are about as good as it gets.

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Old 12-09-2007, 12:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01SL1SATURN View Post
Firstly, it is located right above the differential.
Um, the differential is on the left side of the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiSaturn View Post
The "S" series is absolutely the worst... . All you have to do is change oil on a Chrysler 2.2-2.5l engine to realize how wrong Saturn got it. Filter location was planned by someone who assumed the owner would always go to Quickie-Lube or had a lift in their garage. Worst part of owning a Saturn is changing the oil, IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squareback View Post
Try changing the oil on a 1.8T Passat....you'll thank the lord each and everytime you change the oil in your S-Series. There really is nothing to changing the oil in an S-Series.
Weird. Chrysler got the inspiration for that oil filter location from the engine's prececessor, the VW 1.7L Rabbit engine that went into the first Omni/Horizons. That one was even better, in that the filter angled downward, so almost no oil came out when you removed it. Of the Jettas I've seen (into the late '90s), the engines seem to be a direct descendent of the Rabbit engine. Is the Passat motor a whole different design?

There've been quite a few rear-mount oil filters since the advent of the "transverse" engine. The first X-cars had the Iron Duke 2.5 that was designed to run front-to-back, and IIRC, when they turned it, the oil filter ended up in the back. I'm pretty sure the 1.8 in the early J-cars were similar.

Yeah, it's in a bad place on the 1.9, but a one-minute trip up a set of ramps, and you can grab it with your hand. If you need more than a piece of bike-innertube rubber for grip as a removal tool, it's overtightened.

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Old 12-09-2007, 01:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

I can change my oil in less than 5 minutes.
Park car, turn wheels to the left. Open hood, reach between intake manifold and alternator behind the block (no P/S yay!) and spin off the filter. Spin on a new one. Lay on ground right behind passenger tire, and reach the oil drain plug with socket and driver, remove, drain oil into pan, replace. Fill oil, done.

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Old 12-09-2007, 06:46 PM   #17
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Happy Re: Oil Filter Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by 01SL1SATURN View Post
First time this car has seen a fully synthetic. I'm curious if it will start burning oil. Anyway, the car seemed quieter at high RPMs after the synthetic but it could just have been me.

I think I will keep using Mobil 1 if it works out well. It was only $22 for 5 quarts and $3 for the filter at Wal-Mart. It costs $28 from an oil change place and they use conventional. I'd rather do it myself and put a better quality oil in it. My friends were like "Mobil 1 in a saturn? What do you think it is? A race car?!" They seem to think buying the cheapest dino juice they can find and changing every 8k miles it acceptable.

I plan on keeping this car for a LONG time until it falls apart (literally) and I mind as well give it some good oil.

Ha. I went to wal-mart (Wolly World) and i want to the automotive section, and did not know what MOBIL 1 oil filter (only 9.99$) to put on my elantra, I told the guy i had a 2002 elantra He looked it up in the book and he said " you are going to put that oil filter on a Hyundai?" I said "YES, and even use Mobil 1 full syn" and then he gave me M1-104 filter number, and i said "thanks" and i walked away. He really got me mad Lol.
Sorry Slightly OT.

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Old 12-09-2007, 07:57 PM   #18
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

I don't mind the filter location too bad. Oil does tend to go everywhere though. I've gotten to the point where I can avoid getting oil all over the ground, but the subframe and axles are a different story. It takes me about 10 minutes to change my oil once I've got the car jacked up and on jack stands. And I'm usually pretty casual about it. I remove the drain plug and go get a drink and chill while the oil drains, so I could do it much quicker if I felt so inclined.

I will say however, I do prefer the oil filter location on my Voyager with the Mitsubishi 3.0L. It tends to create much less of a mess in comparison.

But to anyone who complains about the Saturn filter location, go change the oil in a J-body. I changed the oil in my girlfriend's '01 Sunfire, and that filter is a MAJOR pain to get to.

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Old 12-09-2007, 07:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Um, the differential is on the left side of the car.
I think he meant the differential length that goes to the right wheel which turns the wheel.

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Old 12-09-2007, 09:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: Oil Filter Location

my 94 i could change it from the front pass. side tire, but my 98 has a plastic wall, and i had to go underneath, took me 5 mins to find it, and 15 to put the new one on. I couldn't match up the threads...

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