Jeep JK 3.6L Pentastar Engine Oil Change0
Changing the engine oil is a necessary part of routine Jeep maintenance and really, it’s something that anyone can do. In fact, thanks to the design of the 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine in a Wrangler JK, it’s something that’s easier to do than ever before.
The new Pentastar engine does not use a traditional can style oil filter, but rather uses a disposable filter media that is installed into the top of the engine. This makes changing your engine oil super easy and eliminates most of the mess.
This short write-up will explain in detail what is involved in the process of a Jeep JK 3.6L Pentastar engine oil change and just how little you will need to do. The entire project takes about 30 minutes. And after you’ve done this on your own, I can almost guarantee you’ll never take your Jeep back to your dealer or a shop to have it done for you again.
The mileage time frame for an oil change is not an exact science these days. While many still swear by the old 3,000 mile rule, today’s engines and oil blends do allow for a longer duration between changes. In fact, Jeep owner’s manual doesn’t really tell you exactly when to change oil, it just mentions that depending on operating conditions, the “change oil” message may appear as early as 3,500 miles since last reset. It does say however that you should never exceed 8,000 miles or six months between oil changes.
It is my personal opinion that you should switch from conventional oil to synthetic oil as soon as you have a chance. There are many opinions on this topic, but I made a switch after first two oil changes, and ever since the third one started using synthetic oil only. Many cars however come with synthetic oil from factory so there is no need to wait to make a switch.
Ever since I started using synthetic oil I have been putting about 10,000 miles between oil changes and my Jeep runs great, even in the hot Arizona climate. My Jeep is a daily driver but it’s not a road trip vehicle so the oil changes happen once a year or so.
Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional do the oil change for you.
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Parts and tools needed:
1. 6 Quarts of 5W30 Oil (depending on your Model Year, your Jeep might be using a different one – check oil filler cap or manual)
2. Oil filter media (check your owner’s manual for correct part number)
3. 13mm and 24mm sockets
4. Torque wrench and/or breaker bar
5. Small flathead screwdriver
8. Paper towels
9. Rubber gloves
Oil change can be done in your garage or driveway. Depending on your lift and tires, you can do it on the ground or give yourself a little more room by using ramps. Make sure you chock the wheels before you get under your vehicle.
Your 3.6L Pentastar engine uses 6 quarts of engine oil. Make sure you have the correct oil and filter ready before you start draining old oil. Refer to your owners manual for proper oil type (it should be also stamped on the oil filler cap) and filter model number (you can also call Jeep dealer or do a quick search online).
Remove the plastic engine cover, by grabbing the front of it and lifting it up, to gain access to both the oil filter and filler cap.
Locate the engine oil filler cap and rotate it counter clockwise until it stops. Do not remove the cap at this time.
Climb under the vehicle and place an oil drain pan under your Jeep’s oil pan. Then, using a 13mm socket, loosen but DO NOT remove your engine’s oil pan drain bolt.
Using your fingers, carefully remove the drain bolt and allow the used oil to drain.
To limit oil splashing you can hold the drain pan closer to the drain hole first, and then while watching the draining oil, sat the pan on the ground.
Back in the engine bay, locate the oil filter cap.
Using a 24mm socket and a breaker bar or wrench, unscrew the oil filter cap.
IMPORTANT: If you own a Model Year 2012 or 2013 JK Wrangler you have an old style oil filter housing. Inside the housing, the oil filter cartridge sits on top of a plastic tower with oil filter bypass valve installed inside the plastic tower, with a spring under the valve. Once you remove the filter you need to check if the plastic tower and the valve inside it are in good shape. Do not walk away immediately.
After about 60K miles on your Jeep and several oil changes, these plastic parts might become brittle or damaged, and once you remove the filter, the valve will pop out of the tower, and some pieces might even fall into the oil filter housing. The only option is to replace the entire housing at that point. Please watch this video first: https://youtu.be/jjGnEI1HmNY?t=122
Carefully remove the filter cap with filter media attached. Use paper towels to catch oil dripping from the old filter media.
Removing filter cap with the media will allow some more oil to drain at the bottom, so leave the drain pan in place.
Firmly grab the filter media and pull it out of the filter cap. Using a small flathead screwdriver, carefully pry off and remove the rubber O-Ring installed on the filter cap.
Take the new O-Ring that came with your new filter media and apply some of your engine oil to it. Install the new O-Ring onto your filter cap. Install your new filter media into the filter cap by pushing it into it until it snaps in place.
Carefully reinstall your filter cap with new filter media attached, back into the top of your engine. Using a wrench with 24mm socket, carefully tighten the filter cap back in place. Please note that this cap is plastic and will break if you over-tighten it. Proper torque is 18 ft lbs.
By this time all the oil should have drained. Reinstall the drain bolt and tighten it using a wrench with 13mm socket. Oil pan drain bolt torque is 20 ft lbs.
Remove the engine filler cap, insert a funnel and pour in 6 quarts of oil. Reinstall the filler cap and tighten it.
Reinstall your engine cover by snapping it into place.
Assuming your “Change Oil” indicator dash light is on, this is what you will need to do to turn it off:
1) Turn your ignition to the ON position but DO NOT start your engine.
2) Press the accelerator pedal to the floor 5 times.
3) Turn your ignition to the OFF position.
That’s all there is to it. As mentioned, super simple and easily something that anyone can do. Please be sure to clean up your mess and take your used oil to a recycling center. Use the new empty oil bottles and carefully fill them with the used oil.
Most auto parts stores such as AutoZone, PepBoys, Checkers will take your used oil free of charge.
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment below.