Changing Oil in a Nissan Titan
- 3/8" Ratchet Wrench*
- 3/8" 14mm Socket*
- 3/8" Extension*
- 6.5 Quarts of Motor Oil
- Proper Oil Filter
- Allen Wrench
- Oil Drain Pan
- Filter Wrench
- Paper Towels or Shop Rags
- Gloves (if desired)
- Mechanic's Creeper, if handy
- 3-ton Hydraulic Jack**
- Jack Stands**
*A 14mm box end wrench can easily be substituted for the socket wrench and extension.
**A jack and jack stands may not need to be used. My 4x4 Titan can easily be slid under without jacking up the truck, but the 2x4 models may not have enough clearance.
First off, take your allen wrench and remove the four bolts holding the access panel to the skid plate. Place the panel, the four bolts, and your allen wrench to the side and out of the way until later.
*NOTE: Not all trucks will have this step. The Titan used for this example has the Off-Road package which includes the skid plate. If your Titan is not equipped with a skid plate, skip ahead to the next step.
First, locate the oil drain plug. On the Titans with the Off-Road package, the plug is about six inches behind the back of the skid plate and to the passenger side of the middle of the truck. The plug is facing the front end of the Titan, tilted slightly to the passenger side.
Next, position your drain pan directly underneath the plug.
With either your 14mm wrench or a 14mm socket and extension, begin removing the drain plug. After the plug has been loosened, finish removing the plug by hand. Be sure to keep your hand out of the way of the plug hole as you remove the plug. Hot engine can burn skin.
I always examine the plug to ensure there are no metal filings on it (metal filings can be a sign of engine damage) and clean the old oil off.
Allow for the oil pan to completely drain out (shouldn't take more than a few minutes).
After all the oil has been drained, replace the oil plug back into the oil pan. Tighten the bolt down with your 14mm socket, but DO NOT overtighten!
Step 3 - Oil Filter
Next step is to remove the oil filter.
Return to the skid plate access panel. The oil filter is located up and towards the rear of the access port (pictured right).
Position your oil drain pan underneath the access port. Begin removal of the oil filter (counter-clockwise). This can sometimes be done by hand, but if you are not able remove it by hand, a filter wrench or strap wrench can be used.
The Titan is equipped with a drain 'trough' underneath the filter that allows any excess oil to flow down and out to the drain pan without making a mess (A feature I really like).
Place the old oil filter down on your oil pan and allow it to drain out.
Grab your new oil filter. Run a fingertip through some of your old oil, then run that oil around the rubber seal of your new filter (to help ensure a proper seal when replace). Now you are ready to install your new filter.
Tighten down (clockwise) the oil filter in the same location you removed the old filter. Get the filter hand tight, then go 1/4 a turn. Again, DO NOT overtighten.
Now that you have replaced the oil drain plug and oil filter, you are now ready to replace the access panel to the skid plate.
Position the panel back into its original location.
Replace the four bolts back into their original locations and tighten down with your allen wrench.
You are now finished with all the work that needs to be done on your back. Time to stand back up and work on your feet.
Step 8 - Clean Up
Now that you have changed your oil, dispose of your used oil and filter in an environmentally friendly manner. Auto Zone, O'Reilly Auto Parts, and many other auto part stores will recycle your old oil free of charge.
Wipe off any of your tools that may have gotten oil on them during the oil change and replace them back in your toolbox.
Take note of the day and current mileage, and be sure to replace your oil again within Nissan's recommended time interval (7,500 miles for a Nissan Titan).
I generally will start my truck and let it idle for a few minutes after changing the oil to ensure nothing leaks and I left nothing off.