How to change oil Nissan Lafesta

The Nissan Lafesta is a compact MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) that was introduced in 2004. The model has gone through two generations. The first generation was produced from 2004 to 2012, while the second generation started in 2018 and is still in production. The Lafesta is known for its spacious interior, comfortable seating, and practicality for families or people who need extra cargo space. It also offers features such as advanced safety systems, modern infotainment options, and efficient engines.

Frequency for changing engine oil

The general interval for changing engine oil is typically every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every 3 to 6 months, whichever comes first. However, it’s important to consult the owner’s manual for the specific recommendations for the Nissan Lafesta model, as the frequency may vary depending on the engine type, driving conditions, and oil quality.

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How to check the engine oil level

Checking the engine oil level involves verifying the amount of oil present in the engine to ensure it is at an appropriate level. It is important to check the oil level periodically as part of regular vehicle maintenance. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Park your vehicle on a level surface and ensure the engine is turned off.
  2. Open the hood of your car and locate the dipstick, which is usually marked with a bright-colored handle and labeled “Engine Oil.”
  3. Remove the dipstick from its tube by pulling it out.
  4. Wipe the dipstick clean using a cloth or paper towel to remove any existing oil.
  5. Reinsert the dipstick fully back into its tube.
  6. Pull out the dipstick again and observe the oil level on the end of the dipstick.
  7. The dipstick will have markings indicating the minimum and maximum oil levels. The oil level should ideally be between these two marks.
  8. If the oil level is below the minimum mark or significantly low, you may need to add oil to bring it up to the proper level. Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and the correct procedure for adding oil.

A study conducted by General Motors (GM) in 1974 showed that lengthening the engine oil-change interval could reduce the frequency of automotive maintenance, the amount of oil required to service the car population, and the potential pollution problem resulting from the disposal of used oil.

Checking the engine oil level periodically is important for several reasons:

  1. Lubrication: Engine oil lubricates various components within the engine, preventing excessive friction and wear. Maintaining the proper oil level ensures effective lubrication and helps extend the life of engine parts.
  2. Cooling: Oil helps dissipate heat generated by the engine. Insufficient oil can lead to overheating and potential damage to engine components.
  3. Monitoring Oil Consumption: By checking the oil level regularly, you can monitor the rate at which your engine consumes oil. If you notice a significant decrease in oil level between checks, it may indicate an underlying issue that requires attention.
  4. Early Detection of Problems: Visual inspection of the oil level can reveal signs of oil leaks or excessive oil consumption, which may indicate mechanical issues or malfunctioning components. Detecting problems early can prevent more extensive damage and costly repairs.

Visual assessment of the condition of engine oil

A visual assessment of engine oil involves examining its appearance to determine its condition. You can perform a simple visual inspection to get an idea of the oil’s health. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Park your vehicle on a level surface and ensure the engine is off.
  2. Open the hood and locate the dipstick for checking the engine oil level.
  3. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel.
  4. Reinsert the dipstick fully and then remove it again.
  5. Observe the color and consistency of the oil on the dipstick.

During the visual assessment, you should look for the following indicators:

  1. Color: Fresh engine oil is typically amber or light brown in color. As it ages and accumulates contaminants, it becomes darker.
  2. Consistency: The oil should have a smooth and uniform texture. If it appears gritty or contains metal particles, it may indicate potential engine problems.
  3. Clarity: Clean engine oil is transparent or slightly translucent. If the oil appears cloudy or murky, it may suggest the presence of contaminants or water contamination.
  4. Odor: Fresh engine oil usually has a mild petroleum smell. If you detect a burnt or strong odor, it could signify issues with the engine or oil breakdown.

By conducting regular visual assessments of your engine oil, you can monitor its condition and identify any potential problems.

Preparing to change engine oil

Before changing the engine oil in a Nissan Lafesta, make sure you have the necessary tools and materials, such as a wrench, oil filter wrench, drain pan, new oil filter, and the recommended engine oil. Also, ensure the car is parked on a level surface and the engine is cool to avoid burns.

Type of oil to be used for a car

The type of oil recommended for a car, including the Nissan Lafesta, depends on factors such as the engine specifications and the manufacturer’s guidelines. Typically, you will find the recommended oil type and viscosity (e.g., 5W-30) in the owner’s manual or on a label under the hood. It’s important to use the oil that meets the manufacturer’s specifications for optimal performance and engine longevity.

Choosing oil depending on the season and operating conditions

When choosing oil for a car, consider the climate and driving conditions. In colder temperatures, a lower viscosity oil, such as 5W-30, may be suitable to ensure proper lubrication during cold starts. In hotter temperatures or for heavy-duty use, a higher viscosity oil, such as 10W-40, may be recommended to provide adequate protection under high heat and load conditions. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult with a mechanic for specific guidance based on your driving environment and habits.

Advantages and disadvantages of different types of oils for Nissan Lafesta

Different types of oils for Nissan Lafesta have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here are some general points to consider:

  1. Conventional Oil: Advantages:
    • Widely available and affordable.
    • Suitable for normal driving conditions.
    • Requires more frequent oil changes compared to synthetic oils.
    • May not perform as well in extreme temperatures or under heavy loads.
  2. Synthetic Oil: Advantages:
    • Offers better protection and lubrication for the engine.
    • Performs well in high temperatures and under heavy loads.
    • Typically more expensive than conventional oil.
    • May not be necessary for vehicles that operate under normal driving conditions.
  3. High Mileage Oil: Advantages:
    • Designed specifically for older vehicles with higher mileage.
    • Contains additives to condition and protect engine seals.
    • Not necessary for newer vehicles with lower mileage.
    • May be more expensive than conventional or synthetic oils.

Engine oil selection

Here is a table with engine oil selection for Nissan Lafesta of all generations:

GenerationEngineSuitable Oil ViscosityPopular American BrandsRequired Oil Amount
1st Gen (04-12)2.0L – 2.5L5W-30Mobil 1 ($27/5 qarts), Valvoline ($29/5 quarts), Pennzoil ($21/5 quarts)4.2 – 4.5 quarts
2nd Gen (18-present)1.6L – 2.0L Turbo0W-20Mobil 1 ($29/5 quart), Royal Purple, Royal Purple ($38/5 quart)4.2 – 4.5 quarts

Please note that the article number and cost may vary, so it’s recommended to check with your local automotive store for the most accurate information.

Which oil filter is right for you

Here is a table with the selection of oil filters for Nissan Lafesta of all generations:

GenerationEnginePopular US Oil Filter Brands
1st Gen (2004-12)2.0L – 2.5LFram ($5), Bosch, Purolator
2nd Gen (2018-present)1.6L – 2.0L TurboFram ($5), Wix, K&N, AC Delco

Please note that the catalog number and cost may vary, so it’s recommended to check with your local automotive store for the most accurate information.

Necessary tools and conditions

To prepare for an independent engine oil change for the Nissan Lafesta, you will need the following tools and conditions:


  • Wrench or socket set for removing the drain plug and oil filter
  • Oil filter wrench (if necessary)
  • Oil drain pan to collect the old oil
  • Funnel for pouring new oil
  • Rag or paper towels for cleaning spills
  • Oil filter
  • New engine oil
  • Oil filter gasket (if applicable)


  • Park the car on a level surface
  • Ensure the engine is cool to avoid burns
  • Have proper lighting to see the components clearly
  • Wear protective gloves and safety glasses

How to warm up the engine before changing the oil

To properly warm up the engine before changing the oil, follow these steps:

  1. Start the engine and let it idle for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. This allows the engine oil to warm up and flow more easily, ensuring a more efficient oil change.
  3. Make sure the vehicle is parked in a well-ventilated area to prevent exposure to exhaust fumes.

Step-by-step instruction

Here is a step-by-step instruction for beginners to change Nissan Lafesta engine oil on their own:

  1. Warm up the engine by following the previous instructions.
  2. Lift the car using a jack or ramps to gain access to the underside.
  3. Place the oil drain pan under the oil drain plug.
  4. Using a wrench, remove the oil drain plug and let the old oil drain completely.
  5. Once the oil has drained, reinstall the drain plug and tighten it securely.
  6. Locate the oil filter and remove it using an oil filter wrench if needed.
  7. Take the new oil filter, apply a thin layer of new oil on the gasket, and install it by hand. Do not overtighten.
  8. Lower the car back down to the ground.
  9. Using a funnel, pour the recommended amount of new oil into the oil filler opening.
  10. Check the oil level using the dipstick and add more oil if necessary.
  11. Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to circulate the new oil.
  12. Turn off the engine and wait for a few minutes to allow the oil to settle.
  13. Check the oil level again and add more if needed.
  14. Dispose of the old oil and filter at a recycling center or an authorized collection point.

The entire process may take around 30 to 60 minutes, depending on your experience and tools available.

What is the frequency of changing the transmission fluid in an automatic transmission?

The frequency for replacing the transmission fluid in an automatic transmission can vary depending on the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, it is recommended to change the transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles or every 2 to 4 years. However, it’s essential to refer to the owner’s manual or consult with a professional mechanic for the specific interval for the Nissan Lafesta model.

What affects the spacing?

The frequency for replacing transmission fluid can be influenced by various factors, including:

  • Driving conditions: Frequent stop-and-go driving, towing, or driving in extreme temperatures may require more frequent fluid changes.
  • Severe usage: If the vehicle is subjected to heavy loads, off-road driving, or excessive idling, it may require more frequent fluid changes.
  • Fluid condition: If the transmission fluid appears discolored, contaminated, or has a burnt smell, it may indicate the need for an immediate fluid change, regardless of the mileage or time interval.

What transmission fluid to choose?

Here is a table with the selection of transmission fluid for Nissan Lafesta:

GenerationEngineFluid AmountPopular US Brands
1st Gen (04-12)2.0L – 2.5L7.1 – 7.4 quartsValvoline ($26/Gallon), Castrol ($27/Gallon), Mobil 1
2nd Gen (18-present)1.6L – 2.0L Turbo7.1 – 7.4 quartsValvoline ($26/Gallon), Castrol ($27/Gallon), Mobil 1, Amsoil, Royal Purple, Red Line

Please note that the catalog number and cost may vary, so it’s recommended to check with your local automotive store for the most accurate information.

Required tools

To replace the transmission fluid in a Nissan Lafesta automatic transmission, you will need the following tools:

  • Ratchet or wrench set
  • Drain pan or container to collect the old fluid
  • Funnel for pouring new fluid
  • Torque wrench (if necessary)
  • New transmission fluid
  • New transmission filter (if applicable)
  • Gasket or sealant (if applicable)

Step-by-step instruction

Here is a step-by-step instruction for beginners on changing the transmission fluid in the automatic transmission of a Nissan Lafesta:

  1. Park the car on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
  2. Place the drain pan or container underneath the transmission fluid pan.
  3. Loosen the bolts on the fluid pan using a ratchet or wrench, starting from one corner and working your way around.
  4. Carefully lower the pan, allowing the fluid to drain into the container.
  5. Remove the old transmission filter, if applicable, by unbolting it and pulling it out.
  6. Clean the transmission pan and magnets, removing any debris or residue.
  7. Install the new transmission filter, if applicable, and secure it with the bolts.
  8. Clean the pan gasket mating surfaces on both the pan and the transmission.
  9. Apply a thin layer of gasket sealant or install a new gasket onto the pan.
  10. Reinstall the pan and tighten the bolts to the specified torque, if available.
  11. Locate the transmission fluid dipstick or fill port.
  12. Use a funnel to pour the recommended amount of new transmission fluid into the dipstick tube or fill port.
  13. Start the engine and allow it to idle.
  14. Shift through each gear, pausing for a few seconds in each, including reverse and park.
  15. Check the fluid level using the dipstick and add more fluid if necessary.
  16. Once the fluid level is correct, turn off the engine and check for any leaks.
  17. Dispose of the old fluid properly at a recycling center or an authorized collection point.

Note: The entire process may take around 1 to 2 hours, depending on your experience and tools available.

What problems can arise after an incorrect self-changing engine oil?

Using incorrect engine oil or performing an improper self-changing of engine oil can lead to various problems, such as:

  • Poor lubrication: Inadequate or incorrect oil may not provide sufficient lubrication, leading to increased friction and potential engine damage.
  • Overheating: Using oil with the wrong viscosity or additives can result in inadequate cooling and increased engine temperatures.
  • Engine wear: Insufficient or improper oil can cause increased wear on engine components, leading to premature failure.
  • Oil leaks: Improper installation of the oil filter, drain plug, or gasket can result in oil leaks, leading to loss of lubrication and potential engine damage.

How can I check for engine oil leaks after changing it myself?

To check for engine oil leaks after changing the oil yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the engine and surrounding areas to remove any existing oil residue.
  2. Start the engine and let it idle for a few minutes.
  3. Carefully inspect the oil filter, drain plug, and oil pan for any signs of leakage, such as dripping or wet spots.
  4. Check the oil filter gasket and drain plug washer for proper installation and tightness.
  5. Look for any oil seepage around gasket surfaces, connections, or seals.
  6. If you notice any leaks, address them immediately by tightening the affected components or replacing faulty gaskets or seals.
  7. Continuously monitor for any new leaks during the next few days of driving.

How to reset the oil change counter on Nissan Lafesta after service?

To reset the oil change counter on a Nissan Lafesta after service, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on the ignition without starting the engine.
  2. Press the “Menu” or “Settings” button on the dashboard until you see the maintenance menu or service reminder.
  3. Use the arrow buttons or scroll wheel to navigate to the oil change or maintenance option.
  4. Select the option to reset or clear the oil change counter.
  5. Confirm your selection and wait for a message or indicator confirming the counter has been reset.
  6. Turn off the ignition.
  7. Start the engine and check if the oil change reminder has been reset.

What to do with old oil after replacement?

Proper disposal of old used engine oil is essential for environmental safety. Here’s what to do with old used engine oil after self-replacement:

  1. Store the used oil in a clean, sealed container, such as the original oil container or a sturdy plastic container.
  2. Take the used oil to a recycling center or an authorized collection point in your area.
  3. Many auto parts stores, service stations, or local government facilities accept used oil for recycling.
  4. Do not mix the used oil with other substances, such as antifreeze or solvents.
  5. Never pour the used oil down drains, onto the ground, or into the trash.

Proper disposal helps protect the environment and prevents contamination of soil and water sources.

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