How to change oil Nissan Sentra

Changing engine oil for a Nissan Pathfinder car can be an overwhelming task for an unprepared person, and stretch out for a whole day. Although the work can be done in just 30 minutes. I’m here to share my experience and secrets with you! Let’s start with a few words about the car.

The Nissan Sentra has been around for several generations. It was first introduced in 1982 and has since undergone various updates and redesigns. The car has seen several generations, each with its own improvements and changes. Over the years, the Nissan Sentra has become known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and practicality.

In terms of engines, the Nissan Sentra has been offered with different options depending on the generation and trim level. These include four-cylinder engines with varying displacements and power outputs. Some generations also offered turbocharged engine options for those seeking a more performance-oriented driving experience.

The Nissan Sentra has been sold on the US market for many years, and it has gained popularity among drivers looking for a compact and affordable sedan. In different countries, the Nissan Sentra may have been marketed under different names. For example, in Japan, it is known as the Nissan Sylphy, while in certain markets in Europe, it may be called the Nissan Almera.

How to change engine oil on Nissan in theory

Changing the oil is critical because it keeps the engine running smoothly. It removes dirt and debris that can damage the engine and helps improve fuel economy. Regular oil changes prolong the life of your engine, saving you money on repairs in the long run.
So, let’s define the basic steps for performing a car engine oil change.

Warm up the engine to operating temperature

Drain the used engine oil and remove the old oil filter

Install a new filter and fill with fresh oil

Check the oil level with a dipstick

By following these simple steps, you can service your car. Now let’s take a closer look at each of the steps, select the recommended oil and filter. At the end of this page I will answer possible questions.

What you need to know before starting work

Before starting to change the engine oil on a Nissan Sentra, there are a few things you should know. First, make sure you have the right tools and equipment for the job. You will need a wrench to remove the drain plug, an oil filter wrench to remove the oil filter, a drain pan to collect the old oil, and a new oil filter and the appropriate amount of engine oil for your specific Sentra model.

Frequency (interval) of engine oil change

Typically, owners of Nissan Sentra cars are recommended to change the engine oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or every 6 months, whichever comes first. However, it is essential to consult the owner’s manual for the specific recommendations for your particular model year. Regular oil changes are crucial to maintain the engine’s performance and longevity.

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How to check the level of engine oil Nissan Sentra

To check the oil level in a Nissan Sentra, follow these steps:

  1. Park the Nissan on a level surface and let the engine cool down for a few minutes.
  2. Open the hood and locate the engine oil dipstick. It is usually a bright yellow or orange handle labeled “Engine Oil” or “Oil.”
  3. Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel.
  4. Reinsert the dipstick fully into the dipstick tube.
  5. Pull out the dipstick again and check the oil level. The dipstick has markings indicating the minimum and maximum oil levels. The oil level should be between these two marks.
  6. If the level is too low, you will need to add oil. If it is too high, you may need to drain some oil to bring it to the correct level. Refer to the owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and the proper way to add or drain oil.
research

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.

Visual assessment of engine oil in a car engine

While a visual assessment is not a precise method, you can roughly determine the quality of the engine oil using a sheet of paper and a drop of oil. Place a drop of oil on the sheet of paper and observe its color and consistency. New oil is typically transparent or amber in color. If the oil appears dark, dirty, or has particles in it, it may indicate the need for an oil change.

What can (should) be changed at the same time with engine oil

When changing the engine oil on a Nissan Sentra, it is advisable to change the following components at the same time:

  1. Oil Filter: The oil filter traps impurities and debris from the oil. It is recommended to replace the oil filter with every oil change to ensure optimal filtration.
  2. Drain Plug: If the drain plug shows signs of wear or damage, it is wise to replace it to prevent leaks.
  3. Drain Plug Ring: The drain plug ring creates a tight seal to prevent oil leaks. It is recommended to replace the drain plug ring with every oil change to maintain a proper seal.

You can also check the engine and cabin air filters. If necessary, replace them with new ones. This is a fast process that takes 5 minutes to complete.

Advantages and disadvantages of different types of engine oils for Nissan Sentra

There are different types of engine oils available, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some common types and their characteristics:

  1. Conventional Oil: Conventional oil is the most basic type of oil and is suitable for everyday driving conditions. It offers adequate lubrication and engine protection but may require more frequent oil changes.
  2. Synthetic Oil: Synthetic oil provides better performance and engine protection compared to conventional oil. It offers improved viscosity and thermal stability, making it suitable for high-performance engines. Synthetic oil also lasts longer and may allow for extended oil change intervals.
  3. High Mileage Oil: High mileage oil in Nissan is specifically designed for vehicles with higher mileage. It contains additives that help condition and protect older engines, reducing oil consumption and minimizing leaks.
  4. Full Synthetic Oil: Full synthetic oil is a high-quality oil that provides superior lubrication and engine protection. It offers excellent resistance to breakdown and maintains its viscosity under extreme temperatures. Full synthetic oil is commonly used in high-performance and luxury vehicles.

For a Nissan Sentra, it is generally recommended to use the type of oil specified in the owner’s manual. This ensures compatibility with the engine and optimal performance. Synthetic oil is often a good choice for newer Nissan Sentra models, as it offers improved protection and longer oil change intervals.

Preparation for work

Before starting the engine oil change on a Nissan Sentra, you will need the following items and tools:

  1. Engine oil: Refer to the table below for the recommended engine oil for your specific generation of Nissan Sentra.
  2. Oil filter: Refer to the table below for the recommended oil filter for your specific generation of Nissan Sentra.
  3. Wrench: To remove the drain plug and oil filter.
  4. Oil filter wrench: To assist in removing the oil filter.
  5. Drain pan: To collect the old oil.
  6. Funnel: To pour the new oil into the engine.
  7. Gloves: To protect your hands from oil and dirt.
  8. Rags or paper towels: To clean any spills or messes.
  9. Jack and jack stands (if necessary): To lift and secure the vehicle for easier access to the oil drain plug and oil filter.

Engine oil selection for Sentra

Please note that the following table provides general information and may not cover all specific variations within each generation of the Nissan Sentra. Refer to your owner’s manual or consult with a trusted mechanic to ensure you have the correct information for your particular model.

Generation (Year)EngineSuitable Oil ViscosityPopular American BrandsRequired Amount of Oil
1st (1982-1986)1.5L, 1.6L10W-30
Castrol ($23/5quart)
Quaker State ($29/5 quart)
3.7 quarts
2nd (1987-1991)1.6L, 1.8L5W-30, 10W-30
Mobil 1 ($27/5 qarts)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quarts)
Pennzoil ($21/5 quarts)
Castrol ($29/5 quarts)
3.7 quarts
3rd (1992-1997)1.6L, 2.0L5W-30, 10W-30
Mobil 1 ($27/5 qarts)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quarts)
Pennzoil ($21/5 quarts)
Castrol ($29/5 quarts)
3.7 quarts
4th (1998-2002)1.8L, 2.0L5W-30, 10W-30
Mobil 1 ($27/5 qarts)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quarts)
Pennzoil ($21/5 quarts)
Castrol ($29/5 quarts)
3.7 quarts
5th (2003-2006)1.8L, 2.5L5W-30, 10W-30
Mobil 1 ($27/5 qarts)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quarts)
Pennzoil ($21/5 quarts)
Castrol ($29/5 quarts)
4.3 quarts
6th (2007-2012)2.0L, 2.5L5W-30, 10W-30
Mobil 1 ($27/5 qarts)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quarts)
Pennzoil ($21/5 quarts)
Castrol ($29/5 quarts)
4.3 quarts
7th (2013-2019)1.8L, 1.6L Turbo5W-30, 10W-30
Mobil 1 ($27/5 qarts)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quarts)
Pennzoil ($21/5 quarts)
Castrol ($29/5 quarts)
4.4 quarts
8th (2020-Present)2.0L, 1.6L Turbo0W-20, 5W-30
Mobil 1 ($29/5 quart)
Royal Purple ($38/5 quart)
4.4 quarts
Table with suitable engine oil for Nissan Sentra of different years of manufacture and generations

Oil filter selection for Nissan

Please note that the following table provides general information and may not cover all specific variations within each generation of the Nissan Sentra. Refer to your owner’s manual or consult with a trusted mechanic to ensure you have the correct information for your particular model.

Generation (Year)EnginePopular American BrandsArticle Number
1st (1982-1986)1.5L, 1.6LFram, Purolator, Bosch
2nd (1987-1991)1.6L, 1.8LAC Delco, WIX, Motorcraft
3rd (1992-1997)1.6L, 2.0LK&N, Baldwin, Mahle
4th (1998-2002)1.8L, 2.0LMann-Filter, Hastings, NAPA, FRAM ($9)XG6607
5th (2003-2006)1.8L, 2.5LFRAM ($9), Bosch, ACDelco, Purolator ($10)XG7317, PL14610 
6th (2007-2012)2.0L, 2.5LPurolator, WIX, Motorcraft, FRAM ($5)PH6607
7th (2013-2019)1.8L, 1.6L TurboPurolator ($10),  Bosch, Mobil 1 ($12)PL14612, M1-108A
8th (2020-Present)2.0L, 1.6L TurboFram ($5), K&N ($16), ACDelcoPH6607, HP-1008
Table with a suitable oil filter for Nissan Sentra of different years of manufacture and generations

Necessary tools and conditions

Before changing the engine oil on a Nissan Sentra, it is important to have the following tools and ensure the appropriate conditions:

  1. Tools:
    • Wrench: To remove the drain plug.
    • Oil filter wrench: To remove the oil filter.
    • Drain pan: To collect the old oil.
    • Funnel: To pour the new oil into the engine.
    • Rags or paper towels: To clean any spills or messes.
    • Jack and jack stands (if necessary): To lift and secure the vehicle, providing better access to the oil drain plug and oil filter.
  2. Engine oil: Ensure you have the correct type and amount of engine oil recommended for your Nissan Sentra. Refer to the owner’s manual or the engine oil selection table provided earlier.
  3. Oil filter: Obtain the appropriate oil filter for your Nissan Sentra. Refer to the owner’s manual or the oil filter selection table provided earlier.
  4. Replacement drain plug washer (if necessary): Check if your vehicle’s drain plug washer needs to be replaced. Some models require a new washer with each oil change to maintain a proper seal.
  5. Safety precautions:
    • Ensure the vehicle is parked on a level surface.
    • Let the engine cool down before starting the oil change process to avoid burns.
    • Use jack stands or other suitable support if you need to lift the vehicle.
    • Wear protective gloves to keep your hands clean and protected.
    • Have proper disposal containers for the used oil and oil filter, as they need to be recycled or disposed of responsibly.
  6. Reference materials: Keep the owner’s manual and any specific instructions or guidelines provided by the oil and filter manufacturers handy for reference.

Step-by-step instruction

How to warm up the engine Sentra before changing the oil

  1. Start the engine and let it idle for about 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the engine oil to warm up and become more fluid, making it easier to drain.

Properly warming up the engine before changing the oil is important because warm oil flows more freely, allowing for easier and more complete draining. It also helps suspend any contaminants in the oil, ensuring they are drained out with the old oil.

Change engine oil Nissan with our own hands

Estimated time: Approximately 30 to 60 minutes (may vary based on experience and vehicle condition).

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake.
  2. Put on safety gloves and gather all the necessary tools and materials.
  3. Raise the front of the vehicle using a jack and secure it with jack stands for added safety.
  4. Locate the engine oil drain plug under the engine. Place the drain pan directly beneath it to catch the old oil.
  5. Using a wrench, carefully loosen and remove the drain plug. Allow the old oil to fully drain into the pan.
  6. While the oil is draining, locate the oil filter. Depending on the model, it can be found either on the side or underneath the engine.
  7. Position the drain pan beneath the oil filter. Use an oil filter wrench to loosen and remove the oil filter.
  8. Before installing the new oil filter, apply a small amount of new oil to the rubber gasket on the filter.
  9. Install the new oil filter by hand, turning it clockwise until it is snug. Do not overtighten.
  10. Clean the drain plug and install a new drain plug washer (if required) before reinstalling the drain plug. Tighten the drain plug securely.
  11. Lower the vehicle from the jack stands.
  12. Locate the oil filler cap on the top of the engine and remove it.
  13. Insert a funnel into the oil filler hole and carefully pour the recommended amount of new engine oil into the engine.
  14. Check the oil level using the dipstick, ensuring it is within the recommended range.
  15. Reinstall the oil filler cap securely.
  16. Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes, then turn it off. This allows the oil to circulate through the engine.
  17. Wait for a few minutes to allow the oil to settle, then check the oil level once again and top it off if necessary.
  18. Clean up any spills and properly dispose of the used oil and oil filter.

It is important to follow the specific instructions outlined in your owner’s manual for your Nissan Pathfinder model, as there may be slight variations or additional steps depending on the year and engine type.

Possible questions after self-service FAQ

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

If the engine oil is not changed correctly during a self-service on a Nissan Sentra, several problems can arise:

  1. Insufficient lubrication: Using the wrong type of oil or not filling it to the recommended level can lead to insufficient lubrication. This can cause increased friction and wear on the engine components, potentially leading to engine damage or reduced performance.
  2. Oil leaks: If the oil filter or drain plug is not properly tightened or the gasket is damaged, it can result in oil leaks. Leaking oil can lead to low oil levels, decreased lubrication, and potential engine damage if not addressed.
  3. Contaminated oil: If the oil is not drained completely or if contaminants such as dirt or debris enter the engine during the oil change, it can result in contaminated oil. Contaminated oil may not provide adequate lubrication and can lead to accelerated wear on engine components.
  4. Overfilling the oil: Adding too much oil can cause foaming and increased pressure within the engine. This can lead to oil leaks, oil pump damage, and other engine issues.

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

To check for engine oil leaks after changing it yourself on a Nissan Sentra, follow these steps:

  1. Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes.
  2. Inspect the areas around the oil filter, drain plug, and oil pan for any signs of oil leakage, such as oil spots or drips.
  3. Use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe the suspected areas. If you notice fresh oil on the cloth or towel, it indicates a leak that needs attention.
  4. Pay attention to any unusual smells or excessive smoke coming from the engine, as these can also indicate oil leaks or other issues.
  5. If you detect any leaks, it is important to address them promptly. Check the tightness of the oil filter and drain plug and replace any damaged gaskets if necessary. If the issue persists, it may be best to consult a professional mechanic for further inspection and repairs.

How to reset the oil change counter?

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

  1. Turn the ignition switch to the “ON” position without starting the engine.
  2. Press the “Trip” button repeatedly until the display shows the mileage or trip meter.
  3. Press and hold the “Trip” button for approximately 10 seconds until the display resets or the oil change indicator light turns off.
  4. Release the “Trip” button.
  5. Turn off the ignition.
Photo view of the steering wheel and instruments Nissan Sentra

Please note that the exact procedure may vary depending on the specific model year and trim level of your Nissan Sentra. It is recommended to consult the owner’s manual or seek assistance from a certified mechanic for the correct instructions for your particular vehicle.

What to do with old oil after replacement?

After self-replacing the engine oil on a Nissan Sentra, it is important to properly dispose of the old used oil. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Collect the used oil in a clean, leak-proof container, such as a plastic jug or a dedicated oil drain pan.
  2. Take the used oil to a recycling center, an authorized collection facility, or an auto parts store that accepts used motor oil for recycling.
  3. Do not pour the used oil down the drain, onto the ground, or mix it with other substances.
  4. Follow the regulations and guidelines of your local municipality regarding the disposal of used motor oil. They may have specific instructions or designated drop-off points for used oil recycling.

By properly recycling the used oil, you are helping to protect the environment and prevent contamination.

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2 thoughts on “How to change oil Nissan Sentra

  1. Choosing the right engine oil for your Nissan Sentra can feel like navigating a maze, right? I recently went through this when deciding what oil to use for my Sentra. Conventional oil is a good budget-friendly option, offering decent protection for normal driving. However, if you’re like me and want a bit more for your car, synthetic oil might be the way to go. It’s great for better performance and doesn’t break down as quickly as conventional oil.

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