I was changing the oil today in the smart and had the camera out so I decided to get some shots of changing the oil. It's not that difficult to do yourself and provides a level of Do-It-Yourself satisfaction!
When should you change the oil? The smartUSA maintenance schedule specifies 1 year or 10,000 miles, so do not wait any longer than these intervals. However, many of us choose to change the oil more frequently. I have had multiple samples of my used oil analyzed by a laboratory (Blackstone Labs)
and it looks like 7,500 miles will be a comfortable mileage for me. But, this will vary with your driving conditions and environment.
1. Check your tools! Make sure you've got a 24mm socket and you might also need an oil filter wrench if it's on tight.
2. If you are going to send a sample of your oil off for testing (not required, just a geeky thing to do), get the sample bottle ready to collect a specimen as the oil drains.
3. Back the car up on ramps for easier access to everything.
4. Make sure you've got 3.5 quarts of new synthetic oil and an appropriate filter handy. I use Mobil1 0W-40 or 0W-30 oil and a Mobil1 M1-108 oil filter.
5. You can use the built-in carpet clip to hold the engine cover carpet out of the way, but I prefer to use a wooden dowel - it does a better job, IMO.
6. Remove the engine cover being careful not to lose the twist lock bolt.
7. Check out the old filter and oil drain plug for any signs of damage or leaking.
8. Remove the drain plug and then the oil filter. The drain plug is typically very tight and you may need a short piece of pipe on your wrench to break it loose.
9. If you have a decent sized pan/bucket, you can collect the used oil in the same container. Pull the dipstick loose and/or remove the oil fill cap on the top of the engine so there is no vacuum preventing the oil from draining freely.
10. Open one quart of new oil and fill the new oil filter - thanks for the tip, jetfuel!
11. Make sure you coat the rubber gasket of the new filter in oil and then install. I hand tighten my new filter and don't use a wrench to avoid overtightening it (torque to 10 ft/lb*).
12. If so inclined, replace the crush washer and reinstall drain plug (torque to 48 ft/lb*). I will reuse the crush washer through a couple of oil changes and some owners have reused the same washer several times without problems. It just depends on your comfort level.
13. Use a funnel and add the remaining 3+ quarts of oil. Mobil1 0W-40 is recommended by smartUSA, but I am using Mobil1 0W-30 AFE in this photo to see if it improves fuel economy. 2012 Update:
I decided that the 0W-30 made no difference in fuel economy and have switched back to 0W-40. If you deviate from the 0W-40 recommended, make sure it is appropriate for your climate and driving conditions
14. Ensure that the dipstick and oil fill cap are in place, take the car off the ramps, run the engine for a minute or so, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then check the oil level with the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary, but don't overfill
, and double check the dipstick and oil fill cap to make sure they are tight.
15. Replace the engine cover, put the carpet back down and you're good to go!
16. Don't forget to make a copy of the receipt for your oil filter and oil and then write the date and mileage when you performed the oil change. You can also write down other checks your performed like inspecting the air filter. Keep this information in your file for documentation.
* Source: http://owners.smartusa.com