2012 Fiat 500 Oil Change Guide

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Thread: 2012 Fiat 500 Oil Change Guide

  1. #1
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    2012 Fiat 500 Oil Change Guide

    My first oil change on my new Fiat 500 Sport was a two hour affair. In order to cut out the guesswork for other doityourselfers, here is a rundown of the procedure.
    1. Remove plastic engine shroud. Just pull up on it and it will pop off at 4 attachment points on the top of the engine.
    2. Remove the black airbox which is directly on top of the engine under the shroud. There are 3 silver 8mm bolts ( 2 at the sides and one in the back ) which attach the box directly to the engine. Loosen these until you can move the airbox assembly freely. There are 3 hoses which need to be detached from the airbox. One at the front on the right side which is accordianed and oval in shape, one which is on the top on the right and about 3/4" in diameter, and one which is on the right toward the back which is about 2" diameter and has an 8mm hose clamp on it. Detach all three at the airbox and lift the airbox up and place to the right side of the engine compartment. There will still be 2 flexible hoses attached at the rear of the airbox, but they will allow you to move the airbox freely to the right. This will give you room to access the oil filter canister which is located just behind the radiator on the left side.
    3. Jack up the car on the left side front to give you room to crawl under the vehicle for removal of the plastic belly pan.
    4. Remove the plastic belly pan under the engine by removing the 6 silver bolts. There are two at the front, two at the sides, and two at the back. Pull the pan back to unclip it from the lip on the leading edge, and it will fall right down so you can get it out of your way.
    5. You will now see the oil pan and 13mm drain plug which is rear facing and directly above the metal strut which braces the frame from side to side. Remove the drain plug and drain the oil.
    6. Locate the oil filter canister which is directly behind the radiator on the left side of the engine compartment. It is surrounded by a molded shield on its upper right. You access it from the top, and not underneath the car. It is a black domed plastic piece with a 27mm hex extension in the center. Use a 27mm socket with a 6" ratchet handle and loosen the cap of the canister. This is tricky since there is very little room and a hose in the way. The cap may be tight from the factory, but just keep turning to the left and unthread it all the way until it can be removed. The filter element snaps in to the cap, so it will not fall out while removing the cap. Remove the filter element by pulling firmly on it until it snaps out. Install the new one so it snaps in to the cap. Replace the rubber O ring on the outer edge of the cap and lube with oil. Install the cap and new filter and thread it down until you feel the threads end. Do not over tighten since it is a plastic part.
    7. Install the 13mm drain plug in the oil pan.
    8. Install the plastic belly pan with 6 bolts and lower the car from the jack.
    9. Install airbox by reattaching hoses and carefully threading in the three 8mm silver bolts.
    10. Add 4.0 quarts of 5-30 oil. Start car to circulate new oil. Check dip stick for oil level.
    11. Snap on plastic engine shroud.
    Hopefully this will decrease the time to perform the oil change to about 45 minutes for those of you who want to do it yourself, or believe that oil should be replaced more often than the factory recommended 8,000 mile intervals.

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  4. #2
    Senior Member 500spot's Avatar
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    If you can score a 27 mm aluminum socket it won't break the plastic canister. just a word from Fiat tech

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    Alternative Approach to Removing Oil Filter

    Many thanks to 500 Wrench for his oil change primer (Step by Step 2012 Fiat 500 Oil Change). However, I was a bit dismayed that to hear that Fiat had made such a routine maintenance item so laborious, so I decided to look for a more straightforward method of accessing the filter assembly. Success ensued.

    My alternative will require a few "special" tools, but does not require removing the series of intake parts the factory recommends.

    Tools: small adjustable spanner, small pliers, 10mm wrench, 6" prybar, 27mm socket with 'wobbly' extension, and 24"-worth of 3/8 extension.
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    Access will be via a handy opening next to the passenger-side headlight.
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    The filter cover can be spied through the opening. After you complete the next few steps, you will loosen the cover with the extension(s) and big socket. (Insert the extension through the opening and then attach the socket. The 'wobbly' extension is a couple of inches long and permits 15 or 20 degrees of angle -- just enough for a proper fit on the filter cover.)
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    Disengage the AC-line clip next to the engine cover with the tiny prybar. Apply upward pressure on the line while squeezing each clip finger (2) in turn. Then push the line out of the way.
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    On the backside of the radiator support, just inboard of the extension access hole, is a small harness ending at an electrical component. The harness is held in place by a plastic clip with two fingers. This is where the pair of small pliers comes in. The electrical component is attached with a machine screw... Nurse -- 10mm wrench, please.
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    One modification is required: the corner of the panel that the harness and component are attached to will need to be bent out of the way about half-an-inch. The small spanner works fine for sheet metal massaging such as this.
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    This is the path to victory. Extension(s) and socket; then lifting/wiggling the cover with your left hand, while providing some gentle pressure with your right will bring the cover and still-attached filter into the light of day.
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  8. #4
    Super Moderator Tweak's Avatar
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    Alternative method, copying this to go alongside the other tutorial that it is easily referenced.

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    You can skip steps 3,4,5,7 and 8 by using an oil extractor. Yes it works and no it does leave dirty oil behind if you use it correctly. This is the beauty of top mount oil filters. Really no need to get under you car.

    http://www.pelaproducts.com/

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    i used to change my oil at home all the time. drain the oil, replace the filter, add the new oil your done. i can't believe it's become such a pain in the *** to do something that used to be so simple.

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    the larger the PITA the more likely Corporate believes you will keep the economy rolling, at least to their dealerships.
    Snarky

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    you're right. i'll probably never do it myself again.

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    I am really confused.... All these steps to change the oil? It is far simpler than all those steps. I changed mine with a Mightyvac extractor in about 1/2 hour. The filter was EASY to get out! The only hose you must unclip is the A/C line. The filter comes right out with a bit of maneuvering. EASY! What is so difficult about the whole procedure?

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    You can even change the filter without unclipping the A/C line:

    Use an extension on your ratchet and a swivel between the ratchet and socket.
    Loosen the canister over enough to loosen by hand.
    Remove the filter
    Remove the o ring
    Install new o ring (the hardest part)
    Install new filter
    Tighten the cover by hand
    Snug the cover with ratchet/extension/swivel/socket

    And if you have changed the oil on a Mini before, you already have the right tools.

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