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Oil Change - Porsche 911 Carrera

Pelican Technical Article:

Oil Change - Porsche 911 Carrera


1 hour1 hr






2-ton jack, jack stands, jack pad tool, filter removal tool

Applicable Models:

Porsche 996 Carrera models (1999-05)
Porsche 997 Carrera models (2005-08)

Parts Required:

Oil filter kit, 7"10 quarts of motor oil

Hot Tip:

Make sure that you have a big enough bucket

Performance Gain:

Prolonged engine life and reliability

Complementary Modification:

Install synthetic oil

One of the most common tasks to perform is replacing your engine oil. Frequent oil changes are perhaps the most important procedure you can do to maintain and prolong the life of your engine. However, with the better oils that are available today, the requirement for frequent changes is diminishing. Even though Porsche now recommends oil change intervals that are much farther apart than in the past, I usually recommend that you keep the changes under the 5,000-mile limit. If you don't drive your car too often, you should change the oil at least once a year to keep things fresh.

The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have everything required for the job. Nothing is more frustrating than emptying your oil, only to find out that you don't have a replacement filter or enough oil. You will need an oil filter, the special Porsche oil filter removal tool, a roll of paper towels, a very large oil pan or bucket, and approximately 7-10 quarts of oil. You'll also need an 8mm hex socket tool to remove the drain plug from the bottom of the engine sump. Start by driving the car around, and let it heat up to operating temperature. You'll want to empty your oil when it's hot, because the heat makes the oil flow a lot easier, and more particles of metal and dirt will come out when the oil is emptied.

Once you get the car parked, place the oil pan bucket underneath the oil sump of the car. If your Carrera is too low to the ground to fit your oil change pan bucket underneath, then you will have to raise the car off of the ground (see Pelican Technical Article: Jacking Up Your Porsche 911 Carrera). At the bottom of the engine sump there is a plug that is used for draining oil. Remove this plug carefully, and make sure you have a very large oil pan--at least a 10-quart capacity--under it, with a drip pan under the bucket in case you underestimate. The oil will be very hot and will empty out extremely quickly, so be careful not to burn yourself (wear rubber gloves). There will be no time to grab any more buckets or oil pans if you underestimate, so make sure that the one you choose is big enough.

While the oil is draining, it is a good time to remove the oil filter. You want to make sure that you remove the filter with the oil pan still under the car because the oil filter is full of oil, and this oil will have a tendency to drip down out of the filter into the engine and out the drain hole. The 911 Carrera filter is a cartridge-type filter, which is contained within a plastic oil filter housing next to the bottom sump underneath the car. You will typically need the factory oil filter housing removal tool, or a comparable one, in order to remove the housing. Remove the plastic housing, and underneath you will see the cartridge filter. Simply pull on it to remove it from the engine--it will be stuck on a pipe pointing down out of the engine. Have plenty of paper towels on hand, as oil will spill from the filter if you're not careful.

While all of your oil is draining, take the drain plug from the engine, and carefully clean it with a paper towel. When the plug is clean, replace it in the car with a new metal gasket. Torque the plug to 50 Nm (37 ft-lb).

Now install the new oil filter. Simply take the filter cartridge and place it on the oil pipe exiting the bottom of the engine. One side of the filter should be slightly beveled to enable you to easily slip the filter onto the pipe. Clean out the inside of the oil filter housing and replace the O-ring with a new one before installing the new oil filter cartridge. Slightly lubricate the O-ring with some fresh motor oil prior to installing it. Now, screw on the filter housing and make it snug tight. Torque it to 25 Nm (19 ft-lb).

Now it's time to fill up your Porsche with motor oil. A lot of people aren't really sure what motor oil to use in their car. Traditionally, the characteristics of motor oil were linked closely to its weight. Heavier-weight oils protect well against heat; lighter-weight oils flow better in cold. In general, if you live in a cold climate, you should use a 10W-40 or similar oil. This oil is a 10-weight oil that behaves and protects against heat like a 40-weight oil. In warmer climates, you should use a 20W-50 oil. This oil doesn't flow as well at the colder climates, but gives an extra "edge" on the hotter end. I have put a lot more info on motor oils on the site--check there for more recommendations.

The question of whether to use synthetic or traditional "dinosaur" oil often comes up among car buffs. Consumer Reports (July 1996) ran an extensive test on the two types of oil, altering amongst many different brands. The testers installed freshly rebuilt engines in 75 taxicabs and then ran them through the harshest conditions on the streets of New York City. Placing different brands, weights, and formulations in the cars, they racked up 60,000 miles on the engines, tore them down, measured, and inspected the engine components for wear. The oil was changed at 3,000 miles in half of them, and the rest were changed at 6,000 miles. The results: Regardless of brand, synthetic or traditional non-synthetic, weight, and oil change interval, there were no discernable differences in engine component wear in any of the engines. Their conclusion? Motor oils and the additives blended into them have improved so much over the years that frequent oil changes and expensive synthetics are no longer necessary.

Still, some people swear by synthetic oil. In practice, I don't recommend using synthetic oil if you have an older car with old seals in the engine. There have been many documented cases in which the addition of synthetic oil has caused an otherwise dry car to start leaking. If you own an older Carrera that doesn't have fresh seals in the engine, I would stick to the non-synthetics. However, if synthetic oil was the only type of oil that your engine has seen, I usually recommend sticking with it.

Fill your oil tank from the oil filler hole located in the rear engine compartment. Add about 8 quarts to the engine, and check the dipstick (1998-2005) or the oil level gauge (2005 and later). Continue to add about a half a quart at a time and keep checking the level. Fill it up until it reaches the top mark of the dipstick or gauge--the engine oil level will automatically lower when the oil filter fills up with oil. Make sure that you put the oil filler cap back on the top of the filler hole, otherwise, you will end up with a messy engine compartment when you drive away. While you're at it, also check the seal in the oil filler cap. A vacuum leak in this cap will cause rough running when you go to start the engine.

If you had the car up on jack stands, lower it down to the ground. Now, start up the engine. The oil pressure light should stay on for about a second or two and then go out. Hop out of the car and look at the engine underneath, then take a quick look underneath the car. Verify that there's no volume of oil seeping out of the engine. Take the car out for a drive and bring it up to operating temperature. Shut the car off and then recheck the oil level (careful, the car will be hot). At this point, I like to top the oil off at the top point on the dipstick. Make sure that you dispose of your old oil at a respectable recycling station.

Some car came equipped with a protective pan underneath the engine.
Figure 1

Some car came equipped with a protective pan underneath the engine. You do not have to remove it to change the oil. Begin the oil change process by removing the drain plug underneath the car.. The plug should accept an 8mm hex socket tool (inset). I recommend that you replace the small metal gasket underneath the plug each time, as it helps guard against oil leaks.

The filter housing will probably be stuck and difficult to remove from the engine.
Figure 2

The filter housing will probably be stuck and difficult to remove from the engine. The best way to get it off is with the Porsche oil filter housing removal tool. Simply slide the tool on and remove the housing from the engine.

Be sure to remember to replace the large O-ring that seals the oil filter housing to the engine.
Figure 3

Be sure to remember to replace the large O-ring that seals the oil filter housing to the engine. This O-ring should be included in your complete oil filter kit (inset photo).

Take the filter and push it up onto the oil pipe.
Figure 4

Take the filter and push it up onto the oil pipe. There should be one end of the filter that's slightly beveled to ease the installation process. With the filter in place, install the oil filter housing back onto the engine.

Fill your car with oil from the inlet in the rear engine compartment.
Figure 5

Fill your car with oil from the inlet in the rear engine compartment.. The oil filler hole is on the left side, attached to the air box housing and the oil cap is yellow in color. If you're quick and skilled with the bottle, you can pour without spilling. However, most people use a funnel to help prevent a mess.

Pull your dipstick and check to make sure you have ample oil in your engine sump (Picture 2005: only).
Figure 6

Pull your dipstick and check to make sure you have ample oil in your engine sump (Picture 2005: only). Wipe down the end of the dipstick prior to inserting it into the engine--this will help you achieve an accurate reading.

Shown here is a full-flow spin-on oil filter adapter, allowing for use of a conventional spin-on oil filter, rather than requiring the use of expensive and inferior replacement cartridge-style filters.
Figure 7

Shown here is a full-flow spin-on oil filter adapter, allowing for use of a conventional spin-on oil filter, rather than requiring the use of expensive and inferior replacement cartridge-style filters. Manufactured by LN Engineering, this design makes changing your oil a somewhat simpler task. With the adapter, you no longer have to handle the filter cartridge, worry about contamination of the oil filter housing, or worry about cross-threading the cheap plastic filter housing. The spin-on oil filter adapter also helps improve the longevity of your engine by providing full flow filtration, which means 100 percent of the oil gets filtered without having oil bypass the filter (an improvement over the factory design).

Comments and Suggestions:
DrZ Comments: I just started my car last weekend, since its finally above freezing. I let it idle in my garage for 20 minutes and then checked the oil. At temp, the cluster had only 1 bar filled and there was NO measurable oil on the dipstick.

Fastforward a week, at COLD I check the dipstick and its a tad above middle on the dipstick and on the cluster its 2 bars from the top.

I am very confused and before I do anything, I wanted to check with you guys! since too much and too little is equally bad

I've read to do it at temp, which is giving scary results. At coldand only 5 seconds to measure on the dash it appears almost perfect. Before I add oil, attempt to drive it to the dealership, I am choosing to do nothing until I know more!
January 28, 2018
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use dipstick as gauge, Warm engine, what does dipstick say? Top up as needed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Patrick Comments: Nick, your comments about oil capacities is confusing. It says "Fill oil 13.2 quarts. Change oil with filter 8.7 quarts. Change without filter 8.45 quarts".

I'm totally confused. If I'm changing the oil and oil filter on my 2000 911, do I need 13.2 quarts or 8.7?
January 4, 2018
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: For your model:

Engine Oil Quantity (Approximate)
With Oil Filter .................... 8.25L
Without Oil Filter .................... 7.75L - Nick at Pelican Parts
sparky Comments: Ps; I follow all instruction 8 3/4 oil in the car, 2003 Porsche 996
November 11, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Fill
Oil .................... 12.5 liters (13.2 quarts)
with filter .................... 8.25 liters (8.7 quarts)
without filter .................... 8.0 liters (8.45 quarts) - Nick at Pelican Parts
Sparky Comments: After I change my oil on my 996, my dip stick had no oil on it and also my display show that I only had a 1-bar .I even run the car for a few minute just in case oil, but still the same. Can anybody help me,THANK
November 11, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Fill
Oil .................... 12.5 liters (13.2 quarts)
with filter .................... 8.25 liters (8.7 quarts)
without filter .................... 8.0 liters (8.45 quarts) - Nick at Pelican Parts
drdawg Comments: PS: I have a 2001 911 Carrera.
November 8, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Got it, thanks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Drdawg Comments: I could not find Mobil 1 0-40 so I used Mobil 1 5-30. Will hat be a problem? I have since found 0-40 and bought the store out of their supply :- Should I drain the new 5-30 out now and change it??
November 8, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From Porsche:

Begining January 24, 2001, all Porsche vehicles are now factory filled with 0w/40 Mobile 1 engine oil.

Engine oils in the viscosity 0w/40, 5w/40 and 5w/50 must correspond to the ACEA A3 specifications


Engine Oil Quantity (Approximate)

With Oil Filter .................... 8.25L

Without Oil Filter .................... 7.75L - Nick at Pelican Parts
TONYA Comments: it was delivened it's also GT3 and a C4 it also has IMS Updated and F1 and H6. When the driver who delivered it told it was running rally bad and i put fresh gas Inow it and did a oil and filter change and seems to get worse. What would you do if you were me should I call the company and ask them to pick it up or let me Trailer it to one of the porche dealer lots we have one in memphis and one in nashville Tn so your option will make a good root to me . THANK You
January 13, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If not running well, I would tow it rather than drive the vehicle. If you have the ability to check it for fault codes before having it towed, that is a good place to start. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Phill Comments: Hi, I have a 2005 996 turbo S. At the last oil change recently the mechanic over filled the oil because of a mix up with the turbo's. He apparently checked on line for the total amount he had to fill but had not drained the turbo's. I drove the car home around 20 k's and it drove as usual. Just before I arrived home I noticed it blew a lot of smoke a few times. I contacted the mechanic who then came out to check the car and realised his mistake. He drained a fair amount of oil out to get to the correct level. Since then, the car drives fine and there is no loss of performance but it's making a whining noise over and above the usual engine noise. The mechanic listened to the noise and admitted that the car didn't sound normal. He suspected a bearing on the air comp pulley so he disconnected the drive belt to make a comparison with the pulley rotating and without. There was a small difference but he said the bearing seemed fine although it could be something in the engine on that side radiating the noise up. That's the background, my question is, has there been some sort of damage done to the engine by the overfill of the oil? The noise definately wasn't there before the last oil change. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Phill.
December 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Overfilling with oil should not cause a noise to appear. usually you will have smoke and if not addressed catalyst damage as a result of the smoke. I would keep searching for a noisy bearing if that is what it sounds like. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Bruce Comments: is there a procedure for installing the LN spin-on oil filter adapter? torque spec?
May 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: LN will have the torque info. The adapter may come with instructions. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mcmorj Comments: I have a general question about engine oil consumption. This refers specifically to a 2002 996 Carrera 4 non turbo. The User handbook states that the engine will consume oil, but does not suggest the rate. I had a brand new Company car a 4 cylinder petrol Auto - not a Porsche! which from new consumed 1 litre of engine oil for every 1,000 UK miles. It did this for all of the 98,000 miles I drove it - and I was advised by the manufacturer that this oil consumption was "within tolerance". So, for a Carrera 4, can you suggest what I may find the rate to be I know it can vary greatly.
April 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is the accepted amount of oil use for most modern engines. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
@911_heaven Comments: Hi. Just purchased an LN magnetic oil drain plug from you Part# LN-106-07. The sticker on this part reads 19 ft-lbs. The article above states 37 ft-lbs for the drain plug. Uncertain now. Normally I just tighten her down good. However, now I finally have a torque wrench so... Which is it? Or is it both 19 ft-lbs for LN and 37 for OE since they could have different fits/finishes?? TIA.
March 9, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Use LN's spec for tightening. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Zenith Blue 996 Comments: I just bought a 99 996. I'm not sure what type of oil the previous owner used. What brand, type and weight of oil do you recommend? Car has 148k on the Odometer.

Thank you.
February 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I like MObil 1. All of the oil choices are here: %3Futm_source%3DSuperTech%23item8 - Nick at Pelican Parts
Tony Sr Comments: Hello... Is my understanding that temperature were you leave is a factor in what oil to used. I leave in FL so it doesn't really get that cool. Does it matter if I used 0W-40 vs 20W50. Thank you.
January 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. BUT _ your owner's manual will have the right oil for your climate. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jasem Comments: figure 1, you mentioned , the small metal gasket must be replaced to avoid oil leak, can i have the part number for this gasket please?
January 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Seff Comments: On a 2005 GT3, what is the total oil capacity including the filter...Tank and engine.
December 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Initial fill 12.5 liters (13.2 quarts)
Oil change with filter 9.00 liters (9.5 quarts)
Oil change without filter 8.75 liters (9.2 quarts)- Nick at Pelican Parts
May 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not the best with parts and prices. I am sure you can put something together for a good rate. I would start small, buying just what you need for the needed services. Then buy as you need new tools.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you put together a tool kit.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
doug996 Comments: In the 996tt, is it necessary to drain oil from the turbo reservoirs as well as sump and oil tank?
May 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I like to...although it is not absolutely necessary. Make sure you buy the extra sealing washers, I believe they are the 18x24 size. From the factory they did not come with the seal washers but I've found that they will leak after some time if you don't install a seal washer. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
B2 Comments: Figure 5. The oil fill tube on a 996-1 is held in a clip and can be elevated to facilitate oil refill. The clip is adjacent to the tech's ring finger in figure 6. Really makes oil filling easier!
April 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes indeed! I always like to get the filler out of that clip. We appreciate your feedback. - Casey at Pelican Parts  
Randy Comments: On 996 turbo, oil is removed from 2 separate locations one from the engine sump and a tank located at the rear right side of engine which hold most of the oil. It requires 8.5 quarts of oil with filter change. Since this model does not have a dipstick oil level is checked by computer which are indicated at the dashboard display.
March 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
BillZ260 Comments: Can you add comments on any differences between the Carrera and the Turbo oil changes here?

March 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I will see if I can have the article updated. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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