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RMcQ procedure - THE ALLROAD OIL CHANGE - detailed instructions and many pics

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Old 12-01-2002, 08:13 AM   #1
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Default RMcQ procedure - THE ALLROAD OIL CHANGE - detailed instructions and many pics

To redeem myself for recent non-value posts and to make up with my friends allroadguy and Neb, I took some time to document my Thanksgiving weekend oil change. There seems to be some interest on the board since the dealer interval of 10K miles is too long. I perform an in between oil change to reduce mine to a 5K mile interval.

The allroad has the most involved oil change procedure of any vehicle I have ever done due to the belly pan. So to give encouragement or direction to someone who hasn't tried it yet, here is THE ALLROAD OIL CHANGE...

TOOLS REQUIRED (some substituions are obviously possible. This is just what I used.)



For belly pan:

- Standard screw driver
- Stubby standard screw driver
- 8mm allen driver, 3/8" drive
- 3/8" drive ratchet
- 3/8" drive extension
- T30 Torx driver

For everything else:

- Ramps (not pictured above, see below)
- Oil drain collection pan (not pictured)
- Funnel
- Filter wrench or strap wrench
- 19mm box wrench
- Shop towels
- Appropriate storage/transport container for used oil (not picured)

MY PROCEDURE (again, some variations are possible. This is not necessarily the perfect way - its just my way. Constructive feedback encouraged.)

1. Prepare Vehicle

Warm the engine to suspend contaminants and to encourage a thorough drain. Raise the vehicle to level 4 and and park the car on ramps. FWIW - I have Rhino Ramps that are great because they are plastic and can be stored outside with no ill effects.



2. Remove Belly Pan

For those that have not crawled under their car, this is what the belly pan looks like in situ. Unfortunately I did not capture all the fasteners in this photo, but it gives you an idea. There are actually two (2) panels that make up the overall belly pan system. For an oil change it is not necessary to drop the rear one. Once all the fasteners are out of the front one, you can tilt it down a bit and slide it rearward to get it out. Leave the other panel in place. You can see the seam that delineates the two panels just behind the 3 indicated quick lock screws at the bottom of this photo.



Shot of 1st and 2nd pan overlap, from the side:



The three (3) Torx fasteners are all the way at the front, attaching the belly pan to the lower front bumper.

The T30 Torx fastener:



The Allen bolts are just a little further back. They are the most substantial fastener in the belly pan, though there are only two (2) of them.



The six (6) quick lock screws are all around the perimeter. They are all vertically into the belly pan. They require a simple turn to remove.



What you can not see in the above belly pan picture are the four (4) plastic quick connect screws that are in the fender well. These are oriented horizontally and also require a turn to extract. There is little space to access these due to the tire being in the way. This is where I used the short, stubby screwdriver to access two (2) per side.



Detail of fender well fastener:



If you get them all out, you will end up with a collection like this:



You can then tilt the rear of the belly pan down and away from the 2nd belly pan. Slide the thing rearward to slip it out from under the front bumper and it will drop right out.



3. Drain Oil

Now we get to the easy part just like any other car. Position your drain receptacle below the drain plug. Using a 19mm box wrench remove the drain plug. Careful - the oil may be hot!



4. Remove Filter

I used a strap wrench on the filter to loosen it a bit.



Make sure you drain receptacle is in place because after backing it out a turn or so the oil will start to drain out. I leave it like this for a few moments to let most of the oil drain out so I don't get it all the way up to my elbow when I remove the filter.



5. Replace Filter

After the obligatory wetting of the rubber gasket with some of the oil, screw the new filter on and tighten until very snug. I usually just do it as tight as I can get with my bare hands - no strap wrench at all when tightening.

6. Replace Drain Plug

Tighten this back up with your box wrench. I'm not sure what the exact torque spec is, but my my highly calibrated forearm torque wrench says not to over do it. Just a little tight is fine.

7. Replace Belly Pan

Drag this big thing back under the car with you and first position the front of it into the front bumper. Be sure that in the fender well area the belly pan goes behind the fender liner as you tilt the pan up in the rear to get it back into its original position. Replace all the fasteners that you removed. You might have to fiddle with some of the quick lock fasteners because the backing part could get out of position.

8. Fill with oil

I use a small funnel the locks in place and allows me to stand the Mobil 1 oil bottles up in it to get every drop.



You should check it while you top it up, but my experience is that 6 to 6.5 quarts is what you will need.

Replace the filler cap and you're done. Put your tools away for the next 10,000 miles.
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Old 12-01-2002, 08:24 AM   #2
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Default Related post - DEALER FRAUD - suggestions sought

As I said in my post, I do my own change in between the dealer changes. During my last personal change I decided that I would put a mark on the oil filter just to be sure that the dealer replaced the filter at the next scheduled maintenance visit.

To my horror, I saw this when I dropped my belly pan:



I made the diagonal scratch and drew the small square with a magic marker 10,000 miles ago. The dealer blatently neglected to replace the filter at last scheduled service. Since AoA reimburses them for this service, I see this as fraud.

Any suggestions as to what I should do? I am going to schedule an appointment with the general manager of the dealership this week. How should I handle the visit?

I will name the dealer after I decide what I am going to do. If they are reading this I don't want to get really negative right off the bat as I may buy another new Audi from them or at least need service from them for another new Audi. There is no other conveniently located dealer for me.
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Old 12-01-2002, 08:29 AM   #3
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Default Holy crap, that is horrible! I often wonder what happens to my Mobil 1 5-30W when I...

take them 7 expensive quarts for my service. I'm almost sure I'm getting Dino-Oil and the service tech is getting Mobil-1 in his ride.

That's just downright wrong... I'd kill someone. Imagine that if you neglected your car like that, you'd get your warranty voided or something but they don't give a crap on their end. Simply wrong!!!
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Old 12-01-2002, 08:30 AM   #4
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Default You're forgiven! :-) Between this and the 3rd seat posts a while back, we've endured a lot!!!

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Old 12-01-2002, 08:32 AM   #5
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Default Unbelievable.....

That pisses me off....Why does it seem that there are far too many dealerships like that out there!??!?!
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Old 12-01-2002, 09:43 AM   #6
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Default Yeah, I give them Mobil 1 as well. Have to wonder if it is going in.

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Old 12-01-2002, 09:58 AM   #7
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Default There is a way to find out...

there are firms which routinely monitor truck engine condition by analysis of engine oil. I'm not sure the cost, but they can tell what type and viscosity of oil is in the engine, as well as contaminants, metal wear, etc.
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Old 12-01-2002, 11:53 AM   #8
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Default "Fraud" is a very strong word to use going in...

...because the service department's obvious reaction will be simply "oops, it was a goof." And a response that would constitute a full remedy, it seems to me, would be for them to apologize and do another oil/filter change. To publicly accuse them of fraud is perilously close to slander -- or at least their lawyers would see it that way. Unless you can prove they did this intentionally and do it routinely, you should consider backing off a bit.

This isn't to say that you should trust them or anything like that, and AoA ought to hear about this lack of attention to detail by their service department. If you can't trust them to do an oil change correctly, it surely doesn't bode well for more complicated things. Their service manager should be made to understand this.

I, too, am stuck going to a dealership I don't feel too good about, for various reasons. The alternative is 6 hours away (compared to 1) in a different state. It's made me begin to consider alternative brands -- but so far, Audi quality and features have won out.
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Old 12-01-2002, 12:40 PM   #9
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Default especially in light of your findings with the filter...

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Old 12-01-2002, 01:25 PM   #10
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Default Thanks!

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Old 12-01-2002, 02:20 PM   #11
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Default As far as I can see, you have 2 options.......

#1 (Not-recommended)
Arrange a meeting with their manager/owner,
and on entering his office,
grab him by the ******* and pull it up over his head!!!!!
If manager turns out to be female, go to option 2

#2 (Recommended)
Get a buddy or 2, that also own Audis and frequent the same dealership, mark strategic bits on their engines prior to service, examine afterwards, and see if it happens again.
If it does, seek legal advice and nail them!!!

A garage near me lost a dealership because of goings on like this.

Best wishes.
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Old 12-01-2002, 02:25 PM   #12
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Default Even if they did put it in, it's still mixing with the old oil left in the filter :(

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Old 12-01-2002, 04:56 PM   #13
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Default Good advice. As I said....

I am pondering how to handle this. I did not name the dealer with my "DEALER FRAUD" post. Even in anger I realize that I can not prove fraud with one data point. I guess it could be a goof, but my confidence has been tried before at this dealer hence the little 'test' that I devised to prove negligence.

Yes, it could be one lazy tech or a one-time goof. But no matter how you cut it there is a serious problem. I won't go into the dealership like a raving lunatic yelling fraud, but at the minimum this type of workmanship is absolutely unacceptable. Nevermind the premium brand - this is unacceptable at Jiffy Lube or Mr. Goodwrench.

Its so frustrating b/c there is no way they can give me any wear and tear back. One missed filter change probably isn't the end of the world, but how do I know they EVER replaced a filter or ever even changed the oil. Damn it makes me mad that I have to deal with this.

I told my wife that my next new car is going to be used and out of warranty. I can find no comfort in allowing others to care for my cars.
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Old 12-01-2002, 05:08 PM   #14
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Default This sort of thing is why reputable mechanics...

...will give you back your old, broken parts they've replaced. I'd feel better seeing empty M1 containers, but of course they just pitch 'em (and, of course, they could show me containers that weren't the ones I brought in, and all sorts of other subterfuges, so there's no way to be certain, unless you watch the procedure. I watched my indie do an interim (25K) change, and it was very reassuring to observe everything).

As I said, I don't fully trust my dealership, either, and it's upsetting to have to deal with. I had some issues with my previous dealership (in Boulder, CO), but at least they were honest and admitted to a couple of screw ups. That honesty did wonders.

Good luck with this one. Maybe the service advisor will be aghast and do the right thing.
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Old 12-01-2002, 07:31 PM   #15
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Default Did you replace the drain plug washer? Appears you are already leaking oil from that spot.

Nice writeup, how do you like that oil filter wrench, the first time I removed mine it was a pain in the ***, since they hire gorillas to put the initial one on, was ugly! Almost got the ole large screwdriver out (you know what that means), but I luckily got it off before the surgery had to begin.

Nice job again!
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Old 12-01-2002, 07:31 PM   #16
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Default Wonderful! Much appreciated.

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Old 12-01-2002, 07:54 PM   #17
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Default Not only is the strap wrench good on oil filters, but my wife can use it to open jars when I'm out.

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Old 12-01-2002, 09:08 PM   #18
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Default Why are you using 15W-50 Mobil 1 instead of 0W-30?

Thanks for the detailed info. I'm curious why you are using oil so much heavier than the recommended 0W-30.

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Old 12-02-2002, 02:30 AM   #19
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Default I suspect something wrong at my dealer too! Oil.

I had a 10K service performed at my local dealer a month and 1/2 ago. Driving back from vacation last week my 'low oil level' light came on.

Strange that the car did not warrant that light in 10K miles, but just 3K after the service - I became too low. My car is garaged, with a clean floor, so I doubt that it is leaking at that rate.

Are Audi owners being clipped at $5 a shot?
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Old 12-02-2002, 03:22 AM   #20
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Default I like the strap wrenches...

I have 3 different sizes. Since the band is rubber it gets good grip all around and seems to do a pretty good job of loosening things like an oil filter.

There is flex in the system, but it is also fairly easy to position it just right to get a turn on something.

Like trg's wife I use it for all kinds of different stuff as well.
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Old 12-02-2002, 03:22 AM
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