How To Change Engine Oil & Filter on a Porsche 911 (996)

Maintenance Interval 1 Year or 5,000 Miles (7,500 Kilometers)
Estimated Dealer Cost $300
Estimated Independent Mechanic Cost $200
Estimated DIY Cost $100
Repair Time 1 hour
DIY Difficulty Easy

Engine oil is vital to your car’s engine. It’s primary function is to protect internal moving parts by providing lubrication to reduce friction and metal on metal contact. Over time the oil loses its critical properties, so regular replacement of the oil and filter are essential to maintaining your vehicle’s engine.

For the 996, Porsche originally recommended changing the engine oil and filter every 15,000 miles. However, this is way too long if you want to get the most life out of your engine. We recommend replacing your engine oil every 5,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. While it may be intimidating to work on your Porsche, changing the oil and filter isn’t much different than on other vehicles. This is a great entry-level maintenance procedure that you can perform yourself and save yourself money on year after year.

Instead of paying over $300 for a SIMPLE oil change at a Porsche dealership, use our detailed DIY guide to learn how to change your own oil for less than $100. To get an overview, check out the above tutorial video from Auto Amateur. More detailed instructions can be found below.

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Torque Specs & Fluid Capacities:

Engine oil drain plug: 37 ft-lbs
Oil filter housing: 19 ft-lbs
Engine oil change capacity: 8.75 liters

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Prepare your vehicle and work area

  • Warm up the engine by driving your car around for 5 minutes. This will help the oil flow more easily.
  • Gather required tools and parts and put on gloves and eye protection.
  • Position vehicle on a flat surface.
  • Open the engine cover.

Step 2: Raise the rear of the vehicle if extra ground clearance is needed

  • TIP: Most people should be able to perform the oil change without raising the vehicle if they use a low profile drain pan (linked in the tools section).
  • If extra clearance is needed, raise the vehicle using either vehicle ramps or jack stands.
  • Place wheel chocks in front of the front wheels to prevent the car from rolling.
  • To lift your vehicle on jack stands, check out this helpful video from the YouTube channel CarFanatic; while the video is for a 997, the procedure is the same on the 996.

Step 3: Drain the engine oil

  • Unscrew the oil fill cap, which will help the engine oil drain more easily.
  • Place the drain pan under oil drain plug.
  • Remove the oil drain plug using an 8mm hex socket and ratchet; be sure to grab it so it doesn’t fall into the drain pan.​​
  • Let the oil drain for 15 minutes.
  • Note: If you’re using a low profile oil drain pan, it will likely not be able to contain all of the engine oil. Switch drain pans before the first overflows by carefully sliding the full one over while quickly getting the new drain pan in place.

Step 4: Replace the engine oil filter

  • While the oil is draining, use a 74mm oil filter socket and ratchet to remove the oil filter cap which is located just ahead of the oil pan and toward the passenger side.
  • Replace the o-ring seal on the oil filter cap with a new one, which should be included with the new oil filter.
  • Dab some new engine oil around the o-ring to help create a leak-free seal.
  • Place the new oil filter onto the engine.
  • Fill the oil filter cap halfway with new oil; this will help lube the engine faster on initial start-up.
  • Re-install the oil filter cap and torque to 19 ft-lbs.

Step 5: Re-install the oil drain plug

  • After allowing the oil to drain, re-install the oil drain plug along with a brand new crush washer; if you do not use a new crush washer, the engine oil will likely leak.
  • Tighten the oil drain plug with new crush washer to 37 ft-lbs using a torque wrench.
  • Note: While Porsche recommends using a new oil drain plug, you can re-use your old one as long as it is in good condition and you use a new crush washer.​

Step 6: Add new engine oil

  • To prevent from overfilling your engine oil, start by adding 8 liters.
  • Ensure there are no engine oil leaks.
  • If you raised your vehicle, lower it back down so it sits level.

Step 7: Ensure the engine oil has been filled to the correct level

  • As shown in the video from John 996, you can use your onboard computer to measure the engine oil level.
  • Start engine and allow it to warm up.
  • When the car is sufficiently warm, you can have your onboard computer measure the oil level by selecting “Oil” on your gauge cluster.
  • The upper line of the digital oil level reading is the max.​​​
  • The lower line of the digital oil level reading is the minimum.
  • Each increment represents a little less than 0.42 quarts.
  • Based on the reading, turn off your engine and add more oil as needed.

Step 8: Collect all of your tools and clean up

  • Engine oil is damaging to the environment. Take your used engine oil to any local auto parts store to recycle it.

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