Jeep 3.6L Pentastar Engine Oil Change

Posted by on Jul 12, 2014 in Maintenance | No Comments

One of the cornerstones of vehicle maintenance is the oil change. It’s a simple process that requires few tools and can be performed at home. By doing the oil change yourself it also allows the opportunity to look around and see if anything else needs attention.

The 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine was designed in a way that makes oil changes easier than ever. So, avoid the dealer markup and boring waiting rooms and take control of your own vehicle maintenance.

Jeep JK Oil Change Supplies

Tools Needed to Change Your Oil

  • 13mm Socket
  • Ratchet
  • Crescent Wrench or 15/16 (24mm) Socket
  • Small Flathead Screwdriver
  • Oil Catch
  • Funnel
  • Oil Filter for 2012-2013 (shown in this write-up)
  • Oil Filter for 2014-2016
  • 6 Quarts 5W30 Oil (meets or exceeds MS-6395)
  • Container(s) for old oil
  • Paper Towels/wipes

Time Required for Oil Change

About 30 minutes.

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

The Jeep manual says:

Under no circumstances should oil change intervals exceed 8,000 miles.

The old adage or 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first,  pertains to traditional (dino) oil and was primarily promoted by service centers. The Jeep’s display will illuminate a “Change Oil” message, the manual also says,

Depending on operating conditions, the message may appear as early as 3,500 miles since last reset. Have your vehicle serviced within the next 500 miles.

So, according to the manual you may need to change your oil as early as 3500, but never later than 8000 miles. But, there is a lot of debate on this subject. For instance, Amsoil Signature Series Synthetic Motor Oil says it last up to 15,000 miles or one year for Jeep’s that run under severe conditions. Things that qualify as severe: Turbo/supercharged engines, commercial or fleet vehicles, excessive idling, vehicles with more than 100,000 miles without prior continuous use of Amsoil motor oil, daily short-trip driving less than 10 miles, frequent towing, plowing, hauling or dusty condition driving. However, if your Jeep frequently travels greater than 10 miles at a time and not operating under severe service then the oil last to 25,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.

Instructions for Changing the Oil

Jeep JK Oil Change Engine Cover

1. Remove the engine cover. It snaps into place so just lift up and it will pop off.

Jeep JK Oil Change

2. Find the engine oil filler cap and loosen it. Don’t remove it yet.


3. Under the Jeep, place an oil catch. Then, using a 13mm socket, loosen your engine’s oil pan drain bolt. Don’t fully remove it yet.


4. Carefully remove the drain bolt by hand and allow the used oil to drain completely.


5. Once all the used oil is drained, reinstall the drain bolt using a 13mm socket.


6. In the engine bay, find the oil filter cap and use a crescent wrench (or socket) to unscrew it.


7. Remove the filter cap and used filter. Then discard the used filter. It detaches by simply pulling it apart.


8. Use a small flathead screwdriver to carefully pry off the rubber O-Ring on the filter cap.


9. Take the new O-Ring that came with your new filter and apply some of your used engine oil. Then install it on the cap by pushing it into place. You will hear a snap to confirm it is seated properly.


10.Reinstall the filter assembled unit back in the Jeep.


11. Using a crescent wrench (or socket), tighten the filter cap. The cap is plastic, so don’t over-tighten it.


12. Remove the engine filler cap, insert a funnel and pour in 6 quarts of oil.

13. Replace the engine fill cap and reinstall your engine cover. No need to measure the oil via the dip stick. The Jeep holds 6 quarts.

14. Reset your Jeep’s “Change Oil” indicator light on your dash by turning your ignition to the on position but, don’t start your engine. Press the accelerator pedal to the floor 5 times, then turn the ignition to the off position.


15. Recycle your old oil. Use the empty quarts, milk jugs or an empty 2-litre bottles. Most auto parts stores, like O’Reilly’s, will take your used oil at no charge.


My Jeep operates between normal and severe conditions due to dusty environments and short trips (less than 10 miles at one time). I change my oil using premium 100% synthetic oil  (Amsoil) every 10,000. So, I’ll be doing this again at ~43,800 miles. Choose the change frequency that makes the most sense for your application.