Change The Oil on a Nissan Altima

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This article covers the procedure on changing the oil and filter on a Nissan Altima with a QR25DE 2.5L I4 engine that can be found in 2013, 2014, and 2015 models. This engine can also be found in the popular Nissan Sentra, Murano, Frontier, and Rogue models too.

  • Socket Wrench
  • 14mm Socket
  • Flathead Screwdriver
  • Oil Filter Wrench
  • Latex Gloves (optional)
  • Rag(s)

Changing the Oil


If you have ramps, pull your car onto the ramps. If you will be using jackstands, safely jack it up and use jackstands in the proper specified points on your car. APPLY THE PARKING/EMERGENCY BRAKE and chock at least 1 wheel for safety!


Using a 14mm socket, loosen (not remove!) the oil drain bolt located on the rearward side of the oil pan.


With the bolt loose, place your oil catch can under the car to prepare for the oil to drain. Grab a rag for any oil that will drip, spill, or get on your hands.


With your oil catch can strategically in place, remove the bolt and prepare for a deluge of dirty black gold to pour out. To help assist drainage, remove the oil filler cap. This reduces the vacuum pressure as the oil flows out (physics, kids). Give it a few minutes to drain.


Once the oil has slowed down to a drip (not flowing), clean off the oil drain bolt and oil pan for any residual oil. If your bolt has a crush washer, inspect it and replace if necessary. By hand, re-insert the drain bolt into the pan and retighten it. BE CAREFUL TO NOT CROSS THREAD THE BOLT! With the bolt in, tighten to around 25lb-ft of torque.

Removing the Oil Filter


The oil filter is located on the passenger side of the engine. You access it in the wheel well and is behind a plastic shield. To assist with more room, you can turn your wheels to the right.


There are 5 plastic pop rivets that hold the plastic shield in place, 4 on the front of the shield and 1 on the bottom side. Begin by taking a flathead screwdriver and remove the center section of each rivet following by the rivet itself. Once all 5 rivets have been removed, the shield can be removed.


Place your oil catch can directly under the oil filter. In a counterclockwise direction, loosen and remove the oil filter. You may need the assistance of an oil filter wrench for this.


With the oil filter removed, allow any remaining oil to drain and discard the old filter.

Installing new Oil Filter


Using some of the new oil, lightly coat the rubber o-ring gasket on the oil filter. This serves 2 purposes - to help create a better seal and to give some lubrication for when you remove the oil filter on your next oil change.


Carefully screw the oil filter back onto the engine block making sure to not cross thread it. Get it hand tight, then go about 1/3 of a turn more.


Clean up any residue oil and replace the plastic shield in the reverse order it was removed with replacing the rivets, then reinserting the center section of each rivet.

Refilling with new Oil


Back on the topside of the engine, grab a funnel and place into the oil fill tube. PROTIP Don't have a funnel? Cut a water bottle in half and use it for a funnel!


Carefully pour 4.5 quarts of 0W-20 weight oil back into the engine.


Replace the oil filler cap and double check for any leaks around the oil filter and bolt on the oil pan. If all looks good, fire the engine up and let idle for a few minutes. You can now lower it off the ramps or jack stands at this point.


Before you are ready to go, you'll want to double check your oil level. You can now shut off your engine.


Pull out the oil dipstick and wipe it clean. Reinsert the dipstick and pull it back out and check the oil level indicator at the end of the dipstick. If the indicator reads low (or add oil), add additional oil as needed.



Most of the popular automotive parts shops will take used oil at no cost. Please be sure to take all of your used motor oil to a recycling center of some sort and not discard it down storm drains, in a hole you dug, down your toilet, in your neighbors pool, or anywhere else it will harm the environment.

  • Torque oil drain bolt to around 25lb-ft
  • Tighten the oil filter to hand tight, then another 1/3 past.

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