Changing The Oil on a Chevy HHR

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This article covers how to change the oil and filter on a 2011 Chevy HHR 2.2l 4 cylinder and 2.4L.

Draining the Oil


With the car securely on jackstands, locate the oil drain plug on the backside of the oil pan.

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With your oil catch container ready, use a 15mm socket to loosen the oil drain plug. Once you have it loose enough to turn with your fingers, position your catch container and remove the drain plug completely. Let oil drain completely until it is no longer flowing from the pan.


With the oil now drained, clean up any dirt or debris on the drain plug itself and around the oil pan. With everything clean, re-screw the drain plug back into the pan being careful not to cross-thread it (start by hand). With your 15mm socket wrench, snug the drain plug in without over tightening. You are done on the bottom side. Be sure to take your used oil to a location that recycles oil!

Changing the Oil Filter


The 2011 HHR uses a cartridge type filter. The canister is located on the right side, just underneath the exhaust manifold.

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Using a 1 1/4" socket (a crescent wrench can be substituted), loosen the black cap on the canister. *NOTE - I found that using a crescent wrench was easier due to one of the exhaust manifold runners in the way to fit a socket wrench.


With the canister loose, unscrew it completely and remove it. The oil filter cartridge will be connected to the cap. Have a rag handy to catch any drips as you remove it from the car.

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To remove the used oil filter cartridge, gently grab it and pull it off of the cap. Discard the used oil filter cartridge. Clean up any oil residue on the cap.


Taking the new oil filter cartridge, just simply push it onto the bottom of the cap. It will snap into place to signify it is correct seated into the cap. Note that the oil filter cartridge is designed to only fit one way (the rubber nipple on the cartridge is facing away from the cap).

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With the new oil filter cartridge in place on the cap, clean out any dirt, debris, and oil residue in the canister. Replace cap/filter by re-screwing it back into the canister being careful not to cross-thread it. Tighten it until snug and with the socket (or crescent) wrench, give it a slight turn to full seat the cap. Do not over tighten.

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Replacing the Oil


Located on the top of the engine on the right side is the oil fill tube. Remove the fill tube cap and insert your funnel. Slowly fill your engine back up with 5 quarts of 5W30 weight oil.

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After you have replaced 5 quarts of oil, remove funnel, and replace the oil fill tube cap. Check for any leaks and double check your oil dipstick for correct oil level.

Reseting Oil Life Monitor


Most Chevys now come with an oil monitor built into the system. This system shows the percentage of oil life that is left until you need to change it. At this point the reason why you just changed your is probably due to the oil life monitor indicating that you need to do so. With your oil now changed, you need to reset it.


Turn the key into the on position (with the engine OFF). Press the INFO and RESET (arrow) buttons on the steering wheel at the same time, hold for a few seconds and let go. This will bring up the personalization menu.

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Once in the personalization menu, press the INFO button until you see OIL LIFE RESET.


Press and hold the RESET button (arrow button) until you see ACKNOWLEDGED displayed. Your oil life monitor should now read at 100%. Happy motoring!

There are 4 Comments.

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Feedback from forums: Use the proper socket for the oil filter housing to prevent messing up the plastic.

This write up applies to more then the 2011 model year.


Wowza! This site is great. Step by step instructions with part #s. When I was a kid (no I phones), the only way u could save a buck changing ur oil was learning from ur father, buddy or a not so explanatory shop manual. Thanks a heap, Mac

Have to agree with Mac. This site has some of the clearest, most comprehensive, and straight forward tutorials — for anyone needing a few points in the right direction.

Thanks for making such a valuable resource available to the public, Scotsman Hosie

I have to agree with Mac. These are some of the clearest, most detailed, and user-friendly set of tutorials, for anyone — like me — needing a few pointers in the right direction.

Thanks for making such a valuable resource available to your readers, Donnie Hosie

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