Change The Oil on a Chrysler Crossfire
The Crossfire was arguably Chrysler's most misunderstood model vehicle. Produced during the union of Daimler and Chrysler, it shares 80% of its components with the Mercedes-Benz SLK320. Under the hood, it sports a 3.2L M112 E32 V6 engine, producing 215 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque.
Crossfires were available in Limited and Base trim levels as well as a supercharged SRT6 model. This article covers a 2004 Limited model.
Because of their rarity and primarily Mercedes-Benz construction, paying a dealership or service center to change the oil can be hit-or-miss. Luckily, changing the oil yourself is straightforward, easy, and rewarding, even if you've never ventured under a car before.
- Socket Wrench set with 8mm and 13mm sockets
- Oil filter cap wrench (74mm with 14 flutes, a 75mm with 14 flutes will work as well.)
- Drain Pan or container to catch oil, at least 2 gallons
- Flat Screwdriver or pliers (to help remove filter O-rings)
- Plenty of rags and towels
- Hydraulic Jack, Jack Stands, or Rhino Ramps
- Torque Wrench (not required, but recommended)
The Crossfire's Flexible Service System (FSS) takes into account the operating conditions of your vehicle to calculate the distance remaining before your next recommended service. Ordinarily, this is every 7000 miles. Many individuals choose to change their oil more frequently; I change mine every 5000.
To check the remaining distance until your next service recommended by the FSS, turn the key to the ON/RUN position. Press the knob on the dashboard twice (it's to the left of the odometer display). The odometer display will change to a wrench icon and the remaining mileage.
Drain the Oil
Ensure the car is safely secured on ramps or jackstands before spending any time underneath it. Normally, low profile ramps provide sufficient clearance for work. Never, ever get under a car that's lifted with a jack.
Before you can reach the oil pan, you'll have to remove the plastic aerodynamic plate underneath the engine. It's attached by four 8mm screws - two in the very front, two in the very back. Before unscrewing them, take note of the approximate location of the bolt holes. It can be annoying to find them later.
The drain plug is located on the passenger side of the oil pan. It requires a 13mm socket to remove. Ensure the container you're using to catch the old oil is in position, and carefully unscrew the bolt. Once it's loose, it's best to finish unscrewing it by hand to make sure the bolt doesn't fall into the oil that's draining. Set it aside somewhere safe and out of the way where you won't forget it.
The oil will take a little while to completely drain - there's 8.5 quarts of it! If you want to be really thorough, you can raise the driver's side with a jackstand to ensure all the oil is being drained.
Replace the Filter
While waiting for the oil to drain, you can get to work replacing the filter. It's under the big cap just in front of the engine. Attach the cap wrench to a 3/8" drive ratchet and slowly unscrew the filter cap.
Once the filter assembly is free, give the oil some time to drip back into the housing before pulling it out completely. Have towels handy to catch any remaining oil as you lift it away.
Remove the old filter by pulling it straight off the end of the assembly. Once free, dispose of the filter responsibly and wipe down the assembly of old oil.
The filter assembly has four O-rings that need to be replaced in addition to the filter itself. Each is a different diameter along the length of the shaft. Use a pair of pliers or a flathead screwdriver to remove each O-ring. The first two are near the narrow tip of the assembly.
The third O-ring is about midway down the assembly...
... and the last one is on the end, near the cap. Note the groove the O-ring sits in; it's important the replacement fits in this same groove. If the O-ring is improperly seated, oil can spray from the filter housing while the engine is running!
Take the new filter and thread it onto the assembly. The Mann Filter has two black lines sewn onto the filter itself; ensure only one line is visible when the filter is seated! Twisting it clockwise as you thread it can help ensure it fits snugly within the cap. Don't be afraid to use a little force; it can be stubborn.
The box the filter came in contains four new O-rings and one spare. Open a bottle of new oil and use a little to lubricate each O-ring before threading it onto the assembly. Once the new filter assembly is ready, set it aside on a clean surface.
Restore the Drain Plug
By this point, the oil pan should be mostly drained. You'll still see a few occasional drips, but that's okay. If you haven't already, wipe down the drain plug you set aside earlier. The copper crush washer can be disposed of, provided you have a new one - and that's always a good idea. You can see the difference between the old and new washers below.
Thread the new washer onto the drain plug and screw it back in by hand. Using a torque wrench, tighten the bolt to 22 lb-ft of torque. Don't over-tighten it too much, or you'll risk damaging the threads and annoying the next person who has to change your oil.
Add the New Oil
Now it's time to fill the engine with new oil. Instead of using the separate oil inlet, you can add the oil directly into the housing you removed the filter from - which is great, because it's a much bigger target. The engine's total oil capacity is 8.5 quarts: fill it with 8 quarts initially so you don't overdo it.
With the new oil added, you're ready to button up the car. Re-insert the filter assembly into the housing and, using a torque wrench and the filter cap, tighten it to 18 lb-ft of torque.
Before buttoning up down below, run the engine for several minutes to ensure no oil is leaking from the filter housing or drain plug. Because of the plate on the underside, leaking oil won't be readily visible once it's installed.
If you're done working underneath the car, it's time to reinstall the aerodynamic plate you removed at the beginning. We found it easier to align each screw with its associated hole before tightening them.
Be sure to check your oil level before calling it a day. You can use the digital sensor from the dashboard or check the dipstick (preferably both). To check the sensor level:
- Turn the key to the ON/RUN position.
- After approximately 10 seconds, a clock and oil can icon will appear on the odometer.
- Press the left-hand knob twice to display the oil level. If all goes well, it should read "o.k."
If either the sensor or dipstick reports a low oil level, remove the oil cap atop the engine and top it off. It's a good idea to check the level again in another day or two.
- Oil drain plug: 13mm, tightened to 22 lb-ft.
- Oil filter cap: 74mm or 75mm, 14 flutes, tightened to 18 lb-ft.
- Aerodynamic plate screws: 8mm
- Total oil capacity: 8.5 quarts