Changing the oil

That time has come again. I need to change the oil on the car as another 10,000 kilometres has flown by. So, I got online and ordered replacement oil, a replacement oil filter, and a replacement air filter.

Suzuki Swift service with oil change - Aral Bluetronic 10W-40 motor oil and MANN W 6101 oil filter and MANN C 2448 air filter from Damo Slovakia

The goodies have arrived. It’s like an oil-themed Christmas morning.

I recommend changing your coolant when you change your oil, but seeing as I changed the coolant just a few weeks ago when my radiator broke, I skipped it this time.

I used MANN filters and Aral 10W-40 motor oil (as recommend by the Suzuki manual) for this basic service. In case you’re wondering, the replacement part numbers are:

Oil filter: MANN W 610/1
Air filter: MANN C 2448
Oil: Aral Bluetronic 10W-40 (4 litres)

I saw very cheap Chinese-made filters on the internet, but for peace of mind I chose German and European made oil and filters which I bought online from Damo Slovakia. In the photo you can also see a bottle of “Super Rost Killer” which I bought for a bit of pre-winter anti-rust prevention which I’ll apply in a few weeks.

I want to add that Damo Slovakia was very good to deal with. Sometimes Slovak companies don’t have very good customer service, but Damo was fast, cheap, and easy. They even called to apologise that there would be a delay on the oil, giving me the option of a different brand. Very thoughtful. Also, the courier delivery fee was only €1.80! I’m impressed and I’ll definitely use them again.

Suzuki Swift oil change - Aral Bluetronic 10W-40 motor oil and MANN W 6101 oil filter and MANN C 2448 air filter

Jack the car up onto axle stands and get to work!

Once you’ve turned off the engine and safely raised the car we’ll have a look at the two things we’ll be removing. The red circle is the old oil filter and the blue circle is the oil sump bolt. When you’re ready, you’ll unscrew both of these and whether you like it or not, lots of oil will come out!

710 cap

Remove the “710 cap” as it’s often nicknamed.

Once your engine has cooled to a safe temperature, remove the oil cap on the top of the engine and place it somewhere. With the oil cap removed, there won’t be any resistance stopping the oil from pouring out underneath.

Suzuki Swift dipstick

The dipstick shows the oil level in the engine.

Have a look at the dipstick while you’re there. It’s a long thing with a yellow handle. Pull it all the way out then wipe off the oil on it. Then, put it back into it’s hole for a couple of seconds, and pull it out again. Check where the oil level is. It should be somewhere between the top and bottom marker holes, preferably in the middle. In my case there was too much oil in the car.

Aral Bluetronic 10W-40 motor oil and MANN W 6101 oil filter and MANN C 2448 air filter

Get ready for the Exxon Valdez to arrive…

Make sure you have a big oil collection tray under the car, because the slimy black oil is going to come out – and come out fast – when you undo that oil sump bolt!

Suzuki Swift oil sump plug

This is the Kraken. Prepare to release it!

Right, here comes the potentially messy part. Make sure your oil collection container is in the path of the oil flow. As you can see, the bolt is aimed towards the back of the car which means the oil will flow out in that direction. Are you sure you’ve got the container in the right place? If not, it could mean a lot of scrubbing the garage floor afterwards!

Suzuki Swift service

Just wait, it gets even messier soon.

See what I mean? The oil flows out at quite an angle, so make sure your tray is aligned properly. Also, almost 4 litres of oil is going to come out, so make sure your tray is big enough!

Once that oily torrent has turned into a drip, it’s time to unscrew the oil filter. This is another messy job, so make sure you have the ground covered with many layers of newspaper. I mean it, don’t underestimate how messy this next part is.

motor oil change

This part is always messy so get ready.

The oil filter should come undone with a good strong grasp and a solid counter-clockwise turn. Occasionally, if it’s really tight, you’ll need an oil filter removal tool (like a giant lid opener) but fortunately I’ve never needed one.

Once you’ve removed the oil filter – actually, halfway through unscrewing the oil filter – a load of trapped oil is going to come out, so get ready!

Gulf of mexico and Exxon Valdez

This is the moment when you consider buying an electric car…

I thought I was prepared, but much more oil came out than I expected, so a few drops of oil splattered on the garage floor and I rushed into clean-up mode.

apply oil to rubber ring gasket - MANN W 6101 oil filter

Make sure you apply a film of oil all around this rubber gasket.

Once you’ve cleaned up the oil (unless you’re better prepared than I was) apply a film of oil to the rubber gasket on the new oil filter and screw it in, in place of the old one.

Suzuki swift oil filter location

Don’t worry, we’re almost done with the oily part.

Above is a better view of the socket where the old oil filter was attached. Your new oil filter will screw straight in there. It should be done up quite firmly.

Use a plastic bottle with a cloth around it to reduce oil spills.

Use a plastic bottle with a cloth around it to reduce oil spills.

Now you can screw the oil sump bolt back in place and move to the top of the engine, as it’s time to add shiny new motor oil. Unfortunately the oil is going to go “glug glug glug” spurting out of the container, splashing everywhere. To solve this problem, use a funnel or make one out of a plastic drink bottle that is clean and completely dry.

Adding fresh motor oil

This part is slightly more pleasant but still pretty slimy.

Now add the new motor oil. You’re going to use almost the entire 4 litre bottle, as the 2004-2010 model of Suzuki Swift takes 3.7 litres, according to the manual.

Once you’ve poured in almost the whole bottle, put the car down on the ground and run the engine for a bit to warm it up and slosh it around inside the engine.

Fresh motor oil

That’s more like it: Lightly golden instead of black.

Turn off the engine and check the oil level with the dipstick. It should be in the middle, between the two holes in the dipstick. Don’t go above or below these holes.

If you don’t have enough oil the engine could easily wear out its bearings & piston rings (very expensive to fix). Too much oil on the other hand and you could find oil burning in the cylinders, fouling your spark plugs, and the car struggling to start in winter. Therefore somewhere in the middle is the way to go.

Now replace the oil cap, clean all the horrible oil off your hands, and let’s replace the air filter so the engine can breathe properly.

How do I change the air filter in my car

You engine’s air filter is inside that big plastic box.

Start by un-clipping the clasp above in the blue circle and unbolting the bolt in the red circle.

how to i replace the air filter in my car

And now for the other side.

And do the same on the other side. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get away without undoing the bolts, but I couldn’t: there just wasn’t quite enough room to get the old filter out of the way with just the clips undone.

Replacing the air filter in a Suzuki Swift

Out it comes.

With a little wiggling, the old air filter will come out and you can play with its paper fins for a while (it’s ok, everyone does this).

Old and new air filters - dirty and clean

See the difference!

Look at the difference between the old and new filters. The car looks like it’s been smoking a pack a day for 20 years, but it’s last service was only 10 months ago!

Next, just reverse the process for installing the new air filter, and you’re done. Make sure you screw in the oil cap, and lastly, have a quick look under the car to check for any leaks.

As for the old motor oil, you’ll need to find a safe way to dispose of it. Many gas stations have oil reclaiming facilities, so ask your local gas station. If they don’t know, ask a mechanic as they all have oil collection facilities. They may even take it from you if you buy them a beer or two.

Motor oil reminder sticker

Motor oil bottles often come with these handy stickers.

If your motor oil bottle comes with a reminder sticker, fill it out and attach it somewhere convenient. I placed mine on the inside of the door, near the door hinge so that I can see it any time without having to open the hood.

And that’s it, you’re done!

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23 thoughts on “Changing the oil

  1. Where do you jack the car up from to put it on its stands? My trolly jack does not reach the middle bit between the wheels (sorry for my technical terms) from the front of the car that the workshop manual suggests lifting from. Is there another safe place to lift?


    • Hi Dylan, I jacked it up right in the middle of the brace with a trolley jack:
      I’ve seen the tyre guys jack up the car from there, and two similar Suzuki models list this location in their manuals as fine so I’m assuming it’s ok. I recommend using a piece of wood on top of the jack lifter so spread out the lifting force, just to be 100% certain it won’t bend. Don’t jack up the back of the car using the rear subframe however; that will bend slightly and destroy your alignment from what I’ve read.
      It’s a snug fit for my trolley jack too, but if yours is too tall to fit in, then you can drive onto a couple of planks of wood to give your car an extra inch or two.

      • That is the solution I need..! Drive onto a couple of planks for that extra bit of room..! Thanks for that..

        A great website you have created here.. Very informative.. I have enjoyed reading it very much.. Great pictures and very well described..

        Thanks for the response..

  2. It’s funny, but I just found your website as I was having a look around for what maintenance is like on a Suzuki Swift as I’m about to purchase one to replace my old …Daewoo Matiz! Looks like you and I think alike as I was looking to replace the stereo on the Swift with a touchscreen stereo as well! :) What was the stereo you bought for your Swift called and would you have any idea on where I could find a replacement cap for the rear wiper?

  3. hello, thanks for this useful information.How did you lift the car? can we use the jack which come along with the vehicle? what axle stands are you using?


    • Hi Uma, you can use the jack that came with the car, but always rest the car on something strong (axle stands, a big log of wood). Never get under the car if the car is raised by only a jack. Always use strong supports, and you will be fine. I bought a hydraulic jack and some axle stands from the hardware shop. Look after them, and they will help and protect you for many many years.

  4. Hi, thanks for this post. I was always wondering if there is a clean way of unscrewing t old oil filter. In fact you can buy a “filter key” which fits the polygonal bottom end of the filter and allows you to turn it with a regukar key. That way your hand is not beneath the filter in the critical moment when the oil starts to drip. Watch out though, different filters for the studio swift can have different endings, so sick to the same brand. (By the way my 2006 Suzuki swift manual recommended 3.9 liters of 5W30 oil, strange)

    • One idea I thought of: if you’re worried about getting oil on your hands, you could probably pierce the filter with a screwdriver directly underneath and wait for it to drip out.

  5. Hi, i just found your site and it helped me to learn the car better. Thanks for that. I have a 2008 4×2 1.3 92 hp Swift and i wanted to ask you, are this cars have timing chain or timing belt. If they have a chain when is the changing time ? Thanks.

    • Hi there! Thanks for the kind words! The Suzuki Swift has a timing belt (rubber) and it should be changed every 60,000 miles or 100,000 kilometres according to a Suzuki Swift club forum I saw.

  6. Check your manual or various oil manufacturers websites and put in the recommended amount of oil. The FZ 2011- 2016 takes 3.4 litres with filter. A fresh oil change will bring the level up to the full mark or top dot. Read specifications for your swift before proceeding. The sump plug nut is rather soft, so use correct size socket.

    • Changes Depend on whether you use your car in severe service( this is defined as always pottering around town for short trips..up to and including thrashing it on motorways at high speeds and in high temperatures) or if you drive in a style which is ‘normal’ driving…….
      So, try replacing the auto trans fluid about every 30k, you can go to a specialist and he will flush your wallet at the same time as your transmission, or you can google various youtube videos on doing it yourself.
      The purchase of about 3 metres of the correct tubing, a cheap 120 litre plastic bucket (don’t use the better half’s washing bucket) and a garden sprayer about 4 to 5 litre capacity to refill the auto quickly thru the small dipstick tube should be your only extra expenses…and of course about 10 litres of auto trans fluid.

  7. Hi admin,
    I have been replacing oil and filter for every 5000 km regularly. In last 2 occasions I have noticed oozing oil after starting the engine. My mechanic said leak would be from filter. But I changed the filter but problem continues…please help me on this regard to find the fault,

    • Hi there. It’s strange. If it is the filter, you should be able to see oil around it. Have a look. If it’s indeed the filter, it might just be poorly sealed or perhaps the rubber ring wasn’t installed well. If it’s not loosing much oil, then there’s no rush to fix it, just make sure your oil level doesn’t go too low. If the filter is the problem (and if the leak is just a drop or two) then when it’s time for an oil change, replace the filter and be very careful with making sure the rubber ring seals properly. Good luck!

  8. Hi, I have accidentally drained my Automatic Transmission fluid, I can’t find where to fill it back up from. Its a Suzuki Swift 200i based model. Would hate to have to call a machinic to help me if I can do it myself.

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