Fixing Up: How to refresh your oil

Ready to Ride with Amazon

How to change your oil and filter
How to change your oil and filter

In part two of our Amazon Fixing Up: Ready to Ride series we get the 2019 Kawasaki Z1000SX back in the workshop.

This week’s job is to replace the engine oil and fit a new filter.

An oil and filter change is one of the few remaining parts of a basic service that can be done quickly at home. When it comes to service intervals, we’re often guided by the mileage but it’s easy to overlook the time period that is the other criteria.

For example the mileage interval for an oil and filter change could be every 8000 miles or every two years. So if you have clocked up much less distance than the mileage interval, check the date when the oil and filter was last done so that it doesn’t get missed.

This simple step-by-step guide should help you perform your own oil and filter change at home. Using decent tools and parts, as seen here, makes this an easy job and it’ll save you a few quid, too.

Watch the accompanying videos at MCN’s YouTube channel and enter a cracking competition to win this actual
bike at now!

1. Use decent oil and filters

Always try to use original spec parts when servicing a bike. Here we have the original type and a decent quality pattern type that meets the same standards as the OE. As far as oil goes this can vary, so check with your owner’s manual for the specific grade and type of oil. The oil we will be using here is Castrol Power 1.

2. Pull the plug

Locate the sump plug, in this case the sump bolt is accessed from the left hand side of the bike. Crack it to release and hen undo by a couple of turns with the ratchet, before removing completely by hand. As the plug is on the last thread remove it so as not to disrupt the flow of oil. Make sure the oil is flowing directly into the centre of the drain tray.

3. Proper tool makes light work…

There are various tools to aid oil filter removal. The type used here comes in various sizes and simply fits onto the front of the filter. Using a ratchet drive attached so you can get the right amount of leverage to undo it. Once the filter has loosened, it can be spun off by hand. Remove it slowly and try to keep the hole pointing upwards to avoid oil spillage.

4. Fit a fresh washer

Remove the old washer from the sump plug, sometimes they are distorted and will need prising off with a screwdriver. The washer acts as a gasket so collapses when tightened to create an oil-tight seal. Always fit a new washer to the plug, and make sure it is seated correctly. They only cost pence and you are asking for trouble if you re-use the old one!

5. Clean up your act

Wipe the sump and clean away any traces of oil with a paper towel. Give a final clean with brake cleaner and a clean cloth. Make sure there is no debris where the sump plug seats. Install the plug by hand and then tighten up to spec (29Nm on this 2018 Kawasaki Z1000SX) using a torque wrench.

6. Spotless seating needed

The area where the oil filter seats is often at the front of the engine where there is likely to be a build up of road dirt. Make sure that the machined area where the oil filter’s O-ring seats is free of any dirt. Wipe in an outwards direction with a clean cloth or towel so that only the clean bare alloy seating surface is visible.

7. Prepare to tighten

Lightly oil or grease the O-ring on the new filter. This helps the filter as it tightens up and prevents ‘grabbing’. Tighten up the filter until it starts to become difficult, then stop. Give the area around the filter a good wipe. Do not tighten the filter up further without consulting the manual for the correct torque figure.

8. Careless torque costs bikes

The tightening specs or procedure varies from one make to another, so it’s really important to get it right. The manual for our Kawasaki Z1000SX gives a torque figure of 17Nm. Disregard what is spouted around on forums, the specs need to come from a dealer or manufacturer source.

9. Filling up with fluid

Select the correct grade and type of oil then use a funnel through the filler cap to add it. The quantity is quoted in most manuals in two ways, with the filter replaced and without the filter replaced. The figure for when the filter is replaced is greater because the filter needs to be filled with oil.

10. Let the level settle

When the correct amount of oil has been added the filler cap needs to be replaced. Start the bike and run it for a couple of minutes, turn it off and let he oil level settle. Hold the bike upright and check the sight glass. Ideally there needs to be at least half to three quarters of the sight glass showing oil.

The products we used

Castrol Power 1 Oil – This top-of-the-range Castrol four-stroke motorcycle engine oil is available in different grades to suit your bike’s specific requirements. The low friction technologies that are locked into the oil are resistant to changes in heat and can maintain performance in all conditions.

Amazon Basics Socket Set (201 pieces) – There are so many pieces that almost every job can be accomplished with
this kit. One of the stand out features are the 3/8 drive long reach single hexagon metric sockets. For more intricate jobs there are ¼ inch sockets, and for hefty jobs the ½ drive ratchet and sockets allow are more than tough enough for any job on a motorcycle.

Amazon Basics Magnetic 12-in-1 Screwdriver – There is nothing quite like a multi-purpose tool, and this ratchet drive
screwdriver rules! It can be set both ways, or can be locked and used like a normal screwdriver. The handle has a pop up cover that has a selection of bits that fit into the magnetic drive, there are 12 bits with a range of popular Allen, torx, flat and crosshead drives.

Ready to Ride, in partnership with:

The Ready to Ride video series and related content provides practical sports and performance bikes information for use as general information or for educational purposes. We do not know your particular vehicle or circumstances and the information we provide may not meet your motorbike repair, maintenance and/or health and safety requirements.
It is up to you to contact a motorbike mechanic professional if you are concerned about the repairs, maintenance and health and safety of your motorbike. MCN and Amazon do not give mechanic advice in relation to an individual case or motorbike, nor do we provide mechanical or diagnostic services, and this information should not be relied upon as such.

Bruce Dunn

By Bruce Dunn

Datalogger, professionally testing bikes for over 25 years.