Oil Change – JK Wrangler 2013

Tool and Supply Prep

Gather the Needed Supplies

Per Owner’s Manual the 3.6L Pentastar engine in the 2013 JK takes 6 quarts of 5W-20 motor oil. Experience put the fill at just a little under this (about 5.6 quarts). Perhaps 0.4 quart is retained during the change.

Jeep recommends an oil that meets or exceeds MS-6395 certification.

This change will also include replacement of the oil filter. Any one of the following parts can be used (except as noted):

Mopar #68079744AA
Bosch Premium 3335
Crown 68079744AB
Fram CH10955
Hastings LF656
Mobil 1 M1C455
Omix-Ada 17436.20
Purolator PL36135
STP #S10955
Wix #57526
#57144 <<< DO NOT USE (product recalled due to incorrect O-ring thickness)

Prices range form $7 to $14 with many of best prices on the web. Of the filters listed, Jeep Off Road Adventures has experience with Mopar #68079744AC and Fram CH10955.

Gather Up the Tools for the Service Procedure

- Oil Catch Basin (model shown has a vent cap in yellow, open it before use)
- Oil Storage Jug or Canister (for used oil)
- 13mm Socket
- 24mm Socket
- Socket Wrenches (with 4″ or longer extension for use with the 24mm socket)
- Funnel

Below are the 24mm and 13mm sockets with their respective 1/2″ and 3/8″ drive wrenches. The 1/2″ drive is shown with a four inch extension to keep the ratchet clear of obstructions when being turned.

Keep Clean Up and Spill Supplies Handy

Make sure you have shop rags, paper towels and hand cleaner close by. Prolong exposure to automotive chemicals can be hazardous to your health and damaging to you skin. Please take the necessary precautions including wearing gloves if working for an extended period with these chemicals (including engine oil). Make sure you keep a spill kit handy. The kit can be as simple as a bag of kitty litter or sand. If using saw dust make sure it is disposed of carefully as both the wood by-product and oil are combustibles.


Before getting too far into this, make sure you know where all the essential parts are and have a clear idea what steps are being taken. Start off by popping open the hood and removing the plastic engine cover.

Do a quick mental walk through. Include checking the oil level and condition before the change. Refer to the photo below, the dipstick which shows oil level and condition is located in the red square.

Open then close the filler cap to make sure new oil can be added in once the old oil is drained away (and to confirm the oil weight as printed on the cap). The photo below shows the filler cap in the red square.

General Sequence of Tasks

- Drain Old Oil
- Replace Filter
- Re-install Plug and Fill
- Check for Leaks
- Test Start/Run
- Top Off to Correct Level
- Document Mileage at Change & Note Next Scheduled Change

Drain the Old Oil

Warm Up the Oil
If the Jeep has not been run in the last 2 two hours, it should be started and run for several minutes to warm up the oil. Hot oil flows better and will provide a more complete drain. Before starting the engine, confirm the filler cap is closed.

Locate the Drain Plug
The drain plug is located on the rear side of the oil pan. The oil pan is the black metal cover in the center of the photo.

(Photo from front of vehicle looking to rear)

The plug is a 13mm bolt located at the rear of the oil pain and is angles slightly downward.

(photo from rear looking toward front of vehicle)

Position the catch basin under the drain and remove the drain plug. If equipped with a vent cover, make sure the vent on the catch basin is open or the upper basin might overflow. Also keep in mind the oil behind the plug may be hot so remove the plug with caution.

Look at the oil as it drains. It should drain out smoothly as a liquid (no solid matter). Speak with a trusted mechanic if you see excessively dark coloration in the oil, foam or froth, smell any burnt oders or see anything solid in the drained oil.

When the flow starts to slow, move on to the next step, Replace Filter.

Replace Filter

The oil filter on the 3.6L Pentastar (Wrangler 2012/2013) is located on top of the engine just behind the alternator. Unlike prior models which used a can type filter that was spun on, the JK uses a paper media filter that is installed into a chamber attached to the engine.

The filter cap can be removed with a 24mm socket as shown below. A 4″ (or longer) extension is used here to keep the arc of the ratchet clear of any obstructions and hitting any engine parts in the area.

Once completely backed out, the cover can be removed. Photo shows a rag placed around the filter housing to catch any drips when the cap is removed.

Lift the cap straight out as the filter is attached to the cap. The oil filter should contain no oil other than just that which coats the paper. Some third party filters contain an anti-drain back valve so be careful as you remove the filter and not drip oil in the engine bay. Inspect the filter for any metal debris, gummy or gooey deposits or milkiness. Talk to your mechanic if you see any of these.

Inspect the cover for any damage & replace the O-ring.

Replace the old O-ring and snap the new filter into the cover.

Shown here is the cap, O-ring and filter assembled.

Insert the filter and cap assembly. Screw the filter cap back on. Be careful not to over tighten as this is a plastic part.

Re-install Plug and Fill

Inspect, clean and re-install the drain plug.

Inspect the filler cap for any cracks or damage to the O-ring.

With drain plug and filter installed, drape a rag over the fill area. Install a clean funnel to the oil filler opening and refill the engine with a little over 5 quarts (initially). While filling look for any leaks and take dip stick readings to gauge closeness to fill. You may need to wait 2 to 3 minutes after pouring in oil for readings to reflect added oil.

Test – Start Run

Recap the oil filler, remove the rag and any tools or supplies that may still be in the engine bay. Start the engine and watch the dash for any oil warning lights. If none, check for any leaks. If good, let the engine run for 30 seconds or so, all the while watching for leaks and any dash lights.

Top Off To Correct Level

Stop the engine and wait 2 to 3 minutes to allow the engine oil to drain into the crank case. Take a dipstick reading and complete the fill to correct level. Again keep an eye out for any leaks.

Determine and Document Next Scheduled Change

Changing oil too early is a waste of money and performing the service too late is detrimental to the engine so be sure to keep accurate records of servicing. Make note of the date, mileage and product used (i.e. Nov-1-2013, 5000 miles, Pennzoil Platinum 5w20). Consult the Owner’s manual and oil manufacture’s guidelines for recommended change interval. For conventional oils this can be as little as every 3000 miles and 5000 to 7000 miles for synthetics. With most modern vehicles the interval is closer to 7000. JeepORA’s 2013 Rubicon is serviced on a 7000 mile interval using synthetic.

Oil degrades with use but can also degrade just sitting in the engine, so change it out every six months even if the miles were not put on the vehicle.

For new vehicles, some owners have the oil changed at 3000 miles. Again consult your owner’s manual as the factory fill may include additives to aid in engine break in.

If desired, the next service date can be affixed to a corner of the windshield or key chain. A light on the dash will also come on when the engine has determined the oil is in need of change. Please refer to Clearing the Change Oil Indicator Lamp procedure to reset the indicator once the oil has been changed.

All that’s left is clean up and returning the old oil to an auto parts retailer who accepts old oil (preferably the one who sold you the new oil.)

Post Service Monitoring

As with any servicing , keep an eye on the dash periodically for the first drive out after servicing. As the 2013 JK does not have an on dash oil pressure gauge, watch for the oil lamp or engine service light. In the unlikely event you do get a MIL (malfunction indicator light), the code can be retrieved and read at the odometer.

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