Our son just acquired a 2000 Saturn 3dr coupe. To get started right, we want to change the oil, but can't locate the oil filter looking down from the top of the engine. Is it underneath and it will be necessary to jack the car up to change the oil....?
Ellen, the oil filter on your son's car should be located at the back side of the engine on the passenger side. You would either need a lift or a jack to get access to the oil filter. As a safety precaution, if doing it at home, always use jack stands and do it on a flat surface to prevent the risk of the car falling.
If you want to change the oil and oil filter yourself, here's how to do it. The oil filter is almost directly above the oil pan drain plug and must be accessed from the top of the vehicle.
•Remove the oil fill cap.
•Put a suitable container under the drain plug and remove the drain plug.
•Loosen the old oil filter carefully and let the used oil drain from it slowly before you remove the filter.
Your Saturn has a drain deflector on the oil pan for directing oil flow and preventing oil from dripping on the axle shaft boot.
Important: Do not allow engine oil contact with the right hand axle shaft boot when changing the engine's oil filter. If oil contact the axle shaft boot, it must be wiped off immediately. To prevent oil spillage when changing the oil filter, Loosen the filter slowly and allow it to completely drain before removing it. The oil filter's drip deflector on the oil pan is most effective when the vehicle is level or the right front corner of the vehicle is slightly higher than the left.
•Inspect and clean the cylinder block surface before you install the new oil filter. Be sure the filter gasket isn't stuck to the cylinder block.
•Wipe the oil pan deflector and pan rail with a clean cloth before you install the new oil filter.
•Apply clean engine oil to the gasket of the new oil filter. Lightly screw on the filter until you feel some resistance.
•Then, use a standard oil filter wrench to tighten the oil filter and extra three-quarter (3/4) turn.
•Put the drain plug back in the oil pan and add the new oil (Saturn P/N 21007582).
It takes 5 minutes for the new oil to drain back into the oil pan. If you don't wait 5 minutes, or don't have the vehicle on level ground, the oil dipstick will not show the actual level.
If your engine's oil level is 4.76 mm (3/16 in) above or below the FULL line after the engine's oil and filter have been changed, your engine's oil level is correct.