Changing your own oil is an absolute right of passage for most automotive enthusiasts. Yes, we get a little guarded over our precious rides, and that sense of addiction, I mean, ownership includes providing the life-giving nectar of automotive life. Oil is the lifeblood of any vehicle by going about its thankless job, silently providing crucial lubrication to your vehicle’s engine, and keeping things running smoothly. When that vehicle happens to be a high-performance supercar; the stakes are much higher and every piece of the maintenance puzzle needs to be completed with perfection. No pressure, right?
So, if you think you’re ready to change the oil on your supercar and are looking to gain some valuable advice and insight into avoiding common mistakes – we’ve got you covered!
Here are the 4 most common mistakes when changing the oil in a supercar:
- Not Doing Your Research
- Not Having The Right Tools and Materials Ready
- Not Using The Correct Oil and Filter
- Not Taking Your Time
Ready to get your hands dirty? Let’s talk oil!
Not Doing Your Research
Yes, we do have an incredible team of techs that know our fleet of supercars inside and out and take care of these beasts week after week. No, we don’t know everything! In fact, trying to know everything about a vehicle as complex as a supercar is an exercise in ultimate failure. In fact, our techs utilize service manuals that are direct from the manufacturer, as well as a litany of tools that help us keep our supercars in peak condition. Information changes often and we’re always on this cutting edge.
When embarking on your first foray into this new territory, make sure that you consult a variety of resources prior to embarking on your first oil change project. Start by researching your specific make and model on the internet and putting special focus on how-to videos done by other owners like this one on the Ferrari F430. Also, consult the internet’s wide array of owner forums like Ferrari Chat as well as sites like Reddit so you can gain a complete picture.
If you prefer a more traditional source of information, consider rolling with the manufacturer’s service manuals/guides that can usually be downloaded or purchased directly. The caveat here is that many of the websites that host this information require you to work in the automotive repair field or own a repair shop. If you know someone who owns a shop, this could be a resource for you, if not, you’ll have to glean the information from other sources.
Not Having The Right Tools and Materials Ready
Let’s be straight here, embarking on changing your oil on a supercar is not for the faint of heart. Once you are knee-deep in the service procedures, any lack of preparation will be readily apparent and could leave you in a potentially sticky position. No one wants to be the guy who has to abandon his post mid-project because he forgot a crucial part to completing the procedure.
Once you’ve consulted the manuals, service guides, and the internet at large, it’s time to gather your materials. Our advice is to get all parts as needed from your local dealer and not skimp on anything that isn’t designed to work with your particular vehicle.
Although each process will vary for each supercar, here’s a generic list that can help you get your head on straight:
- Manufacturer recommended oil type
- Manufacturer recommended oil filter
- Vehicle specific drain plugs
- Vehicle specific gaskets or o-rings
- Vehicle specific washers or spacers
- Oil filter wrench
- Oil catch basin
- Properly sized funnel
- Plenty of rags
- Oil cleaner or degreaser
- Plan for oil disposal
- Ramps or lift
Check, check, and double-check to make sure you have at least these basics prior to taking on the job! Your car’s process will likely be unique, so pay attention.
Not Using The Correct Oil and Filter
We can’t stress this one enough. The oil for your supercar is its lifeblood and skimping on oil quality or making a mistake on the type of oil could lead to catastrophe for your ride. In general, although there are two types of oil (synthetic and conventional) your supercar will almost assuredly be utilizing a high-end, synthetic oil that packs in a cam protection additive and high film strength. The reason is simple. These motors take an absolute lashing and the high RPM, high heat of a supercar engine needs the ultimate in lubrication.
There are a wide variety of oil weights and viscosities that are used across the supercar spectrum and you’ll want to consult with your owner’s manual or with your dealer to determine the exact type of oil used in your supercar. Oil that is too heavy or too light can lead to engine damage, reductions in horsepower, and reductions in overall efficiency.
This same mantra applies to your oil filter as well. Supercars typically utilize a high-flow oil filter that is a match for the oil consumption and oil mobilization needs of these high horsepower monsters. Using the wrong oil filter can lead to your engine being starved of oil and lead to engine issues. Don’t skimp here! Buy the RIGHT part!
Not Taking Your Time
Although you may be driving a 4 – wheel rocket, changing the oil on your vehicle is not something that you want to be a fast process. You have to remember that, depending on the vehicle, this will not be a fast process and could take several hours for an experienced technician to complete – let alone a DIY enthusiast.
For example, Godzilla, also known as the Nissan GTR, is comparatively easy to complete an oil change on compared to vehicles like the Huracan. The Nissan GTR has 1 Drain Plug and takes about 45 Min to change and complete in full while the Lamborghini Huracan has 8 Drain Plugs and takes between 2-4 hours depending on who is doing the work. In addition, you have to be ultra-careful due to the location of the plugs, since it can be an extremely messy endeavor. Yikes!
Rushing can also lead to cross-threading your drain plugs, which will cause the plugs to not seal properly and leak. Trust us, this is a nightmare scenario and can lead to a lengthy repair that involves re-tapping the drain plug hole and replacing the plug itself.
Time may be of the essence on the track but not while working on your car!
There’s No Shame In Getting Help
At the end of the day, we can’t tell you what to do. What we can tell you is that changing the oil on a supercar is not like changing the oil on a Honda Civic. It is a highly involved process that can take several hours for even the most accomplished of techs to complete. A supercar is simply not designed to be easily worked on. It is designed to achieve stunning levels of performance and that performance often comes at the expense of common sense engineering like oil changes.
If this all seems a bit overwhelming to you, we don’t blame you. You may not possess the skill set of our accomplished technicians and that’s totally okay. There’s no shame in taking your supercar down to your local dealer or better yet, finding a specialist in your area who makes their living working on exotics. You may even be able to find a specialist who works on your particular brand only. These folks are often former factory technicians and have a deep working knowledge of these beasts of the track.
At Xtreme Xperience, we’re all about speed and we meticulously maintain an incredible fleet of supercars to make sure that you have the most fun out on our selection of challenging tracks all across the country. So, when you’re ready to put a supercar through what it was designed to do, come take a ride with us!