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Smart Fortwo Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and replace the filter in a 2nd generation 2008 to 2014 Smart Fortwo 3B21 1.0L.

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2013 Fortwo Cargo Area
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Pull Up Fabric Cover
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1/4 Turn Counterclockwise

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) Smart Fortwo compact city car in changing the motor oil and replacing the oil filter on the Mitsubishi 3B21 1.0 liter DOHC three cylinder engine.

Owners of any Smart Fortwo models or trim levels such as the coupe hatchback, cabriolet or "cabrio", electric, pure, passion, forfour, prime and proxy may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement oil filters with their part numbers are as follows: Mobil 1 M1-108, Fram XG6607, Bosch 3300, K&N PS-1008, Royal Purple 10-2876, Pennzoil HPZ-37, Purolator PL14612 and ACDelco PF1237.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a 24mm socket with a 1/2" drive ratchet, a used oil catch container, an automotive funnel and a Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench (optional).

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Pull Off Metal Engine Cover
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Top of Engine Exposed
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Partially Remove Dipstick
The engine is located in the rear of the car under the cargo area floor mat.

I recommend warming up the engine for a few minutes or performing the oil change after a short drive. Warming up the engine will help suspend any contaminants within the old oil and also allow it to drain out more quickly.

Engage the emergency parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires to prevent the car from moving.

Move to the back of the vehicle, open the glass hatch and the tailgate door.

Lift up the fabric and rubber cover in the cargo area.

Rotate the metal tab 1/4 turn counterclockwise to release the fastener before lifting the metal access cover off the top of the engine.

Set the metal engine access cover aside in a safe place.

Partially remove the yellow plastic handled dipstick an inch or two and twist off the oil filler cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the oil filler cap and partially lifting out the dipstick will help prevent a vacuum from forming and also allow the old oil to drain out more quickly.

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Look Under Car
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Oil Drain Bolt
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Oil Filter Location
Slide under the rear of the vehicle with the used oil catch container, the 24mm socket and a 1/2" drive ratchet.

The silver metal oil pan is located on the passenger (right) side of the car.

The silver metal oil drain bolt is on the right side of the oil pan with the bolt head facing out towards the passenger (right) side of the car. The canister style oil filter is located just behind the oil pan.

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Used Oil Catch Basin
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Drain Out Old Oil
Move the used oil catch container to just below the oil drain bolt.

Loosen the oil drain bolt in the counterclockwise direction with the 24mm socket and the 1/2" drive ratchet.

Be careful when you remove the oil drain bolt.

The old oil might still be hot enough to burn your fingers depending on how long you warmed up the engine.

Allow the old oil to drain out for at least a few minutes or until the flow slows down to just an occasional drip.

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Replace Oil Drain Bolt
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Slide Basin Under Filter
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Twist Off Old Oil Filter
If the oil drain bolt is equipped with a metal washer (A.K.A. "gasket"), inspect it and replace if it necessary.

Spin in the oil drain bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the oil drain bolt in the clockwise direction with the 24mm socket and a 1/2" drive ratchet to just past hand tight or about 48 lb-ft with a torque wrench.

Carefully slide the used oil catch basin to just below the old oil filter.

Twist off the old oil filter in the counterclockwise direction.

If the old oil filter is on very tight and you have trouble loosening it, use an oil filter wrench such as the Lisle 63600.

Allow the old oil to drain out from the filter receptacle for at least a minute or two.



 

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Dip Finger In New Oil
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Lubricate Rubber O-Ring
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Twist On New Oil Filter
Dip your pinky finger in to some new oil and lubricate the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter.

Lubricating the rubber o-ring will help the filter form a better seal, prevent oil leaks and also make it easier to remove it during the next oil change.

I recommend buying the Mobil 1 M1-108 since it has excellent reviews on Amazon.

Make sure that the rubber o-ring from the old oil filter is not still attached to the engine.

Twist on the new oil filter in the clockwise direction to about 1/3 to 1/2 turn past hand tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the new oil filter to prevent from damaging the rubber gasket which could lead to an oil leak.

Double check that the oil drain bolt and the new oil filter are tight before moving on to the next steps.

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Oil Filler Cap
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Twist Off Counterclockwise
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Insert Automotive Funnel
Insert the automotive funnel in to the oil filler hole.

The Mistubishi 3B21 1.0L DOHC 3 cylinder engine's total capacity specification for an oil change with a filter replacement is 3.5 U.S. quarts (or 3.3 liters).

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Pour In New Oil
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Replace Oil Filler Cap
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Check Dipstick Oil Level
It is far better to have slightly less oil than necessary in an engine than to overfill it.

Running an engine that has been overfilled with oil can lead to sluggish performance and possibly damage to seals, gaskets or other components.

I recommend only pouring in about 3.0 to 3.25 U.S. quarts at first.

Smart USA recommends using synthetic Mobil 1 0W-40 motor oil for most climates.

Please check your owner's manual for other oil viscosity recommendations for very cold or hot climates.

Temporarily replace the oil filler cap and push down the dipstick handle.

Start the engine and let it warm up to near operating temperature for a few minutes, then turn off the ignition and allow the new oil to drain back down to the oil pan for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a paper towel, fully re-insert it back in to the engine and pull it out again to check the oil level.

If necessary, slowly pour in more oil and repeatedly check the level on the dipstick until it reaches just at or below the top of the cross-hatched (criss crossed lines) area on the dipstick which indicates the "Full" or "Maximum" line.

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Replace Oil Dipstick
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Replace Metal Engine Cover
Once the oil is at the correct level, push the dipstick back in to place.

Tighten the oil filler cap in the clockwise direction until it is snug.

Replace the metal engine cover.

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1/4 Turn Clockwise - Lock
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Replace Cargo Mat
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Oil Change Complete
Rotate the metal tab 1/4 turn clockwise to secure the engine cover fastener.

Lower the cargo area mat back down in to place.

Push on the rear edge of the cargo mat to secure it.

Be sure to record the oil change in your car's service records.

It would be a good idea to check your driveway, garage or parking spot during the next few days for fresh drops of oil which might indicate a leak from the drain bolt or the new filter.

For more, check out all of my 2008-2014 Smart Fortwo DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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