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Nissan Sentra 2.0L I4 Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and replace the filter on a 6th generation 2007-2012 Nissan Sentra with the MR20DE engine.

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2012 Sentra 2.0L I4 Engine
Twist Off Oil Filler Cap
Pull Up Oil Dipstick
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the sixth generation "B16" (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012) Nissan Sentra sedan in changing the motor oil and replacing the oil filter on the MR20DE 2.0 liter inline four cylinder engine.

Owners of other Nissan vehicles equipped with any variant of the "MR" family of straight 4 cylinder engines such as the Juke, Versa, Tiida, Cube, Wingroad, Livina Geniss, Pulsar, Serena, Bluebird, X-Trail, Teana and NV200 may also find these DIY oil change instructions to be helpful.

The items needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack, two jack stands, a used oil catch container, a 14mm socket with a ratcheting wrench, a Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench (optional), a new oil filter and 5 U.S. quarts of new SAE 5W-30 oil.

A few compatible replacement oil filters with their part numbers include the following: Purolator L14612, K&N HP-1008, Royal Purple 10-2876, Fram PH6607, Mobil 1 M1-108, Wix 51358, Bosch 3300, Pennzoil HPZ-37 and Mann-Filter ML 1014.

Raise Front of Vehicle
Black Metal Oil Pan
Drain Bolt - Rear of Pan
The first three steps are to warm up the engine for a few minutes, park the vehicle on a level surface and turn off the engine.

Warming up the engine will help suspend any contaminants within the old oil and allow it to drain out more quickly.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Then open the hood, twist off the oil filler cap in the counterclockwise direction and pull up the yellow plastic handled dipstick an inch or two.

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

Raise the front passenger side of the vehicle with the floor jack and securely support it with two jack stands.

Slide under the front passenger side of the engine bay with the used oil catch basin, a 14mm socket and a ratcheting wrench.

Oil Filter - In Front of Pan
Used Oil Catch Container
Loosen 14mm Oil Drain Bolt
The oil drain bolt or "plug" is located at the rear of the black metal oil pan facing towards the rear of the vehicle.

The horizontally mounted oil filter is located just above and in front of the oil pan.

Slide the used oil catch basin to just below the drain bolt.

Loosen the oil drain bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

Spin Out Counterclockwise
Drain Out Old Oil
Tighten Drain Plug Clockwise
Be careful when you remove the oil drain bolt, since the old oil may be hot enough to burn your skin depending on how long you warmed up the engine in the first step.

Spin out the drain bolt and allow the old oil to drain out for at least a few minutes or until the flow slows to an occasional drip.

If the oil drain bolt is equipped with a crush washer, inspect it and replace it if necessary.

Re-insert the drain bolt and tighten it in the clockwise direction with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 22 to 29 ft-lbs of torque if you have a torque wrench.

Move Catch Basin Forward
Spin Off Old Oil Filter
Dip Pinky Finger In New Oil
Slide the catch basin forward to just below the old oil filter.

The oil filter can be accessed from below the engine or from above by reaching down in to the engine bay past the coolant hoses.

Spin off the old oil filter in the counterclockwise direction. If you have trouble loosening the filter, use an oil filter wrench such as the Lisle # 63600.

Allow the old oil to drain out of the filter receptacle for at least a few minutes.


Lubricate New Filter O-Ring
Twist On New Oil Filter
Access Filter From Above
Dip your pinky finger in to some new SAE 5W-30 oil and lubricate the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter.

I'd recommend using the Mobil 1 M1-108 oil filter since it has the best reviews on

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

Make sure that the rubber o-ring from the old filter is not still attached to the engine. Clean the filter receptacle with a clean rag or a small towel.

Spin on the new oil filter in the clockwise direction to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight.

Do not over tighten the oil filter or use the filter wrench to tighten it. Over tightening the filter may damage the rubber seal and lead to oil leaks.

You can install the new filter either from under the car or from above.

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

Lower Vehicle From Stands
Insert Automotive Funnel
Pour In New 5W-30 Oil
Lower the vehicle from the jack stands using the floor jack.

Insert an automotive funnel in to the oil filler hole.

The oil capacity of the MR20DE 2.0L I4 engine for an oil change with filter replacement is 4 1/8 U.S. quarts (or 3.9 liters).

(The oil capacity of the larger QR25DE 2.5L I4 engine for an oil change with filter replacement is 4 1/2 quarts (4.3L).)

Slowly pour in only about 3 1/2 to 4 quarts of the new SAE 5W-30 oil.

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 may damage seals, gaskets or other components.

Twist On Oil Filler Cap
Push In Oil Dipstick
Check Dipstick Oil Level
Temporarily replace the oil filler cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction and push down the dipstick.

Run the engine for a few minutes, shut it off and allow the oil to drain back down to the pan for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Pull the dipstick out, wipe it clean, re-insert it and then pull it out again to check the oil level.

If necessary, slowly pour in more new oil while repeatedly checking the level on the dipstick until it reaches just at or below the upper metal hole which indicates the "Full" or "Max" line.

You might not need to pour in the entire 4 1/8 quarts of new oil depending on how long you allowed the old oil to drain out.

Once the oil level is correct, twist on the oil filler cap and push down the dipstick.

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 space for fresh drops of oil that might indicate a leak from a loose drain plug or oil filter.

For more, check out my other 2007-2012 Nissan Sentra Maintenance & Repair Guides.

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