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Old 03-31-2015, 07:10 PM   #1
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The Ultimate DIY thread!

So lately I did an an oil change, manual transmission fluid change, differential fluid change and coolant change for my 2012 Camaro ZL1. The only fluid i did not change was the brake/clutch fluid. I figured, why not make a thread that incorporates all these instructions. I believe the coolant change and oil change are the same for any V8 Camaro (please correct me if I'm wrong). As for the Manual transmission fluid change and differential oil change, I think the procedure is the same but the ZL1 might hold more fluid? (Again, please correct me if I'm wrong).

I would love for people to add any information or feedback they like to in this thread and for this thread to be a good reference for anyone looking to change any fluids in their Camaro.

Last edited by Tennis_pro; 03-31-2015 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:19 PM   #2
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OIL CHANGE

1. Drive up on ramps or jack up car (I used ramps)
2. Take off plastic under tray of car. It is held in with 16 10 mm bolts that all come out very easily. There are also two tabs that pup out easily with a flat head screwdriver or small pry bar.
3. Open engine oil cap and take out dipstick.
4. Go under car and locate the 15mm drain plug and loosen it until oil comes out. Make sure to position the oil catch can to make room for the oil squirting out a few inches at first.
5. Let it drain for a good 10 minutes.
6. Once it's completely drained, put the drain bolt back on and torque it down. I torqued it down to 30 foot pounds but I'm sure that's not the exact spec.
7. Use a filter wrench and take off the old oil filter.
8. Hand tighten the new oil filter and then turn it one turn more with the oil filter wrench.
9. Clean up any areas the oil might have spilled on.
10. The system holds 8.2 quarts, but of course there will be a bit of oil left behind. I poured in 7 quarts of oil then kept pouring adding and checking the level on the dipstick until it read full.
11. Let the oil settle and check the level on the dipstick.
12. Replace the engine oil cap and dipstick.
13. Reset the oil monitor.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:25 PM   #3
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MANUAL TRANSMISSION FLUID CHANGE

1. Drive the car up on ramps or jack the car up. Make sure the car is level. I used a second pair of ramps for the rear tires.
2. Locate both the fill and drain plug on the transmission. The fill plug will say "FILL" and the drain plug will say "DRAIN".
3. Unscrew the fill plug using a 3/8 socket.
4. Unscrew the drain bolt using a 3/8 socket.
5. Let the fluid drain out for about 10 minutes.
6. Replace the drain plug. I torqued it down to 30 foot pounds.
7. Fill the system with the correct fluid (I used the factory fluid but I know there are a lot of other people on here that prefer different fluid) using a pump that goes from the bottle to the fill hole.
8. Replace the fill plug.
9. Wipe up mess.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:29 PM   #4
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DIFFERENTIAL FLUID CHANGE

1. Jack up the car so car is level. I used ramps on both front and rear end.
2. Locate the fill and drain bolts. The fill bolt is on top and the drain bolt is on the bottom
3. Unscrew the fill bolt.
4. Unscrew the drain bolt and let the fluid drain out for about 10 minutes.
5. Once the fluid is all drained out, replace the drain bolt. Again, I just used 30 foot pounds.
6. Fill the system the same way as the manual transmission fluid fill. Use a pump connected to the bottle that goes to the fill hole.
7. Once fluid starts coming out, replace the fill plug.
8. Clean up.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:40 PM   #5
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COOLANT CHANGE

1. Use ramps or jacks to get the car level.
2. Make sure he engine is cold and open the radiator cap
3. Open the petcock under the radiator and let the coolant drain out. (The petcock came loose just using my hand. I also tightened it using my hand as it didn't seem I could twist it anymore than and didn't want to risk damaging it with pliers)
4. Let the fluid drain out for about 10 minutes.
5. Screw the petcock back tight.
6. Using distilled water, fill the entire system.
7. With the radiator cap off, turn the car on and turn the heat to the highest setting as well as the fan to the highest setting. Let the car run for a while until the cooling fans come on. Add more water during this process as needed as the air bleeds out.
8.. Let the car cool down.
9. Drain all the water out of the system again
10. Close the petcock again
11. Mix your antifreeze. This should be a 50/50 mix or something close ot it depending on your climate.
12. Fill the system.
13. Repeat the bleed process.
14. Replace the radiator cap and fill reservoir to full.
15. Turn off the car and let it sit for a few hours.
16. Check the level on a cold system and add if need to.
17. Dispose of all old fluid properly.

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Old 04-01-2015, 08:18 AM   #6
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Any and all feedback is welcomed!
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:35 AM   #7
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:49 AM   #8
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Great thread. I do have a question about changing the oil though. I plan to do mine myself when the time comes but I'm concerned about lifting up the front of the car too high. My car is lowered, and I imagine I'll have to jack up the front end a good bit for me to be able to squeeze under the car to drain the oil and swap the filter. Does anyone recommend lifting the rear a few inches as well to compensate for lifting the front so high? Or do you think it doesn't matter.

I'm just concerned that the high angle of the front end will prevent all of the oil from draining.
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:37 PM   #9
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Nice thread OP! A small clarification... the V8 oil drain plug torque is 18 lb/ft. 30 lb/ft is a bit much.


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Old 04-01-2015, 04:23 PM   #10
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This is a good diy to follow. There one 1 thing that you should not do. You not use the oil filter wrench to tighten the oil filter. you only tighten 1/4 to 1/2 by hand. I changed my oil for over 40 year at about 5 times a year. I never had an oil leak from the filter. You risk freezing the filter on and not be able to get off. I know a friend of mine frozen his and it me about 2 hours to get off
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Old 04-01-2015, 04:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco Time View Post
Great thread. I do have a question about changing the oil though. I plan to do mine myself when the time comes but I'm concerned about lifting up the front of the car too high. My car is lowered, and I imagine I'll have to jack up the front end a good bit for me to be able to squeeze under the car to drain the oil and swap the filter. Does anyone recommend lifting the rear a few inches as well to compensate for lifting the front so high? Or do you think it doesn't matter.

I'm just concerned that the high angle of the front end will prevent all of the oil from draining.
The op DIY is very good except for 1 thing you do not use the oil filter wrench to tighten on the oil filter. You only tighten by hand a 1/4 to 1/2 turn by hand. I changed my oil 5 times or more a year for over 40 years and did not have a oil leak. I have seen what happens when some used a oil filter wrench on the oil filter.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro69 View Post
Nice thread OP! A small clarification... the V8 oil drain plug torque is 18 lb/ft. 30 lb/ft is a bit much.


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Thanks. Yeah I didn't look up torque specs but I figured it was somewhere near the 20-30 mark and 30 wouldn't be too much. I've seen some super torqued drain bolts and they just are more of a pain to get off. Can't damage anything though.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Caddyroger View Post
This is a good diy to follow. There one 1 thing that you should not do. You not use the oil filter wrench to tighten the oil filter. you only tighten 1/4 to 1/2 by hand. I changed my oil for over 40 year at about 5 times a year. I never had an oil leak from the filter. You risk freezing the filter on and not be able to get off. I know a friend of mine frozen his and it me about 2 hours to get off
It's hard to get the filter on the ZL1, the angle you turn it from is very awkward. I know I probably over tightened it a bit but I don't think I did so much that it won't come off with easy my next oil change. Might just take a bit more elbow grease.
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Old 04-01-2015, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco Time View Post
Great thread. I do have a question about changing the oil though. I plan to do mine myself when the time comes but I'm concerned about lifting up the front of the car too high. My car is lowered, and I imagine I'll have to jack up the front end a good bit for me to be able to squeeze under the car to drain the oil and swap the filter. Does anyone recommend lifting the rear a few inches as well to compensate for lifting the front so high? Or do you think it doesn't matter.

I'm just concerned that the high angle of the front end will prevent all of the oil from draining.
I have always drained mine just by jacking the front up. I think a little oil getting left behind isn't going to hurt anything, but I could be wrong to some extent. I know when I changed my oil, I only had the front end up and I was able to get 8 quarts in once it was all drained. He system takes 8.2 quarts and it didn't even read 100% full on the dipstick. So it appears I got literally all the oil out and my car was not perfectly level.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:21 PM   #15
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On the coolant change was anyone used any waterless coolant?? I've seen several an saw one on Spike TV that raises the boiling an doesn't steam.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:42 PM   #16
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Thanks for the nice write up, I'll be changing my coolant this week with the exact Delco stuff. Hope my V6 has the same drain petcock on the radiator.
Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2015, 09:18 PM   #17
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Awesome stuff.

I'll save this thread for future maintenance.

Where did you buy the pump at?

Any DIY on changing the intercooler/supercharger coolant?
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:45 AM   #18
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Awesome stuff.

I'll save this thread for future maintenance.

Where did you buy the pump at?

Any DIY on changing the intercooler/supercharger coolant?
I don't remember where I got the pump from, I think pep boys but you can get them anywhere. It was super cheap and came with all these attachments. I threw all those away and just use the pump with the little hose attached to it now.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:53 AM   #19
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THERE IS ONE THING I DIDN'T see on this post, when you replace the oil filter, unless you load it up before installing it, it will remain empty until you run the engine, which is why if you check the oil level, it will read full with about 7 quarts. Run the engine for 30 sec. then add more oil and check it then.
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Old 04-11-2015, 05:27 PM   #20
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THERE IS ONE THING I DIDN'T see on this post, when you replace the oil filter, unless you load it up before installing it, it will remain empty until you run the engine, which is why if you check the oil level, it will read full with about 7 quarts. Run the engine for 30 sec. then add more oil and check it then.
I filled the oil filter up half way with oil and lubed up the gasket with the new oil. Guess I forgot to write that part. Good looking out! Yes, you always want to lube the gasket and get some oil in the filter so it doesn't go in there dry people!
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Old 04-12-2015, 06:07 PM   #21
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Did the coolant change today and only got about 6 1/2 qts out of it.
Replaced it with a 60/40 solution to cover any weak coolant left in the block.

I wonder if the V6 has a block drain plug like my SSE Bonneville has.
Have to look next time I have it on ramps.
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:53 AM   #22
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Did the coolant change today and only got about 6 1/2 qts out of it.
Replaced it with a 60/40 solution to cover any weak coolant left in the block.

I wonder if the V6 has a block drain plug like my SSE Bonneville has.
Have to look next time I have it on ramps.
8 quarts is around how many courts I got out of it as well. That's why I filled with distilled water, ran the car for a while, then drained again, because I knew there was still a good but left over. The first time it drained the coolant looked pretty orange, and the second time it looked almost like water, so I know the first fill with water did it's job.
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:45 AM   #23
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nice write-up.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:32 AM   #24
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Quote:
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8 quarts is around how many courts I got out of it as well. That's why I filled with distilled water, ran the car for a while, then drained again, because I knew there was still a good but left over. The first time it drained the coolant looked pretty orange, and the second time it looked almost like water, so I know the first fill with water did it's job.
So you would have to re-fill with probably about a 75% solution to compensate, because you left 3 qts of maybe watered down 10% in the block.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:55 AM   #25
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nice write up I used this as reference thank you
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