SR20DET Oil Change Guide

by Staff | Last updated 5th May, 2016 | Posted in Guides

This is a step by step idiot’s guide to performing an oil and filter change on the Nissan SR20DET engine. I performed this tutorial on my 1994 180sx which had a straight cam SR.

Sr20det in Nissan 180sx Jdm S13

Suitable applications for this guide:

  • Nissan 180sx (jdm s13)
  • Nissan 200sx (s14)

It is recommended to change out the oil in your SR20DET every 5,000 miles or so. Less, if you are regularly tracking your car. Don’t understand oil? Then check out Motorverso’s oil guide.


Please note that following this guide is entirely at your own risk. The 180sx Club is not responsible for any personal injury to you or to a third party and neither is it responsible for any damage done to your vehicle while attempting to follow this guide. The 180sx Club provide these workshop guides for experienced mechanics to use, if you are not confident that you have the correct skills then please take your vehicle to your favourite professional garage to complete the work.

Sr20det oil change

What will you need?

  • Socket set
  • Genuine Nissan Sr20det replacement oil filter
  • 4/5 litres of fully synthetic oil of your choice (I went for Halfords 5w-50 fully synth)
  • Some kind of oil collector (I bought a £5 Halfords can)
  • Oil filter removal tool
  • Trolley jack

Sr20det oil change

Sr20det oil change

Sr20det oil change

Sr20det oil change


Jack your car up from the front

I drove onto bricks as my bumper is too low, and I used the big crossmember behind the engine to use as a jacking point.

Sr20det oil change

Undo the sump plug and put the oil collector below where it spills to catch your used oil

The Sr20det sump plug bolt is 14mm, be carefully not to thread this when you undo it as it will cause you some problems if you do!

Sr20det oil change

Drain your engine of all of its used oil

Consider jacking it down to get every last bit out of the engine

Refit your sump plug

Do it up tight but do not over tight. Be careful not to thread!

Remove the oil filter

The oil filter is located directly underneath the inlet manifold. This is very hard to get access so use the oil filter removal tool that you purchased from Halfords or borrowed from your mate. Use the tool attached to a strong ratchet as pictured below and unscrew the oil filter. All you need to do is break the seal and then you can unscrew it by hand. Make sure a tray or something is underneath the oil filter on the ground so you’don’t stain your friends driveway like I did.

Sr20det oil change

Sr20det oil change

Attach your new oil filter

This is very straight-forward just smear some fresh oil over the connecting face of the filter and then screw it into place on the side of the block. Do it up hand tight but no more.

Sr20det oil change

Unscrew the oil cap on the rocker cover and put in approx 3 litres of the new oil into the engine. Let this settle and take at least 3 readings of the level from the dipstick. Top up until you are just under ‘max’

Be sure to try not to spill any oil onto your rocker cover.

Sr20det oil change

Be sure all caps are sealed, the oil filter is locked in place and the sump plug is tight then start the engine

Hey presto your all done! No more of this for another few thousand miles!