This pictorial guide includes a detailed step-by-step explanation and photos of how to change the oil and oil filter in a Honda Accord! Changing the oil in your vehicle saves you not only time and money, but also gives you the assurance that the job is done correctly.

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Why Change your Oil?

Changing the oil in your vehicle is one of the quickest and most satisfying maintenance tasks you can do yourself, and is the gateway to more complicated maintenance projects later on. This task involves very few steps, and takes less than 1 hr to complete.

Honda recommends 5w-20 motor oil for Accords made before 2011. For Accords made in 2011 or later, they recommend 0w-20 motor oil. I highly recommend using full-synthetic motor oil in order to prolong the life of your vehicle.

The vehicle shown here is a 2004 Honda Accord.  Here is a list of supplies and tools you will need.

List of Supplies and Tools Required:

Procedure to Change the Oil and Filter in a Honda Accord

  1. Warm up the oil in the vehicle.
  2. Remove the drain plug to drain the oil.
  3. Replace the drain plug.
  4. Remove the old oil filter.
  5. Lube the new oil filter.
  6. Install the new oil filter.
  7. Add Fresh oil.
  8. Put the oil filler cap back on.

Now we’ll address each of these steps in more detail with step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Warm Up the Oil

Perform an oil change after the vehicle has already been running for a while, or take it for a quick 10-15 minute drive to get the oil warmed up.

Step 2: Remove the Drain Plug and Drain the Oil

Crawl under the vehicle and locate the oil pan and drain plug. The drain plug is located very near the center of this photo.

Where is the oil filter located on a Honda Accord?

The oil filter on a Honda Accord is located just aft and above the oil pan as shown in the following picture (orange).

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Use a 17mm wrench or socket (nice socket set) to remove the drain plug.

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Have a drain pan ready as you loosen the drain plug. If you need a drain pan, here’s an inexpensive one from Amazon. After braking the bolt loose, usually you can unscrew it the rest of the way using your fingers.

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Take care not to drop the bolt into the drain pan as you get to the end of the threads. Position the drain pan under the drain hole as you remove the bolt. Then let the oil drain for about 10-15 minutes.

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Step 3: Replace the Drain Plug

Replace the drain plug bolt and snug it up; torque it to about 15-20 ft-lbs (nice torque wrench).

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After the draining oil has slowed to a drip, replace the drain plug and snug it up. Don’t over do it. You want it tight, but not so tight that you are damaging the threads.

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Step 4: Remove the Old Oil Filter

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Position the oil pan under the old oil filter while you are unscrewing it. It will drip oil when it is removed, and you want to catch as much of the oil as possible.

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If the filter is stuck, consider getting your hands on an oil filter removal tool.

Step 5: Lube the New Filter

Put some oil on the seal of the new oil filter.

Here’s the new oil filter. It should have the “7317” code. I have used the basic FRAM filter in the past (and in this guide), but I now recommend the XG7317 Ultra Synthetic filter due to its better filtering capabilities – dual layer synthetic filtering media as compared to their standard PH7317 filter.

The XG filters down to 20 microns with 99% efficiency. And it is spec’d to run as long as 15,000 miles (though I would recommend changing oil before that). This article shows several XG7317 filters cut open and is the reason I now recommend this filter.

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Take out the new oil filter. You want to put a little oil on the new oil filter seal, so that it will create a nice seal. Use your finger or a rag to wipe a sheen of oil around the circumference of the new oil filter seal.

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Step 6: Install the new oil filter

Now that the old oil filter has been removed, this is what the oil filter attachment point looks like.

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Put the new oil filter on and start to tighten it.

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When you feel resistance, go another 1/2-3/4 turn or so. You don’t want oil to leak out, but you also don’t want it so tight that you can’t remove it by hand next time.

Step 7: Add fresh oil

You’re now ready to move to the engine bay. Pop the hood and remove the oil filler cap. Get your 5 qt bottle of motor oil. You can’t go wrong with the highly-rated Mobil 1 Full-Synthetic motor oils (0W-20 or 5W-20). Check out this post on the recommended oil to use in a Honda Accord.

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Check the specifications in your owners manual for the amount of oil to add. For a 4 cylinder 2004 Honda Accord, the amount is 4.4 qts.

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Put the funnel into the oil fill hole, and pour in 4.4 qts of oil.

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You know when you are at 4.4 qts when there remains about 0.6 qts in a 5 qt jug.

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Step 8: Put the oil filler cap back on

Replace the oil filler cap.

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One last thing that I should mention is that Honda Accords will show a “Maintenance Required” Light when it thinks the oil should be changed. You will need to reset this light if it comes on after you have changed oil. Check out this article for the procedure to reset the light is pretty straightforward.

You’re now finished. Good work. Take the old oil to an auto parts store, Walmart, or some other place that takes old oil for recycling.

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List of Supplies and Tools Used in this Guide:

To watch the video of this oil change, check out this link: