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Chevrolet Malibu Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and filter for the Ecotec LFV 1.5L I4 engine in a 9th generation 2016 to 2023 Chevy Malibu.

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2020 Malibu Turbo 1.5L
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Oil Fill Cap SAE 0W-20
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Twist Off Oil Fill Cap
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu with the Ecotec LFV 1.5L turbocharged I4 engine in changing the motor oil and replacing the oil filter.

(The procedure should be very similar for the 2.0L and 1.8L engines.)

The 9th generation Malibu was supposed to undergo a "facelift" in 2022 or 2023 and the refreshed vehicle may have continued being produced into the 2024 and 2025 model years but it will now apparently be discontinued after the 2023 model year.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Holden such as the Impala, Corvette, Bolt, Sonic, Spark, Express, Trax, TrailBlazer, Equinox, Traverse, Blazer, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Cruze, Volt, Camaro, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, LaCrosse, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT4, CT5, CT6 and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack with two jack stands or automotive ramps, a 15mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, a used oil catch container, a Lisle 63600 oil filter wrench (optional) and an automotive funnel.

A few compatible replacement oil filters for the Ecotec LFV 1.5L turbocharged I4 engine with their part numbers include the following: ACDelco PF64, Purolator PL12222, EcoGard X2222 and Fram PH12060.

The total oil capacity specification for the Ecotec LFV 1.5L turbo I4 engine for an oil change with an oil filter replacement is 4.2 U.S. quarts (or 4.0 liters) of new SAE 0W-20 oil.

Please check your owner's manual to verify the correct oil capacity and viscosity for your vehicle.

The first steps are to warm up the engine for a few minutes to near operating temperature, drive the vehicle on to a level surface, turn off the ignition and place the transmission into "Park".

Warming up the engine will help suspend any contaminants, debris or fine metal shavings in 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 rear tires to prevent the vehicle from moving.

Then open the hood, twist off the oil filler cap in the counterclockwise direction and partially remove the oil dipstick an inch or two.

Set the oil fill cap aside in a safe place.



 

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Partially Pull Out Dipstick
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Raise Front of Car
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Black Oil Pan, Blue Filter
Removing the oil filler cap and partially removing the dipstick will help prevent a vacuum from forming and allow the old oil to drain out quickly.

Carefully raise the front of the car and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

To save time, I just raised the front passenger side and placed the two jack stands under the frame rail.

Please do not solely rely on the floor jack to support the vehicle.

Slide under the engine bay with the 15mm socket, a 3/8" drive socket and the used oil catch container.

Locate the black metal oil pan, the silver metal oil drain bolt and the oil filter. The OEM oil filter on this 2020 Malibu LT was the bright blue ACDelco PF64.

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Oil Drain Bolt Location
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Oil Filter Location
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Used Oil Catch Basin
Slide the used oil catch container to just below the oil drain plug.
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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Drain Out Old Oil
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Spin In Oil Drain Plug
Loosen the oil drain bolt by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with the 15mm socket and a 3/8" 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.

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

If the oil drain bolt is equipped with a metal washer or "gasket", inspect it and replace the washer if necessary.

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

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Tighten Oil Drain Bolt
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Slide Basin Forward
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Lisle Oil Filter Wrench
Tighten the oil drain bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction with the 15mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until it is snug.

If you have a torque wrench, the service manual specification for tightening the oil drain bolt is 18 lb-ft (or 25 N.m).

I highly recommend using an oil filter wrench such as the Lisle 63600. It makes removing even the most stubborn and over tightened oil filters very easy.

Attach the oil filter wrench to a short extension bar and the 3/8" drive ratchet.

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Loosen Counterclockwise
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Dip Finger In New Oil
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Lubricate Rubber O-Ring
Slide the used oil catch container to just below the old oil filter.

Loosen the old oil filter by turning it in the counterclockwise direction.

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

Dip your finger into some new oil and lubricate the rubber o-ring gasket on the new oil filter.

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

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Spin On New Oil Filter
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Lower Car From Stands
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Insert Automotive Funnel
Make sure the rubber o-ring from the old oil filter is not still attached to the engine.

Spin on the new oil filter in the clockwise direction.

Tighten the new oil filter to about 1/3 to 1/2 turn past finger tight.

Try to avoid over tightening the new filter to prevent from damaging the rubber o-ring gasket which could result in an oil leak.

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

Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Insert the automotive funnel into the oil fill hole.

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Pour In New Oil
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Replace Oil Fill Cap
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Push Down Dipstick
Since it is much better to have slightly less oil than necessary in an engine than to overfill it, I recommend at first only pouring in about 3.75 to 4 U.S. quarts of the engine's 4.2 U.S. quarts total capacity.

Then temporarily replace the oil fill cap and push down the dipstick.

Start the engine and let it warm up for a few minutes, turn off the ignition and allow the new oil to drain back down to the pan for at least 15 minutes.

(The owner's manual recommends that you wait at least two hours after turning off the engine to check the oil level or at least 15 minutes if you can't wait two hours.)

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Check Dipstick Oil Level
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Replace Dipstick
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Oil Change Complete
Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a paper towel, fully re-insert it and then pull it out again to check the oil level.

If necessary, slowly pour in more oil up to the 4.2 U.S. quarts total capacity and repeatedly check the level on the dipstick until it reaches the hole at the top of the cross-hatched area which indicates the "Full" or "Max" (maximum) level.

You may not need to pour in the entire 4.2 U.S. quarts of oil to reach the "Max" line on the dipstick.

Push the dipstick back down into place.

Avoid over filling the engine. Running an engine that has been overfilled with oil may cause sluggish performance, damage to seals or other components and possibly lead to oil leaks.

Double check that the oil fill cap is tight and the dipstick is securely in place.

To reset the "Engine Oil Life System", follow these steps: 1. With the engine off, toggle the "DIC" (driver information center) menu until you see the "Remaining Oil Life" screen. 2. Press and hold the "check" symbol button for a few seconds to reset the oil life. 3. You should see "Remaining Oil Life 100%" on the screen.

An alternative method to reset the oil life on some Chevrolet models is as follows: 1. Place the ignition in "Service Mode" by pressing and holding the "START" button for more than five seconds. 2. Change the "DIC" screen to the oil life display. 3. Fully press down and then release the accelerator (gas) pedal three times within five seconds. 4. The display should reset to 100% oil life.

Don't forget to write down the oil change in your vehicle's service records.

The standard oil change service interval specification in the owner's manual is 7,500 miles or about 12,000 km.

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

Please check out all of the 2016-2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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