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Hi Fellas. I bought my Yukon roughly a month ago. Money's a little tight (when isn't it??), so I plan to do all of my own oil changes, and I'd like to get your thoughts:

I live in San Jose, CA, and I don't tow anything. So, I plan to use 5w-30 regular (ie, non-synthetic) oil. I don't know what oil the previous owner used, but they told me they had their oil changes done by the dealer.... I confirmed there's a Duraguard oil filter under the car, but I plan to use Wix filters (p/n 51042).

For those of you who have the same body and change your own oil, do you have any tips/tricks for a first-timer? I took a quick peek underneath, and couldn't quite tell if I should get a belt/strap filter wrench, or a cap-type wrench. I also ran into a so called "World's Best Universal Oil Filter Wrench" on another website. What about the drain plug--does the initial stream of draining oil tend to hit anything to the point of making a mess? If so, how do you handle this? Also, if you have experience with the "Fumoto valve," please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks in advance!
 

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Oil changes aren’t all that bad, just messy. No matter how you do it. You are gonna get oil on your hands so keep a roll of paper towels or clean rags handy.

Depending on if you have an oil cooler or not makes a difference on the type of filter wrench is best.

I like one that I bought years ago and think is a Lesly, (SP). It is basically a band with a hole for a 3/8” ratchet or extension so that you can even put a u joint on it if need be.

A large container, I have a 5 gallon gas can the I cut the side out of and lay on it’s side under the oil filter while taking that off. Then under the drain plug. It obviously has the capacity for an 18 wheelers oil change, and the size is big enough to catch any oil that goes sideways when removing the drain plug.

Before I used the old gas can trick I used a dish pan I stole from my wife, not recommended. I had to buy her a new one and she was pissed. Buy your own they’re cheap.

Latex or nitrate gloves are nice to keep the oil off your hands but not mandatory. They are cheep and you can get them in packs of 50 or 100 fairly cheap. Or just buy one at a time at the parts store.

Warm the engine up before you start the process. Warm, not hot. Warn oil runs out faster. If you allow it to get to operating temp. you will burn your hands.

I hope I remembered everything, STML. If not I am sure others will chime in.

Good luck and try and stay clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, thanks for the feedback. I think I might have given the wrong impression: I've been doing oil changes on my previous cars (a Ford, a VW, & 2 Nissans) for years. So, I do know about the benefits of warming up the oil, having plenty of rags/newspaper handy, and even the latex gloves. However, I really do like your sideways-gas-can tip. I usually put my oil pan on a stack of blocks to minimize the splashing, but I want to try your method out. The 98 Explorer was a pain, though, because it the draining oil stream would hit other parts of the car. I'm hoping the 03 Yukon isn't like that, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Oh, another question re. the drain plug washer: Do you change yours every time? (I tend to change it every 2 or 3 times because I keep forgetting to stock up on them.)
 

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The nylon washers I always replace with a copper one first time I change the oil and then only if I see a leak after that.

The gas can trick I can not take credit for, that was one a buddy of mine who owns a shop does and I just made one like it.
 
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