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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you have already acquired a McLaren MP4-12C Service Manual, then you have already armed yourself to successfully perform an oil change. The tips in here are based on my own experience, but my opinion is that my way is better than what McLaren suggests. The purpose of this thread is to supplement everyone with some information and tips to make the process go smoother.

Consumables:

Oil – McLaren specifies the use of Mobil 1 New Life 0w40 oil. This is the European title for the physically/chemically identical product that is available everywhere in the United States: Mobil 1 European Car Formula 0w40. The least expensive place that I have found is Wal Mart. You can buy it in 5 quart jugs for less than $5.00 per quart. You will need to buy 2 of these – and you’ll have a couple quarts left for top offs in the future.

Filter – The cartridge is a Mahle OX254 oil filter, which is used by other cars such as a Panamera/Cayenne. You can get the OEM part cheaper than the McLaren part, but my suggestion is to buy it from McLaren anyways. The Mahle kit doesn’t provide all the necessary o rings, so it’s just easier to buy the McLaren kit. My local dealer sells this part cheaper on eBay than at the parts counter – this is even after the shipping charge. It may make sense to order this part online from an out-of-state dealer to save on sales tax also.

Crush Rings – You will need to replace the crush rings on both your engine sump and the oil tank. I didn’t measure them so unfortunately I can’t provide you with the exact dimensions.

Oil Level:

It is very important to not exceed the maximum oil level. It is better to be a quart down from the maximum oil level than to exceed it. You may need to check the oil level multiple times during the filling process, so exercise patience.

Note: it is impossible to siphon oil out of the oil filler tube, in the event of an overfill.

The diagram below is sourced from McLaren and shows the oil level gauge increments:



Tips and Tricks:

You should ALWAYS change the oil when it is hot. Cold oil is too viscous and you will not get as much of it out of the engine. Servicing 101.

I find that loosening the coolant reservoir and moving it over to the side is completely unnecessary to remove the oil filter. What I do instead is pull the engine intake manifold cover and coolant expansion tank cover (these will be the pieces that some of you have in carbon fiber). All you have to do is pull up on them vertically and they will pull off – these are friction fit. You may also need to remove the coolant cap in order to pull off the expansion tank cover, as it may be a tight fit. Since you are performing your oil change on a hot engine, open the coolant cap gradually, as there will be pressure built up in the coolant system. Let it slowly hiss until the hissing has stopped, and then it will be safe to remove the cap completely.

Unscrew the oil filter housing slowly. If you see oil leaking around the sides, you are going too fast. Leave the housing in place after it has been unscrewed completely. It will be a cleaner operation to remove the housing cap and filter last, before adding new oil.

Make sure you drain oil from all FOUR locations. Do not get lazy and ignore the turbo oil return lines as there is plenty of oil there. My preferred order of operations is to drain the oil tank first, engine sump second, and then the two oil return lines.

My preference is to drain the oil for half an hour. Yes, it really will drain for that long. I leave the oil tank and sump plugs lose and drain them again after the oil return hoses are drained. In the meantime, you can change the air filters, while the car is in the air. The air filters are a dealer only item – order them online with the oil filter. Again, this is an item that the dealer charges more at the parts counter.

Can’t stress this enough – it’s easy to overfill these cars. Start with 5 liters of oil and work your way up from them gradually. If you have added more than 6.8 liters of oil, you have SCREWED UP!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the write up...can u post pictures next time especially the removal of the coolant tank and where the 4 drains are located?
The intent of this thread is not so much to be a "how-to," but suggestions to improve the process. I do recommend you obtain the service information prior to servicing your car, but here are the 4 drain locations you requested:

 

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Great write up. If I make the jump, your service manual will be the first thing I pick up.
 

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Found some other specs to include:

Bolts to be removed for engine floor pan are the following:

M6 x 20 10 Nm
M6 x 12 6 Nm
M6 x 16 10 Nm

Remove / set aside coolant reservoir to gain access to oil filter housing

Remove oil filter cap 25 Nm

Remove Oil Plug T50 24 Nm

Remove 2nd drain M14 18Nm

Remove oil lines - M6 x 16 10Nm & remove paper gasket
Clean old gasket

Drain Oil - Remove Filter (min 15 mins - but the longer the better)

Replace o rings on filter housing (2) 1 large 1 small

Torque to 25 Nm

Remove oil filler cap

Fill Oil 0w-40 - replace w the exact quantity that was removed (max capacity is 6.8 under no circumstances should this be exceeded)
 
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All the information you could ever want on an oil change.


 
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If you have already acquired a McLaren MP4-12C Service Manual, then you have already armed yourself to successfully perform an oil change. The tips in here are based on my own experience, but my opinion is that my way is better than what McLaren suggests. The purpose of this thread is to supplement everyone with some information and tips to make the process go smoother.

Consumables:

Oil – McLaren specifies the use of Mobil 1 New Life 0w40 oil. This is the European title for the physically/chemically identical product that is available everywhere in the United States: Mobil 1 European Car Formula 0w40. The least expensive place that I have found is Wal Mart. You can buy it in 5 quart jugs for less than $5.00 per quart. You will need to buy 2 of these – and you’ll have a couple quarts left for top offs in the future.

Filter – The cartridge is a Mahle OX254 oil filter, which is used by other cars such as a Panamera/Cayenne. You can get the OEM part cheaper than the McLaren part, but my suggestion is to buy it from McLaren anyways. The Mahle kit doesn’t provide all the necessary o rings, so it’s just easier to buy the McLaren kit. My local dealer sells this part cheaper on eBay than at the parts counter – this is even after the shipping charge. It may make sense to order this part online from an out-of-state dealer to save on sales tax also.

Crush Rings – You will need to replace the crush rings on both your engine sump and the oil tank. I didn’t measure them so unfortunately I can’t provide you with the exact dimensions.

Oil Level:

It is very important to not exceed the maximum oil level. It is better to be a quart down from the maximum oil level than to exceed it. You may need to check the oil level multiple times during the filling process, so exercise patience.

Note: it is impossible to siphon oil out of the oil filler tube, in the event of an overfill.

The diagram below is sourced from McLaren and shows the oil level gauge increments:



Tips and Tricks:

You should ALWAYS change the oil when it is hot. Cold oil is too viscous and you will not get as much of it out of the engine. Servicing 101.

I find that loosening the coolant reservoir and moving it over to the side is completely unnecessary to remove the oil filter. What I do instead is pull the engine intake manifold cover and coolant expansion tank cover (these will be the pieces that some of you have in carbon fiber). All you have to do is pull up on them vertically and they will pull off – these are friction fit. You may also need to remove the coolant cap in order to pull off the expansion tank cover, as it may be a tight fit. Since you are performing your oil change on a hot engine, open the coolant cap gradually, as there will be pressure built up in the coolant system. Let it slowly hiss until the hissing has stopped, and then it will be safe to remove the cap completely.

Unscrew the oil filter housing slowly. If you see oil leaking around the sides, you are going too fast. Leave the housing in place after it has been unscrewed completely. It will be a cleaner operation to remove the housing cap and filter last, before adding new oil.

Make sure you drain oil from all FOUR locations. Do not get lazy and ignore the turbo oil return lines as there is plenty of oil there. My preferred order of operations is to drain the oil tank first, engine sump second, and then the two oil return lines.

My preference is to drain the oil for half an hour. Yes, it really will drain for that long. I leave the oil tank and sump plugs lose and drain them again after the oil return hoses are drained. In the meantime, you can change the air filters, while the car is in the air. The air filters are a dealer only item – order them online with the oil filter. Again, this is an item that the dealer charges more at the parts counter.

Can’t stress this enough – it’s easy to overfill these cars. Start with 5 liters of oil and work your way up from them gradually. If you have added more than 6.8 liters of oil, you have SCREWED UP!
VERY late to the party BUT would like to know IF you have any print manuals available. Thank you
[email protected]
 
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Are we supposed to replace the drain plug and engine bed plate plug? Or just the washer? (also washer just means the copper seal right?)
Just the washer.
 

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So we just did an oil change on a 2013 spider and noticed a tiny bit of weeping from one oil drain line . My buddy found the service manual and it mentions paper gaskets but I have seen not these mentioned in any of the oil change threads or video tutorials. Attached screen shots.. ‘replace paper gaskets’ are theses common parts, I’ve seen them on other turbo cars but not mentioned on mclaren oil change guides



Font Automotive tire Parallel Motor vehicle Screenshot
 
2012 MP4-12C
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I've never seen a paper gasket on any McLaren.
 
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If you have already acquired a McLaren MP4-12C Service Manual, then you have already armed yourself to successfully perform an oil change. The tips in here are based on my own experience, but my opinion is that my way is better than what McLaren suggests. The purpose of this thread is to supplement everyone with some information and tips to make the process go smoother.

Consumables:

Oil – McLaren specifies the use of Mobil 1 New Life 0w40 oil. This is the European title for the physically/chemically identical product that is available everywhere in the United States: Mobil 1 European Car Formula 0w40. The least expensive place that I have found is Wal Mart. You can buy it in 5 quart jugs for less than $5.00 per quart. You will need to buy 2 of these – and you’ll have a couple quarts left for top offs in the future.

Filter – The cartridge is a Mahle OX254 oil filter, which is used by other cars such as a Panamera/Cayenne. You can get the OEM part cheaper than the McLaren part, but my suggestion is to buy it from McLaren anyways. The Mahle kit doesn’t provide all the necessary o rings, so it’s just easier to buy the McLaren kit. My local dealer sells this part cheaper on eBay than at the parts counter – this is even after the shipping charge. It may make sense to order this part online from an out-of-state dealer to save on sales tax also.

Crush Rings – You will need to replace the crush rings on both your engine sump and the oil tank. I didn’t measure them so unfortunately I can’t provide you with the exact dimensions.

Oil Level:

It is very important to not exceed the maximum oil level. It is better to be a quart down from the maximum oil level than to exceed it. You may need to check the oil level multiple times during the filling process, so exercise patience.

Note: it is impossible to siphon oil out of the oil filler tube, in the event of an overfill.

The diagram below is sourced from McLaren and shows the oil level gauge increments:



Tips and Tricks:

You should ALWAYS change the oil when it is hot. Cold oil is too viscous and you will not get as much of it out of the engine. Servicing 101.

I find that loosening the coolant reservoir and moving it over to the side is completely unnecessary to remove the oil filter. What I do instead is pull the engine intake manifold cover and coolant expansion tank cover (these will be the pieces that some of you have in carbon fiber). All you have to do is pull up on them vertically and they will pull off – these are friction fit. You may also need to remove the coolant cap in order to pull off the expansion tank cover, as it may be a tight fit. Since you are performing your oil change on a hot engine, open the coolant cap gradually, as there will be pressure built up in the coolant system. Let it slowly hiss until the hissing has stopped, and then it will be safe to remove the cap completely.

Unscrew the oil filter housing slowly. If you see oil leaking around the sides, you are going too fast. Leave the housing in place after it has been unscrewed completely. It will be a cleaner operation to remove the housing cap and filter last, before adding new oil.

Make sure you drain oil from all FOUR locations. Do not get lazy and ignore the turbo oil return lines as there is plenty of oil there. My preferred order of operations is to drain the oil tank first, engine sump second, and then the two oil return lines.

My preference is to drain the oil for half an hour. Yes, it really will drain for that long. I leave the oil tank and sump plugs lose and drain them again after the oil return hoses are drained. In the meantime, you can change the air filters, while the car is in the air. The air filters are a dealer only item – order them online with the oil filter. Again, this is an item that the dealer charges more at the parts counter.

Can’t stress this enough – it’s easy to overfill these cars. Start with 5 liters of oil and work your way up from them gradually. If you have added more than 6.8 liters of oil, you have SCREWED UP!
Valentin, the owner's manual says 8 liters. Can you tell us more about why 6.8 liters? Is there some portion not drained?
 
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