Rob Hawkins explains how to perform an oil-change on your motorhome if it’s built on a Mk 3 Fiat Ducato

RENEWING THE ENGINE oil on a motorhome or converted panel van based on the Fiat Ducato Mk 3 (244) is relatively straightforward and a worthwhile job if you want to look after the engine.

Watch Rob’s video here..

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All you need is a large drainage tray that can hold at least seven litres of fluid, a filter strap or chain to remove the oil filter (don’t use it to fit a new one), a 12mm Allen key socket to undo the drain plug with a breaker bar or ratchet and a funnel and jug to pour fresh oil into the engine.


Most Fiat Ducato Mk 3 engines are diesel and range in size from two litres to 2.3 and 2.8, requiring between six and seven litres of oil (see your workshop or user manual for details on oil type and how frequent it should be changed).


Set aside one hour to renew the engine oil. The following steps and photographs were completed at Lowdhams workshops.


Disposing of old engine oil

Dispose of used engine oil at your local council recycling centre or tip. They should have a large container for pouring old engine oil into. Do not pour it down the drain at home.


Cleaning up engine oil spills

Oil spills can stain driveways and result in lots of colourful language, so make sure you have lots of cloths and rags ready to mop up any spills. A bag of sand or sawdust is useful for large spills and driveway cleaning products can often save the day.


Oil change: step by step

1. Make sure the motorhome is positioned on level ground to ensure the oil drains out of the sump (plus it can be refilled with fresh oil and checked via the dipstick). Chock the wheels and apply the handbrake to prevent the vehicle moving while working underneath it. 

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2. Run the engine for a couple of minutes to warm up the oil (helps with draining it). After switching off the engine, select first gear to stop the vehicle moving. From under the bonnet, release the oil filler cap to help air flow through and drain the oil out.

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3. Use a breaker bar and 12mm Allen key socket to undo the drain plug for the sump. If it’s stiff or in danger of rounding, tap the socket with a hammer first. Once slackened, carefully undo it, making sure there’s a tray underneath to catch any oil.

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4. Remove the drain plug by hand and be prepared for six to seven litres of old oil to drain out (wear gloves). Leave the oil to drain out for a few minutes. The filler cap was released in step 2 to help air flow through the engine and drain the oil.

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5. Whilst the oil is draining from the sump, remove the oil filter using a suitable ratchet strap or chain. Oil will drain from the filter, so have a container ready to catch it and empty out any excess. Wipe away any excess from where the filter is mounted onto the engine.

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6. Check the new oil filter is the same size as the old one, especially the mating surface where it fits onto the engine. Add a smear of oil to the seal on the new oil filter. This will help to prevent the seal catching and tearing if it was dry fitted.

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7. Clean the mating surface once more where the oil filter is fitted to the engine. Fit the new filter into position and spin it clockwise to wind it on. It should spin relatively freely. Only hand tighten the filter. Do not use any tools to tighten it.

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8. Refit the sump plug and hand tighten with a ratchet or nip-up with a breaker bar. The old copper washer can be reused if there were no signs of leaking, otherwise fit a new one. Clean any oil from around the sump plug and sump.

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9. Work out how you are going to pour fresh oil through the filler cap hole on the top of the engine. It can be very awkward, so use a funnel and a jug. Ducato diesel engines require 6-7 litres of oil (check your handbook for a specific volume).

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10. After pouring in the required quantity of oil, wait a couple of minutes, then remove and wipe the dipstick, and refit and remove it to check the level. Top up if necessary. Next, run the engine for one minute, checking the oil pressure light goes out and there are no leaks. Switch off and recheck the level (wipe the dipstick first).

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Thanks to Lowdhams for help in compiling this feature.


Workshop: 0115 966 3838