2012 Jeep JK Wrangler 3.6L
Pentastar Engine Oil Change Write-Up

Changing your engine oil is a necessary part of routine maintenance and really, it’s something that anyone can do. In fact, thanks to the design of the all new 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine, it’s something that easier to do than ever before. This short write-up will explain in detail what all is involved and just how little you will need to do. And, after you done this on your own, I can almost guarantee that you’ll never take your Jeep back to your dealer or a shop to have it done for you again.

What you will need
• 13mm Socket
• Ratchet
• Crescent Wrench
• Small Flathead Screwdriver
• Oil Catch Pan
• Funnel
• Oil Filter Media
• 6 Quarts 5W30 Oil (meets or exceeds MS-6395)
• Empty Milk Jug
• Paper Towles

Brands & Part Numbers
The new 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine does not use a traditional can style oil filter but rather, uses a disposable filter media that is installed into the top of the engine. This makes changing your oil super easy and without any additional mess. The following are 3 different brands along with their part numbers that you can buy including one from your dealership:

• Mopar #68079744A
• STP #S10955
• WIX #57144

As far as oil goes, you can use traditional dino oil in your engine but, you need to make sure that meets or exceeds MS-6395 standards.

Here’s a shot of everything you will need to change the oil in your 2012 Jeep JK Wrangler. As you can see, you will need 6 quarts of oil, a new filter media, some tools and a means to collect your used oil.

1. Your engine cover is just snapped in place and to remove it, simply grab and lift it up as shown.

2. Located the engine oil filler cap and rotate it counter clockwise until it stops. Do not remove the cap at this time.

3. Climb under your Jeep and place an oil catch pan under the oil pan. Then, using a 13mm socket, loosen but DO NOT remove your engine’s oil pan drain bolt.

4. Using your fingers, carefully remove the drain bolt and allow the used oil to drain completely.

5. Once completely drained, reinstall the drain bolt using a 13mm socket.

6. Back up on top, locate the oil filter cap and use a crescent wrench to unscrew it.

7. Carefully remove the filter cap with filter media attached as shown.

8. Firmly grab the filer media and pull it off of the filter cap as shown.

9. Use a small flathead screwdriver to carefully pry off and remove the rubber O-Ring installed on the filter cap.

10. Take the new O-Ring that came with your new filter media and apply some of your old engine oil to it.

11. Install the new O-Ring onto your filter cap.

12. Install your new filter media onto the filter cap by pushing it in to it until it snaps in place.

13. Carefully reinstall your filter cap with new filter media attached back into the top of your engine.

14. Using a crescent wrench, carefully tighten the filter cap back in place. Please note that this cap is plastic and will break so make sure to NOT overtighten it.

15. Remove the engine oil fill cap.

16. Insert a funnel into the fill hole and pour in 6 quarts of oil.

17. Reinstall your engines oil fill cap.

18. Reinstall your engine cover by snapping it into place.

19. Assuming you’ve been having your “Change Oil” indicator light turn on your dash, this is what you will need to do to turn it off:

1) Turn your ignition to the ON position but, DO NOT start your engine.
2) Push in your accelerator pedal to the floor 3 times.
3) Turn your Ignition to the OFF position.

That’s all there is to it. As mentioned, super simple and easily something that anyone can do. Please be sure to clean up your mess and take your used oil to a recycling center. Most autoparts store such as PepBoys, Kragen/Checkers will take your used oil free of charge. Please let me know if you have any questions. 😎


  1. When using Mobile1 (or other synthetics) how long can you go between changes? The maintenance schedule says you should change your oil every 3,000 miles but I’m pretty sure that is for traditional oil.

  2. I love that style oil filter. Looks almost identical to the oil filter I had on my 2005.5 VW Jetta Diesel. The fuel filter on the Jetta was just as easy to replace

  3. Might be worth mentioning the procedure to reset the “Change Oil” status.
    1) Ignition on (but not started).
    2) briskly depress accelerator 5 times.
    3) Ignition off.

  4. Thanks for this!! Am tightening my budget, and this was something that I knew I could easily do myself. $70 saved!

  5. The manual says “under no circumstances should oil change intervals EXCEED 8,000 miles”. Please note that is NOT the recommended interval! To further clarify, in regards to the “Change Oil” message that may be displayed on your EVIC, the manual also says, “Depending on operating conditions, the message may appear as early as 3,500 miles since last reset. Have your vehicle serviced within the next 500 miles.” In other words, you may need to change your oil as early as 3500, but never later than 8000 miles. POINT: Do NOT use the 8,000 mile marker as your regular interval or you will likely regret it!

  6. After seeing this, I had to try it. And holy lord…why would I ever pay someone to do this, and wait? It took all of 20 minutes(including finding my tools, lol) and I’m done and clear. Thanks for the write up! Oh, and according to the manual, it’s not 5 times, its 3 slow, but full depressions within 10 seconds, then ignition off. Just FYI. Of course, this could just be for the ’12.. I’m not sure if it’s different for earlier models.

  7. I use Mobile one synthetic on my 09 JK and it recommends every 10k miles. Worth the extra money!

  8. I guess this is similar to a 2.8L Diesel
    Anyone got a link to a nice picture procedure like this .. or indeed would like to post one.
    Plus one for the fuel filter would be nice aswell.
    A lot of CRD owners would be most greatful inc me !

  9. I am getting close to the first service at 10000km ,7800km so far should i change the oil or just leave it till i put it in for a service?

  10. As I recall, the oil from the filter canister was released into the sump when I opened the filter. It may be a good idea to wait to replace/re-install the drain plug until after you have changed the filter. It is a small amount of dirty oil remaining, but worth getting out as much as possible.

  11. I personally use Royal Purple in all of my vehicles to include my jeeps. I change about every 5K miles. Drain complete and add 6 Quarts. Never had any issues. Royal Purple is a racing synthetic that sells for about $6 a Quart up here in Washington but well worth the money in regards to engine life.

  12. The only recommendation I would make is to get the appropriate size socket for the oil filter. It’s a huge PITA to try to get in there with a crescent wrench.

  13. the WIX #57144 was recalled for a thinner than spec O ring.
    It’s been replaced by WIX #57526

    the filter socket is 15/16 or 24mm

  14. “As far as oil goes, you can use traditional dino oil in your engine but, you need to make sure that meets or exceeds MS-6395 standards”

    Have you looked at the Mobil 1 label lately? They haven’t been certifying that it meets MS-6395 for quite some time now.

  15. Ams-Oil is what I use in all my cherokees, do you think converting to Syn-oil after 6 k miles in my new Wrangler is ok? Or should I WAIT after 15 k miles like my Cherokee / new ATK manufacture/ said?

  16. Usually you want to do the first few oil changes more often than the normal interval. Initial engine wear is a lot less than it used to be, but it’s still there and dino oil will catch the particles well enough. Using synthetic early on is just a waste of money because you’re not leaving it in long enough to take advantage of its longer life, and the duration of using dino oil isn’t going to harm anything in the long-term. If you want to track things, send a sample to Blackstone Labs to be analyzed. It’s cheap and informative on the condition of your engine components and will show you how your oil change duration holds up against reality.

  17. Totally agree with Rod. Before replacing the drain plug, change the filter first. This will ensure you get as much dirty oil out as possible. Great write up. Thank you.

  18. Beware of cheap filters. Could not find a filter for my 2012 JK. The only one in stock was a industrial filter. The filter failed, collapsed and triggered check engine light. Recommend using Mopar brand if under warranty. I use Fram on my other Jeeps PH16, 3614 for TJ and 07 JK. I will stock Mopar cartridges for my weekend oil changes. The filter was correct fit for Jeep, using synthetic Mobil 1. Only 8k miles, factory filters only for me.

  19. Man, can’t believe how easy it was to change that new filter. Actually I didn’t do it, my 10 yr old little girl did:)

  20. Awesome write-up I am so doing this myself. Question though. Can I just replace my dino oil with synthetic or do I have to do something special in other to do that?

  21. Correcting typo: Sorry

    Awesome write-up I am so doing this myself. Question though. Can I just replace my dino oil with synthetic or do I have to do something special in order to do that?

    So following all your steps, but instead of dino oil just using Synthetic instead will the engine be ok with the change?

  22. Rob Slayton, 18 Foot Pounds for the filter housing cap (But don’t quote me on it)Can anyone confirm? Curious if that is the right setting or not myself….

  23. I would suggest you add 5 quarts then add as needed,My 2013 will only take 5 1/2
    quarts . i’ve heard this from other owners as well.

  24. Great write-up – my dealer charges more for the jeep than other vehicles “because of the extra work involved in removing the skid plates”. What a pile of c**p!

  25. Synthetic oil: beware of the detergent breakdown over time. Viscosity breakdown is probably negligible, but the detergents in oil are very important too. Don’t use synthetic oil if you drive your vehicle relatively few miles is what I hear from mechanics.

  26. My own wife and I fell over here by a poles apart trap forward also contemplated I’d personally restraint points unconscious. I like exactly what I envision i really am located absolutely charting you. Look forward to dccbkedkaeacbked

  27. A few comments (pertaining to the Chrysler 3.6L Pentastar): 1) NAPA Gold oil filter for the 2014 3.6 is 100010 (made by WIX). Same quality as the WIX 10010, same filter. PLEASE NOTE the ’14 filter will NOT work on prior years.
    2) Don’t wait to switch to a synthetic until 10k or 15k miles. That is too long.
    3) The required oil is on the filler cap. Some years it’s 5W30, other years 5W20.

  28. I have been involved with engine designing and building since I was a kid on the farm.
    I have seen many motors fail for many reasons. But a Wix oil filter in place, particle contamination has never been cause for engine failure. I can not say that for a couple of the auto part house major off the shielf replasement standards.

  29. The way to optimize oil mileage and minimize cost is to A) Use the highest quality of synthetic, and B) have your oil analyzed at every change. Over the last 15 years this has lead me to use Mobil 1 EP (extended performance) in our regular-use vehicles. M1 claims that the EP line is good for 15,000 miles, but you only do run that far if the oil reports come back clean. So I always work up any new-to-us vehicle by starting with the first interval with M1 EP at 8,000 miles and then gradually work it up (here you could save a little by using M1 non-EP for this “short run”). Our Suburban oil reports look good every time at 14k miles but starts to turn south at 15k. Other cars we own work better at around 12-13k, while my son’s BMW 325 would garner clean reports at 9K with dino oil and no better with synth so we just used the cheaper stuff. Blackstone-labs.com does our spectroanalysis for $25/sample which is easily recovered thru reduced oil & filter changing frequency. In 2 cases we liquidated a vehicle when their oil reports showed trouble–a ’98 Malibu 4-cyl @150k miles owned from new and a VW Eos 2.0T at 50k with dealer oil changes also owned from new. In 2 other cases we were able to set the engines straight by way of 2 or 3 quick oil changes and a brand switch (away from Amsoil to M1; I’ll never go back to Brand A) and those engines reported cleanly from that point forward–200k miles so far in the case of the Suburban. For our new Jeep Rubicon Unlimited, we’ll switch to M1 at 5,000 miles coming up soon. I’m convinced that oil spectroanalysis is the way to go to save engines, conserve resources and reduce expenses.

  30. Good write up one mistake though you are supposed to change the cartridge first then drain the oil and I’m 100 percent on this I do them all day for Chrysler

  31. Thank you for this, especially with the photos. I just changed my oil yesterday. Super simple and affordable.I will never take it to a dealership ever again. They over charge and over tighten everything.

    The drain plug and the filter cap were so tight I had use a vise grip to get them loose. I will definitely get a 23mm for the filter cap to make it easier.

  32. First…great article, very informative.
    My 2012 jk has aproc.85000 miles (I bought it with alot of highway miles). Its due for a oil change and I have no idea which type has been used previous – conventional,synthetic or something in between. Looking for educated opinion on what’s best to use.
    Also thought on MARVEL MO, I use it in my 2000 xj with 180000 an that run like brand new.

  33. My research showed that Mobil 1 was not an acceptable synthetic oil as pictured. Mobil 1 is not MS-6395 certified, read the container, I couldn’t find any reference to MS-6395. I opted for AMSOIL signature series which will go the 10K as recommended.

  34. I have a ’12 Grand Cherokee with the 3.6L V6 that I bought new that now has 137K miles on it. I used Pennzoil Full Syn 5W-30 for the first 100K miles until the warranty period was up to comply with MS-6395 and then switched to Mobil 1. There has been no change in oil consumption and it rarely uses any noticeable amount between the 7,500 mile oil change intervals and I have always used WIX oil filters. I found out that in order to completely drain the oil, you had to remove the cap from the oil filter or else about one quart would not drain out, apparently due to a partial vacuum being created with the cap on tight.

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