Oil Change

I’ve finally worked out an oil change schedule and I did the first this morning. Oil changes for the Pajero are a minefield of decisions based on three questions:

  • How often?
  • Which oil filter?
  • Which oil?

After a great deal of reading and some discussion on the POCUK forums I had to come to a decision and stick to it. You can really go on forever with especially the second two questions, but at some point you’ve got to go ahead with what you think is best. So here’s what I’ve decided and why:

How often? This is the easiest of the questions. Most people say every three months. As someone who’s always driven petrols before I thought this was way excessive at first, but reading up about it seems that diesels thrive on regular oil changes. The Haynes manual backs this up by recommending every three months and I’m happy enough to get into this routine.

I did think hard about this as I believe four oil changes a year for my truck (low mileage, excellent condition) might be a bit much. The main problem I have is that I’m going to be doing below average miles in a year. I’d be very surprised if I get up to 10000 miles per year. But, four is what I’m doing!

Which oil filter? Now we get into tricky territory and lots of different opinions. The big issue here really boils down to one thing – cost. Oil filters for my Pajero cost about £30 for a genuine Mitsubishi part. For a non-genuine part they can be bought for less than £10. I think most people agree that the genuine filter is heavier and better engineered than non-genuine filters.

So it’s really just cost for me. Am I prepared to spend £120 per year on oil filters when I could spend less than £40 instead? Well yes. I just want the best parts and with my limited experience in these matters I’m happy to spend more here.

There was also another issue that came up about using Mitsubishi Oil Filters. Some people believe that they can be used through two oil changes rather than just one, so I’d only need two in a year. To cut a long story short, I’m not happy about that idea and will stick with throwing away the filter every oil change.

Which oil? Again, a minefield of thoughts and opinions. I think I took the easiest option here – 10w-40 Semi-Synthetic. Some people swear by mineral as that’s what the MKII Pajero originally used when it was built. Others look at Semi-Synthetic as the way to go as it’s a more modern oil than mineral. And some people prefer the Fully-Synthetic route. There are also many many other arguments about which oil to use. To be honest I don’t know enough about it all, hence what I believe to be a safe choice.

Please note: I’m really no expert on all this. I’m just basing my decisions on what I’ve read. There are no definitive answers out there so it’s just about coming up with a plan and seeing how it goes I guess. If you have different opinions on this please feel free to leave a comment on it. Just don’t get mad at my choices if you don’t like them.

The oil change itself.  Well, after all the choices this was the easy bit. I’d guess it took be about an hour to do this morning, but it should take half that in future. The only slight difficulty I found was in removing the filter. It’s mildly tricky to get at, but once you’ve got the knack, pretty straight forward. Very briefly, here’s what I did:

  • Ran the truck for twenty minutes to make sure it was nice and warm – oil drains easier
  • Jacked up the front end on both sides and stuck my axle stands underneath
  • Placed an old washing up bowl underneath the sump plug and undid the sump plug – watch that black gold flow!
  • Went and had a cuppa to let it drain fully
  • Removed the old filter with help from my ancient oil filter removal chain
  • Gave the sump plug a good clean with a dry cloth – same for where the new oil filter is to be seated
  • Rubbed a little oil around the new filter’s gasket
  • Screwed on the filter to the recommended tightness
  • Put sump plug back
  • Put in about 4 litres of new oil
  • Ran for one minute to let the oil circulate through the system
  • Topped it up with a couple of engine runs in between – ended up using about 7.5 litres which is roughly what the manual says for the 2.8

And that’s it. I’d recommend the Haynes manual for a slightly more detailed description.


34 Responses to “Oil Change”

  1. Tam Smith
    September 24, 2007 at 11:47 am #

    once again, priceless information. now im really looking forward to servicing my pajero on my own.

  2. Tim
    September 24, 2007 at 11:55 am #

    Hi Tam – thanks again. Hopefully you’ll see the servicing guides grow over the next year or so.

    • Jain
      October 6, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      Hi tim,
      Keep reading ur tips, I am from india, just bought a pajero LWB with 130000km meter read, wants to change all fluids my self, please suggest me the what all oils needed to be changed and what qty.

      I am really new for Pajero, so ur advice will be really helpful. Thanks- jain

  3. Adam
    January 21, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    Do not use the same oil filter for more than oil change. I have always used after market filters and never had a problem. A little tip, fill the oil filter with oil before mounting back, unless you have vertical oil filters as I used to have on my Patrol (2 of them). The oil that you use should be the same API (American Petroleum Institute) rating as is recommended by Mitsubishi or Haynes, diesel oil has different detergents and as you say with so many changes a year you want to use the right stuff, I would always use a branded name oil (i.e. shell, BP, Castrol etc.) for peace of mind.

  4. Tim
    January 21, 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    Hi Adam – thanks for the comment.
    I’ve never seen the logic behind using a dirty fuel filter again to be honest. It’s not something I’m going to do. I’m also going to have a good think about which oil to use next (never heard of API for instance). In fact this post doesn’t really reflect all my ideas on oil changes now so it needs updating. Also want to add some pics.
    And like the fuel filter, I’ll try topping up the filter with oil before replacing next time.

  5. Levan
    January 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    Could you please someone let me know wich oil to use for Mitsubishi Pajero GDI 3.5 ltr Petrol with milige 30.000.

    I used oil Aral 5w-40 Semi-Synthetic. and engin got some noise after using this tipe of oil


  6. Tim
    January 12, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    Hi Levan
    I’d say a good quality brand 10/40 Semi Synthetic. Also a genuine Mitsubishi oil filter. But that’s just my opinion, perhaps telephone Mitsubishi and see what they recommend for your engine.

  7. January 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    I am using Shell Rotella 5/40 fully synthetic (not sure if that thing is available in Europe). It really helps starting my Pajero in cold weather (some guys out here use 0/40). In the summer I will switch to 15/40.

  8. philip
    May 23, 2009 at 10:51 pm #

    hi just got a Mitsubishi Pajero 1997 2.8 dose anyone know how to change gearbox oil and filter

  9. Fred
    March 4, 2010 at 8:05 am #

    When I turn the key to Accessories the headlights come on . No tail or other lights just the headlights. Does anyone know how to fix this problem.


  10. rabskie
    October 19, 2010 at 2:21 am #

    hi, i’ve just read all of your opinion. I want to ask something, what is the best brand for oil? Shell or Castrol. I am using 15w-40 Castrol CRB Turbo for my 1998 pajero 2.5 4D56 engine. But this time i want to shift to Shell. Can you give me any suggestion for this what i am planning? Thank you guys.

    • Tim
      October 19, 2010 at 6:50 am #

      I have no idea which is the best between Shell or Castrol, but they both produce good quality oils so you should be OK with either.

  11. shirley
    January 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    could you tell me where the sump plug is , do you have to take the cover plat of under the jeep

  12. Tim
    January 16, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    Hi Shirley

    Yes, the plates need to come off for best access – easy enough job. The sump plug should be fairly obvious, but ask again if you need more help.

    • shirley
      January 16, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

      thank you for your help and so quick

  13. Andre
    March 7, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    Hi guys…I just bought a 96 Pajero Mini Turbo….which oil would be best?….

    And how often should it be changed?

    Any tips on Mitsubishi Pajero Mini?

    • richard
      September 4, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

      i would like to know where what is the location of gear box filter on my pajero 2.8 l diesel engine ,becouse it dosent change untill the top gear

  14. Ared
    March 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    hi ,Could you please someone let me know wich oil to use for Mitsubishi Pajero 2.6 petrol 4G54 .

    Thanks :)

  15. Ared
    March 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Hi ,Could you please tell me wich oil to use for Mitsubishi Pajero 2.6 petrol 4G54 .

    Thanks :)

  16. Gav
    April 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    Hi Guys i have just purchased a Range Rover 4.6 petrol HSE, But before you start shouting at me, the reason i got it was because it has had an engine conversion, it has now got a 2.8 TD Mitsubishi Engine in it, but i think they have run it on chip fat oil strange smell out the back, you also have to start it 10mins before going anywhere as it is so slow pulling off even when warm, also kicks out black soot/smoke when you use the kick down when driving? I am thinking of using an oil flush, diesel treatment, then having a oil service with new filters and fuel filters. Can anyone else think of what i can do to make this car safer when pulling out from junctions Thanks Gavin.

  17. Juan
    May 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Thanks to all,
    What would be the type of fuel to be used for the GDI pajero, 2002?
    Where i am, i have the option of either leaded or unleaded. Thanks for your help!

  18. Juan
    May 1, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    another one, i hear a strange sound every time the engine is changing speed in my pajero GDI 2002, does anyone knows what the problem my be? thanks

  19. brian thurlborn
    June 2, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    why do people keep going on about a mitsubishi having oil changes every 3 months other diesel engines run fine for 5,000 miles (or more)there seems to be a big myth about this jap engine,honda do not have this problem

  20. Barrie
    June 30, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Thanks for the tips, feel more confident on doing oil change now on my 2.8 truck’ cheers.

  21. André
    July 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Does anyone have any idea what a north american crossover number for an air and fuel filter might be for my ’94 2.8L diesel? I live in Canada and it’s a huge struggle to find anything… even from the Mitsubishi dealer here :/

  22. Jason
    September 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    heya… i have a mitsi pajero 2002 gdi 3.5L petrol… i was extremely low on gas and grabbed the lawn mower spare gas container and used for my car.. but.. later i found i grabbed the wrong tank and got my 2stroke outboard gas bottle instead… now as expected my pajero isnt driving well at all and loses all power until i turn car off then start up again but only drives ok for 5mins then have to pull over and start car again n again… can anyone help with advice on my problem??

  23. kris
    December 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    to gav above , you may need to change the fuel pump seal , and block off the egr valve ,, change oil and filter , will be like different vehcile.!

  24. munesh
    July 30, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    I have Mitsubishi pajero 1998 with 4m40 turbo engine automatic. Can some one tell me what oil to be use in gear box and engine. What brand? I have problem in gear box like it takes time to change the gear and it is not going fast. Pickup is very slow. My rpm goes up and my speed is not much. Please rely asap

    • Jason Coleiro
      March 7, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      would buy original from dealer but castrol works well also depends on how much you are willing to spend

  25. Wayne
    February 13, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    Have a nm petrol pajero anyone know where the oil filter is located

  26. Jason Coleiro
    March 7, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    Im a paji mk2 fanatic and i just restored mine including the inside trim with all new original parts from Mitsubishi Malta. Some parts very expensive especially 4 electrically regulated shock absorbers. Engine oil i use Toyota 10 40 semi synthetic which is expensive but i get it wholesale price since i buy a whole box. Oil filter there’s none better than original. Oil in auto box i just buy it original mitsi oil from the dealer cos that’s a sure shot. I own a 95 swb JDM. with 106k kms on the clock.

  27. Adem
    October 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    Hello … Can you tell me how needed to be tall rod for engine 2.8 4m 40 because the existing rod is damaged .In my country is ahead not sideways in the engine.
    More exactly i want to ask you how many liters of oil is normal for this type of engine.

  28. Fabian
    December 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm #

    I have Pajero io 1.8 GDI 1998 (4g93), with oil and filter use?

  29. Muhammad Awais
    March 23, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    Hi Tim
    nice information. Dear can u tell me which the best gear oil I can use in mini pajero auto transmission? Now my pajero is giving problem while gear changes feeling a jerk and RPM increases. can tell me solution plz.

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