Sunday, December 19, 2010

Audi RS6: Changing Engine Oil and Filter

There are not many car people that require a Do-It-Yourself on how to change the oil, but the RS6 is one vehicle that is not very straightforward. The oil change is a bit more involved, but the oil change interval is 10,000 miles so you you won't have to do it that often. Most dealerships will charge $400-$500 for an oil change on this car and that includes fluids, filter, and labor.

You can purchase the OEM Audi/VW, which is Castrol TXT 505.01 specification synthetic oil. You will have a difficult time finding this oil at anywhere other than the dealership or speed shop. If you are interested in an oil that meets the 505.01 specification, but exceeds it in wear protection and performance, check out QuantumBlue from BND Automotive. Call Brian and ask him about their special blend for the RS6.

Tools you will need:
  • T55 Torx
  • Oil filter wrench that fits the OEM filter
  • 3/8" universal socket
  • Two 3/8" long extensions
  • Short flat headed screwdriver
  1. Start the car up for 10 minutes before starting the steps below as it will help the oil drain quicker.
  2. Jack up both sides of the front of the car high enough that the wheels are off the ground. Place jack stands under the chassis for safety.
  3. Remove the passenger side wheel.

  4. Remove the undertray using a flat headed screw driver. There are 9 quarter turn fasteners on the bottom of the undertray and 2 plastic quarter turn fasteners in the wheel well area.
  5. Place a large oil pan below the engine and use the T55 Torx bit to drain the oil. If you oil pan is smaller than 3 gallons, you will probably want to stop the draining process when the pan fills up. It is easy to forget the quantity of oil in the engine and have your pan overflow. Remove the oil filler cap on top of the engine to allow all of the oil to drain freely.
  6. Locate the two nuts on the swaybar bushings. If both front wheels are off the ground you should not have any tension on the swaybar. Remove all four nuts and pull the sway down a few inches.

  7. Assemble the oil filter wrench, universal socket, extensions like the following:

  8. Look inside the passenger wheel you should be able see the back of the oil filter through a hole near the front of the axle.

  9. Attach the wrench and socket to the oil filter and turn counter clockwise. After breaking the filter loose, you should be able to turn it off by hand. Be sure to have the oil pan below this area to catch the spilled oil. 
  10. Take the oil filter off of the mount and then lower it down through the gap created from disconnecting the sway bar.
  11. Let all of the oil drain from the car. Clean up any spilled oil on the chassis.
  12. Put a thin bead of new oil on the seal of the new oil filter. Install oil filter and tighten.
  13. Put the drain plug back into oil pan and tighten.
  14. Fill engine up with 2 gallons of new oil. Start engine for 1 minute and turn off.
  15. Check oil level and fill until the full mark on dip stick.
  16. Check for any leaks.
  17. Install undertray.
  18. Smile after saving $250 of dealer labor.
Contact me if you have any question.

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Audi RS6: Sportec Lower Air Vent Modification

    If you are a fan or owner of the Audi RS6, you probably have heard of the Sportec RS600. Sportec took the stock RS6, added bigger turbos, and a few other unique modifications. One of the biggest problems with the 4.2L turbo engine in the RS6 is that it gets very hot. Since heat is a performance and economy killer, getting rid of that heat is a good thing. Sportec came up with a solution to the heat problem that is easy to copy and apply to your car.

    One of the modifications to the RS600 was a vent on the engine's undertray. It was used to extract hot air from the front of the engine and give air coming through the radiators a place to exit. This was not just any old hole as the engineers came up with a good solution.

    Here is a picture of the bottom of the undertray on the Sportec RS600:

    You can see that the vents are large rectangular cut outs directly below the front of the engine. You also probably notice that there looks to be aluminum strips coming down from the front of the vent holes. Those are technically known as Gurney Flap and was named after motorsports legend, Dan Gurney.

    The strips of aluminum are facing down and a negative pressure area is created behind them as air rushes past. That negative pressure area causes the air to be pulled out from the engine compartment, and thus lowers ambient temperatures near the engine. This modification is pretty easy to do and one of those nearly-free modifications that will make your engine smile.

    Let's get started!

    First, roll the car up on some blocks of wood to give yourself a bit more room under the car. If you have a car lift, well, I'm jealous!

    Take off the undertray and if you feel motivated I would recommend power washing the plastic.

    Use blue paint edging tape to mark out where you are going to cut. If you click the image below, you will be able to estimate where I am going to cut. There are enough indentations to create reference points for your project.

    Take a large drill bit and drill holes in each inside corner of the soon-to-be vents. The holes are going to be used to the cutting process.

    I used an electric jig saw to cut out the vent holes, but you can use whatever other method you choose. I also used an electric sander to clean and smooth up the edges.

    You will also need to cut slots up 1" (the width of the aluminum strips used below) where the two bumps are in the plastic. This is so that the aluminum strips can lay flat across the vent.

    Cut 1"x1" 90 degree aluminum strips the length of the vents on the top and bottom. You can buy these from most home improvement stores and they are pretty inexpensive. Also, make sure you pick up 3/16" stainless steel rivets and washers. I don't recommend aluminum rivets, because they don't pull tight enough before breaking off.

    Drill rivet holes in the aluminum every few inches and then transpose those holes to the plastic undertray. Make sure you label each aluminum strip so you remember exactly where they go and what direction.

    You will also need to purchase aluminum grill mesh that will be used to keep rocks and other debris from coming up into the engine compartment. Pep-boys and other similar stores usually carry these grills.

    Cut out the aluminum mesh so that it can be sandwiched between the plastic and aluminum strips. You will probably want to take a hammer and flatten out the mesh grill on the edges so you have a tighter fit.

    This is what the final product looks like from the top of the undertray (engine side):

    Here is what it looks like from the bottom:

    When installed it should fit snug and look like this:

    Congratulations, you've performed a pretty simple and cheap modification that will minimize the amount of heat soak from this Cosworth-built engine!

    Contact me if you have any questions.