Changing oil on a TD5

Another ‘easy’ job [insert hollow laughter].

We’d been talking about the oil change for months but never had time or space to get round to doing it.

Chatting to a mechanic in Gib the other day, they casually mentioned an oil change would cost around £300 at one of the local stealers. What?!!

How long does it take, I asked. About half an hour, replied Partner.

We’d been checking the level regularly – and the colour – and it was always above half and not black. We’d been toying with topping it up actually.

Checked last week and it was filthy dirty and below half. Nice to have decisions taken out of your hands sometimes.

Looked at the handbook. We needed 5W30, spec ACEA A1/B!. If that wasn’t available A3/B4 apparently was an adequate substitute.

The handbook was confusing because it also covers TDis. It talks about temperature ranges and it isn’t clear to me which engine it is referring to. Couldn’t work out if the 10W40 was appropriate for the TD5 or not due to the unclear paragraph headings in the manual.

[Note on looking at the workshop manual which we didn’t have with us – the only recommendation is ACEA A1/B1]

But having good Landy friend on line, I asked her if she had any mates with TD5s and what they used. Back came a rapid response involving a couple of her mechanic pals saying ‘go for fully synthetic.’

It’s always difficult when you have a new vehicle that you aren’t used to, and you don’t know the tolerances, and what works best in practice – and what doesn’t work.

Off we jumps in said Landy, with dirty oil, to try and find this desirable 5W30. A traipse around the industrial estates in our local county town couldn’t find the elusive large motor parts/factors that Partner swore was there.

We decided to go to another one on the other side of town to see if they had it. En route, nicking across town rather cleverly, we noticed a bike shop that did oil changes. And on the other side of the road, a shop selling vehicle oils. Bingo! And not only that, there was a parking space right outside.

It wasn’t a big shop and we gazed at the various containers of oil none of which seemed to say 5W30. They were all 10s and 15s. Boooo.

And then crouching down, in the middle of the middle shelf, there it was. The elusive 5W30. One was A1/B!, and the other was A3/B4. Both the same price at 29€. We picked up the only two containers of the one for us (made by Ford incidentally) and went to the desk. This was just after 9am so the young lad looked most pleased to be flogging 58€ worth of engine oil. Did he have guantes? (gloves) – No! Honestly. I ask you. If you are buying engine oil would you not want to buy gloves?

We were on a high, went to collect some paint (for the house) and sensibly asked for gloves there. Yay! Gloves. A boring stop at a supermarket for essentials – beer and bread – and off we went home. Total trip around an hour.

Next morning, the job.

Put vehicle on ramp and chock up.

All ramped up and ready to go

Bread delivery man arrives. ‘Que pasa?’ he asks. ‘Cambio aceite, facile,’ says Partner.

That’s what made my heart sink. ‘What’s happening?’ ‘I’m changing the oil, easy.’

It is calling down the wrath of all Land Rover gods to say that any job will be easy.

Next up, our next-door neighbour comes up to buy his bread and find out what is happening.

‘Hmmm,’ he said, very Spanishly.’Need to be careful, someone might report you.’

Ah right, when your son-in-law changed an exhaust pipe on the street, and over the years we have changed master and slave cylinders, done endless work on brakes, changed a fuel pump in a mate’s TD5, and some spider bearings for a French couple who were travelling to Morocco. All outside the house.

It’s not as though we are going to chuck seven litres of oil in the street.

But not calculated to improve anyone’s mindset when they are just starting a job.

Starting the job

So back to the job in hand after that minor distraction.

Bucket in place and drain plug taken out.

Black oil drips through.

See the thin drip of black oil?

Nasty dirty oil waiting to be taken to an appropriate disposal point.

Extremely black and dirty

And putting back the plug. Don’t forget to buy a new washer. We did. (forget I mean). Don’t drop the plug in the bucket. (we did that too).

Putting the plug back

All ready to start pouring in the new oil.

And back up to the engine bay… for the new oil

Ah, couldn’t find the funnel. Important note – a funnel would be a good idea.

Ready for the new oil

The TD5 holds approx 7.2 litres of engine oil so we put a full five litre container of nice clean oil in. Nothing showed on the dipstick, so we decided to let it settle – and – go and buy a funnel.

Mmm look at that nice clean oil 🙂


Somewhat later, new funnel in place and oil container pouring happily in. Partner explaining about oil changes and engines to non-car driving neighbour (he’s driven a motorbike and a donkey).

Lessons for a Spaniard on how to change oil in a TD5

Top tips:

Order/buy the correct washer beforehand.

Wear gloves.

Use a large container so that if you drop the plug in there it’s not difficult to recover.

Save the container from the new oil to filter the old stuff back in and take it to a safe disposal/recycle point.

Don’t forget to find/buy a funnel.

Most important: Use a socket for flats and not a cornered one. The plug is recessed and if you use the incorrect one you will eventually not be able to get it out because you will have rounded off the corners.. Pix of correct and incorrect tools to follow.

Now if I was strong enough to undo the plug and could wriggle underneath, even I could do that.

Recommended oil change on TD5 at 12 months or 20,000kms/12,000 miles.

This vehicle has done less than 19,000 kms in seven years. When we bought it from the Stealer it allegedly had received an oil change. Who knows? But it seemed a bit silly to keep changing the oil every 12 months on that sort of mileage. We’ve only had it around two years as it sat around at the stealers for five years.

All other levels checked at the same time: power steering, clutch, brake, and water.

Total cost:

Oil – 58€, with some left (ie three litres) for topping up

New funnel – 2.50€

Top post here about engine oil
if you are interested


14 thoughts on “Changing oil on a TD5

  1. Now there’s a new sideline for you: ‘Roughseas post stealer Servicing’ 😉
    I usually buy a service kit for my friend to do mine, which includes the sump washer.

    • LOL! Any Landy jobs we do for anyone are always favours 🙂

      Ah, you pegged we didn’t change the filter either. Not worth any changes on the mileage. Synthetic tips well appreciated.

      Surprised you don’t do it though. As I said, even I could have done it, if I could have undone the plug that is. But the rest of it was so basic. Def not worth hundreds at a Stealership.

  2. I swear you could write an entertaining blog post on any subject at all 🙂 I am lucky that we have a friend who services my car at cost… It’s an oooooolllldddd BMW and if I took it to a ‘normal’ garage they would rip me blind. The G.O. insists I get it serviced once a year at least despite it doing very few km’s… he says the oil gets old.

    • Thank you. Although as everyone knows anything to do with Land Rovers is be definition extremely interesting and fascinating.

      You must post a pic of your car, older BMs are quite nice. I would probably have changed the oil before know, but we’d used so little, done so few miles etc etc, we hadn’t the heart to part with the money! Actually we didn’t have the time when Partner was working.

      It’s good having mates who will service your vehicles though, main stealers are such an appalling rip-off.

      We took another Landy to a non main stealer garage, we weren’t into doing work on brakes at the time, and something needed changing. Adrian picks up the Landy, goes down the road and the brakes didn’t work! ‘Oh, we didn’t have time to test it!!’ and they are doing work on brakes? We learned how to do brakes after that.

      • That is a shocker of a story, one I’ve heard similar to and experienced too many times. My Dad is a [now retired living in the country and he wouldn’t touch this car – it took him over 10 years to admit to me it was a good buy] mechanic, and I grew up in garages, so I don’t take any sh!t when I do have to deal with them, but Steve is a Godsend because I just don’t need the angst. The G.O. is also good with cars but like Adrian he just doesn’t have the time, or the equipment to muck around with a 16 year old BMW.

        • Haha! Dads are like that. My dad was rubbish with cars. The only thing he made sure I could do was change the wheel as soon as I bought the car. We had lots of practice sessions outside the house. Mind you the only time I needed to do it, I was covered at work, so I called someone out as against getting my nice designer suit dirty 😀

          I really hate the way garages treat women as though they are stupid. Although as the only thing I needed doing in the past was tyres, I didn’t have too many problems with that. Lease cars from work were new for three years and then change for another.

          With A being out of work, we have the time now, hence the oil change. There is a little rust coming through on the bulkhead, so that will no doubt make a future post on here 🙂

  3. um, I think I have a wordpress problem! I thought something was up the other day when you mentioned on the everypicturetellsone blog that you’d posted something on here recently….it seems that despite following this blog via email AND looking at my reader every day, your posts from this blog aren’t showing up – bizarre as all the others seem OK. I will try and stop following then restart to see if that cures it.

    As for oil, I just use halfords own semi-synth 10w/40 in all my trucks from old Series 2.25d’s to my modern’ish (2005) jap truck. I got fed up with buying different types. I’ve had no problems and the jap truck has now done 200K miles and still doesn’t smoke.

    I got a set of funnels a few years back, they are like russian dolls, many different sizes of funnel all sat inside one another. One for every requirement from big ones for engine oil to smaller ones for topping the steering box up etc – having the right tool for the job makes life soooo much easier 🙂

    • tell me!! How many decent blogs does WP not notify me about? I tend to read to checkout the ones who comment figuring they may have written something, and basically go through the list of favourites.

      Someone else said today she had to refollow me because she wasn’t getting notifications (roughseas), I rely on some people to tell me via personal email that they have posted!

      Series are pretty straightforward (ha! that’s an anomaly!!) in terms of engine oil. But the TD5 is a new thing for us (well newish like your J/M word vehicle) so we are going by the book with this one. Back in the 80s whenever we bought the Series I doubt there was any clever oil around then. It was either 10/20 40/50 whichever suited. But he did changed the oil every six months once we plonked in the V8.

      A set of funnels sounds brill. He never did find the missing funnel in the workshop. He did find a lost striker plate though 🙂

      • Ah, well at least it is not just me with the ‘lost’ blogs or the ‘lost’ tools for that matter….

        I’ll stick a piccy up of the funnels next time I do an oil change post which will probably be the steering box on my wifes 109″

        • half the time the lost tools are blamed on various house removals – until he suddenly finds the missing item. I mean who would throw a striker plate in with the plumbing tool kit? (one of the plumbing tool kits I should say).

          That will be a good post 🙂 and don’t forget to give her the camera as well at some point. The funnels will be interesting to see. The one he ended up buying came from the local hardware store for a couple of euros and had obviously been hanging there for a while as it was covered in dust!

          • Yep, I’ve moved house a few times over the years too and I’m still looking for my expensive, quality made, Sykes Pickavent ball joint splitter. Not a commonly used item but when I had to replace all the TRE’s on Annie last year I couldn’t find it and had to go buy another one. I was horrified to find out just how much the same quality ball splitter was going to cost and ended up buying a cheaper one which was rubbish in comparison. I have no idea where the original has got too. Probably lent to a friend who never returned it….. 😦

            The most common thing that goes missing for me is spanners though. I dread to think where many of them have gone, probably left on chassis members or in engine bays long after a job has been finished. Mind you I’m not the only one because I recently found a spanner that had fallen down the back of the dashboard on our 109″ and it was the cause of a dreadful rattling that had been there since we bought her. It had jammed in that small gap between dashtop and windscreen and every time the vehicle started from cold it vibrated against the metal screen frame. Unbelievable drop in vibration noise at idle after removing the offending spanner (a teng tools 7/16″). 🙂

            • We’ve not had a ball joint splitter – although on reading your reply to A, he immediately said ‘I’d be buying one if I needed to.’ I knew that was coming, and after reading your tale out, I doubt he’d be buying cheap, although options in Spain are often limited.

              Screwdrivers seem to end up in the engine bay of our lot. He never seems to find the right socket head he needs, and despite having them all neat and tidy in the box, there is always at least one or two empty holes – where have they gone? And because some of his multi-purpose tools have gone to work with him, some of those have gone walkabout. It doesn’t matter leaving your toolboxes locked up either, people still break into them 😦

              Please to hear you know have a quiet and low vibration series! That must be a great selling point!!

              • My wife would kill me if I sold her LR! Mine would be the 1st to go. Considering she’d never driven (or even been in) a Series Land Rover until last year it is surprising how quickly she has come to love their character and idiosyncrasies….well other than the little matter of water pouring on her head while she is driving along 😉

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