Lamborghini Gallardo Oil Change + Air Filter DIY
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Why don’t I just change the oil and air filters on my Lamborghini Gallardo myself?” Well, this is the DIY for you, brave soul.
Just because the Lamborghini Gallardo is a beautiful car with a beautiful engine, doesn’t mean that the beauty lies in its simplicity. This is actually an oil and air filter change that’s going to require a few tools and some elbow grease. First and foremost is oil; you’re going to need between 10 and 10.5 liters of fully synthetic oil. Lamborghini recommends 5W40 for normal driving. Along with that, you’ll need a small Phillips-head screwdriver, any size of flathead, and a set of Allen keys. We’ll discuss what to use on the oil filter when we get to that portion. Below, you’ll see the box of required items for this installation, along with a couple extra. The smallest box consists of the oil filter, there’s a bag of Lamborghini-supplied crush washers, two airbox filters and one cabin filter, all of which we planned to replace. The cabin filter isn’t included in this DIY, so you can disregard that box. However, the air filters are good to replace at the same time as the oil, since we found that removing the airboxes gave us more room for leverage on the oil filter.
Below is the engine bay of the Gallardo as seen from above. You’ll want to take your Phillips-head screwdriver to the 9 screws that hold this cover in place. The eight that are highlighted in yellow are easy to find, but the last one you’ll have to approach from the side of the car, as you can’t see it from the rear.
Now that the cover is out of the way, it’s time to remove the airboxes. Use your flathead to remove the four screws, which we’ve highlighted in purple.
There are two more screws on each airbox, located towards the front end of the vehicle. Use the flathead on them, as well.
Now head back to the top of the airbox. On the driver’s side, there are three worm clamps that need to be loosened. Use your flathead screwdriver to loosen the three clamps (two near the airbox, one near the throttle body). On the passenger side, there are two clamps — one by the throttle body, and just one near the airbox. Loosen them and remove the tubing, along with the airboxes themselves.
For this DIY, we didn’t feel it necessary to remove the throttle bodies. We ended up removing the filter without it; some feel it’s easier to remove the TBs, and feel free to. You won’t need to detach all the wiring, just set them a bit to the side while you finish the filter work. No matter what, there’s a sensor on a clamp inbetween the TBs that you’ll need to remove. The clip that the sensor attaches to is highlighted in….some color. Let’s blame Photoshop for that one.
Now, if you look deep between the manifolds, you’ll find the cover for the oil filter (which was colored purple because it’s impossible to see otherwise). It’s not in an easy space to access, unless you feel like removing the entire intake plenum assembly. Which we didn’t, and which nobody really does for an oil change. As a result, it’s a tight space, but with the right amount of effort, it will start to turn, and can be unscrewed by hand from there. We ended up using a standard filter wrench, but anything that’s able to both grip the filter cover and give you some room to apply force to the wrench is fine (just don’t wreck your cover; they’re probably not cheap to replace). This step is probably the most arduous step in the entire DIY, but once you’re done with it, the rest is pretty easy. You’ll have to remove both the cover and filter itself at a 90-degree angle to its usual position, so expect a bit of oil drippage. Laying some cloths down or just moving quickly should suffice to keep everything neat and tidy. Also, as a final note, if your filter comes out with the cover, just twist the filter gently about a half turn to remove it. Twist too hard and you may break the clips that hold the filter in place.
Once the filter is off, let’s go ahead and get rid of all that oil in the car. Be prepared to collect between 10 and 11 liters of oil, so an old coffee can probably isn’t your best bet. There are two drain plugs on the Gallardo, both of which can be opened with your Allen keys. The first is near the rear bumper, pointing directly downwards. The second is more in the middle of the engine, pointing towards the passenger’s side.
Open them up and expect to make it rain (oil). One at a time is fine if you only have one collector for the old oil. Also, don’t let your oil get this black. Lamborghini recommends 7000 miles between oil changes.
Once the oil has sufficiently drained from the motor, you can plug the drains back up with the Lamborghini-supplied array of crush washers. There are multiple sizes, so choose the right ones!
Now, let’s get that new filter in there.
After the filter is in place, it’s time to get the cover back on the filter. Apply the new O-ring that came with the oil filter, and twist it back on. Make sure, as with all oil changes, to use a little oil to get everything to sit together nicely. As with removal, the hand-turning of the filter cover will be easy, just make sure it’s threaded properly. Finish tightening it with the filter wrench (or whatever worked best for you). It doesn’t need to be torqued to 500 Nm, but make sure it’s secure and leakproof.
Now it’s time to fill the oil. Using a funnel and the oil we mentioned earlier, fill the motor with approximately 6 liters of oil. Then start the engine at low RPMs for about a minute, until the oil light turns off. Turn the engine off, assess for leaks, then add another 4 to 4.5 liters of oil. Start the engine again and let it warm up. Then use the dipstick (integrated into the oil cap) to check the oil level. Make sure it’s at an appropriate amount, go for a quick test drive, check the floor and the engine bay for more leaks, and then you’re all set with the oil portion of the DIY! It’s pretty easy to figure out where to put the oil:
Finally, since the airboxes are out (and since it was one of the jobs on the work order), let’s go about replacing those airbox filters. Removing the old ones are easy, just lift ’em out slowly and they’ll eventually pop right out. No clips, just tight fitment. However, watch out for the powdercoat of the airbox itself; if the filters are too old, they might take a little of the powdercoat with ’em. Just make sure to shop-vac up everything that flakes off. The slower you go, the prettier it’ll end up being. The new ones are a cinch to install; just put them in. Done.
From there, the reverse order of the breakdown applies. Reconnect the throttle bodies (if you removed them) and reattach the sensor that clips in-between them. Then put the airboxes back on top of the filters, and reconnect the tubing and tighten the worm clamps. Screw the airboxes in, then screw the cover back onto the engine bay, and you’re all set. Just off the record, you have to love the overt way that the Volkswagen Automotive Group labels their boxes. The following box contained the Gallardo cabin filter. Even on supercars, parts-bin engineering is the way to go. Just like a Chevy Impala!