Alright- first of all, this only applies to the 2.2 litre EcoTec engine. I would imagine that the V6 isn't all that different, but I personally own an 03 Alero with a 2.2, so here we go... NOTE: If you plan on dumping your oil onto the ground, please for the love of Pete go to Jiffy Lube or a dealer instead. Or buy an oil drain pan at Wal-Mart, then take the oil to just about any facility that changes oil. Used engine oil is among the more disatrously nasty chemicals you will ever (realistically) be exposed to. It is classified as hazardous waste and is so full of carcinogenic, acidic combustion by-products that I personally wear nitrile gloves when I do oil changes. If you get used motor oil on your skin, wipe it immediately, and wash the area with Dawn as soon as possible. That said, this question was for "draining the oil" and not "changing the oil" so that is baffling in itself. If you know enough to "change" the oil except for the part about draining it, that doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, you'll need: oil drain pan nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves (thin ones) 15mm socket with a ratchet of decent length (at least 10") for leverage paper towels within reach Warm the engine for about 4 minutes, idling. Really hot oil will gush out like water, and can make you have a terrible day. Cold oil will take forever to drain. Warm is good. If you're not too thick in the middle, you can scoot under the vehicle from behind the right front tire- turn the wheels fully to the LEFT and it will give you decent access to the bolt, plus you'll be looking right at it if you go in that way. If you're too chunky to slide under the car, see if you can use a depression to help: either a rain gutter (sluice-type, like a section of concrete pipe) or even a smallish ditch. If you drive over the depression so that your front tires are just past it, then turn your wheels left, the depression should be (obviously) right behind your tires. That is right where you slide under the car, so try that. Using a depression negates the need for ramps or jacks, is safer and cheaper, and keeps your car level. There are two obvious "pans" between the frame rails on the Alero. The huge one is the transmission, so leave that one alone. The smaller, rougher one is the oil pan, and the drain bolt is on the side of the pan that faces the rear of the car. Use either the ratchet or a 15mm box-end wrench to break the drain bolt loose, then use your fingers to unscrew it. While unscrewing it, keep some force on the bolt (push it back in) so that when the bolt releases itself it won't just fall out- by holding pressure on it, YOU control where and how the drain bolt flies. You'll feel it once it breaks free. When you quickly move the drain bolt to the side, the oil will not drop straight down- the hole points toward the rear of the car, so it will fountain in that direction. Ensure your drain pan is positioned to intercept the stream, but be ready to reposition it rapidly if you miscalculated. That is another reason to hold on to the drain bolt: many times when my bolt has fallen into the drain pan, I have had the great fortune to get globbed with oil as the bolt fell directly under the drain stream and the oil hit that bolt and shot out in all directions. HOLD ON TO YOUR DRAIN BOLT! At this point you can remove the oil filter cover (on top of the engine- black plastic, blah blah blah) and also remove the oil filler cap. The drain bolt does not require a new crush washer since the bolt casting employs a rubber seal. Wipe this bolt carefully before you reinstall it, and wipe the surface of the oil pan where the bolt will touch. Alright- since this was about "how to drain the oil" I guess I won't go into all the other tricks and wonderful tips involved in an entire oil change, but I'll look elsewhere on these forums and see if I can address that somewhere else. Good luck, be cool, and don't over-tighten these bolts! 5 quarts of 5W-30, by the way :) -Grand
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