Before you start, you'll want to make sure you even need to change the oil. Do you have a brand-new Rhino? If so, you should change your oil after the first 20 hours/1 month/200 miles, whichever comes first. This is important in the initial break-in of your motor. After that, the manual says you should drain the oil every 150 hours/6 months/1500 miles. However, most industry professionals will tell you this is way too long and suggest changing the oil every 75 hours/3 months/750 miles and swapping out the filter each time. The problem is that the manufacturer is assuming you're using your Rhino for nice quiet drives on a graded dirt road...yeah right, most of us are barreling through mud holes or screaming up dunes for hours on end. Plus, your Rhino basically has the same motor as a normal ATV but is doing twice the work, hauling around an additional 400 pounds and a passenger. That extra stress needs to be taken into account when deciding how often to change your oil. This also applies to any performance modifications you've made. If you're putting extra horsepower through the engine's internals, you'll want to change the oil more often to help prevent premature failure.
Rubber gloves? Real men don't use rubber gloves! Well, if being a real man is about accidentally spraying contact cleaner into a busted knuckle or tasting 10W-30 on your mid-service snack, you can count me out. Gloves are great for preventing the aforementioned mishaps, and when you're done, just slip them off and throw them out. We find that the green or blue nitrile gloves are more durable and thus superior to the run-of-the-mill latex gloves.
There are some choices out there for your oil and oil filter. The factory manual suggests using 10W-30 for colder climates and 20W-40 if you ride in warmer weather where it's always above freezing. Yamaha is one of the only companies that makes a 20W-40 oil, so with any other brand, 10W-40 will work fine in most riding and racing conditions. We suggest using good-quality motorcycle/ATV oil; don't skimp on the lifeblood of your vehicle. This goes for the filter as well; you can't go wrong with the factory Yamaha oil filter. It's usually only a couple of dollars more than the comparable generic brand, and it's worth the investment, if you ask me.
3 quarts of oil, new oil filter (if applicable), torque wrench, ratchet, 17mm deep socket, oil filter wrench, oil pan, rubber gloves, long funnel, shop rags.
Less than 30 minutes.
Next to maintaining the air filter, changing the oil is one of the easiest and most important services you can perform on your quad. Periodically changing the engine oil in your off-road vehicle is crucial if you want to keep it reliable and running for years to come. Your Rhino is no exception. Luckily for you, Yamaha made this process pretty straightforward on the Rhino, unlike some other vehicles. Hopefully these tips and step-by-step instructions will make this process as painless as possible. Note: These steps and measurements apply to model year 2006 and earlier. If you have a 2007 or newer Rhino, check your manual for specifics.
#1: Make sure your Rhino is clean. Working on a dirty vehicle is no fun, and you run the risk of letting grit fall in when opening filler caps and removing oil filters. Having this happen could cause you to spend extended time tearing down parts and cleaning them out.
#2 Get your Rhino on a level surface, start it up and let it idle for several minutes. This is very important because it warms up the oil and stirs up all the unwanted particles in your motor and helps get most of them out when you drain the oil.