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.
#3: Now, turn off the engine so that you can begin the process. Remove both of the seats and the console cover from the machine and place them to the side.
#4: Put the oil pan under the motor and remove the drain bolt with your 17mm deep socket. The drain bolt is located in the centermost of the holes in the middle skid plate. This hole is easier to reach from the passenger side, as it's a little closer to that side. Watch out for the hot oil; the gloves will help a little, but you can get burned if you aren't careful.
Tip: Use a clean oil pan so you can check for foreign materials, metal shavings, grit and the like.
#5: Remove the oil filler plug (dipstick) so that it allows for the oil located in this area to drain as well.
#6: Carefully remove the oil filter using the filter wrench. Make sure to wipe up the oil that inevitably spills from the filter when you remove it. You don't want to leave spilled oil on your motor or on the ground.
#7: Lube the O-ring of the new oil filter with a thin coat of lithium grease. If you're using the factory Yamaha filter, make sure the O-ring is correctly positioned in the groove of the cartridge.
#8: Install the filter and torque it down to 12 ft-lb (or 1.7m/kg or 17 Nm). It's very important to have the proper torque.
#9: Take a moment to inspect the crush washer on your drain plug. If you've overtightened this plug in the past or drained the oil a lot, this washer can get too crushed. If it's obliterated, pick up a new one at your local Yamaha dealer; this will help extend the life of your plug threads and keep it leak free.
#10: After your oil has sufficiently drained, reinstall the drain plug and torque it to 22 ft-lb (3.0m/kg or 30 Nm). This is very important as too much torque and you can strip out the drain plug, but too little and oil will leak.
#11: Crack open those jugs of oil and fill 'er back up. The factory manual says you'll need to add 2.01 quarts (1.90 liters) after an oil change only. If you replaced the filter, you'll need to pour in 2.11 quarts (2.00 liters) total. You can use a measuring cup, but don't worry about getting this 100 percent spot-on, we'll be checking the oil level in the following steps. Reinstall the filler cap/dipstick when you're done.
#12: Start up your Rhino and let it run for a few minutes. After it's warmed up, shut it down and check for any oil leaks, especially around the filter and drain plug. Take the time to do a thorough inspection, as you'll need to wait a few minutes for the oil to settle anyway.
#13: Home stretch. The last thing to do is check your oil level. After the oil has cooled, remove the dipstick, wipe it off and stick it back in-very funny, pay attention now-do not screw in the dipstick. The oil level on the Rhino should be checked without the dipstick threaded into the hole. The oil level should be in between the maximum and minimum marks. Adjust the level as needed, reinstall the filler cap and you're done...for now. You should continue to check your oil periodically. It's a good idea to check the level before you take off on a ride. Running your Rhino on low oil can cause some serious problems in the future, and driving it on no oil...I don't think I need to elaborate.
#14: Take one last look at your handiwork then reinstall the console cover, both seats and you're done. The only thing left to do is install the proper safety equipment, torque down that seat belt and apply pressure to the right-most pedal; no sense in letting that oil stay clean for too long.
Make sure you recycle your used oil and filters at a local collection center. For more info, visit www.recycleoil.org.