Thanks for the tip on LISLE tool #14700 !
Easily found in stock at nearby O'Reilly's Auto Parts for $8.99 plus tax.
I, too, used a 6" extension on my 3/8" drive socket wrench to remove and
re-attach the plastic cap. Made that task easy. This cartridge filter system
reverts back to the type GM used on many cars in the early 50's. Remove cover,
lift out used filter cartridge, insert new, replace cover. No spillage, easy to
reach, quick procedure and I like it again now as I once did on my old '51 Cadillac.
This was the first oil change on the Malibu. Mileage 7892, with 44% oil life
remaining on the indicator (reset to 100% as per owner's manual instructions).
Used AC Delco PF457G replacement filter cartridge. Rather pricey at Wal Mart,
but wanted to stay with GM factory specification part. $8.88 plus tax, though
equivalent FRAM brand was several dollars cheaper, even with the spare "O"
ring included. No "O" ring with AC Delco (made in Bulgaria, by the way).
Interestingly, I found the factory original filter to be a "HENGST" brand, as was the
filter assembly/housing installed during assembly at the Lake Orion, MI, GM plant. Filter made in USA, a apparently a known company (HENGST), but I'd never seen their products, oil filters, or otherwise.
Personally, I'd use a low setting torque on the drain plug and here is why:
The 15mm hex oil drain plug has a grade marking of "5.6". Considering it fastens
into an aluminum oil pan casing, it has to be fairly giving. Even moderate torque
would strip the threads rather quickly, I'd imagine. I used a 15 mm box wrench
to remove. The drain plug is fairly far under the front of the car. Might have
to jack up the car to reach it and position a drain pan under. I'm not a petite man,
so cannot wedge under the car unless the front is jacked for drain plug access and
leverage to loosen/tighten. Can just barely reach the drain plug without jacking, but
it's awkward and I have minimum arm leverage that way.
Factory service manuals have all torque data, but I didn't spring for the $200 + to cover
the 2010 Malibu set from HELM, Inc. (offered in the owner's manual). With past GM
cars, these service manuals have been valuable, especially if car ownership will go
beyond five years. Just a thought.