All posts by bokan

Replace Engine Mount (Toyota Corolla 2000-2007)

If you look under your hood and notice your Toyota Corolla has a wearing or cracked engine mount, don’t just shrug it off. It’s important, that if you see a damaged mount or that the engine moves around a lot, you should replace it as soon as possible. Does this mean you have to bring your Toyota Corolla into the shop and have a mechanic charge you for the parts and labor that goes into replacing an engine mount? No! This job is something that any brave DIYer can tackle with flying colors. So grab your DIY gear and let’s get started.

  • To begin, you need to buy the replacement engine mount for your Corolla. You can normally order this online or get it from a dealer. Once you have the replacement mount, make sure you have the necessary tools to remove the old one and install the new one. The tools you will need are: a metric socket set, a powerful breaker bar, a jack, jack stands, gloves, and some elbow grease.
  • To get started, pop open the hood and find the front engine mount. You probably have already found and seen it, especially because you had already known it was damaged. Either way, the mount is located on the left side of your vehicle, and has four bolts that will be needing removed before you can take the mount assembly out.
  • The first bolt you will need to remove, is the large 17 mm bolt that is directly on top of the mount. This bolt is especially tight, so you will need to use the breaker bar to snap it free. Once putting in the effort to break it free, remove the bolt and check the engine. If you can stick a rebar in the metal frame that is attached to the engine and wiggle the engine while putting the pressure on the front portion of your vehicle, then you know the engine is free from the mount.
  • The next step is to remove the smaller bolt located on the farthest left portion of the mount frame. It is a smaller bolt of 12 mm and should be relatively easy to break free.
  • The last two bolts to remove are the larger 14 mm. Once you remove them the mount should be free of all bolts. The mount will still be tight, for two reasons. One: you may need to loosen the power steering tube that is draped across the mount. Two: the engine must be jacked up to remove the pressure on the mount.
  • To remove the pressure from the power steering tube, simply remove the small bolt located towards the front of the vehicle, that is holding the assembly down.
  • To remove the engine’s weight from the mount, put your jack under the left side of the engine, and carefully jack up. You do not want to jack it up too much, but just enough for the engine to lift off the mount. Use a block of wood to protect the oil pan from damage and jack stands as needed.
  • Once all the pressure is off the mount, you simply need to wiggle the part out of the metal maze.
  • Now that the old mount is removed, install the new mount, reversing the removal process carefully and safely.

Working on parts that literally hold up your Toyota Corolla’s engine can seem daunting at first. If you follow these steps carefully, however, your engine will be back to its former snug and secure self, in no time.

Image by Peter Finn via YouTube

How to Replace an Inside Door Handle (Toyota Corolla & Others)

Oh, Snap! You opened the door just like any other time, and suddenly, the inside door handle of your Toyota Corolla is nothing more than a loose piece of expensive plastic. When this happens, fear could shoot through your bones as money signs taunt your imagination. This fear may be a little misplaced, though, as the expense and time needed for replacing your Toyota Corolla’s inside door handle can be a lot less than you might expect. Take a look at our easy to follow step-by-step guide to replace your inside door handle.

  • First of all, you need to buy the necessary parts and tools to handle the task at hand. The tools needed for this project includes: multiple screwdrivers, pliers, a utility knife, the new inside door handle, and new screws (if the old ones are broken, lost, or rusted).
  • Once you have the materials for the project, you can begin as soon as you want. The first step for replacing the inside door handle of your Corolla is by removing the inner door panel. To do this, you must first try to take off the arm rest, which is most likely held on by a few snaps. Simply pry back on it with a screwdriver, until it pops free. Wrapping the screwdriver with tape can help to prevent scratches.
  • Once you’ve taken that off, you should see two screws behind it. Unscrew those two screws, and then make sure not to lose them. You will also want to remove the screw that’s inside the handle compartment.
  • After removing hose three screws, the door panel is ready to be removed. You can take it off by snapping the whole thing slowly and carefully, off. Make sure you lift over and around the locking mechanism, and not pull it too far away from the wires that are attached to it.
  • You should now get the new inside door handle for your Toyota Corolla ready. It will need to be attached to the L-shaped metal piece that is sitting where the old handle was located. There will be a plastic attachment located either on the L-shaped metal piece or you can find the new one that comes with the handle. This piece will sit in between the new handle and the L-shaped metal piece in the door.
  • The next step is to attach the new handle to the section the old one was originally. The L-shaped metal piece will have a tip that gets inserted inside the new handle. This tip will have the plastic piece, mentioned before, buffering itself between the two entities. For attaching the new handle and the L-shaped metal piece, you may need to use pliers to fit the handle in correctly.
  • After the handle has been attached to the metal piece, you must ensure it can fit inside the panel completely. It should fit snugly within the panel.
  • You are now ready to reinstall the door panel to the door itself. Make sure all the inner parts of the door match up with the panel, then start pressing the panel into the door.
  • Once it’s snapped into place, you can test the handle and it should work like the original one did. Reattach the three screws and replace the arm rest, and you are done!

As you can see, the steps for replacing your Toyota Corolla’s inside door handle are few and simple. If you follow the steps closely, and are willing to delve into your door, this project can be a rewarding and inexpensive fix.

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How to Replace a Dirty Toyota Cabin Filter

Keeping your lungs healthy and clean can be a part of your regular car maintenance. How so? Well in your modern Toyota there is a device called the Cabin Air Filter, which is specifically designed to filter out all the dust pollutants and particles that sneak into your cabin from the outside. Though it may seem like a small thing, the cabin air filter can ensure that your vehicle stays a great place to breathe and drive in.

The fact that it is a filter, though, implies that eventually it will need to be replaced with a new one. A good mileage basis, for knowing when it should be replaced, is around 10,000 miles, but this may depend on whether you live in a dusty area or whether or not you’re in pollen season. When you are headed to replace your Toyota cabin filter, be sure to follow these simple steps, I order to completely the replacement process quickly and easily.

First, you will need to gather the necessary tools and parts for the project at hand. In this case, you will need just a Phillips head screw driver and the replacement filter. You can buy your specific Toyota cabin filter online or at any auto parts store. Paper filters are great for dust, pollen, and particles, while carbon filters help to combat odors, such as exhaust and smoke.

  • Once you have your Phillips head screw driver and replacement filter, the second step involves getting inside your car’s cabin. You will want to open your glove compartment, all of the way, and then look in the bottom right for a screw. Go ahead and unscrew it. You will then want to remove the loop from the arm, that the screw was holding in. If you drive a Toyota Highlander, the screw is actually underneath and behind the glove compartment, so you might be able to pull the loop off the arm without actually taking the screw off.
  • After pulling the loop off, squeeze the sides of the glove compartment together, to press the tabs past the dash. You should now be able to lift and pull the whole glove compartment out of the dash.
  • With the glove compartment out of the way, you will now see the cabin air filter compartment. Flip the two latches holding the compartment closed and slide the cabin air filter out. Be sure to hold it upright the whole time, so that debris does not fall into the fan or on the floor.
  • Now that the old cabin air filter is out, go ahead and unbox and unbag the new one. Follow the arrow that points up, by installing it upwards. Once it’s back in the right position, the compartment lid should snap shut, with the tabs closing around it.
  • Your cabin air filter is now successfully installed, follow the process backwards to reinstall the glove compartment. You may need to push the sides of the compartment in to get the tabs past the dash again. Then reinsert the screw after attaching the loop back to the glove compartment arm.

Replacing a Toyota cabin filter is a DIY project that almost anyone can accomplish. As long as you have access to your glove compartment, you can make sure your car’s air is breathable and fresh for your many travels ahead.

Photo credit: Ryan Gsell via / CC BY

Check Engine Light? Basic Diagnostic Tools to Help You Fix It Right

“A man is nothing without his tools.” That saying may not be entirely accurate but when it comes to working on a vehicle, it is almost dead on. While over the past century cars have been getting more and more complicated, humans have not let themselves be overrun by the huge task of fixing these near-autonomous vehicles. Though cars are becoming technological nightmares, the tools that have been created have become life-savers. For example, if and when that dreaded check engine light appears on your dash, or for most cars now, appears on the different screens and hub assemblies riddled throughout the cabin, we have the perfect tool to counteract it. The check engine light can instill a sense of ignorance, especially when your car looks, sounds, and overall seems like it is running fine. The diagnostic tools that we have been given, however, turn that ignorance into providence. With the ability to analyze and diagnose whatever may be ailing your vehicle, diagnostic tools are the way to stay ahead of the technological curve. How do you use these tools to help with your check engine light or any other issue that needs to be diagnosed? Let’s take a look.

  • The first diagnostic tool we will look at is probably the most common one, the OBD-ll scan tool. This tool is used to examine the car’s computer and discover the faults that were tripped to turn on the check engine light. This tool is extremely handy to have as it can tell you what your car’s issue is almost instantly. It’s use is as simple as plugging in the cord to the OBD port, normally located under the steering wheel, and hitting scan. There are different types of scan tools, as some are more expensive and others less so. The more expensive ones do offer more features while the inexpensive ones offer just the basics. Whatever type of scan tool you get, however, it will tell you the codes of why the check engine light appeared. These scan tools can help alleviate any worries or give you a sense of what needs taken care, depending on if the issue is a big or small one, and are something every DIYer should have in their holster.
  • Another useful diagnostic tool for your utility belt is a multimeter. This tools can be extremely handy in discovering any issues within a sensor’s wiring or with a sensor itself. You can use it by checking the voltage output of a sensor, and see if the check engine light or other issue has been caused by that. Having this tool can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run.
  • While any issue appearing in your car is a pain, one of the worst car pains are engine issues. Engine issues can be caused by all sorts of troublemaking elements, but normally it is air, fuel, or spark related. Having a vacuum-pressure gauge can help figure out any air problems within the system. If you think any of your engine’s problems are air related, then you will want to have a gauge ready and waiting to be used. Keep in mind that you can check the fuel pressure with this tool as well on any car that has a carburetor.
  • Finally, one of the last diagnostic tools that is useful to have in a tough check engine light or other frustrating situation, on a modern fuel injection car, is a fuel-pressure gauge. Checking the pressure of your fuel can sometimes be the best way to figuring out a problem with your car.

The tools that we have to figure out a check engine light, and any other issues that may appear in our car, can be time and money savers. Instead of having to pull the car apart piece by piece, we have tools that can diagnose the problem down to a simple code. So take advantage of these DIY gifts and use them to make your car-fixing day, just a little bit better.

Check Engine Light On? How to Check It Yourself

Oh boy, there it is. The dreaded check engine light has appeared on your dash, taunting you with its amber illumination. Whenever you are driving down the road, and your check engine light pops on, you can’t help but feel a tightening in your stomach. Whether it’s from fear that you could break down at any second, or anger about the presumed dent in your wallet that the inevitable repair is going to create, that tightening only gets deeper. If it isn’t flashing though, it may not be the catastrophe you are dreading. The check engine light can illuminate for any number of reasons. Indeed, some automakers specify up to 4,000 different Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC)!

You don’t absolutely have to go to the mechanic or the dealership if you want peace of mind. All you really need, at least to start with, is a scan tool. There are a many different types of scan tools out there, some that are just simple code readers and others that connect to your smartphone or laptop that can give you much more vehicle information, such as fuel economy and trip information. In order to use a scan tool properly, follow our simple guide to checking your codes, finding the answer to your check engine light’s spontaneous appearance, and ease your mind.

  • Scan Tool to Help You Diagnose that Check Engine Light
    Scan Tool to Help You Diagnose that Check Engine Light

    After you have bought the scan tool that best fits your needs, go ahead and plug it into your car, in the slot under the dash. Your owner’s manual will give you its exact location, in case you don’t see it immediately. Turn the key to the “On” position, but don’t start your car. Once the electric power is on, the scan tool may ask for information about your vehicle. Follow the instructions for inputting your vehicle’s info, then move on to the next step.

  • The scan tool will give you a few options to choose from, essentially giving you different functionality from the tool. You will see the option for checking codes, which you should click on, to let you know what is happening with your vehicle.
  • Once your code or codes show up on the screen, write them down. Some of the more expensive scan tools will show you the code and what the code means. Others just give you a paper code list, normally in a book form. But in this technological day and age, it might be best to look the code up online. This will give you far more information on your problem and help you decide if it’s an issue you want to tackle yourself, or have a professional take care of.
  • Your scan tool can also reset your check engine light if you want it to. Doing this is only a cosmetic solution though, only eliminating a symptom, perhaps only temporarily, but not fixing the root problem. If you are trying to remove the check engine light, in order to pass inspection, don’t expect to trick anyone with a simple code clearing. After you clear a check engine light, you must drive your vehicle for its inspection and maintenance readiness (I/M) tests.
  • There should be an option on the scan tool for I/M status, allowing you to see when it will be prepared for the inspection. If all monitors say “Ready,” then you should be good to go. Still, if the problem is still there after clearing the check engine light, then the light will come back on, making it impossible to pass inspection. So if you are trying to see if it’s just a malfunction causing the check engine light to appear, then clearing the code can help with the troubleshooting. But always remember that clearing the code is not the same as alleviating the code’s origin.

So whether or not you get an expensive scan tool or just a simple code reader, having the ability to check your car’s codes yourself can make whatever the price of the scan tool you bought worthwhile. As a do-it-yourselfer, you can now use this information to diagnose and repair your vehicle.

How Do You Know if Your Toyota Needs Brakes?

The brake system on your Toyota is arguably the most important safety equipment on board. The brake rotors and brake pads on your vehicle make sure you can stop as quickly and safely as possible, helping you maintain control of your vehicle in almost any circumstance.

Like any other part of your car, the brake system must be regularly maintained, in order for them to continue doing their job correctly. Unfortunately, some drivers may not notice the signs that their Toyota needs brakes, leading to a dangerous and expensive situation! Not only is this dangerous to you and everyone around you, but ignoring needed maintenance on your brake pads can lead to damaged rotors, which then can lead to even worse damage to your wheel. Protect your Toyota, and everyone within and around it, pay attention to the signs that your brakes need service…

  • One sign you may notice, that tells you it’s time to replace your brakes, is vibration from the brake pedal. When pressing your foot on the brake pedal causes a slight jittering in the braking, then this most likely means the brake rotors have been warped, due to overheating. To return the brake rotors to smooth operations, they’ll need to be machined or replaced.
  • If you hear a clicking or shaking noise whenever you apply your Toyota’s brakes, then it probably means you have gotten to the point of needing to replace your brake pads. This rattling would normally be stopped by the manufacturers’ device, designed to stop the shaking of brake pads when the brakes are applied, but when the brake pads have worn out, the clips and springs may not be able to keep things from rattling around.
  • Another way of knowing that it your Toyota needs brakes, is by making a visual inspection, through the car wheel. You should be able to at least see the outboard brake pad, and also see how much of the pad is left. With a flashlight and inspection mirror, both cheaply available, you might be able to see the condition of the inboard brake pad, as well. If less than 3 mm of the friction material remains, then it’s time to start looking for new brakes.
  • Manufacturers have installed a device, designed for the very goal of this article. Sometimes referred to as a “brake squealer,” a small metal tab sticks out beside the pad, to alert the driver that the brake pad is close to its minimum thickness. When you hear a loud squeal coming from your brakes, and it happens consistently, every time you apply the brakes, then it probably means you have hit the metal piece. At that point, you must really take into consideration getting new brake pads.
  • Hands down, the worst sound you may hear would be grinding rotors. If the brake pad wears completely out, then the metal brake pad backing plate is the only thing contacting the brake rotor, which causes a terrible grinding noise will damage the rotors. If this is ever the case with your Toyota, you must go and get new brake pads, as well as brake rotors, as soon as possible. This is a scenario you will hopefully not find yourself in, but if you do, getting your brakes taken care of is your number one priority. You may also see grooves within the rotors, from the brake pads being worn down too far. If you see this, then it is definitely time to replace your brake pads. If the grooves are more gouges, then you will need to replace the rotors, too.
  • If you apply the brakes, and the car pulls to one side, without you moving it that way then this probably means that there is some unbalance in the brakes, such as a hydraulic problem or a seized caliper. If it pulls without applying the brakes, then it most likely not your brakes causing the problem.

These warning signs are something you should always keep in mind, while you are driving down the road. You should especially start looking and listening for these symptoms if you are reaching 30,000 miles since your last brake pad replacement, or if you stop and go frequently, such as in city driving. Some brake pads last longer then others, and may also cause different symptoms than others, so keep an eye on your brakes in general, too. If you pay attention to what your Toyota needs, and keep your brakes maintained regularly, you should be good to drive it for many years to come.

DIY Quick Struts for your Toyota Camry

Struts, especially your front struts, are regular part of keeping your car maintained. When your front struts are in good condition, they keep you and your car from feeling the pressure and bumps of the roads and highways you drive upon as well as keeps your car alignment. When your front struts go bad, and your alignment is off, then the constant driving and travelling in your car can become uncomfortable for you and cause problems for the rest of the car. Therefore, keeping your struts well-maintained, replacing them at the proper time, is an important aspect of car maintenance to keep in mind.

DIY Spring Compression or An Accident Waiting to Happen
DIY Spring Compression or An Accident Waiting to Happen

How do you replace your front struts, though? Fortunately, for all you Toyota Camry drivers, there are quick struts, that can easily be installed and uninstalled, if you have the right tools, without the element of danger that comes with attempting to DIY spring compression. Take a look at our quick front struts replacement guide, to help do-it-yourself, like a pro.

  • To start, you will want to gather the necessary tools and parts for this job. This will include: a socket wrench, with sockets, penetrating oil, and a torque wrench. The quick strut should have all the pieces necessary for the replacement process.
  • Once you have all your tools and parts ready, go ahead and jack up your car. Use proper jacking techniques, as safety is your number one priority. After the side that you are working on is off the ground, remove the wheel.
  • After the wheel has been removed, look towards the top of your wheel well. You should notice a stabilizer link, basically a tab connected on the side of your strut, with a 5mm bolt holding it in place. Use your large wrench to grip the bolt while unscrewing the bolt from the stabilizer link. It would also be a good idea to spray some penetrating oil on the bolt, before unscrewing it.
  • Next, find your way down the front strut. You will see just behind the wheel assembly; your Camry’s ABS wire clip. Unclip this and then look to the side and find the 12 mm bolt holding the brake line on. Remove this as well. Pull that out of the way and move on to the next step.
  • You should now see two 22 mm nuts, one above the other, that must be removed. Spray some penetrating oil on them first, then unbolt them. You will then have to knock the bolts they were attached to out of their sockets. Then open the hood of your car.
  • Above where you were working, you will need to remove three 14 mm nuts from the top of the strut tower.
  • Next, use a jack stand or scissor jack to support the bottom of the steering knuckle. You should now be able to pull the front strut assembly out of the top socket and completely out of the wheel well.
  • During the installation process, it is a good idea to recall the steps you took to get to this point. Working your way backwards can really help you make sure you don’t forget a step or part, that’s necessary for your car.
  • First, make sure the quick strut is aligned correctly, with the strut tower sockets. Go ahead and stick it up in the correct holes.
  • Second, reinstall the strut bottom with the steering knuckle. You may have to wiggle it around for it to fit in correctly. Be careful not to damage the brake line during this process.
  • Third, reinstall the 22 mm steering knuckle bolts, the three 14mm strut tower nuts, and then the 22 mm steering knuckle nuts last. These need to be torqued to 152 lb•ft, or else they may loosen up on the road.
  • Fourth, reattach the bolt holding the brake line and reattach the ABS clip, back to its original position.
  • Fifth, inspect the stabilizer linkages and then reinstall the stabilizer link bolt.
  • You can now reinstall the wheel, and lower the car to the ground.

Once you have followed these steps to replacing your front struts, be sure to take your car out for a test drive, noticing any problems or noises. An extremely important last step to add for your front struts replacement process is getting an alignment. This step is vital for keeping your car healthy and your tires in shape. Installing new front struts on your Camry is a great way to test your DIY ability. So whenever your Camry needs new front struts, you are prepared to replace them quickly and skillfully.

How to Replace a Headlight Bulb (Toyota Corolla and Others)

The small and almost insignificant parts and pieces of a vehicle, like your Toyota Corolla, can often add up and prove to be actually quite important. Though some parts may not be key or crucial to the operation of the vehicle, necessarily, there is always a reason a certain part or piece is installed. While not being the ultimate reason a car starts and runs, some parts are there for other reasons. For example, one reason a part may be installed is for safety, and not just for yourself, but for others around you as well.

Toyota Headlights Causing You Problems?
Toyota Headlights Causing You Problems?

One of these particular safety parts is your headlights. Though seemingly unimportant, headlights are actually extremely important for the road. Obviously, headlights allow you to see in the dark, essentially making driving a 24-hour possibility, but they are also there for communicating to other drivers around. When driving on a road at night, especially the back roads and country roads, headlights communicate to other drivers heading in your direction, that you are headed in theirs.
Headlights are important, but what if one of your headlight bulbs goes out? Here is a quick and easy guide, to help you get your Toyota Corolla, or whatever Toyota you may be driving, back to blinking with both headlights.
• First, as with all DIY projects, gather the supplies you will need for the project at hand. In this particular case, you should only need the replacement headlight bulb. You can probably pick up the appropriate bulb at your local auto parts store, before beginning the project.
• Next, prepare your car by making sure it is in park, and the open the hood.
• After opening the hood, you should notice in the back of the headlight that is out, a connector jutting out. To access the headlight bulb, you will need to push down on the connector, in order to unplug the wiring. For the unconnected portion, rotate it counter clockwise to find the bulb.
• Once the headlight bulb is showing, and is ready be removed, then start the removal process. To do this, you must twist the bulb, counterclockwise, to unscrew it from the electrical connector. You should now have everything ready for the installation process.
• Carefully, pull out the new headlight bulb from its box, and screw it into the vacant socket, counter clockwise. Just to reiterate, though, it is very important for you to handle the headlight Bulb with care. They can break extremely easily. Pro Tip: Dirt and grease, even your fingerprint, can lead to uneven heating and expansion of the bulb while in use, and the bulb could explode. Use clean rubber gloves to install the new bulb in the socket. Lacking gloves, alcohol wipes are very good for removing dirt and grease from the bulb before installation and testing.
• After putting the new bulb in, check the headlights to see if they are both working. If the one that was out continues to be out, bring your Toyota Camry to a mechanic to check for any problems in the electrical system. If after checking your headlights, and they are both working correctly, then you are good to go!
Your headlights are very important in keeping your driving lifestyle safe. When a headlight bulb goes out, do not just ignore it. Seeing where you are going on the road is clearly your number one priority while driving, and keeping your headlights working makes sure that happens no matter what time it is. So if and when your headlight bulbs go out, follow this guide, and you will be back to lighting up the world, on your many driving adventures.

Toyota Upholstery Cleaning Tips

Car washes are a dime a dozen. When driving down any main drag, you often can see a car wash, whether it be on its own or combined with a gas station. Car washes can be extremely convenient, considering that all you have to do is bring your Toyota in, and let the car wash take care of the rest. Some of you even wash your own car. What often happens, though, is car owners keep the outside of their car clean, but let the inside go. While keeping the outside of your Toyota nice and shiny is important, keeping the interior clean is important, too. You would be surprised to see what taking a little time to clean the interior can do, to make your car feel new again. Here is an easy guide for you to follow in cleaning the upholstery of your Toyota.

  • First, in order to make sure the surfaces are completely cleaned, you must clear them of all trash and other unnecessary items. Taking a moment to get the clutter out of your car can be a great stress reliever and also allows you to make your car 100% spotless. Remember, you can scrub all you want, but if you have items and trash floating around your seats, floorboards, and cup holders, your Toyota will never look or feel clean.
  • Second, take a damp rag and apply it to plastic and vinyl surfaces. Using a damp rag on the dashboard and cup holders regularly will keep your vehicle from becoming overwhelmingly dirty. You won’t realize how much dust has built up on your dash until you go at it with a rag. You might even see a change in color!
  • Third, when working on your upholstery, you will need to follow different tactics of care, depending on the material.
    • For cloth seats, using a vacuum with a detachable hose can really help in keeping your vehicle maintained. Always start from the highest point of the seat and work your way down, so that particles don’t fall onto already vacuumed portions. Then use the vacuum on the floor to clean up there as well. Don’t forget to clean the mats and below the mats as well. If the mats are not a cloth material, then you can probably take them inside and wash them down, especially if you or a passenger had spilled something sticky on them.
    • For leather seats, you will need to use a specific cleaning product made for leather. Most products come with instructions, whether the product is for regular maintenance or for spills. It is vital that you follow the instructions carefully and don’t use just any cleaner, as you could harm the seats as opposed to cleaning them.

Cleaning the interior of your vehicle is just as important as cleaning the exterior. You clean the exterior to both keep up the vehicles beauty but it also can help keep up the vehicles maintenance. Cleaning the interior of your Toyota doesn’t take as long as you might think, and it can go a long way in keeping your life less cluttered. Most of us practically live in our cars, and just as you keep a regular schedule of light and deep cleanings of the house you live in, so you should do with your car. Set up an interior cleaning schedule, stick to it, and you will be riding in a car that’s pleasing to look at both outside and inside.

Check and Adjust ATF Level (Toyota Tundra)

As you know, something that is the case with most car maintenance projects, there may be more than one way to accomplish your task, depending on the make and model, and even version, of your vehicle. This is how it is for checking the automatic transmission fluid (ATF) level on your Toyota Tundra and adjusting it as necessary. There are two ways that you can check and adjust your ATF, and depending on your set up, then we have two ways to make it happen. It all depends on if your Toyota Tundra, depending on year, whether or not the automatic transmission has a dipstick or not. Let us take a look at both ways, and see which one is for you.


If your Toyota Tundra automatic transmission is equipped with the dipstick, then you’ll need to follow this set of instructions.

  1. To do it this way, begin by setting your vehicle on a level surface. Start the engine and let it idle, waiting for your engine to increase in temperature.
  2. Initiate the parking brake during this process so you can cycle through the gears. Shift into the different gear positions, from P to L, and then finally go back to P.
  3. Now that you have cycled through the gears, you can begin the ATF check on your Toyota Tundra. Pulling out the dipstick, use a clean rag to wipe the dipstick.
  4. After it has been cleaned, reinsert it into the tube, and pull it back out. Look to see if the fluid is in the HOT segment, while you have it running at normal temperatures.

HINT: If you are driving high speeds for a long period of time, driving in hot weather, driving in heavy traffic, or driving with a trailer attached, then that could mess with your dipstick measurement. Be sure to check the transmission after the car has had a little time to cool down, back to normal running temperatures.

  1. If you need to add more, now is the time to do it. Add 0.4 ℓ of new ATF, via the dipstick tube, and recheck the fluid level. It is important not to overfill an automatic transmission, as this can lead to leaks, foaming, and transmission malfunction.

No Dipstick

If your Toyota Tundra automatic transmission is not equipped with a dipstick, then you’ll need to follow this set of instructions. Do not forget to put the car in park. Because this way is completed from underneath the Tundra, and so it is especially important to double check the parking brake, before heading down below. Wheel chocks are a good safety consideration.

  1. To check the ATF this way, your Toyota Tundra should be level and the engine should be. The ATF temperature needs to be between 115 °F and 130 °F for accurate results.

You can verify temperature by putting a short pin in DLC3, the OBDII data link connector. With your foot on the brake, shift back and forth between “D” and “N” every 1.5 seconds. After 6 seconds, or four or five shifts, the “D” indicator will stay lit for two seconds and then go out, indicating that ATF temperature check mode has been initiated. Put the shifter back in “P,” leave the engine idling, and wait for the “D” indicator to come on again, when temperature reaches 115 °F. Proceed to step two. (NOTE: If the “D” indicator starts to blink, this means that the temperature has exceeded 130 °F. You will have to turn the truck off and let it cool off before checking again.)

  1. Start by heading underneath your Tundra with an oil pan for spillage. Remove the overflow plug, a small plug marked “CHECK.”
  2. If you notice that the ATF is coming out the overflow tube, then that is a good sign. It means that there is a lot of ATF in there still. Let that oil flow down to a trickle, then install the overflow plug with a new gasket and you are set. If you see that no fluid is coming out, you will need to add ATF to reach the proper level.
  3. To refill, reinsert the overflow plug and stop the engine. You will notice a refill plug, on the side of the transmission.
  4. Add 0.4 ℓ of ATF, replace the fill plug, then start the truck. Reinitiate the ATF temperature check mode, described in step one. Let the engine idle.
  5. Check the ATF level again, starting at step two, removing the overflow plug, seeing if it will drain out the overflow tube, etc. If it comes out, follow the previous steps again, only also adding a new gasket for the refill plug too.

Depending on the automatic transmission your Toyota Tundra is equipped with, there are two completely different ways of checking and adjusting ATF level, but they are both relatively easy, with simple steps. Make sure to always use the ATF type specified in the manual for your vehicle. Generally speaking, Toyota Tundra dipstick transmissions use Toyota ATF Type T-IV, and check-plug transmissions use Toyota ATF WS (World Standard).