Your Toyota Engine Oil Change is Easier than You Think

Twelve Step Plan – Toyota Engine Oil Change

Eager to replace your Toyota engine oil, but not quite sure how? We have a twelve step plan designed to help you get the old oil out and the new oil in, both easily and safely. Make sure to grab all the tools needed for your oil change, before embarking on the oil change adventure. The tools necessary for this project include:

  • Engine Oil – Check your owner’s manual for type and quantity.
  • Engine Oil Filter – The autoparts store should have an application list specifying the exact filter you need, based on year, make, model, and engine.
  • Drain Plug Gasket – There are a number of different styles available, including plastic, fiber, copper, and steel crush gaskets. The steel crush gasket is the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) type, but they all work well.
  • Oil Filter Wrench – There are different types of oil filter wrenches, including band, strap, and socket types. Choose one that fits both your Toyota and your budget.
  • Metric Socket Set or Wrenches – Make sure your set is complete. In other words, don’t try to use a 15 mm socket on a 14 mm drain plug. You might strip the drain plug head, making it difficult to remove.
  • Oil Drain Pan, Oil Fill Funnel, Gloves (preferably impermeable, so they won’t absorb hot oil), and Rags (for cleanup).

Once you have gathered all your tools and supplies, you are ready to start the twelve-step plan.

  1. First, when beginning the oil change, you want to warm your vehicles engine by starting it up and allowing it to get to normal running temperature. If you’ve just come off home from work, you’ll want to give your engine a few minutes to cool off, because the engine oil will be too hot to work with comfortably!
  2. Second, make sure your car is parked in a level area. Also, be sure to give yourself plenty of space to both get under and get out from under the car. Always be extremely careful when jacking up and supporting your Toyota.
  3. Third, after parking your vehicle in appropriate position for working, grab your keys from the ignition to ensure a safe work environment, while working and lying under your car.
  4. Fourth, remove the oil fill cap that is located on the top of the engine, and then move your way under the car. Find the drain plug underneath the engine, and move your oil pan into a position where it can catch the old oil. Go ahead and remove the drain plug, slowly and carefully, as the pressure may cause it to overshoot the pan and also burn your skin. Let the oil drain for about four to six minutes.
  5. Fifth, remove the old drain plug gasket and install a new one. Make sure it is the right size and type for your Toyota.
  6. Sixth, reinstall the drain plug, threading by hand until the drain plug gasket makes contact with the oil pan. Use a metric wrench or socket to tighten the drain plug and seat the gasket, typically no more than a quarter-turn. Do not over-tighten as it can cross-thread or strip the drain plug.
  7. Seventh, now that your old oil has been dispersed and you have sealed the engine with the drain plug, it is time to change the oil filter. There may still be some excess oil behind the filter, so position the oil pan beneath it. Then, use the oil filter wrench to slowly remove the oil filter. The filter may be hot, so use caution and handle with gloves or a rag. Set the old filter on the oil pan and allow it to continue draining into the pan.
  8. Eighth, clean the surface on the engine, cleaning up the old oil leftover from the oil filter removal. Also, make sure the old oil filter gasket is not stuck to the engine. Now, take out the new filter from the box and lather the gasket with some oil, using your finger. Then, thread the new engine oil filter on by hand until the gasket makes contact. Using your hand or the oil filter wrench, tighten an additional quarter- to two-thirds of a turn. Depending on gasket type, each filter should have instructions on how much to tighten to properly seal.
  9. Ninth, you have replaced the oil filter, you have drained the oil, and you have prepared your engine for the next step. It is now time to add the new oil. Using the funnel, carefully add the new oil. You can use the meter on the side of the can as a guide. Only fill up as much as your owner’s manual specifies. Finally, reinstall your oil cap.
  10. Tenth, check to make sure you have removed all tools, rags, the oil pan, and then check for any leaks from the appropriate spots. Start the engine and let it run for about three minutes. You may see the engine oil light appear for a moment, until the oil pressure builds. After the pressure increases, it should turn off. After letting it run, three to five minutes, turn the engine off. Go ahead and check for leaks, then move on to the next step.
  11. Eleventh, use the dipstick to check the oil level. It should read full or almost full. As long as the level is in the safe zone, you are good to go. If the oil level is low, add half a quart and return to step 10.
  12. Twelfth, you want to record the date and mileage of the oil change, that way your next oil change can be done at the right time.

After following these twelve steps to change your Toyota’s oil, and safely disposing of the old oil, you are ready drive your Toyota until the next time you need an oil change. And when that time comes, you will be ready.

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