Engine Oil

This pictorial guide of how to care for the oil in your engine to keep your car running strong and lasting long! Never neglect any of these things as they too often are!

-How often?

Most engine manufacturers (including Toyota) recommend an oil change every 100-200 hours, 3000-5000 miles or every 6 months. Most engine oils only have a shelf life of one year, filters when saturated only have a 6 month install life.

-What to use?

This is where personal choice and a lot of brand loyalty comes in so make your own decision here, as long as it meets 'API SC or greater'. The current standard is SL, you will find this in most all brands/blends so its hard to go wrong here.

-What is needed?

  • Engine Oil (4qts)
  • 4AG Engine oil filter
  • 12mm socket/wrench
  • oil catch (bucket/pan any liquid container)
  • Latex gloves
  • Funnel


- If the car has not been run for quite some time, take a moment to allow the engine to run for a couple minutes. This will allow for the oil to circulate, warm up and capture any settled debris. If the car has recently been run, allow the oil to cool for at least half an hour to prevent risk of burns due to hot oil coming in contact with ones hands.


- Begin by jacking up the front of the car from the cross-member. Secure the car with jack-stands. Two square frame rales run the length of the car, place them evenly as possible on both sides, place the stand on that location.


- Remove the oil cap from the top of the engines valve cover. Return to the underside of the car and locate the drain plug at the bottom of the oil pan. Once located, position the oil catch below the outlet, unbolt and allow the oil to drain. While the oil drains, take a moment to entirely clean the drain plug. Once the oil has fully drained and the plug is cleaned, return the plug and tighten.

Filter Removal

- Locate the oil filter on the exhaust side of the engine block. Remove it by spinning counter-clockwise. It is recommended that the oil catch be placed under the oil filter to catch any oil that my leak from the filter upon removal. Upon removal, allow filter to drain before discarding.

Filter Replace

- Remove new filter from its packaging and determine if the O-Ring has been pre-lubed. If not, take a small dab of oil and coat the ring. This will keep the gasket from cracking and allow for easy removal come next oil change. Replace the filter by spinning it on clockwise. Turn untill you meet resistance then turn it once more more or as packaging recommends.


- Once you are done with replacing the filter its time to re-fill the engine with oil. Pour the oil in through the oil cap we removed before starting. How much you need will depend on your method of install, generally;

--- w/o filter change 3.4l (3.6qts)
--- w/ filter change 3.7l (3.9qts)
--- Dry/new 4.1l (4.3qts)

Wrap Up

- Once you are done, replace the cap and inspect your work, double check that everything is secure and installed properly. Once done, lower the car and check the oil level with the dipstick. Once all checks out, start the engine and allow it to run for a while, check to be sure that the engine doesn't leak any oil.
Now your engine has fresh oil and you're on your way!

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