How to Drain the Oil on a 3.4L V6 Toyota Tacoma 4WD

by Rex Molder
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The 3.4L V-6 engine was the standard six-cylinder engine installed on the Toyota Tacoma from 1995 to 2004. Engine lubrication is provided by 5.5 quarts of engine oil, which is held in the oil pan when the engine is not running. Toyota recommends that you change the oil on the 3.4L V-6 Tacoma every 3,000 miles. The first step in changing the oil is to drain the old oil from the truck.

Step 1

Start the truck and let it run for about five minutes to warm up the engine. This heats the oil and makes it flow better.

Step 2

Place the drain pan beneath the oil drain plug. The plug is on the bottom of the oil pan on the bottom of the engine, just forward of the front axle.

Step 3

Loosen the drain plug by turning it counterclockwise. Continue turning the plug by hand while maintaining slight upward pressure. Once the plug is free from the threads, quickly pull the plug out and move your hand out of the way. You will know when the plug is free from the threads when oil begins to leak out of the drain hole.

Some models have a skid plate that protects the oil pan from damage. There is an access port on the skid plate that allows you to insert a socket with an extension to remove the drain plug. If you prefer, you can remove the skid plate by removing the six bolts that attach it to the bottom of the truck.

Step 4

Allow the oil to drain completely. The flow will stop in about a minute, but oil will continue to drain for several minutes more, due to oil in the engine that is slowly returning to the pan. The warmer the engine, the quicker the oil will completely drain.

Step 5

Replace the drain plug and tighten it to 20 ft-lbs. of torque. If you do not have a torque wrench, be careful that you do not overtighten the plug and strip the threads. The plug should be tight, but you do not need to exert excessive force to reach 20 ft-lbs.

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