How to Change the Oil in a 2002 Toyota Camry

by Gregory Crews; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Crescent wrench

  • Drain pan

  • Oil filter wrench

  • Oil filter

  • 5 qt. oil

  • Rag

Changing the oil in your Toyota Camry is one of the most recommended ways of maintaining the life of your motor. Changing the oil every 3,000 miles or every 3 months will help prevent your motor from running on oil that has broken down from the heat of the motor. When changing the oil in your motor, always change the oil filter too because it is contaminated with sediments from the oil that has been running in your vehicle. The new filter will prevent the oil from breaking down sooner.

Place a drain pan directly underneath the drain plug at the bottom of the motor. The pan should be big enough to catch 5 qt. of oil.

Unscrew the drain plug with a crescent wrench. Allow all the oil to drain out. Tighten the plug back to the oil pan with a crescent wrench.

Unscrew the oil filter with an oil filter wrench. The oil filter is located under the front exhaust manifold.

Dab some motor oil onto your fingers. Spread it around the oil filter gasket. This will make the filter easier to remove at the next oil change.

Screw the new oil filter to the oil filter housing with your fingers. Do not wrench tighten as this will strip the threads in the oil filter.

Open the hood to access the engine compartment. Locate the oil filler cap on the valve cover. Unscrew it with your fingers.

Pour 3 qt. of oil into the motor. Pull the engine oil dipstick located in front of the motor and clean it off with a clean rag. Reinsert the dipstick to check the oil level. The dipstick has marks indicating the appropriate oil level. Add more oil if the dipstick does not indicate full. Pour in the oil in 1/2-qt. increments.

Start the car, and allow it to run for 5 minutes. Shut off the car, and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Check the oil level and add more if needed.


The Toyota takes 4 1/2 qt. of oil. Toyota recommends using 5W-30 oil. Consult your owner's manual.


Use caution when working under the car. Always work on flat even ground and set the parking brake.

Contact your local auto parts store or recycling center to inquire about proper disposal of your old motor oil and filter.

About the Author

Gregory Crews has been in the film industry for three years and has appeared in more than 38 major motion pictures and 16 television shows. He also writes detailed automotive tutorials. His expertise in the automotive industry has given him the skills to write detailed technical instructional articles.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera tools image by CraterValley Photo from