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How to Change the Oil in a Toyota Tacoma

by ContributorUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Car jack

  • Car jack stands or ramps

  • Cleaning cloths

  • Oil drip pan

  • New oil

  • New oil filter

  • Closed end wrench

How to Change the Oil in a Toyota Tacoma. Toyota pickups have a similar oil changing process. However, depending on how you use your Tacoma determines how often you should change the oil. If you're using your truck on dusty roads or off-road conditions, then you should change your oil every 3,500 miles rather than the recommended 7,500.

Prepare Your Tacoma for an Oil Change

Lift the Tacoma with a car jack and then place jack stands underneath the car. If you don't have jack stands, you can drive the truck onto tire ramps and use a brace on the backs of the front tires.

Pop the hood, unscrew the oil filler cap and remove the dipstick. In the Tacoma, these components are on the left side of the engine very close together.

Slide under the vehicle, and see if your Tacoma has a skid plate. This large piece of metal protects the underside of the truck from rocks and debris and sometimes houses the oil components. Remove the skid plate, if your oil parts are under it.

Gather your oil drip pan, new oil filter, cleaning cloths and a closed end wrench. Slide under the truck and locate the oil filter and drain plug. The Toyota Tacoma's drain plug is on the bottom rear of the oil pan, with the filter to the side.

Change the Oil

Remove the drain plug, using a closed end wrench. Pull the plug out quickly, and let the oil drain into the pan for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Clean off the excess oil, and replace the drain plug. Move over to the filter and remove it with a banded oil filter wrench or a closed end wrench, depending on how much room you have to work. Pour the oil into the oil drip pan.

Inspect the threads and check that the rubber gasket didn't stick to the engine block. If it's stuck, remove it. Coat the gasket with a bit of oil and replace the filter.

Slide out and refill the oil, using an oil with a viscosity of 5W-30 for cold temperatures and 10W-30 for hot temperatures. For models older than 1999, use oil type SH. Use oil type SJ on models from 1999 and newer. The Tacoma takes approximately 5.8 quarts.

Put the oil filler cap on and replace the dipstick. Start your Tacoma and let it run for about a minute.

Pull out the dipstick and read it. Turn off the engine and add more oil if it's not on the full line.

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