How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for Toyota Cars

by Contributing Writer

In your continuously variable transmission, Toyota car says to use their genuine CVTF FE, though other brands -- such as Amsoil, Mobil and Redline -- offer CVT oil equivalent to the FE. When choosing an equivalent oil, make sure the oil you select specifies that it is formulated to meet the standards of Toyota car FE oil.

Under The Hood:

 How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Toyota Highlander

Change your oil regularly, using API certified Energy Conserving, SJ or ILSAC multigrade. As with many passenger vehicles, 5W30 viscosity is preferred but 10W30 is acceptable if temperatures won't drop below 0 degrees Fahrenheit before your next oil change.

Mix Toyota "Long Life" engine coolant with clean, distilled water to keep your Toyota Highlander gasoline engine running cool. Most experts recommend a 50-50 mixture of coolant to water. If you substitute another engine coolant, make sure to use an ethylene glycol based fluid to avoid premature corrosion.

Top off your brake fluid with SAE J1703 or FMVSS No 116 DOT 3 brake fluid.

Refill your power steering fluid reservoir with DEXRON II or III automatic transmission fluid as necessary.

Use only Toyota Genuine ATF Type T-IV in your automatic transmission. Using other types of transmission fluid may lead to poor transmission performance.

Lubricate the transfer case and rear differential on your Toyota Highlander with Hypoid gear oil API GL-5, SAE 90 viscosity. If temperatures will fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, you may use SAE 80 or SAE 80W90.

Items you will need

  • SAE 5W30 engine oil

  • Toyota Long Life engine coolant

  • clean distilled water

  • DOT 3 brake fluid

  • DEXRON II or III automatic transmission fluid

  • Toyota Genuine ATF Type T-IV

  • Hypoid gear oil SAE 90

 How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Toyota Corolla

Transaxle and Clutch

If your Corolla has an automatic transmission, Toyota recommends its genuine ATF WS oil, but premium brands such as Valvoline, Amsoil and Redline offer ATF equivalent to WS. For the manual transmission, use an SAE 75W gear oil that meets API GL-4 specifications. In the clutch and brake system, use DOT3 brake fluid.

Coolant

Toyota recommends its super long-life coolant, but you can use any premium-brand, high-quality, ethylene glycol-based, non-silicate, non-amine, non-nitrite and non-borate coolant with long-life hybrid organic acid technology, such as Zerex Asian vehicle coolant.

 How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Toyota Tacoma

Mix Toyota Super Long Life coolant or a similar high quality ethylene glycol base, silicate free, amine free, nitrite free and borate free coolant with long-life hybrid organic acid technology to an equal part clean distilled or demineralized water. Make sure to maintain proper levels of this coolant mixture in your Toyota Tacoma.

Fill your power steering fluid reservoir as necessary with DEXRON II or III automatic transmission fluid.

Refill your brake fluid reservoir as necessary with SAE J1703 or FMVSS No 116 DOT 3 brake fluid. The same fluid can go into your hydraulic clutch.

Change your engine oil regularly, using Toyota Genuine Motor Oil or an equivalent. Toyota recommends SAE 5W30 viscosity, but 10W30 is an acceptable temporary substitute.

Use API GL-4 or GL-5 gear oil of SAE 75W90 viscosity in your manual transmission. The same oil can be used in your transfer case and in the front differential. SAE 80W90 or single grade SAE 80W or SAE 90 are recommended for the rear differential. If you have a limited slip differential, you need Hypoid gear oil for limited slip differentials, API GL-5. Without a limited slip differential you should use Hypoid gear oil API GL-5.

Use Toyota Genuine ATF WS in your five speed automatic transmission and Toyota Genuine ATF Type T-IV in your four speed automatic transmission.

 How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Toyota Tundra

Change your engine oil at regularly scheduled intervals. While most truck manufacturers recommend 10W30 viscosity engine oil in their vehicles, Toyota recommends 5W20 in the Tundra and this isn't unusual for newer vehicles because of the tight tolerances; a thinner oil is needed to fully lubricate the engine. If you're running an older vehicle or one with high mileage and engine wear, you may wish to use 5W30 or even 10W30 engine oil in your Toyota Tundra.

Check the transmission dipstick for the recommended type of transmission fluid in your Toyota Tundra. Most Tundras should use DEXRON-III transmission fluid.

Top off your brake fluid reservoir as necessary with DOT 3 brake fluid. This differs somewhat from other trucks, which typically use DOT 4.

Refill your power steering fluid levels with DEXRON-III automatic transmission fluid as necessary. Using synthetic power steering fluid extends the life of the power steering fluid.

Use synthetic 75W90 or 80W90 GL-5 gear oil to lubricant the rear axle of your Toyota Tundra. If you have a limited slip differential, you should verify that the oil you're using contains the proper limited slip additive. If this isn't the case, you should provide the additive yourself.

Items you will need

  • 5W20 engine oil

  • DEXRON-III automatic transmission fluid

  • DOT 3 brake fluid

  • Synthetic 75W90 or 80W90 GL-5 gear oil