For anyone who's owned a vehicle, you've probably learned by now that it’s generally cheaper and easier to perform routine maintenance yourself, than taking it to the dealer or the local Jiffy Lube. This includes a long list of things, especially, changing your engine oil.
Changing your oil is one of the most common DIY vehicle owning experiences. One thing I learned after I blew through my 25,000 miles is that changing the oil on a third generation Tacoma is a little different than other vehicles i've owned in the past, and there are a couple things you need to be aware of. Let's dive in!
Here’s what you'll need to get the job done:
- Oil (0W20, 6.2 US quarts with oil cooler, 6.1 US quarts with out oil cooler)
- Oil filter (with gaskets and o-rings)
- Ratchet and 14mm socket
- Torque wench (for best results)
- Oil filter wrench
- Oil filter cap drain tool (generally comes with your filter)
- Oil pan (for catching the draining oil)
After you have what you need, get started by removing your skid plate. This is needed to access your oil filter. After that’s off, put your drain pan under your drain plug. Loosen your plug, and be prepared to move your pan to catch the oil. After the oil is drained, put the drain plug back in with a new gasket. Torque it down to 40 Nm / 30 ft/lbs.
Now it’s time to remove the filter housing, and replace the filter. The housing is plastic, and many owners choose to replace the stock plastic one with an aftermarket aluminum one. The aluminum one is more durable and will last longer. While the skid plate will protect it while the truck is moving, it could be damaged during oil changes. You can get an aluminum one here.
First, remove the drain plug from the oil filter cap. This will expose where you screw in your drain tool. Once you thread it in, oil will drain. You don’t need to drain this oil before removing the housing, but it will make the process cleaner, as oil will start to flow in all directions one you start to loosen the housing.
Next, take your wrench and place it over the housing. You may need to use a breaker bar to remove it from the engine if it has been over-tightened. Once removed, remove and discard the old o-ring and oil filter. It’s best to clean the cap and threads to avoid dirt building up. Install your new o-rings and filter. Thread the cap/housing back into place by hand. Tighten the housing down with the wrench to 25 Nm / 18 ft/lbs. Thread the housing drain plug back in with a new (and lightly oiled) o-ring, and torque it down to 13 Nm / 10 ft/lbs.
After that, add new oil. You will use 6.2 US quarts of 0W20 if you have the oil cooler, and 6.1 US quarts with out oil cooler. Start your engine and check for leaks. Check the oil level with your dipstick, and top off if needed. After you’re done, replace the skid plate, and you’re good to go.
Changing your oil on your truck may have a few more steps over a conventional one-piece disposable filter, but it’s still pretty straightforward. In the event you are more of a visual learner, here is a good video that covers everything from start to finish. Remember that oil is the life of engines, so keep your Taco running well, and treat her right.
* Please note the following:
This guide is accurate for all the following third gen models: 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.
Oil Filter Housing – Tundra Solutions user Jowett Engineering
Exploded Filter Diagram – Posted by Tacoma World user tubesock