0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Check Out Continue Shopping


    The Ultimate Guide To Deleting your Tundra’s Exterior Chrome

    The Ultimate Guide To Deleting your Tundra’s Exterior Chrome

    Chrome can be nice sometimes, but let’s face it… Chrome is pretty much the worst. We've already covered how to black out your Toyota Tundra, but you’ve still got a lot of chrome on the exterior with the bumper caps, grille, etc.. If you want to learn how to get rid of the chrome on your Toyota Tundra, you’ve come to the right place.

    Let’s take a look at two options: buying everything new and potentially ready to go, or painting everything yourself.


    Buying the parts already color matched, or at least ready to paint, is a good option if you have the extra money. One, “plug and play” is always easier. The part comes to you, and you put it on. You don’t have to worry about your truck being in pieces while parts are being painted.

    On top of that, if you plan on selling your truck (I know… who would do that?), you might be able to get some more out of it if you give the new owner the ability to return the vehicle to stock.

    Bumper Caps/Ends

    Getting these color matched to your truck will knock out two BIG chucks of chrome that sit at the front and rear of your truck. Unfortunately, Toyota does not offer a color match option when you order them. This means that you will have to take them to your local body shop, or paint them yourself. I recommend using paint from Automotive Touchup for some great results!

    When ordering these end caps, make sure you get the right ones! Here are the OEM Toyota parts that you will need. Make note of the sensors!

    Front Bumper Caps ($115)

    Rear Bumper Caps ($133 - $140)

    TRD Pro Grille with Included Surround

    Like most trucks, the Tundra comes with a large grille. For us, it’s a large chrome grille. Through Toyota, you can get a color matched TRD Pro grille and surround. Unfortunately, you do have to order the grille and surround together. If you find that Toyota does not have the color that you are looking for, you will probably have to go the body shop or DIY route.

    2019+ TRD Pro Grill ($315)

    If you're looking for just the TRD Pro Grille without the surround, you can buy it here on our site.

    Hood Bulge

    If you’re going for a custom grille, you can’t forget about the hood bulge. I mean, that would look silly. Thankfully this part is painted from the factory, but they offer quite a few different paint code options (12, to be specific.) The cost on this is $200

    Mirror Caps 

    If you want to add a little extra flair to your ride, mirror caps are a great option. Having them color match your Tundra is easy since you can get them factory color matched directly from Toyota. You can find them here: All Color Options for Tundra Mirror Caps. The cost on these is $83.

    Door Handles 

    If you have chrome door handles, you know they stand out. Not only that, but your fingerprints and grime REALLY show up well. Toyota also allows you to get these painted from the factory, so no more worries! You can find them here: All Color Options for Tundra Door Handles. The cost on these is between $115 and $233.


    Painting the parts yourself cuts down on the cost of buying yet another part to add onto your truck, and I’m sure that will please your significant other. However, your truck has to be in pieces, which is not attractive. The cost of getting parts painted can be more than the parts, unless you are getting them painted all together.

    If you decide to tackle the actual painting yourself, there is some stuff you need to know.

    Disclaimer: Painting parts and having them look good takes a lot of skill and some good equipment. I would personally suggest having this type of work done by your local body shop, this is what I did with mine and it cost about $600. There is no way I am going to make you a professional painter in a couple of paragraphs. The following steps are literally the bare basics of a skill that take a lot to master.

    First off, you need some supplies…

    • Sandpaper ($11) - You’re going to use this to scuff up the surface of what you’re intending to paint.
    • Automotive Masking Tape ($5) - This is to mask off the parts of your vehicle you don’t want painted, IF you choose to leave the part on your truck.
    • Masking Paper - With this tape, this will cover the parts of your truck you don’t want painted. Personally, I just use the newspaper/flyers that show up in my mailbox all the time.
    • Primer ($10) - This goes on before your paint.
    • Color Matched Paint ($23) - This is pretty self explanatory.
    • Clear Coat ($10) - This goes over the color base coat.
    • Time (Cost can vary…)

    Now for the real quick and dirty to painting:

    1. Start by either removing the part you want to paint, or masking off the rest of the nearby truck if you intend on leaving the part on.
    2. Sand the entire surface of the part you want to paint. Start with the roughest sandpaper first, then work to the smoothest ones.
    3. Clean the area well to remove any leftover paint or dust from the sanding
    4. Spray the area in an even coat of primer (follow the directions on the can for best results)
    5. Sand any problems areas again with a high grit sandpaper to get a smooth surface to paint on
    6. Clean the area again from all dust and debris
    7. Start spraying the base color coat on the surface (follow the directions on the can for best results). You will probably want to spray a few light coats.
    8. After you have painted the number of coats you want and the paint is ready (consult the directions on your can for that information), follow the same procedure with a number of clear coats
    9. After the paint has cured, reinstall the part, and/or remove any masking

    Pro Tip: Take your time and keep it clean. Prep work is extremely important to a good paint job. If you rush the sanding, cleaning, or drying times, it will show in the final product. If it doesn’t show right away, it will over time as the paint ages and is exposed to the elements. 

    Whichever route you decide to go, deleting the chrome on your Tundra and lead to a very impressive looking truck. Of course, what you do and how you do it depends on your style and budget. Regardless, go make your truck yours!

    Image Credits

    Bumper Caps - Courtesy of ADV Fiberglass

    TRD Pro Grille - Courtesy of Clavey’s Corner

    Hood Bulge - Courtesy of user turkeycreek29010

    Mirror Caps and Door Handles - Courtesy of user chadh1972

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    The Ultimate Guide To Blacking Out Your Toyota Tundra

    The Ultimate Guide To Blacking Out Your Toyota Tundra

    The Toyota Tundra is a big and mean truck. With plenty of options from the factory and aftermarket, there is almost nothing you can’t do to make it your own. After a while, you may get tired of the flashy paint and bright chrome. What do you do when you want something a little bolder? One of the best changes would be “blacking it out” or doing a "chrome delete" as some people refer to it.

    Blacking something out means you take a part or parts of the truck that are painted or chrome, and make them black: matte, gloss, or semi. Black. The best part is that it can be something so large and eye catching like the front grille, or something as subtle or subconsciously unique like a door badge. Let’s get into some options! 


    Blackout "Limo" Window Tint

    One of the first things many people choose to do it blackout their windows. It’s cheap, and it can be done at a local shop near you. If you’re feeling crafty enough, you can also do it yourself. Tint comes with some great benefits: it really dresses up your ride, it protects you from the sun and keeps the interior of your truck lower, and it blocks people from easily seeing who is driving the best truck in town! Of course, make sure you abide by all local and federal laws regarding the level of tint you are allowed to have. Failure to do so can result in tickets and having to have the tint you paid to install be removed!

    Smoked Headlights, Taillights, and Third Brake Light

    While Toyota did a good job at the design of the headlights and taillights for the Tacoma, they might take away from the look that you are trying to achieve. When talking about blacking out your lights, it is generally referred to as them being “smoked.” Smoking your lights will give you that tinted look to compliment your style.

    With the blessing of interchangeable parts, you can easily swap out your factory lights with aftermarket ones that come smoked out of the box! Taillights are anywhere from $180-$370 for a complete set, and headlights are around $300-$500.

    You can go for a much cheaper approach, but be aware that it may look cheaper, not last as long, and could cost you a lot in tickets if you do it the wrong way (I’ll get to that in a second.) There is film/vinyl available for around $60 that simply sticks over the plastic, spray coatings for around $20, and tinted plastic covers for around $40-$80 that go over the factory lens.

    While this video doesn’t give any real explanation about what to do, it does show you that you can tint one of your taillights with a spray can in five minutes:

    While I generally encourage people to try something new and take a risk, I would suggest a complete swap of pre-tinted/smoked lights. A big reason is time. A good set of smoked lights will last the length of the truck. Film and spray coatings will shrink and become brittle with age. UV rays and incandescent bulbs will expedite the problem. When it gets that dry, it’s not the easiest or most fun thing to get off. 

    Remember the ticket thing I mentioned? Headlights and taillights are designed to help you see what’s around you, and for other drivers to be able to see you. The US Department of Transportation (or your country’s equivalent) takes that very seriously, and they regulate what is and what is not allowed. Local police will enforce that. If you tint something yourself, you could run the risk of doing too much, and you could have to pay for it. If you get a kit out of the box, they are generally (DOT) approved and safe for use. Of course, please check before buying.

    Door Emblems

    One of the easiest parts of your truck to blackout would be the chrome TUNDRA emblem on your doors. They look alright from the factory, but when they are a matte black, they really add a very unique touch to your ride regardless of the paint color. You can get a blackout replacement emblem kit for your Tundra off Amazon for just under $40, or you can get a $6 can of Plasti Dip and spray them down. Plasti Dip will last much longer on emblems compared to lights. It will be a little harder to peel off after being on for years, but you can always reapply another coat!

    Tailgate TUNDRA

    Like on the side of the doors, Toyota wants all of those less fortunate behind you to know that the monster in front of them is a Tundra. While it is common practice for manufacturers to make the logo recessed into the metal of the tailgate and painted like normal, you can really make it stick out with a set of Tundra tailgate vinyl decal inserts for $15 or these raised Tundra letters for $39.99. It’s an inexpensive and long-lasting touch that will set your truck apart from the rest. 


    This is where things can get a little pricey. However, it is one of the first things people see when looking at your truck. They stand out! It could be worth some investment, but let’s talk about some options.

    Some of the less expensive options would be “dipping” or “wrapping.” When you “dip” your wheels, you’re referring to spraying them with something such as Plasti Dip. Matte black Plasti Dip is very popular on wheels, and there are lots of pictures and videos online of people doing it. You’ll need more than one can, but you’ll also want to have some backups for when they chip and peel over time. It’s easy to reapply! 

    “Wrapping” refers to covering the wheels in vinyl. While more usually better looking than dipping, it’s not as easy to repair if you get curb rash or other dings. There are kits out there for about $50.

    Whatever you do, avoid spray paint at all costs. You will hate your wheels. 

    While it is your most expensive option, it will be your longest lasting and best-looking option: new wheels. This can get very expensive. For example, you can get a set of Tundra TRD Pro wheels off Amazon, but it will set you back $2,560! If you have the cash, they are fantastic options. Used wheels are a great option and can be far cheaper, but make sure you inspect them first.


    With a big truck comes a big grille. If you’re not into chrome, then you might hate the front of your truck. Thankfully, there are a few options that you have. Plasti Dip and vinyl wrap can once again be an inexpensive friend for you! Depending on which grille you have, I would suggest vinyl first. Dipping a surface that large can start to look “cheap.” Vinyl will also be more durable to something that will be getting plenty of rock chips. The catch 22 is that a dipped surface is easier to touch up. Choose wisely…

    Too many variables? You can find some blackout replacement grilles! Those will be around $220 and up, but it will set your ride apart! A good example would be this Tundra TRD Pro grille that you can order on our site.


    The chrome bumpers can be a bit much. As with the grille and wheels, dipping and wrapping can have some nice results. Keep in mind the rock-chips! If you don’t want to DIY it, you can get these Tundra bumper caps from ecoologic for $135-$200.


    While the outside is great for showing off (and looking over your shoulder with admiration when you park), the interior is what you see the most of. Might as well make it what you want, right?

    A/C Vent Rings and Climate Control Rings

    If you live in a hot area, you’re using your A/C a lot. Why dress up those flashy chrome vent rings with a Tundra A/C vent ring black out kit from AJT Design. For $32, you can really make your interior subtly unique. For another $41, you can change the control knobs to a very aggressive blacked-out style with some different color options. You can find that kit here.

    Door Handles

    Black door handles are the way to go. Any colored ones look nice, but this is something you’re touching all of the time. They will get dirty and grimy fast. Your most durable option would be to get new ones. For about $25 each, you can get black factory units.

    Plasti Dip, vinyl, and paint are all options as well, but keep in mind how much everything is being touched. Paint will chip and peel, and Plasti Dip and vinyl will break down over time. While it could be a faster and cheaper solution initially, it could be a pain in the but later.

    Cup Holder/Shifter Trim

    The center console trim really stands out from the factory. While that may be great for some, if you’re reading this, you want something different. ATJ Design also makes a kit for this as well! For $40, you’ll transform the interior of your truck.

    Steering Wheel Logo

    While you could attack this with Plasti Dip or paint, a fast way would be this Tundra steering wheel emblem overlay once again for ATJ Design. No-fuss, no chips, no hassle. Just $20! 

    Start Button

    Last but not least is the start button. This overlay from AJT Design not only changes the look of one of the first and last things you touch, but it’s hard to beat at $20!


    The blacked-out look is popular and looks good. The best part is that there are so many different cost options to get the look you want. Just make sure to follow all of your local and federal laws, and have at it!

    Image Credits

    Bumper Wrapped: Courtesy of Tundras user SgtSausage1978

    Exterior: Courtesy of Traction Life

    Tailgate: Courtesy of Tundras user Buse

    Interior: Empyre Off Road Interior Upgrade Post

    Steering Wheel Blackout: AJT Design

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    Which Grille Is Right For Your 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma?

    Which Grille Is Right For Your 3rd Gen Toyota Tacoma?

    If you’re reading this, I assume that you own a 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, or 2021 Toyota Tacoma and are hoping to upgrade your stock grille either right now or in the near future. Although the stock grilles are progressively getting better looking, I think I can speak for most Tacoma owners by saying that the grille should be one of the very first things upgraded to give your Tacoma a new, fresh look!

    When creating this post, I wanted to build something to help all Tacoma owners find the right grille that fits their style. Even though we sell several grilles here at Empyre Off-Road, it was important to me to provide several different options and look at the pros and cons of each grille. At the end of the day, there are certain people who will buy from me and those that will not. This is life and business... although, I really do hope you buy from me :)

    To start out the post, I'm going to feature the three grilles that we sell here at Empyre Off-Road. For the grilles not sold here, I've made sure to highlight the brand and one of their grille models that I think is pretty cool. Keep in mind that most of these companies sell several different models, so don't get scared off by the high price tags just yet. So if you're looking for a Toyota Tacoma aftermarket grille, let's jump in!

    Empyre Off-Road

    The Empyre Off-Road grille is a minimalist option if you're looking to keep the cost low and quality high. Our customers really love that this grille is made out of aluminum. Two huge benefits to aluminum are that the material is extremely lightweight (the entire unit weighs just under 7 pounds) and that it doesn't rust. Even if the powder coating gets scratched or chipped, with a little touch-up paint, it will look good as new.

    Customers also love that this grille includes a removable stainless steel backer that makes the "TACOMA" text pop and stand out on the road. Many customers even paint this plate to color match their truck, which makes it even more personalized than other options on the market.

    Model: Tacoma Grille Insert 

  • 2016 - 2017 Tacoma Grille
  • 2018 - 2020 TSS Tacoma Grille
  • 2018 - 2020 TSS Toyota Emblem Grille

    Non-TSS Price: $235

    TSS Price: $250

    Pros: Solid construction, will not rust, TSS option, inexpensive. We offer a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you don't love it, you can return it for a full refund.

    Cons: One design

    Faux TRD Pro Grille

    The Faux TRD Pro Grille, which we sell here at Empyre Off-Road is another great option for Tacoma enthusiasts. The manufacturer spent a ton of time perfecting this grille and is a step above any of the Chinese knock-offs you can find on eBay. This grille gives you the look of an expensive TRD Pro Tacoma without having to spend the big bucks. You can customize it with colored letters and different color raptor lights (amber, white, smoked amber, smoked white).

    Price: $129 - $200 (depending on options)

    Pros: Made out of high-quality ABS plastic and works with the TSS sensor

    Cons: None

    Tacoma Raptor Style Grille

    The Tacoma Raptor Style Grille, which we sell here at Empyre Off-Road, might be one of the coolest looking grilles on the market. This grille takes the mesh raptor grille that you can find on eBay and other websites and gives it a facelift by adding in paint matched lettering.

    Price: $400

    Pros: Made out of high-quality industrial injection plastic and works with the TSS sensor

    Cons: It's a little on the expensive side for a plastic grille. 

    300 Industries

    300 Industries covers the gambit of selection and price range. You have forty-nine options to choose from, and prices that range from $400 to $1,050. The level of customization drops as the price goes down, but with that amount to choose from, you’re bound to find something you like, but at a price.

    Make: 300 Industries

    Model: X-Lite

    Price: $1,050

    Pros: Highly Unique, lights up

    Cons: Expensive, no customization 

    Custom Car Grills

    The guys at Custom Car Grills also have a few options to choose from, but some of their more popular models would be their mesh grille and their mesh grill with letters. Both are pretty plain but in a stylish way. If you decide to go with the “TACOMA” or “TOYOTA” lettering, you'll get a nice subtle black finish layered on with aggressive lettering.

    Make: Custom Car Grills

    Model: Mesh

    Price: $279

    Pros: Subtle look, inexpensive

    Cons: Few options


    Grillcraft makes one of the most minimalist grilles on the market, which isn't a bad thing at all. If you are looking for something subtle and different, the MX model could be the one. It is a simple black mesh. No Toyota or Tacoma logo of any kind.

    The MX is a nice, clean way to dress up your truck.

    Make: Grillcraft

    Model: MX

    Price: $287

    Pros: Subtle look, inexpensive, lifetime warranty

    Cons: No options, company branded

    Bullet Proof Fabricating

    BPF is one of few grille manufacturers who provide an aluminum option. This grille is a nice lightweight option, and the design is a great improvement over what comes stock on 3rd gens. I would say it's a marriage of a bezel, mesh, and logo that go well together.

    The one thing that I don't love about this grille is that you have to pay extra to remove their company logo in lieu of the Toyota logo.

    Make: Bullet Proof Fabricating

    Model: BPF

    Price: $370

    Pros: Good triple look design, lightweight, free shipping

    Cons: Extra cost for “TOYOTA”, brand name too prevalent

    Bay Area Metal Fabrication

    Last but not least is a company called Bay Area Metal Fabrication. The folks at BAMF offer two different types of grilles, the Eco Insert ($284) and the hugely popular Recessed grille ($600). 

    I absolutely love the recessed grille as it gives the Tacoma an extremely aggressive look. Both options also allow you to order a color matched backplate that slides behind the “TOYOTA” or “TACOMA” logo.


    Make: Bay Area Metal Fabrication

    Model: Recessed

    Price: $600

    Pros: Good design, customizable

    Cons: High priced

    So, there you have it. I hope that this post has been helpful and has given you a few other options to consider when looking to replace your stock grille. Please let us know if you have any questions.

    Top 25 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tacomas

    Top 25 Mods & Accessories Under $300 For 3rd Gen Tacomas

    If you own a Tacoma, you already know that you're part of a cult... A cult who loves to dump hundreds, even thousands of dollars into cool mods and accessories for their trucks. For many, our mods have to be planned out and budgeted financially, so I polled,, and several Facebook groups and pulled together this list of mods for those on a budget.

    These mods work with all 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 models.

    Pop & Lock Power Tailgate Lock ($97)

    This tailgate lock not only prevents thieves from stealing your tailgate, but when coupled with a tonneau cover, will protect your valuables as well. Originally designed for the Tundra, this pop & lock will work on your Tacoma and make it easy to lock with a push of button.

    TRD Pro Style Aftermarket Grille ($300)

    I've never met a Tacoma owner who doesn't want an aftermarket grille insert for their Tacoma. This is definitely one of the most popular mods we see, so rip out that old grille and mount up an aluminum, black powder-coated grille and give your Tacoma the facelift it deserves.

    Anytime Front Camera ($79.99)

    When you drive a truck, it's really hard to see what's in front of you on the ground. Adding a front camera helps when pulling into parking spaces or pulling into your garage to make sure you going in straight and not running anything over.

    Center Console Organizer Tray ($13.99)

    If you're like most Tacoma owners, you feel like your center console is a catch all for the crap you have laying around your truck. This tray allows the bottom of your console to be the catch all for your crap, while having a nice organized section for the things you use most.

    Gator Tri-Fold Tonneau Bed Cover ($259)

    As mentioned in the pop & lock section, if you don't have a tonneau cover, you're missing out. A tonneau will allow you to protect what's in your bed from the harshest weather conditions and when coupled with the tailgate lock, secure them as well.

    Cali Raised LED Side Projection Ditch Lights ($135.99)

    Ditch lights are something I've never really heard of or seen before, but they help off roaders get more light coverage, up to 120 degrees on each side of the vehicle.

    Scotchgard Fabric Protector Spray ($20.44)

    Scotchgard is a no brainer for anyone who has a car, truck, couches, or other fabric based furniture. Spray on 2-3 coats and watch the juice and soda roll right off your seats to your rubber floor mats.

    Vinyl Decal Tailgate Inserts ($14.99)

    One quick way to give your truck a facelift is by installing tailgate inserts into the embossed Tacoma logo on the bottom of your tailgate. There are so many different kinds, but I like the ones cut out of vinyl. They are cheap and easy to put on and can be swapped out for different colors in the blink of an eye.

    Redline Hood Struts/Lifts ($99.95)

    Why most cars and trucks don't come with automatic, gas spring based hood lifts is beyond me. I mean, it's 2018 people! These hood struts make it easy to prop open the hood of your Tacoma when you need to clean or work on your engine.

    Cali Raised Replacement LED Fog Light Pods ($139.9)

    If you hate your round, non LED fog lights, Cali Raised has the most affordable solution for you. Their LED fog light pods make it quick and easy to install a brighter, more powerful light at half the price of their competitors.

    Scosche Magnetic Phone Mount ($14.82)

    One of the best phone mounts I've come across is the Scosche mount. It's good looking and mounts just about anywhere to keep your phone front and center while you're out on a drive.

    Anytime Backup Camera ($59.99)

    Tacoma owners who tow a lot love the anytime backup camera. With a little wiring, you can activate your backup camera at anytime to check out your trailer, boat, or whatever you might be hauling.


    One of the basic mods you can make to any car or truck is adding tint. Tint not only helps keep your Tacoma cool in the summer, but helps keep the inside of your truck private to outside viewers.

    Matt Gecko Under Bed Rail LED Lights ($85 - $90)

    If you run any sort of a bed cover, you know it's very dark in the bed of your truck, day or night. These sweet bed rail lights provided by Matt Gecko give you the light you need to see anything and everything while your cover is down.

    AC Drain Mod (Less than $15 and ten minutes of your time)

    A lot of Tacoma owners don't realize that where their AC condensation drips out under the truck, hits the frame and causes rust. This handy little mod brought to you by the folks at Tacoma World needs to done this coming spring before you start using your AC again. Better safe than sorry.

    Floor Mat Anti-Slip Fastener Clips ($4.98)

    Who else hates that the passenger side and second cab mats slide all around? One easy fix is to superglue heavy duty velcro to them, which works some of the time. A better solution is installing these anti-slip fastener clips. They will hold your mats in place for as long as you own your truck.

    Meso Customs Minimalist Key Fob ($40)

    A simple, but cool mod offered by Meso Customs is a replacement key fob. It's very easy to take apart your current, black fob and put the guts into one of their color-matched, more rugged fobs.

    Hood Bulge Glare Blocker Sticker ($29.99)

    Many Tacoma owners complain that the bulge on their Sport model casts a wicked glare and makes it hard to see on a sunny day. The solution to this is the hood bulge glare blocker decal. It deadens the rays from the sun and makes it not reflective anymore.

    Cali Raised Behind Grille LED Light Bar ($269.99)

    Light bars are all the rage with serious off roaders. Even a lot of mall crawlers put light bars on their rigs. The Cali Raised behind grille light bar mounts right below your Tacoma grille and with a little wizardry, can be wired right to a push button to light it up... but please do so responsibly. You don't want to be one of those douches who blinds people on city roads.

    Tacoma Pros Raptor Light Kit ($79.99)

    Not sure why Tacoma owners want to make their trucks look like the Ford Raptor, but they do. On the top of the grille, the Raptor has three amber lights. This mod makes any Tacoma grille look like a Raptor when the sun goes down.

    OEM Bed Mat Short Bed / Long Bed ($115.43 - $121.40)

    A bed mat is pretty self explanitory, but for those who want to keep their stuff from rolling and sliding all around the bed of their truck, the OEM bed mat is the perfect solution. It's thick and kinda grippy and does the job right.

    N2 Designs Remote Start ($199)

    If you love your Tacoma to always be warm when you jump into it, installing a remote start kit is vital to your comfort. The N2 Designs is affordable and incredibly easy to install.

    Spidertrax Wheel Spacers ($91.91)

    For those who want their Tacoma's to have a wider, more aggressive stance, but can't afford new wheels, wheel spacers are for you. They allow you to keep your stock wheels, but give you a more beefed up look.

    LED Interior Lights ($14.99)

    These days, most of the world is powered by LEDs, so why Toyota didn't equip Tacomas with LEDs all the way around is beyond me. This mod is very easy to complete and gives you more of a daylight look to your lights.

    Premium Audio Upgrade - Tweeters / Front Speakers / Rear Speakers (Less than $250)

    Many Tacoma owners complain about their sound system and how their music just sounds awful. I don't necessarily agree, but for those who want an inexpensive way to upgrade your system, this upgrade is for you. Here's the install video

    Please keep in mind that prices fluctuate daily on Amazon/eBay and the prices represented above are accurate as the day of this posting.

    * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.

    3rd Generation Toyota Tundra DIY Maintenance Reference Guide

    3rd Generation Toyota Tundra DIY Maintenance Reference Guide

    If you want to save some money, working on your Toyota Tundra yourself can be a good way to do it. On top of the extra cash in your pocket, you will start learning some very sought after skills that will be with you for a lifetime. This guide will give you some helpful tips and Tundra specs to help you get the job done.

    It is best to be sure about what you’re doing. Trying is a good way to learn, but it can also be a bad way to mess up your truck if you make a mistake. A mechanic may cost more, but they know what they are doing, and they generally warranty their work. If you decide to tackle the jobs yourself, here are some much-needed tools that you will use again and again.


    Engine Oil (0W-20 Synthetic oil - Toyota part # 00279-0WQTE-01)

    1. Check with the engine warm, over 5 minutes after shutting off the engine
    2. Tip: Leave the dipstick out while waiting 5 minutes to allow the oil in the dipstick tube to drain back down. It makes it easier to read.
    3. With a fresh filter, the engine has a capacity of 8.5 quarts

    Coolant (Toyota SLLC - Toyota part # 00272-SLLC2, 50/50 pre-diluted, Canada is 55/45)

    • Between LOW and FULL lines with the engine cold

    Brake Fluid (FMVSS No. 116 DOT 3 or SAE J1703)

    • Between MIN and MAX (should be near or at max with fresh pads)

    Power Steering Fluid (Automatic transmission fluid DEXRON® II or III)

    • Between min and max (cold and hot lines provided)
    • Cold - Not driven in the last 5 hours (50-85 degrees Fahrenheit fluid temp)
    • Hot - Driven 50 MPH for 20 minutes (140-175 degrees Fahrenheit fluid temp)

    Automatic Transmission Fluid (Toyota Part Number 00289-ATFWS)


    • Tires should be rotated every 5,000 miles or 6 months.
    • Front to back or back to front on each side
    • Lug nut torque:
      Steel wheel: 154 ft·lbf (209 N·m, 21.3 kgf·m)
      Aluminum wheel: 97 ft·lbf (131 N·m, 13.4 kgf·m)
    • Retighten the wheel nuts within 100 miles (160 km) of driving


    Toyota recommends using synthetic oil, so replace it every 10,000 miles or 12 months. Severe use and excessive idling might be every 5,000 miles or 6 months.

    Torque specs:

    • Oil pan drain plug - 30 lb-ft (14mm)
    • Oil filter cap - 216 lb-in/18 lb-ft (TOY640 with 15/16" or 24mm socket)
    • Oil filter drain plug - 120 lb-in/10 lb-ft (3/8" square drive)
    • Skid plate - 21 lb-ft (5 12mm bolts, and 3 10mm fasteners)


    • Oil - 8.5 qts 0W-20 Synthetic Oil - Toyota part # 00279-0WQTE-01
    • Oil pan drain plug gasket - Toyota part # 90430-12031
    • Oil filter element kit - Toyota part # 04152-YZZA4

    Special tools:


    1. Requires removing skid(s) for access.
    2. The oil filter has a permanent housing. The oil filter element kit includes a new filter cartridge, two new gaskets, and the temporary oil filter drain pipe.
    3. The hose for the oil filter drain pipe (if used) should be 5/8” ID (15 mm). You can find it at your local hardware store’s plumbing section for around one dollar.
    4. Proper torque of the oil filter cap and oil filter drain plug should help prevent the cap from coming off before the drain plug on the next change, which can be a lot cleaner.
    5. When you remove the filter drain plug, give it a little impact. If you're too smooth, the plug and housing will try and move together.

    Here's a great video on how to do change the oil.


    Toyota recommends doing this at every major service interval as well as after driving through flooded roads. However, with 2018 and newer models, that doesn’t make much of it user-serviceable, and Toyota does not suggest doing it yourself.


    Torque spec:

    • 74 lb-ft


    You should do this every 20,000 miles or 24 months.



    You can find how to do this in your manual or you can watch this video:


    This should be done every 20,000 miles or 24 months.


    • Filter - Toyota part # 17801-0P010, but like the cabin air filter, I'd highly suggest this K&N filter.


    Easy job, but ensure there are no holes or rips in the new filter and make sure the airbox where the filter will be going is clean. Double-check that you have a good seal so no air can get in around the filter.

    You can check out this video if you need some help!


    You should visually inspect them every 5,000 miles or 6 months and measure them every 30,000 miles or 36 months.

    Torque specs:

    • Brake caliper mounting bolts - 73 lb-ft 


    • Rotors - Toyota part # 435120C020
    • Pads - Toyota part # 0446502440


    You should visually inspect them every 5,000 miles or 6 months and measure them every 30,000 miles or 36 months.

    Brake caliper mounting bolts - 70 lb-ft 


    • Rotors - Toyota part # 424310C011
    • Pads - Toyota part # 0446602340


    Inspect your rear diff every 15,000 miles or 18 months. If severe, replace the oil every 15,000 miles or 18 months.

    Torque specs:

    • Rear diff drain plug - 36 lb-ft (24mm or 15/16")
    • Rear diff fill plug - 36 lb-ft (24mm or 15/16")
    • Front diff drain plug - 48 lb-ft (10mm hex)
    • Front diff fill plug - 29 lb-ft (10mm hex)


    • Toyota Genuine Differential gear oil LT 75W-85 GL-5 or equivalent - Toyota part # 08885-02506
    • Front - 2.2 qts; Rear - 3.8-4.9 qts (varies with model)
    • Rear drain plug gasket - Toyota part # 12157-10010
    • Rear fill plug gasket - Toyota part # 12157-10010
    • Front drain plug gasket - Toyota part # 90430-24003
    • Front fill plug gasket - Toyota part # 12157-10010


    1. Perform while your vehicle is level
    2. Ensure you can remove the fill plug before draining
    3. Proper level should be within 5 mm of the bottom of the fill plug opening
    4. Re-check the level after driving
    5. Save the new fill plug washer until the final check
    6. You will need to remove the skid plate and may need a bottle pump for front
    7. Gasket kit for transfer and differential
    Here is a good video on how to replace the differential fluid in your third-generation Tundra


      Inspect your transfer case every 30,000 miles or 36 months. If severe, replace the oil every 30,000 miles or 36 months.

      Torque specs:

      • Drain plug - 26 lb-ft (24mm or 15/16")
      • Fill plug - 26 lb-ft (24mm or 15/16")


      • 2 qts SAE 75W Toyota Genuine Transfer gear oil LF or equivalent - Toyota part # 08885-81080
      • Drain plug gasket - Toyota part # 90430-A0003
      • Fill plug gasket - Toyota part # 90430-A0003


      1. Ensure you can remove the fill plug before draining
      2. After filling, leave the plug out and let sit for about five minutes and recheck. Add more fluid if necessary.
      3. Rear Diff and Transfer Case Gasket Kit


      Visually inspect the oil every 30,000 miles or 36 months. If it’s severe, replace it every 60,000 miles or 72 months.

      Torque specs:

      • Drain plug - 180 lb-in/15 lb-ft (14mm)
      • Overflow plug - 180 lb-in/15 lb-ft (5mm hex)
      • Fill plug - 29 lb-ft (24mm or 15/16")


      • Toyota ATF WS fluid - Toyota part # 00289-ATFWS
      • Drain plug gasket - Toyota part # 35178-30010
      • Overflow plug gasket - Toyota part # 35178-30010
      • Fill plug gasket - Toyota part # 90301-15004

      Special tools:

      • Toyota SST 09843-18040 (basically, you just need a wire to jumper two OBD ports)
      • Bottle pump (to use for filling)


      The quantity of fluid will depend on what you do. Per the TIS repair manual, it directs three drain/refill/circulates for a replacement, so it will probably be somewhere between 10-12 quarts.


      Inspect the coolant every 15,000 miles or 18 months. You should replace it at 100,000 miles or 120 months, and then every 50,000 miles or 60 months thereafter.


      • 4-12.6 qts Toyota SLLC - Toyota part # 00272-SLLC2 (50/50 pre-diluted, Canada is 55/45). The quantity depends on the model. Consult your manual.


      Be careful. There is a special sequence to fill the system and remove all the voids without damaging or overheating anything.

      Maintenance is an important part of owning a vehicle. Doing it yourself can be rewarding and save you a lot of money. However, mistakes can cost you quite a bit. Be careful, take your time, and get learning!

      Image Credit

      * Please note that some of these links are Amazon affiliate links and we make a small commission if you purchase the product.