Arts and crafts: oil change.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother about blogging something as simple as an oil change but my last oil change was at Jiffy Lube.  They so diced it up, that my car has been leaking oil ever since. So here it goes.

1.  Drain the old oil out. This is easy to get to and, for my 4runner, there is high enough ground clearance that I don’t even need to jack it  up.

At the last oil change, the morons used a plastic washer instead of a metal one.  Then they over torqued it and squashed it so that it couldn’t perform its basic function.

Install the proper new washer and put the plug back in. There is a torque specification for this but it just needs to be “snug”.

2.  Then remove the filter.  You can get to it through the wheel well or even from above the engine compartment. Those ways tend to drip excess oil into your skid plate.  So I remove the front skid plate.  4 bolts.  In my case, only 3, because stupid Jiffy Lube is supplying black market skid plate bolts to Pakistan,  or something, but I only have three. They are not all the same size.  I can’t for the life of me understand why not, but the Toyota engineers decided that the front pair should be a slightly larger diameter than the rear pair.

With the skid plate gone, the filter is right in front of you. Normally, you need a filter wrench, but the silly guy at Jiffy Lube can’t  read so he didn’t tighten it according to the instructions on the filter box and I could remove it by hand.

Put the new one on.  Put a dab of clean oil on the filter seal.  Then tighten it 3/4 of a turn after the seal makes contact.

Then put the skid plate back on.

Add 5 quarts of oil.

If you did it right, your cleanup should be minimal.

Final step.  Reset the maintenance light by pushing the dashboard reset button (by the odometer) and hold it as you turn the key to the “on” position.  wait for the lights to go out.

All done.


About No One

I am totally non-threatening
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4 Responses to Arts and crafts: oil change.

  1. JN says:

    I always pour some oil into the filter. However much the filter can absorb and not drip out while installing it. Don’t know that it helps anything, but it can’t hurt.


    • No One says:

      That was a useful technique for filters that hold oil. If you want to check the oil level, but know you have an empty filter, then you don’t have enough. But for my car, it would be counterproductive. The filter mounts on an incline so that when the engine shuts off, all the oil drains back into the pan. Thus, if I put oil into it, it would drain onto my floor before I could install it. For my purposes, the dip stick gives an accurate “cold” measure of the oil level just as it would for if oil has circulated through the filter (minus some insignificant amount sticking to the paper in the filter).


  2. Og says:

    the “Fill the filter” was a common trick on GM engines with the vertical filter. It made the time from startup to oil pressure a bit shorter, but I never knew it to be much of a big deal. At one time someone was selling hinge kits that allowed you to only take out the front bolts of the skid plate, but I don’t know if that would work on the newer 4runners.


    • No One says:

      The 4runner has 2 skid plates. Each is held by 4 bolts (three if you have just come from Jiffy Lube). The front plate has 2 hook-tabs on the leading edge so it doesn’t fall as you unbolt it. in effect, it is hinged from the front edge. The length of the plate is longer than the height of the vehicle, so, that wouldn’t work without jack stands. The rear plate also has a metal tab to help position and hold the plate while you bolt it on. It makes any sort of swinging attachment impractical.

      on a side note, I have some pretty large dents in my skid plate, but none on my oil pan. WIN!


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