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Discussion Starter #1
If some of you have done it yourself, please post the tips as how to do it. And what not to do, Thanks, :)
 

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Oilpan drain plug is straightforward, filter isn't

Search the forums and you'll get people talking about how to do this. But this is what I did:

Drainingthe oil pan is straightforward. I used aluminum foil to cover the crossmember so it wouldn't get coated with oil. Then I undid the bolt (after removing the oil filler cap) and let the oil drain out. Don't forget to have a new copper washer before you drain the oil.

As for the filter, this is a little more difficult. Turn the steering wheel to right until you hit the steering lock. (Of course, do this before you drain the oil since the car has to be running.) Then with a thin-head, flat-blade screwdriver, remove the 4 plastic retainers that hold-on the spash shield on the inner fender. (Use the thin, flat blade screwdriver to pry-up the center "button" on the retainer and the whole retainer will come out. ) This will expose the tiny oil filter. Go get some aluminum foil to cover the crossmember so you don't end-up with oil all over it. Also go get some latex gloves and a good belt-type oil wrench. If this is the original, factory installed oil filter, it'll take the strength of Godzilla and Arnold Schwarzenegger put together to get it off. I used both hands with latex gloves to unscrew this filter, but it took a LOT of strength... and I'm a big, strong guy. After you loosen the filter, put your drip pan under and remove the filter. Apply a thin coat of oil (using your finger) on the rubber O-ring of the new filter and tighten to hand tight. Rule of thumb: Tighten using your finger tips until you can't tighten anymore (using ONLY your finger tips), then use your hand to spin the filter on another 3/4 of a turn.

Put everything back in reverse order and remember to remove the aluminum foil. Fill the engine with the oil of your choice (about 4.5 quarts) and start the engine for 1 minute. Look under the car to make sure you don't have any leaks, then shut off the motor and wait another 1-2 minutes for the oil to drain back into the pan. Then pull-out the dipstick and wipe it off to make sure it's clean, then re-insert. Pull out the dipstick and find the world's strongest light to see the level of your oil. It should be in the cross-hatched area. (That dipstick makes it hard to see the oil level... I'm tempted to paint the end of it, but I'm afraid of paint coming-off the dipstick and floating around in the oil...)

Hope that helps.

Bob K.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
King:

Excellent detailed steps, Thanks.

Just one question to confirm steering the front wheels (Clockwise ?) and their end position, they should be pointing towards right side, sitting in driver seat,

like

//-------//
| front |
| ........ |
| ........ |
| rear- |
|.|.......|.|
---------
 

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Exactly!

Turn the steering wheel clockwise (from the driver's perspective) so that they will be turing to the right. This gives you clearance to reach the splash shield from the front-right corner of the car without having to jack-up the car or remove a tire.

Have fun with that oil filter! I cursed at it many times before mine came off. I'm sure I still curse at it in my sleep too... :p

Bob K.
 

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Re: Exactly!

rtking said:
Turn the steering wheel clockwise (from the driver's perspective) so that they will be turing to the right. This gives you clearance to reach the splash shield from the front-right corner of the car without having to jack-up the car or remove a tire.

Have fun with that oil filter! I cursed at it many times before mine came off. I'm sure I still curse at it in my sleep too... :p

Bob K.
My factory filter was on so tight, I broke an oil filter wrench trying to unscrew it. Finally took it to the dealer for an oil change, and made sure to tell to put the new filter on according to spec, not the airwrenches they probably use at the factory. My second oil change was a breeze, although the drain plug is a bit difficult to get to (its blocked by a suspension crossmember so you have to twist your arm around to get to it).
 

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Just a little FYI,

With oil being hazardous waste and you having to get it disposed of and just the overall time of having to do it, sometimes it is worth it just to have someone else do it.

Here is my experience. Since I use Mobil 1, I take my car to Wal-Mart and have them do it. I can also watch while they do it. They allow this at my Wal-Mart due to how the area is set up.
Also due to the cost of the Mobil 1 and how they charge for the oil change, and that I bring my own filter, it almost cost less than $10 to have them do it for me. Not bad if you ask me.
I don't get my hands dirty. I can make sure they do it right. I can also have a look under my vehicle while it on the lift, and I don't have to worry about having to dispose of the oil afterwards.
Another thing, if you do have someone else do it, and can't watch or htey won't allow you in the area. When it is done, get under your vehicle and check the drain plug with your finger to make sure it is tight, as well as you filter, and that it is on properly.
Believe it or not, my 1st oil change was free at Toyota after I bought my 4runner. I brought it in close to closing on a Friday. After I drove it home I noticed there was oil all over the bottom of my BRAND NEW TRUCK. So I checked the drain plug with my finger, it was less than finger tight. I then drained the oil into a milk jug to see how much was left in the pan, turns out to be less than a quart. Then I checked the oil filter. It was also loose and was the culprit for why it lost all the oil. So being an ASE master certified mechanic, I took the filter off to inspect it and see if anything was wrong with it, nope, the guy just forgot to tighten everythingi n his haste to go home and have a beer.
I got on the phone with Toyota, explained the problem with the oil being everywhere. I didn't tell them my little detective work.
They had it flat bedded in the next morning to take care of it.
Quess what they blamed it on, the filter was defective and the seal on it was severly damaged. And that there shouldn't be any engine damage as their was 2qts still in the pan. BSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
So I then explained that I did my own analysis when I found out oil was everywhere. I explained my credentials, then showed them to the service manager. I was more "qualified" than he was being I was a Double ASE Master Certified mechanic in Heavy equiptment, as well as automotive.
So I explained that I loosened the drain plug by hand, drained the oil, which only was about a quart, and also took off the filter since it was halfway off as it was, and inspected that too.
His answer to that was he could not duplicate the problems I described and that he checked the drain plug and itw s tight, and that the filter seal was damaged and that is what caused the problem. I made a scene and called him a few names I will leave off here. I then asked to see the filter in question and the damaged seal to verify his claims, since it was my filter, since I had purchased it and no longer his. All of the sudden he said it was in his office this morning and that it isn't in there now, so e would go look for it, about 20 min later he comes back and says he can't find it at the momente, but he would get it to when as soon as they did find irt.
Well they never did find the filter, and tried to buy me off with a years worth of maintainance and other thingsl.
I said I don't want ANYTHING except an apoligy for your lies and something in writing stating your mechanic failed to tighten the drain plug and filter which caused the problem.
Well to make a long story short, I never got any of it.
So I wrote a professional letter to Toyota Corporate about the problem, what had transpired and the outcome.
They sent me back a letter and a check for $500 for my troubles and future issues that could occur, and a copy of the dissiplinary actions taken against the Service Manager.
Boy was I laughing my ass off. To rub it in, I made an appt to see him, brought a copy of all the stuff they gave me (he was unaware I went to Corporate with this issue) and let him know I knew he got screwed for trying to screw me.
It was a short appt, but I did finally get my apoligy. And the mechanic in question was not fired, as I requested in my letter to Corporate, because like I said, even I make mistakes. It was the Service Manager whom made more than mistkes, he flat out lied to a customer whom was nothing but understanding and just wanted am apoligy.

Sorry for the long story, but it was something where a customer finally got what he deserved, a response to an issue where Toyota ****ed up and would not take responsibility for their actions.

Chez
 
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