Toyota Camry DIY Oil Change
I have a 03 Camry (4 cylinder), in order to change oil by myself what kind of tool do I need. What is an oil filter wrench, is it a special kind of tool? Where can I get it? How can I locate the drain hole and the filter, do I need a ramp to elevate the car?
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You can buy a set of car ramps at autoparts stores, or build one out of wood if you want. They also sell plastic pans that collect oil.
Oil Filter Change
An oil change is very easy, takes me about 10 minutes to do. Drive up on the ramps, change the filter, drain the oil and refill, start the engine and drive off the ramps, recheck oil level. On the other hand, if you only are working on one vehicle and are buying all this stuff (socket set, filter wrench, car ramps, oil collector) to just do oil changes....you'd probably be better off just taking it to any oil change place.
DIY oil changes satisfy the warranty requirements, but save your receipts for the oil just in case you need to prove you've done them.
With the 2002 Camry when you look from above, there is a metal shroud over the oil filter held in-place in 3-4 places with hex screws. Can this shroud be removed and re-installed easily for changing the oil filter from above? If it wasn't for the metal shroud, the oil filter removal seems to be much easier from above.
I have an oil extractor that can extract the oil via the oil dipstick port rather than having to drain the oil from underneath. If I am able to also change the oil filter from above [than everything can be done from above]. This would eliminate the hassle of putting the car on ramps and the eliminate the risk of being underneath a 3,000 lbs. vehicle.
Your experience and feedback in this matter would be much appreciated.
I haven't ever used a dipstick oil extractor on a car, have used on the engine on a sailboat where the engine is way down in the bilge and there is no other way to drain the oil without it getting into the bilge. In a car, I'd personally be concerned that you get all of the oil out, as well as anything that had settled in the bottom of your oil pan. The normal drain bolt is at the furthest bottom of the oil pan, so when you drain the oil the right way all of that stuff drains out with all of the old oil. If you don't get all of the old oil out then you'll risk overfilling the oil. If you don't get all of the stuff off the bottom of the pan, then you have that building up and floating around in the new oil.
If your fear is getting underneath a car that has driven up on car ramps, the car ramps are made to hold more than 3x the weight of your whole car. Still concerned, take it somewhere to have them do it for you. Oil change locations are soo competitively priced that quite frankly it's not necessarily financially worth it to change yourself anyhow.
Most of the time you can get the filter from under if it is hard to remove from above. I havn't worked on 2002 Camry's.
One way to avoid a mess is have a lid from a storage container under the car to catch the spilled oil, also a mat helps for for your comfort. And put the car on something solid like a street curb, one side only usually right side. The car is now parked on a angle letting you slid underneath. Have parking brake set.
But the 2009 model with the "old" 4-cylinder engine should still have the conventional spin-on filter like my 2004 and '05. If so, you have to get under the car. It's in front of the engine oil pan, toward the passenger side, in the narrow space between the engine and the plastic splash shield behind the front bumper. The Toyota OEM filter is black, which makes it harder to see.
You need a cup-type filter wrench with at least a 3-inch extension on your ratchet to get it off.
Would not be 'overfill', they couldn't put that much oil into the engine to fill it up. The engine wouldn't run.