Toyota Camry DIY Oil Change

dchen2003dchen2003 Member Posts: 34
edited June 2014 in Toyota
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?


  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    You'll need an oil filter wrench, a socket set, a pan to collect the oil, and a set of car ramps. You can pick up an oil filter wrench at any autoparts store (Pep Boys, Autozone, etc), they are less than 5 bucks. They are in the sold in the same area as the oil filters. It's a cup that fits over the fluted end of the filter. Find the right filter for the Camry/mdl/year, and then select the correct size filter wrench to fit that filter. Typically the filter wrench is then turned with a standard 3/8" socket set extension.

    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'd probably be better off just taking it to any oil change place.
  • bobafettbobafett Member Posts: 9
    I am thinking of doing the first oil change on my new camry at 1000 miles and then every 5000 per owners manual. Is there any reason to wait longer to do the first oil change? Also are there any warranty considerations with DIY oil changes?
  • lzclzc Member Posts: 483
    Change away. To the best of my knowledge, unlike Honda Toyota's initial oil doesn't contain any break-in additives.

    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.
  • dchen2003dchen2003 Member Posts: 34
    I am planing to change the oil by myself on 03 camry (4cy). How do I locate the oil drain hole so I won't drain other fluids instead the engine oil.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    There is a big pan on the bottom of the engine, which collects all of the oil (lowest part of the engine). The big bolt in this pan is the drain hole. Perhaps you can watch it done at a Jiffy Lube, or have someone who has changed their own oil show you.
  • edmfanedmfan Member Posts: 1
    On a 2006 4 cyl Toyota camry. Does the oil filter wiggle a bit. I located my oil filter it is not loose, but it wiggles a bit when you touch the filter. is that normal? I have never done any oil change on this car , I always take it to my local mech. I don't how the oil filter should feel. Thanks
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    It's made out of a thin metal, which can be crushed....but it doesn't wiggle when it's on tight. It will wiggle a little as you loosen it.
  • diymaniacdiymaniac Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone had experience removing the oil filter from above rather than from underneath on the 2002 Camry?

    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.
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    You're overthinking this......don't unbolt the 'metal shroud' off of the engine. The oil filter gets unscrewed from the bottom.

    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.
  • rearwheeldriverearwheeldrive Member Posts: 140
    Agree with oil change procedure.

    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.
  • hdwizrdhdwizrd Member Posts: 1
    does any one know how to turn that light out after you change the oil my old camary didn't have a light and I haven't been able to turn it off
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    It's explained in the owner's manual.
  • washiwashi Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2007 Camry V6 LE... Its a pretty car but am worried because I havent being able to check or test the gearbox oil level. Please does anyone knows how and where i can do this check myself.
  • face721face721 Member Posts: 2
    i cant find my oil filter on my 09 camry please help
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    4-cylinder or V6?
  • face721face721 Member Posts: 2
    4 cylinder
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    I think I read somewhere that the oil filter in the new 4 cylinder engine, is an internal filter, similar to the way the 6 cylinder filter is mounted.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Yes, you're correct on the 2010 Camry 4-cylinder --it has the cartridge type of filter.

    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.
  • camery2010camery2010 Member Posts: 1
    I'm trying to find the part number to remove the oil filter for a 4 cylinder 2010 Camry. Does any one know of the correct Toyota part number of another Co's part number?
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,722
    Do you mean oil filter part number or oil filter wrench part number?
  • tywitywi Member Posts: 10
    I see a wet spot coming down from the oil filler location. Could this be a bad gasket on the oil filler cap or did the dealer overfill the oil. thank you
  • kiawahkiawah Member Posts: 3,666
    If just had an oil change, likely they missed getting the oil in the hole. Could be a torn gasket.

    Would not be 'overfill', they couldn't put that much oil into the engine to fill it up. The engine wouldn't run.
  • tywitywi Member Posts: 10
    thank you I went out an got a new filler cap . I looked at the old one and the gasket was very low. The new gasket looks like a much better seal.
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