FJ Cruiser Do-it-Yourself Oil Change

emerlingemerling Member Posts: 12
OK, I may take some abuse for this one, but I wanted to perform my own first oil change and I thought I might help others by posting this info. BTW, I have changed my own oil for years so the difficulty I had finding the drain plug is not due to lack of experience.
1) To find the oil drain plug you need to remove an oval-shaped plastic cover from the center of the black "skid plate" under the engine. A decent-sized screwdriver will help you pry this off.
2) The drain plug is 14mm, you'll need a socket of that size and a three-inch extension to reach up past the skid plate.
3) If you never changed the oil on a Toyota before, make sure you have a new "crush washer" on hand before you change the oil. This washer is supposed to be replaced with each oil change.
4) OK, now you're ready to drain the oil and change the oil filter. Make sure the engine has been warmed up before you drain the oil. Captain Obvious says shut the engine off before you drain the oil or you will have a very expensive lawn ornament on your hands.
5) I love where they put the oil filter - I have not removed mine yet but I think gravity will drain most of the oil from the filter when I drain out the engine oil - and it's right up front in the engine compartment - very easy to reach it. Thank you Toyota.


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Got pics? You could make this into a nice Guide.

    Bonus points for pics of Captain Obvious, lol.
  • emerlingemerling Member Posts: 12
    I did the oil change this afternoon - it was pretty quick - thanks to the ground clearance of the FJ, I didn't have to jack up the vehicle. A couple notes about my previous directions:
    - The metal shroud around the oil filter will direct the oil that runs out of the filter down to a spout. I connected a long piece of plastic tubing to the spout to keep oil from running all over. The filter was not empty of oil as I had originally hoped, but at least the tubing helped me get it to run to a safe spot.
    - I stopped at an auto parts store to get the "crush washer" - they had some 14mm oil plug washers - one nylon, one metal. I was not sure these were the right material so I stopped at the Toyota dealer and bought a few. These don't appear to be plastic or metal. Guess I'll stick with the factory washers - they are about a buck apiece.
    - When I removed the drain plug the original washer was stuck to the oil pan and I had to pry it off with a small screwdriver. I have read on other forums that it's not a good idea to re-use the washer, and it's even worse to put a second washer on top of the first.
    - I also read on another site that the manual recommends some crazy torque like 33 foot-pounds when you replace the drain plug. I don't have a torque wrench, but I don't think I put anywhere near that much torque on the plug. There was no info on the torque required in my 2008 owners manual. You're on your own here, I won't make any recommendations. A guy on another site used a torque wrench and wound up stripping the threads by following the directions in the manual (maybe I was reading a Honda website, but anyhow be careful not to torque too much). Also make sure that you're not leaking any oil afterwards - that might indicate that you didn't apply enough torque.
    I didn't take pics - maybe next time :)
  • mkdtsmkdts Member Posts: 2
    After a couple off regular oil changes take a look at what amsoil has to offer its great synthetic oil. Only problem you can't buy in stores and its $
  • bmw143bmw143 Member Posts: 1
    A plastic water bottle will fit nicely under oil filter drain and you can cap off after and send to recycle
  • roofussroofuss Member Posts: 1
    Do you happen to know the Toyota part number fior the drain plug washers ? I do all my own oil changes, and would get a dozen or so at a time so I had 'em on hand ? thanks. :confuse:
  • pirate6pirate6 Member Posts: 4
    My owners manual says to have the dealer change spark plugs.($130) How hard is it to do? I saw a cover over each plug.
  • pirate6pirate6 Member Posts: 4
    my front left tire is wearing on the inside. The dealer said this is because it is a 4x4. Said I should rotate tires at every oil change and re align every 5000 miles. Said tire wear is expected / normal. Any insight? I don't believe that just because it's a 4x4 that it shoild wear unevenly. I have a 1978 fj40 and it wears front tires evenly after 33 years.
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