Introduction

Change the oil in your '90-'95 Toyota 4Runner, with 3.0L V6 engine, to improve engine performance and longevity.

It is typically recommended that you change your vehicle's oil every 3,000 miles for extreme running conditions. However, this number can vary depending on your operating conditions, age of your vehicle, number of miles on your engine and your driving habits. Use of synthetic oils can help reduce engine wear and are advisable for older engines or if your typical driving involves extended periods of stop and go traffic.

Image 1/2: Place an oil drain pan under the oil drain plug. Image 2/2: Be sure to position the drain pan so that it will catch the oil when it is streaming out of the pan.
  • Begin by locating the 14 mm hex oil drain plug. The drain plug is on the driver's side of the truck, facing down and next to the front differential case.

  • Place an oil drain pan under the oil drain plug.

    • Be sure to position the drain pan so that it will catch the oil when it is streaming out of the pan.

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Image 1/3: Use a 14 mm box end wrench or socket wrench to loosen the oil drain plug by turning it counter-clockwise until you can turn it by hand. Image 2/3: Finish removing the oil drain plug by hand to allow the oil to drain. Image 3/3: Watch the draining oil for shiny specks. The shiny specks may be metal flakes and could mean that there is a serious problem with your engine internals.
  • Always wear protective gloves and eyewear when working with motor oil. Be careful if your car has been running recently as the engine, transmission and exhaust may be very hot. Keep rags or towels nearby to wipe up any spills.

  • Use a 14 mm box end wrench or socket wrench to loosen the oil drain plug by turning it counter-clockwise until you can turn it by hand.

  • Finish removing the oil drain plug by hand to allow the oil to drain.

    • Watch the draining oil for shiny specks. The shiny specks may be metal flakes and could mean that there is a serious problem with your engine internals.

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Image 1/2: Remove the gasket from the drain plug and inspect both parts for damage. Replace either part if necessary. Image 2/2: If there is no gasket on the drain plug, check the oil pan of the truck to see if it is stuck. If it is, you can use the drain plug or a blade screw driver to pull it off. Be careful to not damage the gasket or oil pan when removing a stuck gasket.
  • Clean the drain plug and gasket.

  • Remove the gasket from the drain plug and inspect both parts for damage. Replace either part if necessary.

    • If there is no gasket on the drain plug, check the oil pan of the truck to see if it is stuck. If it is, you can use the drain plug or a blade screw driver to pull it off. Be careful to not damage the gasket or oil pan when removing a stuck gasket.

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Image 1/2: Continue turning the drain plug clockwise with a 14 mm box end wrench or socket until it is snug. Image 2/2: Only tighten the drain plug until it is snug. Over-tightening the oil drain plug can strip the threads or crack the oil pan.
  • Once the draining oil has slowed to a drip, put the oil drain plug back into its hole and turn it clockwise by hand as far as possible.

  • Continue turning the drain plug clockwise with a 14 mm box end wrench or socket until it is snug.

    • Only tighten the drain plug until it is snug. Over-tightening the oil drain plug can strip the threads or crack the oil pan.

  • Wipe off any oil left on the oil pan with a clean rag or towel.

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Image 1/3: Support the skid plate with one hand and use a 12 mm socket wrench to turn the four bolts counter-clockwise until they come out. Image 2/3: Do not lie directly beneath the skid plate when removing the it. The skid plate or any debris trapped inside may fall on you. Image 3/3: Lower the skid plate from the underside of the truck and set it aside.
  • Locate the four 12 mm hex bolts holding the skid plate to the chassis.

  • Support the skid plate with one hand and use a 12 mm socket wrench to turn the four bolts counter-clockwise until they come out.

    • Do not lie directly beneath the skid plate when removing the it. The skid plate or any debris trapped inside may fall on you.

  • Lower the skid plate from the underside of the truck and set it aside.

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Image 1/2: Slide the oil drain pan below the oil filter so that it will catch any oil that drips down when the oil filter is removed. Image 2/2: Slide the oil drain pan below the oil filter so that it will catch any oil that drips down when the oil filter is removed.
  • Locate the oil filter. It is on the driver's side of the oil pan and above the steering linkages.

  • Slide the oil drain pan below the oil filter so that it will catch any oil that drips down when the oil filter is removed.

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Image 1/3: If the filter is too tight to turn by hand, use an oil filter wrench. Image 2/3: Lower the oil filter out of the engine bay with the threaded end facing up to reduce the amount of oil spilled. Image 3/3: Place the oil filter into the oil drain pan with its open end facing down.
  • Turn the oil filter counter-clockwise by hand until it comes off the engine's oil filter threads.

    • If the filter is too tight to turn by hand, use an oil filter wrench.

  • Lower the oil filter out of the engine bay with the threaded end facing up to reduce the amount of oil spilled.

  • Place the oil filter into the oil drain pan with its open end facing down.

  • Wipe off the engine's oil filter gasket face with a clean rag or towel.

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Image 1/2: Use your wetted finger to spread a thin layer of oil onto the gasket of the new oil filter. Image 2/2: Use your wetted finger to spread a thin layer of oil onto the gasket of the new oil filter.
  • Dip a clean, gloved finger into a bottle of new oil.

  • Use your wetted finger to spread a thin layer of oil onto the gasket of the new oil filter.

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Image 1/2: Turn the filter clockwise by hand until it is snug. Image 2/2: If the filter is difficult to turn at the beginning of its threads, '''stop'''! You may be cross threading the oil filter. Re-align the oil filter and try again.
  • Place the threaded end of the oil filter onto the engine's oil filter threads, being careful to not get dirt or debris on the filter's gasket.

  • Turn the filter clockwise by hand until it is snug.

    • If the filter is difficult to turn at the beginning of its threads, stop! You may be cross threading the oil filter. Re-align the oil filter and try again.

    • Do not over-tighten your oil filter by using a wrench. Doing so may cause the oil filter seal to leak and will make removing the oil filter very difficult in the future.

  • Remove the oil drain pan from underneath the truck.

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Image 1/2: Use the 12 mm socket wrench to finish turning the bolts clockwise until they are snug. Image 2/2: Use the 12 mm socket wrench to finish turning the bolts clockwise until they are snug.
  • Put the skid plate back into place and support it with one hand. Use your other hand to reinsert the 12 mm bolts, turning them clockwise about two turns.

  • Use the 12 mm socket wrench to finish turning the bolts clockwise until they are snug.

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Image 1/3: Go to the front of the truck and locate the hood release latch. It will be under the hood and slightly towards the driver's side of the truck. Image 2/3: Use one hand to lift up on the latch and your other hand to lift the hood open. Image 3/3: Place the hood prop rod into the hole in the top driver's side of the hood marked by an arrow.
  • Locate the hood release lever. It is below the left side of the driver's console. Pull it until you hear the hood click.

  • Go to the front of the truck and locate the hood release latch. It will be under the hood and slightly towards the driver's side of the truck.

  • Use one hand to lift up on the latch and your other hand to lift the hood open.

  • Place the hood prop rod into the hole in the top driver's side of the hood marked by an arrow.

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Image 1/3: Turn the cap counter-clockwise, then pull it off the valve cover. Image 2/3: Place a funnel into the oil filler hole. Image 3/3: Place a funnel into the oil filler hole.
  • Locate the oil filler cap on the driver's side valve cover.

  • Turn the cap counter-clockwise, then pull it off the valve cover.

  • Place a funnel into the oil filler hole.

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Image 1/2: Consult your owner's manual if you think your operating conditions call for a different oil viscosity. Image 2/2: Remove the funnel and put the oil filler cap back over the oil filler hole. Turn the cap clockwise until it is snug.
  • Pour 5 quarts of 10W-30 automobile oil into the engine. Use one hand to stabilize the funnel to help prevent spills.

    • Consult your owner's manual if you think your operating conditions call for a different oil viscosity.

  • Remove the funnel and put the oil filler cap back over the oil filler hole. Turn the cap clockwise until it is snug.

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Image 1/3: Do not confuse the oil dipstick for the transmission fluid dipstick, which has an orange handle and is in the same general area. Image 2/3: Pull out the oil dipstick, wipe it off, place it all the way back into its hole, and remove it again. Image 3/3: Check the oil level on the end of the dipstick. It should be within the cross-hatched area, or slightly above it.
  • Locate the yellow oil dipstick next to the driver's side valve cover and the distributor cap.

    • Do not confuse the oil dipstick for the transmission fluid dipstick, which has an orange handle and is in the same general area.

  • Pull out the oil dipstick, wipe it off, place it all the way back into its hole, and remove it again.

  • Check the oil level on the end of the dipstick. It should be within the cross-hatched area, or slightly above it.

    • This is not your actual oil level, but a pre-check to make sure the engine will not run dry when you first start it. The oil level will drop slightly after the first run when oil fills the new oil filter.

  • Add oil if the oil level is below the cross hatched area of the dipstick. Place the oil dipstick all the way back in its hole.

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Image 1/3: Make sure the hood prop rod is secured in its holder to prevent damage. Image 2/3: Gently lower the hood until it clicks into the secondary latch. Image 3/3: Press firmly on the edge of the hood until you hear the primary latch engage.
  • Support the hood with one hand and use your other hand to place the hood prop rod back into its holder.

    • Make sure the hood prop rod is secured in its holder to prevent damage.

  • Gently lower the hood until it clicks into the secondary latch.

  • Press firmly on the edge of the hood until you hear the primary latch engage.

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Image 1/2: After running the engine for a few minutes, let it cool down for at least an hour and re-check the oil level. If the oil level is more than a 1/2" above the top hole of the dipstick you will need to drain oil. If the oil level is below the bottom hole of the dipstick you will need to add oil. Image 2/2: Allow 12-24 hours for all the oil to drain out of your old oil filter.
  • Start the truck and look for leaks underneath it. If there are leaks, shut the truck off and determine if the drain plug or filter need to be tightened.

  • After running the engine for a few minutes, let it cool down for at least an hour and re-check the oil level. If the oil level is more than a 1/2" above the top hole of the dipstick you will need to drain oil. If the oil level is below the bottom hole of the dipstick you will need to add oil.

  • Allow 12-24 hours for all the oil to drain out of your old oil filter.

  • Take your old oil and filter to a recycling facility. Most auto parts stores and repair shops accept these at no charge. In addition, some cities and/or counties have a service where they will collect used oil and filters from your home. For more information, see the American Petroleum Institute's web page on used motor oil collection and recycling.

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7 other people completed this guide.

Phillip Takahashi

Member since: 08/22/2011

61,669 Reputation

101 Guides authored

5 Comments

Very nice DIY write up. Thanks.

Riz Gor - Reply

I drained me automadic fliud on my 1995 4 runner 3.0 . i then added one big bottle which ibelieave was 4 quarts. is there now way yo much fluid in my tranny?

audetshane - Reply

it would not go into gear soi figured it had all drained out. Then my father told me what is in the plan is not all of the automadic tramission fluid.

audetshane - Reply

Thank you for showing me the way

Wendy Stene - Reply

awesome thank you!

Peter Burrell - Reply

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