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Toyota Tacoma 3.5L V6 Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the oil and filter in a 3rd generation 2016 to 2021 Toyota Tacoma with the 2GR-FKS 3.5L V6.

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2020 Tacoma TRD Sport
Partially Remove Dipstick
Oil Filler Cap 0W-20
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and probably also the 2022 and 2023 model years) Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in changing the motor oil and replacing the cartridge style oil filter on the 2GR-FKS 3.5 liter V6 engine. (The procedure should be the very similar for the 2TR-FE 2.7L I4 engine.)

Owners of other Toyota or Lexus vehicles such as the Tundra, 4Runner, Hilux, Highlander, C-HR, Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Supra, Land Cruiser, Prius, RAV4, Mirai, Sequoia, Sienna, Yaris, CT 200h, ES 300h, RX 350, GX 460, LX 570, NX 300, RX 450h, UX 200 and UX 250h may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible cartridge style oil filters for the 2GR-FKS 3.5L DOHC V6 engine include the following: Bosch 3972, Ecogard S5608, Denso 150-3021, Wix 57047XP, K&N HP-7020 and Toyota 04152-YZZA1.

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a 12mm socket, a 14mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratchet, a used oil catch container, an AST Tools TOY 640 oil filter cap wrench (64mm with 14 flats), a 24mm socket with a 1/2" drive ratchet, an automotive funnel and at least 7 quarts of new SAE 0W-20 oil.

The oil capacity specification of the 2GR-FKS engine for an oil change with a filter change is as follows: 6.1 U.S. quarts (without towing package) or 6.2 U.S. quarts (with towing package including oil cooler). Please double check your owner's manual for the correct capacity!

I recommend warming up the engine for a few minutes or performing the oil change after a short drive. If the engine is warm, any contaminants within the engine will be suspended in the oil and it will also drain out more quickly.

The next few steps are to drive the truck on to a level surface, shift the transmission into "Park" and turn off the ignition.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving.

Then open the hood, pull out the yellow plastic handle on the dipstick an inch or two and remove the oil filler cap by twisting it off in the counterclockwise direction.

Partially removing the dipstick and taking off the oil fill cap will help prevent a vacuum from forming and allow the old oil to drain out more quickly.


Spin Off Oil Fill Cap
3.5L V6 Engine Oil Pan
Silver Metal Oil Drain Bolt
Slide under the passenger side of the engine bay and locate the black metal oval shaped oil pan.

The silver metal oil drain bolt is situated closer to the front of the truck.

Used Oil Catch Container
Loosen Counterclockwise
Spin Out Bolt By Hand
Slide the used oil catch basin to just below the drain bolt.

Loosen the oil drain bolt in the counterclockwise with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Be careful when you remove the drain bolt. The old oil might still be hot enough to burn your fingers!

Spin out the bolt the rest of the way by hand.

Drain Out Old Oil
Metal Skid Plate
Loosen Counterclockwise
Allow the old oil to drain out for at least a few minutes or until the flow slows down to just an occasional drip.

Inspect the crush washer or "gasket" on the oil drain plug. If the washer appears to be in good shape, you might be able to re-use it again.

If not, replace the old washer. The OEM oil drain plug gasket part number is Toyota 90430-12031.

Spin in the drain bolt a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to make sure it doesn't become cross threaded.

Tighten the oil drain bolt in the clockwise direction with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until it is snug.

If you prefer to use a torque wrench, the specification in the service manual for tightening the drain plug is 30 lb-ft.

In order to access the oil filter housing, you'll have to remove the metal under engine cover or "skid plate".

The skid plate is held in place by four bolts and two slots attached to hooks near the front of the truck.

Remove 2nd Bolt
Removing 3rd Bolt
Small Ratchet - 3rd Bolt
Remove the four bolts by turning them in the counterclockwise direction with the 12mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

There is one bolt at each of the four corners of the skid plate.

Remove 4th Bolt
Lower Rear Edge
Metal Hook Front Edge
Carefully lower the rear edge of the skid plate.

Then lift up the front edge of the skid plate to release the two slots from the hooks attached to the front underside of the engine bay.

Second Hook At Front
Metal Under Engine Cover
Oil Filter Housing
Slide the skid plate out of the way.

Once the skid plate has been removed, you'll be able to see the black plastic oil filter cap with the silver metal drain plug.

Re-Position Catch Basin
Remove Drain Plug
AST Tools TOY 640
Slide the used oil catch container to just below the oil filter housing.

Remove the metal drain plug on the bottom of the filter cap by turning it in the counterclockwise direction with a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Your new oil filter should have come with a small plastic fitting that can be inserted into the opening in the bottom of the filter cap in order to drain out the old oil.

If the small plastic drain pipe fitting was not included with your new oil filter, you can just skip that step.

In order to loosen the oil filter cap, you'll need a filter socket such as the Assenmacher Specialty Tools TOY 640 or any other oil filter wrench that is 64mm with 14 flutes along with a 24mm socket and a 1/2" drive ratchet.

Tool & 24mm Socket
Loosen Counterclockwise
Replace Cartridge Filter
Place the filter wrench over the cap.

Attach the 24mm socket to the 1/2" drive ratchet.

Loosen the oil filter cap by turning it in the counterclockwise direction.

The next few steps were messy, so I didn't take any pictures.

Pull out the old cartridge oil filter from the plastic cap and discard it.

Lubricate the new rubber o-ring gaskets that were included with the new filter by applying a small amount of new oil.

Remove the old rubber o-ring gaskets and replace them with the new ones.

The smaller gasket is for the lower metal drain plug on the filter cap. The larger gasket should be placed at the bottom of the threads on the filter cap.

Push the new cartridge filter into the cap until it is fully seated.

Spin in the filter cap a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to make sure it doesn't become cross threaded.

Tighten Filter Cap
Double Check Drain Bolt
Line Up Skid Plate
Tighten the filter cap with the TOY 640 wrench, the 24mm socket and a 1/2" drive ratchet until it is snug.

If you prefer to use a torque wrench, the service manual specification for tightening the filter cap is 18 lb-ft of torque.

Replace the drain plug on the bottom of the filter cap tightening it in the clockwise direction with the 3/8" drive ratchet until it is snug or the service manual specification of 10 lb-ft of torque.

Double check that the oil drain bolt, filter cap and filter drain plug are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Move the skid plate to below the engine.

Slots For Hook - Front
Attach Slots Over Hooks
Spin In Bolts By Hand
Re-attach the two slots on the front of the skid plate to the two hooks near the front of the engine bay.

Raise the rear edge of the skid plate towards the underside of the engine.

Front Driver Side Bolt
Front Passenger Bolt
Tighten Clockwise
Spin in the four bolts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.
Tighten Rear Bolts
Tighten Fourth Bolt
Skid Plate Secured
Tighten the four bolts in the clockwise direction with the 12mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until they are snug.

The service manual specification for tightening the skid plate bolts is 22 lb-ft of torque.

If you have the longer TRD (Toyota Racing Development) skid plate with the larger 17mm bolts, the torque specification is 33 lb-ft.

Double check that the four skid plate bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Insert Automotive Funnel
Pour In New Oil
Replace Oil Filler Cap
Insert the automotive funnel into the oil filler hole.

The oil capacity specification of the Tacoma with the 2GR-FKS 3.5L DOHC V6 engine for an oil change with a filter replacement is either 6.1 U.S. quarts if your truck does not have the towing package or 6.2 U.S. quarts if your truck has the towing package with the auxiliary oil cooler.

It is much better to have slightly less oil than necessary in an engine than to run an engine that has been over filled.

Running an engine that has been over filled with oil may cause damage to seals, gaskets or other components.

I recommend only pouring in about 5.5 to 5.75 U.S. quarts of new SAE 0W-20 oil at first.

Then push down the oil dipstick and temporarily replace the oil fill cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction until it is snug.

Push In Dipstick
Check Oil Level
Oil Change Complete!
Start the engine, allow it warm up for a few minutes, turn off the ignition and allow the new oil to drain back down to the oil pan for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a paper towel, fully re-insert it and pull it out the again to check the level.

If necessary, slowly pour in more oil up to the 6.1 or 6.2 U.S. quart capacity and repeatedly check the level on the dipstick until it reaches up to or just below the upper metal dimple on the dipstick which indicates the "FULL" or "MAX" (maximum) level.

To reset the "MAINT REQD" (maintenance required) warning light for the oil life system, follow these steps: 1. Turn the ignition switch to "OFF". 2. For trucks without a smart key - Press and hold the "ODO/TRIP" button and turn the ignition switch to the "ON" position but do not start the engine. For trucks with the smart key system - Press and hold the "ODO/TRIP" button and tap the "START" button with your foot off the brake pedal so that you do NOT start the engine. 3. Continue holding the "ODO/TRIP" button until odometer display shows "000000". 4. The "MAINT REQD" light should disappear from the gauge cluster.

Be sure to write down the oil change and filter replacement in your vehicle's service records.

The service interval specification in the owner's manual for changing the engine oil and filter is every 10,000 miles (or every 12 months).

Please check out all of the 2016-2021 Toyota Tacoma DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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