How To Change The Oil In A Toyota Tundra [And How Often To Do So]

Learning how to change the oil and filter on your own vehicle can save you a bit of money. This practice also makes you a lot more in tune with everything else that's going on under the hood. If you have a Toyota Tundra and are considering tackling this important piece of automotive maintenance yourself, we can help get you there. We researched this popular pickup truck from numerous professional sources so that you'll soon be able to accomplish this oil change all on your own.

To successfully change the oil in your Toyota Tundra, you'll perform the following steps in this order:

  1. Set the Tundra on jack stands
  2. Remove the skid plate
  3. Drain the old oil
  4. Remove old filter
  5. Spray excess oil off with brake cleaner
  6. Replace the skid plate
  7. Replace the drain plug
  8. Add new oil to the engine
  9. Safely dispose of old oil in an approved manner

Now that we know the steps involved in changing the oil on your Toyota Tundra, we'll take a more detailed look at each step. You might also be wondering what type of oil the Tundra uses or if you need to use a synthetic oil. How often should you change the oil in a Toyota Tundra? How much oil does this pickup truck take? For the answers to these questions and more, read ahead in this post to see what our research has uncovered.

A huge gray colored Toyota Tundra, How To Change The Oil In A Toyota Tundra [And How Often To Do So]


Step by step guide to changing the oil in your Toyota Tundra

To complete each step mentioned earlier in this post, you'll need the following:

  • Oil funnel
  • Brake cleaner spray
  • SAE-0W-20 oil
  • Sockets: 15/16, 10mm, 12mm, 3/8, and 14mm
  • New oil filter kit
  • Toyota oil filter socket
  • Car jack or ramp
  • Jack stands
  • Oil pan

1. Set the Tundra on jack stands

Doing this can be accomplished by carefully driving your Tundra up a car ramp, placed in front of each front tire. Have a partner carefully guide you as you slowly drive the Tundra up the ramps.

Once secure, engage your parking brake and place jack stands under each side of the Tundra. For an extra safety precaution, chock the rear wheels to keep the Tundra from slipping backward.

See these chocks on Amazon.

2. Remove the skid plate

The skid plate is located underneath the Tundra, near the front of the engine bay. It can be removed by using the 10mm and 12mm sockets. When the bolts are removed, lift the skid plate up and to the right so it can be taken off. 

3. Drain the old oil

Using the 14mm socket, unbolt the drain plug. Allow the oil to drain into your oil pan. This can take a bit, so be patient. When the oil stream has been reduced to a slow drip, it is as close to totally empty as you're going to get.

Hint:  Warmer oil will drain faster, so if it's a cold day, let your Tundra run for a bit before you drain the oil. Just don't let it run too long, or the oil will be hot and can cause severe burns to your skin.

4. Remove the old filter

Using your 3/8 socket, remove the oil filter cap. This will be located under the area that you removed the skid plate from. Once this is removed, take off the 1-inch O-ring and then snap in the plastic oil drain where the oil filter cap was removed from.

The plastic cap will be in your oil filter kit. This will allow the oil in the old filter to drain. Be sure it drains into a small bucket or oil pan, or you'll have a mess!

When it's finished draining, you'll need the 15/16 socket to remove the filter. Place this socket on the oil filter mechanism, and turn it counter-clockwise. When this comes out, remove the oil filter from the mechanism. Dispose of the old filter in a plastic bag.

Now, take the new O-ring from your oil filter kit, and replace the old one with it. It should be fit on the base of the threads. Then, install the new filter, and replace the oil filter mechanism. Tighten it in place until it is snug. Replace the 1-inch O-ring with the new one from the kit, before putting the oil filter cap back on. 

5. Spray excess oil off with brake cleaner

The brake cleaner can and should be applied to any area on your Tundra's underside where excess oil may have been spilled or leaked.

Need to pick up brake cleaner to prep for this oil change? Check out 3M's cleaner on Amazon.

6. Replace the skid plate

Carefully put your skid plate back on, using the sockets mentioned in earlier steps. Make sure it's properly seated, and the bolts snug.

7. Replace the drain plug

Put your drain plug back in place, and make sure it's snug. If you don't, the new oil you add will leak out rather quickly. 

8. Add new oil to the engine

Using the funnel, add the appropriate amount of approved motor oil to your engine. Use only approved weights for your Tundra, and stick with Toyota's recommended brands.

9. Safely dispose of old oil in an approved manner

Don't just discard it in the trash! There are approved sites where you can dispose of used motor oil in your community. Locate one, and take your waste there.

For a video tutorial on how to change the oil in your Toyota Tundra, watch below:

How do you remove the oil filter on a Toyota Tundra?

To successfully remove the oil filter from your Toyota Tundra, you'll need to have a Toyota oil filter wrench. While you are able to use a non-branded model, the Toyota brand will better grip and assist you in removing your Tundra's filter.

What type of oil does a Toyota Tundra use?

It's recommended by Toyota that your Tundra use SAE 0W-20 synthetic motor oil. 

How often should I change my oil in my Toyota Tundra?

The frequency of oil changes for your Toyota Tundra will depend largely on what type of oil you are using. Synthetic oil will need to be changed much less often.

Toyota recommends that this oil type be changed out totally between 7,500 and 10,000 miles. The exact frequency will depend on your engine's age as well as the climate at which you are driving.

But if you use conventional motor oil, you'll need to get it changed much sooner. Newer engines would need the oil changed every 4,000 to 5,000 miles, while older engines should have their oil and filter changed at 3,000-mile intervals.

Does a Toyota Tundra require synthetic oil?

While the Toyota Tundra does not require synthetic oil, it is highly recommended for use by Toyota. Synthetic oil, while more expensive, burns cleaner and lubricates your engine's moving parts a lot longer with less debris buildup. Toyota recommends SAE 0W-20 synthetic motor oil for this vehicle.

How much oil does a Tundra need?

If you are changing the oil as well as the oil filter, Toyota states that you'll need 7.9 quarts of oil to fully fill the engine with this necessary lubricant. If, for whatever reason, you are not changing the filter, you will only need to use 7.4 quarts of engine oil. However, you'll want to change out the oil filter in most cases every time you change your Tundra's oil.

Pouring motor oil into the car engine

In Closing

While there are multiple steps involved in changing your vehicle's oil at home, it can be worth the money you'll save on labor. People who like to tinker on their cars also find that being responsible for changing out their own engine oil is a rewarding and satisfying experience. Successfully doing so requires you to follow each step carefully and thoroughly, as well as responsibly disposing of the oil you are ridding your engine of. 

If you found this post on the Toyota Tundra to be helpful, we believe you'll enjoy reading the following posts on this popular pickup truck:

 Taking Your Toyota Tundra Off Road? Here’s What You Need to Know

Which Pickup Trucks Have Blind Spot Monitoring?

Truck Bed Dimensions – Length and width by bed type

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