DIY first time oil change toyota camry

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Jun 22, 2014
Michigan, USA
I have a 2003 2az-fe and i've been having the oil changed at a quick lube place that uses castrol GTX and a champs lab filter and sometimes at my tire place where a tire rotation comes with the oil change. The tire place uses synthetic blend shell oil and a hastings filter (I know hastings is good) but from my past experiences, they would always overfill or mistakes were made and I'm fed up with it, so I decided to do some research and look at bob is the oil guy and related forums, and would like to change my oil, but i'd like to know how to do it. does anyone have any detailed picture tutorials? Also, what kind of oil should I use? I have pennzoil platinum i bought on sale, pennzoil yellow bottle I also bought on sale, chevron (bought a 12 pack at cosco with a 10$ rebate), and I was considering castrol symblend GTX, and castrol high mileage GTX, as well as synthetics such as Castrol (I heard german castrol was good, but apparently 0w-30 is made in belgium now), and mobil 1, and amsoil. What are your oil and filter recommendations? I bought 3 filters (bundle of 3 on sale) from the toyota dealer and heard good things about OEM filters, but I've also consdiered using motorcraft (my other car is a ford taurus) that taurus uses fl 400s, and i've heard i could use that as an "oversized" filter. I've been doing my research and have my supplies, but what are your recommendations, and how do I go about doing it? There's also a jack and jack stand sale for 39.99 at o'reilly's and meijer sells the jack and jack stand set for 49.99 normally, and autozone is having a 19.99 for a jack and 19.99 for jack stands sale as well. o'reilly's carries ac delco jack/stands, meijer uses pro lift, and i forgot the autozone brand, but which jack/jack stand kit do you recommend (which brand is better/more reliable/durable) and is 39.99 for both or 19.99 for one, a good deal? I looked on craigslit and used ones seemed to be around 20, so I think 39.99 is good, but is there a place where I can buy them at a cheaper price? walmart is similar in pricing. I also saw from rockauto that the motorcraft filter i should use is the fl836. but this has no "s" and I know "s" stands for silicone and the silicone anti drawback valve is what makes the motorcraft filters so good. Is there an fl 836s or related silicone motorcraft filter for a 4 cylinder car, as I know the FL 400 S is for a 6 cylinder car and is wider/bigger. Which motorcraft filter should I use (i heard good things about them) and I know purolator pureone is good, but the classic is cheaper. Is the classic any good? I know the fram orange can filters are bad. Toyota filters are good, but I'm also looking for alternatives in case i don't have the time to go all the way to the dealier. Oil recommendations? My car has 146k miles and I change the oil at the quick lube place or the tire place every 3-5k miles, depending on the circumstances but I change my oil fairly regularly. last year, the valve cover gasket was replaced and there was an oil leak, but replacing the gasket fixed the leak. i want to do this right and change the oil right and make the engine last, so what are your suggestions? also, i changed my transmission fluid at 110k miles for the first time and i'm at 146k miles and my tranny fluid still looks good. shoudl i change it? it's still red. should I do a flush, or just do a pan drop and do a drain and refill a few times over the course of a year? i'm determined to DIY it right and make my car last. My car gets 28 miles per gallon right now and i've considered changing the spark plugs (they're original) and my PCV valve is original. from time to time, i put in chevron techtron and lucas fuel system cleaner, and sometimes stp, seafoam, cheap store brand fuel additives
can I just use the jack that comes with the car and buy jack stands? is that enough? or should I buy the 2 ton jack at o'reilly's/autozone/etc? or is the tire jack that comes with the car good enough and the fl 400s has a bigger radius than the toyota filters i picked up, one is for 6 cylinders. could i really use that on my 4 cylinder camry, as i've herad some ppl with camry's use the fl-400s or what's a smaller ford motorcraft filter with the silicone 's' that would fit/would be readily available at walmart? I know autozone has the fl 400s for 3.69 and so does advanced, so it's cheap and it's a good filter that is used on my ford because the ford goes to the dealer for the motorcraft oil and filter changes, whereas the fl 400s is available at walmart, at an, ironically, more expensive 3.96 usually, walmart is much cheaper for stuff like oil, filters, seafoam, etc than autozone but for the fl400s filter, it's not cheaper for some odd reason. there's only a limited selection of motorcraft filters at o'reilly's, and autozone, whereas the selection at walmart is wider, so what motorcraft filter would you recommend?
also, my oil cap says 5w-30 and another reason why i want to do it myself is when i DIY, i know exactly what's going in the quick lube place may make mistakes (they always overfill/i go back for them to drain some out) but they have used incorrect weights before like 5w-20 at my tire place 3 months ago i'll be doing the oil change this week is 5w-20 bad for this engine which calls for 5w-30 and should I use 5w-20 inthe winter, as i herad you get better gas mileage with 5w-20 and it's OK for the winter and tha 5w-30 should be used for the summer (i'm changing out the shell 5w-20) as it's been 3 months, and 3000 miles and it'll be warm soon (though i live in michigan and this summer isn't expected to be hot) if i want a better oil for the winter, wouldn't it make sense NOT to mess with the second number but rather the FIRST with the W after it? In other words, i shoudl use a 0w-30, NOT a 5w-20, or is the 5w-20 OK and won't have any bad/negative effects? i've also heard bad things about the generic champs lab filter i know they make a LOT of filters from STP to mobil 1, but i'm talking about the champion labs brand filter is it okay for me to use 5w-40 or 0w-20? i'm thinking, from what i understand, that 5w-30 is what's best esp for the summer and i can use 0w-30 in the winter (it wil give me better gas mileage) but i should stay away from 5w-20, right? or is 5w-20 ok?
I can show you a picture. I compared the fl 400s side by side with a purolator classic. I'm new to DIY and cars but I'm determined to learn about this so I won't get ripped off at the shop and I can do some fluid changes by myself with quality fluid. The shop chargers more for cheap brands and if you want synthetic, they overcharge, so DIYing with synthetic is good. For the power steering, I heard ATF works, but why? Is prestone OK or should I use amsoil? I know amsoil makes tranny fluid and power steering fluid but didn't know if it'd be ok for a toyota. I also just did a discount oil change for 20 dollars with a tire rotation at a goodyear, and they said they used "shell oil" which I presume is Formula Shell, but it could be Pennzoil. Regardless, it was cheap and they gave me 4 quarts of 5w-30, "shell oil." Last time, that place overfilled with 5w-20 synthetic blend, which I heard was bad for the car beacuse it doesn't provide enough protection. I also requested the old filter and it was a "Federated" filter made by Hastings. I heard hastings made good filters, but apparently, "federated" is their economy line and isn't good. is that true? It's a 3k filter, right? I changed after 3 months and 2.5k of stop and go, city, short trip driving. Should I do a used oil analysis? I'm new to this so I don't get why a FL 400s works. I went on rockauto and they said I should use an FL 836 (but that's not silicone) I also heard saw a FL 910s filter at walmart. That looked more similar to the purolator I should be using in the car. Take a look at these pictures I took whilst at walmart. What about an FL 820 S? My other car is a 6 cylinder taurus which needs the FL 400s as the OEM, so if that works for my camry, that'd be really awesome as I'd use the same filter for both cars! is a Federated oil filter bad? like the Napa silver, which is worse than the Napa Gold which is a wix? I heard it's made by hastings which is good, but what if it's a bad version of the hastings? Can it compare to a purolator classic? Also, how are champion labs oil filters? I used to go to a castrol quick lube which gave me Castrol GTX 5w-30 conventional, yet it gave me a champs lab filter, and I heard those were bad becasue of the ecore design. Champs lab makes mobil 1 and lots of good stuff but they also make STP and low end filters andtheir "champs lab" brand is on the low end.; Also, my castrol place changed to gulf motor oil, which is why I became motivated to DIY it myself beacsue the 2 oil change places I went to (mostly) use cheap filters and though the castrol GTX is good (not sure about Shell, (maybe it's formula shell?), but castrol is good, but the filter they use is cheap. And the tire place uses shell, whcih I presume is formula shell, not Pennzoil yellow bottle conventional. pennzoil used to be bad and have wax/sludge issues but I heard it was now good, but isn't formula shell a cheap pennzoil knockoff cheaper than quaker state, which I heard bad things about? Anyone use a PHXXX champs lab filter or a federated LFXXXF filter, LF 107 F filter? Also, is 0w-30 OK, or does that not protect the engine enough? I was considering using 0w-30 german (european) castrol or mobil 1 0w-30, is that good enough protection, or even better? Should I use it especially during the cold michigan winters? 0w-30 in the winter and 5w-30 for the other half of the year? the champs lab and the federated are bad? i am looking to use a motocraft because I heard they were good and it's 3.96 at walmart and only 3.69 at advanced auto parts and also at autozone, so if I could get a fl 400s, that'd be great, but i just don't know about the 910s and 820s, etc i know the fl 836 is recommended i may be new, but i'm a fast learner this car is a 11 year old hand me down from my parents. i only got it about 2 years ago and my parents were in total control and they went to teh quick lube places i realized those were garbage, so i began doing research and wanting to DIY stuff like this the car is at 147k right now and runs fine, but I just beleive it could run better and the castrol quick lube actually wasn't bad and they had a camera of the underbody of your car so you could see them in the pit taking the oil out i also bought a haynes repair manual, recently i also heard bad things about changing oil at the dealer and didn't have good experiences with that, as they offer limited options and their "toyota" oil is just mobil 5000 rebranded, and their synthetic is available in 0 weights, but DO THEY USE A TOYOTA FILTER? or do they use a cheap filter? is champs lab or federated really that bad and why? I know motorcraft filters are good, and so are toyota oem, but purolators are good as well, both classic and pureone, right? a local mechanic I know also can change my oil, and there's another high quality exspensive quick lube place that offers amsoil for their conventional oil change, they use mighty oil filters. My castrol place gave me a mighty vs7 engine flush, and I know mighty isn't available for consumers and is only for commercial use are mighty oil filters/oil good? what about progard/proguard? A mechanic said he can give me a progard synthetic blend oil change for 40 dollars with a quality mighty filter. Are mighty filters any good? I've recently decided to DIY my oil changes and I know the OEM filters, purolators, motorcraft, etc filters are good, but I just was curious about the filters I've been using on my 2003 camry with 147 k miles, a 4 cylinder 2az-fe. At the castrol place, they use a champs lab PHXXX filter. At my goodyear, they do a oil change with a tire rotation and they use a federated LFXXXF filter. Are these filters both low end and bad? Are they similar to the fram orange cans, or are they not that bad? I heard the champs lab one had an ecore, and that the federated was a low end hastings, which is a good filter, but i'm not sure if the federated is much worse than the hastings or if it's similar, but I know it's cheap. How are these filters? A mechanic I went to offers an expensive oil change with proguard oil and mighty oil filters. I've also considered going to the dealer, but my oinly dealer in my area has bad reviews and they use pennzoil, so it's not necessarily the solution and I dont know if they use toyota oem filters or not. But have the filters I've been using been bad/low quality or are they alright? I change my oil with dino every 3-5 k or 3-4 months.
if you have a lower OCI Ol Change interval, is it okay for you to use a cheap filter? If I change my oil at 3k, will using a champs lab or federated filter hurt my car? will I benefit from using an expensive mobil 1 filter or a within-budget motorcraft/purolator or toyota OEM if I use a 3 k oil change interval? also, another reason why I decided to DIY was in addition to using 5w-20, the tire place and the castrol quick lube always overfill the tech yesterday at the goodyear tire place claimed he added 4 quarts, but i checked the dipstick and it was slightly above the full mark. maybe they don't drain out all of the old oil? Anyways, overfilling has always been a problem for this car. Why do they do this? Which is why I decided, screw it, i'm going to DIY those [email protected]$tards aren't gonna take my money for doing a terrible job anymore! s it okay for me just to buy jack stands and use the jack in the trunk that comes with the car, or should I also buy a jack? why i'm asking is there's a 2 ton jack and jack stand kit on sale (10 off) for only 39.99 and autozone is having a sale as well where both the jack, and/or the jack stands are 19.99 each. Autozone's brand is duralast (i believe) and oreilly's is ac delco should I only buy the jack stands and use the jack that comes with the car or buy the floor jack and jack stands combo? what's the downsides to using a cheap/bad filter if you're doing a 2-3k oil change interval (short)? I used to go to quick lube/tire places and my quick lube uses an champs lab filter (i heard it was bad like the fram and uses an ecore) and my tire place uses a federated filter (probably better, but it's a cheap knockoff of hastings, which is a legit filter) Anyways, I have 147k on my 4 cylinder 2az-fe and my lube place always overfills even if they tell me they used 4 quarts (why??) so now I've decided to boycott these [email protected] and I'll do it myself and I wanna use a better filter like a purolator (even the classic is better than what has been used, right?) the oem, and a motorcraft filter since my other car is a ford taurus which uses the FL 400s, which I herad works on this vehicle as well. I'm not using k and n, mobiil 1, or super expensive 10+ dollar filters, just decent ~5 dollar filters, but these are a lot better than the cheap filters I've been using for the past 150k, right? Is there a real downside and did these filters kill my engine because they were cheap even if I had short oil change intervals? Thanks another option is for me to give my quick lube place a filter since they use castrol gtx which is good oil, but they overfill, so to heck with them, i've decided to DIY it. i'm tired of taking the abuse from these people and i'm sure my camry's been abused for the last ~150k miles, but I really want to do things right now, as i'm on a budget and don't have money for a new car and make this car last. am I too late? or is it fine to begin using quality filters in the 5 dollar range now? those idiots always overfill, i don't know why' i'm in the metro detorit region, so they might be doing this to sabotage my toyota since toyota has taken away all the jobs and business away from detroit, which is why detroit has become so ravaged because of toyota, but i like my toyota and i won't put up with this abuse any longer! it's kind of late, and i'm exhausted, but I just bought a used jack and jack stands and they need oil is bar's leaks a good jack oil? what about the meijer brand (forgot what it's called but, oh yeah, liquid wrench or something like that)? also, for the power steering, i saw prestone made 2 generic kinds in a larger bottle, they had power steering and power steering with stopleak can i use the one with stopleak even if I have no leaks (I have a bottle at home, apparently), the stopleak one also, that's the generic prestone pS they also had an asian vechicle and honda ps fluid, and i'm thinking of going for the asian vehicle prestone synthetic PS fluid, but it's 6 dollars for a small bottle whereas the generic is 3 and the generic (the prestone PS and/or the prestone PS with stop leak ) is much larger and is around 7 dollars for ATF, they are often in quart jugs, but I saw some gallon jugs for valvoline at meijer and walmart they had the dex, and that's for older american vehicles, but the maxlife (red bottle) said it was compatible with toyota type 4 in the back castorl import ATF is also good but it's only in quart bottles and is expensive if I need lots of ATF that I'll add through multiple drain and fill procedures (will need lots of fluid) than it's best that I have a large bottle so will the large red bottle maxlife valvoline ATF work, or should I stick with the blue import bottle available only in quart bottles? Also, I saw that valvoline synthetic brake fluid had a max temp of 311 degrees and was dote 3 and 4, whereas the prestone dot 3 synthetic brake fluid had a max temp of 286 degrees. Is a higher max temp better, so is the valvoline brake fluid better? It's available in a larger bottle (so it's a greater value to buy the large ones) also, mind my langauge, but those buh-sturds overfilled again and I went to a quick lube place for them to drain my oil, but they only drained a little and my oil is still about 1/4 quart over full I've driven about 200 miles with 1/4 quart over full and as soon as I get jack oil and get my jack oil ready and my jack reaedy, I'll remove the extra 1/4 quart, but is 1/4 quart over full for 200 miles or a week, bad?
is being over full and driving a few hundred about 1/4 quart over bad? as soon as I lubricate my jack, i'll remove the extra oil out how do you apply jack fluid to the jack? thanks. What about being underfilled about 1/2 quart? i just removed some oil and now i'm under by 1/2 a quart
Last good deal I saw on a jack/jack stand combo was at Sears in the Black Friday time frame was about $25-$30, I got my set years ago for $20, but that's during Black Friday and you probably can't wait that long. As for using the jack that came with the car, never a good idea, they're basically for emergencies when you're changing the tire, I'd never go under the car with those even if you do have a jack stand to supplement it. Plus it'd probably take you forever to jack it up and down. I've always used a synthetic blend, whatever brands were on sale, every 5-7k, haven't done 3k oil changes in well over a decade. You will also need to grab an oil filter wrench and a funnel to pour the old oil back into the jug. It's why I prefer the 5 quart jugs.
Great first post. You'll fit right in here. I think you'll get most of your questions answered if you hang around the relevant forums. And welcome
Anyone who answers all the OPs questions in one post should receive honorable mention in Who's Who in the American-National Association of Logistics.
Thanks! This was originally posted on toyotanation, but they didn't like me and recommended BITOG. So glad I'll fit right in.
there's a jack at this one walmart for only 18.88, and autozone is having a jack sale until 6/30 for 19.99 (duralast), and oreilly's is having a jack and jack stand sale for 39.99 for both (ac delco) i actually bought a craigslist used 25 dollar jack and jack stand kit for 25, but i want to buy a new one as well, the craigslist one is 3 tons, whereas the ones i mentioend on sale were 2 tons, but 2 tons is enough for the camry which brand has better reliablility? or lasts longer? also, the used jack I bought needs more oil/an oil change. how do i do a jack oil change/top off? the owner said he bought it from murray's those posts were all originally posted on toyotanation and i recopied/pasted, so stuff may be out of order or seem confusing, but regardless of order, the questions are all good ones for this site
I think you should stick with a 30 grade oil for the second digits, and if you want to play with grades for summer and winter, go between a 0W30 and 5W30. Or to keep life simple, us the 0W30 year round. A 0W30 is pretty much only synthetic, so to offset the price different, you'd need to extend the change intervals. You've already purchased oil, so just use what you have. I would not use a 40 weight oil. Instead of jack stands, I would suggest getting a set of ramps. I use them much more than my hydraulic jack and stands. Stands are great for brake work and rotating tires though. Can't go wrong with an OEM Filter. I don't think the quick lube filter killed your engine since it isn't dead. If you don't have any transmission issues, don't bother with a pan drop. Do a drain and fill periodically and you'll be fine. Google/youtube for information about filling a floor jack with oil. Your car will last you a long time. Also, I know your posts were copied and paste from another forum, but you'd get MUCH more/better responses if you organized them a little bit, instead of blindly copying and pasting a disorganized and repeated mess of text.
welcome The first thing to keep in mind is that it is easy to over think oil and filter choices. Your oil cap says to use 5w-30, so any quality 5w-30 oil for gasoline engines will be fine. I would suggest a high mileage oil such as Valvoline Max Life or Castrol GTX High Mileage since your car has had some oil leaks in the past, but this is definitely not a requirement. The oil you purchased sounds like it will be fine. For filters, if you have already purchased OEM filters from the Toyota dealer, you might as well use those. The genuine Toyota filter is more than adequate for protecting your engine. Toyota is not going to sacrifice their reputation by selling inadequate oil filters. WIX (also sold as NAPA Gold or CarQuest Blue) is another good brand that is easy to find. FRAM Tough Guard filters are good as well. Purolator has had quality issues lately so I would stay away from them for now. The jack that came with your car is helpful for emergency tire changes on the side of the road, but they are not very stable and are not safe to use for any other purpose - you should get a proper hydraulic floor jack and some jack stands. Refer to your owners manual for where to place the jack and jack stands. You might want to consider ramps instead - they are easier to use. People have been killed working under cars that were not properly supported - be very careful and make sure you take all available precautions to prevent this from happening. Here's a video on the general process for an oil change. Not for your exact car, but the process is very similar. It would be a good idea to have a helper with some experience, especially the first time or two.
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The biggest OMG in this whole thread is that the op has a Camry with 140K on the original PCV. You need to change the PCV immediately if you can't do it sooner.
Ok this is what I think you should do, I'm gonna break it up into a list 1. Don't over-think an oil change. Us here on Bob Is The Oil guy tend to over-think but whoa, your car is going to be just fine. I'd say 99% of the time a problem with a car or the longevity of it had nothing to do with an oil related issue. 2. Use up the filters you have and use any oil you desire in 0w30 or 5w30 3. Change the PCV valve, they're super cheap 4. My Camry is a 14mm drain bolt for the oil. Simply drain it and after 10 minutes put the drain bolt back in. Remove the old filter, and rub some oil on the rubber seal of the new one and screw it on. Fill up your car with the correct amount of oil. 5. For the transmission, just do drain and refills. My Camry is a big Allen key head to drain, it drains out like 2 quarts or so, then top it off. 6. Once again, don't over-think this. Especially since you drive a very reliable simple common car, it'll run forever if you do the maintenance required.. 7. Let's make it simple: If you use conventional oil, change it every 4-5,000 miles. If you use a synthetic blend, change it every 5-6,000 miles If you use a full synthetic, change it every 6-7,000 miles
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