Change Oil and Filter

Toyota RAV4 Limited V6 2007: Change Oil and Filter


There are lots of pages and reference out there already, so this is probably overkill. But I like to be complete…

This should take under an hour.  Should be done every 5-10k miles or 1-2 times per year.

Tools and Parts

  • 14mm Socket
  • 3/8″ Socket Wrench
  • 3/8″ Torque Wrench
  • Oil Filter Wrench
  • Oil Collection Container
  • Drop Cloth
  • New Oil Filter, O-Rings, Drain
  • 6.5 Quarts 5W-30
  • 1 Beer


Review the General Automotive Tips first.


Jack up the vehicle

Remove engine under cover (although it can be done without doing this, it’s a little easier and only takes a few extra minutes)

Position drop cloth under oil pan.

Position oil collection container underneath drain plug.  Initially, slide the container toward the rear of the vehicle 6 – 8 inches as the oil flow will shoot out quite a bit.  It will eventually slow to a trickle so adjust the position of the container as needed.

Remove the oil drain plug using the 14mm socket and wrench. Don’t drop the plug into the oil collection container.

Drain Plug IMG_7999

Remove the oil filter cap using just the 3/8″ socket (no attachments)

Oil Filter Location IMG_7998

Oil Filter with Cap Removed IMG_8005

The Toyota replacement filter comes with this crappy little drain that gets inserted into the filter and drains out some more oil.

New Oil Filter, Drain, and O-Rings IMG_7995 Oil Filter with Drain Installed IMG_8006

Once it’s been drained, remove the plastic drain and unscrew the oil filter base using the oil filter wrench. This is what it looks like with everything removed.

Oil Filter Unit IMG_8018



Clean up the oil filter cap, base, and drain plug

Clean Oil Filter Cap IMG_8013 Clean Oil Filter Base IMG_8016 Clean Drain Plug IMG_8011

Install the small O-Ring into the bottom of the oil filter base.  Be sure to coat it with plenty of new oil.

Oil Filter Base with New Small O-Ring IMG_8022

Install the large O-Ring and coat with new oil

Oil Filter Base with New Large O-Ring IMG_8025

Finally, don’t forget to install the new filter…I forget every f’ing time…Seriously, I must be stupid.

Oil Filter Base with New Oil Filter IMG_8028

Clean up the main oil filter unit on the vehicle along with the oil pan and then install the filter and base.  Hand tighten until it locks into place.  Official Torque: 25 N*m (255 kgf*cm, 18 ft.*lbf)

Finger tighten the oil filter cap. Official Torque: 12.5 N*m (127 kgf*cm, 9 ft.*lbf)

Install the oil drain plug and tighten with torque wrench.  Torque: 12.5 N*m (127 kgf*cm, 9 ft.*lbf). Toyota recommends that the gasket on the oil drain plug be replaced with each change. I typically do not replace it.

Remove the oil fill cap from the engine. It’s pictured below, black knob on the left of the picture (passenger side).  The first picture shows the engine compartment with the normal plastic covers in place.  The second picture shows the V-Bank and radiator covers removed.  The last view is a close up shot of the filler cap.

Engine Overview with Covers Engine Overview without CoversOil Filler Cap

Use a funnel and add 5 to 5.5 quarts of 5W-30 oil.  Toyota lists the standard capacity after an oil and filter change as 6.1 liters (6.4 US qts, 5.4 Imp. qts). Let it sit for a few minutes and check the levels with the oil dip stick. It will be low, but it’s easier to add more than to try to remove some. Here is a close up view of the dip stick located in the front center of the engine compartment.

Oil Dip Stick

Once it’s within the full range, close up the oil fill cap.

Install engine under covers

Lower car

Insert key into ignition switch, but do not turn on yet. Hold down the odometer reset button on the instrument cluster and turn the key to the “Run” position (do not start). The maintenance light will turn on, blink several times, and then go out.  This completes the reset of the maintenance reminder light.

Warm up the engine by starting the car and allowing it to run for 10-15 minutes. Stop the engine and wait for 5 minutes. Check the oil level on the dipstick. The oil level should be between the dipstick’s low and full level marks. Add oil as necessary but do not fill engine oil above the full level mark.

Continue to check oil level for several days and confirm no leaks.

References and Thanks

My internal document links: