New Owner Preparing to Change Oil for the 1st Time

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by burrito, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. burrito

    burrito Member

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    My 2015 Prius has... well, I actually don't know how many miles on it! (Mechanic estimates 80-90k, see my other post* for more information)

    Anyhow, I see the following options for oil changes:
    1. Do not bother changing the oil
    2. Pay someone to do it for you
    3. Do it yourself
      1. with stock parts (plastic cap; must purchase wrench)
      2. with metal cap (must purchase the metal cap and appropriate wrench)
      3. with spin-on conversion kit (must purchase kit and oil filter wrench)
    Having never changed my oil before, I'm leaning towards options 3.1 and 3.2.

    Can we confirm that part #15620-31060 fits on my car? Amayama* lists it as compatible with engines 2GRFE & 2GRFXE (similar to local Toyota dealer*), while mine is ZVW30L.

    *I apologize as I am unable to include links, since I'm new.
     
  2. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    what about lift and stands?
     
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  3. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Welcome to PC! And good on ya for learning to take care of yourself. (y)

    I got this filter cap wrench. I've done many oil changes with it. Works perfectly.


    And, as mentioned, lift and stands are needed. Or ramps, but ramps are usually too steep for the Prius' bumper to clear.

    You'll also need some kind of drain pan and something to store the oil in to take it for recycling. And a funnel helps reduce spills when filling.

    Once you have those few basic tools, you're all set. It beats waiting on someone else to do it and then they wind up overfilling it or forgetting to tighten the drain plug or something. Look for Youtube videos on changing Prius oil since this will be your first time.
     
  4. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    all good points. What if the filter was torqued on with 600 ft lbs and poster can’t remove filter :barefoot:
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Thought that rang a bell, yeah here's a link:

    Odometer | PriusChat

    Not sure. Late in 2019 I went with this (through Amayama), and it went great. I suspect there's been several iterations of the spin-on filter bracket, and they all work:

    upload_2021-7-26_6-48-37.png

    I've done all the oil changes on our 2010, purchased new in the fall of 2010. Every 6 months, so roughly 20 changes? I did the spin-on conversion in the spring of 2020, tired of dealing with the fussy, and possibly (expensive) mistake-prone stock filter housing. If you havent found it, here's a link to a thread on that conversion:

    Spin on oil filter | PriusChat

    You don't HAVE to jump into the conversion right away. If you just replace the stock filter, the torque is 18 ft/lbs (spin-on is 13). The filter housing resists turning pretty much all the way out, until the O-ring on the barrel clears the bore it's in. When reinstalling with new filter, you replace the O-ring. Really drench that thing in oil, and pay close attention to the groove it goes in, partway up the barrel.

    Before my first oil change I watched a few YouTube videos, which advocated to unfasten a rear corner of the engine underpanel, flex it down, for access. I did that the first time, but was alarmed by the near-total lack of give in in the "hinge" on that rear portion of the underpanel, and was worried it it was stressing it. I resolved to remove the whole panel from their on. It's not that hard, with experience it's 5~10 minutes extra. I start removing fasteners at the rear, work my way forward. I use these tools:

    30B0238C-BE76-40C4-98EF-F94C52597632.jpeg
    (Upper-right item is a paint can opener. The right-angle blade tip is very handy for prying up the centre-caps of the plastic fasteners.)

    Before reinstalling the plastic fasteners, it's good to sluice the grit out of them, with hot/soapy water, and work the mechanism on each. Doing this they LAST. With your car, with "dubious" miles, there could be several missing/broken. I've attached a pdf with the parts no's for the underpanel fasteners. I recently ordered replacement fasteners myself (through Amayama), just the two main sizes. I got sufficient for full replacement, but am just replacing them as needed.

    Note: there's TWO fasteners, at the rear (in aforementioned "flap") that are larger than the rest. They have grey caps. You might want to mark their locations on the underpanel, or at least keep it in mind.

    I'm using floor jack and jack stands. Others use ramps, which are convenient, and debatably safer, Anyway, my drill:

    Chock the rear wheels fore-and-aft.
    Release parking brake.
    Raise front with floor jack, at front/central jacking point*.
    Settle onto jack stands**, roll floor jack out of the way.

    * Here's a screen-grab from 2010 Owner's Manual, showing the front and rear central jacking points:

    upload_2021-7-26_7-14-34.png

    BTW, if your manuals are missing, you can download from Toyota Tech Info, in the "Manuals" section.

    ** First tiime I used jack stands, I placed them at the emergency scissor jack locations (also shown in Owner's Manual), and it did NOT seem good: it's basically a knife-edge, very weak and skittish. I read a bit here, mighta been member Hobbit talking about 2nd gen (on his website), and from that info, settle on using these points. Front of car is to the right:

    upload_2021-7-26_7-20-49.png

    Oil pan drain bolt is 14 mm socket size, torque 27 ft/lbs. Washer should be replaced; dealerships have them. I found the existing washer prone to stick to the oil pan, so what I do is back out the drain bolt a turn or two, then pry the washer off the pan with a slim screw driver blade, make sure it's along with the bolt. A LONG handled ratchet makes removal a lot easier. Especially your first time, when there's a fair chance someone's installed it with an impact.

    I'll quit rambling, Repair Manual excerpt about oil change attached.
     

    Attached Files:

    #5 Mendel Leisk, Jul 26, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The plastic cap on mine has never given me a lick of trouble except for my very first oil change after buying the car used. I needed a lot of torque the first time. Because every oil change since then has been done by me and I've heard of a torque wrench, there has never been any slightest problem since.

    Do you have an alternate way to get to a dealer if needed and buy a replacement cap (plastic or metal), just in case your first loosening goes wrong and busts the one you've got? Then if it all goes ok you didn't need to buy another cap at all.
     
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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    One other thing: I'm using a Honda oil filter socket, 14-face and ~64 mm face-to-face inside dim. It's heavy stamped steel, very dependable. Works on Honda, Toyota, Mazda's I've encountered so far. I believe the current part no. is 07AAA-PLCA100.

    works for both stock and spin-on.
     
    #7 Mendel Leisk, Jul 26, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
  8. burrito

    burrito Member

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    Wow, I have more to read! I'm currently at work, so hopefully I'll have more time tonight.

    Just wanted to note that I do have a floor jack and 2 jack stands, and a 1/2" torque wrench and breaker bar. I'm not sure how low my 1/2" torque wrench goes; I suppose I might need to get a 3/8"?

    I do have a backup vehicle. I still need to buy a drain pan and funnels, but I would need that anyway.
     
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  9. burrito

    burrito Member

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    So there's one report by @Georgina Rudkus that says 15620-31060 does not fit on the Gen. 3 Prius. I'm not going to chance it. If anything, I might buy another plastic one, in case mine breaks.

    What do you guys think of the magnetic drain plugs like this one?
     
  10. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Some people like them. I've never used one. I figure that any ferrous metal that might be in the oil will sink to the lowest point, which should be the drain plug. If the plug is magnetic, the stuff will stick to the drain plug and you'll need to clean it off. On the other hand, at least you'll know your engine is eating itself. But on the other other hand, you'll know it soon enough anyway. And then again, how much iron or steel is in an engine these days.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Maybe more important for transmissions?

    All our Honda’s came with a magnetic transmission drain bolt, nary an engine oil pan counterpart.

    2nd gen Prius had one on the transaxle, but they dropped it for 3rd gen.

    Pretty neutral opinion at BITOG; some of the comments are happenstance, for example: while maybe not collecting much (and only the magnetic particles), one guy found a side benefit, that the removed (magnetic) drain bolt could be conveniently stuck to the outside of oil pan.

    https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/threads/are-magnetic-drain-plugs-worth-it.54035/
     
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  12. burrito

    burrito Member

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    Is it correct that most people use whatever oil is on sale? I read one or two people avoiding Pennzoil, but otherwise people seem to not really care about brand. Is that right? And what do you guys think about Costco's oil? They're currently selling 10 quarts of full synthetic for $27, which seems pretty good to me.

    On another note, my other car is a Lexus ES 350 with 60-70k miles on it. Would there be any issues switching from conventional oil to synthetic at this point?
     
  13. Colorado Boo

    Colorado Boo Member

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    Yes, synthetic oil brands are very similar to each other....I don't see a need to spend twice as much for a name brand if you can find something else, especially when doing regular changes (I do mine twice a year, regardless of mileage) I've probably used them all based on what sale is going on at O'Reillys and Auto Zone. Amazon used to have a great price on their Amazon Basic Synthetics but it doesn't look like they have any right now so maybe they got out of that.
    I'm surprised the Lexus isn't on Sythnetic oil already....great idea to get all your vehicles on it, much better protection, especially during cold starts in the winter.
    Always make sure you ONLY put the oil viscosity specified on your filler cap (IE: OW-16/OW-20/5W-30) and always fill a little less than what it says in your owners manual and check the level again the next morning when it's cold....better to be a bit low on oil than having too much. (When checking the next morning, the goal is to have the oil in the middle of the marks on the dipstick.) After a few times doing the service you'll know exactly how much it takes.
     
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  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    heard you had to fill it to at least the full mark in case your burning oil and take hard turns o_O
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I like to put in specd oil qty, and after several days of driving check, when it’s cold. Anytime I’ve checked right after, say after just running a minute to fill the filter, it’s lowish. If I top up then it ends up overfilled.
     
  16. Stangar

    Stangar Active Member

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    Hey OP (burrito), where in California are you located?

    You might be close to someone that can provide some backup.
     
  17. burrito

    burrito Member

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    Ok, so I still have never done an oil change, but I can officially say that I've changed my own transmission fluid.

    OMG, what an ordeal! It took me about 4.5 hours, including breaks. There were numerous unexpected complications.

    I'll update later with more details, and at least one picture.
     
  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Last time I comparison shopped, about the best price I could get on 0W20 synthetic was from my Toyota dealer. No joke.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    That used to be the case for me too. It went from good (about $5~6 CDN per bottled liter) to ridiculously good (about $3 per bulk liter) to, well something bad happened:

    Last time I went in with my 10 liter container, the price for bulk Toyota 0W20 was up to $7~8 per bulk liter. The kicker was: it was actually MORE expensive than their bottled liters.

    I’d suspect the reason for the latter anomaly was the cost of motor oil climbing, and the bottled liter price is lower due to it being older stock. But who knows.

    Anyway, they recognized it was a little absurd, charging more for bulk than bottled, and at least matched the bottled price.

    Hopefully the price stabilizes, goes back down. Maybe a fools mission, but I’d like to think I’m doing something good, avoiding the oil contaminated bottles, both by purchasing my new oil in a permanent bulk container, and then by pouring out the used oil at a recycle depot, again avoiding leaving any contam’d containers.
     
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  20. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    A Fumoto F133S will make all of your future oil changes a lot easier. I attach about 10” of hose straight into a milk jug or two, all ready for recycling. Plus, no chance of stripping the oil drain pan.

    I also have a trim tool that makes fast work of removing all of the plastic fasteners. It’s a good idea to buy some spare belly pan fasteners from a dealership.
     
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