Preparing to do my own oil change for the first time...

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Toyotally04, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. Toyotally04

    Toyotally04 Junior Member

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    So after being frustrated with my oil change service last time, I've been researching on how to do my own oil change by poring through these forums and looking up YouTube.

    I bought:
    • Toyota Genuine Parts 90915-YZZF2 Oil Filter
    • Large drain pan with spout
    • RhinoRamps
    • A pair of wheel chocks
    • M12-1.25 Drain Valve, instead of a drain plug
    • HDPE container with cap
    • Polypropylene measuring pitcher, 1 gal.
    I've watched various YouTube videos on 2nd Gen Prius multiple times.

    I think I have a general idea about how to go about changing my engine oil.

    However, I do have some hesitations:

    1. How badly do I need an oil filter wrench? Which one/ what kind works best?
    2. What kind of funnel fits best on a 2004 model? I bought a Motivx funnel, but I found that the oil cap for the 2004 Prius is situated closer to the windshield that there's no space for a perfectly vertical funnel, particularly for one that screws on.
    Any ideas, anyone?

    Thanks,
    TTLLY04
     
  2. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    The existing oil filter may be overtightened. Mine certainly was. A wrench could be helpful the first time, but probably won't be needed in the future when you tighten it properly. In my case, I just used a large pair of channel-lock pliers to loosen it. It dented the filter heavily, but that doesn't really matter.

    Any old funnel should work. Just use one hand to hold the funnel and pour the oil with the other hand. It doesn't have to be anything special.
     
  3. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Get a TOY 640 filter wrench. That is what my dealer uses and it works on my Gen 4 and my son's Prius v.
     
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    1. You should have a cap oil filter wrench which fits over the top of the oil filter. Bring the new oil filter with you when you stop at your local auto parts store to buy one. I have used a stamped steel cap wrench which works with a 3/8" ratchet wrench.
    2. I have a small white flexible plastic funnel which works fine to fit into the available space. If you can't find a funnel locally, you could use a disposable plastic water bottle (for example, 16.9 fluid ounce Arrowhead water). Cut off the bottom of the bottle with scissors, and the remainder of the bottle will serve as a funnel.

    The TOY 640 is intended for the 1.8L engine found on G3 Prius. It will not be useful for G2 and Classic Prius which have the 1.5L engine.
     
    #4 Patrick Wong, Sep 28, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  5. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    Looks like Gen 1, Gen 2, and Gen 4 use spin on filters, while Gen 3 uses canister.

    moto g(7) power ?
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Get a couple more. Usually good to have chocks fore-and-aft of a pair of wheels, either front or back ones.

    Torque wrench would be good to have too.

    I believe the socket required for all the gen's is the same though. I use the Honda socket, bought many years ago. Heavy stamped steel, 14 face, roughly 64.5 mm inside face-to-face. Works on Hondas (obviously), our Prius (both with the cannnister and now with my spin-on conversion) AND Mazda, lol. This is the current part number for that socket I think:

    07AAA-PLCA100
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    One thing you get with a mechanic's oil change is a multipoint inspection from a lift. A quality small shop is the best way every few changes for that purpose plus you build a relationship that gives you some consideration when you really need something. On my car the hardest part of an oil change is getting the undercar cover back on while laying on your back.
     
  8. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Later Gen 4 have spin on. Many, like mine use the cartridge like Gen 3.
     
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  9. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Once the car gets high up in the air everything under there is easy.

    Trans fluid change is easy that will cost $40. 4 quarts of WS fluid.

    Inverter coolant change is easy that will cost about $25. Gallon of Toyota LLC coolant $25

    Dumping the rad engine coolant is very easy. Take cap off rad and then just dump the rad only. Gallon of Llc $25.
     
  10. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    Listen to Patrick. Cut off a water bottle for your funnel.
     
  11. Toyotally04

    Toyotally04 Junior Member

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    1st attempt last night. Mat. Rhino ramps. Chock. Pan. Wrench socket.

    Immediately encountered problem.it seemed the plug was reluctant to unscrew. Maybe it was the awkward crowded space and angle approached. Or the lack of knowledge how to use an extension bar. None,I was intimidated that I might strip the threads and break the oil pan.

    So frustrating. Also,start up cost is preposterous.
     
  12. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Yes, working under the car makes it almost not worth it and you are risking scrapes and cuts. Any paid shop or even Walmart (which charges $9.95 to install your oil and filter) uses a lift or a pit where they can stand up and work. Generally the last guy tightened it with a longer handled socket wrench. If you have a smaller 1/4 or 3/8" drive then "breaking it free" can be a challenge and is usually when your hand gets cut up.

    As far as loosening direction, its counterclockwise. Some use "lefty loosey, righty tighty" but thats in reference to the top of the bolt.
    164EC7BC-7AB6-446B-94AF-46F8193A2409.jpeg
     
    #12 rjparker, Oct 7, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    It can a perfect storm when you switch from pro-service to DIY: you're not sure how much force to apply, have basic tools (short handle wrench for example), and the last "pro" that put things together maybe used an electric impact wrench.

    A longer handled wrench might make the difference, much less drama.
     
  14. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    Fumoto makes all your wrench problems go away.

    When I purchased a new car last year, I was not really able to do the first oil change myself, so had my mechanic (a REAL mechanic) do it -- and also had him install the Fumoto. I have done the past three changes myself with no issue.
    Fumoto® USA | Quick and Easy Engine Oil Drain Valves
     
  15. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Learning how to wrench on a car at your oil pan bolt is a poor choice. If its that tight it was done at a jiffy lube.

    If you don't have a mechanic your going to need one pretty soon. My dealer is now at $150 an hour. Local indies are $80.

    Take the oil and the filter to a jiffy for now. Bring exactly 3.7 quarts that's what a G2 takes. There database says 5 quarts just say that's nice today we are using this. Its $20.

    Have no idea what the mileage on your 2004 is probably very high which means it eats oil like crazy so watch it.

    And watch the car cause your gonna get your cat clipped next.
     
    #15 edthefox5, Oct 7, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  16. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    You are over-thinking the whole thing, which is okay and totally normal for the first timer. I have been changing my own oil (and doing most other maintenance and repair) since 1980. It is basically the same on most cars I have encountered. The differences are in where the oil filter is located and how well it was designed for service. Your Gen 2 Prius is one of the very best cases in design. The filter faces down and is easy to get to. It's really no more complicated than undoing the drain plug, letting the oil out, undoing the oil filter, letting that drain and replacing the oil filter (with a new one, of course) and the drain plug (use a new washer on that every other time. You can buy those super cheap on Amazon. A pack of 10 for like $7 or something). There are small nuances, but really, it's a very simple service and is very good for an owner to perform on their own as they can then get a chance to inspect the underside of the car for other potential problems.

    The issues with others doing this service for you are numerous. Over-tightening of the drain plug and oil filter are the most prominent, I think. This is what you have encountered in your attempt, I believe. Other problems include, but may not be limited to:

    * overfilling the oil
    * underfilling the oil
    * unknown oil
    * unknown filter
    * forgetting to replace the filler cap
    * attempting to upsell the customer to a $400 un-needed service

    This is all very annoying and disheartening and is avoided by DIYing the oil changes.

    Here is my way of doing the oil change. Please refrain from criticizing, I know what I am doing and have been doing it this way for 40 years. I am safety conscious and am not reckless. But I also do not like to make things more complicated than they need to be. An oil change takes about 15-20 minutes for me if that's the only thing I am doing to the car.

    I do not use ramps. They give me the creeps, but I do not dissuade others from using them if they are comfortable with them. I use a hydraulic jack to lift up the left front corner of the car and set it down on a sturdy jack stand. Naturally, I chock the right side wheels beforehand. Once I have the front left corner up on a stand (the stand support point is where the subframe meets the body) I climb under the car with my 14mm socket and a 12" long ratchet (I love that thing, it really makes the stuck fasteners much more cooperative than the normal ratchet. It only cost me $20 or so) and a drain pan that I bought about 30 years ago. It's the kind that has a funnel and is very flat, about 4"-5" in height. They still sell these in auto stores. I highly recommend picking one up if you are going to do this regularly. This particular pan cost under $15 and like I said, 30 years of many, MANY oil changes it still does its job perfectly. I collect about two oil changes worth of oil in it and then take it to one of the auto stores where they kindly drain it for me into their big oil recycling tank. Been doing this for 30 years. I open that drain plug with my 12" long ratchet tipped with a 14mm socket and allow the bulk of oil to drain into the prepared pan. Once most of the oil is out and there is only a drip, I put the drain plug back into the oil pan, but not tight. Just temporarily while I take care of the oil filter. I use an oil filter wrench I bought for about $6 at an auto store (I brought my Toyota filter and matched it to the correct wrench on the shelf). In other cars I have gotten away without the filter wrench, but on my 2007 Prius the wrench is very helpful and the space around the filter is rather tight. I reposition the funnel of the drain receptacle so that it is under the filter (this is why I replaced the drain plug) and remove the filter allowing the oil from it and whatever was in the engine behind the filter to drain. While this is happening I prepare the new filter by partially filling it with fresh oil. this step may be optional. I feel more comfortable performing it, but many do not bother with this. My thought is that there is less time with no oil on the start up of the engine right after the oil change if the filter is already filled with oil. Toyota filters come with pre-lubricated o-rings, but if you use a filter that does not have that, then put a small amount of oil on the o-ring of the filter. Now I install the new filter by ONLY hand tightening it 1/4 turn past the first stop of the threads. Sometimes I use the wrench for this (if my hands are oily) and sometimes I am able to do this just with my bare hands. Do not over-tighten your filter. Your future self from the next oil change will thank you. I now move my drain receptacle funnel back to the oil pan and open that again. By this time there is a bunch more oil that drains out. I let it. Then reinstall the drain plug finally and tighten it again, ONLY 1/4 turn past the limit of the hand tighten. I do this with my 14mm, of course. Now I am basically done. I climb out from under the car, lift up on the jack to remove the jack stand and lower the car on its wheels. I then add about 3.5 quarts of oil. Let it get to the oil pan for a minute and check the level on the dip stick. Add as needed to get to the top line. Put the filler cap back on and start the car. Wait for the engine to spin up and run for a minute or two. Shut it down, start putting away tools, which takes about 3-4 minutes and check the oil level again. Add if needed. Clean up, wash up, go for test drive. Done. It took me more time to write this up than to actually do it in real time. Seriously, do not over-think it. Be safe, use common sense and enjoy the freedom from the idiotic service industry.

    P.S. The reason you can't get the drain plug loose is the previous person over-tightened it and perhaps did not use the washer. Get on it with a longer handled wrench. You do not need to run out and buy one, you can put a piece of pipe on the one you have to extend the length of the handle. Leverage is an amazing thing and no stuck fastener will resist enough leverage. Good luck! Oh, and have some clay kitty litter or a special (inexpensive) clay oil spill cleanup stuff on hand. You WILL need it, at least at first. Just put some on the oil spills and in a few minutes it will be absorbed and can be swept up or vacuumed.

    Upstart cost is:

    14mm socket with 3/8" ratchet drive - $15
    Oil drain tub - $15
    Oil wrench - $10
    Jack stands - $30 (garage sales are great to get these for practically nothing)
    Hydraulic jack - $100
    Wheel Chocks - $10
    Total - $180

    That is what 4 - 5 oil changes? The jack and jack stands will pay for itself in many other endeavors like brake jobs (which will save you 3 times the cost of the jack the first time you do one).
     
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  17. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Oh and don't forget the joy of transferring that old oil into a container to drop off at a oil change place. Fun fun fun.

    Ramps are a pain. Not necessary to jack it all up like that unless your going to do the stuff I mentioned in post #9.

    I jack the front passenger side up using the car front tow point to jack on. I chock the wheels and then jack it up to put 2 or 3 2x6 planks of wood under the passenger wheel. let er down. I leave the floor jack engaged. Plenty of room to get the dump bolt off and the filter.

    Since its a vertical filter fill that filter up about 3/4's with oil before you spin it on.
     
    #17 edthefox5, Oct 7, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
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  18. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Wow, quite a write up for an oil change. Changing a head gasket would be equivalent to Tolstoy's "War and Peace" at 1215 pages.
     
  19. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    Lol. I had an inspiration. Tolstoy would have approved as he was an aristocrat working his own land with his own hands.
     
  20. Toyotally04

    Toyotally04 Junior Member

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    sarcasm soup!
     
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