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Toyota Highlander 3.5L V6 Engine Oil Change Guide
How to change the motor oil and replace the cartridge filter in a 2nd generation 2008-2013 Toyota Highlander SUV.

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2013 Highlander 3.5L V6
SAE 0W-20 Oil
Twist Off Oil Filler Cap
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) Toyota Highlander in changing the motor oil and replacing the cartridge style oil filter in the 2GR-FE 3.5 liter V6 engine.

Owners of other Toyota or Lexus vehicle equipped with the 2GR-FE 3.5L V6 engine such as the Avalon, Aurion, RAV4, Vanguard, Estima, Sienna, Camry, ES 350, RX 350, Kluger, Alphard, and Venza may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The items needed to complete this procedure include a 10mm socket with a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench, a 14mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet or a 14mm wrench, a used oil catch container, a 24mm socket with a 1/2" drive ratcheting wrench, a 64mm oil filter wrench with 14 flats or "flutes" (AST Tools # TOY640), an automotive funnel and 6.4 U.S. quarts (or 6.1 liters) of new  SAE 0W-20 oil.


A few compatible replacement cartridge style oil filters with their part numbers include the following: Toyota 04152-YZZA1, Fram XG9972, Wix 57047, Fram CH9972, K&N PS-7020, Mann ML 1031, Mobil 1 M1C-251, Pennzoil HPZ-161, Purolator PSL25608 or L25608, Hastings LF607, Beck Arnley 041-8190 and ACDelco # PF2259.
Pull Up Oil Dipstick
Plastic Filter Access Cover
Oil Drain Bolt
The first steps are to warm up the engine for a few minutes, park the vehicle on a level surface and then turn off the ignition.

Warming up the engine will help suspend any contaminants within the old oil and also allow it to drain out more quickly.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent the SUV from moving.

Slide under the front passenger side of the engine bay.

Locate the silver metal oil drain bolt or "plug" located at the bottom rear edge of the black metal oil pan.

Remove 10mm Bolts
Two 10mm Bolts Removed
Remove Filter Access Panel
To access the oil filter housing, you'll first need to remove two bolts on the rectangular black plastic access cover by turning them counterclockwise with a 10mm socket and a 1/4" drive ratcheting wrench.

Set the two 10mm bolts aside in a safe place.

Pull the two tabs at the front edge of the plastic filter access panel out of the engine splash shield (or "skid plate").

Set the cover aside with the two bolts.

Cartridge Filter Housing
Used Oil Catch Basin
Loosen 14mm Oil Drain Bolt
Once the cover has been removed, you'll be able to see the round silver metal cartridge oil filter housing.

Slide the used oil catch container to just below the drain bolt.

Loosen the the oil drain bolt by turning it counterclockwise with the 14mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Be careful when you remove the drain plug since the old oil may still be hot enough to burn your skin depending on how long you warmed up the engine.

Drain Out Old Motor Oil
Tighten Drain Bolt Clockwise
Oil Filter Wrench & 24mm
Spin out the oil drain bolt by hand in the counterclockwise direction.

Allow the old oil to drain out for at least a few minutes or until the flow slows to an occasional drip.

If the oil drain bolt is equipped with a washer, inspect it and replace it with a new washer if necessary. The replacement washer or "gasket" part number is Toyota 90430-12031.

Clean off the oil drain hole with a rag or paper towel.

Spin in the oil the drain bolt by hand a few turns in the clockwise direction to prevent it from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the drain bolt with the 14mm socket and ratcheting wrench in the clockwise direction to just past hand tight or about 25 to 30 ft-lbs of torque.


Loosen Oil Filter Cap
New Cartridge Filter & O-Ring
Tighten Filter Housing Clockwise
Attach the 24mm socket to the 1/2" drive ratcheting wrench.

Place the AST Tools # TOY 640 64mm oil filter wrench over the cartridge oil filter housing.

If the filter wrench slips, try inserting a small strip of newspaper or paper towel in to the filter for a tighter fit.

Loosen the oil filter cap by turning it counterclockwise.

Once the cap is loose, detach the 24mm socket and remove the oil filter wrench.

(The following steps were messy and are not pictured. If you want to see pictures of the filter replacement procedure, check out my 2010 Corolla Oil Change.)

Spin out the oil filter housing, detach the old cartridge filter element and discard it.

I recommend buying either the genuine OEM Toyota 04152-YZZA1 filter or the K&N PS-7020 filter since they both have excellent reviews on Amazon.

Pry off the old rubber o-ring gasket from the base of the threads on the filter housing with a small flathead screwdriver.

Install the new rubber o-ring gasket on to the bottom of the threads on the filter cap. Dip your pinky finger in to some new SAE 0W-20 oil and lightly lubricate the new o-ring.

Lubricating the o-ring will help the filter housing to form a better seal, prevent oil leaks and also make it easier to remove the cap during the next oil change.

Push the new cartridge filter in to the housing until it clicks securely in to place.

Spin the filter housing on to the engine a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent if from becoming cross threaded.

Place the 64mm oil filter wrench over the cap and tighten it in the clockwise direction with the 24mm socket and 1/2" drive ratcheting wrench to about 1/4 to 1/3 turn past hand tight.

Do not over tighten the filter cap to prevent from cracking the plastic housing.

Re-Insert Filter Cover Tabs
Push Panel In Place
Tighten 10mm Clockwise
Double check that the oil drain bolt and the filter housing are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Re-insert the two tabs on the front edge of the filter access panel in to the under engine cover first and then push it closed.

Secure the filter access panel in place by tightening the two 10mm bolts in the clockwise direction.

Insert Automotive Funnel
Pour In New SAE 0W-20
Spin On Oil Filler Cap
Insert an automotive funnel in to the oil filler hole.

The 2GR-FE 3.5L V6 engine requires 6.4 US quarts (or 6.1 liters) of new oil for an oil change with filter replacement.

(The 1AR-FE 2.7L I4 engine requires 4.6 U.S. quarts (4.4L) of new oil for an oil change with filter replacement.)

Pour in only about 5 to 5.5 quarts of the engine's 6.4 quart total capacity in to the oil filler hole. It is far better to have slightly less oil in an engine than necessary than to have too much.

Running an engine that has been overfilled with oil may damage seals, gaskets or other components.

You may not need to pour in the entire 6.4 U.S. quarts of new SAE 0W-20 oil depending on how long you drained out the old oil.

Spin on the oil filler cap in the clockwise direction and push down the engine oil level dipstick.

Check Dipstick Oil Level
Upper Metal Dot - MAX Line
Replace Oil Dipstick
Run the engine for a few minutes, shut off the engine, and wait at least 5 to 10 minutes for the oil to drain back down to the pan.

Pull out the dipstick and check the oil level.

Slowly pour in the rest of the oil while repeatedly checking the dipstick until the level reaches just at or below the upper metal dot which indicates the "Full" or "MAX" line.

Be sure to record the oil change in your service records. Watch your drive way or garage floor for drops of oil that may indicate a leak from the drain bolt or filter housing. It's also a good idea to check the level on the dipstick during the next few days.

To reset the oil life system and turn off the "Maint Reqd" (maintenance required) light follow these steps:

1. Switch the display to "Trip A" and turn the ignition switch to the "OFF" position (or for vehicles with the smart key system, turn it off with the "Engine Start Stop" switch)

2. Press and hold down the trip meter reset button while turning the ignition key to the "ON" position but do not start the engine (for the smart key system, tap the engine start button once to turn on the ignition)

3. Continue holding the reset button until trip meter A displays "000000". (If your Highlander has the multi-information display, you'll see the word "Complete" appear on the display.

4. Release the trip meter reset button, the "Maint Reqd" light should now be off.

For more, check out my other Toyota Highlander DIY Repair Guides.

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