Toyota Camry Maintenance - Oil Change

Is it time for an oil change on your Toyota Camry? Ready to tackle it yourself? Here is how to change your Toyota Camry oil. 

Toyota Camry Oil Change

Changing your Toyota Camry oil isn’t too hard and replacing some basic parts isn't hard either. Here’s how.

Changing your car’s oil doesn’t have to be difficult or messy if you follow a few simple steps. One of the biggest keys to remember to make sure you have plenty of time and a good surface to work on. Rushing a job and/or working on an uneven, dirty surface can make the job harder.

For this job you will need:

  • Oil collection pan
  • Four quarts of oil
  • Oil filter
  • Funnel
  • Rags

For reference, Toyota says to change your oil every 6 months/5,000 miles unless it is 0W-20 synthetic oil. Synthetic oil can be changed every 1 year/10,000 miles. There is some debate on this from those who say 3 months or 3,000 miles. Ultimately the decision on when to change your oil is up to you. Whichever time frame you decide, the key is to be consistent.

Changing The Oil

The best way to change your oil is:

  1. Climb under your Camry and find the drain oil plug. It sits below the engine.
  2. Slide the oil collection pan under the drain oil plug. Then, unscrew the plug enough to get the oil to empty into the pan.
  3. After the oil is empty, find the oil filter. The exact location can vary on your Toyota Camry model/year. It is generally located on the bottom side of the engine or off to the side.
  4. Using an oil filter wrench or similar tool, remove the oil filter.
  5. Carefully replace the oil filter with a new one or replace the contents depending on what type of replacement you purchased.
  6. Next, replace the drain oil plug making sure to not over-tighten it.
  7. With the underside work complete, pop the hood and unscrew the engine oil cap on top of the engine.
  8. Using the funnel, add four quarts of oil (or the amount your owner’s manual recommends).
  9. While the oil is being added, periodically check the drain oil plug to make sure nothing is leaking.
  10. Startup your Camry and let it run for a few minutes after you have put in several quarts. Check the oil with the dipstick and add more oil as needed.
  11. After you have finished adding the oil, you will want to reset the maintenance light.

Reset The Maintenance Light

There are actually several ways to reset your maintenance light including stopping by your local dealer. If you want to reset it yourself, you can do so from inside the car. Here’s how:

  1. Sitting in the driver’s seat, make sure your odometer is showing actual mileage, not trip.
  2. Turn the key to the LOCK position.
  3. Turn the key back to the ACC position.
  4. Press and hold the trip/reset button.
  5. Keep holding the button and turn the key to the ON position.
  6. You should see the mileage flash zeros until the actual mileage appears again.
  7. Release the button.

Congratulations, you have now successfully changed your oil and reset the maintenance light.