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First of all I must say this is the easiest oil change I've ever done. Props to Toyota's designers. If you're not usually the type to change your own oil, I highly recommend giving it a go. It doesn't get any easier. No need to jack the RAV up or anything. Makes changing my Celica's oil seem like rocket science.

Since I'm a bit of a clutz I ended up using most of the roll of paper towels and ended up with some well oiled tools, but certainly no big deal.

Parts and tools needed:

Toyota Oil Filter

My choice of oil: Mobil-1 5W30

Tools
Funnel
Oil Filter wrench
10mm & 14mm socket
Flat head screwdriver
Drain pan


Step one(optional):
Get splash guard out of the way. I list this as optional because I only found it necessary to get enough room to loosen the factory-tight oil filter. Don't think it will be necessary for future oil changes.
Remove three 10mm bolts.

Remove plastic clip. Place flat head screwdriver in slot on either side of the plug and pry the locking clip loose. Then you can pull the plug out competely.


Splash guard will still be attached in the wheel well but it will now easily get out of your way and make accessing the filter much easier.

Step two:
Place drain pan under drain plug and oil filter.

Oil filter's hiding back here. Plug is at the rear of the pan the arrow's pointing to.



Step three:
Loosen drain plug with 14mm socket. Then unscrew it completely by hand. Enjoy the feel of the warm engine oil coating your hand and inevitably drop the bolt into the drain pan.


Step four:
Once flow of oil slows open the fill cap to allow for better draining.


Step five:
Once oil has stopped dripping renove the oil filter. Had to use this socket driven oil filter wrench to loosen the factory fit.


Step six:
Once all dripping has stopped. Replace drain bolt. Clean bolt and area around the bolt.

Step seven:
Coat o-ring on the new filter with a small amount of oil and screw it in. Clean filter and oil around it.

Step eight:
Fill oil. Should take around 3.8 quarts. Remember, it's easier to add more than it is to drain excess.
I ended up with about this much left in the 5qt bottle.


Step nine:
Bolt splash guard back into place with three bolts and 1 plastic clip.

Step ten:
Check oil level with dipstick. Once it's full, replace oil cap and clean up. Check bolt and filter for leaks.

Step eleven:
Reset maintenance req'd light. Turn the key to the 'on' position. Press the trip button meter until it displays the odometer. Turn they key to the off position. Then while holding the trip meter down, turn the key to the 'on' position. 4 blinking dashes will display and they will count down. When the last dash disappears 000000 is displayed to indicate the maintenance counter has been reset.

Step twelve:
Happy RAV'n!
Check oil level after the first drive and check for leaks again.

Link to pics, in case remote linking has probs.
http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/778839
 

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Nice writeup, you do it almost exactly the same way I do it. Isn't it great that we don't even need to lift the Rav to get under there? Although the Safari bar I have on mine makes it a little more of a tight fit.

I have a few tips that I've discovered while changing the oil in the Rav.

Instead of a socket wrench, use a 10mm nut driver and a 14mm box wrench. If you use the nut driver when removing/replacing the bolts holding on the splash shield, it takes less time, and there is less of a chance of stripping the threads. Same deal with the box wrench when working on the drain plug, and it's also easier to clean the oil off a box wrench than a socket wrench. One of the knuckleheads that worked on my catalytic converter stripped one of the bolts holding on the splash shield, so I had to tap the hole and use a larger bolt.

The little plastic clip you mention broke off my Rav the first time I changed the oil, and I've managed without it ever since. So if it breaks don't worry about it. I don't know why they even put a clip there. Also, when you reattach the splash shield, the black splash shield should go between the metal frame and the gray bumper cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Whoops, thought that looked funny. Yeah, I've got the splash shield bolted in wrong in that pic. Not that it'd make all that much difference. Guess I'll swap it back.

Yeah, I juse use the socket to loosen and tighten the bolts(especially factory tight ones), do the rest by hand.
 

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I like where the filter is better than the 4.1. But on the 4.1 you don't need to remove the splash shield. Since I do this every two weeks I would probably strip all the bolts that hold the splash shield on :(
Good pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really don't think it will be necessary to remove the splash shield to do future changes. It's fairly accessible with them on. Just had to get it out of the way to get my socket in there since they put it on so tight at the factory.
 

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You don't *need* to remove the splash shield, but it makes it easier to deal with the filter, and it only takes a minute to remove and replace.

Another note- you should replace the drain plug washer each time you remove the plug to change the oil. They are standard fiber washers in the 12mm size (same as 1/2") which you can get from the dealer or an auto parts store. Just remember to remove the old washer because they have a habit of sticking to the oil pan when you pull out the plug.
 
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Whoa, thanks very much for posting a frame-by-frame description of a RAV4 4.2 oil change. :D I don't know whether I have the guts to try it on a new car, but I'll definitely keep it in mind, when I try to do it myself. I didn't think that changing the oil of a newer vehicle would be that easy. I thought car manufacturers purposely make it difficult so that they would make more money having people take their vehicles back to the dealer to have it done. :p

When I had my 1995 Tercel, I pretty much did my own oil changes after the first year. It is, by far, the easiest thing in the world to do because the oil filter was a cinch to remove - absolutely no obstacles! I change the oil in my mom's 1991 Corolla, which is a little harder than the Tercel, because the oil filter is below the exhaust manifold - burn hazard!!!
 

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Think this is one of the posts that should be in the DIY section or permanently stickied so that future oil changers have something to gander. :) I always did my own oil changes on my old Laser but haven't had the need to with the Rav since the dealer does it for free for the first 30K miles. It's nice to know there won't be any problems with the Rav when I do my own changes later after I run out of coupons.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
EHinthe604 said:
I thought car manufacturers purposely make it difficult so that they would make more money having people take their vehicles back to the dealer to have it done.
Yeah, these days they really like to hide stuff behind underbody plastics and filters are hard to reach. Happily, that's not the case with the RAV.

Oh and I need to add another step, reset the maint req'd light. I did the change at 3600 miles so the 5000 mile light hadn't come on yet. But I think I headed it off at the pass by going through the reset procedure anyway.
 

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Oh so the 2005's do have a maintenance light? I'm glad I don't have to deal with that.
 
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nouse4aname said:
EHinthe604 said:
I thought car manufacturers purposely make it difficult so that they would make more money having people take their vehicles back to the dealer to have it done.
Yeah, these days they really like to hide stuff behind underbody plastics and filters are hard to reach. Happily, that's not the case with the RAV.

Oh and I need to add another step, reset the maint req'd light. I did the change at 3600 miles so the 5000 mile light hadn't come on yet. But I think I headed it off at the pass by going through the reset procedure anyway.
Does the 2004 have a maintenance light? How does one reset it?

To reiterate, the oil filter in my old Tercel was an absolute piece of cake to remove. I wonder why I even spent money to have it done! :?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't know. I imagine the '04s would since the '05s do. Should be in your manual.

Actually, I think the manual said it was on U.S. models only. Set for 5,000 miles.
 
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If you get an extension to use with the filter socket wrech, you don't have to touch the splashguard.

I really wish the filter was mounted horizontally. It's impossible to get it off without spilling some oil.
 
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Why?, can you get a horizontally mounted oil filter off without spilling any oil? I prefer the oil filter being mounted vertically, allows you to pre-fill the oil filter, makes the oil pressure come up quicker (so says my Autometer Pro-Comp UltraLight oil pressure guage), and a vertically mounted oil filter never drains back into the sump, takes around .3 quarts to pre-fill. To prevent a mess, just put the oil drain pan under the oil filter when you unscrew it. I relocated the oil filter in my 2000 Toyota Solara SLE just so I could gain all these benefits, plus gain another .5 quarts in my oil system. I never replaced my drain plug washer wiith a new one and never had any leaks, just don't overtighten and make note of the orientation if you remove it from the bolt. The torque setting for the drain bolt is 18 ft-lbs, I use a torque wrench on it. I also cover the fill hole with a paper towel with the cap sitting on top of it so no debris gets into the oil system. I never touch the splash shield.
I spent $50.00 on the official TRD polished billet aluminum oil filler cap with the recessed TRD logo on it. Painted the recessed logo black to match the body color. Looks sweet! Wife says I'm crazy, she just doesn't get it, a guy and his car, brings a smile to my face every time I see it. Mobil 1 5W-30 in winter, 10w-30 in summer. Went to synthetic after 5000 mile break-in with dino (Castrol GTX).
Changed oil at 500, 1000, 1500, 3000, 5000 now every 3000 miles or 3 months with synthetic. I know, severe overkill, but I bring my used oil into work and other people use it in their vehicles for another 3000 miles, so I don't feel bad about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Donate your used oil eh? I guess that's one way to dispose of it :D

I figure all the rings should be well seated at 3500 miles so I went synthetic. Plan on going 4000 until the next change then just stick with 5000 after that.
 
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"Why?, can you get a horizontally mounted oil filter off without spilling any oil? "


Yep, every time. Just loosen till oil starts draining, let it drain into pan and wait till it's empty, remove filter.
 

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In the old days I would do myself :D But today I find it"s not worth it :roll: I download a coupon from my dealer for 19.99 Total 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
postman said:
In the old days I would do myself :D But today I find it"s not worth it :roll: I download a coupon from my dealer for 19.99 Total 8)
For synthetic? And are you really sure they actually change the filter?

My wife took her mustang to the dealer she bought it from for a few years. Then moved and took it to another shop...they found the original filter was still there and obviously had never been changed.
 
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