Toyota Supra Oil Change

This documents how I change the oil on my Toyota Supra. It's a Japanese spec mk4 SZ NA model (2JZGE engine model). Oil changes every 9000 - 12000 miles are recommended but you will probably want to change the oil more frequently than this if you really care about your Supra. It takes me around 45 minutes to change the oil and filter in my Supra.

I'm by no means saying I'm an expert mechanic or anything, I'm not, but you might be interested to read this if you're thinking about changing the oil and filter on your Supra for the first time. It's not a difficult job to do but it can be a bit fiddly due to the awkward location of the oil filter and the lowness of the car.

You Will Need:

  • Socket set
  • 5 litres of 10w40 oil. Semi synthetic is what I use. You might have a different opinion on what oil to use.
  • New oil filter
  • Plastic sheet
  • Oil catch pan to catch about 5 litres of old oil
  • New washer for the sump plug
  • Funnel
  • 100 old crap T-shirts for mopping up oil slicks from your driveway

Changing The Oil And Filter

Empty Out The Old Oil

Supra parked on brick

If the engine is cold, run it for a minute or two to warm up the oil so it flows out easily. Jacking up a Supra can be a pain in the bum due to the lowness of the central jacking point and the fact that you might crush the sills if you use a trolley jack on the sills (yes, yes I've bent my sill over a bit. Won't do that again). You can get away without having to jack the car up at all if you find some ground with a very slight downward slope, and drive the front wheels on to a couple of paving slabs or bricks so the car is level. You must have the car level or the old oil won't all flow out. It should just be possible to get underneath to access the sump nut like this, but make sure your hand brake is on tight and you leave it in first gear. Take care with this, it's not my fault if your Supra falls on your head. If your Supra is lowered, you're probably going to have real trouble getting to the sump nut without jacking the car up, or using ramps.

Spread the plastic sheet under the engine to protect the ground from splashes of oil. Get underneath the car, place the catch pan under the sump nut and start to undo the nut. It's accessible from the drivers side but you'll have to stretch quite a bit to reach it. Hopefully the nut isn't too tight. The oil will take a good few minutes to empty out so leave it until it stops running out. Remove the oil filler cap from the top of the engine now.

Sump oil draining out

When the oil stops running out, replace the sump nut with the new washer and tighten it up again, but make sure you don't strip the thread or shear the top of the nut off. That would be a total disaster! Give the whole sump and nut area a good wipe with some old rags at this point so we can make sure later that there are no leaks.

New Toyota sump plug washers Cleaned up the sump

Change The Oil Filter

Supra oil filter location

The oil filter is accessible from the top of the engine and it's not too bad to access unless you've got an alarm siren installed in the way, like mine! I remove that first. Loosen the filter a little bit. Hopefully you can just do this with your hand but if not, try wearing some washing up gloves to get a better grip.

Food bag!

What I do at this point is to wrap a couple of food bags around the oil filter and hold it right at the top so the whole oil filter is contained in the bag. Then unscrew the oil filter bit by bit inside the bag. Oil will start running down the side of the oil filter and into the bag. Keep unscrewing it and be ready for it to drop into the bag with the oil. Now quickly remove the bag and clean the area with another rag and ensure the surface is perfectly clean and has no bits of old cack stuck on it.

Used Supra oil filter

Looks like a disgusting old used, you know what. But it certainly beats oil stains on the driveway.

Leave the rag in there for the moment to catch the odd drip of oil. You're supposed to pour some new oil into the new filter before you replace it but don't pour too much in because you need to tip it over at quite and angle to screw it on. Smear a little new oil round the rubber seal on the top of the new oil filter and screw it on until it makes contact with the surface. Now screw it on 3/4 of a turn more with your hand. That's tight enough. Don't forget to remove the rag from the engine now or you'll wonder what that burning smell is when you're on your way to work.

Fill With New Oil

Refill with clean oil

Using the funnel, fill the engine with 4 litres of new oil. Don't try and do it without a funnel. :-) The oil level should just be visible on the bottom of the dipstick. Run the engine briefly to circulate the new oil, then leave it for 10 minutes to settle. Now check the oil again and top up as necessary to take it to the Max level on the dipstick. It takes me almost 5 litres to get to the Max on my dipstick.

All done! Run it for a bit and check for leaks before you put all your stuff away, just in case.

Page Updated 25/08/10