How To Change Oil In A Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla cars that run on conventional oil (5W-30) need their oil changed every 6 months or 5,000 miles – whichever comes first. Toyota Corolla automobiles that run on synthetic motor oil (OW-20) need their oil changed every 12 months or 10,000 miles – whichever comes first.

This article provides helpful information to change oil in a Toyota Corolla.

Benefits Of Changing Engine Oil

Changing the oil in your car is one of the fastest and most satisfying maintenance tasks that users can do by themselves and is the gateway to more complicated maintenance projects later on. This task includes very few steps and takes no more than 1 hour to complete.

Now, let’s get started! The vehicle mentioned here is a 2004 Toyota Corolla CE. You should use 5w-30 synthetic oil for any Corolla built before 2009. For Corollas made in 2009 and after, it is recommended that you use 0w-20 synthetic oil. This procedure and pictures will apply very closely with Matrix, Corollas, and Pontiac Vibes.

Related post: How To Check The Oil In A Toyota Sienna

How To Change Oil In A Toyota Corolla Steps

  • Run your vehicle for 15 minutes to warm up the oil.
  • Remove the oil fill cover for the oil to drain more quickly.
  • Remove the drain plug with a 14mm socket.
  • Wait until the oil drains out entirely into a drain pan.
  • Reinstall the drain plug and tighten it to 27 lb-ft.
  • Remove the old oil filter by untightening it.
  • Screw on the new oil filter and tighten it by hand.
  • Add 3.9 qt of fresh oil (0W-20 or 5W-30).
  • Install the oil filler cap back on.

Step-by-Step Guidance For Changing Oil And Filter In A Toyota Corolla

Before changing the oil, you should check the level to know if your vehicle is burning fat or not.

Warm Up The Oil, Which Helps It To Drain Out More Efficiently

The first step is to drain the oil. To do this, you should warm up the oil, so try to drain the oil after the vehicle has been running for at least 15 minutes before you begin. This step is not compulsory, but it will help drain as much old engine oil as possible from your car. It would be more necessary in case you do this during the cold winter when your oil acts like molasses!

Corollas are quite a low vehicle, without a lot of ground clearance. However, it is possible to fit under the car to remove the drain plug and the oil filter if you are slim enough. Lifting the vehicle and securing it with jack-stands will give you more clearance to work and incline the car in a way that is beneficial for draining the oil because it slants toward the drain hole.

Make sure the vehicle is turned off and well-positioned with the parking brake.

Remove The Drain Plug With A 14 mm Wrench Or Socket

Prepare a drain pan as you loosen the drain plug. After breaking the bolt loose, you can unscrew it the rest of the way with your fingers. If you need a drain pan, have it ready in advance.

Be careful not to drop the bolt into the drain pan as you reach the end of the threads. Place the drain pan under the drain hole as you remove the bolt. Then allow the oil to drain for about 10 to 15 minutes. Removing the oil filler cap while draining can help speed up the process.

Replace The Drain Plug

Install a new oil plug gasket once the draining oil has slowed to a drip. After that, replace the drain plug bolt and snug it up (torque it to 27 lb-ft for the 1.8L Corolla). You should not overdo it, as you don’t want to strip the bolt!

One of the greatest no-brainer inventions of oil plugs is the magnetic oil plug! This drain plug has a neodymium magnet built into it so that any ferrous material in your oil from engine wear will stick to the appeal when the oil circulates through your engine.

Oil filters can catch most large particles in your oil, but a magnetic oil plug can capture particles as small as a micron! Anyway, consider getting one if you need to keep your engine pristine.

Where Is The Oil Filter Located On A Toyota Corolla?

You can find the oil filter above and to the left of the oil drain plug. Remove the old oil filter.

Place the oil pan under the oil filter while unscrewing it. It will drip oil as it is removed, and you must catch as much of the oil as possible. If the oil filter is stuck, you may want to get an oil filter removal tool (basically a large plier).

More to see: Best Oil for a Toyota Corolla

Put Some Oil On The Seal Of The New Oil Filter

Take out the new oil filter. These are the part numbers:

Oil Filter (Part# 4386) – Corolla 2009-2013

Oil Filter (Part# 4967) – Corollas 2003-2008 and 2016-2021

You should put a little oil on the new oil filter seal to create an excellent seal. Use a rag or your finger to wipe a sheen of fat around the circumference of the new oil filter seal.

Install The New Oil Filter

Install the new oil filter and tighten it. Once you feel resistance, go another 1/2-3/4 turn.

You do not want the oil to leak out, but you also don’t want it to be tightened to remove the next time.

Add Fresh Oil

Now you are ready to move to the engine bay.

Pop the hood and remove the oil filler cap.

When changing the oil filter, your car requires 3.9 Qts of oil. You can check the specifications in your manual to be specific.

Insert the funnel into the oil fill hole.

Pour oil in with the amount of 3.9 qt. For a 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla, the recommended oil is 5W-30. The recommended oil for a 2009-2021 Corolla is 0W-20.

Install The Oil Filler Cap Back On

Replace the oil filler cap. You are now done. Good job! You just saved yourself some time and money by doing this yourself. Bring the used oil to an auto parts store, Walmart, or any other place that gets old oil for recycling.


Changing the oil in your Toyota Corolla is not a complicated task, which you can do yourself. Once you get comfortable with the essential oil change, a slew of other maintenance tasks seem within easy reach.