DIY Oil Change for the New Toyota Highlander

A reader named Robert asked about DIY oil changes for the 2014+ Highlander. He was particularly interested in knowing the part # of the oil filter and whether or not he needs a special tool to remove it.

Before we go any further…

Yes, I’m aware that ToyotaCare covers recommended service for the first 25k miles. But that only provides oil changes at 10k and 20k miles, and many owners want their oil changed every 5k miles.

In my case, I had the oil changed at 5k miles using the “free” oil change that came with the TOYOGUARD ELITE package that Southeastern Toyota tacks onto just about every vehicle sold down here. And our next oil change will be free thanks to ToyotaCare.

But at 15K? I’ll be on my own for that one. And the same goes for any oil changes after the 20k mile mark. So this is an excellent question, and something that I’m sure others have wondered about.

Finding the right oil & filter

As I’ve mentioned in the past, the Highlander uses 0W-20 synthetic oil. While you could use genuine Toyota oil, many DIY-ers use things like Mobil1, which can be had for under $25 in a 5-quart jug.

As for filters…

The OEM oil filter is part # 04152-YZZA1. Individual filters can be found online for around six bucks, or you can buy them in a 5-pack.

You can also find any number of aftermarket oil filters that will do the trick. Here are three examples, along with current pricing info:

If you have an oil/filter brand preference, please let us know.

What about tools?

As I noted above, I haven’t had a chance to change my Highlander’s oil. But, from what I’ve heard, generic wrenches don’t fit the filter housing very well. Thus, you’d be well advised to get something like this before starting.

You might also want to replace the drain plug with an oil drain valve. This makes future oil changes easier while reducing the risk of stripped threads. Fumoto has a good reputation in this area, and their F-103 and F-103N valves are both compatible. The EZ Oil Drain Valve is another option.

To summarize…

In case I lost you above, here’s a quick summary of what you’ll need…

As noted above, if you have a brand preference for oil or filters, or any other suggestions, please share them in the comments section, below.

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6 comments… add one
  • Peter Mandzuk Sep 19, 2014

    Don’t know about the current Highlander’s oil filter number, but I do know that you’re wasting good oil by replacing it at 5K. Toyota’s recommended intervals are just fine.

    I replace the synthetic oil in my family’s 5 vehicles once or twice a year, and they’re doing between 4K and 15K miles. Been doing this for almost two decades with no engine issues.

    Regarding oil brands, Mobil 1 is excellent oil. Also check Amsoil on line. They invented synthetic oil, and their products are even better than Mobil.

  • sean Feb 19, 2015

    Thanks for touching on the correct oil for the car. I think this is something people may not always consider, particularly if they are just putting a quart or two into their car. The car needs the correct oil, and it needs consistency to run as effectively as it can.

  • Jim Mar 17, 2015

    Thanks for your work on helping out Gen3 Highlander owners.

    The oil filter wrench linked above is p/n ABN 7111 for the Toyota 4-cyl engine. ABN 7113 is listed for the 6- and 8-cyl engines. Both tools are 3/8″ drive with 1/2″ hex, and 24mm x 64.5mm with 14 flutes.

    Has anybody found a real difference between the two different filters, and is there a preference for the V6 3.5L engine?

    Thanks! / Jim

  • Eric Apr 26, 2016

    Changing at 5k is a waste. Extensive oil analysis has proven that full-syntethic does not achieve ideal sheering properties until it’s already in been in your engine for 3k. Changing at 5k means you’re throwing away the oil right when it’s just started offering you peak protection.

  • Asrat Sep 23, 2016

    I have 2005 Toyota higlander the Engine light on

  • Steve Jul 27, 2018

    Just bought a 2018 V6….I’ve always changed my own oil with Mobil I but bought an extended warranty due to the high mileage I put on my cars….and it requires a dealer oil change at every recommended interval. Having seen how clean the Mobil I comes out of my wife’s Camry at 5K , I’m thinking about stretching that out. My question is can I change the oil filter without changing the oil and not lose all of the oil out of the crankcase? With a clean filter in between scheduled oil changes I’d get comfortable with the 10K interval

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