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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was dismayed that my dealer would not change my engine oil when I brought my CT for the 5K miles service maintenance. They told me that the" oil maintenance required" is a generic term for service... and the synthetic oil in the engine is good for 10K mile.... WHATEVER! ... So I did my own oil change. There are good write-up's posted here by others and also at the Prius page on the Toyota Nation webpage; also another Prius owner posted a really good video on You Tube for oil change on a 2011 Prius which is identical to our CT200h. There were no surprises and it was fairly simple to do this DIY:
  • First and foremost, be aware that the ground clearance is tight; unless you can get to an automotive lift, the floor jack stand don't give you too much room. I used two jack stands, the passenger side was jacked higher than driver's side. If you jack only one side, the other side will deflect downwards, unless you use a fixed stand on one side. No problem in draining the oil, the filter opening faces towards driver's side, and the drain plug is also located closer to the driver's side end. (For safety you should also use fixed jack stands at each side of the vehicle.)
  • The dust cover under the engine is annoying: it is huge and it is not removable; rather you have to "flap" it over under the car, and as suggested by another member hold it with a bungee chord and hook it and secure it from the front grill.
  • There is a right sequence what to drain first, but I don't remember anymore what you supposed to do first: the crankcase oil? Or the filter? Never mind ... I did the crankcase first, then I took the filter element out.
  • You will definitely need an OEM filter wrench; you have to seat this wrench, which is really a "cap" very snugly on the filter cover, otherwise you will mar the plastic filter cover. I tried to use a strap filter wrench but there was this metal tab in the way. The filter cover is oddly mounted horizontally, which don't leave too much elbow room for leverage. It is best if you let the oil drip out slowly from the filter cap rather than yank it out abruptly, unless you want to wash your face with a gush of dirty hot engine oil.
  • The drain plug is the standard 14 mm used on all Toyota vehicles. I forgot to include in my order a new nylon washer when I got he filter element, so I had to re-use the old washer again. Just be careful not to over torque the drain plug and "crush" the nylon washer excessively. Filter element used was from Toyota OEM for Prius/CT200h.
  • I used consumer grade Mobil 1, 0W-20 API Service SN which I got from Walmart. If you prefer you can use expensive "boutique" type oil, i.e. AMSOIL, ROYAL PURPLE; also both Mobil 1 & Castrol Edge got European LL04 spec'ed synthetic oils as well, but at 0W-40 viscosity. The recommended oil viscosity of 0W-20 is thin and clear, so after you fill the engine up, you won't see the level in your brand new dip stick, which is still smooth and shiny. I made the mistake that in a "gallon" sized jug, it is 5 quarts of oil; the capacity in the CT is about 4.4 quarts with filter. Of course I overfilled, so I had to drain about half of a pint out.
This task was relatively pain less, and very worthwhile DIY; and believe me, the engine is QUIETER and a lot happier after the oil change @ 5K miles. I intend to do oil/filter change @ 7.5K miles interval rather than the recommended 10K miles interval.
 

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Nice photos and write up hookah. Walmart sells a light weight plastic ramp for $44 that is perfect for the CT and other low clearance vehicles. Living in earthquake prone CA, didn't want to be under a car with jacks in case the big one hits. It's still tight space under there but there is just enough clearance to flip that plastic lid against the floor to get it out of the way.

Here's the link:

http://www.walmart.com/search/search-ng.do?search_query=rhino+ramps+12000
 

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Congratulations on your first oil change, but PLEASE heed the following advice in jacking your car, as your technique is less than fully safe, actually it is dangerous. Specifically, NEVER trust an hydraulic jack to support your vehicle for any time longer than to place a jackstand underneath it. It appers you used a jackstand on one side and the hydraulic jack on the other. I would not feel comfortable being under that car for one minute. Here is a safer technique ( it requires one hydraulic jack and two jack stands):

-Chock the rear wheels with some sort of block
-Place the hydraulic jack in the front of the car with the lift pad between the front wheels on the frame crossmember which runs underneath the engine. Read the owners manual, there is a picture of where to place it in there. This will lift both front wheels equally.
-Once you have lifted the car enough, then place one jack stand on each side of the car, right behind the front wheel......where it appears you place the hydraulic jack in your pictures.
-I found you can leave the jack there and still have room to change the oil, but you can remove the jack if you wish.

Also, remove the drain plug before the oil filter...less messy.

In regards to ramps, most mechanics would easily choose the hydraulic jack and jackstands as they are more versatile, require less room to store. Some people find the ramps slide sometimes when you drive up on them creating a potential problem, and many cars are too low in front such that the spoiler hits the ramp before the tire...requiring a ramp to get on the plastic ramp. :) I would trust jackstands in an earthquake before a plastic ramp.

Off topic, but this website is horrible in trying to write a reply more that one sentence
 

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since 2010, pretty much every Lexus model has a 5k light service (tire rotate/no oil due to synthetic) and then 10k full service oil change with tire rotation...non synthetic based cars were always oil change every 5k miles...

It really wasn't necessary to change the oil, but if it makes you feel better then thats all that matters!

I just changed mine for the first time this week, at 10,100 miles and it came out clean as a whistle with zero issues...

I had debated about changing it every 5k, but there really is no need to spend the money to do that...
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
since 2010, pretty much every Lexus model has a 5k light service (tire rotate/no oil due to synthetic) and then 10k full service oil change with tire rotation...non synthetic based cars were always oil change every 5k miles...

It really wasn't necessary to change the oil, but if it makes you feel better then thats all that matters!

I just changed mine for the first time this week, at 10,100 miles and it came out clean as a whistle with zero issues...

I had debated about changing it every 5k, but there really is no need to spend the money to do that...
You are absolutely correct TSoprano, and I will not challenge on your assertion here. Lexus oil service schedule of 10K miles is standard in the auto industry these days; and there is nothing wrong with that. The use of synthetic thin oils has eliminated the need of "old" interval of 3.5K miles. The modern engines, with four rings per cylinder and more precise machining has changed forever the old habits of yesterday. The BMW has even eliminated dip stick in their engines so that owners will not change oil prematurely just because it is "black" and look "dirty". Their oil service interval is 18K miles.

And yes, the perceived feeling is a QUIETER running engine after oil change; and that made me happy.:p

PS(1): Here is a real comprehensive write up about motor oils that will spin your head - Let's Talk Motor Oil - Club Lexus Forums
PS(2): emeJay: After I finished my oil change, I found my old jack stands which were buried in the garage junk; I will heed to your safety concerns and I will use them in future. You are not the only one getting irritated when you reply, I have to log on multiple times when I reply with more than one sentence.
 

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Congratulations on your first oil change, but PLEASE heed the following advice in jacking your car, as your technique is less than fully safe, actually it is dangerous. Specifically, NEVER trust an hydraulic jack to support your vehicle for any time longer than to place a jackstand underneath it. It appers you used a jackstand on one side and the hydraulic jack on the other. I would not feel comfortable being under that car for one minute. Here is a safer technique ( it requires one hydraulic jack and two jack stands):

-Chock the rear wheels with some sort of block
-Place the hydraulic jack in the front of the car with the lift pad between the front wheels on the frame crossmember which runs underneath the engine. Read the owners manual, there is a picture of where to place it in there. This will lift both front wheels equally.
-Once you have lifted the car enough, then place one jack stand on each side of the car, right behind the front wheel......where it appears you place the hydraulic jack in your pictures.
-I found you can leave the jack there and still have room to change the oil, but you can remove the jack if you wish.

Also, remove the drain plug before the oil filter...less messy.

In regards to ramps, most mechanics would easily choose the hydraulic jack and jackstands as they are more versatile, require less room to store. Some people find the ramps slide sometimes when you drive up on them creating a potential problem, and many cars are too low in front such that the spoiler hits the ramp before the tire...requiring a ramp to get on the plastic ramp. :) I would trust jackstands in an earthquake before a plastic ramp.

Off topic, but this website is horrible in trying to write a reply more that one sentence
I do have jacks as well, looked throught the manual and couldn't determine where they should be supported, I could've made an educated guess but decided on the ramp. This particular ramp is perfect for the CT, no problem with clearance since it was made for low clearance vehicle, very light weight that can support 12,000 lbs, and takes up same amount of footprint space nested standing upright as jacks. Also has skid resistant footers to prevent movement when ascending/descending. I might be overly paranoid about being under a car during a rolling earthquake but a ramp has a lot more surface contact area to support the car then 2 points from a jack. For the super paranoids, use the ramp then add the jacks for extra support.
 

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just curious. did you really need the full 4.4 quarts of oil? in Canada capacity is 4.2L. i've found with all past cars that i could never use the full rated capacity of oil because there is always some left in the engine/pan/etc. if i can't put in the extra 0.2L there's no point in buying the extra litre of oil.
 

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just curious. did you really need the full 4.4 quarts of oil? in Canada capacity is 4.2L. i've found with all past cars that i could never use the full rated capacity of oil because there is always some left in the engine/pan/etc. if i can't put in the extra 0.2L there's no point in buying the extra litre of oil.
Yes, both times I have changed it, I used 4.4 quarts of oil. I do let it drain for an hour or two to get the last drops out (something the dealer is not likely to do).
 

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and the synthetic oil in the engine is good for 10K mile.... WHATEVER! ...
I intend to do oil/filter change @ 7.5K miles interval rather than the recommended 10K miles interval.
people who know better than manufacturing plants engineers never fail to amaze me =o)
as a professional car racer i'll tell You - for God's sake, stick to at least 10k interval!
 

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people who know better than manufacturing plants engineers never fail to amaze me =o)
as a professional car racer i'll tell You - for God's sake, stick to at least 10k interval!
A few thoughts....
-the manufacturing engineers have an interest in having lower maintenance costs as many buyers consider this in their purchase, so the fewer the oil changes the better. They also have an interest in the car lasting through the warranty period, but nothing more. If one wishes for their car to last 200K+ miles, more frequent oil changes will help
-you don't know how the author of this thread drives his car.....he may drive short distances with a cold engine for the life of the car. 10K would be a long change interval for this type driving. How often do you change the oil in your race car? :)
 

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How often do you change the oil in your race car? :)
funny You asked this question
the answer - is when it gets somewhat dark =o)
usually it happens after about 5k kilometers (or 3k miles)
i have great respect for synthetic and here's why-
good old days we used to rebuild engines after every rally (i.e. every 1k in average)
and that included bearings, pistons/rings etc
syntetic oil was not heard of at that time. well, out mechanic heard it was used in military (yes, that long ago)
then once after a recce i came to see some guys from national team and they had
their rally car with cylinder head off.
i looked inside and touched the cylinder surface and asked them - did You guys just put in a new engine?
and they said - no, we have 10 rallies on it and just took the head off to inspect it -
we started using synthetic in the beginning of the racing season
shortly after we bought out first batch of synthetic. i remember it was "Castrol GTX"
$17 per liter! and never looked back ever since =o)
...but i don't think OP pushes his engine hard that's why he (and i on my DD) should just stick with what manufacturer recommend
 

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Did my first oil chg this weekend, 5k the pics are worth 10000 words
A) get the rhino ramps at Walmart. They store in less space than my 2 craftsman AL racing jacks. BTW the 2 ton racing jacks do not get the car high enough to flip the plastic door under.
B) Buy the filter wrench on Amazon. There's about 5 diff brands which make replacing the filter cartridge a cake walk.
C) I added a 27 mm socket to my craftsman set so I could use 1/2 inch drive on filter wrench and not fuss with 3/8 drive or adaptors. The increased leverage makes filter on/off a one and done.
D) I was so pleased with the rhino ramps, I did oil changes on my wife's and daughters cars. The only difficulty on the rhino ramps was I had to ask at Walmart, they were stacked sets in the home improvement area, not in automotive section.
thanks for all the tips, made the oil change a piece of cake
 

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Very nice write-up. Thanks, I'll definately refer back to this once I get my first free oil change and then get angry at the price they charge me for the second oil change. So I guess I'll be changing my own oil at 30,000 miles.
 

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I changed my first oil change at about 7k and the oil was very dark and there was a odor from the oil that permeated that whole garage. The oil might still be fine, I don't know without analyzing, but I don't completely trust the recommended 10k change, they have no financial interest in your car's longevity. After seeing that, I wish I had changed it at 4-5k for the first change. Will then change at every 7k. The cost to me is only $30 and time so well worth the peace of mind. I have another car that is 20 years old and am religious about DIY maintainance, has 208k miles and feels like it runs as good as when I bought it new.
 

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Then send in the used oil to get it analyzed.

Ive sent in my oil samples to a company called "black-stone labs" w/ oil chamge intervals of 4500, 6000, 7500, 9000 miles .... and guess what .... they basically said each and everytime "looks great, why not try 10k next oil change"

(Id be more than happy to post up their data sheets for those who are interested)

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 
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