Toyota Corolla Oil Change (2003-2008)

This is a guide to help you with your Oil Change on your 1ZZ-FE or 2ZZ-GE engine.

Notes: I am doing this on my XRS with a 2ZZ-GE engine (same as the Matrix XRS and Celica GT-S). You can however follow this post because it’s nearly the same on the 1ZZ-FE engine.

User Warning: This job has the potential to seriously injure you, and cause extensive damage to your property. Use your personal discression when taking on this task. If you do not feel comfortable performing the task: DON’T. I am not responsible for any incidents or accidents to you, or the damage or malfunction of your property. I trust you will make safe choices if you choose to perform this task.

I apologize if I lack the pictures you would like. I added words and arrows to help.

Time: 30min 

Parts: 5W-30 Oil, Oil drain plug gasket (Toyota Part #90430-12028), Oil Filter (Toyota Part #: 1ZZ-FE:90915-YZZF2 2ZZ-GE:90915-YZZF1). Cost $20-$90

Tools: Jack and Jack Stands, Rubber Gloves, Flashlight/Trouble light, Shop rags, Oil catch pan, Funnel, 14mm socket/ratchet or 14mm wrench. You may also need a Filter wrench or cup if the filter is tight.

2005 Toyota Corolla Owner’s Manual

P256: Oil capacity between indents on oil dipstick

Checking the engine oil level

Oil quantity, L (qt., Imp qt.):
1ZZ-FE engine 1.3 (1.4, 1.1)
2ZZ-GE engine 1.5 (1.6, 1.3)

P283: You will need the oil capacity amount with filter.

Oil capacity (drain and refill),
L (qt., Imp qt.):
1ZZ-FE engine
With filter 3.7 (3.9, 3.3)
Without filter 3.5 (3.7, 3.1)2ZZ-GE engine
With filter 4.4 (4.8, 4.0)
Without filter 4.2 (4.6, 3.8)

Recommended oil viscosity:
SAE 5W-30

Lets get started!!!
Here’s a pic of materials I used.

Left: Toyota OEM Oil Filter. 2ZZ-GE: Part #90915-YZZF1
Center: Toyota OEM Oil drain plug gasket. 2ZZ-GE: Part #90430-12028
Right: 5 quarts of AMSOIL 5W30 100% Synthetic Oil. Rated for change intervals of 25,000miles/40,000kms or 1 year (which ever occurs first). 
Cost me just over $91CAD

With your car on hard level ground, e-brake set and car in 1st gear or park, jack the front up; I used the drivers side jack insert just aft of the front tire, andsupport the jack with a jack stand right next to it. Give the tire (in the air) a good shove to make sure the car is sturdy on the stand (so the car doesn’t fall on you while your working underneath).

Pic of my jack and jack stand set up.

With the car in the air and safely supported, pop and raise the hood. First locate the Oil filler cap and the Oil dipstick under the hood. The oil cap is on top of the engine to the right looking at the front of the car. It should read 5W30 oil recommended on it. The oil dipstick is located at the front of the engine, it has a yellow loop on it’s end.

Reference pic of the oil cap and oil dipstick on the 2ZZ-GE engine.

First take off the Oil cap (lefty loosey, righty tighty), the worst scenario would be draining the oil and not being able to put any back in! I place my oil cap where the hood release is so that I can’t close the hood with oil cap off. Take the oil dipstick out just to make sure it isn’t stuck or broken, and then put it back in the tube.

With the oil cap off we need to find the Oil filter, they are shaped like a cylinder pointing somewhere off the engine. Spin on oil filters are usually relatively accessible by hand. OEM Toyota oil filters are black, but other brands can be any colour you can think of. On the ZZ engines the filter is located underneath the car towards the front of the engine, in front of the oil pan.

Pic of the (smaller 90915-YZZF2 i.e. wrong) oil filter on the 2ZZ-GE in front of the oil pan. 

Next we should find the oil pan drain plug. The oil pan drain plug can be found underneath cars near the bottom of the engine on the oil pan. On the ZZ engines the oil pan drain plug is near the bottom towards rear of the engine oil pan pointing towards the rear of the car. On the 2ZZ-GE it will take a 14mm socket/ratchet or 14mm wrench.

Pic of the oil pan drain plug on the 2ZZ-GE on the back of the oil pan, it takes a 14mm socket/ratchet or 14mm wrench.

Note: Be CAREFUL!!! Engines can be very hot and you may be susceptible to burns by the engine or the engine oil, especially if you have just driven the car.

With the oil filter and oil drain plug located we can get to work. Put on your gloves; motor oil is known to cause cancer. I always start with the oil filter. Place your oil catch pan underneath the filter and give it a twist (counter clockwise looking at the filter). In a perfect world you should be able to loosen the oil filter by hand (I got lucky, the dealer didn’t insanely tighten mine!), if you can’t you’ll need a filter wrench or cup. When you crack the filter some oil may drip out. Spin the filter all the way off and try to keep it vertical (less messy). After you’ve removed it dump the filter contents into the oil catch pan. Clean up any mess you made with the oil with a rag.

Note: Check the old oil filter and make sure it still has the rubber ring gasket, if it’s come off it may be stuck where you took the oil filter off. If you put the new filter on and the old oil filter rubber gasket is still there you will have a huge mess when you check start.

With the filter off it’s time to drain the oil. It’s a good idea to have the oil pan drain plug gasket before you crack the plug. Move the oil catch pan under the drain plug and slightly towards the rear (oil shoots out). Grab you’re 14mm socket/ratchet or wrench and crack the drain plug. You should be able to spin the drain plug off by hand once it’s cracked. Take the drain plug all the way out and let the oil pan drain. Take the old drain plug gasket off and put the new drain plug gasket on. Don’t put the new gasket on the old gasket. Place the plug somewhere where you won’t loose it.

Note: If the drain plug does not come out by hand the drain plug threads could be worn (drain plug replacement), or the drain pan threads could be worn or stripped. This might cause your engine to leak oil from the drain plug.

With the oil draining away it’s a good time to put the new oil filter on. With turbocharged/diesel vehicles it’s necessary to put a little new oil in the oil filter (prime) before putting the filter on. I do this on most of my oil changes at home regardless of engine aspiration, or fuel type. It is however not necessary to prime the oil filter for the ZZ engines so it’s up to you. Lube the rubber gasket with a little oil so that it’s easier to take off next change. Spin the filter on the spigot (clock-wise) so that it’s a tight seal, however not so tight that you won’t be able to take it off again.

Note: Toyota installed the wrong oil filter on my car last oil change! For those of you with Corolla XRS (2ZZ-GE) make sure it’s the correct oil filter: 90915-YZZF1 (it will be longer than the Toyota filter for the 1ZZ-FE: 90915-YZZF2). 
NEVER use an oil filter with a crack or a dent in it.

With the new oil filter on, and all the oil drained out of the oil pan. Put the drain plug with the new drain plug gasket back into the oil pan. Spin it by hand till the drain plug tightens. I believe the torque specs for the drain plugs are 27ft-lb for the 1ZZ-FE and 28ft-lb for the 2ZZ-GE (can someone confirm this?). Remove the oil catch pan from under the car and wipe down any drips on the oil pan.

Note: If the drain plug spins and doesn’t tighten up you have stripped oil pan!

With the new oil filter on and the drain plug put back in you can add your oil to the engine. Grab a funnel so that you don’t make a mess of your engine bay/cover. Pour the oil slowly so it doesn’t overflow out of the filler neck. Use the dipstick to see where you are once you’re within half a quart/liter of the Toyota manuals specified fill point. The oil dipstick has two indents towards the very bottom. The bottom indent is the minimum oil level Toyota recommends the car can be running around safely, the top indent is the maximum oil level the car can be running (the car can run safely with any level between the two indents).Once you see that your oil is above 1/2 way between the two indents near the bottom of the dipstick, take the funnel out and put the oil cap back on (failure to do this results in a big mess when you start the engine). Double-check that your drain plug and oil filter are tight and that the oil dipstick and oil cap are on and in place

With the double-checks done, keep the car in park or if a manual put it into neutral: start the engine. Get out of the car and make sure that there are no oil leaks coming from the car, give the car a little rev to make sure there are absolutely no leaks. If oil is spewing everywhere from around the oil filter turn the car off ASAP and check the oil filter. It’s very uncommon but oil filters can be faulty. It’s more likely that the old oil filter gasket has stuck to the surface and your new filter doesn’t seal.

If all is well, lower your car back onto the ground (if you want to triple-check go ahead before lowering). Take off the oil cap and check your oil dipstick (car on level ground). You may need to add some more oil. You can fill your car up to the higher indent. If you decide to fill the car up to the top indent try not to overfill the car (go over the indent) a little bit over is ok and won’t hurt the car, however a lot over will. Just pour the oil a little bit at a time and check the stick after a few seconds to see the progress. 

When you’re happy with your oil level, put the oil cap back on and put the oil dipstick back in its tube. Close the hood and clean up your shop. You’re done!

Please remember to dispose of the old oil and oil filter at a place that will take them. Many quick lube places or auto repair shops will take them from you for free as long as it isn’t mixed with any other liquid and is in a suitable container.