Toyota, Lexus and Scion Oil Filter Housing And Wrench Guide
In this article we provide in-depth information about Toyota's cartridge style oil filter system.
Many new Toyota owners of both new and used vehicles are expecting to be able to change their own oil exactly like they have on other vehicles and tend to get discouraged because "special tools" are required.
This article covers the "cartridge style" filter system used on many Toyota's, why a traditional oil filter wrench does not work, and why selecting a high quality Toyota oil filter wrench can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of your vehicle.
A Short Note About Traditional Oil Filters
A "spin on" or "canister style" filter (see photo) is what comes to mind when most people think of an oil filter.
With this traditional oil filter, you simply unscrew and dispose of it when changing the oil on most vehicles.
While there are various styles of tools available to remove this style of filter, none will work propertly on your cartridge style Toyota filter housing.
Toyota's Cartridge Style Oil Filter
The Toyota cartridge style oil filter system consists of a screw-on plastic or metal housing and a replaceable paper filter element.
The plastic or metal housing is retained and not disposed of like the traditional oil filter. Instead, just the yellow or white pleated paper filter element is replaced and the plastic or metal housing is reused.
When you buy a replacement oil filter for Toyota's cartridge style filter system it will look something like what's shown in the photo, along with several "O" rings.
Toyota's Oil Filter Housings
This photo shows the two main versions of the filter housing with and without the filter installed.
This housing is found on the 1.3L and 1.8L 4 cylinder engines. We usually refer to this as the 1.8L housing since the 1.3L is very uncommon. These are plastic housings and do not have the center drain valve that the larger engine housings do.
2.5L - 5.7L Housing
This housing is found on the 2.5L and 2.7L 4 cylinder, 3.5L and 4.0L 6 cylinder, and the 4.6L and 5.7L 8 cylinder engines. This housing can be identified by the 3/8" drive metal plug that covers the drain valve. Also notice how the body is distinctly wider towards the middle of the housing than the 1.8L version. This housing can be metal or plastic.
Draining the Toyota 2.5L - 5.7L Oil Filter Housing
One thing about removing the 2.5L - 5.7L Toyota oil filter housings is they tend to make a huge mess if you don't drain them.
The mess is caused by the vertical orientation of the housing rather than being horizontal like the 1.8L. Toyota has provided a drain plug for you 2.5L - 5.7L owners so you can drain the filter housing prior to removing it.
This can be done by removing the metal plug to expose the valve, then installing the Motivx MX2341 drain tool. Once drained, the housing can be removed using a specialty oil filter wrench.
Toyota Oil Filter Housing Diameter
One note before we go on...there seems to be a misconception as to the diameter of the 14 point hex ring on the top of the housing. There is information out there that suggests that there is both a 65mm and 65.5mm housing, referring to the diameter of the 14 point ring on the top.
Neither measurement is correct.
Both styles of oil filter housing measure 64.16mm. For sake of simplicity we refer to the diameter as 64mm. The housing will also expand and contract slightly due to weather or heat from the engine.
Does It Really Matter What Oil Filter Wrench I Use?
Short answer: yes.
You want a quality wrench that fits well, will not break under load, will not slip, and will not crack or damage the filter housing.
Common problems when using a cheap or poorly designed Toyota filter wrench:
These plastic or metal housings are frequently overtightened, requiring a large amount of force to remove them. Using a quality wrench that fits well is essential. A poor fitting wrench can round off the flutes or become stuck on the cap. A wrench made from weak material can round out, crack or break.
Additionally, a wrench that fits down over the plastic "tabs" of the filter housing runs the risk of breaking off those tabs and causing an oil leak. Most Toyota oil filter wrenches engage these tabs and may cause damage to the filter housing.
The Solution: A Precision CNC-Machined Toyota Filter Wrench
The solution to this is to use an oil filter wrench that makes secure contact with the housing without binding or breaking. A perfect fit and quality construction eliminates the fear of breaking your filter housing.
This is why our Toyota oil filter wrenches are machined in the USA from quality 6061 T5 aluminum, making them considerably stronger than cast or stamped versions.
We also go a step further and have reinforced the 3/8" drive hub (anodized red) by making it out of a stronger 7075 aluminum.
We want you to have your Motivx Tools oil filter wrench for the life of your vehicle and we know it will save you a ton of money over paying someone else to change your oil, or dealing with an oil leak from a busted housing.
Many times these oil filter caps are installed very tightly and the oil filter wrench will need to be used with a breaker bar to remove it. Our wrenches will stand up to these tough jobs - guaranteed. And we stand behind all our wrenches with a Limited Lifetime Guarantee and ASE-Certified customer service.
If you have any questions, please contact us below. If not, head over to get your quality filter wrench, drain tool and anything else you need for your oil change at MotivxTools.com. If you're not sure what wrench to use for your vehicle, you can use the "Search By Vehicle Or Filter" tool on our website to confirm fitment.
Email our USA customer service team and we'll get back to you promptly.