This oil change guide is for any 2004-2009 Toyota Prius. These are also known as the Gen 2 Prius. On a difficulty scale the oil change is about a 3 out of 10. Not too bad, but what makes it easier is having a complete parts list, tool list, and photo guide to get the job done correctly.
In terms of the best oil for a 2004-2009 Prius that will be hotly contested. I prefer full synthetic oil and because it is a hybrid vehicle it really doesn’t cause a lot of extreme wear on oil. This is because the Prius shuts off when other cars would normally be idling and it also goes more miles with less engine run time (or high RPM’s) due to the nature of it being a hybrid. Therefore, I do think you can really extend these oil changes and you do not need to buy the most expensive oil. Just make sure it is a full synthetic oil and use a high quality oil filter that is designed for full synthetic oil.
Or, what I have done recently as an experiment, is buying cheap oil filters but changing them at 3,000 mile intervals while not changing the synthetic oil. This is just because I like messing around with my cars and seeing what works, I recommend changing your oil every 5,000-7000 miles depending on driving conditions. Some people claim to be able to go 10,000-15,000 miles on some full synthetic oils, with anything YMMV (your mileage may vary).
2004-2009 Toyota Prius Oil Change Tools & Guide
- 1 Gallon of 5w-30 Full Synthetic Oil. Car Capacity is 3.9 Quarts– but keep the extra in the trunk for checking periodically as these engines DO burn oil. (Costco / Amazon Oil Works Great) This really just is your brand preference here. I much prefer full synthetic oil because you can go up to 7,000 miles between oil changes and it has much better lubrication qualities than regular dyno oil. Stay away from Syn Blend Oils (you never really know what you’re getting). See this video for more explanation of syn blend oils.
- High Quality Oil Filter: M1103A (Mobil 1 Extended)
- Oil Drain Plug Gaskets (90430-12031 OEM Toyota Part #)
- 14mm Socket & 3/8 Drive Ratchet (Small High-Quality Tool Set)
- 1.5 Ton Jack at Minimum
- 3 Ton Jack Stands at Minimum
- Car Ramps (if you don’t want to use a jack)
- Oil Drip Pan (Or Use Cardboard)
- Oil Catch Container
- Disposable Gloves
- Shop Towels
- Coveralls (If you don’t like getting oil on your regular street clothes)
- Brake Cleaner (to clean any drippy oil off bottom of car / tools– way cheaper to buy at an auto parts store or at Home Depot)
- Very Useful Universal Oil Filter Removal Tool (You Use it With Your 3/8 ratchet + extension)
- Drive Prius up the Car Ramps or Use the Jack to get it up in the air and on jack stands safely.
- Locate the 14mm Engine Oil Drain Pan Bolt.
- Break the bolt loose using your ratchet or 14mm wrench.
- Remove the bolt with the washer and position your oil drain pan underneath the plug.
- While oil is draining install a new crush washer (after removing old one).
- Wait until the oil is only slowly dripping out before reinstalling the plug tighten drain plug to 28 ft-lb. If you do not have accurate torque wrench, this is tight, but not super tight by any means. Use roughly the same force it took you to break it loose (assuming it was put on right). Error on the side of less tight.
- Locate the engine oil filter and place drain catchment underneath the filter.
- Use your Universal Oil Filter removal tool to loosen the oil filter.
- Remove the oil filter with your hands and be careful as it will be full of used oil.
- Lubricate the seal on your new oil filter with new oil.
- Install new oil filter and tighten hand tight with dry hands (you do not need to gorilla tighten these)
- Double check that drain pan bolt is tight and the filter is on tight. Make sure the old seal on the old filter came off and you do not have a double gasket situation on the oil filter. You will notice this immediately because a substantial oil leak will be found at the oil filter upon start up.
- Fill the car with new oil start with 3.5 quarts.
- Start the car and move it to level ground. Turn the car off and recheck oil level.
- Adjust oil level until it reads at the full mark on the dipstick.
- Reset the maintenance required light (see below)
Resetting Maintenance Required Light:
- First thing you want to do is turn on the car and then go down to your dash and look for the odo trip button
- Keep clicking this until you get to the point where you see the odometer reading
- Once You See Your Cars Mileage then you can turn off the car without holding down the brake.
- Next while holding down the ODO trip button power on the car
- You’ll see the mileage lights go to all zeros which means the maintenance light has been reset and at this point you’re done. It will now come on again when it is due for the next oil change.
Dealership How-To PDF with Photos:
If you want the dealership write up on how to do an oil change on your 2004-2009 Prius complete with torque specs click here. You do not need the special tools they have to do this oil change, and I would recommend buying the tools above to be able to do the most oil changes on all different types of cars with ease.
YouTube Video With All Steps:
All credit for video goes to ShahGAutos.
Frequently Asked Questios (FAQs)
How often do I need to change the oil in my 2004-2009 Toyota Prius?
That really depends on your comfort level with running oil for long intervals. It also depends on the quality of your oil filter. The beauty of doing your own oil changes is that you can choose your own full synthetic oil. You can also choose a high quality synthetic oil filter that is made to go for long intervals with synthetic fluid. You can also mess around with buying lots of cheap oil filters ($2 each on Rockauto) and change them every 3,000 miles and run your full synthetic oil until the color or the viscosity seems to really change.
This is for very comfortable people, otherwise please change your oil every 5,000-7,000 miles and don’t write me an angry email! I currently have about 10,000 miles on my full synthetic oil and have changed the oil filter two to three times. The maintenance required light comes on in a Toyota Prius every 5,000 miles (i.e., you can reset it and go till 7,000 with full synthetic without a problem).
Is Costco Full Synthetic Oil Safe in a 2004-2009 Prius Gen 2?
Yes, absolutely it is safe. It isn’t like Costco is making its own oil. It has just private labeled another manufacturer to make oil for them and slap there name on it. Who blends it? Warren distribution out of Omaha, Nebraska. My opinion is that it’s a very good motor oil especially when we consider the value. One gallon of Costco Full Synthetic is $12.50. Looking at oil analysis results many people online believe Warren distribution makes the Walmart Oil, Amazon Oil, and other full synthetics. So is it safe? Yes. Is it absolutely the best priced full synthetic oil you can get? Yes. It is quite literally cheaper than buying regular non-synthetic oil at any auto parts store.
Can I run a larger oil filter on my 2004-2009 Toyota Prius? Part Numbers?
Yes, I do this myself. But take this with a grain of salt. I am not recommending you to do this at all. Here are some oil filters that are a little longer or even a lot bit longer and can increase your oil capacity and filtering capabilities (this is debatable). I do it because I like messing around and trying new things. You should not do this if you are not into taking unnecessary risks. I am currently running a Purolator Pure One PL20195. It is much larger than the stock OEM prius oil filter. A larger mobil-1 oil filter for the 2004-2009 Prius is part number M1-209.