Toyota Tacoma TAV – 60,000 Mile Maintenance

Post by blogger | July 24, 2006      

Miles are stacking up on our Tacoma like an over-trained century runner’s workout schedule. As eternal do it yourselfers, we’ve been tackling our 60,000 mile maintenance — heavy service version.

This basically means making a big weekend mess (on several weekends). Change gear oil in both diffs and transfer case, change engine oil, and so much more excellent adventure. Along with the regular stuff we painted our custom front bumper and rocker guards, as well as taking out the oil filter relocation kit I installed when the truck was new.

The oil filter on a V6 Tacoma engine is so difficult to access it should be reported to the United Nations as a human rights violation. Solution is to relocate, but I did so with a funky kit that didn’t hold up to high miles. The gasket on the block adapter wore out and started drooling, and using hose clamps rather than high grade connectors never felt (or looked) right. So I ripped everything out and took it back to stock for now. Plan is to do another filter location using high quality parts so the job is “factory or better.”

As for the lube job, we did everything with synthetic oils again for the ultimate in reliability and a bit of help with fuel economy. We’re planning on driving this truck for at least 300,000 miles, so everything we do has to be top grade — especially lubrication.

Now that we have four trucks in our family fleet (Cherokee,Silverado,Tacoma,Willys) I’m finding our DIY maintenance to be a bit overwhelming. To help organize things we’re playing around with automotive work software. Favorite at the moment is Auto Wolf.

Details about Toyota Tacoma here.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


23 Responses to “Toyota Tacoma TAV – 60,000 Mile Maintenance”

  1. AKBC July 24th, 2006 9:53 am

    Lou, does synthetic lube really make that much difference for longevity. I have similar long-term aspirations for my Subaru (currently at 78k). I oil, lube, religiously but have never spent the extra money on synthetics. Is it worth it for a longer life span?

  2. Andrew McLean July 24th, 2006 9:20 am

    Aren’t you also suppose to replace your timing chain at 60K? I put mine off until 230,000. I Toyota Trucks!

  3. dave downing July 24th, 2006 10:10 am

    Lou. I’m sure you check this, but just in case. I used to have a Toyota Truck 4WD and the oil filter was nearly impossible to reach, until I discovered the access panel in the front right wheel well. Haven’t had an easier to reach oil filter since. Just checking. Wanna work on my land cruiser next, just replace my fuel lines, I’ll leave the key under the mat:)

  4. Lou July 24th, 2006 10:18 am

    AK, from research I totally believe that the synthetics increase longevity. In the case of diffs and t-case I believe they’re only worth the money if you’re planning on owning the vehicle for a long time or using it for something like towing (unless they’re specified by maker, of course). In the case of engine oil, they’re totally worth the cost, as you can run them for longer and they’re proven to offer a slight increase in fuel economy. Instead of 3,000 mile change intervals I do 5,000 miles with synthetic (Mobile 1), and based on research I could easily go longer. Engine also produces slightly less heat when using synthetic oil, again a good thing for towing and slow 4-wheeling.

    The trick with synthetic engine oil is you usually have to do the oil changes yourself, otherwise most of the quicklube places charge a fortune for the stuff as they make money on the markup. I wish that wasn’t the case around there as I’d just as soon pay for an oil change once in a while, but I save a couple hundred $$ a year by doing it myself. I’ve heard that in other areas the quicklubes are charging better prices for synthetics, if so that’s great…

    Of course there are other things that wear out in engines besides oil lubed parts, such as valve seats, but keeping the lubed parts preserved plays a big part in going high miles on a motor.

    Andrew, as far as I can tell this V6 doesn’t require the timing chain renew any time soon, but I was planning on checking about that just in case. I don’t see it on the maintenence sched…

  5. Bob Lee July 24th, 2006 10:18 am


    I believe it depends on whether your Toy engine has a timing chain or a timing belt – Toyota recommends changing a timing _belt_ at 60k. My ’03 4Runner 4l V6 has a chain, and there’s no recommendation for changing it – in fact, they don’t say much at all about maintenance after 60k.

  6. Lou July 24th, 2006 10:54 am

    Dave, I owe you one for helping me with that CSS a while back. Bring over a 6-pack and let’s wrench on that thing. I’ve been doing quite a bit of fuel system work on our rock crawler, so have a good sense of how to get things right.

  7. Sean July 24th, 2006 6:18 pm

    With the ’05, Toyota put the oil filter right up front with a little space around it so it’s extremely easy to get at. With that, it’s hard for me to justify not doing the oil changes myself. It’s not so much the money savings, it’s the little things like not having the drain plug stripped or overtightened, or the oil filler cap left off, or knowing for sure that it really is a new filter…

  8. Steve Shearin October 2nd, 2006 1:30 pm

    Does anyone make a steering damper for a 2004 4X4 Tacoma? I have searched high and low, and have about given up.
    Thanks for any help you could give.

  9. Lou October 2nd, 2006 7:28 pm

    Steve, if you’ve got things going on that make you think you need a damper, you might consider that there is something serious that needs to be fixed. As far as I know the type of steering system a Tacoma has shouldn’t require a damper, but hey, I’m no expert. Talk to a Toyata custom shop, plenty can be found on web via Google.

  10. JB December 5th, 2006 10:25 am

    Have you found a good oil filter relocation system yet?

  11. Lou December 5th, 2006 11:38 am

    JB, nope, I’ve not gotten around to re-doing that. I think the speed shops such as Summit Racing have some pretty high quality oil filter mounts, combined with braided tube and AN fittings one could create a 100,000 mile install or better. Would be pricy but worth it if you were holding on to the truck. The stock oil filter location in the ’03 really is incredibly rediculous.

  12. Eugene March 17th, 2007 12:31 pm

    I have a ’98 Tacoma 4×4 with the 3.4l V6 and I change my own oil without having to lift the vehicle or remove the front skid plate. I turn the steering wheel all the way to the left, and remove two plastic buttons in the front driver’s side wheel well and fold the rubber dust flap back to get to the oil filter. I just use a universal filter wrench and a 3″ extension on my ratchet to remove the filter, and I screw it back on by hand. The FRAM PH3614 filter has a grip material on it so you can tighten it easily by hand.

  13. HR May 24th, 2007 4:17 pm

    I have a 02 Tacoma 3.4 V6 and agree on the hassle of the oil filter location. The problem I discovered with not removing the two skid plates when dropping the filter is that the oil drains onto them leaving a nice mess that drips and blows around underneath for the next couple of days. Dropping the skid plates was easier than cleaning up the mess!

    The timing belt is a 60k replace per Toyota.
    Been a great truck so far with 101,000 miles

  14. Ron Burger June 30th, 2008 12:13 pm

    Are there any proven gas mileage modifications for a 2007 Tacoma 2WD. ie “Tornado” or the “Terminator”

  15. Lou June 30th, 2008 12:26 pm

    Use all synthetic lubes, put a lightweight topper or at least a cover on the bed, inflate your tires about 5 lbs over spec, and drive 5 mph slower. You’ll notice a significant difference. Intake mods only help when you’re at high RPMs, just think it though.

  16. Mike September 18th, 2008 10:31 pm

    has anyone had any tranny problems with their 2005? and what about the ticking noise that sounds like it is probably coming from the drivers side valve train?

  17. Karl April 25th, 2009 12:31 pm

    I have a 4X4 Tacoma V6 and have heard about people getting good results from browns gas generators. Basically generating hydrogen to mix with your fuel. Does anyone have any firsthand experience with using these water to fuel devices.

  18. Lou April 25th, 2009 5:25 pm

    As far as I’ve heard, you’ll spend more on electricity to make hydrogen than you save in using less gasoline… no free lunch… though perhaps using electricity from clean running power plants is better than burning gasoline, in terms of CO2 and pollution?

  19. Homer January 25th, 2010 7:39 pm

    Nice truck you have there. I have an 03 with 343k miles now. It has minor engine noise perhaps from timing chain and burns a little oil but other than that it serves me well on my 2 hour work comute 5 days a week. I think the synthetic oil is fantastic. We have been changing the oil every 7500 miles or about every 6 weeks. I missed an oil chnage last summer by messing up my records and went 15k without changing oil. I cringed after doing that, but I guess thats what the synthetics are for, and not to mention I have used slick 50 which I purchased in surplus back in the 90’s. Good luck.

  20. mike March 22nd, 2010 3:10 pm

    Lou,I would like to make ISR mod to my 03 tacoma 3.4 v6.Where did you get the red pipe shown in the write up?

  21. Lou March 22nd, 2010 3:53 pm

    He he, if I told you, you could die. But I will anyway. It’s a hardware store propane torch cylinder. Don’t cut on it till you fill with ambient outside pressure carbon dioxide or yes, you could die. No fooling.

    It’s the only thing I could find that was the right diameter.

    Farmer, I know, but it worked.

  22. mike March 22nd, 2010 4:45 pm

    Lou,send me yours so I don’t have to die.Mike Susarchick,67 gates farm rd,lebanon Ct.06249.I’ll be happy to pay you for it.THANKS

  23. Lou March 22nd, 2010 5:20 pm

    He he. It’s long gone. We crashed the truck and totaled it more than a year ago…

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version