How to change oil Toyota Corolla Seventh Generation (1991-1995)

The seventh generation of the Toyota Corolla was introduced in 1991 and was in production until 1997. This generation was designed with a more modern and aerodynamic look, and it was the first Corolla to feature a driver’s side airbag. The development of this generation focused on improving fuel efficiency, performance, and safety. The seventh generation was also the first to offer a wagon body style in the North American market.

The most common engines available for this generation were:

  • 1.3 L (1,332 cc) 4E-FE I4 (86 hp)
  • 1.6 L (1,587 cc) 4A-FE I4 (105 hp)
  • 1.8 L (1,804 cc) 7A-FE I4 (115 hp)
  • 2.0 L (1,998 cc) 3S-FE I4 (130 hp)
  • 2.0 L (1,998 cc) 3S-GE I4 (158 hp) – offered in the Corolla GT-S in North America

Overall, the seventh generation of the Toyota Corolla continued the tradition of reliability and practicality while introducing new features and design elements.

Do I need to change my oil now?

Checking the oil level

Checking the engine oil level of a Toyota Corolla 7th generation is a easy process that can be done in just a few simple steps.

  1. Park the car on a level surface and turn off the engine. Wait for a few minutes to allow the oil to settle.
  2. Open the hood of the car and locate the oil dipstick. It should be on the right-hand side of the engine and will have a yellow or orange handle.
  3. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel. Reinsert it fully, then pull it back out again.
  4. Check the oil level on the dipstick. The oil should be between the two marks on the dipstick, which typically say “Min” and “Max” or have small holes or notches. If the oil level is below the “Min” mark, you’ll need to add more oil.
  5. If you need to add more oil, unscrew the oil filler cap on top of the engine and pour in the recommended type and amount of oil. Check the level again with the dipstick to make sure you’ve added enough oil.

It’s important to check your engine oil level regularly to ensure that your engine stays properly lubricated, which can prevent damage and extend the life of your car.

When should the oil be changed?

The recommended engine oil change interval for a Toyota Corolla 7th generation is every 5,000 to 7,500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.

If you frequently drive in severe conditions, such as extreme temperatures, heavy traffic, or dusty roads, you may need to change your oil more frequently. Similarly, if you use your car for towing or hauling heavy loads, you may need to change the oil more often. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations based on your driving habits and conditions.

Regularly changing your engine oil is important for maintaining your Corolla’s engine health and prolonging its lifespan. Old, dirty oil can cause increased engine wear, reduced fuel economy, and potentially even engine failure.

Why did the car refuse to go to the gym? Because it already had a good transmission!

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Express engine oil test using a sheet of paper

An express engine oil test can be done easily with a piece of paper. To do this test, simply remove the dipstick from the engine and place a drop of oil on a piece of paper. Wait a few minutes for the oil to dry and then examine the stain.

If the oil stain is clear, then your oil is still in good condition and does not need to be changed yet. However, if the oil stain is dark, dirty or gritty, then it’s time to change your engine oil.

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Preparing for an Oil Change

How much engine oil do you need

In the table below, I indicated the required amount of engine oil for each Toyota Corolla 7th generation engine

EngineEngine Oil Capacity
1.3 L 4E-FE3.6 liters
1.6 L 4A-FE3.6 liters
1.8 L 7A-FE3.8 liters
2.0 L 3S-FE4.2 liters
2.0 L 3S-GE4.2 liters

Which oil to choose

For all engines of the seventh Toyota Corolla line, oils with a viscosity of 5W-30 or 10W-30 are suitable. These may include brands such as:

  • Mobil 1;
  • Valvoline;
  • Castrol

It’s important to note that these are general recommendations, and the specific oil viscosity and brand that you use may vary depending on your driving conditions, climate, and personal preference. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your vehicle.

How much does engine oil cost

The cost of engine oil for a 7th generation Toyota Corolla can vary depending on the brand, type, and quantity of oil that you purchase.

Generally, a standard synthetic blend or conventional oil can cost between $20 to $40 for a 5-quart jug, while a full synthetic oil can cost between $30 to $70 for the same amount.

What tools are needed for the job?

To independently replace the engine oil and oil filter, you will need the following tools and devices:

  1. Oil drain pan
  2. Socket wrench or box-end wrench
  3. Oil filter wrench (if necessary)
  4. New oil filter
  5. New engine oil (appropriate type and quantity for your car)
  6. Funnel
  7. Disposable gloves
  8. Jack and jack stands (optional, if you need to lift the car)
  9. Oil filter drain tool or pliers (optional, for removing old oil filter)

It’s important to make sure that you have the appropriate tools and devices for your specific vehicle, and that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and safety guidelines when performing any maintenance or repairs.

Additionally, always dispose of used oil and oil filters in accordance with local regulations and guidelines.

Which oil filter to choose?

The following table lists the recommended oil filter part numbers for each of the 7th generation Toyota Corolla engines:

EngineOil Filter Part Number
1.3L 4E-FE I490915-YZZF1
1.6L 4A-FE I490915-YZZF1
1.8L 7A-FE I490915-YZZF2
2.0L 3S-FE I490915-YZZF2
2.0L 3S-GE I490915-YZZD3

The prices of oil filters can vary depending on several factors such as the brand, location, and the retailer you purchase them from.

90915-YZZF1: approximately $5-10 USD
90915-YZZF2: approximately $5-15 USD
90915-YZZD3: approximately $10-20 USD

How much time do you need to work

The time it takes to change the engine oil in a 7th generation Toyota Corolla can vary depending on things like the person’s experience, tools available, and the car’s condition.

But, it usually takes about 30-45 minutes for someone experienced and with the right tools. This doesn’t include time for preparing the work area, checking the car, and getting rid of the old oil correctly.

It’s important to do the job right to keep the engine safe and working well for a long time.

Step by step instructions for changing the oil


  1. First, make sure the car is on a flat surface, and the engine is turned off and cool to the touch.
  2. Locate the oil filter and the oil pan underneath the car.
  3. Place the oil drain pan underneath the oil pan to catch the old oil when it is drained.
  4. Use the oil filter wrench to remove the old oil filter. Turn the filter counterclockwise until it comes off.
  5. Let the old oil drain into the oil drain pan until it stops dripping.
  6. Wipe the area where the oil filter was with a clean cloth.
  7. Apply a light layer of new oil to the rubber gasket on the new oil filter.
  8. Screw the new oil filter onto the engine by hand. Tighten the filter until it is snug, but don’t over-tighten.
  9. Locate the oil filler cap on top of the engine and remove it.
  10. Insert the funnel into the oil filler hole and pour the new oil into the engine slowly. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended oil capacity.
  11. Once you have added the oil, replace the oil filler cap.
  12. Start the engine and let it run for a minute or two.
  13. Turn off the engine and check the oil level using the dipstick. Add more oil if necessary.
  14. Wipe off any oil spills and dispose of the used oil and oil filter at a local recycling center.

By following these simple steps, you can easily change the engine oil and oil filter of your 7th generation Toyota Corolla, ensuring that your car runs smoothly and efficiently.

Changing the oil in an automatic transmission

Automatic transmission oil change interval

The automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in a Toyota Corolla should be changed every 60,000 miles (96,000 km) under normal driving conditions, or every 30,000 miles (48,000 km) under severe driving conditions, such as frequent towing, hauling heavy loads, or driving in extreme heat or cold.

Regularly changing the ATF can help ensure smooth shifting, extend the life of the transmission, and prevent costly repairs down the line.

What oil is suitable?

Engine ModelRecommended ViscosityPopular BrandsAmount of OilApproximate Cost
1.3 L (4E-FE)75W-90Mobil, Valvoline, Castrol1.9 liters$15-$25
1.6 L (4A-FE)75W-90Mobil, Valvoline, Castrol1.9 liters$15-$25
1.8 L (7A-FE)75W-90Mobil, Valvoline, Castrol2.3 liters$18-$30
2.0 L (3S-FE)75W-90Mobil, Valvoline, Castrol2.3 liters$18-$30
2.0 L (3S-GE)75W-90Mobil, Valvoline, Castrol2.3 liters$18-$30

Note that the cost may vary depending on the location and the specific retailer. It’s always best to check with local suppliers for the most up-to-date pricing information.

Required Tools

  1. Jack and jack stands or a car lift
  2. Drain pan
  3. Funnel
  4. Torque wrench
  5. Ratchet and socket set
  6. Hand pump or gear oil dispenser
  7. Safety glasses
  8. Rubber gloves
  9. Shop towels or rags
  10. New crush washer (if needed)
  11. New gear oil of the correct specification and amount (see owner’s manual or manufacturer’s recommendations)

It’s important to always wear safety glasses and rubber gloves when working with gear oil, as it can be harmful if it gets on your skin or in your eyes.

How to change gear oil – step by step instructions

  1. Park the car on level ground and engage the parking brake.
  2. Locate the transmission fluid pan under the vehicle.
  3. Place a drain pan underneath the fluid pan.
  4. Remove the bolts from the fluid pan using a ratchet and socket. Be careful, as the fluid may still be hot.
  5. Let the old fluid drain into the drain pan until it stops dripping.
  6. Clean the gasket surface on the transmission and the fluid pan.
  7. Remove the old gasket and replace it with a new one.
  8. Reattach the fluid pan and tighten the bolts to the specified torque setting.
  9. Locate the transmission dipstick and remove it.
  10. Add new transmission fluid through the dipstick tube, using a funnel to avoid spills.
  11. Check the level of the fluid using the dipstick and add more if necessary.
  12. Reinstall the dipstick and start the engine.
  13. Shift the transmission through all gears and return it to Park.
  14. Check the fluid level once again and add more if necessary.

It usually takes 1-2 hours to change the transmission fluid in a 7th generation Toyota Corolla, but the time can vary depending on the person’s experience, the tools available, and the car’s condition.

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