Toyota Maintenance on 4x4Wire

Toyota Maintenance: Tacoma and 4Runner 30K Mile Service

By: Mark Griese - 12/2003

This table lists items found in the Scheduled Maintenance Guide for the four wheel drive models that were being serviced. You must consult the documentation that came with your vehicle to determine what is appropriate for your Toyota.

30,000 mile / 24 month maintenance items




  • Drive belts
  • Ball joints and dust covers
  • Brake lines and hoses
  • Brake linings/drums and brake pads/discs
  • Fuel lines, connections, and vapor vent system hoses
  • Fuel tank cap gasket
  • Steering gear box, linkage, and boots
  • Exhaust pipes and mountings


These items also apply to the 60K, 90K, and 120K maintenance intervals.


Engine coolant, flush and refill

The Scheduled Maintenance Guide states that the coolant needs to be replaced. But a chemical flush of the cooling system is an important part of the preventive maintenance necessary to prevent scale buildup in the engine. Several manufacturers offer cleaning agents with detailed instructions on the bottle. Always allow the radiator to cool before removing the cap, as the hot water and/or steam that escapes could cause severe burns. Follow local laws regarding disposal of the used coolant. Many municipalities allow coolant to be flushed down the septic system.

The radiator drain is located on the bottom of the passenger side. Remove the radiator cap, then turn the drain valve counterclockwise to open it, but not so far that it comes out of the threaded portion of the valve. A pair of pliers might be required to loosen the valve, just remember that it is plastic, so be gentle. Having a section of 1/4 or 3/8" hose to go on the hose barb will direct the flow into your drain pan. Once drained, close the valve, and add the cleaner to the radiator. Fill the radiator with distilled water and replace the radiator cap. Start the engine and turn your heater temperature control to maximum heat to allow the cleaner to flow through the entire cooling system. After cleaning, allow the radiator to cool, then drain it. Refill with distilled water and run the engine again to rinse out the system. Repeat rinsing at least one more time to be sure all the cleaner is out of the system. Plan on having about four gallons of distilled water to complete the flushing and filling. I have included these steps so you know what is involved in flushing. Please follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the cleaner.

To clean the overflow tank, remove the bolt holding the battery strap, and swing it out of the way. The tank will lift straight up and out. Rinse out the tank with tap water and re-install it. Since you're at the battery, this is a good time to inspect the terminals for corrosion and the caps for any leakage.

Use the red Toyota Long Life Coolant to refill the system, and the overflow tank. Start the engine with the cap off and continue filling while the engine warms up and the thermostat opens, bleeding out any trapped air. Once the thermostat is open, revving up the engine a little will help move any air pockets to the radiator. If the coolant you drained from the system is something other than the red coolant, consult with the dealer to determine which type of coolant should be used to refill your system. The system's capacity is 2 gallons for the I4, 2 1/2 gallons for the V6, and a little more when either one is equipped with the manual transmission. Toyota recommends a 50% mix for protection down to minus 31 degrees F., and 60% coolant for use down to minus 58 degrees.

Radiator Drain Valve Toyota Coolant

Spark Plugs

The factory installs different brands of spark plugs on each side of the 3.4L V6 engine. As near as I can recall, the more expensive NGK plugs are used on the passenger side of the engine, under the coil packs. If it makes it easier for you, it would be perfectly fine to use NGK plugs in all six cylinders. Generally, spark plugs are sold un-gapped, meaning that you would have to adjust the gap prior to installing. Both the NGK and Denso plugs specified in my Owner's Manual are sold pre-gapped at .044", which is close enough to the .043" requirement in the Manual. If you no longer have an Owner's Manual, contact your dealer for assistance prior purchasing or installing the plugs to determine the proper gap.

To change the plugs you will need a 5/8" spark plug socket (which has a foam rubber insert in it), a couple of long extensions for your ratchet, a tube of anti-seize lubricant, a length of 1/4" fuel line hose, and a torque wrench. Some basic hand tools such as metric wrenches, screwdriver, and pliers will be necessary to remove a few components covering access to the plugs. If your plugs are sold un-gapped, you will also need a spark plug gapping tool (available at any auto parts store). Gap all plugs before you start the installation, so none are forgotten. One reader reports that taping the spark plug socket to the extension keeps it from popping off and getting left in the bottom of the plug hole; that sounds like a handy tip to me!

The plugs are under the rubber boots in the center of the valve covers. You'll see the wires going to each of the boots. It will be necessary to remove the air intake tube going to the throttle body, by loosening clamps, and/or unbolting brackets. Once the air intake tube is off, use a long bristle brush or compressed air to remove all loose dirt around the plug area. It must be clean so debris doesn't fall into the open cylinder when the plug is removed. On the passenger side of the V6, the plugs are under the coil packs. Before removing the coil pack/plug boot combo, disconnect it from the wiring harness by depressing the clip that locks it into place. A small pair of standard pliers can help depress the clip while pulling the connector away from the coil pack.

Working on one plug at a time, remove a wire from the loom to provide enough slack to remove the long plug boot. Grasp the boot (or coil pack) and pull up while twisting to 'break' the seal. The plugs are about four inches below the valve cover. Remove the plug using the 5/8" spark plug socket. Before installing the new plug, lightly coat the threads with anti-seize lubricant (I use a small brush). Put the end of the plug into the length of 1/4" fuel line hose. Lower the plug in the cavity and use the hose to 'feel' the plug threading into place. Be sure to feel several revolutions of the hose threading the plug into place. Remove the hose when you can feel that the threading has stopped, and the hose starts to slip. Use the spark plug socket and a torque wrench to torque the plug to 13.9 ft. lbs. (or 167 inch lbs.) I also coat the 10mm coil pack retaining bolt with anti-seize and torque it to 100 inch lbs. Reinstall the boot and the wire you removed from the loom. One done! Repeat for the others.


5/8" Spark Plug Socket Anti-Seize Lubricant 1/4" Fuel Line Hose Removing Tacoma Intake

Removing 4Runner Intake 4Runner Intake Removed Remove Bolt On Drivers Side Remove Bracket On Drivers Side

Removing I4 Intake Clean Off The Dirt Removing Connector From Coil Pack Plug With 30,000 Miles Does Show Some Wear

Click for Maintenance Page 4

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