Sunday, February 28, 2010

DIY Tune Up & Oil Change Corolla 93 - 97

This is a DIY for a complete tune up with a oil change .

First you make sure you wires are numbered or that you remember where you took the wires off the spark plug and the distributor cap . Putting these back on wrong will lead to your car not functioning correctly .

First you remove the spark plug wires and lay them above the cylinder so that you know the order that they are in . In this case we are gonna remove all the wires and change them out but if your wires are still good then you can do one spark plug at a time , remove and replace .

The spark plugs I used are the Denso K16R-U ( 3119 ) . Some auto parts stores don't carry them and they will try to sell you another brand or type of plug . Tell them to order them . Advance is the auto part store that carries the Denso plugs . Then you gap them at .032 . Make sure you find the gap for your vehicle . I looked in my manual and this is the plug that my car calls for .

Once I have gap my plugs then I put some anti seize so that they can be easily removed next time or else your plugs might be a little tight comming off . Then in this case I only put the plugs back in the proper cylinder and do not connect the wire to the plugs just rest them in so that you know the order of your wires to the distributor cap .

Then I removed my PCV and put a new one there . If it doesn't rattle then the PCV is clogged if it does rattle then it is ok .

Then I remove the cover for the air filter so that I can get to the distributor cap screws . Plus I can put a new air filter too .

Then you can remove the 3 screws that hold down the distributor cap .

Then with a flat head screw driver you remove the rotor button . It might feel tight but it does slide off . Becareful you don't lean on the cover inside and break it .

I recommend that you put a little bit of anti seize in the center so it won't be so tuff to take off the next time .

Then before you put your wires and yoru cap on put some dielectric grease on the spark plug wires so that they won't stick to the spark plug the next time you remove them and the distributor cap so that no moisture builds up in them . There is a rubber seal that the distributor cap should come with that goes on the bottom . Make sure you have that cause sometimes you have to replace your old one .

Make sure you take off the spark wire clips off the end for the distributor cap cause you are gonna need them and reuse them on your new wires . Then you put everything back in order . The distributor caps have numbers on then and sometimes the new plugs will too .

Then you go to the bottom of the oil pan and remove the oil pan drain bolt .

You might have to lower your car a little because the oil drain plug is facing the front and you need to even the car as much as you can with out squishing the plastic oil catcher . Let that drain until you see no more oil comming out of it .

Then keeping that oil pan catcher still underneath you remove the oil filter . Some cars you can remove it from the top or the bottom . Once you remove the oil filter you clean up all that area before putting your new filter on .

Then with some oil you put a little around the new rubber gasket area before putting the new filter on . You put the new oil filter on hand tight only . Then you make sure your oil drain plug is hand tight . Wipe up the area so that when you start your car you can look for any oil leaks .

Once you are completed then you start your car to make sure it is running correctly . Look for any oil leaks . Check your other fluids such as brake fluid , radiator coolant , power steering and transmission .


  1. Thanks for the post and the pics - extremely helpful and very well done.

  2. This is really cool and helpful manual! Thank you very much. I was about to return to the store a distributor cap but now it does not seem so tough!


  3. I broke one of the bolts that came with the new cap.The cap and the screws were YEC brand and made in Japan but the screws were thicker than the originals.The new screw was broken in half and I can not get the rest of it out. Distributor cap is now held by only 2 of the 3 screws. What can I do, how can I remove the broken screw? Is it OK if I put super glue there to give the cap extra hold?