2013 Toyota Highlander Engine Oil Capacity

The 2013 Toyota Highlander has an oil capacity of 6.4 quarts (or nearly 6.1 liters). Learn more here.
Written by Sarah Williams
Reviewed by Jessa Claeys
To keep your 2013 Toyota Highlander in tip-top shape, you’ll need to know its engine oil capacity of 6.4 quarts (or 6.1 liters). 
This midsize SUV offers a comfortable ride, a good-looking interior, and high reliability ratings. But if you want to keep things running smoothly, you’ll need to perform regular engine maintenance—including oil changes. Before hitting the road, remember that each car has a different oil capacity, requires a different type of oil, and follows a different oil change schedule. 
Do those differences make you feel overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we will go over all the details to set you up for success for your next 2013 Toyota Highlander oil (and filter!) change.
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2013 Toyota Highlander engine oil capacity

How much oil does a 2013 Toyota Highlander need? The Highlander’s 3.6-liter V6 engine has an oil capacity of 6.4 quarts or 6.1 liters. 
As you can see, the engine’s oil capacity is different from its 3.6-liter displacement. The oil capacity indicates how much oil you’ll need for an oil change, whereas the displacement refers to how much volume the vehicle’s six cylinders take up. 

What kind of oil does a 2013 Toyota Highlander need?

Now that you know your 2013 Highlander engine oil capacity, the question is: what type of oil does it need? It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as not just any oil will do. 
For optimal performance,
recommends using Toyota Genuine SAE 0W-20 Full-Synthetic motor oil.
Now, what does that mean? The 0 and 20 refer to the oil’s viscosity, or thickness, in a specific temperature range. The W stands for “winter,” indicating that the oil will stay thin in lower temperatures, while the 20 means it will also withstand higher temperatures. SAE stands for the Society of Automotive Engineers, which is the body that codes oil viscosity. 
Essentially, 0W-20 oil is rated to perform well under various weather conditions while maintaining a low viscosity. This helps prevent wear and tear on your Highlander. 
Regarding synthetic motor oils, Toyota recommends a full-synthetic oil for your 2013 Highlander. Because full-synthetic motor oil has fewer impurities than conventional oil, it provides better protection.

How often to change the oil on a 2013 Toyota Highlander

Now that you know your 2013 Toyota Highlander oil capacity and type, it’s time for an oil change! 
Or is it? There are several ways to determine when it's time for your next oil change. Toyota recommends changing the oil on your Highlander every 3,000 to 5,000 miles if using conventional oil. But if you’re not spending much time on the road, you could also measure in time. To keep your oil clean and functional, consider changing it every six months
However, the type of oil you use impacts how frequently it needs to be changed. Where conventional oil needs to be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, synthetic oil can be changed every 7,500 to 10,000 miles. 
Regardless of which type of oil you use, it’s important to check your oil levels regularly. An easy metric for checking your oils is after every other refuel or once a month. If you notice any of these signs, it may be time for an oil change: 
  • The oil’s texture feels coarse 
  • It has a dark brown or black color, like a cup of soda 
  • Any new changes in your Highlander’s performance
  • New smells—particularly burning, oil, or smoke
  • Unfamiliar engine noises 

How to change your oil and oil filter

Once your 2013 Highlander is ready for an oil change, start by collecting your materials. You’ll need a:
  • Drain pan
  • Socket wrench
  • Filter wrench 
  • Replacement filter
  • 5 quarts of SAE 0W-20 Full-Synthetic motor oil
Once you have everything you need, run your engine until it reaches its normal operating temperature. This shouldn’t take longer than five minutes. Once it has warmed up, turn off the engine, pop the hood, and take the following steps: 
  • Jack up your Highlander so you can work underneath it
  • Unplug your oil fill cap
  • From under the engine, remove the oil drain bolt and washer, and let the oil drain into the drain pan 
  • While the oil drains, remove your old oil filter 
  • Install your new filter
  • Replace the oil drain bolt with a new washer, tightening it to 29 lb-ft
  • Refill the engine with the new oil and twist on the fill cap 
To check that you’ve done all the steps correctly, turn your Highlander on and let it run for about 30 seconds. This will allow your new oil to fill the filter. You can turn off the engine and use your dipstick to ensure you’ve added enough oil. Top it up as needed. 
Run the vehicle again for a few minutes—if you don’t see any leaks, you should be good to go, and the oil pressure light will turn off. 
Finally, it’s time to clean up! Dirty oil can’t be left on the ground or in the garbage, so place it in a sealed container to dispose of at your local recycling center. 
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