2017 Toyota Highlander Engine Oil Capacity

The 2017 Toyota Highlander uses between 4.6 and 5.8 quarts of 0W-20 motor oil. How much your Highlander needs depends on the size of its engine.
Written by Matt Nightingale
Reviewed by Julian de Sevilla
The 2017 Toyota Highlander is the embodiment of the no-nonsense crossover SUV, prioritizing efficiency and reliability above glitz and glamour. If you want to get the most out of your Toyota Highlander, you’ll need to know its oil capacity, which ranges from 4.6 quarts to 5.8 quarts depending on its engine.
The 2017 Highlander is a very economical three-row family crossover, but hidden vehicle costs like
car insurance
and maintenance can throw a wrench into your finances. You can save a little bit of money by changing your vehicle’s oil yourself. Your owner’s manual will tell you what type of oil you need to use and how much to put in your engine. But, if you’ve lost your owner’s manual, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
In this article we’ll go over the 2017 Toyota Highlander’s oil capacity specs, we’ll show you what type of oil to use for your next oil change, and we’ll even show you how to change the oil on your 2017 Toyota Highlander yourself, step-by-step. 

2017 Toyota Highlander engine oil capacity

How much oil your Highlander needs depends on its engine. The base 185-horsepower 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine has an oil capacity of 4.6 quarts, while models sporting the 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine require 5.8 quarts of motor oil.
It is important not to confuse oil capacity with engine displacement. Displacement is the collective volume of the engine’s cylinders — 2.7 liters in the case of the four-cylinder engine and 3.5 liters in the case of the V6. Displacement is not the same as oil capacity, so do not put 2.7 liters of oil in your 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine.

What kind of oil does a 2017 Toyota Highlander need?

Once you know how much oil goes into your particular Highlander, you’ll need to figure out the type of oil your Highlander needs. 
You’ll want to get yourself some SAE 0W-20 synthetic oil for your Toyota Highlander — Toyota Genuine motor oil, if possible. If there’s no 0W-20 available, you can get away with using an SAE 5W-20 motor oil, but Toyota stresses that you should replace it with 0W-20 oil at your next oil change.
If you’re confused as to what all these numbers and letters mean, you’re not alone. The first number indicates how easily the oil allows your engine to start in the wintertime. The lower the number, the easier your engine will start in cold weather. The “W” simply stands for “winter”.
Alright, so what does the 20 mean? Well, that number tells us how viscous the oil is in high temperatures. Motor oils with a higher viscosity number are better suited for high temperatures and higher speeds.
Toyota uses synthetic motor oil for the 2017 Highlander, which typically lasts longer than traditional motor oil.
MORE: Recommended maintenance schedule for a Toyota
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How often to change the oil on a 2017 Toyota Highlander

How often you should change the oil on your 2017 Toyota Highlander depends on a few factors, but, Toyota suggests changing your oil every 7,500 to 10,000 miles or about every 12 months.
It is still a good idea to keep an eye on your oil level between regular changes, however. Keep in mind, also, that any engine problems deemed to be the result of improper care might not be covered by your Toyota warranty. To ensure that your Highlander isn’t starved for oil, you should get into the habit of checking your oil levels regularly and be on the lookout for signs that your oil might be in need of a change: 
  • Dark brown or black oil. Clean oil is the color of iced tea, but bad oil looks more like a dark cup of coffee
  • Bad
    motor oil feels grainy and gritty
    . Good motor oil should feel smooth to the touch
  • Bad motor oil can cause your engine to make strange, unfamiliar sounds 
  • New smells like smoke or oil can indicate bad motor oil
  • Bad motor oil can negatively affect your car’s performance

How to change your oil and oil filter

Now that you know what type of oil to use, how much to use, and when to use it, you just need to know how to change your 2017 Toyota Highlander’s oil. Here’s what to do.
First, you’ll need a socket wrench, an oil filter wrench, an oil pan, and 5 to 6 quarts of 0W-20 motor oil, depending on which engine your Highlander is outfitted with. Next, start your highlander up and let it run for about five minutes to let it reach regular operating temperature. Once your engine is warm, shut it off, pop the hood, and follow these steps:
  • Unscrew and remove the oil fill cap
  • Raise the front end of the car with a jack stand or ramps
  • Place the oil pan under the engine and remove the oil drain bolt and drain bolt washer, letting the old oil drain into the oil pan
  • Uninstall the old oil filter while the old oil continues to drain
  • Put in the new oil filter
  • Put the oil drain bolt back in place with a new washer and tighten the bold to 20–25 lb-ft
  • Fill the engine with new oil and screw the fill cap back on
Now, start up your engine and let it run for 30 seconds to a minute. This will allow the new filter to fill with oil. Use your dipstick to test your oil level, and add oil as needed to achieve the proper amount.
Let your vehicle run a few minutes more and check for leaks. If everything seems to be in order you can reset your Highlander’s maintenance light by following these easy steps:
  • Press your Highlander’s start button twice with your foot off the brake to engage the vehicle’s accessory mode.
  • Use the odometer button to toggle to “Trip A” then turn the vehicle off.
  • Hold down the odometer button and push the vehicle start button twice.
  • Continue to hold down the odometer button until your instrument cluster screen has cleared. 
To finish, make sure you put the old oil in a sealed container and take it to your local recycling center. Never, ever dump the old, dirty oil on the ground or put it with your regular garbage.
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