Oil capacity specifications conflict with dipstick; 2009 Tacoma 4 cylinder

Has anyone ever discovered a discrepancy between the manufacturer’s oil capacity specs and what the dipstick reads?
I bought my 2009 Tacoma used from the dealership in October of 2011. Should I be concerned that it did not have the original dipstick or something?

Last week I checked the dipstick after taking my 4 cyl Tacoma to Jiffy Lube and it read 1/2 inch above the full mark. When they charged me for 6.1 liters (quarts?), I just figured that they had used 5 quarts and were trying to get more money out of me. I knew that my 2 previous oil changes had not required an extra charge, and the receipts said “up to 5 quarts”. It didn’t occur to me that they hadn’t actually read the dipstick. So we had words and I went home. Then I decided to read the dipstick myself and became aware of the overfill. I ended up talking to the district manager who sent me to a different location for a “redo”. But they still insist that the info that Toyota supplies through their computer system says 6.1. And upon checking my receipts, my first oil change at the Toyota dealership says 6 quarts. I thought I’d checked my manual long ago and saw 5 quarts, but now that I want to find it again, I can’t. Maybe I was viewing an online manual.

If the 4 cyl hasn’t changed and the capacity is the same, why not just check the dipstick against another Tacoma 4 cyl and put your own mark on it if it appears it is different. Then, fill to the mark and drive on. My guess is that it’s one amount with filter and one without.

My recommendation, and just about everyone else’s, is to avoid places like Jiffy Lube. You may have the wrong dipstick or you may have an engine that only uses 5 quarts. I looked up both the 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder and there is some confusion there. The 4 cylinder is listed at 6 quarts and the 6 cylinder lists 5 quarts. The Toyota dealer should have this information and I would get it as soon as possible. Overfilling an engine will oil can cause problems. Look again for your owner’s manual.

I would ALWAYS believe the dipstick, and not the ‘dipsticks’ at quicky lube.

I have the manual and it seems to say 6 quarts.
When I said I couldn’t find it, I meant the page where I KNOW I saw 5 quarts…maybe that was an online manual

If your owner’s ,amual said 5 quarts, than it’s 5 quarts. That would explain why you “read the dipstick myself and became aware of the overfill”. You’ve essentially verified that the 5 quarts is correct.

If there’s an error on whatever database that they or anybody else subscribes to says 6 quarts, it is incorrect.

My suggestion? Put a strip of white duck tape in an obvious spot with “5 Quarts Oil Capacity” written in big letters with a marker. Or learn to change your own oil.

Yeah, errors exist in databases. That’s a fact. Occasionally those errors will catch you with your vehicle up on jackstands and a front shock abosorber off, taking the one you bought at Sears out of the box and discovering that it is the wrong configuration (happened to me). Or ordering an exhaust pipe and getting a replacement exactly like it…but without the bung for the downstream oxygen sensor (happened to me).

my catolog says w/filter 6.1 qts. the v-6 uses 5

Here’s a thought: measure your dipstick from the end to the FULL line. Now go to the dealer’s parts department and ask them if they have a replacement dipstick in stock for your truck. If so, measure it and see if it’s different.

Good one @texases !

That is the nice thing about paper manuals, the can’t possobly change on you. If your manual now says 6 quarts, it has always said 6 quarts. Every online source I have seen shows 6 or 6.1 quarts for this engine. If it was mine I would change the oil and filter myself, park it on level groung and if the dipstick is off, mark it with a file.

@same. "from the end to the full line"
Good advice overall but…
I would measure downward instead…from the stop collar to the full mark. IMO, that’s the critical distance…assuming the mount is the same of course. It should be…they haven’t a changed Tacomas since Harry Truman…kidding…l

We never did ask the OP if he was checking the oil on level ground. OP?

Lose Jiffy Lube! Really.

If they put in 6.1 liters as you state, that equals 6.4 quarts. So a half inch higher than the full mark sounds about right.


Yes, it was level ground. My husband’s woodworking shop is next door to a motorcycle repair shop and I asked the guy (Jake) there to look at the dipstick also. He’s the first one who told me I had to take it back. And when I went to the 2nd Jiffy Lube I asked that they look at the dipstick BEFORE draining any oil to confirm my reading to their manager. He agreed is was 1/2 inch over the full mark.

It was probably 6.1 quarts, not liters. I just wasn’t sure which units they were using and didn’t bother to go out and get the receipt from the glove box before posting. The 2nd Jiffy Lube I went to said they’d put 5.4 and it was full exactly to the mark. Since they’d changed it twice at that point, it was SO clean it was REALLY hard to read the stick. But by the time it settled later on it was still about 1/5 or 1/6 inch over. Jake looked at it for me again and said it was okay.

Further, the last two different places I took it for oil changes used 5 quarts, or so say the receipts. I doubt they’d have hesitated to charge me for the extra.

I saw 5 quarts in writing SOMEWHERE, because my husband looked at it also and remembers. I remember his telling me to look where it said 2.7L. We checked before my second oil change because I wanted to know what to expect.

I would have the oil to the ‘full’ mark after running for a few minutes, then shutting it off for a few minutes. I wouldn’t want it over the full mark.

For what it’s worth, running a bit over full is not going to hurt anything. If anything its an aid, within reason of course.

The odds of a dipstick problem here are just about zero but an incorrect dipstick can be a problem if an error has been made by someone during the factory assembly or at some point during the past maintenance history.

We had a Subaru come in once with a manual transmission that was seized up due to a now purple mainshaft rear bearing. The trans had recently been rebuilt in Colorado and the stick showed the gear oil was on the FULL mark. It was actually about a quart down and extended driving had oil starved that bearing which led it to seize up. (The car had been trailered to OK when the couple moved here right after having the transmission rebuilt.)

I discovered that the Subaru shop in CO had used an automatic transmission final drive dipstick which was about an inch longer than the stick for a manual transmission and which in turn provided an erroneous FULL reading as the mark sat lower in transmission.

My fuzzy memory seems to remember this happening with an engine oil dipstick at one time but I cannot remember the details behind that one. It seems that the stick was longer and was leading to overfilling of the crankcase.

Thanks, ok4450…When you say “within reason”, does that mean the 1/6 to 1/5 inch situation that I have now? I was repeatedly told that the 1/2 inch above the mark ( about a quart) could have created a real problem over time. I heard scenarios where engine gaskets could be blown, etc…

Up to 1/4" over is OK, IMHO.

1/2 inch above the full line would not create a problem in that engine. If you only have 1/5" above the F line, than you are in absolutely no danger.