Oil not draining

Okay so on my last oil change which I do every 5,000 miles on my 2018 Toyota Tacoma the oil would not drain like normal. Around 1 quart came out into my drain pan and that was it. Does anyone know why those could be happening? Every time I have changed it in the past all 6.1-.2 quarts came out no problem and now only a quart is coming out. The truck runs great and only has 28,000 miles on it. This is just confusing me. Thanks.

Does any oil show on the dipstick ? Maybe you put the oil in the last time when you started the truck without oil in it in the wrong place . Or did not put enough in .

In the past this has been sometimes due to pulling the wrong plug. So the transfer case or transmission is drained and not the oil. Resulting in ruined expensive parts. Honda stamps “engine oil” by the drain plug and also uses a different bolt head for each. Double check your work and check the dipstick. I dunno what Toyota does though.


Is this a 4WD truck? I wonder if you may have mistakenly drained the transfer case.


Any chance only 1 quart came out because the engine’s sludged up?

Please don’t take offense at the question

but the scenario I have described HAS been known to happen

And I’m not making any judgements

I’m just asking a question


One might think you drained the wrong thing OR if you not checking the oil level on a regular basis it just flat may have consumed a bunch of oil in a short time for whatever reason.
A going on 4 year old truck with only 28k miles points to one that sees light use and as db4690 mentions could be prone to sludge.

We had a Subaru in once with a trashed engine (25k miles) and full of oil.
With the drain plug out not one drop would exit the pan. With the pan off and flipped upside down the oil (if you want to call it that) stayed in the pan.

I actually found the problem. I guess the last two times I drained the oil and got lucky, but I was previously draining the oil from the oil filter drain located directly under the Tacoma’s engine. You can get lucky and get all the oil out from this spot, but I did not this time. I was told by the dealer, who was obviously wrong, that this spot is the only place you need to drain the oil from. I ended up draining every drop out from the oil pan and from now on will drain directly from the oil pan.

you can drain the oil out of the filter from that spot before taking the filter off.

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Draining the oil filter will only drain the filter. The oil pan and filter must be drained.

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Tilting the vehicle so the drain plug is the lowest spot in the oil pan helps. Most drain plugs are toward the rear of the oil pan, so raising the front wheels. Warming up the old oil before draining it by idling the engine 5-10 minutes first will help too. I suppose you could do it either way, but I’ve always drained the pan first, before removing the oil filter. Seems like it is a little less messy of a job that way.

The oil is in the sump. Or pan. If you remove the filter on 99.9% of all motors you will not drain the sump. I have no idea how you got 5+ qts out of the filter drain.

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Let’s hope that the dealer did not advise to start the engine to pump the oil out of the filter drain. Picking the right plug to take out makes a huge difference in being successful. I’ve changed oil probably a thousand times and I have to confess I still take a 2nd and 3rd look laying under the car to make sure I’ve got the right plug.

I also tend to do everything in the same sequence and mentally run down the check off list. There have also been a few times I have crawled back under to check the plug if I couldn’t specifically remember tightening it. More important as we age but been doing it since young.

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FYI, this vehicle uses a pleated filter media, which goes into a reusable housing. It does not use a spin-on filter like we are accustomed to in the past.

Many newer cars have cartridge filters with plastic housing. My 03 opel motor has metal housing. And you can replace adapter so you can use a throwaway filter if you choose.
My 2010 Camry has plastic housing.
2015 civic did not.

That’s the way our 58 Chevy was. I remember it had a drain bolt on the bottom but think it only drained the filter oil so oil wouldn’t spill all over. (Strike all that. Trying to remember why the turkey baster to suck the oil out if it had a drain? I was only 10 years old so fuzzy memory.) Then along came cartridge filters to make the job a lot easier. Back to the future.

You drop oil drain plug on the oil pan and drain most of the fluid. the other drain on the filter is to drain what’s in there. I don’t even drain the filter but remove it and tip over the oil drain pan. It’s a little messy but I don’t like that plastic oil drain part for the filter.

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