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Hello everyone. First thank you for allowing me into the group. I tried to read through some forums to see if I could find an answer so perhaps I didn’t have to be a bother. I recently purchased a 2004 4Runner 150200 miles.. (I love it) I took it to the oil change place and the gentleman said he couldn’t change my oil. He said my skid plate and bolts were to rusty and I needed a new skid plate. I know I need my oil changed and financially I would like to get it done before I purchased and had installed a new skid plate. Will this hurt my vehicle? Meaning is the oil filter really that low that I will damage it as easy as he made it seem?
Tyia...
 

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2015 4 Runner SR5
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Hello everyone. First thank you for allowing me into the group. I tried to read through some forums to see if I could find an answer so perhaps I didn’t have to be a bother. I recently purchased a 2004 4Runner 150200 miles.. (I love it) I took it to the oil change place and the gentleman said he couldn’t change my oil. He said my skid plate and bolts were to rusty and I needed a new skid plate. I know I need my oil changed and financially I would like to get it done before I purchased and had installed a new skid plate. Will this hurt my vehicle? Meaning is the oil filter really that low that I will damage it as easy as he made it seem?
Tyia...
Hi and welcome to the site!

On the 2015 variant the plate has to come down to access the oil filter - not sure on your model. He may have been worried about breaking a bolt off and assuming responsibility to then tap it out and all that. You don't need a skid plate if you don't take it off road, or if the roads you are driving on are normal. If you have to run through the wilds with rocks and deep crevices then you will want it on. Road debris can get kicked up there so you will want it on eventually, but it isn't going to kill it right away.

I'd jack it up and get some good stands under it to give you room to work, then hit the bolts with penetrating spray like PB Blaster or whatever you prefer. Do it a few ties with soak time in between. If a socket will not break them use an air tool on the bolts to try to impact them off. If they do break you can tap the bolts and thread them out. Once the bolts are out you can inspect the threads to see if it is just the bolt heads that are rusty - inspect the holes. Run a new bolt with the same threading that is lubed with WD-40 or similar into the hole in and out a few times to help clean it up. If the plate itself is rusty just save up and get a new one, or head to a pick-a-part yard and grab a used one. You could even fab a piece of sheet metal to tide you over to keep road rocks from flying up there. Again the bigger deal is off-roading.
 

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Thank you. I will climb under and try what you have suggested. I have to “bottle jacks” I had a floor jack but I’m thinking my handle just broke... idk. (Female trying here lol) We have “rough roads” here and snow ice and salt so having some rust didn’t surprise me, but when he told me how he told me, that did. I do go “camping” which I take dirt roads and I try to always straddle the bad patches and rocks, but I was concerned for the oil filter and how low it might be. Thanks again for the suggestive help..
 

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Many folks would suggest you hit the bolt with a torch to heat it up and try. You could do that before trying an impact tool: if the bolt is rusty or the head is rusty enough the impact tool could snap it.
 

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Thank you.. I don’t have any torches but if it gets to that I can take it to the Toyota garage... I was just trying to avoid that charge/debt.. Again thank you all for all of your help..
 

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Thank you.. I don’t have any torches but if it gets to that I can take it to the Toyota garage... I was just trying to avoid that charge/debt.. Again thank you all for all of your help..
You bet! The good thing is the skid plate is not a critical part - as in if it gets fouled up no huge deal. It does protect the oil filter but again, normal road conditions means less risk. You can take your time and try to avoid the charge of the shop. You can get cheap blow torches at Walmart or similar - way less than an hourly rate at a garage or the dealer.
 

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If the skid plate can't be removed because of rust I wonder how long the vehicle went without an oil change.
The OIL can be removed by a suction device through the dipstick hole but the filter is a "hands on" procedure.
 

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If the skid plate can't be removed because of rust I wonder how long the vehicle went without an oil change.
The OIL can be removed by a suction device through the dipstick hole but the filter is a "hands on" procedure.
That's a good point: could be the filter was never changed (on the Gen 5 one skid plate only covers the filter housing - you have access to the drain bolt via a different access panel on a plate), or the shop she went to just didn't want to mess with it fearing the bolt may shear - maybe has happened to them in the past...?
 
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