Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen N300 V6 (2016+) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals
This is the maintenance schedule for the Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen, launched for the 2016 model year in September 2015. It’s dubbed the N300 model.
The Toyota Tacoma is a rugged, reliable, and capable truck based on the same all-terrain chassis as the Toyota 4Runner. It’s based in a number of drivetrain configurations, including options for
- A 2.7L inline four-cylinder engine or a 3.5L V6 Engine
- A 5-Speed Manual (2016-2017 only, and only with the inline four), a 6-speed manual (V6 only), or a 6-speed automatic transmission
- A 2WD or 4WD drivetrain
For the sake of simplicity we’re combining the maintenance schedules for the gearbox / drivetrain configurations, but separating out the maintenance schedule for the 2.7L inline four engine.
The Toyota Tacoma’s V6 engine is a very modern one, with VVT-iW and Toyota’s D-4S system which allows it to switch from port injection to direct injection based on driving conditions. The engine makes peak torque of 359 Nm (265 lb-ft) of torque at 4600 rpm, and peak power of a healthy 207 kW (278 hp) at 6000 rpm.
The Toyota Tacoma truck is available in 6 trims: The base SR, mid-level SR5, TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport, Limited, and TRD Pro. Maintenance for all of them (other than attending to the tires, which vary in size) is the same.
The Toyota Tacoma got a facelift in 2020 and a few new technologies inside including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but remained mechanically the same.
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What you need to service a Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen (2016+)
If you’re servicing your Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen (V6), you need the following maintenance parts.
|Item||Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen (V6) Spec|
|Engine oil||Toyota recommends Toyota Genuine Motor Oil 0W-20, or another multigrade engine oil of ILSAC GF-6A rating.|
|Oil filter||The standard part number for the oil filter is 04152-YZZA1 for the Toyota Tacoma V6.|
|Spark plugs||For the V6 engine, Toyota recommends DENSO FK20HBR8 spark plugs.|
|Coolant||Toyota recommends Toyota Super Long Life Coolant, an OAT coolant based on ethylene glycol.|
|Engine air filter||The K&N air filter 33-5017 fits Tacomas from 2015 onward, both V6 and L4.|
|Cabin air filter||Try a K&N washable air filter, type VF2005 (for both V6 and L4).|
|Differential oil (for rear, or both for 4WD)||Use Toyota Genuine Differential Gear Oil LT 75W-85 GL-5 or an equivalent.|
|(4WD) Transfer case oil||Toyota recommends Toyota Genuine Transfer Gear Oil LF SAE 75W, or an equivalent, e.g. Red Line 75W-85 GL-5.|
|Automatic transmission oil||Use Toyota Genuine ATF WS fluid.|
|Manual transmission oil||Use Toyota Genuine Manual Transmission Gear Oil GL-3 or GL4 or equivalent, SAE 75W-90.|
|Brake / clutch fluid||Use Toyota DOT 3 brake fluid or another FMVSS No. 116 DOT 3 or SAE J1703 fluid for both brake and clutch fluid.|
|Grease||Use lithium soap-based grease for the chassis.|
Maintenance schedule for the Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen (2016+)
Below is the full maintenance schedule for the Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen.
It’s adapted from the Toyota Tacoma’s Warranty and Maintenance guide, which lists individual service items as checklists. But the below schedule gives you a birds-eye view of the maintenance schedule.
- The general service intervals for the Toyota Tacoma are every 5000 miles or 6 months, with an oil change required every 10000 miles or 12 months — unless you put your truck under a lot of duress.
- Major inspections for the Tacoma are at 30000 miles or 3 years, and 60000 miles and 6 years (where you start checking the drive belt, too)
- The below maintenance schedule goes up to 30000 miles or 36 months (3 years). There are a few more infrequent items — see below.
- Follow the earlier of the time or distance based service intervals. E.g. the first service is due at the earlier of 6 months or 5000 miles.
- Some items only need to be done frequently if you drive your Tacoma in high-stress conditions, e.g. in lots of stop-start traffic, on dirt roads or dusty roads (i.e. off-roading), or below freezing temps. See the legend below.
Legend for when maintenance should be performed:
- ✓ = Perform the service
- D: Perform the service if driving a lot on dirt roads or dusty roads.
- T: Perform the service when doing a lot of towing, using a car-top carrier, or loading the vehicle heavily.
- F: Perform the service if regularly driving below freezing temperatures (32 degrees F / 0 degrees celsius)
- L: Perform the service if doing lots of low-speed driving or idling, e.g. heavy traffic time, or driving as a police, taxi, or delivery vehicle.
|mi x 1000||5||10||15||20||25||30|
|Replace engine oil|
Reset oil replacement reminder
|Replace oil filter||D,T,F,L||✓||D,T,F,L||✓||D,T,F,L||✓|
|Inspect ball joints / dust covers for looseness or damage. Replace if necessary.||D||D||✓||D||D||✓|
|Inspect drive shaft boots (4WD)||D||D||✓||D||D||✓|
|Inspect engine air filter||D||D||D||D||D||–|
|Replace engine air filter||–||–||–||–||–||✓|
|Inspect cabin air filter||–||✓||–||–||–||✓|
|Replace cabin air filter||–||–||–||✓||–||–|
|Inspect steering gear, linkage & boots||D||D||✓||D||D||✓|
|Lubricate propeller shaft||D,T||D,T||✓||D,T||D,T||✓|
|Re-torque propeller shaft bolt||D,T||D,T||✓||D,T||D,T||✓|
|Tighten nuts and bolts on chassis and body||D,T||D,T||D,T||D,T||D,T||D,T|
|Inspect drive belts for cracks, wear, or oiliness. Replace if necessary||–||–||–||–||–||✓|
|Inspect brake lines and hoses for chafing, cracks, or damage. Replace if necessary||–||–||✓||–||–||✓|
|Inspect engine coolant||–||–||✓||–||–||✓|
|V6 engine: Inspect engine oil cooler hoses & connections||–||–||✓||–||–||✓|
|Inspect exhaust pipes and mountings||–||–||✓||–||–||✓|
|Inspect front differential oil (4WD)||–||–||✓||–||–||✓|
|Replace front differential oil (4WD)||–||–||T||–||–||T|
|Inspect rear differential oil||–||–||✓||–||–||✓|
|Replace rear differential oil||–||–||T||–||–||T|
|Replace manual transmission fluid||–||–||–||–||–||T|
|Inspect automatic transmission fluid cooler hoses and connections||–||–||–||–||–||✓|
|Replace auto transmission fluid||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|Inspect transfer case oil||–||–||–||–||–||✓|
|Replace transfer case oil (4WD)||–||–||–||–||–||D,T|
|Inspect fuel lines and connections, tank band, and vapor vent hoses||–||–||–||–||–||✓|
|Inspect fuel tank cap gasket||–||–||–||–||–||✓|
|Inspect radiator and condenser||–||–||✓||–||–||✓|
|Inspect for leakage & fluid condition|
– Sealed transmissions
– Differential(s) and transfer case (4WD)
– Engine and inverter coolant
|Check wiper blades||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check installation of driver’s floor mat||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Check brake pads / discs||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
Other infrequent service items for the Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen (V6)
Below are some infrequent items you need to service on your Toyota Tacoma. Including these in the above table would make the table cumbersome to read.
|Replace spark plugs||60000 miles or 6 years|
|Inspect drive belts||1. First inspection at 60000 miles / 6 years.|
2. Subsequent inspections every 15000 miles / 1.5 years thereafter.
|Replace engine coolant||First at 100000 miles or 10 years, then every 50,000 miles / 5 years.|
|Replace vacuum pump for brake booster (if equipped)||120000 miles / 12 years|
About the Toyota Tacoma 3rd Gen
The Tacoma is a mid-size truck (the little sibling to the full-size pickup, the Toyota Tundra), popular with owners who crave hardy Toyota reliability and don’t necessarily need a full-size truck. It’s built for and sold in the US and other North, Central, and South American markets.
The Toyota Tacoma 2016 model — the 3rd gen — is a complete redesign of the all-roads petrol-powered Toyota truck, a worthy upgrade from the 2nd generation, which ran from model years 2005 through 2015.
The 3rd gen Tacoma creeps more towards being an off-road-only truck (that you can off course drive everywhere), rather than a do-it-all urban truck that might be used by your local electrician. In fact, the 3rd gen Tacomas all come with raised suspension and higher ground clearance — irrespective of whether you have the 4×4 or 4×2 model.
The 3rd gen Tacoma comes with a variety of options, but at the core of it, it’s the engine that differentiates the smaller and bigger model.
The base model Tacoma has a 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine, identical to the previous generation’s motor.
But the 3rd gen Toyota Tacoma comes with a new engine, a 3.5 litre V6 that’s more powerful than the outgoing model’s 4.0 litre V6, despite the drop in capacity.
You can get either engine spec in 4×2 or 4×4 configuration.
Both the lower-spec 2.7L L4 and 3.5L V6 models can come with six speed automatic transmission, and the 4×4 models come with manual gearbox as well — five speeds for the L4, and six speeds for the V6.
The V6 engine is a gem. It is a 24-valve DOHC V6 that uses Toyota’s D4S combination of direct and port fuel injection — just like in the Toyota GR 86, borrowed from the Subaru BRZ.
One thing that reminds you that the Tacoma is intended for getting off the beaten track is the “Crawl Control” system that helps you navigate rocky paths at low speeds. It is a kind of low-speed cruise control, keeping you plodding along, and obliging you to do nothing but to steer. Unfortunately ti’s only available on the automatic models.
Maintaining the Toyota Tacoma is much like maintaining any other Toyota gasoline-powered truck or SUV. Basic maintenance intervals are every 5000 miles or 6 months, at which point you have to do an oil change.
Major services for the Tacoma are every 30000 miles or 3 years, at which point you check everything and change a lot of fluids and consumable items. But if you use your Toyota Tacoma even somewhat aggressively — say, spend a lot of time on dirt roads, at the beach, or driving it in the snow — then the recommended maintenance for many drivetrain and underbody components (which are exposed to the elements) becomes more frequent.
References — Manuals and Service Information for the Toyota Tacoma
The above information all came from the owner’s manuals, warranty and service guides, and parts catalogues for the Toyota Tacoma.
See screenshots below for evidence, and compare it to the schedule above.
Like other Toyota vehicles, rather than provide an overarching schedule, the Toyota Tacoma warranty and maintenance guide has lists of items to check off. We adapted this to make the schedule above.
Toyota makes all this information online on their US Website.