My mother in law comments this morning that she needs to take her 2010 Rav4 4 cylinder in for an oil change, I say don't bother I'll take care of it. (I've done a hundred or so over the years on my Saab, Saturn, couple Hondas, other random cars). Grab 5 qts of Castrol syn-blend and a PureOne filter from Advance for $23 on special. Note that the filter is a cartridge type, no biggie or so I thought.
So I get the car up and find that the filter cartridge is accessed from the underside (doesn't this defeat the apparent purpose?) and has a separate drain plug built into the cap. So I remove that, a little oil drains out. I then realize that there is no obvious way to remove the complete cap to replace the filter. Hop on the internet and determine it requires a special tool.
After a couple fruitless stops at auto parts stores I find myself at the nearest Toyota dealer, buying a friggen $30 wrench attachment, my rear end was quite sore on the drive home. Get home and finish the change without a problem, except that when you do get the filter housing cap off, another load of oil dumps out all over the place, a complete mess.
Now, I have no problem with specialized tools for special jobs (I have a $25 wiper arm puller that I've used exactly 1 time, it was worth every penny) but this is absurd. I'm a mechanical engineer with two master's degrees and I cannot think of a single valid reason for this setup aside from creating a difficulty for the DIY mechanic, thus driving business to dealer service and parts departments.
Immediately prior to working on the Rav4 I did my umpteenth oil change on my 2003 Saab 9-5. Standard screw on filter located on the bottom of the engine, just forward of the sump. Comes off with ease, drains cleanly right into the oil pan. That's the way it should be done.
So to whatever fool(s) at Toyota thought up this thing, go to [censored]