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5th & 6th Generation (2002-2006 & 2007-2011) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 2002-2006 & 2007-2011 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 02-15-2011, 01:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Oil change frequency for 2002 Camry

According to the manual, it says every 5000 miles change the oil. However, since I bought the car in 2001, the dealer always put the sticker for every 3000 miles. So, I have been changing oil every 3000-3250 range. It is a 4 cyl.

Now my car has about 105K miles. The dealer says change the oil every 5000 miles now.

I thought it is better to change the oil at a low interval as 3000 miles as the car is getting older.

What is the deal here?
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Old 02-15-2011, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your dealer's trying to sell you a new car?

I agree that older cars should get oil changes sooner. Yeah, I'd stick with the old schedule. Keep an eye on the head bolt problem and coolant seepage at the firewall side of the engine.

Have you changed the ATF? I'd also siphon out the PS fluid in the reservoir and add new ATF back in every oil change for a few times at least. And how's the water pump? Check around the weep hole.


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Originally Posted by satyrias View Post
According to the manual, it says every 5000 miles change the oil. However, since I bought the car in 2001, the dealer always put the sticker for every 3000 miles. So, I have been changing oil every 3000-3250 range. It is a 4 cyl.

Now my car has about 105K miles. The dealer says change the oil every 5000 miles now.

I thought it is better to change the oil at a low interval as 3000 miles as the car is getting older.

What is the deal here?
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would do oil change every 3000 miles.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGD View Post
Your dealer's trying to sell you a new car?

I agree that older cars should get oil changes sooner. Yeah, I'd stick with the old schedule. Keep an eye on the head bolt problem and coolant seepage at the firewall side of the engine.

Have you changed the ATF? I'd also siphon out the PS fluid in the reservoir and add new ATF back in every oil change for a few times at least. And how's the water pump? Check around the weep hole.
That is what I thought. They maybe trying to mislead me so that the engine can spoil faster.

At every 30K service, the ATF has been changed. The PS has not changed at all so far.

Is it easy to refill PS myself?

Water pump is fine so far.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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5k intervals isn't going to hurt anything.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's time to add a cup of ATF to the engine oil to desludge it.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's time to add a cup of ATF to the engine oil to desludge it.
ATF into Engine oil?

How does that work?
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Follow the recommended factory maintenance schedule. Remove the PS fluid from the reservoir with a cooking baster, etc. Refill with ATF Dexron II or III. Do that several times and have most of the old PS fluid replaced with new.Never heard of adding ATF fluid to the crankcase oil. Do so at your own risk but one cup probably won't do any damage. Regards.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Donald E. George View Post
Refill with ATF Dexron II or III. .
What is the difference between Dexron II and III?
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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5k interval with synthetic? NO PROBLEM!
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satyrias View Post
ATF into Engine oil?

How does that work?
ATF is extremely detergent--much more detergent than motor oil. Crud builds up inside the engine, especially when folks don't change it often. By adding some ATF you are increasing the detergent and the crud will slowly dissolve away into solution and be captured by the filter. You change the filter more often.

Several years ago a friend acquired a car with a badly sludged engine. In this case it was going to be way too much trouble and too costly to actually disassemble the thing, so it got 3 quarts of oil and 1 quart of ATF. At 300 miles I replaced the filter, cut the old one open and showed him the crud that had collected. Changed it every 300 miles until the engine was cleaned out--and maintained the 3:1 ratio between oil and ATF. In about 4k miles it was as clean as it was going to get which was pretty clean. With a low mileage engine you might not need to do this, with an mid range it can help to dump some ATF in a few miles before changing oil. High mileage engines frequently are gooped up to the point that it can take a lot of work to get them clean.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satyrias View Post
What is the difference between Dexron II and III?
I don't know what the difference is between Dexron II and III. Probably a different formulation to meet the needs of a specific AT. I have often wondered why Toyota didn't spec Type IV ATF for my power steering since that is what they call for in the AT. Regards
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdanaher View Post
It's time to add a cup of ATF to the engine oil to desludge it.
Not on any car of mine! It may clean the sludge but a lot of it is going to wind up clogging the oil pump strainer. I saw this happen on my ex girlfriends 2001 V6 Sienna. Just because she was extremely lazy about oil changes. Adding ATF in the oil will cause the same result only faster.

I'd do 3 oil changes 100 miles apart (change the filter or leave it on til your final oil change of the 3, probably doesnt matter if the engine is healthy). After the third one, do #4 oil change and call it good. change the filter and resume normal interval.
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:39 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Technically, Toyotas weren't "officially" changed to 5k intervals until 2004. With synthetic, you could wait 5k, but I wouldn't on an older car with more than 100k. On another note, my 11 Camry is spec'd for 10k oil changes, but they're going to get done every 6 months (I drive 3-4000 miles every 6 months) regardless.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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If you plan to keep the car for a longer time then the transmission filter should be changed and the pan and magnets wiped clean.

PS fluid - just siphon out what's in the reservoir (~12 oz) and add new ATF back in. Repeat 3 times over, say, a month or two. This helps to remove the abrasive particles in the fluid and can help extend the life of the seals in the system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by satyrias View Post
That is what I thought. They maybe trying to mislead me so that the engine can spoil faster.

At every 30K service, the ATF has been changed. The PS has not changed at all so far.

Is it easy to refill PS myself?

Water pump is fine so far.
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