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#1 Old 04-06-2011, 08:48 PM
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oil type?

Ok, new Toyota owner here and I need some help.

I know that my new 2011 Corolla 1.8L engine wants 0W-20 oil.
No problem there. What kind is in the crankcase from the factory?
Is it synthetic or conventional oil?

I casually asked my dealer who promptly said that it uses conventional oil.
Ok, but my car's warranty and maintenance guide that comes along with the owner's manual states that this 2ZR-FE engine is on a schedule to use synthetic oil. The other shocker is that they are calling for 10,000 mile oil changes! I can see 5000, but 10,000???

OK, I know you will brand me as insane, but while I'm going to do the 5,000 mile thing for oil change, this first time I'm going to change the oil at 1,000 miles. I've rebuilt too many engines in my life and I don't like going over 1,000 before the first oil change. If it's wasteful, that's ok. I'll sleep better.

The question is, how can I find out if the factory filled this puppy with synthetic or conventional oil so I can use the same kind when oil change time comes? I thought there was some Toyota toll-free line for owners, but I think it's only for disputes with dealers on warranty issues.

Does anyone know what kind of oil comes standard in these machines or where I can double-check my dealers "instant" answer that all of them come with conventional? Thanks in advance for any insights!

Brad
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#2 Old 04-06-2011, 08:57 PM
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They come with synthetic most of the time. Regardless of what is in there, synthetic will always be a better choice, so I would go with that.

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#3 Old 04-06-2011, 08:58 PM
uh..no, it's not a hybrid
 
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Its Toyota brand 5w20 conventional factory fill from the used oil analysis I have read from BITOG. Your plan to drain/fill with conventional at 1000miles is what many have done, not crazy...
5000 mile interval use conventional
10,000 mile oil use synthetic using OEM filter.

As a side note, the difference between 0w20/5w20 are so close you'd have to know what to look for on the spec sheets.


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Last edited by LeanBurn; 04-06-2011 at 09:00 PM.
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#4 Old 04-06-2011, 10:36 PM
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If the oil cap says only 0w20 on it. it has full synthetic in it. 0w20 to my knowledge is only made in full synthetic. I read in a manual that you can do a 5w20 oil change but the next oil change after that must be 0w20. I did my first oil change at 500 miles.

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#5 Old 04-06-2011, 11:37 PM
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factory fill is synthetic 0w20.

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#6 Old 04-06-2011, 11:49 PM
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On the 2011 it has synthetic 0W-20. My 09 came with 5W-20 but I did the same thing you are going to do & changed it at 1k miles & again at 5k miles & every 5k miles after that.

I did the same thing with my new 2010 Prius as it also comes with 0W-20 synthetic. I spoke to a Toyota master tech & even he agreed that it was better to change it at 1k miles to get any new engine break in particles out of the engine. My Prius comes with a free oil change at 10k & 20k but I'll continue to change the oil every 5k miles. It just makes better sense to me & costs me less than $25 with a Toyota filter & Mobil 1 0W-20.

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#7 Old 04-07-2011, 08:25 PM
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Thanks guys! I appreciate it very much.
I happened to be on the Toyota.com website and just happened to run across a section that talked about oil types on the 2011's.
The website said that all 2011 Corollas (and a whole bunch of other ones) all use ONLY 0W-20 synthetic at all times. I did notice as one of you stated that there could be a 5W-20 used for a short time but it is not the best idea. Thanks again for the help. I will know what to tell my service guy when I take it in. He wants to put conventional oil it her. Guess who is going to win that argument?

I usually do my own oil changes but the dealer will do the oil changes for free for 2 years, so I'll take advantage of that until they stop doing it. I will still change it at 1000 miles (currently at 490) and then at 5000 and then every 5000 after that. Many thanks!

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#8 Old 07-04-2011, 08:24 AM
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I hate to beat what is probably a dead horse but I haven't been able to get any sort of definitive answer on this. My wife has a 10' corolla which she has been servicing at the dealer on schedule, every 5k miles. The oil that the dealer uses is 5w20, the oil cap states 5w20 and 0w20. I plan on calling the dealership and asking them if they use synthetic or conventional, but I honestly don't trust their answer. I don't believe they have been rotating her tires (the fronts are significantly worn while the rears are fresh), and they all seem to be inflated to 34 where the manual states 30.

That said, I plan on doing her oil changes going forward, and to be honest 5k miles for oil/filter change on a synthetic seems quite drastic. I am a BMW guy and they've been suggesting 15k miles intervals on synthetic for many years. I always changed around 7.5 as my M3 sees track use. I guess the question in all of this is whether Toyota uses synthetic in these cars, and the other question why would it have the same oil change intervals for both synthetic and regular oil? It almost seems that if one is going with synthetic that the 5k interval suggested in the manual can be safely increased.

Last edited by ChosenGSR; 07-04-2011 at 08:25 AM.
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#9 Old 07-04-2011, 09:37 AM
uh..no, it's not a hybrid
 
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5w20 and 0w20 are an interesting breed of oil. Since the oil is thinner than a typical 0w30/5w30 it has to be very sheer stable to remain in 20wt range. So its additive packs have to be very robust. 5w20 and 0w20 have very close specifications and the make-up is such that it really is a semi synthetic already and the difference between the "conventional" and "synthetic" versions in this weight (0w20/5w20) are really quite difficult to distinguish, even after oil analysis.

Compounding this would be different countries use different oil manufacturers which can blur the lines even more and climates can influence this even further. Additionally, different dealerships have their own suggestions for oil type and intervals, as well some that utilize quick-lube type shops might have their own ideas as well. Some oil might not even be available or difficult to obtain in certain areas like the middle east and Australia .

Considering all these variables Toyota chooses a very conservative interval. Before you extend the oil change interval, do some reading on BITOG and see if you can get oil analysis from others who have similar cars, and then adapt that for your own use.


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TRD Springs/Sway/Xrs FSB by Yamaha
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Maximum: 5.082L/100km(46.287mpgUS)

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#10 Old 07-04-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaViper View Post
If the oil cap says only 0w20 on it. it has full synthetic in it. 0w20 to my knowledge is only made in full synthetic. I read in a manual that you can do a 5w20 oil change but the next oil change after that must be 0w20. I did my first oil change at 500 miles.
That is correct. 0W20 is synthetic. You cannot get conventional oil in 0W20. 2011 Corolla's came with 0W20 factory fill and with that change they extended the oil change interval.
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#11 Old 07-04-2011, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by HarleyCVO View Post
That is correct. 0W20 is synthetic. You cannot get conventional oil in 0W20. 2011 Corolla's came with 0W20 factory fill and with that change they extended the oil change interval.
So if I switch my 10' (same engine my understanding) to synthetic I should be able to do a 10k oil/filter change interval as well then?

Last edited by ChosenGSR; 07-04-2011 at 12:48 PM.
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#12 Old 07-04-2011, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChosenGSR View Post
So if I switch my 10' (same engine my understanding) to synthetic I should be able to do a 10k oil/filter change interval as well then?
to my understanding that should be true but toyota says 10k intervals with ONLY 0w20. they still want everyone to change every 5k with 5w-20 even if its synthetic.

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#13 Old 07-04-2011, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by flamedrgn View Post
to my understanding that should be true but toyota says 10k intervals with ONLY 0w20. they still want everyone to change every 5k with 5w-20 even if its synthetic.
That honestly doesn't make any sense. Again I'm new to toyota, but I've used different weight oils in my BMWs that see a good amount of track time without any issues at all. I also know that based on oil analysis any synthetic oil these days can easily take 15k miles with very little degradation. In fact it's the oil filter that goes well before the oil itself. Good to know on the 10k change interval with the synthetic.
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#14 Old 07-04-2011, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChosenGSR View Post
So if I switch my 10' (same engine my understanding) to synthetic I should be able to do a 10k oil/filter change interval as well then?
Well yes and no. You can go 10K with synthetic but Toyota could void your warranty because you didn't go by their 2010 scheduled maintenance. Unless Toyota issues a written ammendment, I won't chance it.
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#15 Old 07-05-2011, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChosenGSR View Post
That honestly doesn't make any sense. Again I'm new to toyota, but I've used different weight oils in my BMWs that see a good amount of track time without any issues at all. I also know that based on oil analysis any synthetic oil these days can easily take 15k miles with very little degradation. In fact it's the oil filter that goes well before the oil itself. Good to know on the 10k change interval with the synthetic.
You can do what ever you want, it's your car but Toyota says 5k mile changes on the 09/10 Corolla. I wouldn't be too concerned with synthetic oil going 10k miles but I would still want to change the oil filter every 5k miles. The job of oil is more than just to lubricate the engine, it's also to carry contaminants & for the price of an oil change with Mobil 1 & a Toyota filter being less than $25 I would rather be safe than sorry. Your choice though.......

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