A new Toyota Truck owner recently asked what he should check or what maintenance should be done when he first got the vehicle. I thought the response would complement this thread since the maintenance items are also good checks for those of us who have owned our trucks for years. Obviously there's a lot of overlap with the first post, but this one has more detail on specific maintenance tips:
First thing, check the coolant
. If it is not Toyota Red or if the previous owner said it has not been changed in the last year and a half, or if it shows signs of being dirty or rusty, you should FULLY flush every bit of the coolant (including out of the heater core and the plastic overflow tank) and replace w/Toyota Red & distilled water 50/50. In fact the last flush should be of distilled water since a good bit remains in the heater core. Replace the thermostat
with one from the dealer. The 3vze stat is a 180 deg, and the 22re stat is 190 degrees. But many 22re folks use a 180 deg stat to fight pinging - that's the t-stat for an 85-88 22RTEC, part # 90916-03083. Be sure to replace the o-ring. On a 3vze, make sure the thermostat's jiggle valve is positioned at the top (12 o'clock). This post has a lot of info on coolant types, system capacities, and tips on changing your antifreeze: Rusty Coolant
I always do all the regular maintenance work whenever I buy a used vehicle. Change oil.
I recommend the Purolator PureONE PL20195
which has the highest filtering efficiency of any filter I know of and which has excellent flow. I've found it does keep the oil cleaner for longer than the Toyota filters. Advance Auto Parts sells it. The PL20195 is taller than the stubby stock filter but it fits the 22RE easily & most
3VZEs. On the V6 it's a tight fit, coming very close to an engine mount. It clears on most engines by about 1/8 to 1/4", but on some, it has less than 1/8" clearance and on those I don't recommend using it. Use the Toyota 90915-YZZD3
instead, rather than the very small 90915-YZZD1 which the dealer will try to give you. The D3 is same width as the D1, but is slightly taller and has 27% more filter media area, giving better flow and longer service life.
In the summer if using conventional mineral (petroleum) oil, I recommend running 10W-30, 10W-40 or 15W-40. With very high mileage motors, 15W-50 or 20W-50 can be used, but that's at the extreme heavy end of what can be used. The right-hand number is the viscosity
(thickness, or resistance to flow) at 212 deg F (100C) which is about operating temp, and your choice should be based mainly on how loose the bearings are, the signs of which are high motor mileage and low oil pressure. Looser bearings call for heavier weight oil. Other issues that probably call for heavier oil include excess engine noise, excess oil consumption, or possibly leaks. (With leaks, also consider using a good high-mileage oil that contains more seal-swelling esters, like Valvoline's excellent MaxLife. I used it last year and it cut a front main seal leak down to almost nothing.) In a low mileage motor with tight bearings, 10W-30 is good, but higher mileage trucks benefit from heavier weight oil like 10W-40 or better yet a 15W-40. Basically, lighter oil flows better which is good for bearings, for cooling, and for gas mileage, but heavier oil can provide more protection for sliding parts like cam lobes and rings/cylinder liners. If too thin, oil won't protect bearings & sliding parts, leading to excessive wear. If too thick, it won't flow into and through bearings, leading to oil starvation, overheating & bearing damage.
Another factor is that heavier weight oils tend to have more of the zinc additive zddp
, which provides a lot more protection to sliding parts; but because the gov't claims it also damages catalytic converters, newer oil classifications contain less of the additive. Diesel oils like Shell Rotella T or Mobil 1 TDT (Turbo Diesel Truck) have more zddp and are fine to run in our motors. (I used the high-zddp Syntec 20W-50 for many years and I'm still passing emissions with the original cat, so zddp can't possibly be as bad as they say. BTW I now know 20W-50 is too thick for most engines.) Some oils now contain molybdenum, which makes up for some of the loss of the zinc.
Because the thermostat will keep the motor near operating temp whether in summer or winter, the op temp viscosity (right-hand number) should be the same weight regardless of season. However, the left
-hand number of an oil's rating is the weight at 0 deg F (-18C), and it's very important to use an oil with a low enough weight so it will flow well at the lowest temp it will see. Mineral (petroleum) oils thicken up A LOT at low temps due to the paraffins they contain, and you will ruin your motor by failing to use a low enough W rating for conditions. As a rough guide, I wouldn't use a 20W-something below freezing, nor a 15W- below about 20F, nor 10W- below say about 5-10 deg F. 5W- can be used down to about -10 deg F. Below -10 F, a 0W- would be best.
To sum up, choose the left number based on coldest temp expected, and the right number based on bearing looseness. So if you run 10W-40 or 15W-40 in summer, and live in an area with freezing temps in winter, choose a 5W-40 or 0W-40 in the winter. Likewise if you run 10W-30 summer, use 5W-30 or 0W-30 in freezing temps, or if you run 15W-50 or 20W-50 in summer, a 5W-50 might work for the winter, or a 0W-40 in very cold temps. Red Line 0W-40 is almost a 50 weight at operating temp and yet it flows down to VERY low temps.
The other major choice is mineral vs. synthetic oil
. The biggest benefit of synthetic oils is their consistency in viscosity: they do not thicken up anywhere near as much as mineral oils in very cold temps, nor thin out as much when hot. Synthetic oils maintain about the same viscosity across a very large temp range, down to very cold temps. This means that synthetics should be used in areas with winters that go below say about 10 deg F as they will actually flow at startup, where the mineral oils may not.
Also, in order to make a mineral oil multi-weight, polymer molecules are added, which thicken the oil as it gets hot. A 10W-30 oil is a 10 weight oil with viscosity index improvers (VII) added. A 5W-30 is a 5 weight oil with more
VIIs added. As the VIIs wear out, the oil reverts to its true weight, the lower number. So the other big advantage of synthetic oils is that because they have little or no VIIs, they will not shear, or lose much of their viscosity, over time and miles. This also means the synthetic oils can go longer between oil changes, which can offset some of their increased cost: just balance the price difference against the frequency of purchase. Convenience factors in too.
Don't use conventional 5W-30 in ANY engine
A mineral 5W-30 oil has about the most VIIs, and therefore vulnerability to viscosity breakdown, of any oil - almost all of them shear to too-thin 5W-20 weight within 2 or 3 thousand miles
, so if using 5W-30, choose a synthetic like the excellent Pennzoil Platinum. 10W-40 oils also contain a lot of VIIs, so a 15W-40 may be a better choice for a summer oil (or a synthetic 5W-40 or 10W-40).
If using a good synthetic, there's no harm in using something like a 5W-40 year round. The full syn (group III+) Rotella T6 5W-40 may be the ideal oil for most of our trucks, except the low-mile ones. Flows real well at startup yet has great viscosity for middle-aged to higher mile motors, and has plenty of excellent anti-wear additives. I'm using it year-round now and it seems to be working great. Cheapest at wally world.
There are different types of synthetic oil. Group III oils like Pennzoil Platinum, Valvoline SynPower & Castrol Syntec are not considered "true" synthetic because they are derived from petroleum base stocks, but they offer most of the benefits of the "true" synthetics at a lower price. Group IV (PAO basestock) like Amsoil and Group V (ester basestock) like Red Line are the true synthetics.
The possible down-side to using true synthetic (group IV & V) oil is the chance it will cause leaks. This is due to two possible causes. PAOs are known for drying and shrinking plastic seals. Also, all true synthetic oils are excellent at removing sludge, especially the Group Vs, and on older motors that sludge may be plugging gaps that otherwise would be leaking oil. Most current true syns like Amsoil blend in more group V esters, which cause seals to swell, counteracting the drying effect of the PAOs, so the only way they would cause leaks is by washing away sludge. The higher the mileage and the more sludge there is, the higher the chance that switching to true synthetic would cause leaks.
A plus of the Group IIIs is that they won't cause leaks, so they are safe in higher mileage motors. I think Group IIIs are the bargains of the motor oil market. The guys over on the bobistheoilguy forum have a lot of good things to say about Group III Pennzoil Platinum.
BTW, Mobil now uses cheap group IIIs in Mobil 1 instead of the excellent PAOs they used to use. Many of the Mobil 1 oils now shear almost as badly as mineral oils - worse than the other group IIIs. Castrol Edge is also mostly group III and is very thin for its grade, and I think the oil is overpriced. I'd avoid that one, too.
Royal Purple is often trashed as a poor-quality product by many of the guys on bitog (mainly due to excessive shearing).
For extreme cold, use a 0W-30 or 0W-40. Syntec 0W-30 is actually all PAO (google "german castrol") with near-10W-40 viscosity at 212 F. Red Line makes excellent 0 weight oils. A new winter oil that looks very promising is Rotella T5 0W-30 or 0W-40 - it's either a blend with mostly synthetic (probably Shell's excellent XHVI Grp III+ base oil) or, possibly, full synthetic. Its performance specs are outstanding. Plus being a diesel oil it has excellent additives. And it will likely be inexpensive. Look for it at walmart or advance auto. You lucky Canadians can get ESSO XD3 0W-30 or 0W-40, both excellent winter oils. Petro Canada's Supreme Synthetic 0W-30 is an excellent oil too, if you are running 30 weight in your motor.
BTW, so-called synthetic "blends" usually do NOT contain 50% synthetic as some seem to assume. From all the data I can gather, those blends almost never contain more than 30% synthetic, and often the "synthetic" is a group III. I wouldn't pay near as much for those as you would for a full synthetic. Having said that, some of the synthetic blends perform significantly better than average conventional oils. Valvoline's Durablend and MaxLife are excellent, as is Motorcraft Synthetic Blend if you can find it. Shell Rotella T5 0W-30
are exceptional; they are probably most or all Group III+ synthetic. The T5 10W- weights
look to be typical 30% or less syn blends.
Good quality conventional oils like Castrol GTX, Pennzoil yellow bottle, Valvoline, Halvoline, Chevron or Shell should be changed every 3-4k miles. An exception is conventional 5W-30 which must be changed at 2k miles because virtually all of them shear to 5W-20 in 2-3k miles. Excellent quality synthetic blends like Valvoline's Durablend or MaxLife can make 4-5k miles. Group III synthetics like Pennzoil Platinum, Valvoline Synpower, Castrol Syntec or Shell Rotella T6 can make it 5-6k miles. True synthetics like Group IV PAO-based Amsoil can make it probably 8-10k miles, but used oil should be sent for analysis
to verify that it is holding up.
Check the plugs, cap, rotor & plug wires. For ignition parts
, use all Denso
- nothing else works as well (except for the Yazaki wires from the dealer, which I prefer - pricey, tho). The factory spec Denso plugs are the very best performing plug. W16EXRU for the 22RE, K16RU for the 3VZE. Autozone used to carry them, but I no longer see them on their website. rockauto.com and sparkplugs.com sell em cheap. You could also get them from Toyota - they're Densos. The Yazaki cable set from the dealer fits perfect, the wires are all numbered, making installation easy, and they come with all the stock high-quality keepers. Check out one of the dealers that sell at a discount in post 30 of this thread
- in most online dealer catalogs, you need to search for 'cable set'. The aftermarket Denso sets don't include the keepers but wire quality is very good - it's probably the best lower cost alternative to the dealer set. You can get the Denso part # from sparkplugs and search for "denso" and the part # on amazon - they've had the best prices lately.
While you have the distributor cap and rotor off, try to wiggle the shaft (what the rotor presses onto) back and forth: there should be virtually no play. If it moves side-to-side noticeably, the bearings are worn and you should replace with a remanned Denso or new high-quality aftermarket (which won't last as well as the Denso). New Denso distribs are outrageously expensive.
Take a good look at the old plugs - if they show signs of running rich (flat black deposits instead of tan or light gray), the O2 sensor
may be worn out. Always replace with the direct-fit Denso. sparkplugs.com has good prices, or, again, get the Denso part # & search Amazon. Normally, the O2 sensor should be changed every 90k miles or so, unless it has been gunked up by something evil. If you want to try to check the operation of the sensor, check the fsm in the ENGINE - MFI SYSTEM - OXYGEN SENSOR section. It's not the resistance measurement (that only checks that the heater isn't burned out - but you'd get a CEL if it was), but the switching test. That's counting voltage changes off two terminals in the check connector while a jumper is set. If an oxygen sensor gets fouled with carbon, the switching rate slows down (called a "lazy" sensor) and must be replaced.
If some plugs are showing rich or normal, and others show lean (white deposits with worn, rounded electrodes), then almost certainly the lean cyls have clogged injectors. Try running a bottle of Red Line SI-1 Complete Fuel System Cleaner through a tank of gas. That has the most polyether amine of any injector cleaner. At present, the only other product that has PEA is CRC's "Guaranteed to Pass Emissions Test Formula". Chevron Techron, Gumout Regane and BG-12 no longer contain PEA, which is the only truly effective injector cleaning chemical on the consumer market. If injectors are real bad or the injector cleaner doesn't do the trick, send the injectors to witchhunter.com - they do a fantastic job cleaning them, will flow-test them and offer alternatives if they don't balance, and will supply new O-rings all for a very reasonable price. Turnaround is real quick too.
Check the ignition timing
. With motor at operating temp, set idle to spec (750 rpm for 22re, 800 rpm for 3vze), then place a jumper between TE1 and E1 in the gray diagnostic check connector attached to the fuse/relay block on passenger inner fender. A metal paperclip works well for that. Listen for a drop in idle speed. If no drop, compare the idle timing before and after you set the jumper. It should decrease when jumper is set. If it doesn't, the tps probably isn't sending the idle signal to the ecu. Check that terminals IDL and E2 (the bottom two on most 22re & 3vze throttle bodies) have continuity when throttle is closed (idle position). If not, try adjusting the position of the tps by following instructions in the factory service manual or this page
from 4crawler. If you cannot get the terminals to make contact you will need a new tps - otherwise you will have rough idle, poor gas mileage, and will never pass the idle portion of an emissions test.
Assuming the idle drops when you set the jumper, set base timing to 5 deg btdc on the 22re, 10-12 deg btdc on the 3vze. Spec for the 3vze is 10 deg which works best for emissions, but many of us have better luck running 12 deg base advance. It runs fine with 87 octane (the octane your motor was designed to use) and the additional advance gives a bit better power and snappier throttle response. Some folks run as much as 14 deg base advance on the 3vze, but I would burn 89 octane at that setting. Just remember to lower it to 10 before an emissions test.
After setting timing, go ahead and adjust the idle speed to where the motor is most comfortable: sometimes it runs more smoothly at a bit higher speed. Just don't exceed 950 rpm or you may introduce idle surging, especially on the 22re. The idle spec on 4wd 22re vehicles with automatic transmissions is 850 rpm (but use 750 when setting timing).
Make sure EGR
is working - EGR keeps combustion temps down, helping prevent Nox formation (the worst part of smog), but also helping to prevent pinging, burnt valves & blown head gaskets. That's especially important in the 3VZE, but also on the 22RE. EGR doesn't operate at or near full throttle, so it has NO effect on power. And at cruise it actually improves gas mileage by a small amount, so there is every reason to keep it working right and absolutely no intelligent reason to disconnect it. To verify its operation, check that the iron EGR tube is hot where it goes into plenum when motor is at operating temp and is at ~2500 rpm. If not hot, pull the vacuum tube off the EGR valve (still at 2500 rpm) and check tube for vacuum with finger. If there is vacuum, probably clogged EGR tubes or valve. If no vacuum, could be bad EGR VSV, bad or clogged modulator (try blowing filter out with compressed air per fsm), or maybe the vacuum tubes got misrouted at some point. See these two great articles from Motor Magazine for troubleshooting help:
And/or this post: http://www.yotatech.com/51539693-post60.html
The toyota air filter
is better than any of the aftermarkets.
all segments of the air hose
that goes from the air filter/VAFM to the throttle body. Make sure there are no cracks or air leaks, as these will cause serious mixture control problems for the computer. Our trucks are at the age where many of these hoses have cracked.
should be changed every 100k miles or so. Again, the factory filters have an edge in quality. 1sttoyotaparts.com sells them for about $26, a great deal. Slightly cheaper alternative is the NAPA Gold filter - but must be changed more frequently. It's much easier to get the filter with the bracket attached.
NOTE: this post became too long for this whiny forum software so it is continued in post 41: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/sh...60#post3281860
In the initial post I recommended Armor All to protect the dash. However the same post over on Yotatech elicited this response:
DO NOT use ANY Armor All product on your truck. They've been known to ruin plastics. There are better products on the market like Aerospace protectant or Vinylex. I use Vinylex, its good stuff.
Sounds like the voice of experience and some good info.