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Personally I think the 0w-20 oil is too thin to provide the protection necessary for long term engine reliability, especially if you change it at 10k intervals.

Before I bought my new 2012 I actually bought (for one day) a 2010 that had about 36K on it and was immaculate. Took it home and the next morning when I started it up it sounded like a bucket of bolts - it had a very loud and definitive rattly knocking sound, like worn rod bearings or lifters, for a few sec until the oil pressure came up (it was a cold Jan morning). I didn't like the sound of that on a car with only 36K so I returned it. Service had been regular and on schedule - per their records. At that point I decided I wanted a new one, so I bought the 2012.

I just had my first oil change (at 4K) and asked the service tech about it. She said not to worry - they use Mobil 1 full synth, etc. Still, 0w-20 just seems to thin to me and I would prefer to run 5w-30, at least in the summer months. Yes I know what the manual says and I know Toyota recommends the lighter grade, but they don't necessarily have a vested interest in my engine lasting 200k like I do.
 

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It is not your oil, even if you are using 0W20. The hope would be that it is a faulty pressure switch, or as you suggest the control system faulty and is looking for pressure when the ICE is not running.
 

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Personally I think the 0w-20 oil is too thin to provide the protection necessary for long term engine reliability, especially if you change it at 10k intervals.

Before I bought my new 2012 I actually bought (for one day) a 2010 that had about 36K on it and was immaculate. Took it home and the next morning when I started it up it sounded like a bucket of bolts - it had a very loud and definitive rattly knocking sound, like worn rod bearings or lifters, for a few sec until the oil pressure came up (it was a cold Jan morning). I didn't like the sound of that on a car with only 36K so I returned it. Service had been regular and on schedule - per their records. At that point I decided I wanted a new one, so I bought the 2012.

I just had my first oil change (at 4K) and asked the service tech about it. She said not to worry - they use Mobil 1 full synth, etc. Still, 0w-20 just seems to thin to me and I would prefer to run 5w-30, at least in the summer months. Yes I know what the manual says and I know Toyota recommends the lighter grade, but they don't necessarily have a vested interest in my engine lasting 200k like I do.
The symptoms you describe are ones a too-high a viscosity oil will produce. When the dealer used his bulk 5W30 (per service invoice) on the 'free' first oil change, my '08 acted up with definite roughness on start/restart, and that's with relatively mild FL temps. The TCH engine control strategy requires very quick oil pressure rise - and higher viscosity oil will prevent that, especially when cold.
 

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can someone explain to me how 0w-20 is different than 5w-20 at operating temperatures?
http://www.upmpg.com/tech_articles/motoroil_viscosity/

As of the rattle.... At start up..

It is surprisingly common issue.
In several years here and there, I have noticed quite a few of those posts. Cold start up rattle. Even experienced it once or twice.
Normally, what it is, is lack of oil pressure at the very start up. Either oil bled back into crankcase overnight, and lifters do not compensate right away as a result, or lifters are sort of sticky, and takes time to build up pressure and close gaps on lifters.
Personally, I found that cars, prone to cold rocker/lifter noise, do MUCH BETTER with thicker oil, like 10W30.
We have living example in the family. Son owns Infinity G35. It scared the crap out of them - twice - with a terrible cold start up rattle. After 2nd time it happened, I told him to run Seafoam through crankcase and switch to heavier oil.
That was it. Fixed for several months by now.
 

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can someone explain to me how 0w-20 is different than 5w-20 at operating temperatures?
My understanding is that 0W20 oil is guaranteed to be synthetic whereas 5W20 may be either synthetic or dino oil. So I suppose the question becomes: What is the difference between synthetic oil and dino oil at operating temperatures.
 

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My understanding is that 0W20 oil is guaranteed to be synthetic whereas 5W20 may be either synthetic or dino oil. So I suppose the question becomes: What is the difference between synthetic oil and dino oil at operating temperatures.
Guaranteed means no ability to create a 0w dino now. That can change any day, technology is advancing rapidly. They may not bother with a 0w dino. would appear synthetics will take over in a few years. Auto manufacturers are switching over with new designs. As more synthetics are sold, the volume will drive synthetic prices down. Another reason synthetics will be cheaper is the fact that most "full synthetic" oil sold today is really "hydrocracked" (synthesized) dino. not PAO, created in a lab like the 70's and 80's. was too expensive to produce. In parts of Europe you cannot label hydrocracked dino as a full synthetic. Only here. But thats ok, in many ways its a batter oil than PAO. Like seal compatibility, and detergency for 2 examples. Synthetics are all i will use now. Change the oil when i get around to it, somewhere around 10k. Always a clean quiet engine. Changing oil less often saves money in the long run. Need to use expensive high efficiency extended interval filters though.

At operating temperatures the main differences are volatility and stability over longer intervals. Synthetics can handle the extremes better.
 

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The startup rattles people complain about here are related to Toyota's VVT-i system. The VVT-i system requires fast oil flow through small tiny veins independent from the rest of the engine. Thick oil is a problem, not a solution for a VVT-i startup rattle.

Ford has been using 5w20 for over a decade on all makes and models with engines that run hard all day and night including police interceptors, taxi cabs, and Lincoln town car limos. Thats long enough to flood the internet with complaints if there were an issue.

A heavier weight oil still has purpose in an older engine that has high mileage, worn down, burns some oil. Putting thick oil in a brand new modern engine for "extra protection" is perpetuating Myth. Years behind current oil knowledge and oil technology. Thin oil has equal to or better film strength with a higher viscosity index than thick oil thanks to modern additives. To a modern engine, thick oil is like running in a swimming pool. Its hard work. More friction. More heat.

Some think because thick oil "sounds" quieter its protecting better. Myth. A thicker oil insulates better and sounds good to the ears, but thick oil = less flow = less oil = less film = more friction = more wear. Thats always been true.

Years ago thicker oil was needed to compensate for the tolerances of poorly built engines. Years ago a thicker oil was needed to gain additional film between moving parts. Years ago smoking was good for you. not true anymore. Engines are better built, oil is better refined.
 

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What is the difference between synthetic oil and dino oil at operating temperatures.
If it is the same viscosity (like a 20) then it is the same at operating temperature. Same as 0W20 and 5W20. They are the same viscosity at operating temperature.

Both are too thick during warm up, but the 0W is closer to being the right viscosity during warm up. The 0W will get up to the valve train faster during warm up, and is the reason it is preferred. The perfect oil would have the same viscosity at -40 deg as at operating temperature, but that oil does not exist!

Virtually all "synthetic" oil is dino oil. It is just processed more to meet synthetic specifications.
 

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Page 475 of the XLE-TCH manual talks about which oil to use. Toyota seems rather strict to stay with the 0W-20 synthetic oil.

This below is from the owners manual:

SAW 0W-20 is the best choice for good fuel economy and good starting in cold weather.

If SAW 0W-20 is not available, SAW 5W-20 oil may be used.
However, it must be replaced with SAE 0W-20 at the next oil change.


My thoughts are the engine is designed to use the 0W-20 full synthetic oil. The thin oil takes less energy for the oil pump to pump it up into the engine. It's important the valve train gets oil as quick as possible at the first engine start-up for the day. The oil pump is 3-speed and may not pump as correctly if 0W-20 oil is not used.

I have read in the past that the 0W oil has a higher film strength than the 5W oil. I'm not sure if the 5W they were comparing too was synthetic or more likely dino oil.

Mobil says using their 0W-20 advanced fuel economy oil you may achieve 2% better gas mileage.

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Oils/Mobil_1_Advanced_Fuel_Economy.aspx#

I have driven the '07 TCH using this same viscosity oil in 107 degrees in the desert and down to zero during the coldest winter. I have only owned the '12 TCH for a year now and have not seen weather like when I drove the '07.

Sands
 

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People think the government is pushing thin oil to save the planet from green house gasses at the expense of engine lubrication. Myth, especially on a hybrid. Reading about the newer "Full Hybrids", better battery technology allows the car to operate solely on electric power under more conditions, stopping and starting the engine more often.

From a 2012 Camry Hybrid manual:

  1. Starting: During light acceleration at low speeds, the vehicle is powered by the electric motor. The gasoline engine is shut off.
  2. Normal Driving: During normal driving, the vehicle is powered mainly by the gasoline engine. The gasoline engine also powers the generator to recharge the battery pack.
  3. Acceleration: During full acceleration, such as climbing a hill, both the gasoline engine and the electric motor power the vehicle.
  4. Deceleration: During deceleration, such as when braking, the vehicle regenerates the kinetic energy from the wheels to produce electricity that recharges the battery pack.
  5. Stopping: While the vehicle is stopped, the gasoline engine and electric motor are off, however the vehicle remains on and operational.
Using the modes above, an example of why a thin oil like 0w20 is so important to a full hybrid:

Regular regular gas powered car - Start the engine, drive towards the highway. During that time the engine has a chance to warm up thinning the oil. Good flow, good lubrication by the time you accelerate to highway speed.

Full Hybrid - You go all the way to the highway on electric power. When you hit the accelerator to gain highway speed, the engine starts for the first time. The engine is cold, oil is thick and barely flowing as you accelerate.

90% of engine wear occurs on startup. A Hybrid can start 10X more than a regular gas engine under the same conditions. The example above describes conditions where the hybrid engine will go from a cold start to full acceleration immediately. A slower flowing thicker oil could leave the engine without proper lubrication for a few second under full acceleration. The cumulative effect of that over thousands of miles would be a worn out engine. So the case of a full hybrid, the 0w20 mandate is more than CAFE, its longevity.
 

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I have no idea why one would use 5w-20 if 0w-20 is available? My dealer (luckily I don't go there anymore) thought 5w-20 was the choice to go with. When I asked him I want 0w-20 he had to make a few phone calls first to make sure they use 0w-20 not 5w-20!!!And it is from Toyota dealer!!
 

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I have no idea why one would use 5w-20 if 0w-20 is available? My dealer (luckily I don't go there anymore) thought 5w-20 was the choice to go with. When I asked him I want 0w-20 he had to make a few phone calls first to make sure they use 0w-20 not 5w-20!!!And it is from Toyota dealer!!
The dealer goes by the manual. 0w has only been around for a short time, prior to that it was 5w. So depending on the year, they could recommend 5w20 over 0w20. However...now that 0w is out, there is a back spec chart for Toyota engines as far back as 00..

 

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The dealer goes by the manual. 0w has only been around for a short time, prior to that it was 5w. So depending on the year, they could recommend 5w20 over 0w20. However...now that 0w is out, there is a back spec chart for Toyota engines as far back as 00..


I am talking about this car - so they don't really care to look at manual sometimes.

This below is from the owners manual:

SAW 0W-20 is the best choice for good fuel economy and good starting in cold weather.

If SAW 0W-20 is not available, SAW 5W-20 oil may be used.
However, it must be replaced with SAE 0W-20 at the next oil change.
 

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Why they say its ok to use 5w20 for a short period, then go back... Temps below 32F is when you experience the benefits of 0w. Above that 0w and 5w are the same (but not always). Oil changes can be any season, so they cover themselves by mandating 0w year round.
 

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Temperatures goes to 15F where I live and dealer is in the same area so they should know that too.

You can get the data on mobil 1 website - viscosity (and other parameters) at operating temperature is very slightly different when you compare 0w-20 with 5w-20 so IMO 0w-20 is the way to go but whatever floats your boat.
 

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can someone explain to me how 0w-20 is different than 5w-20 at operating temperatures?
I deleted my prior answer "Its Not". Thats too vague and suggests identical which is not true. I should have said "Both will be within the range of a 20 grade" or "similar weight". This answer includes oils in the same multi-grade. Would take hours of writing to explain why that is, there are many variables. A quick example: TGMO 0w20 is synthetic produced by XOM. M1 0w20 is synthetic produced by XOM. But TGMO 0w20 is not a rebranded M1 0w20, its a unique brew. One of the thinnest oils in the world with one of the highest VI's on the market. Compared to TGMO 0w20, M1 0w20 is thicker with a average VI. So while they are both 0w20's, one is thicker than the other. They could be closer or farther away depending on what operation temperature is. Using the industry standard 100ºC, there is a difference on the warm side but its very small. More of a difference when cold.
 

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M1 0w20 is synthetic produced by XOM. But TGMO 0w20 is not a rebranded M1 0w20, its a unique brew. One of the thinnest oils in the world with one of the highest VI's on the market. Compared to TGMO 0w20, M1 0w20 is thicker with a average VI. So while they are both 0w20's, one is thicker than the other. They could be closer or farther away depending on what operation temperature is. Using the industry standard 100ºC, there is a difference on the warm side but its very small. More of a difference when cold.
The big difference between Toyota 0W20 and Mobil 1 is that Toyota supplies the additive pack and they use a relatively high amount of moly. If you look at used oil analysis results you can pick out the Toyota oil by the moly.

I did a comparison of available data on the various 0W20 oils. See chart below. The Toyota oil is actually at the most viscous end of the range at operating temperature. It is at the thiner end at low temperature. That is where the high viscosity index comes from. The -27 pour point is not correct for the final oil, and I suspect is the base oil before pour point depressors are added.



And we are way off topic. The OP's issue is not the oil.
 

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The dealer goes by the manual. 0w has only been around for a short time, prior to that it was 5w. So depending on the year, they could recommend 5w20 over 0w20. However...now that 0w is out, there is a back spec chart for Toyota engines as far back as 00..
That is a good chart. It clearly illustrates that Toyota does not design engines to run on 0W20 oil. They retroactively decide which engine designs are suitable for the oil. My guess is that it comes down to valve train design. Those valve trains which can take a HT/HS Viscosity as low as 2.6 are designated OK, and others are not and need the higher HT/HS viscosity of 30 weight oil (>2.9).
 

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That is a good chart. It clearly illustrates that Toyota does not design engines to run on 0W20 oil. They retroactively decide which engine designs are suitable for the oil. My guess is that it comes down to valve train design. Those valve trains which can take a HT/HS Viscosity as low as 2.6 are designated OK, and others are not and need the higher HT/HS viscosity of 30 weight oil (>2.9).
I tried TGMO 0w20 in my 02 2AZ-FE I4. Nice and peppy. Quiet startup, no noises. Better idle too, smoother. The engine found it very tasty. Drank it like a drunken sailor, then pissed it out on the garage floor. Why I'm running M1 HM. To run thin oil I need to replace every seal in that engine including valve seals. No plans for that, the body's had it.
 
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