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Hello everyone,

I just bought my daughter a used 2012 Corolla. It has 120k miles and I would like to change the oil. Now I did some searching and I didn't find a conclusive answer so maybe you all can help me. I live in Southern NM and our winters are not like northern states (we did have a one time -12degree F but that was a 1 in a 100 year type event). Actually lately we haven't even really had much snow.

So what I'm getting at is what viscosity oil should I use. I was thinking a full synthetic 5w-20. But others state 0w-20 which is hard to find in the brand that I use out here. So am I good with 5w-20? Also how often should I change the full synthetic oil with that viscosity, every 3 months or 6 months?



M
 

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Hello everyone,

I just bought my daughter a used 2012 Corolla. It has 120k miles and I would like to change the oil. Now I did some searching and I didn't find a conclusive answer so maybe you all can help me. I live in Southern NM and our winters are not like northern states (we did have a one time -12degree F but that was a 1 in a 100 year type event). Actually lately we haven't even really had much snow.

So what I'm getting at is what viscosity oil should I use. I was thinking a full synthetic 5w-20. But others state 0w-20 which is hard to find in the brand that I use out here. So am I good with 5w-20? Also how often should I change the full synthetic oil with that viscosity, every 3 months or 6 months?
The reason why Toyota specifies 0W-20 is that there is no conventional oil that meets that spec, and they don't want to use the word "synthetic" because that conjures up the idea that a Toyota is expensive to maintain. So if you use a 5W-20 full synthetic, there is no problem whatsoever (if the car is no longer under warranty).

For a car of that age, which may have experienced some engine wear by now, I would even consider using 5W-30 full synthetic, especially if there was any oil usage in-between oil changes.

I believe that Toyota specifies the oil change interval with a full synthetic as 10,000 miles or 1 year (mostly because of environmental disposal issues). But if you can do it yourself at a reasonable cost, I would probably go about 7,000 miles max or 6 months with a full synthetic.
 

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The reason why Toyota specifies 0W-20 is that there is no conventional oil that meets that spec, and they don't want to use the word "synthetic" because that conjures up the idea that a Toyota is expensive to maintain. So if you use a 5W-20 full synthetic, there is no problem whatsoever (if the car is no longer under warranty).

For a car of that age, which may have experienced some engine wear by now, I would even consider using 5W-30 full synthetic, especially if there was any oil usage in-between oil changes.

I believe that Toyota specifies the oil change interval with a full synthetic as 10,000 miles or 1 year (mostly because of environmental disposal issues). But if you can do it yourself at a reasonable cost, I would probably go about 7,000 miles max or 6 months with a full synthetic.
Mark what is the equivalent of a 0-20synthetic oil to conventional oil? 5-20???


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Mark what is the equivalent of a 0-20synthetic oil to conventional oil? 5-20???
I am not sure what you mean. In terms of viscosity at operating temperature, both have an API "grade" of 20 (which is a measure of oil viscosity at 100 degrees C).

But in terms of engine wear protection, protection from viscosity breakdown over time, fuel mileage, etc, there is no comparison between a conventional motor oil and a full synthetic.
 

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Diehard Rams Fan
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Hello everyone,

I just bought my daughter a used 2012 Corolla. It has 120k miles and I would like to change the oil. Now I did some searching and I didn't find a conclusive answer so maybe you all can help me. I live in Southern NM and our winters are not like northern states (we did have a one time -12degree F but that was a 1 in a 100 year type event). Actually lately we haven't even really had much snow.

So what I'm getting at is what viscosity oil should I use. I was thinking a full synthetic 5w-20. But others state 0w-20 which is hard to find in the brand that I use out here. So am I good with 5w-20? Also how often should I change the full synthetic oil with that viscosity, every 3 months or 6 months?



M
I would stick with what is called for and that is 0w-20 synthetic oil. 😊 What brand of oil do you use? You can find many different brands for a good price at Walmart. A 5-quart jug of Mobil 1 is $22-$25. The engine has a lot of small oil passages and the 0w-20 oil will pump quicker to those areas when the engine is cold.

Where are you located in NM? I'm from Alamogordo but I've lived up here in WA state since 1990. 😁
 

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I use 0W-20 when I can get it but it's not always available. 5W-20 is just fine - particularly if your winters aren't especially cold.

In fact, I kind of prefer 5W-20, it seems to run a tiny bit smoother. These aren't high-performance engines built to exacting tolerances, and even if it was originally was, by the time you've got 80K miles on a car there's probably enough wear on the pistons and cylinders to allow for a slightly thicker oil anyway. You're talking about a car in a 2012 that's 7-8 years old, it's likely got enough mileage and been through enough cold starts that a 5W-20 might even be a good idea at this point.

I wouldn't go any heavier than that though.
 

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Diehard Rams Fan
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I use 0W-20 when I can get it but it's not always available. 5W-20 is just fine - particularly if your winters aren't especially cold.

In fact, I kind of prefer 5W-20, it seems to run a tiny bit smoother. These aren't high-performance engines built to exacting tolerances, and even if it was originally was, by the time you've got 80K miles on a car there's probably enough wear on the pistons and cylinders to allow for a slightly thicker oil anyway. You're talking about a car in a 2012 that's 7-8 years old, it's likely got enough mileage and been through enough cold starts that a 5W-20 might even be a good idea at this point.

I wouldn't go any heavier than that though.
You would be surprised at how tight the tolerances are on all modern engines these days. Back in 1982 I bought a new Toyota Tercel and 12 years later I had over 300k miles on it. I swapped in a 4AG from an MR2 and had a machine shop tear my OEM 3AC apart to check engine wear. It was still within new tolerances running Mobil 1 for all of those miles.
 

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I use 0W-20 when I can get it but it's not always available. 5W-20 is just fine - particularly if your winters aren't especially cold.
So long as the 5W-20 is a full synthetic, it is perfectly fine. Not OK if it is a conventional oil.

When Toyota specifics 0W-20 they are really saying you must use a synthetic, without having to use the word "synthetic." There is no real difference between a synthetic 0W-20 and synthetic 5W-20 unless one lives in a very cold climate, and then it only affects engine start-up on a cold engine. No difference once the engine warms up.
 

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Viscosity choice would depend on "Ambient Temp Operation Range" & type of Driving.
My Op temp range Winter 0 Deg C to 28 Deg C, Summer 10 Deg C to 45 Deg C.

For my 2009 1.8lt 2ZR-FE & 2006 1.8lt 1ZZFE I run 5W40 Shell Helix Ultra Full Synthetic (understand its branded Penzoil Platinum in USA) NO Affiliation. 5W40 because it has a better HTSS than a 5W30. My experience has been that the fuel efficiency gain for a 5W30 is minimal compared to the right foot factor on the accelerator, tyre inflation & driving smoothly. The HTSS of 5W40 gives you margin WRT preventing metal to metal wear. The 5W gives fast oil flow to top of the Motor.

My Toyota Corolla Owners Manual Pg361 for the 2009 1.8lt 2ZR-FE lists the following Viscosities as being suitable:
"20W50 & 15W40 API Grade SL or SM Multigrade engine Oil
10W30, 5W30, 5W20 & 0W20: API Grade Sl "Energy Conserving", SM "Energy Conserving" or ILSAC Multigrade

The Toyota Owners Manual also notes directly below the Recommended Oil Viscosity Table and ambient Temperature Graph:
"The 30 in 5W30 indicates the Oil viscosity when the oil is at its operating temperature. An oil with a higher viscosity may be better suited if the vehicle is operated at high speeds, or under extreme load condition."

WRT my choice of Shell Helix Ultra Full Synthetic, it has a LOW NOAK, its a Gas to Liquid produced Fully Synthetic Oil, very stable, high detergency & results in minimal upper cylinder head deposits.
=>> For my operational temperature range I have no hesitation in recommending 5W40 Shell Helix Ultra Full Synthetic.

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Savage Geese - Motor Oil | Fine Print and Misconceptions

Savage Geese - FRS - BRZ Oil Pressure and Temperature Tech FA20

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Posted previously:
WRT Longterm Performance of the 5W40 Shell Helix Ultra Full Synthetic in my 1ZZ-FE I checked my compression at 196,400kms when I replaced the cam cover/rocker cover gasket and the Valve Shim - Bucket - Lifters Clearances.
The pressure build was 80/160/210/230/230 PSI in all four (4) cylinders
Manual says Max 218PSI, Min 145PSI Max allowable difference highest to lowest 15PSI
The Gauge is Tiawanese, I only have one Gauge so if its reading a little high but I doubt it
(car has run 5W40 Shell Helix Ultra at 5,000kms Oil & filter change intervals since 20,000kms for its life…)
Also when the cam cover/rocker cover, the underside of the cover, the baffles, the Valve Shim – Bucket – Lifters etc were all VERY VERY Clean, I was quite surprised at how clean compared to my previous work on my 3SGE and 3SGTE.

Rob
 
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