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89 Camry, 95 BMWTI
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello TN Folks,

Lovely day in the Nations Capitol.....Anyway, I plan to chg my oil and transmission fluid in the next week or so. I have never used synthetic oil or transmission fluid in my Camry, but have used it in my BMW. Are there any issues with using full synthetic oil or transmission fluid in a 89 Camry 3SFE engine? I recently had the engine complete seal kit done and there's no leaks. Would synthetic transmission fluid give the car a smoother shift? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. I will have rear struts and a new rack and pinion replaced this weekend......

89 Silver Camry Wagon 133,000
 

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mattymanten
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9 Posts
My experience when deciding on whether or not to put synthetic oil in my 90 2VZ-FE: there are a million different certifications and oil properties to consider, and technically the synthetics around today weren't around when our car was made, therefore there's no one that could tell you with complete certainly that a certain synthetic oil is appropriate for your car. Anyone who gives you a definitive answer probably doesn't know as much as they claim. That being said, I've been using synthetic and it's fine. I couldn't find any reason why it wouldn't be okay. So I would just go right ahead; in my searches I haven't found anyone who has had an actual issue putting synthetic in one of these cars or even a different car of a similar age. I ran 0W-30 over the winter because I'm in the harsh North-Western Ontario winter and don't have a block heater, and I had no problems.
 

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240 Posts
I would recommend you go with the OEM regular transmission fluid just because it's cheaper and your vehicle is older.
Using synthetic oil is fine , it protects the engine at higher temperatures and it lets the oil circulate quicker on cold starts.But again , with the age of your vehicle, consider using regular oil. It's much cheaper to purchase.....
 

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1983 Camry
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130 Posts
My brother had a later model Camry that he loaned to a friend. Said Friend went and switched to full synthetic motor oil, and the engine seals didn't like it, horrible leakage from then onwards.


I've gone and changed to a synth-blend (Castrol high mileage) oil in my 83 Camry, but I'm hesitant to try full synthetic in it.
 

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2,399 Posts
Synthetic oil can be used in the engine. Do you need that expense? Most brand make HM full synth oil.
Synthetic ATF can be used in the transmission and power steering fluid, and for some Toyota's, in the differential too.

Castrol Import Transmax is a pretty good not full synthetic option.
Pennzoil makes a full synth for older or higher mileage vehicles.
Valvoline Import is a full synthetic.

https://www.castrol.com/en_us/united-states/home/motor-oil-and-fluids/auto-transmission-fluids.html#tab_transmax-import-multi-vehicle
https://www.valvoline.com/our-products/automatic-transmission-products/import-multi-vehicle-automatic-transmission-fluid
https://www.pennzoil.com/en_us/products/other-oils-fluids-fuel/automatic-transmission-fluids/high-mileage-atf.html
 

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1990 Toyota Camry LE
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225 Posts
I've been using the mobile 1 synthetic oil in the engine since I got the car. No problems.
I'd imagine the tranny might respond well to synthetic atf as well. As for brand I'm not sure. I hear Royal purple makes good atf.
 
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