2003 Corolla oil change interval opinions

Messages
427
Location
SC
I have a 2003 Corolla with 125,000 miles. I have owned this car for four years and have doubled its mileage. In that time I have used exclusively mobil 1 5w-30 and pureone filters every 5 to 6,000 miles. I feel that this may be overkill. I know that this is a good engine but is also prone to sludging. When a friend (mechanic) adjusted the engine valves about 20,000 miles ago he commented that the engine looked as clean under the vavle cover as a car with 10,000 miles, and that is after his 30 years of working on cars. Would you extend the drain interval. I like to play it safe but wonder if I am being too conservative with my oil changes here.
 
Messages
904
Location
Hawaii, USA
No, keep to your schedule since it's working very well for you. That way you're going to exceed 300,000 miles easily without engine issues other than normal wear and tear parts.
 
Messages
28,123
Location
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Run an OCI to be sure, if you really want to be certain. Do note that Mobil 1 will guarantee the oil for 10,000 miles. If you want, switch from 5 or 6,000 to 10,000 miles, using M1 EP. You'll almost double your OCI for a few dollars more (in the States, at least).
 

Nick1994

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Messages
13,279
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I haven't heard of the Corolla being sludge prone, my car is definitely sludge prone. Keep running your same OCI's, you don't have a lot of miles on it yet anyways.
 
Messages
12,925
Location
Northern Kentucky
I think 6,000 miles is fine, although the PureOnes have been tearing lately with the higher mileage. I would agree with changing filters, if you go with Fram the Tough Guard is more than adequate, or you could use the Ultra for 2X changes. If you use the Wix i would change it every interval.
 
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9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: Garak
Run an OCI to be sure, if you really want to be certain. Do note that Mobil 1 will guarantee the oil for 10,000 miles. If you want, switch from 5 or 6,000 to 10,000 miles, using M1 EP. You'll almost double your OCI for a few dollars more (in the States, at least).
I agree. I'd try out a 10000 mile run since Mobil guarantees the m1 line for that mileage and monitor. Worst case scenario is you keep doing exactly what your doing,best case is you change oil half as often. We have a member here who runs 10000 mile intervals on everything since the 70's and his engine pics look spotless,and FX4 is going 4 or 5 times longer on EP,and his used oil analysis indicate the oil wasn't depleted. Why not check out the used oil analysis sub forum and look up your car and engine and see what brands are being used and how much life was left in the oil at the time of change. If there is any info it should help determine a proper interval.
 
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2,280
Location
SunnySouthFlorida
Originally Posted By: Clubber_Lang
I have a 2003 Corolla with 125,000 miles. I have owned this car for four years and have doubled its mileage. In that time I have used exclusively mobil 1 5w-30 and pureone filters every 5 to 6,000 miles. I feel that this may be overkill.
Stop! The only overkill is buying a new car before it's time....don't fall for BiTOG "time to solve a problem where none exists" advice.
 
Messages
1,847
Location
Laramie, WY
That engine already burns oil or will eventually from the oil return holes being clogged, only 4 holes, the updated pistons have 8 holes instead. I have rebuilt 4 so far with different mileage and...every single one had stuck oil control rings with fully carboned up oil return holes. Use a full synthetic at a reasonable OCI (your previous 6k is just fine, just go by mileage and not time) and this will delay your oil return holes from being clogged up.
 

Clubber_Lang

Thread starter
Messages
427
Location
SC
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
That engine already burns oil or will eventually from the oil return holes being clogged, only 4 holes, the updated pistons have 8 holes instead. I have rebuilt 4 so far with different mileage and...every single one had stuck oil control rings with fully carboned up oil return holes. Use a full synthetic at a reasonable OCI (your previous 6k is just fine, just go by mileage and not time) and this will delay your oil return holes from being clogged up.
Mines used about .5 quart per 5000 miles since ive had it. Wonder if theres a way to remedy that short of a rebuild?
 
Last edited:

pbm

Messages
8,888
Location
New York
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
That engine already burns oil or will eventually from the oil return holes being clogged, only 4 holes, the updated pistons have 8 holes instead. I have rebuilt 4 so far with different mileage and...every single one had stuck oil control rings with fully carboned up oil return holes. Use a full synthetic at a reasonable OCI (your previous 6k is just fine, just go by mileage and not time) and this will delay your oil return holes from being clogged up.
I believe that 2002 was the last year before Toyota corrected the 'stuck ring' problem on the 1ZZFE. The 2003 was the first year of the newer (9th) generation Corolla and didn't have this problem. My b-i-l has over 230K on his 2004 and it's had synthetic only @ 10K intervals for at least the last 50K. It uses about a quart (or less) during the OCI. The 1ZZFE after 2002 is not prone to sludge if reasonably OCI's and/or syn. are used.
 
Messages
8,306
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
A half of a quart every 5k is very good and nothing to fret about at all. You could try a high mileage oil to attempt to curb it but IMO I'd just keep using the same oil at the same interval and switch to a filter that isn't prone to tearing. BTW I don't believe that engine is prone to sludging.
 
Messages
2,280
Location
SunnySouthFlorida
Originally Posted By: Clubber_Lang
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
That engine already burns oil or will eventually from the oil return holes being clogged, only 4 holes, the updated pistons have 8 holes instead. I have rebuilt 4 so far with different mileage and...every single one had stuck oil control rings with fully carboned up oil return holes. Use a full synthetic at a reasonable OCI (your previous 6k is just fine, just go by mileage and not time) and this will delay your oil return holes from being clogged up.
Mines used about .5 quart per 5000 miles since I've had it. Wonder if there's a way to remedy that short of a rebuild?
Gross generalization from one, sarcasm (I hope) from another....I wish there was a sarcasm emoticon.... "That engine" MODEL maybe, NOT OP's engine, at least OP has not said so...
 
Messages
426
Location
Detroit
Originally Posted By: Clubber_Lang
I have a 2003 Corolla with 125,000 miles. I have owned this car for four years and have doubled its mileage. In that time I have used exclusively mobil 1 5w-30 and pureone filters every 5 to 6,000 miles. I feel that this may be overkill. I know that this is a good engine but is also prone to sludging. When a friend (mechanic) adjusted the engine valves about 20,000 miles ago he commented that the engine looked as clean under the vavle cover as a car with 10,000 miles, and that is after his 30 years of working on cars. Would you extend the drain interval. I like to play it safe but wonder if I am being too conservative with my oil changes here.
Let me share a Corolla story with you from my shop. We replace engines, well known in the area for installing new or used engines. I have only done 3 Toyota engines, all sludged up 3.0 V6 engines. I had a customer come in with a 4cyl Corolla 2001 car with a huge hole in the side of the block and a rod hanging out. We priced a low mileage used engine at 700 plus 700 to replace timing belt, tune up and install. While my brother was removing the old engine, he commented that the oil filter looked OE and covered in dirt/grease. I cleaned it off and it was the OE filter. I called the owner and asked about his oil change habits (we warranty even used engines). he stated he adds two qts of oil "whenever the red oil light comes on". No oil changes or filter changes in 100k miles, didnt blow up until his 16 yr old son got his license!
 
Messages
2,201
Location
socal
Perhaps u can do 7500 mile OCI if u don't trust 10k miles. Mobil 1 is a good oil. I know oem Toyota filters are not that expensive so consider them vs purolator.
 
Messages
7,400
Location
FL, USA
Originally Posted By: Motorking
Originally Posted By: Clubber_Lang
I have a 2003 Corolla with 125,000 miles. I have owned this car for four years and have doubled its mileage. In that time I have used exclusively mobil 1 5w-30 and pureone filters every 5 to 6,000 miles. I feel that this may be overkill. I know that this is a good engine but is also prone to sludging. When a friend (mechanic) adjusted the engine valves about 20,000 miles ago he commented that the engine looked as clean under the vavle cover as a car with 10,000 miles, and that is after his 30 years of working on cars. Would you extend the drain interval. I like to play it safe but wonder if I am being too conservative with my oil changes here.
Let me share a Corolla story with you from my shop. We replace engines, well known in the area for installing new or used engines. I have only done 3 Toyota engines, all sludged up 3.0 V6 engines. I had a customer come in with a 4cyl Corolla 2001 car with a huge hole in the side of the block and a rod hanging out. We priced a low mileage used engine at 700 plus 700 to replace timing belt, tune up and install. While my brother was removing the old engine, he commented that the oil filter looked OE and covered in dirt/grease. I cleaned it off and it was the OE filter. I called the owner and asked about his oil change habits (we warranty even used engines). he stated he adds two qts of oil "whenever the red oil light comes on". No oil changes or filter changes in 100k miles, didnt blow up until his 16 yr old son got his license!
Awesome story Jay!
 
Messages
8,306
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Originally Posted By: Motorking
Originally Posted By: Clubber_Lang
I have a 2003 Corolla with 125,000 miles. I have owned this car for four years and have doubled its mileage. In that time I have used exclusively mobil 1 5w-30 and pureone filters every 5 to 6,000 miles. I feel that this may be overkill. I know that this is a good engine but is also prone to sludging. When a friend (mechanic) adjusted the engine valves about 20,000 miles ago he commented that the engine looked as clean under the vavle cover as a car with 10,000 miles, and that is after his 30 years of working on cars. Would you extend the drain interval. I like to play it safe but wonder if I am being too conservative with my oil changes here.
Let me share a Corolla story with you from my shop. We replace engines, well known in the area for installing new or used engines. I have only done 3 Toyota engines, all sludged up 3.0 V6 engines. I had a customer come in with a 4cyl Corolla 2001 car with a huge hole in the side of the block and a rod hanging out. We priced a low mileage used engine at 700 plus 700 to replace timing belt, tune up and install. While my brother was removing the old engine, he commented that the oil filter looked OE and covered in dirt/grease. I cleaned it off and it was the OE filter. I called the owner and asked about his oil change habits (we warranty even used engines). he stated he adds two qts of oil "whenever the red oil light comes on". No oil changes or filter changes in 100k miles, didnt blow up until his 16 yr old son got his license!
Wow... just think how long it would have lasted if it had even the bare minimum of maintenance.
 
Messages
1,847
Location
Laramie, WY
Originally Posted By: pbm
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
That engine already burns oil or will eventually from the oil return holes being clogged, only 4 holes, the updated pistons have 8 holes instead. I have rebuilt 4 so far with different mileage and...every single one had stuck oil control rings with fully carboned up oil return holes. Use a full synthetic at a reasonable OCI (your previous 6k is just fine, just go by mileage and not time) and this will delay your oil return holes from being clogged up.
I believe that 2002 was the last year before Toyota corrected the 'stuck ring' problem on the 1ZZFE. The 2003 was the first year of the newer (9th) generation Corolla and didn't have this problem. My b-i-l has over 230K on his 2004 and it's had synthetic only @ 10K intervals for at least the last 50K. It uses about a quart (or less) during the OCI. The 1ZZFE after 2002 is not prone to sludge if reasonably OCI's and/or syn. are used.
05+ is when the issue was fixed, I own a 05 complete engine that I just fully rebuild, came with the updated piston. Also was offered a 04 complete short block which did not have the updated pistons. I got my parts from a Toyota Tech...I'm sure he and I know more then you about the 1ZZ-FE engine. Monkeywrenchracing.com sells those engines, they will tell you the same. Unless you are the engineer of the engine I'm sure your clueless still.
 
Messages
8,306
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
Originally Posted By: pbm
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
That engine already burns oil or will eventually from the oil return holes being clogged, only 4 holes, the updated pistons have 8 holes instead. I have rebuilt 4 so far with different mileage and...every single one had stuck oil control rings with fully carboned up oil return holes. Use a full synthetic at a reasonable OCI (your previous 6k is just fine, just go by mileage and not time) and this will delay your oil return holes from being clogged up.
I believe that 2002 was the last year before Toyota corrected the 'stuck ring' problem on the 1ZZFE. The 2003 was the first year of the newer (9th) generation Corolla and didn't have this problem. My b-i-l has over 230K on his 2004 and it's had synthetic only @ 10K intervals for at least the last 50K. It uses about a quart (or less) during the OCI. The 1ZZFE after 2002 is not prone to sludge if reasonably OCI's and/or syn. are used.
05+ is when the issue was fixed, I own a 05 complete engine that I just fully rebuild, came with the updated piston. Also was offered a 04 complete short block which did not have the updated pistons. I got my parts from a Toyota Tech...I'm sure he and I know more then you about the 1ZZ-FE engine. Monkeywrenchracing.com sells those engines, they will tell you the same. Unless you are the engineer of the engine I'm sure your clueless still.
Why so defensive? It's not like he was personally attacking you.
 
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