Changing my oil too infrequently? PCV problem?

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I have a 2007 Toyota Tacoma with the 4.0 V6 (1gr-fe). It was bought in 2007 with ~3,600 miles, I used PYB 5w-30 for the first 30-35K at 5k intervals. Then I started using Mobil 1 5w-30 and later began using Mobil 1 5w-30 EP. I'll post a pic of the maint records, there are a few gaps in the records, that's where I have had work done at the Toyota dealer and had the oil changed by them with whatever dino bulk oil they had on hands. This isn't a complete list of all work done, I have some things that I have neglected to write down, but I have receipts with dates/mileages written on them in a folder. This vehicle is used daily and often short tripped (less than 1 mile), with lots of idle time. I have a stop or two to make in my daily 1 mile commute and I often leave my truck idling for a few minutes at each stop because it has not yet reached operating temperature, If I don't make any stops and just do my 1 mile commute my truck will be at about 140 degrees F when I shut it down. I do take a longer trip into town once or twice per week which can be a 20-60 mile round trip depending on where I have to go. I have an Ultragauge that I leave plugged in all the time to monitor engine and trans temps, I have alarms set just in case it ever tries to overheat, that way I'll catch it early enough to save the engine/transmission. The truck gets up to operating temperature fairly quickly and holds its operating temperature where it should be, usually 186.6, but with the heater running it'll drop down to 180 degrees F or so. In the summer with the A/C on and sitting still at idle I've seen up to 200 degrees F, but usually it doesn't get above 194. The PCV hoses/valve are original, but I have pulled the PCV valve off and checked/cleaned it several times, it seems to be functioning correctly and is not clogged. I'm gonna buy a replacement PCV valve the next time I'm at the dealer and swap it out. Pics will be inserted at the bottom of this post. My current fill is Pennzoil Platinum 5w-30 with a Toyota 90915-YZZD3 filter. I currently have ~148 hours of run-time on this OCI, with just over 1500 miles. According to my UG, I have burned about 143.5 gallons of gas on this OCI, averaging 11.1 MPG at an average speed of 10.7 MPH. The oil looks great on the dipstick, but my engine continues to get dirtier....??? My previous fill was Mobil 1 EP 5w-30 (Toyota filter), which I ran for 6 months, ~2500 miles and for a total run-time of 185 hours. The truck currently has 84,234 miles on it. Although I couldn't get a picture of it through the fill tube (you can see it, I just can't get a pic of it), my truck is starting to get a lot of dark varnish buildup on the timing cover along with some streaky burnt looking places along the timing cover. I've seen this before..... https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/sounds-like-a-bad-pulley-wish-it-was.73107/page-3#post-1397889 ....... I'm hoping I don't have a failing oil pump like that guy did. The engine runs great, doesn't burn any oil and sounds normal. It has the typical 1gr-fe tick, but it always has. I'm almost thinking I should be running a good cleaning dino (PYB, Chevron Supreme, Havoline) and change it every 100 hours, what do you guys think?
 
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Start with the obvious: Maybe buying a new positive crankcase ventilation valve and maybe check if the valves dnn't need adjustment.
 
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Originally Posted By: BlakeB
I'm almost thinking I should be running a good cleaning dino (PYB, Chevron Supreme, Havoline) and change it every 100 hours, what do you guys think?
Wasn't aware PYB was that prolific at cleaning, did hear about the latter two though. To me, the problem child was the Mobil 1, where you stopped the PYB and switched to M1. I know this might come across as speculative but you never had the issues until you went full synthetic. Trying to surmise the culprit will be fleeting but just my 2 cents. I just cackled at how many fall out of their chair when they hear this but M1 and PP always burned for me whereas these new 0w-20s never do.
 
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BlakeB

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Originally Posted By: HondaBroMike
Originally Posted By: BlakeB
I'm almost thinking I should be running a good cleaning dino (PYB, Chevron Supreme, Havoline) and change it every 100 hours, what do you guys think?
Wasn't aware PYB was that prolific at cleaning, did hear about the latter two though. To me, the problem child was the Mobil 1, where you stopped the PYB and switched to M1. I know this ight come across as speculative but you never had the issues until you went full synthetic. Trying to surmise the culprit will be fleeting but just my 2 cents.
I've read about PYB being a pretty good cleaning oil on here. I ran PYB for the first 30-35K miles. Mobil 1 From there until recently, with a fill or two of TGMO/dealer bulk oil in between. The current OCI is the only time I've ever ran Pennzoil Platinum in this engine. It's been slowly getting more and more varnished looking, particularly over the last couple of OCI's. The fill tube is currently the nastiest it's ever been since I put the PP in, I was getting a little of the rusty looking stuff on M1, but its a lot worse on the PP.
 
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I’ve used quiet a bit of Pennzoil and the brown baked on coloration is typical. Just look at the oil as it comes out of the bottle. If you like using conventional oil, switch to Valvoline, Motorcraft or Havoline. Change out the pvc valve and plumbing.
 
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Originally Posted By: BlakeB
averaging 11.1 MPG at an average speed of 10.7 MPH.
I am not seeing any problems per se, but I would get her out on the highway more with a few WOT's. Heck, just allowing it to get to and run at operating temperature would be beneficial. No choice of oils be it conventional or synthetic caused any issues with your truck, but with your driving style, I would use conventional and keep the OCI's short. No more than 5000. Once again, get it out on the highway more. A new PCV system certainly wouldn't hurt, but I am not seeing an issue there.
 

BlakeB

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Originally Posted By: dlundblad
Originally Posted By: BlakeB
averaging 11.1 MPG at an average speed of 10.7 MPH.
I am not seeing any problems per se, but I would get her out on the highway more with a few WOT's. Heck, just allowing it to get to and run at operating temperature would be beneficial. No choice of oils be it conventional or synthetic caused any issues with your truck, but with your driving style, I would use conventional and keep the OCI's short. No more than 5000. Once again, get it out on the highway more. A new PCV system certainly wouldn't hurt, but I am not seeing an issue there.
It has never had an OCI of more than 5,000 miles and has been on synthetic oil for the last 50,000ish miles (besides the once or maybe twice that it's had conventional in it since I switched to synthetic). My last (previous) oil change with Mobil 1 Extended performance was dumped after 6 months and about ~2,500 miles with 185 hours of run time. Sometimes I drive more than others, but I usually don't drive more than 5-6k per year. I know that short trips are hard on vehicles, but I do try to get it up to operating temperature and keep it there for a while when I can. I also know that idling isn't particularly good for vehicles, but I think it might be better than shutting them off before they've had a chance to reach operating temperature? I think the question is, is my sludging/varnishing a result of repeated short trips/low average operating temperature, or would a shorter OCI prevent the sludging/varnishing? Some high mileage oils claim to have more detergents in them to fight sludge/deposits, maybe I should start using a HM oil. WM has Valvoline synthetic HM on sale right now, which is claimed by Valvoline to have more detergent in it than their standard oils.
 
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How about installing a Fram Ultra and a Fumoto drain valve? Leave the Ultra on for a full year, but change the dino oil three times a year. The Fumoto will make oil changes quick and easy. Use any dino with a reputation for cleaning. Do change the PCV valve. The PCV on my Dodge Caravan still rattled when shaken, but, a new Mopar PCV cut oil consumption down to nothing. Also, the oil seems cleaner at the same mileage.
 
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The coolant temperature may get up to operating, but the oil temp is never making it... This is the way it is going to be unless you change the operating cycle IMO.
 
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Short trips, never up to operating temp - that's the definition of "severe". Only with a UOA can you know for sure if the oil is still good.
 
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Originally Posted By: BlakeB
about ~2,500 miles with 185 hours of run time.
This right here man. 6months of 12mph trips where your **coolant** gets up to temp but your oil does not. I can't find the chart but it's been posted before that your oil needs another 10-20 minutes to get to full temp than your coolant. With your short trips, your coolant is just barely up to temp and your oil not. Also, idling is fine for vehicles. Source - multiple public service roles, never seen an vehicle quit due to idling to much.
 
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BlakeB That coloration is the result of Pennzoil YB for the early part of it’s life. Go to Valvoline conventional and change at 3,000 miles. I’m not knocking Pennzoil, it is what it is. It’s not sludge and it’s lubricating as it should. Open up a bottle of Pennzoil and notice the color. Pour in into another container and look at the residue left in the original bottle.
 

BlakeB

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Originally Posted By: DuckRyder
The coolant temperature may get up to operating, but the oil temp is never making it... This is the way it is going to be unless you change the operating cycle IMO.
It has the factory towing package with the oil cooler/heat exchanger. I'm sure the oil lags behind the coolant a little, but the oil filter quickly gets too hot to hold onto. I agree about the operating cycle being hard on it, but it is what it is... I have certain things that have to happen on a daily basis, if that's at the expense of my truck then that's just what it is. I intentionally take the long way home a lot of the time, it's about 5 miles that way. Sometimes in the summer it will run for up to 3 hours at a time, sometimes towing at or near it's maximum capacity. I have a lot of short trips to make and don't usually take this vehicle on long trips anymore. It used to be our road trip vehicle, we used to take 2-3 1400+ mile rounds trips a year in it. It hasn't been on a long (over a couple hundred miles) trip since around 2012. I think about all I can do is keep the oil changed regularly and try to drive it as much as possible. I have debated trading this truck off, but I can't hardly bring myself to buy a new vehicle to do this kind of driving in.
 
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How would Pennzoil conventional be better at cleaning and not leaving deposits than M1 syn or Pennzoil Syn? If you want a clean engine, use syn. Every engine turns a little color. It's not like you're seeing chunks of carbon or buildup. With a lot of idling and short trips I'd stick with any synthetic and change it about every 6 months to a year. Or get a UOA if it's concerning you that much. I just personally don't see anything wrong in the pictures in my limited experience pulling valve covers on engines with 100K or more miles on them. It's not like the inside of an engine should be bright shiny silver...
 

JAG

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Even with M1 and short OCIs, it apparently is getting more deposits. That sucks. It would probably help if you block some of the airflow through the radiator. Also get an oil pan heater and turn it on 30 minutes before starting it each day. Do replace the PCV valve too.
 

AVB

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I don't see anything to fix here. Sure replace the pcv as preventative maintenance, but it isn't going to change anything. The varnish and build up that you see is from those areas not being constantly bathed in oil. They don't get washed off. As others have said, your driving routine isn't helping things.
 
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