Owners manual vs Chiltons

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Aug 8, 2003
detroit, MI
1991 toyota pickup. 2wd, 22re 140,000 miles Owners manual 5w-30 below 50f 10w-30 0-100f Chiltons (for toyota trucks 89-96) 5w-30 preferred oil up to 100f 10w-30 0-100F The reason for the post is I have alot of 5w-30 oil I would like to use (penzoil & penzoil HM). Can today's 5w-30 protect as well as the 10w-30 oil 12 years ago. I put 7000 miles a year on the truck, most of it short city trips, and change the oil every 4 months. Thanks
I'd stick with the owner's manual. Chilton's is probably one-size-fits-all. That said, run 5w30 except for the four months of summer when you go 10-30. You'll use it all up eventually.
Without commenting on the oils, I'll simply suggest that any retail repair guide is a condensed compilation of material from various sources, occasionally with info that mildly conflicts with other sources (things like oil weights, spark plug gaps, and the like). A "factory" repair manual, on the other hand, I would assume to be both comprehensive and accurate. An owner's manual has model and year-specific information for your vehicle, and it comes directly from the horse's mouth (vehicle manufacturer). In short, I've always thought of the retail manuals (Haynes, Chiltons, etc.) as supplementary sources of information, while deferring to owner's manuals and factory repair manuals as the "bibles." [ October 26, 2003, 04:05 PM: Message edited by: TC ]
The owners manual for my truck says 10W-30. Multiple grade oils have improved since it was written in 1977. My mostly short trip truck gets 5W30. Oil filters are shrinking. More recent examples of the same part number I have cut open have less media area than older ones, AC, Purolator, ST. Yeah, the newer media could be better. I saw a thread here where Ford is recommending thinner and thinner oils for their older products. Much of the info I have seen posted here, including many UOA's, convinces me that the thinner oils are OK for engines at operating temperatures and give better protection due to better flow on cold start ups. I see no problem with 5W-30 unless you are running hard, towing, or hotter than average conditions. I am no fan of Chiltons either.
5w-30, 10w-30. You're splitting hairs over an old car with oil choices.. Just choose whatever. You're not gonna loose a bearing over it....
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