Pilot vs Prius Recommended OCI

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2
Location
WI
Hi BITOG—longtime lurker, first time poster here. I am grateful for this community. I'm posting because I'm bewildered by the difference in recommended OCIs between my two cars. I've always been a Honda guy but recently got my first Prius. So currently my cars are a 2004 Pilot and a 2005 Prius. The Prius has a manufacturer recommended OCI of 5k miles, changing the filter every time. The Pilot has a manufacturer recommended OCI of 7.5k miles, changing the filter every 15k miles. This just seems wrong to me. I would expect it to be the other way around, if anything. Surely the Pilot is harder on the oil than the Prius with the same driving conditions? I live in WI and both cars get mostly highway miles w/out towing, so pretty gentle driving conditions on the whole. I'm using quality high-mileage synthetic oils (Mobil 1, Quaker State, Valvoline—whatever's available and cheapest when I'm shopping) of recommended viscosity on both engines, OEM filters, redline in the gas before each oil change. I don't think I'm willing to drop $30 every few months on each car for habitual oil analysis, although I might be persuadable. The Pilot has 198k miles and the Prius has ~312k (the odometer stops at 299), if anyone cares. So: I'm looking for opinions on the manufacturer recommended OCIs for these two cars, any suggestions for me to help get the Prius to 400k and the Pilot to 300k :), and any opinions about WHY there's this disparity between the recommended OCIs on these cars. Thanks!
 
Messages
18,200
Location
NH
Why? Engines are better than they used to be, as is oil. If it was me, I'd just do 5k OCI's. Jack it up, drain the oil, and while it's draining, do a tire rotation. That's the Toyota way. wink I'm not sure it matters that much in the end. Honda didn't come up with their recommendation in a vacuum. Worst case is ignore their recommendations and change every 10k. If you're doing highway as you say, it should be fine. I would prefer a cheap synthetic for 10k, but for 5k I'm not sure a cheap conventional would be bad either--and a cheap conventional, with all highway, is probably just as fine.
 
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4,671
Location
MN
That does seem strange Toy recommends very frequent oil changes on the Prius which doesn't even run the engine for all those miles. I have a 15 Ford C-Max Hybrid, and it gets changed every 10,000 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first. The C-Max runs the engine about 60% of the total miles, so I guess its 'really' 6,000 miles effectively. What Toyota did was to be extremely careful, recommending 5,000 mile or 6 month oil changes. Of course the sump size is small, only 3.9 quarts, and they only recommended GroupII conventional oil back then, both factors on the short oil change intervals. These days, oil is better. The dexos1 spec has now upped the ante compared to the early 2000's. With any dexos1-spec oil, you could easily go 10,000 miles or 1 year like my C-Max hybrid does. SuperTech 5w30 dexos1 oil at walmart is the best deal, yet I like the Mobil1 Extended Performance or Annual Protection to go more premium, your choice really. (or Castrol gold-jug 5w30 too) For you, since your vehicles are older, I recommend going one step further: Use Mobil1 0w40 euro-spec oil from Walmart, relatively cheap there in a 5-quart jug, and use for both vehicles. The euro-specs (Mercedes, Porsche, VW) for oil are even tougher than dexos1. Go 12,000 miles or 1 year between oil and filter changes if you switch to the excellent Mobil1 0w40 oil here. Castrol 0w40 at walmart is similarly great.
 
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1,765
Location
CA, USA
Also factoring in on Toyota's conservative oil recommendation is their multibillion dollar settlement over the sludgemonster fiasco with one of their engines from the late 90s and early 2000s. IIRC their oil recomendations in the 90s were 3750 severe/7500 normal like Honda, but after that issue reared its ugly head, they just brought most if not all of their OCI recommendations to 5000 miles (evidently some drivers weren't sure which of the two categories they fell into, so Toy made it simple with just one category). Looking at the few UOAs for my engine (3MZFE) that is in both my cars, I have seen some take it to 10,000 miles and do very well, although others with excess silicon (sand?) didn't do well at all, on much shorter runs. The sump in my engines is 5 quarts, and I also have a 5K OCI.
 
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Messages
36,526
Location
ME
My prii with 270+k miles barely burn any oil. I credit their original owners with maintaining to some sort of standard. One of them even spent $480 for rear brakes-- drums & shoes, at the dealer. I continue the 5k OCIs per the maintenance minder.
 
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6,569
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Toyota upped it to 10k miles after switching to 0W-30. They said 5W-20 was OK with 5k mile OCIs. Also, Toyota generally has a single maintenance schedule for each model year that's not specific to the particular model. I thought maybe the V6 sludge monsters were on their mind. Not sure about Honda. My wife's 2002 Civic owners manual says 10k miles for normal driving. I looked up the 2004 Civic for reference and it's the same 10k mile 1 yr schedule compared to the Pilot's 7.5k miles. Was this before VCM? If I had one I'd be using Mobil 1 and/or changing it more often.
 

NO2

Messages
950
Location
Michigan
We had a sludge V6 Toyota engine and used it with M1. No sludge at all in 125K, 7.5K OCI. Barely any varnish on the valve train. It had a lot to do with the oil in those days.
 
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4,671
Location
MN
Originally Posted by y_p_w
Just a quick correction - 0W-20 was what they speced at the time.
No, 5w-30 was it. Page 287 of https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/om-s/OM47509U/pdf/OM47509U.pdf 0w20 was just appearing on shelves back then. In Japan, they might already have been using it, but not in the states. 5,000 miles was also a thing back then: https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/05ToyAllMS_MS0012/pdf/51w1smt.pdf Very short! Again, oils are better now. Its been 15 years since those manuals were printed. We can easily double to 10,000 miles or 1 year on a Prius using modern dexos1 oil.
 
Messages
6,569
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Originally Posted by oil_film_movies
Originally Posted by y_p_w
Just a quick correction - 0W-20 was what they speced at the time.
No, 5w-30 was it. Page 287 of https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/om-s/OM47509U/pdf/OM47509U.pdf 0w20 was just appearing on shelves back then. In Japan, they might already have been using it, but not in the states. 5,000 miles was also a thing back then: https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/05ToyAllMS_MS0012/pdf/51w1smt.pdf Very short! Again, oils are better now. Its been 15 years since those manuals were printed. We can easily double to 10,000 miles or 1 year on a Prius using modern dexos1 oil.
Sorry - I was referring to their shift to 0W-20 and not when the main recommendation was for 5W-30. I remember back when 0W-20 was speced they said 5W-20 could be used if 0W-20 wasn't available. Also - at least for the Camry it looks like they had different OCIs for the V6 and for the inline-4s - at least in the 2010 Camry (looks like it's model/engine specific). I remember in previous years Toyota had a single maintenance booklet for all models/engines. It says 5k miles for the V6, where they specify ILSAC 5W-30. For the inline-4s it says 10k unless it's driven in "special operating conditions" or "If 0W-20 oil WAS NOT used at the last oil change" in which case it's at 5k miles. https://www.toyota.com/t3Portal/document/omms-s/T-MMS-10Camry/pdf/2010_Camry_WMG_0W20_lr.pdf Again, I'm thinking the 0W-20 (i.e. at least semi-syn by any reasonable definition) is the reason why they say that 10k is OK. I'm pretty sure that something like Mobil 1 or Castrol Edge would probably be fine, although the sludge issues might be something to worry about.
 

BuyJapanese

Thread starter
Messages
2
Location
WI
Hey, thanks folks! This is great. Some important stuff I'm picking up is that a) Toyota was likely being overcautious at the time due to recent issues, b) oils have gotten better in 15 years so I can be more flexible, and c) I should not necessarily use recommended viscosity due to improvements in oil technology. The Pilot recommends 5W-20 and Toyota is 5W-30. It would save a bit of garage floor space and cash flow if I only need to keep one kind around. So I'll plan on that. Maybe I'll switch to 0W20 or 0W30 on both after I use up what I have on hand. And if 10k change intervals with a decent synthetic are in the cards on the Prius, maybe I will pay for a UOA at 5k.
 
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