Tired of expensive oil changes

Messages
28
Location
Cambridge, Ontario
Greetings everyone, I've decided to stop wasting money of quick lube places and start doing my own oil changes. I do need some advise on the best oil and filters for my cars as I cannot seem to get a consensus from any of the other web sites. Car #1: 2004 Toyota Camry, 2AZ-FE 2.4L I4. ~210,000 km /130,500 mi. My daily driver, approx 15 km / 9 miles round trip to work. I got the car last August from a guy who babied it because he was putting 5,000-6,000 kms/month on it. Oil changed every month with either high mileage or synthetic blend (he went to Jiffy Lube I think). I've only done two changes (on 6 month interval) I went to the local Dealership and they used conventional 5W-30 Toyota oil and Filter. Based on current driving (which is close to 600-800 km/month) I will have to use either a 3month or 6 month changeout. Before the last change, the oil level was stable and it looked good with no significant darkening or change in consistency. I put a can of SeaFoam thru the brake booster (1/3rd) / crank case(1/3rd) / tank of gas (1/3rd) to clean things out before the oil change. Right now my two biggest concerns is the short distance daily drive and its affects on the engine, and the compounding effects of cold weather in the winder time as I do not have a block heater and the engine never gets up to temp on the trips to and from work (7.5 km one way). Car #2: 1999 Toyota Tercel, 1.5L I4. 272,000 km / 169,000 miles. Wife's daily driver. Approx 30 kms round trip. She's had it for about 4 years and I have to beg her to get the oil changes. Often times I take it for her and get it done. For most of the time we've had it changed every 3-6 months using Pennzoil 5W-30 and unknown ( it was bright yellow) oil filter. After 3 months the oil level is fine (I don't think I've ever had to top it off) but its very, very black. I wanna seafoam her car too, though I may need a few cans to do the job right. The guy that had my Camry is currently running 0W-30 on his ride to maximize fuel economy (H's getting 50+ mpg highway on this 08 Cobalt LE). I've been pondering the benefits of going all Synthetic for superior short-distance and cold temperature performance. At any rate I do apologize for the length but that's my situation and hope to get some good feedback. May thanks in Advance. Cheers,
 
Messages
14,776
Location
Illinois
M1 5-30. That will give you good protection and flow well in the winter. Change it out every 6,000 miles as your daily trips are short.
 
Messages
39,770
Location
Great Lakes
On car #1, because of the short commute, I'd probably just run a less expensive oil and change it more often. Maybe Pennzoil yellow bottle 5w-30. On car #2, I'd be tempted to use synthetic and run it longer, especially that it sounds like it's a problem for your wife to get the oil change done. So, maybe Pennzoil Platinum 5w-30 and run it for 8-10k miles. Sorry, don't know who makes good filters for your cars. I've heard good things about Amsoil EaO, Wix, Mobil1, but there are probably others.
 
Messages
2,804
Location
NJ
The Toyota filters are very good. Dino oil in the 2Z use it for 4.5k miles, Synthetic, like Mobil 1 and PP 6-7k at most due to the engine design I wouldn't push it to far.
 
Messages
15,052
Location
Canada
To start with, Tercels are absolutely indestructible. It doesn't matter what you run in them, or for how long, those 1.5's WILL NOT DIE. They do use some oil, so just be sure to keep it topped off, but even that doesn't seem to matter - years ago, the drain plug fell out of my dad's 1989 Tercel, and it got driven around D/T Ottawa all day on barely any oil, and it ran for years after that. For the Camry, a synthetic 0W-30 or 5W-30 wold be a good idea for short trip, cold weather operation. I'd go with whatever is on sale, or Wal-Marts 'SuperTech' 0W-30 full-syn - good price on that oil.
 

LarryOil

Thread starter
Messages
28
Location
Cambridge, Ontario
Another questions I've been pondering, is the drain plug gasket that fragile that it needs to be replaced at every change, or is that some gimmick the dealers use to squeeze you for more $$$?
 
Messages
2,600
Location
Kansas City
I reuse the gasket(washers) 3 or 4 times, until it looks different than a new one. Did this on my Honda and my Tacoma and have no runs, drips, or errors. Hope this helps.
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
Messages
12,849
Location
UT
 Originally Posted By: Steve S
What does Seafoam do?
If you do it wrong (easy to do) bend a rod! That's a feature... To the OP ; Changing the oil when you have short trips IS a GOOD thing. Syn oil does not get rid of the by products that running the engine short cycles produces. CHANGING the oil DOES. \:\! Filter changes at the same time is also a GOOD thing. Bill
 
Messages
178
Location
Ontario/Michigan
Look again for a block heater. I was under the impression cars built for Canada have them standard (like daytime running lights). Might just be with Chryslers, as I've owned a few since 1998, and all came with a block heater as standard equipment. As for Oil... stock up on synthetic deals at Advance Auto or Auto Zone when you cross over to the US! haa
 

LarryOil

Thread starter
Messages
28
Location
Cambridge, Ontario
There's a lot of resources that I found google and on youtube that were very helpful. Its recommended for a whole ton of things to help clean out the engine, cylinder heads, injectors, the fuel system and the crankcase. Typical application of one can is as follows: 1/3 through a vacuum line (brake booster typically) introduced into the intake manifold 1/3 into gas tank (must ensure proper mix ratio with gas) 1/3" into crank case. hte last one can be used as either a pre or post oil change treatment. Near as I can tell its like a 2 or 3 step fuel system treatement that a quick lube place charges between $70-$100 that you can do yourself for 5-7 bucks. I also used Seafoam Deep Creep to clean out my throttle body too.
 

LarryOil

Thread starter
Messages
28
Location
Cambridge, Ontario
I haven't shopped around too much at specialty auto places but the main brands that I have seen most common are: Castrol Pennzoil Valvoline Molbil 1 Super Tech Motomaster Formula 1(Canadian Tire) I don't get down to the USA, and to make a trip down for oil would probably be a waste of Gas (go Scangauge II).
 
Messages
134
Location
Wi
For 4 cylinder engines, do not screw around and just use 5W30 Mobil 1. You can buy it at Walmart for $22 in 5 quart containers. Purolator Pureone oil filters are $6 and are just about as good as it gets. For Under $30 you are set for 1 year or 6-7 thousand miles.
 
Messages
11,247
Location
PA
 Originally Posted By: LarryOil
There's a lot of resources that I found google and on youtube that were very helpful. Its recommended for a whole ton of things to help clean out the engine, cylinder heads, injectors, the fuel system and the crankcase. Typical application of one can is as follows: 1/3" into crank case. Can be used as a post oil change treatment.
I know you are just re-posting outside info, but it's borderline irresponsible to offer it as a tip without a factual background on it. Let me say it as clearly as possible: DO NOT add this junk to your oil. Solvent flushing the crankcase at idle with zero load and immediately draining it is one thing, but fact-is that harsh solvent is NOT the magic ingredient that oil formulators ~forgot~ to add! Solvents will thin the oil, permanently damaging it physically and chemically. As far as sludge goes, if it does disslove any upon adding it to the crankcase, all it ends up doing is spreading the sludge around evenly as the solvent evaporates within and hour or two of operation. BAD idea, Seafoam should not publish this as a "recommended" treatment.
 
Messages
43,687
Location
Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Audi Junkie
 Originally Posted By: LarryOil
There's a lot of resources that I found google and on youtube that were very helpful. Its recommended for a whole ton of things to help clean out the engine, cylinder heads, injectors, the fuel system and the crankcase. Typical application of one can is as follows: 1/3" into crank case. Can be used as a post oil change treatment.
I know you are just re-posting outside info, but it's borderline irresponsible to offer it as a tip without a factual background on it. Let me say it as clearly as possible: DO NOT add this junk to your oil. Solvent flushing the crankcase at idle with zero load and immediately draining it is one thing, but fact-is that harsh solvent is NOT the magic ingredient that oil formulators ~forgot~ to add! Solvents will thin the oil, permanently damaging it physically and chemically. As far as sludge goes, if it does disslove any upon adding it to the crankcase, all it ends up doing is spreading the sludge around evenly as the solvent evaporates within and hour or two of operation. BAD idea, Seafoam should not publish this as a "recommended" treatment.
I believe time may have just stopped.... I have to agree with AJ here. His post is dead-on.
 
Messages
2,689
Location
South Carolina
If you can get Mobil 1/Esso 0W-30 for use during the coldest part of the year or year-round even, this grade of synthetic oil would help to have best flow during cold starts especially, yet still protect like a SAE 30 when engine is fully warmed up. I would probably go no more than 5-7k miles or 6 months on this oil due to your short trips....maybe 5000 miles on your car and more on hers since her trips are longer. For summer use, Mobil 5000 5W-30 or another equivalent conventional oil would be fine if you want to spend a little less to go 3-5000 miles during the warmer season. Good filters for those intervals are Purolator or PureOne, Wix or Napa Gold, Bosch, Toyota oem. The best flowing filter I have seen for cold weather use is the Amsoil Eao series, but for it to be cost effective, you would need to use it for 2-3 oil changes or one year total approximately. There are several people here doing that from what I have read. But don't do that if using seafoam before oil changes. Bill in Utah had it right when he said to change the oil more often for short trip use like your daily driver. A synthetic oil could extend that out a bit, but short trip use will degrade any oil faster than normal, even a top of the line synthetic that could normally go 15k miles or more.
 
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