Toyota Tacoma 2003 break-in

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Sep 14, 2002
my friend just bought a new toyota tacoma 2003 v6 2x4. the dealer reconmends break in period of 5000miles. he wants to change the oil and the filter at 1000 miles.

is this wise? i know that some dealers have oil, like honda, that has hecka moly in the factory fill thus it is pretty good to run it for a while before changing the oil.

he is just concerned about sludge and set up a schedule to 3k oil changes, mobil drive clean (or any cheap dino), and maybe a amsoil oil filter, maybe even baldwin (filers he is not sure of).

i did a search but i havent heard much about breaking in this car.

so what you guys think, would he be okay with the break in?

on a side note, dealer claimed that none of their engines sludged---something to think about =)

thank you guys!
That's the same engine as in my '96 4-Runner. I changed to M1 at 1500 miles. Burns no oil, runs great, excellent oil analyses until recently (you'll hear more about that in a couple of weeks). The 3.4 L was never one of the sludgy engines. So it probably doesn't matter if you friend changes the oil early or not.
The book for my 2002 pickup (2.7 liter)said first change at 1000 km. Dealer said if I didn't bring it in between 900 and 1100 I had no warrantee. I got there at 1090.
From the analisis I've run on new engines, I'm a firm believer in getting the junk out early.
digitaldrifter you asked this same question on another thread. The only difference was that you or your friend were told this buy a honda dealer. Come on.
last one was me, my car. this one is my friend.

i would use the info from the acura, but both the cars are differnt and this time i was concerned with sludge.

sorrie if i had botherd you, but if you have nothing to say (respectfully speaking) then dont say anything at all.

thank you everyone else for the comments, i look forward for the other comments that will be posted.

take care.
I would follow whatever the owners manual says. They built the motor so they should know something about it. It also avoids warranty hassles.
thanks guys, i finally found this forum again.

im just stumped on the breakin procedure, cant go past 55 and u cannot stay at 55 mph??? how cruel. seems ironic...

sorrie i flamed earlier, i wasnt having a good day. sorrie if i have repetitive posts but i do try and think before i post if you know what i mean.

thank you.
I had a 99 V6 3.4, I should have changed the oil at 1,000 miles.

By 2724 miles it was wrecked. The engine shutoff on me and due to the lockup in a corner I went into a parked car, all due to engine failure, and toyota determined it was due to the oil (which I hadnt touched). I kid you not I still have all the paperwork from my truck. They repaired it, $9,000 in damage on it, and I got it back - it was never the same though.

I traded it at 10,000 miles on my firebird.

I know this seems really off the wall but its true. It might not happen to you but, hey, it did me.
gosh sh** happends. sorrie to hear about that.

how can toyota determine it was the oil? it was only a couple thousand miles on it.
i have a 01 tacoma with the 2.4, i asked the dealer about their recomendations for oil,filter, etc. now this is my dealer, they recomend, toyota brand oil, or mobil-1 and toyota brand filter, or purolater pure-1 filter. i do my own oil changes and use m-1 oil and the toy. filters, toy. filters are cheaper at the dealer than the pur-1 is at murrays. 24k so far no problems. i made the 1st change at 2000 miles, and at 7000 mile intervals after that

Originally posted by digitaldrifter91:
gosh sh** happends. sorrie to hear about that.

how can toyota determine it was the oil? it was only a couple thousand miles on it.

They sent the engine to Japan for analysis and about a week later thats what they got told over the phone. The report is sitting in my droor next to me.

The break in oil pours out like black water btw, no viscocity at all. I hope they changed that.
When the engine is apart and you examine the parts and analize the oil, you can tell a lot about what was happening. As I remember there is a page here with fotos on bearing failures. That is the starting place.
I was at the dealer yesterday and they also recommend high quality synthetics with the oem filter or the regular toyota filter. The oem is about $16 and the regular is $4-$6. I was told to stick with the severe service schedule which is change filter and oil at 5000-6000 miles since I am running the M1 5-30. I removed the break in oil at 1500 miles and changed the filter and went right to the synthetics as recommended.


I asked about sludge issues and they informed me that sludge issues are present in vehicles with improper oil change intervals. IE., the vehicle should be severe service catagory and the owners are neglecting to change oil at the lower mileage such as 3000-5000 miles. These engines are run to the normal service of 7500 miles on the dino oil with no filter changes, which as we all know causes oil breakdown and sludge formation in the severe service.

IMO Toyota needs to revise the schedule intervals and lean more towards 3750-5000 miles since the majority runs off the shelf dino oil.
I have an '02 V6 Tacoma. I switched to synthetic (Mobil 1) at 500 miles. Now at 31k, the engine doesn't use a drop of oil over the course of a 10k change interval.
If you are dilligently changing the oil at specified intervals of 3-5K or even 7.5K you will be ok. Dont worry about sludge.

There are lots of forums and discussion about Toyota sludge but from what I have been able to gather is these were from irresponsible people and Toyota decided to help them out with new engines and the whole thing got blown out of proportion.
Apparently engines with sludge many owners had mileages of anywhere between 20-35K miles with no oil change on dino oil. When asked to produce a oil change reciept or reciepts of oil and filter no one could produce them, yet they all insisted they changed the oil according to Toyota specifications.
Toyota decided to fix it to ensure they dont ruin Toyota's reputation with a long drawn out court battle but it became headlines anyway.

If people are interested I have some sites that have pictures posted from Toyota Techs on some sludged engines, it looks like a coffee pot that has been burning over the weekend because someone forgot to turn it off. Crusty brown/black stuff thats hardened to the metal.

Going back to the topic, anyone that changes their oil according to specs should not worry about sludge at all, using dino or synthetic.
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