When to start using a synthetic oil on a new vehicle

Messages
85
Location
California
I just purchased a new Tacoma (3.4l V6) and a Camry (4 cyl). When should I start using a synthetic oil. I heard to wait until after the "break in" period....but what is that? 1,000 miles? 5,000 miles? 10,000 miles? Thanks
 

Al

Messages
19,206
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
As soon as you get it home. I changed mine at 30 miles on the O.D. It now has 35K miles on it and uses less than 1 oz. per 1000 miles. I would suggest the Mobil 10W-30. Perhaps the Amsoil boys will tell you which grade of Amsoil to use.
 
Messages
5,358
Location
Gone
mulepacker, You will get all sorts of opinions on this issue, from right away (like Porsche, Corvette, etc, do) to never (some of our members don't see the need for syn). My advice: for an engine not factory filled with synthetic, meaning the OEM did not intend for the use of syn from "mile 1," I think the 10,000 mile point is a great place to make the change. There is debate over whether or not an engine not specifically designed to do so can break in on a synthetic. Why create worry? Use dino until 10K and then switch, and yes I think you SHOULD use synthetic.
 
Messages
3,031
Location
Florida
I switched at 1500 miles to 5-30 M1. I switched that batch at 4700 miles or 3200 on oil, 6 months. I will now change the oil twice a year. This interval is on my Tacoma. And [Welcome!] Daily Drives -2003 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner XtraCab, Impulse Red, Peppy 2.7 Liter 4 Banger, Running Mobil1 Synthetics SS 5W-30. ODO 4700 Miles. -1995 Toyota 4-Runner, Evergreen, 3.0 V6, Running Mobil1 Synthetic SS 10W-30. ODO 81700 Miles.
 
Messages
5,112
Location
Airlie Beach Australia
Hi, IMHO I suggest that you wait until the first scheduled oil change - or about 3000 kms - to do the change to a synthetic of any brand The engine will have a bit of assembly debris to get rid of and it seems a waste to put the synthetics in to act as the "carrier" unless you plan another quick change As an example - I started two identical 12.7 ltr diesels on Mobil's D1 as follows TrkA on to D1 at 6kkms TrkB on to D1 at 50kkms ( this truck also had a semi-synthetic oil change at 6kkms ) TrkA took about 200kkms to "settle down" according to the wear metal trends trends ( Iron,Alum,Copper,Chrome )from the regular UOAs TrkB "settled immediately". This was tracked prior to and after D1 was installed as confirmed by the first and subsequent UOA These vehicles were operated in very similar circumstances and the UOAs monitored by me, the Engine maker and ExxonMobil I now advise fleet owners to cover at least 30kkms and carry out two oil/filter changes before moving to D1 - after some millions of kms experience with the product I have introduced synthetics into many engines and have a lot of similar experiences In the past I have also introduced synthetics at under 2kkms with no adverse effects. I no longer do this And yes, it does depend a little on whether you embark on a "hard" or "soft" run in method I prefer the hard but empathetic method! Regards Doug Regards
 
Messages
816
Location
McGregor TX
You'll like your Taco. I have a 2002 Double Cab with the 3.4L V6. I changed the oil & filter at 900 miles with conventional oil. I used Mobil conventional oil since supposedly that is what Toyota uses for factory fill. Then I changed to synthetic around 4800 miles.
 
Messages
73
Location
WA
I say wait until, at least, 5000 miles. I just changed my new 2003 Tacoma (2.7L I4) engine oil over to synthetic, 5w-30 Mobil 1, at 5000 miles. I did the first change on the engine at 1000 miles, then again at 3000, before changing again, and switching over to synthetic, at 5000 miles. I also changed my entire powertrain, front & rear differientals, 5 speed transmission, and transfer case. I used Mobil 1 synthetic gear oil in my transmission and rear differential, and Castrol dino in my front differential and transfer case. The front differential and transfer case only have an estimated 100 miles on them, so I'll wait till next year w/them before going synthetic, to allow more break in on them. Boy my transmission and rear differential oils were dirty. The oil was a gray metalic color. I'm glad I changed them. By the way, don't go cheap w/the oil filter. [ September 08, 2003, 09:44 PM: Message edited by: GoHack ]
 
Messages
5,112
Location
Airlie Beach Australia
Hi, GoHack - IMHO I recommend that you change the diff oil now. Get rid of the assembly/manufacturing debris out of there ASAP. Diffs and G/boxes should be treated differently to engines when new For what its worth
 
Messages
35
Location
Memphis, TN
mulepacker, FWIW, on our Infiniti, the manu. says that it only takes about 1500 miles to break in a new engine. In fact, Infiniti suggest the first oil change at 1000-1500 miles. I would suggest going 3K miles on the conventional oil and then switching over to synthetic. It will provide enough milage for these much tighter tolerance modern engines to break in and get all the manu. debris and runout out of the engine and into the oil. However, you may also want to do an initial change at 1000-1500 miles and then again at 4000-4500 miles to change to synthetic. I don't think that any modern engine requires over 5K miles to break in. Also, my understanding is that unless the engine is designed (ie. manufactured to sufficient tolerances/quality that it is almost broken in from the factory) for synthetic, the increased friction attributes of most conventional oils are necessary to get the engine broken in quickly. Running a synthetic will not stop the break in, but it can delay it. Hope this helps Scott [ September 08, 2003, 10:23 PM: Message edited by: Scott ]
 
Messages
73
Location
WA
quote:
Hi, GoHack - IMHO I recommend that you change the diff oil now. Get rid of the assembly/manufacturing debris out of there ASAP. Diffs and G/boxes should be treated differently to engines when new For what its worth
I changed the oil in the entire powertrain, but only used synthetic in the transmission and rear differential. I didn't feel that the front differential and transfer case had enough break in yet to go synthetic w/them.
 
Messages
5,112
Location
Airlie Beach Australia
Hi, it is important to get conventional gear oils with EP chemicals etc. out as soon as possible. This prevents chemical build up on seals etc. ( Eaton Corp. - "...Petroleum mineral-based lubricant deposits can be dissolved by synthetics and other lubes, causing seal leakage and lubricant loss.", and "...mineral oils must be drained during the first 5000 miles." With my new vehicles - heavy trucks,cars,light trucks etc. this is the first task I do. The the lubricant is there for the component's first life or until sold! As you will find on another thread here specifically on this issue, there is also a lot of manufacturing and assembly "debris" inside after assembly Engines always seem to have a degree of bedding in requirement. The synthetic factory fill engine oil used by some manufacturers are I believe especially formulated for that task and not available to the public for "normal" use Regards Doug
 
Messages
810
Location
Greece
quote:
Originally posted by mulepacker: I just purchased a new Tacoma (3.4l V6) and a Camry (4 cyl). Thanks
Two cars together?? Lucky you. [Smile]
 
Messages
125
Location
Virginia
I have the '93 Camry 4cyl that was bought new. The breakin oil was dumped at 1000 miles,and changed to Mobil 1 10/30 at 3000. It now has 232,000 miles, uses no oil, leaks not a drop and runs like a champ! My daughter is it's third regular driver now, and doing her very best to kill it.
 
Messages
453
Location
Galveston, TX
quote:
Originally posted by Doug Hillary: Hi, it is important to get conventional gear oils with EP chemicals etc. out as soon as possible. This prevents chemical build up on seals etc. ( Eaton Corp. - "...Petroleum mineral-based lubricant deposits can be dissolved by synthetics and other lubes, causing seal leakage and lubricant loss.", and "...mineral oils must be drained during the first 5000 miles." With my new vehicles - heavy trucks,cars,light trucks etc. this is the first task I do........ Regards Doug
Doug, your post brings to mind an interesting case, or series of cases in the U.K. in the late 1970's to mid-1980's. A bunch of Japanese Import Auto dealers were being driven up the wall and 'round the bend by a series of mysterious leaks coming from otherwise new and well-maintained Japanese cars. What all the leakers had in common was that they had switched from dino mineral oil to Synthetic Oil. After careful study and analysis of the problem, the dealers concluded that the Syn Oil was reacting with the traces of dinosaur mineral oil in the seals, causing the seals to go bad. The dealers concluded that the only cure for this leak was to advise that any car due to do the switch to Syn Oil be completely torn down, cleaned of all traces of mineral oil, and reassembled again with all-new gaskets and seals. That way, the only thing the new gasket/seal would have come into contact with would have been Syn Oil. Interesting that today, the prescribed preventative for the seal deterioration problem is a flush/Auto-RX job, before going on to Syn Oil full-time. So, the U.K dudes were thinking in the right general direction, but they failed to identify the exact cause of the problem: that is, the problem is one of Syn Oil cleaning out the crud that forms around the seals under a steady mineral oil diet.
 
Messages
5,112
Location
Airlie Beach Australia
Hi, intersesting comments. Thanks! When I first started converting road-going vehicles ( not earthmovers ) to synthetic lubricants in the gearboxes and diffs ( especially )Shell and Castrol both had a full flushing regime that needed to be followed. If I remember correctly ( this was 25-30 odd years ago )it went like this; a) Fill and flush drained component with kero. b) Charge with a fill of 50%kero/50%synthetic. c) Run for a short time "until warm" then drain d) Add full charge of synthetic lubricant Perhaps we have moved on - but some things still remain the same! Regards
 
Messages
5,112
Location
Airlie Beach Australia
Hi, a little aside to this subject About 1983 I visited the Kubota engine factory in Japan. I met the Enginners and posed the issue of using synthetics in their engines. We we trialling them in Reefer Units The spoke around the table in Japenese - and said "do not use synthetic engine oil in our engines" I did Castrol R 10w-50? and never had a problem - some engines ran out to 15000hrs plus!! Regards
 
Messages
453
Location
Galveston, TX
quote:
Originally posted by Doug Hillary: Hi, intersesting comments. Thanks! When I first started converting road-going vehicles ( not earthmovers ) to synthetic lubricants in the gearboxes and diffs ( especially )Shell and Castrol both had a full flushing regime that needed to be followed. If I remember correctly ( this was 25-30 odd years ago )it went like this; a) Fill and flush drained component with kero. b) Charge with a fill of 50%kero/50%synthetic. c) Run for a short time "until warm" then drain d) Add full charge of synthetic lubricant Perhaps we have moved on - but some things still remain the same! Regards
Hi Doug. Thanks for your views. Re: kerosene. As a boy, I was taught that kerosene should never be allowed to contact lubricating oil. Seems, it causes lube oil to break down. In cases where kero is used to flush, plenty of time must be allowed for every molecule of kero to dry off. What about gasoline(petrol)? Does it not break down lube oils, too? Yes, but if gasoline is used for washing engine parts, it is much easier to dry off said part completely. Gasoline: quick and easy to dry off. Please note: Do not mess with gasoline!!!!!! Dangerous!!!!!
 
Messages
453
Location
Galveston, TX
quote:
Originally posted by Doug Hillary: Hi, a little aside to this subject About 1983 I visited the Kubota engine factory in Japan. I met the Enginners and posed the issue of using synthetics in their engines. We we trialling them in Reefer Units The spoke around the table in Japenese - and said "do not use synthetic engine oil in our engines" I did Castrol R 10w-50? and never had a problem - some engines ran out to 15000hrs plus!! Regards
Syn Oil of vintage 1980 to 1985 often did wreck engines. Those Factory engineers probably witnesed some of the wrecking cases first hand, so they are terrified of Syn Oil. But today's Syn Oils have come a long way. I daresay 90% of the guys that use Syn Oil do not end up grenading their engines. I alway say, everybody screws up sometime. Even Castrol GTX of 20 years ago, it could not satisfy all of the people all of the time. People who used Castrol GTX 20 years ago called it "Black Death"[somewhat unkindly, methinks!!!!!!] and other un-complimentary stuff. But look at Castrol GTX today!!!! It seems like every other person in North America uses it!!!!!!! But having said that, I still prefer to pay $1.00 to $1.89 a quart than $5 a quart for my motor oil. There is no way to justify the added expense, unless I was driving from Boston to Miami in the middle of Summer and I fear "cooking" my engine.
 
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