Winter oil for my Toys?

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Apr 7, 2004
South Carolina
Even though winter is basically over here in SC, I'd like to hear recommendations on brand/weight for winter driving my 01 RAv4, 01 Highlander and 92 4x4 truck. Low temps avg 30s and highs 50-60. Thanks! I'm really loving this site!
Mobil 1 Truck/SUV formula. Year 'round. 5W-40

Originally posted by n8wvi:
What does Toyota recommend? What are your driving conditions?


Toyota recommends 10w30 for all 3 vehicles. The Highlander gets 25k a year and the Rav4 gets 14k a year both highway & city. Both are 4 cylinder. The truck is gets 10k a yr w primarily highway and is a 3.0 litre 6 cyl. The 4x4 uses about 1qt between changes (3k). Thanks!

Originally posted by Back40:


Originally posted by haley10:
Mobil 1 Truck/SUV formula. Year 'round. 5W-40

Since I am not comfortable going past 3,500 between changes I'd prefer to stay with dino.

Are you sure about the 10w-30? All my recent Toyotas (2x Camry, Highlander, and Sequoia) have recommended 5w-30, with 10w-30 mentioned as acceptable if 5w-30 is not available. I've used 10w-30, and think it's perfectly safe,; I'm just curious about whether there are situations where Toyota goes for the slightly thicker oil as a primary.

You will, of course, be very safe with short OIC in these vehicles, but from my recent Toyota experience, you can clearly go much longer. Being a heavy highway driver (year-old, 03 Camry has 33k miles now), I've been using M-1 all the way to 7,500 miles (with a midterm filter change). My car recently had a breather tube leak, and so, the dealer removed and replaced the whole front cyl bank valve/cam cover. This was done immediately before an oil change, and the installed oil had 7500 miles on it (car had 25k total). The engine was absolutely spotless. All you could see was sniny bare metal, no hint of dirt or sludge. The metal did not even have that yellow-brown staining (thin varnish?) that a lot of older but clean motors seem to have. You could see a bit of oil here and there, but that was it. I'll do a UOA at the end of the present fill to check oil condition.

[ April 14, 2004, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: ekpolk ]
I live in NC and probably have a similar climate though you may be a little warmer.

I've run 10W30 dino year round in my 98 Tacoma 2.7 with 5K changes. First 90,000 with Kendall 10W30 and the last 40,000 with Havoline 10W30. Truck does not burn oil, at least from viewing the dipstick, and the color only changes from light to a slightly darker color by 5K. Truck sees a lot of highway miles so I've always been comfortable with 5k changes. The Toyota dealership switched out the factory fill 5W30 for their oil which was the Kendall 10W30.

Prior to this truck, I had an 89 Toyota Pickup 22RE that I ran for 146,000 miles on various 10W30 dinos with 7,500 OCI. Yeah I know, but that's what the manual said for normal use and I didn't know any better. Truck did not see the highway miles that my current truck does either. Usually burned between 1/2 to 1 quart of oil in 7,500 miles and the oil was black at the 7,500 mile mark. Sold it to a co-worker who switched it to Mobil One (with no leaks) and has put another 50,000 miles on the truck.
Now keep in mind that these are all personal preferences.
In my Tacoma I run 10w/30 in all but the coldest months. Dec-Feb I run 5w/30.
Any good dino will serve you well. These engines are built to last and with reasonable OCIs will last ya a very long time.
FWIW I like Castrol Syntec Blend.

BTW the wifes 90 4Runner has over 160k miles with dino and 3k OCIs.
Thanks for the feedback guys. Looks like I'll stay with the 10w30 GTX from November-April. Still not sure about summer.
With 3,500 mi. drains, the Castrol GTX 10W-30 should be great. You could run it year 'round and never worry about it.

The Syntec Blend is showing some great results here too.
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