1st oil change: 2018 Toyota Camry

My husband has a new car 2018 Toyota Camry. We want to know when he should have the first synthetic oil change for the new car. Is it at 5,000 miles?

That info is in your owners manual but you can change sooner if you want to . The schedule will read X number of miles or X number of months . My personal choice by the schedule and have it done by the dealer at least until warranty period is over.

Read all of the service schedule just for your own good.


Since it is now 2019, you’ve had it for close to a year, no matter how many miles on the car, the oil need changing. I’d bet the Toyota manual say xxxx miles or one year, whichever come first. The year came first.

You need to read and follow your owner’s manual if you want to keep your warranty coverage in effect. If you’re asking this question, I’m guessing you already missed your first tire rotation and fuel system treatment.

Fuel treatment on a 1 year old vehicle with 5000 miles ?

Never mind. I see that’s only for Hawaii and some other islands.

The good news is that most new car engines are broken in at the factory. The bad news is that I don’t know if this applies to your car.

In any case, I’d go ahead and do your first oil change. Engines that aren’t broken in at the factory usually get their first oil change long before 5,000 miles, usually around 500 or 1,000 miles.

Vehicles that get their first oil change early do so because they expect there to be some metal debris in the oil as the engine is broken-in, so doing a second oil change sooner than recommended (or doing your first oil change at 5,000 miles) isn’t going to hurt.

For reasons that I will probably never understand, a LOT of people just can’t seem to wrap their heads around the elapsed time factor for maintenance. They usually see the odometer mileage factor, and then frequently overlook the very vital elapsed time factor.


How vital is the time factor though? Personally, I’m using oil that exceeds the recommendation in my car’s owner’s manual (synthetic vs. conventional, and a higher API standard), so I don’t worry about the time interval. It’s much easier to just change it every 5,000 miles (which is longer than the “severe conditions” recommendation of 3,750 miles, but is shorter than the “normal conditions” recommendation of 7,500 miles).

I think most people do well enough to change it based on mileage alone.

Your car has synthetic 0W20 oil like in my Corolla.I do my oil changes at every 5000 miles. Doing it sooner will waste perfectly good oil and empty your wallet at the same time.

Well, it is apparently vital enough to make once-a-year oil changes a requirement for warranty coverage of the engine…

I’m all in favor of maintaining the warranty, but I consider many of the things that can void a warranty arbitrary. For example, if my car requires 5W-30 conventional oil changed every 3,750 miles, and I change the 5W-30 synthetic oil every 5,000 miles, and my engine has a non-oil-related failure, the warranty has been voided based on a technicality.

With that in mind, the answer you gave me dodged the question rather than answering it. I guess the answer to “How vital is the time factor?” is that you don’t know. I don’t know either, and I’d like to hear from someone who does, in terms of engine wear, not technicalities.

Don’t you think that it makes a difference in terms of accumulation of sludge in the engine? The person who drives less than 5k miles per year is usually one drives very short distances–for local errands–and that car’s engine rarely warms-up enough to evaporate accumulated water vapor from the oil.

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I do think it’s a factor, which is why I asked how much of a factor it is.

Again, I asked how much of a factor it is, not whether it is a factor. I don’t see the point of bickering if you’re not interested in addressing my question. I certainly don’t want to argue about other questions I haven’t asked, especially about points we agree on.

been told the factory oil should be used until you get the 1st oil change reminder from car. not sooner. like 1k miles or 3k miles as in the old days. the car does not know its the 1st oil change though and i assume it will use the programmed miles to tell you. lets say car says change it at 7k miles. and you make no driving habit changes or trips will the computer than also say change it at 7k down the road? as in 7k intervals for the next 5 yrs? or whatever the magic number is?

Well, with that type of tone, you are bickering.
I don’t think that anyone can possibly quantify this issue, due to all of the variables, so I can’t give you specifics… but you already knew that…

If you could find a few such people willing to do a used oil analysis, that might help answer your question.

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Actually, now that I think about it, no, I don’t think changing the oil based on mileage rather than time will lead to sludge. I do think it’s likely to affect the quality of the oil, such as acidity and additives wearing out, long before it beings to sludge. I think you’d have to go pretty far past the deadline before sludge happens.

I do think the time interval is important, but with modern engines and modern oils being what they are, I think of changing the oil only based on mileage as minor neglect, not major. Does anyone make a sludge-prone engine these days?

Any specification like this must take into account worst case scenario. That’s why I like OLM because they can account for variations in use between owner usage profile, environmental conditions and time. When they have only mileage and time inputs, it has to account for the worst case for all of the above. I have many cars that sit for long periods and are infrequently used but then driven longer distances. Would anyone think that is equivalent to a car that is driven every day but only a fraction of the distance each time? So the one year interval is taking that into account. I’ve said here before, I even dislike the mileage interval for the same reason. A stop and go mile in NYC is far more concerning than one in rural Iowa for example. People tend to treat these as gospel without considering how they were derived and the difficulty in encompassing all scenarios to keep the rules simple to follow…

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I’m not going to read all the responses but you will get varying responses. I changed my Acura oil at 5000 miles and change every 5000 miles. Honda does say that they have break-in oil from the factory and to leave it in for the normal change period. I don’t know what Toyota says on break-in oil. At any rate I did ask the dealer though about changing it a little ahead of schedule and they saw no problem with 5000 miles. Now the differential they wanted changed at the first 10,000 miles and were pretty insistent about it to clean it out. A couple hundred extra dollars for servicing versus the cost of the car to me is well worth it in the long run.