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2006 Toyota Matrix/Corolla Oil Change to prevent VVTI problems

The manual says that the oil in this car should be changed every 7,000 miles or so. I am very skeptical at the duration of this interval. I drive exclusively on the highway to and from work. I live and work within 1 or 2 miles of the HWY on and off ramps. I currently change the oil at around 5,000 miles. Will this ruin the VVTI system on this car?

The reason I am asking this question is to find out if changing my oil every 5-7k will ruin the VVTI system in this car. I have read online that not changing your oil often enough will ruin these systems in Corollas. Now I understand its common sense to change your oil often, but with all highway miles, will this car be OK changing the oil at 5,000 miles.

Thank you.

Actually, highway miles are far easier on oil life than typical stop-n-go city traffic and short hop driving. You could go the full 7,000 miles or more between changes. And, of course, more frequent oil changes cannot hurt the car, only your wallet.

The manual for my 2006 Matrix says 5000 miles or 6 months, and that’s what I’ve been doing.
Since I only drive 2-3 time a week, and ~4000 miles a year I’m considering switching to once a year when the extended warranty expires.

I can’t imagine any way that changing the oil more frequently than the owner’s manual suggests could do any damage to the engine or valves. I’m assuming you are using the oil with the rating Toyota recommends and changing the filter at the same time.

Nobody ever ruined anything by changing their oil…

You are probably mistaken and misunderstood the notices that changing oil not often enough will impair the valve gear actuation. Our 2007 Toyta has the same engine and it calls for oil and filter changes every 5000 miles. We stick to that and after 5 years the engine does not use oil and runs perfectly. The WEIGHT of the oil is important. If you use a heavier oil than specified, such as 10W30 and start the engine on a very cold day you will definitely cause excessive wear on the valve mechanism.

You are doing the right thing; changing oil very 5000 miles will make the engine last a long time, providd you use the right viscosity (weight) of oil.

Ditto @Doc

My daughters 03 Corolla has the same engine with over 170k on it. 10w30 has never been a problem, 7500 mile intervals, Mobil 1 oil. The dealer even recommended 10w30.

10/30 Penzoil for my early 90’s Corolla w/200K changed at 6-7 K and no leaks, never had a oil related problem.

The newer Toyotas are more particular about oil I think, due in part to a more complex valve arrangement which allows variable valve timing for improved mpg and performance. It’s always safer to use the oil type exactly as spec’d in the owner’s manual.