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2018 Toyota Camry - My brother - right or wrong?

My brother tells me I should pay no attention to the manufacturer recommendation of 10,000 mile oil changes (synthetic oil) and should change it every 5,000 miles. I don’t believe him. Who is right?

Actually both are. The people who built your car know what they are doing and your brother is using what can be called extra care. Look in your manual for the severe use oil changes and see what that says. Not knowing your driving patterns I would think that your manual says 10000 miles or 1 year.

I do 7000 miles or 1 year which ever comes first and you can do many oil changes for the price of a new engine.

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I have a Toyota as well and I just can’t bring myself to do a 10,000 mile oil change. I could stand 7,000 or even 8,000, but just not 10,000 - maybe it’s that 5th digit. I agree with @VOLVO_V70 - you’re both right, but check that severe service definition and interval if you go for 10,000 and make sure your driving isn’t defined as severe.

You are right! does your brother work for a stealership? 10,000 miles is what the manufacturer recommands. Doing it sooner will waste perfectly good oil and empty your wallet at the same time.

Do you have an Oil Life Monitor (OLM)? If so, it will tell you when to change oil. Normal service, which includes a lot of steady driving with few stops, will be close to 10,000 miles. If you do a lot of stop and go driving where it is hot and dusty, that is severe service, and closer to 5000 miles might be about right. What does your owner’s manual say about severe service oil change intervals?

Changing the oil and filter can only help, never will hurt your car or its performance. Changing too frequently can harm the environment and result in extra expenses though. Replacing a timing chain or variable valve timing actuator b/c the oil changes were too infrequent will result in extra expenses too. It’s a compromise only the car’s owner can decide.

we get free oil changes for the first 2 years at 10k, if we keep the car after the 3 year lease is up I will watch the oil color, and decide then if we do more frequent oil changes.

I change oil in our Acura at 5000 miles with syn which is about 50% on the OLM. Who is right? Who cares? I balance about $45,000 for the vehicle versus $35 for synthetic oil and an OEM filter. Less than $100 extra a year and I’m sure not to have any carbon build up.


I would recommend that you do your first oil change at 5k. If you want to go every 10k after that, its up to you.

BUT, my daughter has a 14 Camry that also calls for 10k oil changes. The dealer did the first two at 10 and 20k, I did one at 25k and then another at 35k. On the 35k oil change, I found sludge building up inside the oil filter housing. Been doing 7500 OCI (oil change interval) since.

I have had quite a few cars that I have used the 7500 OCI with synthetic oil and never had an engine issue. I kept most for at least 200k miles and none burned much oil, most didn’t burn any. Worse case was one that burned a quart every 1100 miles after 275k on the engine. Been using the 7500 OCI and synthetic oil on most of my vehicles since around 1985.

Your brother is right. If you’ve ever heard of or read about oil sludging/coking and/or premature oil consumption then lack of oil changes it the usual cause.

Oil consumption is due to the oil control rings seizing in the piston grooves which in turn does not allow them to “breathe” so to speak.
I’ve been into countless engines and while the compression rings are usually free moving the oil control rings are not.

Your brother is right. 10k is just too long between oil changes.

I know Toyota didn;t have an oil life monitor in 2012, don’t know if they have one now but I don;t think so. Only car I ever had with a monitor was a 98 Olds.

My RAV has a maintenance monitor that comes on at 5,000 miles, not an oil life monitor. Both our Hondas have oil life monitors.

Toyota had some engines fail due to sludge a few years back and they had to be replaced at great cost to Toyota. That being said I wouldn’t think they would want to take this risk again.

Another interesting note are that the impacted engines using synthetic oil or where the oil was changed every 3000 miles didn’t sludge or fail.

If you REALLY want to know, do an oil analysis with Blackstone Labs or similar after 5000 miles and get a scientific analysis of just how much life is left in the oil.

My Camry’s oil change light comes on every 5K

My brother’s Highlander, which is a few years newer, also has the light come every 5K, regardless of his driving style, which is not exactly kind to vehicles

If you read your Toyota owners manual. that light that comes on every 5000 miles is to rotate the tires.

Not in my book

In my book, it comes on every 5K to indicate a service . . . which includes oil and filter change and tire rotation, as needed . . . is due

Why are we even arguing about this?

What purpose does it serve?

My 2012 Camry calls for oil changes every 10,000 miles but the light still comes on every 5000.

I’m just having a friendly discussion.

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That true for this topic and most Toyotas manufactured during this decade but someone will come along and say that it is different for their car.

Of course it is. I think Toyota just never changed things from when they required 5000 mile oil changes and explain the maintenence reminde coming on every 5000 miles by citing the tire rotation.
I find the 5000 reminder useless. I change my oil by time and am on my second set of tires and the tire store wants 6000 rotations (free) to maintain the warranty.
I think an oil life monitor would be much more useful and a temperature gauge would be nice but Toyota doesn’t think they are necessary and since they are the best selling brand in the world, most of their customers must not care.