Did they change my oil?

Hi! We recently purchased a 2018 Highlander that was due for its first 10k service/oil change. I took it in for service on Friday (under Toyota Care) supposedly the oil and filter were changed. They were also supposed to change the cabin air filter as well, but that was not done. It wasn’t a pleasant visit. I was at the dealership for two hours at the end of the day and the employees seemed frazzled. I decided to check the oil to see if it was changed, and it looks like this. Should be a full synthetic. To me, it looks dirty and the same color as our Honda that is also due for a full synthetic change. Does anyone have any insight into this? Did they botch our oil change?

Looks like clean oil to me.


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Thanks! I’ve been scouring the internet for an image of “dirty” synthetic oil, but I haven’t come across anything. Is there a reference guide online somewhere that you know of?

What’s everyone’s thoughts of going 10k between oil changes? With our Honda we do 5-7k, so it was surprising that Toyota recommends 10k.

The picture does not mean much to me . Look at the filter and if it looks new then you had an oil change . You can also make your concern to the service manager after looking at your invoice . Just don’t tell them you wrote to a forum , that will only irritate them .

If not satisfied with the replies you can always have it done some where else but keep all receipts .

It doesn’t matter if the oil is synthetic or regular oil.

My 97 Accord with over 220k has seen nothing but 5W-30 regular oil since new. Every 5,000 miles.


Sorry, I wondered if it was helpful or not. I don’t have the tools to get under the car and take the filter out. I’m also a noob with cars.

I am planning on bringing it up but I thought I’d see if I could get an opinion here first.

You don’t need to take the filter out . If it is a spin on it will be reasonably clean . If the canister type it should look like it had been handled recently .

Very helpful. Thanks!

Can I see this without jacking up the car?

This doesn’t use a spin-on filter

Your Honda manual says that 10,000 mile oil changes are OK if you do a great majority of your driving on the highway. It will show you oil change frequency per your driving habits.

A very easy but somewhat useful way to decide if the oil is clean or well used is to check the level with the dipstick. When you pull it out the second time (pull once, wipe, put back, pull again) if it’s sort of hard to read on the stick because the oil is hard to see well, it’s probably clean oil. Well used oil is dark and easy to see.

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This isn’t a Canister filter. All you change is the filter element. And the ONLY way to check that is drop the housing (messy) and look at the filter.

This is very helpful. Thank you so much! It seems like the oil is new to me based on your description.