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Full Synthetic 0W-20 engine oil change interval

2014 Toyota RAV4 manual does say 0W-20 has been approved for 10,000 miles or 12 month oil change interval, but local mechanics recommend every 6 month regardless of mileage or every 4,000 miles which wouldn’t hurt, but seems to be an over kill based on Toyota recommendation.

It is your vehicle, just do what makes you sleep at night. Besides one extra oil change a year is much cheaper than an engine replacement.

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Its a little overkill on your local mechanics side, but I believe a little too optimistic on Toyota’s side. My daughter has a 2014 Camry. The dealer changed the oil at 10 and 20k under a two year maintenance agreement.

I changed her oil at 25k, 35k and 45K. At the 45k oil change I found a build up of sludge inside the oil filter housing. It wasn’t real thick yet, but enough to cause me concern. She and I agreed that she would bring me the vehicle every 7500 miles for an oil change and we would re-evaluate from there.

I have use a 7500 mile oil change interval (OCI) with synthetic oil on many vehicles over the last 30 years and have never had a problem with this schedule. I keep my cars for a long time and many miles. I have also used conventional oil with a 5-6k OCI in a few vehicles again with no issues related to oil. I did this on a Saturn that I put 275k miles on this way.

My 2014 Subaru uses 0w20 synthetic but the recommended OCI for it is 7500 miles. In all cases, one year is the maximum time interval in case you are not racking up a lot of miles.

My 2015 Corolla manual allows 10,000 miles with 0-20 synthetic oil. I am still struggling with going away from every 3,000 miles :wink: . (and changing points and plugs every 12,000 miles)
Engines and oil have come a long way and can go much longer betwen changes. I change @ 5,000 miles unless something will tell me to change sooner, like rapid change in color, bad smell, sudden drop etc. Nothing like that has happened yet, but I keep an eye on it. The change oil indicator does come on at an arbitrary 5,000 miles though.
My 2016 Dodge van has the oil life monitor and it hit at about 4,500 miles.

I change my Acura oil at 5000 mile intervals with Mobil 1 0-20. Actually it looked pretty dirty last time I changed for some reason. I change my lawn mower too at 25 hours instead of 50 with synthetic. I’m trying to protect my equipment not save a hundred or two a year. Do what you want though.

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Your local mechanic has a conflict of interest. The more you change your oil, the more money he makes.

If Toyota’s recommendation led to premature engine failure, they’d be biting the hand that feeds them.

I’d use a brand of oil that is guaranteed for 10,000 miles and change it every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first.


I would be more inclined to think that the mechanic feels very strongly about the oil change time. Oil changes are not really a high profit venture .

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Well, if your motivation is to get someone into your shop more often so you can find, I mean look, for other things to do that are more profitable, then mission accomplished!

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My 14 highlander has the same oil recommendation. I’m not convinced the 10k oil change interval will keep my highlander running for 300k miles (which is the interval I usually keep my vehicles). So I change every 5k.

10k may be fine…I’m not convinced yet.

It may not be a conflict of interest.

If a local shop recommends an oil change service every 6 months or 5000 miles, it’s not necessarily an indicator that the shop is just trying to sell more oil. They may just want to take care of the car. I think you’ll agree that 10,000 miles or a year is far too long to go without the hood being opened or the tires checked. For a great many people–probably more than you’d guess–the only time anything is done to a car other than a wash or fill the gas tank–is when the car is in for an oil change service.

Customer dropped off the car and requested a ride to work so we could repair the car. The complaint was that that washer fluid did not spray. I found the washer fluid was low. Filling the washer fluid corrected the complaint.

I can’t tell you how many of our oil change “upsells” are things like burned out headlamps, torn wipers, low tire pressure or tread below minimum. For this reason we never recommend an oil change interval longer than 6 months. We’re not trying to fleece the customer, we’re trying to maintain the car.


We run synthetic oil in both our vehicles (a Dodge and a Honda), and I get it changed every 6 months or 6000 miles. The Honda’s about due now for a change, and the OLM still says the oil is at 40%.

I think it’s up to the person and the vehicle.

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You could do a used oil analysis and see what it says.


One can have a conflict of interest and not behave in a corrupt manner. What you describe is corrupt behavior motivated by a conflict of interest.

The conflict of interest exists, regardless of how the mechanic behaves. “The presence of a conflict of interest is independent of the occurrence of impropriety.”*


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The above paragraph seems to be a reasonable way to do business. I really hope that Whitey is not accusing Mr. Asemaster of corrupt behavior .

If someone asks me about oil change schedule I will say every 5000 miles or 6 months if they doubt the manual.

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I haven’t accused anyone of anything, but it seems to me that you should be recommending a maintenance checkup if an oil change isn’t due. Recommending an oil change for any reason other than an oil change being due means deliberately misleading the customer and deliberately (and probably marginally) raising the customer’s per-mile maintenance costs. Your intentions might be in the right place, but it’s ethically questionable territory.

If, on the other hand, you’re honest with the customer that an oil change being due isn’t the reason you’re recommending the oil change, I’m okay with it.

The answer is: It Depends.

It depends on how you drive. If you drive mostly highway miles, that is easy on the SUV, and Toyota’s 10,000 mile recommendation is appropriate. If you do mostly stop and go, short trips 5 miles or so) or live where it is hot and dusty, then your RAV4 experiences severe conditions and the 5000 mile recommendation is a better way to go. I had about 190,000 miles on my 2005 Accord when I sold it in September. The dealer I sold it to commented on how peppy the engine was. I drove mostly highway miles and changed oil befor 7500 miles elapsed. We have a high mileage van and the engine runs well, too. Following the manufacturers recommendations works for me.

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As Americans we are terrible at understanding the environmental impact of our behaviors. Oils and filtration have gotten good enough that 7,500 and even 10,000 mile OCI’s are common. Changing your oil sooner hurts the environment and there is no material benefit to changing your oil sooner, unless you have “severe service” type use.

We are just creatures of habit that justify our environmental waste by saying “what’s the harm?” I have a 2014 Mazda6 that runs 0W-20 synthetic with a 7,500 mile OCI. I change it every 7,000 to 7,500 miles and, at 107,000 miles do not burn any oil or have any sign of sludging. You’re welcome Mother Earth. :slight_smile:

True. I had an oil analysis done at a little over 100K. The directions say to take the sample from the middle of the oil drain. So from a practical standpoint, are you going to drain the oil into another container and then put the old oil back in again? Or just change the dang oil?

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Concerning conflict of interest, here’s a snapshot of my conversation with my indi shop. “The dealer said I have a major oil leak at the back of the engine and a little from the front. Can you put it on the lift and take a look? I’ll pay. If you aren’t losing any oil, you don’t have a leak. Can you check it anyway?” After putting it on the lift “No oil leak. No charge. But I want to pay. OK, let’s just schedule an alignment and plugs at the same time then. It’s a little early but I might as well get it done before winter and new tires.” Total charge a little over $200 with new wires too. I guess I was the one that did the upsell on myself.

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unless I miss something, most localities accept used oil for recycling and then you have that green-label-oil-jugs with “made with recycled oil” in your local shop

here is my small story to tell:

one my friend was very diligent to get every last mile out of his Hyundai Sonata’s 7,500 miles schedule, especially since he’s got first 5 years of oil changes for free from the dealer, so dealer was not insistent either

he asked me to take a look on “what wrong with the engine?” somewhere around year 6 and ~70K miles on that car, and the first thing, which was apparent even with no stethoscope was a clear clunking in crankshaft bearings, dealer was absolutely refusing to acknowledge anything was wrong, but gave a good trade-in, if another car would be purchased from them too. my recommendation for the guy was to make dealer to change oil on “severe schedule”, not on optimistic “highway” one, and so far his car is doing ok, although free oil change deal is not there anymore and his dealer is pushing for severe schedule even without my advise