New Car, Oil Change interval?

I am the owner of a newish 2016 toyota camry. I was very familiar with changing the oil in my old car. However, since the dealer keeps sending me great deals on oil changes I see no point of doing them myself (it is like 20 bucks and I am not saying no).

“Let me add some more details:” With my old car, I was using a high mileage oil (Valvoline in particular). I changed this oil about every 3,300 miles because if I went a few hundred more I could start seeing brown stuff coming out at the very end … Now that I have a new car and I never crawl under it, I was hoping to leverage some knowledge from other people that have much more experience changing synthetic oil.

–>> So, my question is what is a long interval for an oil change 5,000, or 6,000, or more? I am sure they are using a 5w-30 synthetic … (shows you what I know, under the hood it clearly shows 0w-20)


PS - I keep looking on the internet / asking friends, but nothing sounds like good information to me.

The owners manual should reflect what Toyota recommends for oil/filter change intervals.



I would use whatever your owners manual recommends or if the car is equipped with one of those oil life monitors, follow the percentage left and change under 20% life left.

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I am really hoping someone has some knowledge, because the standard oil change for 3,000 was some bull … Right now I am assuming the same 10% change, meaning 5,500 miles is my interval since they want to see me every 5,000.

What does your manual say?


I had a 2011 Toyota Sienna and now have a 2017 Sienna. The maintenance light on both vehicles starts coming on about 4500 miles with a maintenance due soon reminder and comes with a maintenance due immediately reminder at 5000 miles. At 5000, a tire rotation is needed and at 10,000 miles the vehicle is due for an oil change and a tire rotation. The oil change interval on these Siennas is 10,000 miles with 0W-20 oil. I drive a lot of miles and the 10000 mile oil change works for me.

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The engineers who determined the service intervals on the maintenance schedule in the owner’s manual are quite knowledgeable. Have you read the owner’s manual?

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You have a manual that will answer that question , it will not guess or use urban legend. Now if you want to change more often that is your choice and most likely will pay off on the engine life and your peace of mind.

What I do is go buy the recommended schedule and have it done at the dealer until warranty expires.

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My manual says 5,000 under hard conditions and 10,000 in La La Land.

There is your answer. It might also say 5000 miles or 6 months.


A 5,000 mile gap is bigger than Kim Kardashian’s rear end collision … does anyone change synthetic oil themselves, I mean at 20 bucks a pop at Toyota … I am sure not.

Change it whenever the manual tells you to change it. 10,000 miles/year whatever first. Oils and engines have become so good at lubricating cleanly. However make sure to check the oil level regularly.

After so many miles, it’s not uncommon for even newer engines to use some oil. It’s the responsibility of the owner to top off oil if needed. Topping off oil also restores some additives.

I do. I use synthetic oil in my 1998 Honda Civic that has about 291,000 miles on the odometer. I use (Walmart-branded) Supertech synthetic oil, and I change it every 5,000 miles.

No, it really says 5000 miles in harsh conditions and 10,000 miles if benign conditions. Benign conditions would be mostly highway driving with few traffic snarls. Severe conditions is mostly stop and go in heavy traffic or all short trips. You have to determine what applies to you and change your oil accordingly. You seem to like short intervals. If that helps you feel better about your car, go for the short interval. I don’t see much difference between 5000 and 5500 miles. If that’s what you like, then start planning around 5000 and make sure it’s changed by 5500.

You have your answer. 5,000 miles.
Nobody knows your engine better than the technical writers that wrote your manual. They get their information directly from the team that designed and tested your engine. The team includes design engineers as well as quality engineers and reliability engineers that do everything necessary to assure that the correct specs (including fluids) become a part of the technical spec package that the technical writers use to write the manual. Qualification testing, validation testing, accelerated life testing, environmental testing, and beta testing are all included in what they do, and the results end up in your manual. Trust them. They work hard. :rofl:

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The $20 for an oil change from the dealer is for synthetic blend.

Because the vehicle is fairly new…what you haven’t started to see yet from the dealer is the bogus services they try to sell you - fuel cleaner service recommendation ($800), oil flush service ($500), Re-fitting brake pads (I actually saw that once) ($300). And the list goes on.

I change my own oil for one simple reason…I know it’s done and done right. Unless I watch someone changing the oil and see them open up new quarts of correct oil and watch them pour it in…then I’m just taking their word for it.

Read your manual and ignore the dealer. Use EXACTLY the weight specified in the manual. If it says use 0w20 then USE 0w20 NOT 5w30 in your new car. The manufacturer spend scads of money designing the car and know what oil you should use.

If the car has an oil life monitor (OLM) pay attention to it. If the car doesn’t specify synthetic oil, and you use synthetic, the safest bet is to change it when the manual or OLM says to change it. Your OLM doesn’t have a boat payment, your dealer does!

As a point of fact, I change synthetic oil myself yearly in all my cars and the mileage has varied between 2500 and 7500 miles. I haven’t used conventional oil for over 30 years. Synthetic oil is far cheaper than a new engine.

And I wouldn’t use standard Valvoline oil in my lawnmower, let alone my cars. My opinion, take it for for what its worth.

I have a 2013 Highlander (my wife does). It came with a free maintenance plan when we purchased it new. The Toyota dealer would not change the specified 0w20 synthetic at 5k miles. They wanted to wait until 10k miles (as the manual states). I changed it myself at 5k. Then took it to toyota dealer at 10k for the free oil change. Toyota (2013 anyway) does not have an engine oil life monitor.

OP, the manual states 10k mile oil change interval with 0w20 synthetic, under most conditions. I change at 5k.

As far as synthetic vs. regular oil, the only benefit I see to using synthetic is to extend the oil change interval. My warranty is up, and I use 5w20 Dino oil or synthetic blend and change at 5k. I’d rather have fresh Dino and a fresh filter every 5k, than synthetic and a new filter every 10k, but that’s only based on my opinion.

I really don’t think you’ll have engine problems with either a 5k or 10k change interval as long as you keep the oil level good.

Again, as far as synthetic vs. dino oil, I’ve never had an engine failure using whatever oil was on sale and changing at 5k. Synthetic is superior as far as breaking down, longer lasting. If you choose the 5k mile interval, I don’t see a real benefit in using synthetic.

The Highlander has over 90k on it now. Some may say changing it every 5k is done to make me “feel good”. I guess it is, but I see using synthetic on a regular interval as a “feel good” practice as well.

Time Travel ?

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Yep. You should see the tech package.

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