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Oil Change

I have a used Toyota Sienna, 129K miles now. I do my own oil change every 2000-3000 miles.

This last time that I did the oil change, I notice that there are some small tiny metal at the bottom of the oil drain pan. Is this normal? What cause this? How can I prevent it?

Could the fact that I didn?t warm up my car for 5 mins in the morning before driving off cause this? I did warm up 2-3 mins though.

I?ve heard people say that with new car, you don?t have to warm up the car in the morning any more, comparing to old car. Is it a fact or a myth?

I was told by my dad that the reason that you have to warm up the (old) car in morning is because you want the oil/fluid the run all over the engine before driving off, so that the metal won?t be ?grinding? off each other without any fluid. Is it true? If so, how would the new car doesn?t need to warm up?

Was the drain pan clean before you started draining the oil? Perhaps the pan was contaminated beforehand… Noticeable metal particles are NEVER a good sign, new car or old…

No need to warm up a car today. It is actually better to warm it up while you drive (just not at freeway speeds). You also likely don’t need to change the oil that often. Check the owner’s manual. Modern cars and oils are a lot different than your father’s car had. Just follow what the owner’s manual tells you about oil changes.

No need to warm up, that would not cause a problem, as long as you’re not flooring it the moment it starts. How ‘tiny’ were the metal particles? How many? The oil filter should trap just about anything you can see with your eyes.

If you still have that filter around, I’d cut it open and see if anything bigger was trapped.

Vehicles do not have to be warmed up unless you live in 40 below zero climates. Then it’s just a couple of minutes and you are good to go. Oil pressure pumps are far different than the pumps of long ago. The new pumps combined with newer oil technology make oil pressure an immediate affair when the engine is started.

If you have the right weight oil (5W30), it normally takes 15-30 seconds for the oil to circulate to the valve gear. If you have the WRONG weight oil, like 15W40, at -40 it takes a full 5 minutes to get lubrication to the valves, and your engine will be toast after the first winter.

For -40, use 0W30 or 0W20 synthetic, and you will get that proper valve lubrication within 30 seconds at those temperatures. Better yet, install a block heater.

I’m using 10W30 for my Sienna. Is this okay?
What does the number stand for, by the way?
How do I read it?
Is it true that older car should use a “thicker” oil?

The draining oil pan is clean. I always clean it thoroughly after each time, so there shouldn’t be anything beside dust.
What could cause these metal particles?

The size of the metal particles ranging from as small as a grain of salt to as big as the tip of a pencil (similar to bones particle in a bowl of soup, if you know what I mean)
How many? I would say a decent amount - slightly less than a pinch of salt.

I can see the metal particles, because they are in aluminum color. I also notice that the biggest particle looks somewhat like a chip out of metal gazget of some sort.

I never cut open an oil filter before. Though I change oil filter every single time I do oil change, unless the oil filter doesn’t do what it’s supposed to.

NOTE: I just my timing belt, waterpump, and all the gazgets changed, would this cause the problem in anyway?

Warming up is a good idea for vehicle safety (defrost windshield) and comfort. However as far as the vehicle itself is concerned simply driving easy until the vehicle is warm(temp guage) is fine. Age of vehicle irrelevant.

the older a vehicle gets the more worn engine components become. are you dropping your pan at EACH oil change?

Most pans have a magnetic strip in the bottom. I was surprised my '87 Cherokee had a strip in the tranny pan. It looked like the wooly cartoon character you had a magnetic pen and could put “facial hair” anywhere you wanted, it had that much particle on it. I had just bought it so i don’t know of its life before i owned it.

The older cars were a very simple machine. now don’t get me wrong about simple, there’s ALOT of engineering involved in making these simlpe machines. what i mean is the way they work. there’s always exceptions to each vehicle at any given year. a 65 chevelle is not going to need as much time to warm up as a '91 Acura or a '92 mustang.

From what i understand about computers and such, these cars, at start up, run off a device called P.R.O.M. (Program Read Only Memory) I learned about this in high school about 15 years ago so times may have changed. At start up the computer isn’t “on” yet. This PROM stores all the vital info and programs needed to keep the car running, not particularly at optimum economy, but enough to get little 16 yr old Tiffany to Quiznos without warm up. Once the exhaust temperature reaches a set temp, the O2 sensor(s) sends a very small elec. current to PROM and thus turns the computer on. I’m trying to remember which is open loop and closed loop. When the computers’ off I think it’s a open loop system and then when computer kicks in and takes over it’s a closed loop system. (If someone is the wiser, let me know if I’m wrong. Just don’t include the word “moron” in sentence. lol)

Now with newer cars, I’m sure they’re building them to take off without warm up more efficiently. One thing I’ve noticed about my '96 Taurus is that I (I am guilty) take off first thing at highway speed. I live outside of a big city 45 miles and a county road runs 3 blocks away. I reach 60 mph soon. My temp guage still reads cold and my RPMS at 60mph reads 2200-2300. After about 4 or 5 miles I see my temp guage rising to normal temp. Then I look over and see my RPMS drop to 2000 rpms. I’m thinking that’s when the computer finally turns on, I may be wrong.

Kudos to you for changing your oil 2000-3000 miles. Sometimes a vehicle doesn’t make it to 3000 miles. If I check the oil, and it’s full but BLACK, it’s gonna/gotta be changed!! I’m a Ford man and I’ve noticed that Fords seem to dirty their oil fairly quickly. My mustang’s real bad about that.

It is a good idea to let your engine run for a minute before you put a load on it. However, if a car is driven fairly often(everyday) the oil stays pretty broadcast in the motor.

If you are wanting to investigate “particles” they make a oil filter magnet that just clips or hangs on by magnetic force and you can pull it off and put in on next filter. So far I think K&N is the only company that makes it. I’m sure there’s other variations of this product.

Keep doing what you’re doing. Lubrication is the life of any motor, keep it clean, full, and checked!

Take care

FYI… Black oil does Not mean Bad oil. Sometimes oil can become black in as little as 100 miles…

The 10W30 should be OK for summer use. Toyota now recommends 5W30 for year round use, and newer models have 5W20 rcommended.

Using 10W30 in severe winter weather will cause accelerated engine wear, since it takes too long to circulate. If you live in a location with cold winters, don’t use 10W30 in the winter.

The oil “weight” is right on the container! For a 10W30, the 10 figure is the “winter” viscosity (measured at 0 degrees Celicus) and the 30 figure the “summer” viscosity at 100 degrees Celcius.

All this is your OWNER’S MANUAL; it will tell you what viscosity to use.

Very old and well worn cars can use a thicker oil to reduce oil consumption. But that’s only because they are worn. Even 40 years ago, oils like 5W30 were recommended for winter use. I would use 10W30 if I lived in Arizona, and in the summer only.

This is troubling, these are fairly large particles. I worry that something went wrong with your recent maintenance work. Time to take it, and the particles (if you still have them) to the mechanic. The sudden appearance of these particles, at the same time of the timing belt/etc. work is too much of a coincidence.