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Oil in 2011 Toyota Corolla


My 2011 Toyota has 15,000 miles on it. I just got its oil changed, and the new place that I took it to told me that I NEED synthetic oil 0W-20 (so they put in “Castrol Edge 0W-20”). But they also told me that I only need to get the oil changed every 10,000 miles. The built-in oil reminder in the car reminds you to get new oil every 5,000 miles though.

So who is right: my car, or the mechanic? Is it safe to replace the oil after 10,000 miles? Thanks in advance for your advice!

Step #1: Open glove compartment
Step #2: Take out Owner’s Manual, and turn to section entitled Toyota Maintenance Schedule.
Also, refer to the section that specifies the type of oil required for this engine.
Step #3: Adhere to the type of oil and the maintenance intervals specified by the vehicle manufacturer if you want to maintain warranty coverage on your engine, and if you want to keep the engine running for the long term.

That being said, I personally doubt that it is safe to go 10k miles between oil changes, no matter what type of oil is being used.

I agree with VDCdriver. The owner’s manual is the authority when it comes to your vehicle. The new place is wrong so don’t ever take your vehicle back there. There are no mechanics there that’s for sure.

I would never go 10k miles between oil changes and in some cases even 5k miles is a bit much.

Hopefully you’re in the habit of checking the oil level regularly rather than rely on a dashboard oil minder.
Those things have gotten many people in trouble, mechanically speaking.

If Toyota states in their maintenance book that you need to have the oil changed every 5000 miles, then you will void the warranty if you go 10,000 miles between oil changes. If the Oil Life Monitor says 5000 miles and Toyota says to follow the OLM, then change it every 5000 miles. And you can use regular old mineral oil if Toyota does not state that you need synthetic. Always believe the car builder first and foremost, especially during the warranty period.

Personally I don’t care if the owners manual says 10,000 is ok. It is a BAD IDEA !! Just because you can does not mean you should. Ask all the poor shlubs with mini-coopers who were told 15k was ok, and they are now hitting 100-120,000 miles and there motors are slugged up. Personally I am a 5k type of guy.

Use the reminder. These do a great job typically as they measure exactly how the car is driven in what condition/temperature/length of time and give a more exact answer.

Toyota learned their lesson about extended drain intervals when they had some nasty sludging problems…

I wouldn’t go beyond the Toyota recommendation and if you do lots of short trip driving even cutting the mileage between changes to 3K mile intervals will probably increase longevity. When a car is driven on short trips of only a few miles at a time the engine never reaches full temperature and doesn’t burn off the moisture which contaminates the oil. My cars recommend 5K mile intervals and this is what I use on most of them, but my '97 Escort wagon gets the oil changed every 3K miles, because it is used basically for long distance driving and often the same oil stays in the crankcase 1-2 years. There are lots of people who drive 10K miles between synthetic changes, but their cars often begin using oil at an early age. My '88 Escort has probably averaged 3-5K mile change intervals since new, it didn’t begin using oil until between 250-300K miles and currently the original engine which has never been rebuilt has 518,700 miles, it’s still running and when I last checked compression on it a couple years ago all cylinders were still in the 150 PSI range.

Even if the manual says you can wait until 10K to change the oil, or the oil life monitor says you have 10% or whatever left with 5,000 miles on the oil, understand that by following these, you are doing the bare minimum. Kind of like waiting until you’re on fumes before filling the tank, or showing up for work with 5 seconds left before you’re late every day. You may be able to get by, but you’re not doing yourself any favors.

If you want your engine to last, and never let you down, change the oil every 5,000 miles at the most, with a good quality oil of the recommended viscosity. You can probably go a little longer if you don’t live in a cold climate and drive a lot of highway miles, but oil changes are cheap, while engines, downtime, and the associated stress in life are not. What is it going to cost you, maybe $40 more in the course of a year by being a little more attentive? If you can’t afford this, you shouldn’t have bought a new car. I personally like synthetic oil, and won’t use conventional oil any more, but if your manual says you don’t need it, you don’t need it. Treat the car like you would a friend. You can get away with abusing the friendship or the car a little if you have some good karma from past deeds or using good oil and keeping up on maintenance.