I recently bought a new car (Camry) and two people (one a mechanic) emphatically recommended that I use synthetic oil. When I have asked other people and looked on the web I find only luke-warm recommendations for synthetic oil,and some say that it is not worth the extra cost. I put 20,000 miles on my car each year (mostly highway) and plan to keep it as long as I can. If anyone has any experience with synthetic oil I’d like to hear about it.
I haven’t used synthetic because in most cases it is not necessary. Unless your owner’s manual recommends it, there are very few compelling reasons to spend the extra money.
The engine in a Camry will last 250,000-300,000 miles with normal maintenance and regular motor oil. If the engineers at Toyota thought synthetic oil would make a significant difference, they would install it at the factory and specify its use in the owner’s manual.
But they didn’t do either, did they?
Who knows more about engines (specifically Toyota engines); the engineers at Toyota or the local “experts” who are advising you to use synthetic oil?
If you decide to go with synthetic, I would wait until the the car has about 10K miles so it can break in properly.
There is a lot to be said about motor oil. I like synthetic but I don’t like the price. Regular oil should be good enough. I like Castrol oils, Mobil and I forget whatever else. I use Super-tech synthetic in my truck from Wal-Mart (the Wal-Mart GMC Sierra) and Toyota oil in the Yaris. I let the dealer take care of the Yaris because it is so easy where I take it. I also get to look at the new Camrys. I like the rocker panel enhancements you can get for the Camry. They look great and they are relatively cheap.
If the owner’s manual says synthetic, then that is the only oil you should use.
If you live in an area with large temperature differences, I would recommend synthetic. You can use synthetic even if it is not listed in the owner’s manual, but not the other way around.
In the laboratory, chemists and engineers can demonstrate a few advantages of synthetic oil over crude oil. But this does not guarantee your car will notice the difference. Cars that have never tasted synthetic oil seem to last as long as those that use only synthetic.
I would consider using synthetic oil in it. When I switched to synthetic, there was a noticeable improvement in engine smoothness (IMHO), my oil consumption went down, and the oil seems to stay much cleaner (the color is better) between oil changes–which I have extended from 3,000 miles to 7,000 miles–and the oil still looks cleaner than the conventional oil I used to use did after 3,000. If your car is known for sludging up, as some Toyota engines are, I’d especially consider it. I use Mobil 1, and it may cost more, but since I can go further between changes, and consumption is nearly nonexistent, I figure it pays for the difference.
…ooh, and I forgot to mention, if you live in an area that experiences cold weather (here it was -7 for a week last winter), synthetic oil flows much better at cold temps–while conventional oil becomes more like molasses. This is easily verified by taking a bottle of each, chilling them down, and noting the effect when you try to pour them.
with the amount and type of mileage you do it will definitely be worth it, you can easily do extended drains due to the type of driving you do. My camry I did 7500 mile changes in mixed driving, hioghway probaly go 10,000 between changes wioth no problem. I’ve been using synthetic since early 90s, have gone 12-15,000 between changes many times with highway driving.
[b]I consider motor oils to be application specific.
For most, regular motor oils are more than sufficiant in providing the proper protection for their driving conditions. However, some drive under conditions where a synthetic oil is beneficial. These include driving under severe temperature conditions. Extreme heat or cold. Or where the vehicle is turbo or supercharged. Or driving the vehicle hard, such as racing.
Other than that, not much benefit in using a synthetic oil.