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Old 03-29-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
165 posts, read 683,072 times
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Question for those of you who know about cars - I recently inherited my mom's 2004 Rav4. I've been doing quite a bit of cross-country driving (from NYC to Iowa, a few times a month). I changed the oil about three weeks ago before going to Iowa and back (2,000 miles round-trip). On Thursday I'll be driving from NYC to Texas (another 2,000 miles or so). I'm wondering if I should change the oil again before going or if it isn't necessary. If I don't change it now I'll definitely do it once I arrive in Texas, but by then I'll probably have put 4,500 miles total on it since changing the oil.

Is the "every three months" or "every 3,000 miles" more important? I feel like it's silly to change it now after I JUST changed it a few weeks ago, but I've probably put 2,300 miles on the car since then.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:43 AM
 
10,485 posts, read 22,550,683 times
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Consider it is all highway miles, I would change it when you get back. 4,500 highway miles on the oil will not hurt anything whatsoever.
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:45 AM
 
10,869 posts, read 41,139,178 times
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The old "3 months/3,000 miles" oil change interval was based upon much older oil technology and motor technology that is not the current standard. You can check the Toyota owner's manual and you'll see that the oil change interval is now much longer than that. With quality oil/filter, you should even be able to go further than 4,500 miles in this type of service before needing an oil change.

With so many quick-lube service aisles, even at dealerships, available ... getting an oil change during your travels shouldn't be an issue if you are still wanting to get one.

IIRC, the "service required" indicator light comes on at around 5,000 miles on these cars.

Last edited by sunsprit; 03-29-2011 at 06:55 AM..
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:10 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,498,385 times
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Check the manual and see what that car requires. Chances are the recommended interval is longer than 3 months / 3k miles. FWIW, even if the recommendation was still 3/3k I would complete the trip before changing the oil again. The old 3/3k logic was based on a mixed driving scenario with cold starts, start/stop driving in traffic, etc. A prolonged drive at sustained speeds puts much less wear on the car than daily driving does.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
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The factor that most critically contributes to engine lubrication issues is cold starts. There is a huge difference between the engine wear over a 1,000 mile trip in 24 hours, and 1,000 miles of driving over 24 days with a cold start every morning.

I would think nothing of leaving the oil in there for a 5,000 mile round trip over a couple of weeks, but if I started the car every morning cold and drove it 10 miles a day, and nothing else, I'd change it after 1,000 miles.

I'd like to see a cold-start counter on the dashboard, to warn drivers to change their oil after X number of cold starts, regardless of the mileage or the date. That would probably be a better guide. By "cold start", I mean even in the summertime, because when your engine cools to ambient temperature, the oil drains off the moving parts, and when restarted, it runs for a few seconds with no lubrication at all.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
165 posts, read 683,072 times
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Thanks for the tips guys! I guess I'll just wait to get down to Austin before changing it.
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:10 AM
 
861 posts, read 2,293,270 times
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Since you are driving all highway miles I wouldn't worry about it all that much. You can easily go 5000 miles highway without hurting anything. In the city you should stick to the 3mo/3K miles.

It's true that the 3mo/3K standard was a rule of thumb from years ago. Problem is that as engines get better Petroleum based oils get worse. Yes the synthetics of today are far superior to regular petroleum based oil from years ago. Problem is that today's petroleum based oil are no where near as good as they where at wear protection as the oil companies have been forced to remove a lot of the key ingredients as they are known to harm converters and O2 sensor.

If you're wallet can afford it run synthetic and change at 5000 miles. If not stick to 3 month /3,000 miles.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:22 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 17,782,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by las vegas drunk View Post
Consider it is all highway miles, I would change it when you get back. 4,500 highway miles on the oil will not hurt anything whatsoever.

I agree with the drunk guy.. Otherwise change at 3000 miles.
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,171 posts, read 27,428,664 times
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I don't know about the 4-cylinder Rav 4, but the recommended oil changes by Toyota on the 2010 6-cylinder Rav 4 is every six months or 5,000 miles (whichever comes first). Look in the owner's manual, or just ask the question in the "Rav4World" forums since you can choose a forum for your model/year.
Toyota RAV4 Forums : RAV4World.com
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:55 AM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,013,914 times
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I woud go by the manufacturers recommendations. New oil additive pasckages have changed alot and that is what really wears out in vehicles. Driving on the highway is really much easier on oil than start and go in the city also.
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