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Old 07-31-2011, 10:33 PM
 
42 posts, read 232,824 times
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I have a 2008 Toyota Sienna that my husband and I bought used a couple of months ago. It is now time for an oil change and I have been debating on using synthetic oil...I had a 2002 Honda CRV for 9 years and used conventional oil (changed every 3K like clockwork, only went 5K a couple of time) and never had a problem. Would using synthetic in my van be worth the additional cost or should I just stick with conventional?
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:53 PM
 
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What does the owner's manual call for. I would use that and just stick to the intervals. You should pay attention and see if you fit in the "severe" driving conditions or just regular.

The problem with synthetic is that if your car does not call for it you might not really benefit from the long intervals. Even with regular oils you probably would not need every 3K mile oil change anyways.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
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Does the Sienna have the big reserve oil reservoir under the hood, like the Previa used to have? If you switch to synthetic, you might have to drain and refill that, too. Although I never fully understood how that worked.

As for your general question, when acquiring a used car, the first thing I'd look at is oil usage. If you need to add a quart a couple of times between oil changes, than I wouldn't bother with synthetic, for two reasons. First, it would cost too much to keep topping it up, and second, a car that uses oil is "self-changing", in that you are constantly doing a mini-oil-change, as your car uses it and you replace it. In the extreme, if your car uses a quart of oil every thousand miles, you never need an oil change.

However, if your dipstick level doesn't go down at all from one oil change to the next, then I'd switch to synthetic. Simply because it has better lubricating qualities and doesn't wear out. If you typically drive no more than 15,000 miles of normal road driving, you can just change it every spring and fall and forget about your mileage, but make sure you use a good quality filter, and not a dollar-store cheapo. And keep checking the dipstick.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,608,598 times
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In almost every case, synthetic is superior to conventional oil. That doesn't mean however it is automatically worth the higher cost. I think the evidence is that well maintained engines run a very long time on regular oil.

I use synthetic in all of my family's vehicles. But I do my own oil changes so the extra cost of synthetic isn't high (Walmart sells Mobil 1 in a 5 qt. jug for $22 or so). Most service places charge a huge premium for synthetic and it pisses me off how much they charge. I generally change the oil on the manufacturers interval, but use synthetic. No cheap oil filters (Fram = cheap).
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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Read the owners manual, use what they recommend at the maintenance schedule they recommend, and you'll be fine.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Columbia NJ
24 posts, read 166,183 times
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The real question is, do you want to save time and money?
I run Amsoil 0-30 signature series in my Tacoma and have since new. I also run Amsoil filters. I use a 15k oil and filter change interval. The truck has 120k and runs perfectly. It uses no oil and looks great inside. How do I know? The valve adjustment interval on many Toyota products is 60k. At 60 and again at 120, several days ago, I removed the valve covers and checked the valve clearances. At that time I also removed a few cam caps to check for wear and I found virtually no wear. For the amount of mileage I do 15k means I change oil and filter once a year. I do tow occasionally as well. I am a Toyota Master technician and I have been using Amsoil products since 1982.
Mobil 1 extended life is an excellent synthetic as well. Look for the one which says 15k. Amsoil is the only one supplying 15k filters that I know of. You can get more info on them at amsoil.com. Be wary of Castrol syntec or other synthetics. They are only recommended for 3-5k oil changes. If you want to stay with conventionals, I suggest Castrol GTX 5-30 with a Toyota OEM filter changed every 3k. Don't forget to service your trans every 30k. These also use a conventional filter not a wire screen. If you want any more service advice PM or e-mail me.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:14 PM
 
55 posts, read 213,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hevster1 View Post
The real question is, do you want to save time and money?
I run Amsoil 0-30 signature series in my Tacoma and have since new. I also run Amsoil filters. I use a 15k oil and filter change interval. The truck has 120k and runs perfectly. It uses no oil and looks great inside. How do I know? The valve adjustment interval on many Toyota products is 60k. At 60 and again at 120, several days ago, I removed the valve covers and checked the valve clearances. At that time I also removed a few cam caps to check for wear and I found virtually no wear. For the amount of mileage I do 15k means I change oil and filter once a year. I do tow occasionally as well. I am a Toyota Master technician and I have been using Amsoil products since 1982.
Mobil 1 extended life is an excellent synthetic as well. Look for the one which says 15k. Amsoil is the only one supplying 15k filters that I know of. You can get more info on them at amsoil.com. Be wary of Castrol syntec or other synthetics. They are only recommended for 3-5k oil changes. If you want to stay with conventionals, I suggest Castrol GTX 5-30 with a Toyota OEM filter changed every 3k. Don't forget to service your trans every 30k. These also use a conventional filter not a wire screen. If you want any more service advice PM or e-mail me.
I back what above says. Also 3000 oci(oil change interval) with conventional oil is old school unless you drive in the city like a taxi and idle alot. Now a days engines are built better. I would do 5000 with conventional or 7500-10000 with synthetic. For a good cheap oil analysis send a sample to http://www.blackstone-labs.com/free-test-kits.php They will tell you the condition of your oil in layman's terms.
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