Oil Changes

I purchased this Camry 2 months ago with 186 k miles. I am using it as a commercial courier vehicle. I drive 460 miles per day – 6 days a week. All interstate driving. I'm changing the oil every 5 k miles with the recommended 5W-30. Since I'm putting 10 k miles per month on the vehicle, should I switch to a synthetic oil? Thanks.

My car has 214000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
You could use synthetic oil and extend your miles between changes if you want, however I do not think you will be saving any money unless you drive twice as many miles between changes.

So should you change to synthetic oil? I would only say so if it was more of a cost saving, by extending the time and miles between changes. If it saves you money then go for it.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

Engine Oil

Capacity: 4 quarts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . (with filter). After refill check oil level.

Four quarts of SAE 0W-20 oil.
A 2.5-L four-cylinder Camry needs 4.8 quarts of oil, while the larger 3.5-L V6 Camry requires almost an entire quart more of oil at 5.7 quarts.
2009 Toyota Camrys with 2.4L engines require SAE 0W-20 engine oil.
Since your car has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, the oil capacity is 4.4 quarts (4.2 liters)–this is different from Accord models with a V6 engine. Why 4.4 instead of the number in the engine description?
With proper oil changes and maintenance, a 2.4L TigerShark engine should last between 130,000 and 200,000 miles.
Is a 2.4 engine good? The 2.4 is usually considered a dependable engine without any major issues: head gaskets are designed well while the oil sealing is adequate as well.
Toyota Camry [2006-2012] fuel tank capacity is 70 litres.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

lost all oil pressure, replaced the oil pump, low oil sensor, oil pressure sensor, oil pan gasket,
ANSWER : The fuel pump will not stay on if you loose oil pressure. This is why it is shutting off. The loss of oil pressure may be from bad crankshaft bearings or camshaft bearings. The engine oil pan should be removed and the oil pump needs to be checked to ensure that you put in the pick up tube seal to the pump and connected the pump to the block. Then remove at least one main bearing cap and inspect the bearings for excessive wear and crankshaft damage. If you need some help with this, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can help diagnose the issue with your oil pressure firsthand and help you fix it accordingly.

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Low oil pressure light comes on when idle. Check engine light is on as well. Both came on after getting an oil change 3 days ago.
ANSWER : It is possible that they put in the wrong viscosity oil. In rare instances, a defective filter will also cause low pressure. If there is too much oil, it will aerate and cause low pressure. Be sure the oil level is really not above "max". The P2187 code will appear if the oil fill cap is not tight but it will also appear due to a myriad of causes because that code only "generally" identifies a lean running condition. Consequently, numerous parts would have to be tested including the O2 sensor, gas cap seal, manifold air leaks, any vacuum leak anywhere including PCV and EVAP systems, exhaust leaks, and fuel system faults such as failing fuel pump, clogged filter and more. Since the car has relatively low mileage, you would not expect a failed oil pump, although the pressure sensor (or switch) could be bad. However, the occurrence of the oil pressure warning light is quite coincidental to the oil change, thus I would suggest bringing the car back and asking them to redo with a new filter and double check the viscosity of the new oil that they use. If the problem persists after that, you will have to test actual operating oil pressure (at idle for instance) as well as the oil pressure switch. Finally, if the oil pressure warning light comes on continuously, unless the warning circuit itself is malfunctioning, that means the oil pressure is too low to operate the engine without damaging it. Anytime the light comes on for more than literally an instant, you should shut down the car and thus an issue like this obviously has to be repaired.

If you’d like, a YourMechanic certified mechanic can come to your home or place of business to inspect the vehicle and perform an oil pressure light is on inspection to diagnose the vehicle and suggest potential repairs.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil Changes

Type of oil and when to change
ANSWER : Oil change intervals on your vehicle are determined by the vehicle’s engine oil change monitoring system. A message on your instrument panel will alert you when it is necessary to change the oil. The change interval is based on a computer algorithm and is "duty cycle based". Consequently, the oil change interval is not fixed and will vary depending on personal driving style and drivings conditions. For example, lots of short trips will necessitate a more frequent oil change than if your driving mileage is accumulated under continuous highway driving. An engine computer keeps track of all the required data, processes the data, and then the car’s messaging system lets you know when to change the oil. With some minor caveats, as stated below, synthetic oil can be used at any time and you can switch back and forth between conventional oil and synthetics at any time. Although existing leaks may potentially leak at a somewhat greater rate when using synthetic oils versus purely mineral based (aka, "conventional" oil), the added leakage, if any, is meaningless in most seal locations and in most circumstances. The potential for a leak is due to the smaller size of the molecules in synthetic versus conventional oils. However, synthetic oil cannot possibly cause or otherwise mechanically enlarge a leak. In any event, any "distinction" in leak rate is meaningless simply because if you put synthetic oil in a car and you can see a leak from a seal, that seal was most decidedly leaking anyway with regular oil and so would have to be repaired regardless of the oil "type" you are using.

In your specific case, with a relatively newer car and low miles on the engine, this possibility of a leak probably does not exist at least for a while, although you are getting close to the time frame when just due to rubber aging (over time, not mileage related), leaks will start developing anyway. The bottom line is you can and should use synthetic oil in your circumstances due to its huge advantages in physical properties and potential to lengthen the service life of your engine and even seemingly unrelated parts such as oxygen sensors and the catalytic converter (synthetics don’t have the sulfur and other elemental contaminants that mineral oil has). Full synthetics will be less subject to degradation and evaporation during the oil service interval, too. I would recommend you use "100% synthetic oil". If it were my car I would use the most expensive, highest rated synthetic oil I could find. Changing your oil removes dirt and contaminants and newer cars with all sort of oil actuated mechanisms, such as variable valve timing, need very clean oil. YourMechanic offers oil and filter changes during mobile visits right to your location and you should certainly avail yourself of that service as the cost is lower and the service is much more personalized than at a shop or dealer. If you have additional concerns, don’t hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil Changes

Just noticed a huge oil leak trailing my car. It seems to be coming from below the engine. I recently had my oil changed a month
ANSWER : You might have a problem with the oil filter leaking when you rev the engine and increase the oil pressure. This can be from a collapsed oil filter media or excessive oil pressure from the engine. I recommend having the oil and filter replaced using a good quality filter and have the oil leak verified to be from the filter. Make sure to not run the engine low on oil. If you are finding you do not want to drive with the leak, a mobile technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office, and replace both your filter, and oil.

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Would the car tell the percentage of the life of the oil, my car includes oil changes but the dealer won’t do it until the indicator shows the change oil soon message.
ANSWER : Hi there. There should be a select button with two directional arrows on the button. Push and hold the right directional arrow on the button and the dash should go from the odometer to the menu. Then scroll up by pushing up on the select button and you will be able to view the oil life percentage.

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Do I need to change the oil filter and drain and refill the oil when the oil is low or do I just drain and refill the oil? 2014 Toyota Corolla
ANSWER : Hello – great question! Good for you as a new (to you) car owner, being cautious with a used, unfamiliar car. For sure, check it often for the first few months until you get a sense for whether it consumes oil , and how quickly. If you are inside an oil change interval – whether 3K or 5K miles – and it’s low, simply add enough oil to get the level back up to the "Max" marker on the dipstick. Repeat if necessary before the next oil & filter change. Change the oil and filter at the prescribed interval.

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My car is leaking oil i got an oil change for it last month but it is still leaking oil what will cause my car to leak oil ?
ANSWER : Most older cars have oil leaks. Sealing technology has just not kept up with mechanical improvements to engines so much so that leaks often kill engines rather than mechanical problems. So, it is not unexpected at all to have an, indeed many, oil leaks on a 23 year old car. Oil leaks vary hugely in terms of severity and priority of repair. Oil leaking onto a hot engine manifold is the worst case (the oil can start a fire; at best, you are left breathing oil fumes in the cabin, as the oil burns off of the manifold) while de minimus seepage of oil at the oil drain plug or oil pan gasket, while annoying and messy, if limited enough is not an emergency. Some leaks are easy to repair, while others literally require the engine to be removed just to get physical access to all the leak points. In your circumstance, if you smell burning oil, oil is probably leaking onto a hot engine part such as the exhaust manifold. A certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, can perform an oil leak diagnostic and then let you know of your repair options and costs.

As far as the check engine light, that is not related to the oil leak(s). If you request a check engine light diagnostic, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic would use a code scanner to retrieve the specific diagnostic trouble code(s) from your car’s PCM that have caused the check engine light to illuminate. Using those codes, the appropriate individual vehicle components or sub-systems (often a sensor, circuit, and the like) are then carefully tested, based on specifications set forth in your car’s Factory Service Manual, to pinpoint the cause of the fault or the reason why the check engine light has illuminated. Once the faulty part or component is identified, it is explained to your satisfaction and the mechanic will let you know of the cost to repair. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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Oil consumption. Burning oil. Oil light turns up on idle.
ANSWER : Hi there, thanks for writing in. The valve stem seals are the most common cause of this on your engine. When they fail, it requires that the cylinder heads be removed and rebuilt to fix it. The piston rings can also cause this but they are not as common. Unfortunately there is not anything, not even heavier oil that will fix this. You will need to have the heads rebuilt.

Read Full Q/A … : Oil Changes