4K Miles On My Tacoma. Should I change my oil?

TRD JON

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So I just did a pretty solid road trip from Florida to California and my new Tacoma has about 4K miles on it now. The truck has its first maintenance per the manual at 10K for some fluids including the oil. I typically run my vehicles in line with what Toyota recommends, at the end of the day it is under warranty. I was just curious about what you all are doing with your trucks. Are you doing a break in oil change, or letting it go till the 10K?
 

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I just hit 1,000 and I am going to do my first oil change.

Some might consider it premature, but from what I've gathered, many recommend this during the break-in period.

I also came across a YouTube video where an individual analyzed their Toyota's oil using a lab test and found traces of metals such as aluminum, copper, and iron during their break-in period.

His conclusion was to disregard the Toyota's manual and opt for an earlier oil change.

 
I also don't really believe in the 10k mile oil change intervals. Having done oil changes on my mom's 2014 FJ which has the 10k mile oil change intervals, and even using Mobil 1 full syn extended performance, it's just too thick and dirty for my liking after 6-7k miles (even with a lot of freeway driving), so I've been doing 5k mile oil change intervals on it. Based on reading other folks' discussions on the Toyota 10k mile oil change intervals, seems like sticking with the 5k interval is a wise choice if you want your engine to last a long time.
 
The engineers who developed the power plants and maintenance intervals are very good at what they do. Feel free to ignore all that and spend more money, but unless or until you are sending oil samples off to someone like Blackstone Labs, you have no idea why you're changing oil in opposition to what the smart people at Toyota suggested.
 
The engineers who developed the power plants and maintenance intervals are very good at what they do. Feel free to ignore all that and spend more money, but unless or until you are sending oil samples off to someone like Blackstone Labs, you have no idea why you're changing oil in opposition to what the smart people at Toyota suggested.

I’m only doing this for the break-in period. After that, it’s every 8-10K for me.

By the way, take a look at the video above; he addresses exactly what you just mentioned.
 
The engineers who developed the power plants and maintenance intervals are very good at what they do. Feel free to ignore all that and spend more money, but unless or until you are sending oil samples off to someone like Blackstone Labs, you have no idea why you're changing oil in opposition to what the smart people at Toyota suggested.
My understanding (which could very well be incorrect) is that longer oil change intervals are better for the environment (less oil waste), whereas shorter oil change intervals are better for the engine, and the Toyota engineers have worked hard to design the engine to be able to *handle* longer oil change intervals, even if that's not what's *best* for the longevity of the engine. I figure that it's an optimization problem to determine what is best for your purposes for your vehicle, your finances, etc. etc. Since I'm aiming to get 300k miles or more out of an engine (and I do the oil changes myself so I'm essentially just paying for oil and filter), I'll go for the shorter oil change intervals, especially since the 0W-20 oil is surprisingly dark already at 5k. Is it absolutely necessary? Yeah, probably not, but I do feel that it will contribute enough to a long-lasting engine for it to be worth it to me. For someone who is planning to trade in their car at 100k miles or so, I'd guess it might be rather pointless to do shorter oil change intervals. But again, personal choice. And I agree that data from a Blackstone Labs report is very, very useful. That reminds me, I should send them another sample next oil change...
 
My understanding (which could very well be incorrect) is that longer oil change intervals are better for the environment (less oil waste), whereas shorter oil change intervals are better for the engine, and the Toyota engineers have worked hard to design the engine to be able to *handle* longer oil change intervals, even if that's not what's *best* for the longevity of the engine. I figure that it's an optimization problem to determine what is best for your purposes for your vehicle, your finances, etc. etc. Since I'm aiming to get 300k miles or more out of an engine (and I do the oil changes myself so I'm essentially just paying for oil and filter), I'll go for the shorter oil change intervals, especially since the 0W-20 oil is surprisingly dark already at 5k. Is it absolutely necessary? Yeah, probably not, but I do feel that it will contribute enough to a long-lasting engine for it to be worth it to me. For someone who is planning to trade in their car at 100k miles or so, I'd guess it might be rather pointless to do shorter oil change intervals. But again, personal choice. And I agree that data from a Blackstone Labs report is very, very useful. That reminds me, I should send them another sample next oil change...
I'd love to see a citation of what you're suggesting (engineers making internals able to "handle" longer intervals) and that it's considered a problem as I've not heard this perspective before. I like to learn new things and these topics have been showing up on forums for decades.

The whole point of synthetic oils was to allow much longer maintenance intervals. They were developed initially for fleet maintenance to help reduce the costs and to reduce our dependance on true petro-oil. There is no other reason to use them and pay the premium.

The reason I suggest oil analysis is because there is so much misinformation, speculation and uninformed opinion on this topic and marketing folks have used it against us. If the manufacturers suggest we follow the longer intervals (for the average driver and conditions) and the warranties are valid following those intervals, what is the reason to arbitrarily decide to over-ride the engineer's suggestions? This is like you hiring a structural engineer to design something for you and then you decide to change some aspect of it because someone online told you it was better. Or, like people putting higher octane fuel into a vehicle with a low compression engine (nearly all vehicles on the road) and thinking they're doing something good for their car/truck. It's a waste of money.
 
I’m only doing this for the break-in period. After that, it’s every 8-10K for me.

By the way, take a look at the video above; he addresses exactly what you just mentioned.
I've sent in oil samples from new vehicles with low miles and then with much higher miles (same engine, sample pulled at 1500 miles, 5000 miles and 10K) and Blackstone as well as Caterpillar have said all samples were good to go and they suggested extending the oil change intervals. We've done this on gas engines and diesels (pickups and 2, 40' motorhomes). I'm not suggesting this applies to all vehicles, but in my experience it's been consistent (I've owned nearly 50 4-wheeled vehicles in my life as a data point). I'll watch the video later today. Thanks for that.
 
Alright guys, I spent about $47 and changed the oil and filter myself. Way easier than changing the oil on my 98 4runner.

The oil was pretty dark for 1,200 miles.
 

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Alright guys, I spent about $47 and changed the oil and filter myself. Way easier than changing the oil on my 98 4runner.

The oil was pretty dark for 1,200 miles.
color is meaningless when it's dark. The additive packs and how long they last are what matters. That's where oil analysis brings the facts. Changing your oil too often doesn't hurt anything but your pocketbook. No harm done and learning to change it yourself is priceless.
 

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