This should answer most of the oil related questions.
The company I work for in Staten Island is an ExxonMobil oil distrubtor and we also do the distrubting for Toyota's OEM Oil for NY/NJ.
TOYOTA DEALERSHIPS & OIL
Toyotas OEM Motor Oil & ATF is made ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil makes the oil to meet the Toyota Spec and packages it in Toyota packaging.
Toyota has OEM 5w30, 10w30 & ATF.
Lets start with the basics.
Toyota reccomends 5w30 on all NEW still under warranty cars ... For higher mileage they reccomend 10w30. The only different is that a 5w30 that oil will act like a 5 weight is cold weather and a 30 weight in warm weather. With a 10w30, in cold weather the oil will act like a 10 weight and in warm weather it will act like a 30 weight. There is no big difference in the oils. The 5w30 is a little thiner of an oil in cold weather but nothing that will be noticable unless you live in a climate where its below 0 all the time ... Running 10w30 in your new car is fine you wont run into problems but it is reccomend that 5w30 is used.
All Toyota dealerships buy OEM Toyota 5w30, 10w30 & ATF in Cases ... The bigger Toyota dealership have 5w30, 10w30 & ATF in bulk tanks ... Some of the smaller ones have only 5w30 or 10w30 & ATF in bulk ...
Now here is where it gets tricky ...
Not all Toyota dealerships are on the Toyota OEM BULK
Motor Oil Program .. .which means if they are NOT on the program they have non-Toyota Spec 5w30, 10w30 & ATF in their bulk tanks ... If they ARE on the program they have Toyota Spec OEM 5w30, 10w30 & ATF in their bulk tanks. Toyota does NOT require each dealership to buy the OEM BULK 5w30, 10w30 & ATF but they will not warranty the engine or tranny if OEM 5w30, 10w30 & ATF is not used on cars still under warranty.
THE FIRST OIL CHANGE
For oil changes it is always best to follow Toyotas Reccomendations. You will get different answers from different people on when should do the first change should be. The only correct answer is follow what is reccomended. Some people have done the 1st oil change as soon as when they go home from the dealership and some have done it at 5k. Remember Toyota built the engine and they know best.
I am not gonna debate on which brand of oil is better or worse this is just a breif run down of the different oils and some reccomendations
It is always reccemended to change conventional oil between 3000-5000 miles. Their is minimal anti-ware & cleaning additives in conventional oil. This oil in most cases will not hold up & protect past 3000-5000 miles.
SYNTHETIC BLEND OIL
Synthetic Blend formulas are a blend of premium conventional base fluids and a high-performance synthetic fluid. Also, these formulas offer an extra level of cleaning agents versus conventional oil. These oil changes are reccomended from 5000-7500 miles.
Yes Synthetic oil is better for your car. Yes you can go longer on oil change drains. Reccomended drains range from 7,500 miles / 6 months to 15,000 miles / 1 year depending on which oil company you go with. Yes it will help with getting better gas mileage. NO it will not fix internal engine problems. Again I am not gonna debate on which brand of synthetic oil is better or worse
so I will just talk about Synthetic Oil in general. Just remember that with Synthetic oil if you are going to be extending your drains you should get a high quality oil filter that can handle the extended drains.
Conventional oils come from crude oil that is pumped from the ground. Crude oil is made up of a complex mixture of molecules that form chains and rings of different sizes and shapes. Long chains of carbon atoms produce a thick, viscous fluid that flows slowly. Shorter chains produce fluid that flows more readily.
In an oil refinery, crude oil is separated into various fractions. These become the basis for lubricating oils and fuels. Thick tangled masses of carbon chains become asphaltic materials used in roofing tar and road work. Very short chains and ring compounds of carbon are volatile and can be refined to produce gasoline and other products.
While petroleum refining is an advanced science, small amounts of contaminants, such as sulfur and reactive hydrocarbons, cannot be completely removed from petroleum, and may end up in motor oil base stocks.
All motor oils are made up of base oils and additives. In general, fully synthetic motor oils contain non-conventional, high-performance fluids. Synthetic blends usually use some non-conventional, high-performance fluids in combination with conventional oil.
To meet the demanding requirements of today's specifications Synthetic Oil uses high-performance fluids, including polyalphaolefins (PAOs), along with more additives then conventional. Each viscosity grade (5w30, 10w30, etc.) uses a unique combination of synthetic fluids and selected additives in order to tailor the viscosity grade to its specific application.
WHAT BRAND OF MOTOR OIL OUTSIDE OF TOYOTA SHOULD I USE?
If you ask what brand of motor oil to use outside of OEM Toyota you will get different answers from different people. I say use Mobil, other people say use Royal Purple, some people sale use Valvoline, some people say use Amsoil, etc. ... There is no right or wrong answer on which oil to use outside of OEM Toyota Oil. The best thing to do is so some research on each brand and see what floats your boat the most. Also you can call your Toyota dealership and ask what they reccomend for motor oil.
Here are some links to a few oil companys ... Do your own research and use what you think is best
www.mobil1.com www.exxon.com www.valvoline.com www.royalpurple.com www.amsoil.com www.shell.com www.castrol.com www.quakerstate.com www.penzoil.com
This should answer just about all of the oil questions. The best bet is to always follow what is reccomended from the factory. If you have any questions you can ask here!