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2011 Toyota Rav4 - 175k miles: Engine Oil

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I recently purchased a 2011 Rav4 4WD Base model, with 225/65/17 wheel and day-time running lights, with 175k miles. My mechanic inspected it, and said it appears to be reasonably well-maintained. Handles well so far. The intention is for my daughter to use it for the next 9 odd years. I expect that she will put in about 80k miles in that time.

Given that I will drive it relatively lightly (about 8k miles per year) and the intention of keeping it for the next 9 years, which oil should I use - synthetic oil or high-mileage oil?

Thank you in advance
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I recently purchased a 2011 Rav4 4WD Base model, with 225/65/17 wheel and day-time running lights, with 175k miles. My mechanic inspected it, and said it appears to be reasonably well-maintained. Handles well so far. The intention is for my daughter to use it for the next 9 odd years. I expect that she will put in about 80k miles in that time.
Given that I will drive it relatively lightly (about 8k miles per year) and the intention of keeping it for the next 9 years, which oil should I use - synthetic oil or high-mileage oil?
Thank you in advance
How often you change it probably would have more of an effect than the type of oil, but I'd probably go with the synthetic anyway.
 

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My opinion is that you do not need high mileage oil if there are no leaks.
I am sure there are other advantages to high mileage oils, however one benefit is an additive to help swell the seals to help reduce the leak that may have already formed.

This is going to become an argument before noon today so my advice in an oil thread is "do what makes you happy". You can't make a wrong choice unless: You want to change oil once per year in which case you should probably use synthetic just for the extended life cases and potentially 'severe duty' use.
Opinion: If you are planning to change oil and filter 2x annually, you can safely stick with synthetic blend, or synthetic, whatever tickles your fancy.
The important part is making sure you find a good oil and one that meets the Toyota specification. I do advise users to use the oil weight specified, however 50% of drivers use the oil weight they think is best.

When I mention severe duty, that doesn't mean you and your daughter are treating it like a race car. I can also mean that it is used often to pick up a gallon of milk a mile from home where the oil never gets warm. Or you live in a state that goes from 110 in the summer to 30 in the winter. Your oil has seen many environments in the 12 months which is not always ideal (however that too is an opinion.

Enjoy your new car -best of luck with the next 9 years. If possible, ask the previous owner what oil they used and stick with it if it's a good oil.
 

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Either synthetic or high mileage oil would work as long as you use quality oil and oil filters. What is more important is the oil interval which will effect engine wear when you have very high mileage. You should also be concern with the coolant, transmission oil, front differential oil (4WD only) and rear differential oil (4WD only).
 

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I used Castrol GTX in my Tacoma for years and years and years. I finally switched over to the Castrol High Mileage oil about four or six years ago. It is a partial synthetic oil. The reason I switched was marketing on the oil itself, and it wasn't about swelling the seals. Castrol advertises that this oil formulation has chemistry that replaces some of the phosphorus that is normally an oil additive. The marketing says that phosphorus can damage the catalytic converter. I remember reading somewhere that even newer engines would benefit from this type of oil, but that the vehicle warranty requires an oil with phosphorus in it. Castrol recommends moving to their high mileage oil once the warranty is over.

Was I fooled by marketing? I don't know. Am I happy to pay an extra few cents to get a synthetic blend that might protect my catalyst? Yep.

The previous owner of the RAV4 I just bought used synthetic. I might continue to do that.
 

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Oil thread! These always get tons of opinions and answers.
My .02 is use a high quality full synthetic high mileage oil like valvoline, which is what I use but there are lots of good options out there. Most important of all, regardles of what you choose to use, service it regularly.
 

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When catalytic converters began to be used to control emissions gasoline vehicle engine oils then were reformulated to remove the components which would damage catalytic converters. I would simply continue to use any engine oil which meets Toyota requirements (rather universal for oils now) and the grade which is stamped on the oil filler cap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you to everyone who responded. It looks like the answer is "Does not matter" :)
Is there a recommended interval between oil replacement? Since I don't drive my vehicles often, i can go for over an year before the dashboard indicates an oil change is needed. However, I have also heard that oil degrades with time as well as mileage. What is a good time interval to replace the oil for a low usage Rav4?

There was another comment on transmission and other fluids. i had questions on that, but I will start another thread for it.
 

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I don't put a lot of miles on my vehicle either. It's only going to be worse now that I have two vehicles. I know I extended the time between oil changes for my truck during our response to COVID and I was driving even less than "normal." I would still try to change it twice a year, but the last two changes were seven and nine months. The oil had less than 3000 miles on it each time; I aim for 5000 miles. I'm on track for a similar interval and mileage if I change the truck oil next month. I like to run 5W-30 in winter and 10W-30 in summer. The RAV4 will likely get synthetic 0W-20 on a similar 5,000 mile four to six month interval as per the manual.

That said, I also tend to not take short trips. If I'm driving very infrequently and I do take a short trip, I make sure to extend the trip an additional ten miles to get everything fully to temperature and drive water out of everything. If your low mileage between oil changes is short trips (less than ten miles), your oil WILL break down sooner.

I haven't heard about oil degrading while just sitting in an engine that's not being used. Maybe there's something I don't know about, like if the oil has started to break down from normal service and is then put into storage. I think the things that break down oil are heat and friction over time. It also holds contaminants so they don't harm the engine, and I don't see a way for those kind of contaminants to be introduced while the vehicle is just sitting. I'm curious if I'm missing something about that. It will be more important now that... I have a vehicle that will sit most of the time. I still won't drive MUCH, but the truck will mostly be a special purpose vehicle for now.
 

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Thank you to everyone who responded. It looks like the answer is "Does not matter" :)
Is there a recommended interval between oil replacement? Since I don't drive my vehicles often, i can go for over an year before the dashboard indicates an oil change is needed. However, I have also heard that oil degrades with time as well as mileage. What is a good time interval to replace the oil for a low usage Rav4?

There was another comment on transmission and other fluids. i had questions on that, but I will start another thread for it.
Service interval is probably more heated than 'what oil'.

It is recommended by the automotive community (not the dealership) to change 5,000 miles or 6 months.
I already addressed this in my first response in this thread -consider yourself a 'severe duty' driver and change oil earlier than a person who drives their car in what is considered "normal". Normal being the oil is always at operating temperature, does not contain excess moisture, does not see large temperature swings like 110 to 30 degree climates between changes.

I own the band-wagon of changing more frequently is better. If you change 2x a year with little miles, you are ensuring your car is always using clean oil. If you wait longer than a year, you are potentially allowing that moist (watered) oil to circulate through your motor every time you drive.
I do not drive much and have been on a 6-month +/- interval for 10 years spanning 2 vehicles. I once had the shop ask me why I was there having less than 2,000 miles since the previous change. I probably could have gone longer but I am okay with keeping clean oil in my car. I don't recall the season this occurred, it could have been 2000 miles of short trips through the winter.

There is a thread from a few days ago that has over 500,000 miles on the car and changed oil at 20,000 miles intervals which is well beyond ANY manufacturer recommendation.
So maybe we're all too old and believe 5000 miles is right and need to be smacked into reality.
One example also says that 10,000 causes engine damage.
So a mechanic tearing down a car with 10,000 oil changes at 100,000 miles finding a bad motor or a person changing at 20,000 for 500,000 is good.
Take your pick at what is the right answer. LOL

Again: do what makes you happy.
If you want to save the planet, change your oil annually
If you really want to save the planet, change it at 10k (if it takes you longer than 12 months to reach 10k).
I can't allow myself 10,000 and I won't allow myself a year.
With that, if I drove more than 10k a year and I did a lot of good long distance trips I could allow myself to run somewhat of an extended change, maybe 7500 miles or a year or I just don't know. The point is that if I drive good miles (clean miles), I feel the oil will be good for the extended period of time.
 

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@NoMoreDomestic

I agree almost completely. It took me a LONG time to break the habit of three months/3,000 mile oil changes even though my manual said 5,000 miles for severe service and 7,500 for "normal" service. I think most drivers use their vehicles in severe service mode. Pinching pennies to stretch intervals could be more expensive if it means a major repair from an oil-related problem.

The one thing I sort of disagree with is that "to save the planet" extend oil change intervals. I think to "save the planet" you should stick with recommended intervals and recycle the oil. If your car has to be replaced, that's a huge use of resources versus maintaining one vehicle for decades. The resources invested in building a new vehicle is a big deal.
 

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Yeah, for sure on proper intervals.

Lots of people extend oil changes just to prevent the "unnecessary need" of dumping oil.
If that is why the person in question wishes to go longer, than sobeit.
Many people are buying hybrids and EV's to save the planet too, forgetting the footprint the batteries leave behind but that's okay.
As long as we each feel good about our own decisions then we can all have a happy life.
 

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I recently purchased a 2011 Rav4 4WD Base model, with 225/65/17 wheel and day-time running lights, with 175k miles. My mechanic inspected it, and said it appears to be reasonably well-maintained. Handles well so far. The intention is for my daughter to use it for the next 9 odd years. I expect that she will put in about 80k miles in that time.

Given that I will drive it relatively lightly (about 8k miles per year) and the intention of keeping it for the next 9 years, which oil should I use - synthetic oil or high-mileage oil?

Thank you in advance
toyota PFE 5W30 every 6000miles with filter.
and forget about anything else, sames goes by the transmision and diff fluids, use the Toyota stuff and forget, is good enough, and is not a racing super duper extra powerful vehicle were you need the ultra best oil on the market, just change oil regularely and check levels... if you ride ir 1000-2000 miles and doesn't sip any oil, it will never do it.
 

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use the Toyota stuff and forget
Only that... that stuff is not made by Toyota.
I don't understand this idolization of all Toyota. For fluids absolutely no need to spend the $$$ on their overpriced fluids. Especially when their WS transmission fluid is just "good enough" for normal driving - mine was black at 70k miles of highway use.
I am running now with AISIN synthetic WS in transmission and Mobil 1 synthetic 5W30 in engine.
 

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Only that... that stuff is not made by Toyota.
I don't understand this idolization of all Toyota. For fluids absolutely no need to spend the $$$ on their overpriced fluids. Especially when their WS transmission fluid is just "good enough" for normal driving - mine was black at 70k miles of highway use.
I am running now with AISIN synthetic WS in transmission and Mobil 1 synthetic 5W30 in engine.
Overprice? Toyota is cheap stuff... at least here in spain, 5L for 46 euros, the trans oil is like 8 euros a Qt... cheaper than anything else and they don't mix certifications like mixing GL4 with GL5 like other brands...
 
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