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Hi,
I've owned a 2011 RAV4 4WD I4 for about 6k miles. My first one. At the first oil change I took it to the dealer just a few blocks from home. It was time for a 30k service. I asked for synthetic oil.

A couple of thousand miles post 30k service, the oil was turning dark already. I thought it must be conventional oil as my experience with my previous cars and synthetic oil is that it has always still looked brand new at 2k or 3k miles.

I went back to the dealer and they had no problem changing the oil and filter again, at no charge. But the service advisor's position was that the I4 in the RAV is hard on oil and that was normal. I don't believe that, but I could be wrong.

For those of you with the I4 in the 4.3 who use synthetic, what is your experience with how the oil looks after 2 or 3k?

Thanks.
 

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Synthetic oil in my vehicles stays clear and clean looking for a long time. Regular petroleum oil will turn black very quickly. I'm guessing you had regular oil in your engine before you changed to synthetic and maybe that caused your oil to turn dirty looking. Even though was dirty looking, it was still good.
Your dealer trying to say these engines are hard on oil sounds foolish. Some of the 2az-fe I4 engines burned oil , but that's the only "hard on oil" issue that I know of. My 08 rav limited with an i4 engine burns oil , but the oil (what's left) when I check it , stays clean looking for easily 2-3 K.
 

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The 2.5L I4 is not hard on oil. Mine does not burn a drop using Mobile 1 0w-20. After 2K the oil is not perfectly clear. It's difficult to describe color in words, let's say a very slight tinge of brown...very slight and not what one would call dirty.
 

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Consumer Reports Magazine did an oil study many years ago with regular and synthetic oil. They remarked that the "color" of oil is an indication of nothing. The study may be found on the web.
I like when the oil turns a color since it's easier to see it on the dipstick.:smile
 

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Consumer Reports Magazine did an oil study many years ago with regular and synthetic oil. They remarked that the "color" of oil is an indication of nothing. The study may be found on the web.
I like when the oil turns a color since it's easier to see it on the dipstick.:smile
I would have to agree with that... In fact it's even more true for diesel engines. You can flush the oil system, put fresh synthetic oil in and a new filter on a diesel engine and still see black oil on a dipstick after only 2 hours of operation.

Diesel engines of course are a different beast but it really goes to show that colour doesn't necessarily indicate the condition of the oil.

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