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My 2015 RAV4 was purchased here in Mexico, so it came with an Owner's Manual written in Spanish for the Mexican market. The warranty on the vehicle is a Toyota of Mexico warranty, but it is good in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

The maintenance schedule differs here in Mexico from the USA and Canada.... For example we are on a 10,000 km (6,200 miles) oil change schedule and may use a much broader selection of oil viscosities. My manual states the acceptable grades of oil for the car are as follows: 0W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30 engine oil API SL "energy conserving" SM "energy conserving" SN "resource conserving" or ILSAC multigrade 15W-40 and 20W-50 multigrade engine oil grade API SL, SM and SN.

I only use API SN because is it the latest and greatest grade featuring superior anti-deposit and anti-sludge technology, but since I change oil at only 10,000 km (mostly highway driving) I don't think synthetic is worth the cost increase over the dyno stuff. I also prefer 5W-30 weight since my car never sees ambient temperatures under 50 degrees F. The other day it hit 95 degrees F. here in Cabo San Lucas.... the low was around 65 deg. F. Why should I use 0W-20? The fuel savings would be insignificant, but I worry that going up mountains at high speed in the heat may not protect the engine as well as a higher viscosity oil would.

The interesting thing to note is that for Mexico, we can put just about any viscosity oil we want in the 2015 RAV4 and Toyota is okay with it! When I had the 1st oil change at the dealer here, I asked for 5W-30, and they had no problem providing it.

Perhaps the 0W-20 requirement in the US is mainly about satisfying CAFE requirements? If I lived in a cold climate, by all means I would want to use 0W-20.... just not here in Cabo.
 

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I think you are correct. 0w-20 for synthetic or 5w-20 for conventional oil is specified for our 2011. Since the cars were certified by the EPA CAFE numbers using those weight oils, the manufacturer cannot recommend something different. I split the difference and use 5w-20 synthetic.
 

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The 20 "weight" oils have been more than proven all the way up to Ford V-10 petrol truck engines that tow for a living in all conditions. Having said that there would be zero problem running a 5W30 all year long in your conditions in your RAV. It will last longer than you want to keep it.
 
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The 20 "weight" oils have been more than proven all the way up to Ford V-10 petrol truck engines that tow for a living in all conditions. Having said that there would be zero problem running a 5W30 all year long in your conditions in your RAV. It will last longer than you want to keep it.
Thanks, that's good to know..... In my situation, would you use 0W-20 or 5W-30 regular oil?
 

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I know that in the USA, Walmart sells 0W-20 synthetic for about the same price as dyno 5w-30 oil. If cost is not a factor, I would choose 0w-20.
In Canada, Synthetic oil is more pricey than dyno oil. In your condition, I would have chosen 5w-30.
Luckily I have 5 gallons of 0w-20 synthetic oil that I bought from USA when the Canadian dollar was much stronger :)
 

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Is there a graphic chart in your owner's manual which relates temperatures to the oil viscosity or viscosities recommended for those temperatures? A climate chart says that average Cabo temperatures seasonally range from a high of 94F to a low of 54F. My motorcycle owner's manual has that type of chart, but also says that adjustments may have to be made to accommodate local conditions.
 

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Thanks, that's good to know..... In my situation, would you use 0W-20 or 5W-30 regular oil?
Either will prove more than satisfactory. The 0W20 is likely to be more expensive than a standard 5W30 and it would be a waste to throw it out @ 10,000 KM. I would use a name brand 5W30 in this case unless a synthetic 5W30 or 0W30 can be had for the same/similar price.

It's hotter here in South Texas than where you live and 0W20 worked perfectly in my Accord four cylinder for many years. I changed it at 7500-8000 miles. Since you are under warranty then go by the book.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just got back from Walmart here in Cabo and they don't even carry 0w oils! Lots of 25w-60 though. I agree synthetic oils are a waste if the oil change will occur at 10,000km.

You get hotter in the summer no doubt.... We top out at about 103 degrees F. in Cabo ... Though further up the Baja, it reaches 110. Of course we are warmer in the winter than you.... In fact no part of the continental US really competes with the winter temperatures here.
 

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I agree synthetic oils are a waste if the oil change will occur at 10,000km.
This is true. If this is the case, you can stop looking for 0w20, as it is only made as a synthetic (this was necessary to allow such thin oil to hold up under pressure).

It would be perfectly safe to use 5w20 or 5w30 conventional oil for your oil change interval. Pick a reputable brand and you will never know the difference with how often you change it.
 

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This is true. If this is the case, you can stop looking for 0w20, as it is only made as a synthetic (this was necessary to allow such thin oil to hold up under pressure).

It would be perfectly safe to use 5w20 or 5w30 conventional oil for your oil change interval. Pick a reputable brand and you will never know the difference with how often you change it.
I find it surprising that Toyota is okay with owners of the RAV4 in Mexico to use 20w-50 oil.
 

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I know that in the USA, Walmart sells 0W-20 synthetic for about the same price as dyno 5w-30 oil. If cost is not a factor, I would choose 0w-20.
In Canada, Synthetic oil is more pricey than dyno oil. In your condition, I would have chosen 5w-30.
Luckily I have 5 gallons of 0w-20 synthetic oil that I bought from USA when the Canadian dollar was much stronger :)

In Canada, best synthetic oil for the money is Pennzoil Platinum
/ 5L sale price at Canadian Tire is $32 + tax, a month ago.
- PurePlus™ Technology is a revolutionary process that converts natural gas into a 99.5% pure base oil. Combining it with high performance additives means Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil is proven to keep pistons up to 40% cleaner1 than the toughest industry standard, based on ILSAC GF-5. Additionally, Pennzoil Platinum® keeps pistons up to 8% cleaner than Mobil 1 and up to 17% cleaner than Valvoline® SynPower®.

Best v6-filter is NAPA/WIX PLATINUM with synthetic media, #47047
- WIX also make cheaper filters, branded silver & gold series

I change oil (5w-30) & filter, at 10,000 Km / stopped using dyno oil at 3000 mile changes, two decades ago.
- I like extended oil changes with added protection, so syn 5w-30 & premium filter here
- drive used vehicle for several years, and I sell private / still with smooth power train & high mileage
 

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In Canada, best synthetic oil for the money is Pennzoil Platinum / 5L sale price at Canadian Tire is $32 + tax
But that does not compare to the US$21+tax, I used to pay for 1 gallon of 0w-20 Mobil-1 from Walmart in NY. And that was when the Canadian dollar was almost on par with the US dollar.
If I were to buy now, I would definitely check Canadian Tire and maybe Costco.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

In Canada, best synthetic oil for the money is Pennzoil Platinum
/ 5L sale price at Canadian Tire is $32 + tax, a month ago.
- PurePlus™ Technology is a revolutionary process that converts natural gas into a 99.5% pure base oil. Combining it with high performance additives means Pennzoil Platinum® Full Synthetic motor oil is proven to keep pistons up to 40% cleaner1 than the toughest industry standard, based on ILSAC GF-5. Additionally, Pennzoil Platinum® keeps pistons up to 8% cleaner than Mobil 1 and up to 17% cleaner than Valvoline® SynPower®.

Best v6-filter is NAPA/WIX PLATINUM with synthetic media, #47047
- WIX also make cheaper filters, branded silver & gold series

I change oil (5w-30) & filter, at 10,000 Km / stopped using dyno oil at 3000 mile changes, two decades ago.
- I like extended oil changes with added protection, so syn 5w-30 & premium filter here
- drive used vehicle for several years, and I sell private / still with smooth power train & high mileage
I priced the Pennzoil Platinum here at AutoZone, and it was 2 1/2 times the price of the regular stuff.... excellent oil that's not worth the difference for 10,000 km oil changes IMO. 10,000 mile changes perhaps, but not that number in Km.
 

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If this is the case, you can stop looking for 0w20, as it is only made as a synthetic
Not quite true. Honda offers a synthetic blend 0W20 that meets their criteria.
 
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