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#1 of 113 First Oil Change
Feb 16, 2004 (8:32 pm)
I heard that with a new car it is good to change the oil after just 500-1000 miles because breaking the car in leaves more residue in the oil than normal operation. Is this true? Or is the normal interval between oil changes apply from driving it off the lot.
Also, Toyota told me that their oil filters had something special that went with their cars, so do they have to be used or will any brand work just as good?
#2 of 113 congrats on the new ride!
Feb 16, 2004 (11:25 pm)
now it gets murkier
increasingly, manufacturers are recommending AGAINST any special short-term oil changes or magic oil formulas, generally saying this prevents a complete break-in program. in any event, to insure you can't be punted around on warranty in case of an issue near the end of the warranty period, change it exactly when your manual says to.
grizzled old farts who have heard enough stories and replaced enough engines laugh until they fall down and wheeze every time somebody repeats this information. they tell you exactly what kind of metal shavings, chips, and foundry sand come out of the strained oil and out of the cut filter on the first oil change, be it at 500 miles or 5000. as their eyebrows arch and their hands cup and swoop, your blood runs cold.
the truth is in between. there will be extra crud the first few oil changes. the finest particles of this slop do circulate with the oil and contribute to scuffing the piston walls slightly. this is said to be a good thing with the tighter tolerances engines are built to, and provide a ring/cylinder surface that doesn't cake with burned scuzz and cause oil leakage as the engine wears. the car makers say they take this into account... aka, you are the final machinist of the engine, and only if you follow their break-in plan can they honor the engine warranty.
moral: it's evil, and they like it. I couldn't drive my new cars that long on the first change. on a rebuilt slant-6 in my used then re-engined 64 dodge, I got 100,000 before selling it to my sister, who got another 50,000 before the steering got scary and she sold it. never a drop of oil burned, and I changed oil/filter at 500,1000,2000, and thenceforth at 2500 miles. I got 145,000 before trading my 76 buick that was changed at 500... got 138,000 before trading my 90 ranger that was changed at 1000... and my 00 exploder with only 49,000 miles is still a babe in swaddling clothes, too soon to tell, but I don't use a drop of oil between 3000-mile oil changes. those are the only 4 vehicles I've had in which I had a new-tolerances engine to look at from the get-go.
play safe, do it by the book.
as for oil filters... there is a magic ingredient in the Toyota filters that makes them cost twice an equal replacement. it's the Toyota logo. Motorcraft filters have the same magic ingredient that Wix or Baldwin filters don't. I generally stay with the car maker's filters since I've been buying new, and when I don't, go with top replacements like the ones mentioned. buck-fifty oil filters don't get near my wheels. I don't even park on the same side of the mall as the shelf of those things at Questionable Auto Parts.
#3 of 113 Filters
Feb 17, 2004 (6:20 am)
Only three components of a filter that are an issue, anti drain back valve, every filter has one, some better then others. Bypass valve, not every one has this as some engines have them internaly, really makes not difference and hte third is the pressure PSI that the valve opens at to let cold oil through. You should try to match that.
Really, other then a Fram most filters will work fine and really, in todays engines, with the oil doing all of the work, a filter is more for catastrophic failure. My own testing shows that it makes no differnece in a used oil analsyis if I change the filter at 6000 miles or 12,000 miles. Cut a few open, nothing really there either
Feb 17, 2004 (7:09 am)
i was under the impression toyota don't make car that need break in anymore as it stated in the owner's manual, just don't floor it during first 1000 miles, and they've put special engine oil in the new car help lubricate the engine for the first 3000 miles.
#5 of 113 gas and oil mix
Feb 17, 2004 (11:54 pm)
what about certain brands of gas or oil? any suggestions?
Mar 19, 2004 (11:22 pm)
practically, any of the majors in your area are using the same refinery stocks and just adding your additive package for gas.
there ARE differences in the refinery stocks. some have already cut over to newer equipment that cuts sulfur in the gas to essentially none, some haven't yet. if you have a recent car that has a permeable-ceramic catalytic, sulfur can build up in them under light driving, and release in a hot stinky cloud of hydrogen sulfide if you floor it, tow, start driving uphill, or otherwise load the engine more or get the cat hot. there are a lot of yowls about that across the edmunds boards. the carmakers all say use the lowest sulfur gas you can get.
but who has it is something a little hard to tell. if Spilco is advertising in your area that "our gas already meets the 2005 EPA clean-air requirements... because Spilco thinks this is a special place," then they have a refinery feeding them that is cleaned up. if you live near it, have a cup or two in the nearest cafe, watch out the window, and see whose trucks are filling up at that refinery. you now have your shopping list. It may only be good on, say, the East End of your city, because the far west suburbs may be getting their fuel from the pipeline terminal. but that's something you have to find out locally. I don't think any state websites are posting that data, certainly Minnesota isn't, and a few other I've Googled aren't.
since all gas sold in the US must meet a minimum Federal standard for fuel detergency in every grade, there should be no issues leading to clogged injectors. if there are a couple cut-rate joints that get their fuel from a recycler (spilled stuff, old crap from closed stations, etc. is rerun through a refining process to theoretically get back to standards), I personally would not buy there.
oil is another matter, and there are several threads you can search on that have thousands and thousands of posts in which folks have been flaming each other over the relative merits of every known and unknown brand of oil. I'm sticking with the major marketers, getting the correct API code for my engine, and living the good life. so far, the dealer has done mine, and I think they're using QS 5w-20 that meets ford standards, and the OEM motorcraft filters.
if you want extraterrestial synthetic oil and gold-plated filters delivered by unicorns from the black forest artisans of legend, way cool. naturally, if I've saved you Big Money, please send it to me at ( )...... LOLOL.
#7 of 113 First Transmission Fluid Change
May 05, 2004 (7:15 pm)
I have heard that for a new car it is good to change the transmission-fluid at an earlier schedule than the 30,000 miles specified in the Owner's Manual because breaking the car in leaves more residue in the transmission-fluid than normal operation. Is this true? I have asked the Toyota-Dealer this question and depending upon the mechanic you speak to, some recommend 30,000 miles and some recommend 15,000 miles. Any comments on the mileage that we should do that first transmission-fluid change?
#8 of 113 Re: First Oil Change [04solara #1]
May 09, 2004 (5:34 am)
Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I change my oil and filter every 3k miles
and will probably continue to do so until I buy a hybrid vehicle !
In my opinion, I believe in doing the FIRST oil change at about 1k miles.
That's what I did on my 2003 Solara SLEv6 and I don't regret it.
Although the engine must've gone thru some testing/running after manufacture,
it cannot match up to the wear that is imposed during 1,000 miles of travel
IN the vehicle. So I have to believe that there are going to be engine
particles that fall off very rapidly during those first few hundred miles (1k)
and personally...I want them out of circulation !
I have never heard about any special chemicals being added to oil when coming
from the factory, so I cannot comment on that. If there WERE, wouldn't more of
us have heard about it ? The dealer and manual never mentions anything about that.
#9 of 113 my ford guys say there is no "break-in" magic oil
May 10, 2004 (7:30 am)
plain old 5w-30 in my case, 5w-20 is being used in recent production. dino oil. because YOU are the final machinist in the manufacture of the engine.
#10 of 113 Re:First Transmission Fluid Change
May 15, 2004 (11:34 am)
I don't think so. Unlike motor oils, transmission fluid usually suffers first from oxidation more than anything else. It's the byproduct of friction and heat. ATF is exposed to shearing forces but not as much as motor oil and they usually occur more in cold temperature operation.
Heat, moisture and dirt affect ATF. If you haven't towed excessive weight for long distances in hot weather, or in lots of stop-and-go driving, the ATF has likely not been heat stressed. If the fluid is bright red in color (although color is not necessarily an accurate indication), you're fine.
I would recommend sticking with the owners manual recommendations.