5w-20 Oil?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Dan0, May 22, 2011.

  1. Dan0

    Dan0 Junior Member

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    I've been watching for a 5 qt. jug of 0w-20 oil but I haven't found one yet.

    All of a sudden though... I've seen a bunch of brands come out with 5w-20!!!

    Is that stuff OK to use?

    Thanks!
     
  2. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

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    You should use 0-20. All part stores around me have it including walmart. Maybe not in the jugs but they have it. Also toyota dealers sell it.
     
  3. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    Just buy 0w20 synthetic in quarts if you cannot find jugs of it, it is what is required for the Gen III Prius. I think Mobil 1 does or did make it in 5 quart jugs but I have yet to see it. For now just buy it in quart sizes during a sale...
     
  4. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Whatever Works

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    ^The OP mentioned 5W20, not 0W. ;)
     
  5. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    FWIW: Toyota sells their brand of 0W20 at the parts counter, under $6CAN per liter up here, likely cheaper in the States. There's benefits to other oils I'm sure, but if you're just having trouble finding 0W20, the parts department makes for one-stop-shopping: they will have the filter and drain plug washer as well.

    5W20 is only authorized as being ok in a pinch, ie: say if you were on the road and losing oil. The recommended oil is 0W20. 5W20 will lower your fuel economy.
     
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  7. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    Lol, hey I was half on point. Edited my post to be specific, Thanks Vinnie.
     
  8. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    As far as the engine is concerned it's just fine. But it is a question of the warranty which is fairly specific about using 0W20.

    The EPA, who dictates how emissions and fuel consumption tests are conducted, requires that the same oil used in testing be the only oil recommended to customers. For the Gen 3 Prius in the U.S. that is 0W20. In Germany, according to one PC member who lives there, the recommendation for the same car with the same engine is 5W30.

    But most of us have been using 0W20 since our cars were new (41K miles in my case longer for others) with no problems. If you remember to look you can often find Mobil 1 0W20 on sale. Last oil change I picked some up at NAPA for $5 a quart. Even if you have to pay full price it isn't that much considering the 10K oil change interval.
     
  9. Dan0

    Dan0 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies!

    >>>"5W20 is only authorized as being ok in a pinch..."

    I think the owners manual said something about that...

    I noticed that not all 5w-20 is synthetic! Seems like that might be something to be careful of too!

    I heard Prius's are popular up in Canada! They even use them for Taxi's!
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'm not sure that it matters, as long as the oil meets 0W20 spec. I think there's some debate as to what constitutes "synthetic". My background is Honda, for decades:

    Our previous 06 Civic Hybrid oil spec was 0W20. Honda offers (pricey) 0W20. It didn't used to say synthetic, now it does. I suspect it's never changed, but they just thought it would be a good buzzword to add.

    Just seat-of-pants survey of what I see on the road, I think the majority ownership up here is for taxis. Apart from those, yes, it still is fairly popular for private ownership.

    We pulled in to park beside another 3rd gen Prius yesterday when shopping. Just kind of unusual. I can recall parking beside a Civic Hybrid when we had ours, and thinking it was very unusual. ;)

    Here's a not too uncommon sight at a wreckers near us:

    [​IMG]

    The sad thing about the Prius taxis: at least for some of them, they're driven in typical taxi style: you'll see them tailgating, aggressive, weaving through lanes. Not always, but some. Also see a lot of them parked and idling for heat. I guess they still save gas, but...
     
  11. almypal26

    almypal26 Member

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    I found a 5 qt. jug of MOBILE 0W20 for about $25.00 at Walmart. Cheaper than one qt. at a time at $6.70.
     
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  12. CMMead

    CMMead New Member

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    It is NOT true that the EPA determines the oil to be used in a car. The MANUFACTURER makes this determination.

    The MANUFACTURER recommedned oil IS 0W20 SYNTHETIC OIL. 0W20 oils can only be SYNTHETIC ( either Group 3 or Group 4/5 synthetics ).

    Toyotas Synthetic oil ( Made for them by Exxon Mobil ) is one of the finest
    light weight synthetic oils available and is available at a most reasonable ( and very competitive price ) directly from the dealer,

    Other quality 0W20 oils are Amsoil's 0W20 and Mobil 1 0W20, but the specifications and the performance of the Toyota oil are at the very top.

    5W20 oil can be used, but the use of the 0W20 is the best for overall
    performance requirements.


     
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  13. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    Please read my post again. I did not say or imply that the EPA recommends oil. What I did say was that the EPA dictates that the oil used for emission and fuel mileage tests be the only oil recommended to the customer by the manufacturer.

    No one knows rather 0W20 is the best oil for overall performance requirements, we are guessing about that unless you have some data to back up your statement. I suspect if it were the best under all conditions this caveat about using higher viscosity oil under some conditions would not be in the Owner's Manual. From page 560 "An oil with a higher viscosity may be better suited if the vehicle is operated at high speeds, or under extreme load conditions."

    As far as I know Toyota has not said who makes its motor oil. Some sources say Mobil others have said it is the Eneos brand made by Nippon Oil. But we are sure, as you imply, that if it is Mobil it is not just Mobil 1 with a different label. Quite a few of us on this forum have our oil analyzed and the results for 0W20 Mobil 1 and 0W20 Toyota branded oils are different. Rather one is actually "better" than the other or not only time and miles will tell. You can find the UOA results posted here if you are interested.
     
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  14. Dan0

    Dan0 Junior Member

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    REALLY???

    I'll be keeping my eyes open for that!!!
     
  15. Au-Toe

    Au-Toe Matrixowner

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    i haven't been on priuschat for a while and starting to read through threads again.

    question.
    i was looking for oil the other day for my other car at the parts store.
    and i came a across a brand (i think prestone or valvoline) that has one labeled as "CVT" in big letters on front of the bottle.

    has anyone used that type before (i forgot the brand name)
     
  16. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    Welcome back. Maybe this is the product: http://www.amazon.com/VALVOLINE-OIL-705233-CONT-VARIABLE-TRANS/dp/B002ZSM1VG


    It is a synthetic ATF for conventional CVTs. If anyone were thinking of using it in a Prius transaxle I would strongly recommend against doing so. There are some fairly high Voltages in the transaxle and we don't know how an aftermarket ATF would handle that. Best to stick with Toyota ATF-WS.

    I do think Valvoline makes a 0W20 engine oil however, might have seen some at Wal Mart.
     
  17. Au-Toe

    Au-Toe Matrixowner

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    thanks, i dont know why i didn't realize that was transmission oil, but makes sense now that i think about it.
    for some dumb reason i thought that was engine oil.

    but either way, i was just curious when i saw that on the shelf.