Oil change frequency?

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by chiefofsages, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Toyota USA (and Canada now, with the fourth gen) have very slack oil change interval, at 10,000 miles OR yearly. I would just go with it; it's a cheap service.
     
  2. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Certainly we should take full advantage of any service that comes with the car purchase. Truthfully, I too will probably will just diligently take it in every 5000 miles anyway. That, even if only to also get the tires rotated on-schedule, and take care of other minor maintenance items.

    I know there are some here who abhor the idea of paying the Toyota Service guys, especially for simple stuff like oil changes. That's fine; more power to you, as they say! In my particular case, although I am far from the proverbial "one-percenter," I've come to accept that I have more money than time, so I personally am OK with letting the Toyota Service guys do routine maintenance for me.

    Either way though, as a general matter, the two main ways that engine oil breaks down over time are thermal breakdown and oxidation (

    Determining the Cause of Oil Degradation

    ). Thermal breakdown is, practically speaking, tied to miles on a hot engine, but oxidation is largely tied to time since the last oil change.

    So, in my view, it's not entirely unreasonable to change out oil largely on-schedule independent of engine mileage, even though in some cases and by some measures it could be a little excessive.


    iPhone ? Pro
     
  3. bowang

    bowang Member

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    Every 6 month is very valuable to toyota to collect data stored in car computer. These are real world driving info including every LDA false alarm, near misses. Hopefully in video format too from 2 cameras so that toyota can improve their autonomous data learning AI for the future.
    Data company would pay user to collect info. In this case it's oil change service. It's win win.
     
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  4. SR-71

    SR-71 Member

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    I change the oil in my 2004 Prius at 5,000 mile intervals and have always used fully synthetic Mobil 1 oil. The car now has over 224,000 miles, still gets 44 to 50 mpg (the same mileage it got when new), and doesn't burn oil. It has been an amazing car.

    When I bought my 2017 Prime I cringed when my Toyota service tech told me the oil change intervals on the Prime are 10,000 miles or annually. My first thought was, 'Hummm, 2 years of free service... but at 10,000 miles or one year intervals. A convenient sales gimmick?''

    When I mentioned to my service tech new engines typically have a lot of small metal partials floating around in the engine during the break-in period, I was told Toyota pre-runs each engine, then the oil drained and refilled, so break-in metal partials are flushed out. Given the number of engines Toyota builds, I have a really hard time believing this!

    Many older Prius's have gone well over 300,000 miles. Is it possible the powers-that-be at Toyota are seeing their cars lasting a bit too long, and are aiming for a bit shorter life span, in order to increase annual sales? In any case, I'm sticking with 5,000 mile oil changes, free or not.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Yeah, you can either do them in between the dealership service, or maybe they'd be ok with accelerating the free oil changes?
     
  6. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Better manufacturing practices means engine parts are made within tighter specifications, which means less break in wear parts.

    Then synthetic oils don't break down as fast as typical Group 3 oils. Fuel also plays a part. Between the full synthetic oil and the ultra low sulfur gas, European cars can have change intervals up to 25k miles.

    Like 3000 mile before, 5000 mile change intervals are now overkill.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Still, 4th gens in Australia, Toyota continues to say 6 months or 10K kms. There has to be some showmanship involved in these longer intervals. I'm a fan of overkill; every six months I've got something to do. :D
     
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  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Some of what goes into determining the interval has to be what the locals are willing to accept, and what the local dealers want.

    I hadn't anything to say that the US cancelled its switch to ultra low sulfur gasoline, so oil change intervals of the length in Europe should happen, but I don't expect it anytime soon because of the dealers influence.
     
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  9. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    Reality Check:

    1. Current vehicles are now built/engineered to withstand more abuse...directly or indirectly.
    2. People don't/won't/can't work on their own vehicles anymore.
    3. Most people are happy to live with perpetual car payments.

    Given these facts, "most" people are still just gas-n-go types, paying others to do the minimum maintenance until the costs of repair make them vulnerable to the Sales Departments...for another +/- $40,000.

    Maintain or replace...it's your money.
     
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  10. SteveMucc

    SteveMucc Active Member

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    I'd be more than happy to change my own oil... have always done it. Except that on all the Prii I've owned, I can't seem to find a set of ramps that will hit the front of the tire before it hits the pretty bits first.

    unless someone has access to a lift, it's almost impossible for someone to change their own oil today.

    I have a nice big floor jack, but I really don't like getting under the car when it's just on a jack, and after jacking up the car, putting the jack stand in place, then changing the oil and putting everything away. Bleh. I'll just pay the neighborhood garage $50 to do it for me.
     
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  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    You're giving up to easy. :(

    If you want to, it can be done, not that hard. Ramps hitting? Put a 2x10 piece on the approach.

    Floor jack is my preference though, roll it in at the front jacking point, raise, put in safety stands, albeit NOT at the scissor jack locations, I have my preference on 3rd gen, just a little inboard, at the end of heavy plate body rails. There's likely something similar on 4th gen, if you look. Here's my 3rd gen points:

    upload_2017-12-6_12-56-35.png

    upload_2017-12-6_12-56-3.png

    upload_2017-12-6_12-57-5.png

    And for insurance, in case you get the heeby-jeebies under there, a big chunk of something non-compressible is always a good idea:

    upload_2017-12-6_12-58-6.png
    (Go to the light......)

    Note also the heavy-duty rubber wheel stops on the back wheels, always a good idea.
     
  12. Mark57

    Mark57 Senior Member

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    Coming from a 2010 like yours, I can tell you the underside of the Prime is a different animal from your example pics on your 2010. Lots of plastic in places where you show jack stands. I was surprised at the lack of places when I was under it a couple of weeks ago.
     
  13. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    ...and within the Prius genus this is more the norm than with other cars. In all honesty, most of us are cheap skates, but some of us consider both long term and short time costs. Couple extra services beyond the factory "Minimum" has always been the wiser choice.

    Fluids and filters are kids work...even on the Prius. A $50 set of stands goes a lot further than a $50 oil/filter change.
     
    #33 frodoz737, Dec 6, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I'd like to see an up-in-the-air pic of 4th gen, or Prime. Would be really appreciated if someone could do this and post it.

    Someone took an excellent 3rd gen wide angle of the underside, the car up on a hoist, very handy for discussion. I've marked in red were I put my safety stands, front and rear:

    upload_2017-12-6_13-8-3.png
     
  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Where does Toyota stick the cartridge filter? They are on top of GM engines.

    I think I used a jack with stands for the 2005 Prius, but I have found that I can get away without lifting our recent cars for oil changes. The Sonic and HHR have that top access filter, so it is just reaching the drain plug underneath. The Sable filter was up front, but I would have traded that for lifting the car if it meant not spilling oil on the exhaust.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    It's good to access from below for other reasons: to have a look at CV boots, check for any leakage. I take the complete underpanel off, goes quick.
     
  17. idleuser

    idleuser Member

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    I plan on changing my car oil every 10k like the service manual recommends. Besides, oil change is free for 2 years. Why wouldn't you want to get the oil changed for free?

    Btw, I did a little experiment on my 2013 Honda Civic EX-L and I used to change the oil every 10k but there were 2 times where I did change it at 15k and I didn't run into any issues. Modern cars are able to withstand a lot more abuse.
     
  18. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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    To each their own...It's your $40,000 tool.
     
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    You don't have to turn up your nose at the free oil changes. There's also nothing stopping you supplementing them, doing extra oil changes in between the dealership changes. Or not, either way it's up to you, your car.
     
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  20. I'mJp

    I'mJp Senior Member

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    Mileage is a poor way to regulate engine oil changes, especially when you have a car that works so hard to keep it shut off.

    We need ( tachometer * engine hours ).

    But, apparently with the big display that we have, there is no room for such information.
     
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