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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'00 Toyota 4 Runner, Short Trip Service Recommendations

Q: I have a 2000 4runner SR5, and I have recently moved closer to work. As a result there are weeks when I average less than 50 miles of driving. Toyota recommends an oil/filter change every 5000 miles (at my rate every 100 months) It is my intent to keep this truck for as long as possible. I would like your opinion on increasing the frequency of oil/filter changes to say every 2500 miles or switching to a synthetic oil or a combination of both. Does the synthetic oil jeopardize my existing warranties? Toyota quoted the frequencies in the Owner's Manual when I asked this question....David Lewko.

A: As long as you follow the recommended service intervals (not every 100 months) provided by Toyota you will not have to worry about warrantee issues. Also most all synthetic oils meet or exceed today’s automotive manufacturer’s requirements for motor oil. As for reality, driving less than 50 miles per-week is darn rough on motor oil and your vehicle in general. Short trip driving is a killer. My personal vehicle sees 5 miles each way, each day as well. Through oil sampling I’ve found that the motor oil gets contaminated easily. In the winter, oil analysis has shown that the protective additives have been consumed/used up in less than 2 months. Short trip driving does not allow the engine oil to get hot enough for it to shed off the moisture and gasoline contaminants that collect in the crankcase. These contaminants eat away the additive package in the motor oil. The result is an acidic oil bath that eats at the engine bearings and damages high pressure contact points. The colder the weather the faster the additives are consumed in short trip driving. If you’re keeping your vehicle for the long haul, look for any reason to put the miles on and change the motor oil frequently.

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