Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'00 Toyota 4 Runner, Short Trip Service Recommendations
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
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 todays automotive manufacturers
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 Ive 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 youre keeping your vehicle
for the long haul, look for any reason to put the miles on and change
the motor oil frequently.