A stock photo of someone checking the oil in a car's engine.

Using synthetic motor oil changes a vehicle’s maintenance timeline

How often do I need to change synthetic oil?

In a previously posted blog put together with help from the master technicians working in the Colonial Toyota Service Department, we established that most modern Toyota vehicles come with the recommendation to use synthetic oil. In that blog post, one of the most important advantages of using synthetic oil is that owners can go longer between oil changes. If you’re wondering, ‘how often do I need to change synthetic oil,’ we have some answers. As always, it’s important to follow the factory-prescribed maintenance plan laid out in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. If you have any questions along the way, make an appointment to see a maintenance expert at Colonial Toyota today.

READ MORE: Does Toyota require synthetic motor oil in its vehicles?

Maintenance intervals for synthetic oil

If your Toyota vehicle uses 0w-20 synthetic oil, the manufacturer has approved an oil change interval of 10,000 miles or 12 months. Vehicle owners who use this type of oil should regularly check the oil level in the engine and top it off as needed. This will allow the synthetic oil to be most effective. It’s important to note that if you drive a Toyota Tundra or Toyota Sequoia that is equipped with a flex fuel-compatible engine, the 10,000-mile oil change interval has NOT been approved by Toyota.

Some engines will be tuned to run on 5w-20 mineral oil but can safely use 0w-20 synthetic oil. These engines will continue to require the 5,000-mile/six-month oil change interval, even if the synthetic oil is used.

Other maintenance tasks

Just because a vehicle has a longer oil change interval, doesn’t mean that owners can ignore the other maintenance needs of their vehicle. Even though the oil only needs to be changed once a year or after 10,000 miles, services that are prescribed for 5,000-mile intervals are still required. This would include things like tire rotations and brake inspections.

Owners who use their vehicles in adverse environments like driving on dirt roads, off-roading, heavy towing and making repeated short trips in temperatures under 32 degrees, Toyota still requires the 5,000-mile/six-month interval. This holds true even if an owner uses synthetic oil.

A Colonial Toyota Service Technician will be able to identify exactly what your vehicle needs to stay in peak condition for as long as possible. If it’s been a while since you’ve had an oil change, make an appointment with the Colonial Toyota Service Department today.