'96 Camry/4 Cyl: Engine Oil Questions


Old 06-03-05, 02:47 PM
Avere Fede
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'96 Camry/4 Cyl: Engine Oil Questions

'Have read the "Extended Drain Interval" article on this website from AAIA which helped define, but not explain the variables in engine oil.

I'm tired of being ignorant, hearing "All oil is the same no matter what it says on the bottle", having problems due to the wrong oil and filters going into my '96 Camry/4 Cyl. (122,000 miles), and watching mechanics' eyes glaze over seeing a well-put-together female (over 50) coming in the door as though wearing a sign saying "Easy mark! Ca-ching!"

Hopefully someone expert on the subject will answer the following.

1. The difference between "Energy Conserving" and "Energy Conserving II" is what, specifically? (Toyota recommends only EC II.)

2. Apparently there are new oil combos available now including Castrol's "GTX High Mileage for engines with over 75,000 miles." (SAE 10w-30/API SM) It is not cheap, nor does designate "Energy Conserving" much less EC II.
_ Does that matter?
_ Is it safe for my engine and going to be protective?
_ Is there an alternative 'just as safe' oil?

3. These days the car is driven an average of 12-40 miles a week "in town". (Exception: two or three annual 300-700 mile trips after a full service check.) What are the facts about changing the oil at 3,000 vs 5,000 miles given that fact . . . or should the oil be changed every 3 months -- and if so, what is the reason? (I'm not adverse to the concept, just want to know the logic.)

Many thanks!

Avere Fede

Last edited by Avere Fede; 06-03-05 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Bullets taking too much space.
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Old 06-03-05, 03:09 PM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
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Location: SW Fla USA
Posts: 11,589
Without going deeply into each question (I'll leave that for someone long-winded), I can tell you our '95 Camry 4 cyl had 175,000 miles on it last year when we sold it. Engine ran like it just came off the showroom floor and used "0" oil in between changes (except for a couple of very minor external nuisance leaks). It got Sam's Club 10w30 (@ less than a buck a quart) every 5,000 miles. Gas mileage averaged 25 around town and 32 on the highway right up to the day we sold it.

I will comment on the "high-mileage" oils - extra profit for the companies selling them, pure and simple. The 350 Chevy gas motor in my wrecker gets Sam's Club oil every 3,000 miles and has 290,000 miles on the current engine.

Word of warning; you've touched on a real hot-button topic here, so don't be surprised if the range of opinions leaves you even more confused. If you search the archives you'll find some real lively discussions on oil. Surprised the admins haven't started a separate forum.
Old 06-03-05, 06:28 PM
Lugnut's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
Posts: 1,172
Agreed, you hit a hot topic. I will back what the towguy said, 100 percent.
Old 06-03-05, 06:44 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
My 2 cents

Good question here is my bit of advice use only the "Energy Conserving II oils Toyota says to use.Buy a good brand Castrol is a good brand I have been using it for years and years and all my engines have gone over 200 thousand miles and were still clean inside.Most important is use the correct weight that Toyota says.This is to save fuel and todays engines have closer tolerances then a 70s engine.
Also very important is the filter I have always used Fram in the past but I have switched to Toyota OEM.(I also have two toyotas)I have heard Fram is going down in quality.
Try to change every 3000 miles but if you go over 500 or so dont lose any sleep over it.
The high mileage oils are a scam if you ask me stay away from them.
I would say 4 months no more if you have not reached the 3000 mile mark.And always always change filter at each oil change.
Dont use any additives like slick 50 a waste of money (snake oil)
Dont forget the other fluid changes and you can get way over 200 thousand miles on the Corolla.

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