???2000 4runner oil choice at 125k???

Discussion in '95+ Gen Toyota Trucks' started by WNC2OBX, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. WNC2OBX

    WNC2OBX

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Raleigh
    i recently bought a 2000 4runner sr5 with 125k miles.:clap:

    im anxious to change the oil in her however, i do not know if she has been running on synthetic or conventional oil.

    1) is there a way i can figure out what type of oil is in it now?

    2):wrench:if i make a -blind- switch to synthetic and there is currently conventional oil in it, would it screw up the components that have become conditioned (125k) to the viscosity of conventional oil? (assumption)

    i know there are tons of opinions on conventional vs synthetic oils out there. i just need an opinion that suits this specific situation!

    thanks fellas!
  2. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

    Messages:
    11,979
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    99% chance it's been run on conventional all of it's life. Outside of an expensive chemical analysis, there is likely no way to differentiate conventional vs. synthetic.

    If you really want to run synthetic, just switch. It won't hurt anything. The two I would specifically recommend in your situation are Mobil 1 5W-40 European Car formula or Mobil 1 5w-40 Heavy Duty Diesel Truck (it has an SM rating to it's good for gas motors too).

    I am partial to Mobil1 because I've used it for 20 years, and you can get it anywhere, not because I have any real data that it's better or worse than the other synthetics.

    If you don't want to run synthetic, and it doesn't go below zero where you live, Chevron Delo 15w-40 is hard to beat.

    Or you can just follow the owners manual. :D
  3. Duane

    Duane IH8MUD Wookie

    Messages:
    700
    Location:
    Medicine Hat
    I think the factory recommeded oil is 5W-30.

    I believe the general rule is to not mix traditional and synthetic oils together. I don't think anything special is done in an engine to convert to synthetic as most will drain out and the filter is replaced.

    The other comment I have heard is that running synthetic may be more susceptible to leaks.

    Look for a sticker that may perhaps tell you what oil was being used. Is there a sticker in the window, door jam or under the hood which may tell you where it had the oil changed as well. Most places use a database and can look up the VIN and provide you with the service that they have done to it in the past.
    Perhaps even a dealers sticker or licence plate frame may lead you to the dealer if that is where it had it's oil changed as well.

    Also check out the glove box as some people use the service log in the manual/factory literature to log dates and services completed.
    I just bought a 99 4Runner from a Honda dealership. It had an oil servie reminder sticker in the upper left corner of the front window with the name of a Toyota dealership on it. I went there and they printed off the service history they did on it by using the VIN#
    4 pages and I am the second owner of this vehicle.. :) Dates&mileage for Plugs, filters, timing belt, transmission and diff fluid, coolant etc
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  4. Rix86

    Rix86

    Messages:
    273
    Location:
    Tacoma
    After the tests i've seen, i won't run mobil 1 unless I can't find something else.
    My cars get royal purple, the truck generally gets castrol or something.
  5. Happy Trails

    Happy Trails

    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    Central Calif.
    X3 on the Mobile 1.
  6. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

    Messages:
    11,979
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Point out these tests please. Otherwise, this is just hype from the RP marketing machine. The analysis that I have seen on Bob is the Oil Guy suggest that Royal purple is at best, mediocre.

    If you look at the real data posted in this forum, (Cary, RavenTai and others) and the analysis section of Bob's, you will find very consistent and excellent results with Mobil1 in modern Toyota motors.

    Additionally, synthetics do not cause leaks. That's very old school thinking. Worn seals cause leaks.

    Now with all of that said, it would be easy to argue that staying with conventional oil in a high mileage truck is more cost effective. In this particular 4RUNNER with unknown maintenance and 125k miles, I think I'd just run a high quality conventional oil and change it on a regular schedule.
  7. MandAtaco

    MandAtaco

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I just got a 96 4 runner with 160K on the clock and was in the same boat as you. In my older vehicles I've always mixed a quart of Synthetic oil with the conventional oil. I just keep same brands together. This way I get some of the benifits of Syn. (This is basically what you buy in the store as a synthetic blend). My first oil change with the my runner I ran 2 quarts of syn and the rest conventional. I wanted to see how it did and "break" it in easy. Next oil change I'll run full synthetic in it. It seems to like it and not leak.

    As far as Mobil 1, I've ran it for years with no issues. I like it cause I can get it off the shelf at checker or even wal-mart. I run their motor oil and gear oil, and i've never seen any negative studies on it. There probably both pretty good oils. Just don't run Pennzoil!
  8. WNC2OBX

    WNC2OBX

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Raleigh
    thanks for the words of advice, fellas.:beer:

    i changed the oil today and decided on traditional.

    now. as for changing the filter. ROYAL PAIN IN THE ARSE:bang:
    gotta remove the skid plate to reach up and grip it. with all the wires in the way, it made it impossible to turn any wrench to loosen. i might could get an extension to run it into the wheel well. i opted for the more destructive way; drill a hole for a short handled screwdriver. so,:flipoff2: the oil filter!

    are there any clever ideas out there on a quick release for the skid plate? i might take a trip to lowes' hardware section to brainstorm. it made the 20 minute job a 90 minute job.
  9. MandAtaco

    MandAtaco

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    The skid plate shouldn't take that long to get off, 12MM socket and extension, and pull 5 bolts up front and 2 on the back and remove the front and back skids as an assembly.

    To get that stupid oil filter out, (why in the heck did Toyota put it there?), Take a long extension, a, swivel, and an oil filter socket (I got mine at Toyota) and remove it through the passenger side wheel well directly in front of the coil bucket. Install the same.

    You really wouldn't even half to remove the skid plate to do this, but if you don't after a couple times your skid plate will be soaked in oil.

    Ask me how I know.....
  10. Duane

    Duane IH8MUD Wookie

    Messages:
    700
    Location:
    Medicine Hat
    Well How do you know?

    I know because when I take my 4Runner into the dealership for an oil change it always leaks on my driveway after I park it front first on the slope. Minute Lube will drop the skid plate the dealership here doesn't I assume.
    I just run normal oil and change it routinely.

    Cruisedrew..thanks for sorting out the leaking synthetic wives tale.
  11. My '99 4Runner has seen regular oil changes at the dealership (previous owner) and regular oil changes in my garage with 5W-30 (Castrol usually) with no problems... 173K on the odo. Cheers.

  12. MandAtaco

    MandAtaco

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Yea, you can always tell a taco or 4runner that's just had the oil changed and not pulled the skidplate off. It always "marks" its territory! :lol:
  13. WNC2OBX

    WNC2OBX

    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Raleigh
    furthermore, have any of you guys done the transmission fluid change? i cant seem to find too much on this.

    im sure its standard proceedure. i dont want to assume anything tho. my 2005 tacoma was a sealed transmission.
  14. Duane

    Duane IH8MUD Wookie

    Messages:
    700
    Location:
    Medicine Hat
    The 1 local dealership drains the 3 litres or so out of the pan and then tops it up with new fluid. They do not do a tranmission flush via the cooler lines to replace all the fluid..10 litres or whatever is in it.
    Another local dealership tells me if the fluid is really dirty they will do a flush and if it is fairly clean they just drain what will come out of the pan and fill it up..therefore continually blending in new fluid.
    As far as I know these transmissions have a screen on them and no filter like other manufacturers have.
  15. MandAtaco

    MandAtaco

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Yup, the 4 runner has a screen instead of a filter, you really shouldn't have to worry about that. When I change my tranny fluid in the taco and the runner, I just drain what I can out of it and refill. That way I'm always blending in new fluid. Thank someone at Toyota, they put in a drain plug so you don't have to drop the entire pan to do it. I wish other manufactures would catch on!
  16. hardontoyotas

    hardontoyotas

    Messages:
    124
    Location:
    Indiana
    stick with the 5w30 motor oil which ever brand of oil you use. just change the oil every 3k miles.
  17. Mtn Mike

    Mtn Mike

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Spokane WA
    Hey all, I'm new here. Since I'm in the same situation as the OP, I thought I'd chime in. I got my 2000 4Runner a year ago with 103K miles. I immediately switched to synthetic (first Mobile 1, and now Penziol Platinum 5w-30).

    I never knew that one could obsess so much over engine oil until I got on the Bob Is The Oil Guy forums and webpage. If you really want to learn about oils, that would be the place to "hang out". What I've concluded from reading at BITOG, and from 4 rounds of engine oil analysis is that 1) practically speaking it probably makes no difference what kind of oil I use in my runner, as long as it's a newer, modern oil, and 2) if you really want to obsess about motor oil there's plenty of literature (both fact and opinion) out there.

    So anyway, after some research and some oil analysis performed, I've started using Penzoil Platinum 5w-30 at ~6000 mile change intervals.

    And yes, the oil change in the 3.4 L is a PITA. I don't remove the skid plate. I find that if I stuff enough rags under the filter, I can catch all the oil that runs out. None ever hits the skid plate. :)

    And thanks for the great forum!
  18. Jetboy

    Jetboy

    Messages:
    1,148
    I've found that a small piece of aluminum foil bent into a cup will catch most of the oil. Just stick it down under the filter and press it up against the block so it forms a little basin. then carefully wrap it up and pull it out. I usually reach down through and can pull the filter out forward along the driver's side beside the engine. It's tight, but it fits.

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