Update: 5W-30 & Heavier Recommended RoTW

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Update: confirmed that the 3UR is recommended to run a whole suite of heavier oils. Screenshots from UAE 200 5.7L manual below. More proof that environmental regulatory agencies have handcuffed Toyota in the states.

I spent the better part of yesterday’s afternoon researching oil viscosities, manufacturer recommendations, CAFE/EPA laws, and Toyota’s recommendations in other parts of the world.

I have come to the conclusion that Toyota recommends 0W-20 in their modern engines due to the EPA requirement that the oil used to measure fuel efficiency ratings is required, by law, to be printed in the manual and on the oil fill cap. Since Toyota used 0W-20 oil to rate their fleet of engines, it is mandated that it is listed in the Owners Manual and on the cap. It makes sense to use this oil since it has the least mechanical resistance internally and may eek out a minutia of a percentage efficiency difference in a pristine testing environment.

While there are documented cases of 3UR-FE engines run well into 200/300k on 0W-20 oil - we have nothing beyond that since this recommendation started around 2008. What we do have is an engine that is unfortunately known to seep out oil from a number of different places and has numerous documented cases of mysterious consumption/loss over the course of an OCI. Is the low viscosity oil causing the leaks? Is the low viscosity oil simply vaporizing in the combustion chamber under certain operating conditions?

Toyota Recommends everything from 5W-30 UP TO 20W-50 in the 3UR-FE in other parts of the world. TIS recommends 5W-30 thru 20W-50 for Tundras in Mexico. I went so far as to cross reference oil system part numbers and concluded that there are no differences between 3UR’s across the world. Moreover, as @bjowett has indicated - tolerances on Toyota NA V8’s from the 1UZ in the original Lexus LS to the current high performance 2UR-GSE and low stressed 3UR-FE all have essentially the same main bearing tolerances.

Conclusively, I will be running 5W-30 here on out in my 2014 and 2020 3UR-FE. There is increased protection with a heavier weight oil, it’s more prevalent in the global marketplace, and Toyota/Lexus states that “a higher viscosity may be used under certain operating conditions” in the USA Owner’s Manual.

Interesting Read here: Excessive oil consumption

Interesting that when you select a region other than NA, heavier oils are recommended here: Castrol Oil Selector

While there is no doubt TGMO 0W-20 is good oil - is it the best? Were decisions made inside Toyota solely due to EPA/CAFE regulations? I think so.....Especially since running 0W-20 has proven to provide enough coverage to get them out of even the longest term warranty contract available.

Thoughts???

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I do almost the same, opting for 0w-30, for heavy road trip tow loads in the summer. I return to 0w20 for winter ski season.

 
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I do almost the same, opting for 0w-30, for heavy road trip tow loads in the summer. I return to 0w20 for winter ski season.


Read and participated in that thread. Engineer in me (as I understand you are) wanted more info.....5W-30 is still more common than 0W-30 and I can run it in all my Toyota V8’s.
 
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I'm also running a 30 weight. Redline 0w-30. I stayed down on the 0w-30 not for cold weather starting, but for a lower HTHS than their 5w-30. Their 5w-30 film strength is thicker than a 40 weight, where I was looking more for a mid to upper range 30 weight.

At the end of the day, if someone runs short trips and turns their motor back off before it can really heat up, then their 20 weight oil might be in the 30 weight range anyway due to lower heat build up. Conversely, if someone (like me) who chugs around in low range with little wind or tows heavy most of the time, a 20 weight might get a bit too hot, and act like a 16 or 8 weight.

But that is what I consider the real debate.

A 30 weight oil, will be a 20 weight if you heat it up past 100ºC; and a 20 weight oil may be a 60 weight oil when it is cold outside. But overall, is anyone here accurately measuring their oil temperature and determining that they are running their oil above that magic temperature? I doubt it. The only way I was able to was to drill a hole and add my own oil temp sensor in my pan.

Another thing to consider is thinner oils cool metal more efficiently than thick oils. If running the highway, I would want a thinner oil as I’m not loading down the motor at all.

Lastly, is anyone tearing their motors down and determining that their 20 weight oils are shearing and causing metal on metal damage?

At least for all of us, we have oil coolers as standard, so the potential of having super heated oil is even more reduced. That's all I would like to mention, is that it is the temperature at which our respective motors operate at the majority of the time based on our individual use. So one weight is not right for the next guy, its situation dependent.
 
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The nominal 'weights' for each oil mean very little. As Taco describes, there is so much overlap it basically doesn't matter. In dozens of posts in this forum and BITOG this horse has been beat to death for many years. The Toy spec 0w20 is the highest quality 'factory' oil on the market. Don't like it, use something else. Redline is also one of my favorites, but the additive package is less effective for extended changes. Just use a decent oil and change it and the filter religiously.
 
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FYI......from MOTOR OIL ENGINEERING TEST DATA

Hi RAT,

3 months ago I purchased a Toyota RAV4 2.0L engine (dual port and direct injection) M20A-FKS (no hybrid) engine code (175hp) fwd. Toyota calls for, and filled it with, 0W16 viscosity motor oil. I did an effort and added an oil pressure gauge properly by a Toyota tuner garage engineer and the numbers are NOT satisfying and, of course much lower than the rule of thumb.
1000 rpm = 7.5 psi
2000 rpm = 13.0 psi
3000 rpm = 19.8 psi
4000 rpm = 28.5 psi
5000 rpm = 37.0 psi
6000 rpm = 43.4 psi
6400 rpm = 45.5 psi

I drained the Toyota filled 0W16 and poured in Amsoil Signature Series 0W30 oil a week ago. You want the numbers? Here they are:
1000 rpm = 9.6 psi
2000 rpm = 18.6 psi
3000 rpm = 27.0 psi
4000 rpm = 35.8 psi
5000 rpm = 46.5 psi
6000 rpm = 55.6 psi
6400 rpm = 57.5 psi

And, in fact, there was no observable change in fuel economy mpg values between the 0W16 and the 0W30 motor oils. I ordered two boxes of 0W30 Amsoil SS (24 qts in total). (Quaker State oil is not available in Europe).

To Toyota owners: Beware! It’s 90% possible that your engines that are filled with the called for 0W16 motor oil, don’t raise oil pressure to acceptable levels.

E.C.

==============

Hi again E.C.,

Thanks for sharing your data. That is excellent information for everyone to see, who uses that ridiculously thin 0W16 motor oil. NOTE: The ONLY reason Toyota calls for such overly thin oil, is their lame attempt to microscopically increase fuel mileage. But, they are making a mistake for doing that, because as you found out, which was already widely known, super thin oils do NOT improve fuel mileage at all, when put to the test in the real world. So, there is no good reason to use such dangerously thin motor oil.

It is the same thing with using overly thin 0W20 or 5W20 motor oils that are called for by some Auto Makers. Because those oils also do NOT increase fuel mileage in the real world. And the fact is, 0W30 or 5W30 are the optimum viscosity for most water-cooled engines. I do NOT recommend using any motor oil thinner than 0W30 or 5W30, if you care about protecting your engine. Keep in mind that 0W30 or 5W30 are BOTH rated as 30wt viscosity motor oils at normal hot operating temperature where an engine spends 99% of its life. 0W30 and 5W30 only vary in their cold rated viscosity, where 0W30 is a bit thinner than 5W30 when cold.

Just to be clear, the old rule of thumb for “HOT” oil pressure is: “Your engine should make at least 10 psi for every 1,000 rpm”. But, that is intended as a target for High Performance and Racing Engines.

Normal daily driver vehicles don’t need to adhere to that precisely. For them, the old rule of thumb is just an approximate general reference guideline, but not a hard requirement. If normal daily driver vehicles produce “anywhere near” the rule of thumb psi values, they should be fine.

But, your oil pressure data with the original super thin 0W16 Toyota motor oil is definitely “LOWER THAN IDEAL” for best engine protection, and is a cause for concern. Because that indicates the super thin 0W16 oil is bleeding off too quickly out of the bearing clearances throughout the engine, especially through the rod and main bearings. And with that condition, if the engine is subjected to severe loading, it could be at much higher risk of damage or outright failure. So, Toyota obviously doesn’t care about any of that, and are satisfied the oil only being good enough to barely get by in most cases. That way you will likely need another vehicle sooner rather than later. Shameful…

Your new higher oil pressure numbers with the 0W30 are MUCH BETTER, with an impressive average psi improvement across the rpm range of 31%, just from using the correct viscosity motor oil. And that shows that the ideal multi-viscosity 30wt motor oil is bleeding off through the engine’s bearing clearances, especially through the rod and main bearings, at perfectly desirable rate. That is proof that the engine SHOULD really be using a 30wt multi-viscosity motor oil, rather than that insanely thin 0W16 motor oil.

Toyota got it wrong……….again, which is no surprise. I have NEVER been impressed with Toyota Engineering. Because they do so many things wrong, or at least not as good as they should be done. Buyer beware!

That 0W16 Toyota motor oil also did NOT perform well in my Motor Oil Engineering Wear Protection Capability Test. It could only muster 84,295 psi, which ranked it a miserable 132nd out of 239 oils tested so far. It is highly unlikely that anyone would intentionally choose such a poor performing motor oil to use in their own engine.

BOTTOM LINE: Because of poor oil pressure, and poor wear protection capability with Toyota 0W16 motor oil, I do NOT recommend that anyone use that oil. Instead, I recommend that people select a Highly Ranked 0W30 or 5W30 from my Wear Protection Ranking List, and use that. Then their engine will be FAR BETTER protected than with that extremely thin and inadequate 0W16 factory motor oil.

Take care,

540 RAT
 
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Also interesting - the often touted M1 5W-30 breaks down significantly more than its counterparts at elevated temperatures..

17. 5W30 Mobil 1, Advanced Full Synthetic, API SN, GM dexos 1 approved = 117,799 psi
zinc = TBD
phos = TBD
moly = TBD
This was the latest current version of this oil when tested at the end of 2015. This oil is used by a number of Auto Makers worldwide as factory fill oil in their High Performance cars. The psi value of this oil, which came from testing it at the normal operating test temperature of 230*F, put it in the INCREDIBLE Wear Protection Category.

However, I went on to also test this oil at the much higher temperature of 275*F. At that elevated temperature, any hotter and thinner oil is expected to experience a drop in Wear Protection Capability. And this oil did have a disappointing 36% drop in capability. At that reduced value down to 75,861 psi, this much hotter and thinner oil dropped down to the GOOD Wear Protection Category. You can avoid such a drop in capability by keeping the oil at a more reasonable cooler temperature.
 
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I might try 5w 30 on my next oil change. I'm currently running Redline 0w20 but I'm about to switch to renewal oils in the same viscosity. The redline is fine but has a high fuel dilution.
 
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I do almost the same, opting for 0w-30, for heavy road trip tow loads in the summer. I return to 0w20 for winter ski season.

Funny I do the same thing. Just switched back to 5w30 for summer tow season last week.
 
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I have been running amsoil signature 0w30 in all our vehicles: 2009 GX with 4.7, 2013 tacoma with 4.0, 2013 suburban 2500 with 6.0, these all call for 5w30. Any reason why I shouldn’t run the same in our new 200?
 

bloc

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This thread got me thinking, it’s approaching 106 here today, and after some further research in the tundra forums and on BITOG I opted to throw in some pennzoil platinum 5w-30.

My engine wasn’t noisy before, but the 3UR isn’t exactly quiet either with regard to the valve train. Well, now it is. Quiet, I mean.

I was really surprised how much quieter the idle is. So I’m thinking with the temperature profile here, I’ll be running this oil or possibly pennzoil ultimate unless I know I have a ski roadtrip coming up on that change.

Thanks for the idea.

For those wondering my 2013 has 155k miles on it and runs like a top, but I intend to get another 200-250 at least out of it.
 
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On my last oil change I had 3qt of 0-20 left over from the previous change and mixed in 5qt of 5-30. Best of both worlds, ha!
 
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134k miles here. running mobil1 5w-20 since new. changes every 5K until 90 then 10K until 120k. currently at 7500miles low oil message checked dip stick and had to ad 2qts. switching to 5w-30 now after some seafoam. best 5w-30?
 
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I have been using M1 on the 2UZ 4Runner for 200k miles. I just put M1 EP in my LX and plan to do the same to my 2020 Cruiser this week at ~2,600 miles.
 
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Perfect. At 8k miles. Changed over to 5W30 at 2.5k and changed oil again at 7.5k. All M1 synthetic.
From South Texas -our summer is 🥵!5w3o is wTG,have seqouia03 @277th.miles using just 5w30 supertech syn.
On LC seems 0w20 too thin here in the valley.leaning toward 5/30 or 0/30 next oil change.
Ty for the reply and positive outcome
 
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I’ve been running Mobil 1 0w40 european formula on my LX570 for 90k miles (ever since I bought it). Changed every 10k. just like all my other cars. It has 185k miles now. Burns zero oil. No leaks anywhere. This truck gets driven regularly on not-so-short trips and is not babied. Does towing duty a few times a year. Zero problems what so ever.
 

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