Skip to Content

Do Toyotas Need Synthetic Oil?

Ever since I was a teenager, all I wanted was to own a car. Eventually, when I did, my world seemed to turn upside down completely. 

The realization soon hit me that you can never know too much about a vehicle unless you own it. Suddenly I had to be super conscious about maintaining it.

Is the service date around the corner?

Is my car clean enough?

Is the engine working fine?

These are only some of the questions about my car that bothered me on a day-to-day basis. Soon, as I got to learn more about my Toyota’s requirements, I started wondering, “do Toyotas need synthetic oil?”

As it turns out, Toyota does recommend synthetic oil for all of its vehicles, but only some models specifically require it. If you’re wondering whether your car requires it or not, you should refer to the car’s manual.

Over the years, there has been a considerable amount of debate swirling about using conventional and synthetic oil for vehicles, and it’s only fair to put the argument to rest. 

While most modern Toyota vehicles recommend using synthetic oil, there are very few that require it.

However, understanding your vehicle’s oil needs is all about consulting your manual thoroughly. While synthetic oil is often considered a better choice regardless, you can also stick to conventional oil if your model doesn’t strictly require the former.

Synthetic Vs. Conventional Oil: What’s The Difference?

Conventional or regular oil is taken out of the ground, while synthetic oil is prepared in a controlled environment such as a lab. One of the most notable benefits synthetic oil has over regular oil is that it flows better due to the shorter carbon chains used in the process. 

However, both oils are heavily refined.

Another benefit of getting synthetic over regular oil is that the former is far less impure than the latter. This means that your engine suffers less harm in the long run. 

Moreover, since shorter chains are stronger and more resilient, they prevent your oil from breaking down over time, which means that your oil will last for a longer time.

The gist of the entire section is that synthetic oil is a better choice for your vehicle when it comes to mileage or maintenance but does regular oil have any benefits after all? 

Let’s find out.

Oil Changes: Which One Lasts Longer?

As per Toyota’s recommendation, you should get your car serviced after every 5000 miles, at least for tire rotations and other inspections. When it comes to oil changes, however, you can afford to go a bit longer.

You can go up to 10,000 miles with synthetic oil before getting the oil changed, but it’s better not to cross the 7500-mile limit. On the other hand, you cannot go beyond 3000 miles without getting the oil changed with conventional or regular oil.

The point is that you can be a lot more laid back with some maintenance stuff when it comes to synthetic oil than regular oil that calls for constant changes after some designated miles. So, unless you’re super free and don’t have any other responsibilities on your shoulders, you should certainly consider getting the former, i.e., synthetic oil.

Are There Any Downsides to Using Synthetic Oil?

So far, I know the answer to the question “do Toyotas need synthetic oil?” and it’s pretty straightforward. However, there are a lot of factors that come into play when you are faced with the same question in practical situations.

For example, I have only established how synthetic oil is the way to go, but why do people continue to use conventional oil then? Why is it even produced? 

Because if synthetic oil is such a wonderful choice, shouldn’t we only stick to it? 

Fortunately or unfortunately, there’s a lot more to vehicle maintenance than choosing between different oils. If things could simply be reduced to the synthetic vs. conventional debate, then the former would’ve easily won every time.

However, that isn’t the case. There’s more to the synthetic vs conventional oil debate than just making a choice. 

While synthetic oil is great for your vehicle, it isn’t easy on the pocket. The cost has to be a glaring downside of your choice because, let’s face it, you’ve already spent a small fortune on your car, and now you have to pay two to four times the price of conventional oil to get synthetic. 

Are There Any Other Types of Oils?

Synthetic Blend Oil

Both synthetic and conventional oils have a certain set of advantages and disadvantages, but what if you were to mix them together? This is what is called the “synthetic blend,” the third type of motor oil. 

It seems like a solution to synthetic vs. conventional oil, doesn’t it? You get to have it at a lower price than synthetic oil, and you also get a cleaner and longer performance than what you typically have with conventional oil. 

It seems like a bargain or a happy medium where you can enjoy the perks associated with both types of motor oils. Additionally, this blend is also perfect for resisting cold weather.

High Mileage Oil

If you have an older car at home, you probably already know about this type of motor oil. High mileage oil is particularly suited to vehicles with a lot of miles on them. 

Due to a different viscosity than the other types, it helps protect your car against oil leaks and ensures that your engine compression is exactly where it should be.

Final Thoughts

Being a car owner in the contemporary world comes with a lot more responsibility than it did in the past. As newer models and better technology emerge, it’s only reasonable to keep up with their requirements.

Hence, in our quest to answer “do Toyotas need synthetic oil?” We’ve also managed to conclude that your car needs a lot more than a specific type of oil.

A complete maintenance regime requires servicing, tire rotations, oil changes, checking air filter flow, checking transmission fluid, inspecting shocks and struts, and more.