How To Pick The Best Oil For Your Toyota Car Or Truck

Toyota sold more than 10 million vehicles last year, making the Japanese manufacturer the world's best-selling automaker for the third consecutive year. One of the most important things any vehicle owner can do to help prolong the life of their engine is to change their motor oil regularly. 

With oil changes costing as much as $100, doing this bit of regular maintenance yourself can save you thousands of dollars over a vehicle's lifespan. However, if you visit your local auto parts store or discount superstore, you'll likely be overwhelmed by the giant wall of motor oils and the myriad of options it presents.

Between the variety of motor oil brands and the seemingly indecipherable numbers and letters on their labels, to the different classifications and special formulas, there are plenty of options. Which oil should you choose for your Toyota car or truck to protect your investment and help ensure it will deliver reliable performance for years to come?

Consult your owner's manual for the proper oil

First, check your owner's manual to find the manufacturer's recommendation for what weight and type of oil to use in your engine. If you can't locate your owner's manual, see if you can locate a digital copy on the automaker's website or call a dealership's service team what oil is right for your Toyota.

Engine oil comes in various grades: Modern oil is labeled with two numbers, separated by the letter W. Lower numbers indicate a thinner oil — the number before the W indicates how the oil performs when it is cold, and the number after the W indicates how it works once your engine has warmed up to its normal operating temperature.

It's essential that you use the correct grade oil for your engine, whether it's "synthetic," "synthetic blend," or "high-mileage" oil. Synthetic oils are man-made and often required for Toyotas from 2010 and newer. They last longer between changes than conventional oil, but are more expensive. Synthetic blends are just that; a mix of synthetic and conventional oils, offering the added protection and longevity of a synthetic oil, while saving a bit in comparison to full synthetic.

High mileage formulations are recommended for vehicles that have passed the 75,000 mile mark. They contain special compounds like conditioners to help restore worn or dried-out gaskets and rubber seals inside your engine, in addition to antioxidants, detergents, and anti-friction additives that can help keep your engine running more smoothly and potentially extend its life.