How Important is Getting Regular Oil Changes?

First, our service center staff at Toyota of Katy wants to stress to all our valued customers in Katy, Cypress, Richmond, and the surrounding great Houston area that you can contact our Toyota Service Center with any questions you may have regarding your Toyota maintenance and repairs. 

Engines have evolved, and they need less maintenance, produce more power and require less fuel. With a reduced maintenance regime, oil change services become even more important. 

See below for the five common oil change questions regarding engine services.

Performing your Toyota oil change at factory recommended maintenance intervals is a great way to keep your Toyota running great and maintain its value. At Toyota of Katy, we use Genuine Toyota Motor Oil formulated to help protect against corrosion, prevent foaming and maintain proper application of oil on cylinder walls.

5 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Oil Changes

1. When Does the Engine Oil Light Come On?

All vehicles have an oil warning light, regardless of make and model, usually red, which illuminates when the oil pressure or oil level is too low. If you ignore the engine oil pressure warning light, it may cause extensive damage.

If equipped, your dash may hold a second light that reads "maintenance required" or "oil life monitor." The first light is straightforward: It simply illuminates after 5,000 miles. But when you reset an oil life monitor, it uses an algorithm to estimate oil wear, considering operating temperature, idle time, engine speed and engine load. The estimate is usually conservative, because changing engine oil too often is better than not often enough. It's critical to take both lights seriously on your Toyota car, truck, SUV or minivan. 

2. Does Year, Make or Model Make a Difference?

Yes. Always follow the manufacturer's recommended engine oil type, viscosity and change interval. Generally, newer engines use lighter oil viscosities and allow for longer intervals. For years, the old rule of thumb was an oil change every 3,000 miles, but a new Toyota Camry uses 0W-16 or 0W-20 every 10,000 miles, according to Toyota. Oil condition is critical for modern turbocharged engines, too.

3. What About Driving Conditions?

Driving conditions absolutely affect engine oil. That's why monitors judge oil life based on engine temperature, idle time and engine load. The harder you push your engine, the more it impacts engine oil life. Engines love to run, and highway cruising delivers the best combination of engine load and cooling. Short trips, stop-and-go traffic, and aggressive driving increase wear on engine oil, so you'll need to renew it more often.

4. What Happens If You Wait Too Long?

Extending oil change intervals is a bad idea. First, engine oil wears out over time. Oil additives help modern engine oils function in a variety of operating conditions, but these eventually burn off. Then, you're left with the base oil and insufficient protection.

Second, all engines burn engine oil increasingly with mileage. If your five-quart engine burns a half-quart every 1,000 miles, and you wait 8,000 miles to change the oil, then just one quart of extremely abused engine oil remains.

Engine oil changes are more important than many drivers realize, so it is important to change your oil on time, every time, as well as to replace the engine oil filter

5. What is the Difference Between the Types of Oil?

There is a variety of motor oils all with specific blends for different vehicles. To see what type your vehicle takes, please review your vehicle's owner's manual:

Conventional oil: This oil is often used in older Toyota vehicles. While conventional motor oil is cheaper, it does not last as long as synthetic oil. Conventional oil also does not hold up well in extreme weather conditions such as Wisconsin's winters.

Full synthetic oil: This artificial oil is made for high-tech engines. It also gives you the best performance - it flows in all temperatures and leaves almost no deposits behind. Although this oil can be more expensive, it can last up to three times longer than conventional oil, which means it will pay off in the end. It is also beneficial to the efficiency of your engine and can even enhance your fuel economy. All new Toyota and Scion vehicles use a version of a synthetic called: synthetic lubrication standard (SAE 0W-20). Toyota's transition to low viscosity synthetic oil is intended to provide the following benefits to our vehicles, the environment and you, our valued owner:

    • Maximized emission performance on cold start-ups

    • Enhanced engine protection in a wide variety of operating temperatures

    • Reduced environmental burden on recycling and disposal of waste oil

    • Lower cost of ownership through improved fuel economy and extended oil drain intervals

Higher mileage oil: This oil is formulated specifically for older vehicles with more miles on them. It benefits older cars by helping to prevent oil from leaking with its special formula so you will not have to add oil as often because of a leak. These oils also contain a higher viscosity to give your wearing engine better performance.


Toyota of Katy

21555 Katy Freeway
Directions Katy, TX 77450

  • Sales: (844) 809-1063
  • Service: (832) 772-1700
  • Parts: (832) 772-1777

Service Hours

  • Monday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Tuesday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Wednesday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Thursday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Friday 7:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Saturday 7:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Sunday Closed