Can I use "regular" oil instead of synthetic oil?

recalcitrantrecalcitrant Member Posts: 13
edited March 2016 in Toyota
How much would it harm a car to put "regular" engine oil in it instead of the recommended synthetic oil...

...if I did it just once?

...if I did it regularly?

Best Answer


  • cmhj2000cmhj2000 Se, Pa.Member Posts: 381
    edited March 2016
    Once likely little. Many times depends on many things, vehicle, driving style and much more. But the risk is likely not worth it. Good oil is cheap compared to the possible issues that could be created.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    unforseeable consequences. What's the point exactly? You wouldn't be saving that much money.
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 9,541
    Agree, you're risking a $5,000 engine for, what, $20? Modern engines, especially turbos, put higher loads on their oils. Doing it also voids your warranty for coverage for any oil-related issues.

    No way I'd do it.
  • recalcitrantrecalcitrant Member Posts: 13
    cmhj2000 said:

    Good oil is cheap compared to the possible issues that could be created.

    Point well-taken.

    What's the point exactly? You wouldn't be saving that much money.

    I was just afraid that I was getting hustled by Jiffy Lube, because the manager there said if I didn't use synthetic oil, it would void the warranty. When I asked what warranty, he tried to change the subject without answering.

    However, since I posted my question, I did a little research, and I discovered that synthetic oil breaks down more slowly than fossil oil, especially at high temperatures, and that also, because of its consistent viscosity even at low temperatures, it provides good engine protection even when first starting the engine in extremely cold weather. So I can see synthetic oil is well-worth the added expense.

    However, I'm curious about one thing: Does the above mean that an engine will run at a higher temperature in hot weather than it would when the weather is cooler?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think it means that in very hot weather, the engine has more difficulty shedding its heat through the cooling system. But internally, it's the work that the engine does that would affect its internal temperature due to combustion.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,457
    I was just enjoying reading the FAQ over at Blackstone Labs earlier today - this is a choice tidbit:

    "What's the best oil to use?

    Ah, the million dollar question. We are an independent lab, so we don't make recommendations. It has been our experience that oil is oil, and either petroleum or synthetic-based oil will work well for just about any engine.

    Come on, you're holding out on me. I should use synthetic, right?

    Buddy, you should use whatever you want. Synthetic oil won't guarantee a longer engine life any more than my eating organic food will guarantee I'll live until I'm 90. We here at Blackstone generally use regular petroleum-based oil because honestly, it works just as well for us."

    It's a black science. Or at least an amber one. :)
  • texasestexases Member Posts: 9,541
    Uh-oh - I never trust Jiffy Lube on anything. What oil does your owner's manual specify? And I never take my car to any 'Quicky Lube' kind of shops, the dealers often have oil change prices near to them, if not better (with coupons). That, or find a good independent shop to do the work.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    I TOTALLY agree! Great advise! I wouldn't let a Quickie Lube shop change the oil on my pressure washer!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If the oil meets your manufacturer's specification, you're good to go.
  • recalcitrantrecalcitrant Member Posts: 13
    Thanks to all for taking the time to respond.

    My 2011 Toyota Camry LE has a 2.5 L 4-cylinder (2AR-FE) engine, for which Toyota recommends SAE 0W-20 oil, which is actually printed right on the oil cap.

    So that's what I'll use in the future.
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