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#3211183 - 12/09/13 12:09 PM 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20?
sw99 Offline


Registered: 03/22/06
Posts: 1556
Loc: Colorado
I have seen the "Unofficial" oil Toyota Chart that says 0w20 / 5w20 can be used in my Corolla (down to 1999). I have read the TSB (a while back) that showed the back spec to 5w20 down to 2006 IIRC. So... What is the reason Toyota did not back spec the 1999-2005 VVT-i 1ZZFE to 5w20? I know these year toyotas has small oil passages that would clog and result in oil burning. Seems to me that a thinner oil would flow better and reduce the clogging problem. As far as a timing chain, lots of new cars run chains and use 0w20.

Yes, the manual says 5w30 but my curiosity is getting the best of me. I want to maximize my fuel economy plain and simple. This new to me Corolla has some varnish that I am working to clean up. If all goes well, I plan to run 0w20 for 10k or so then send off an oil sample.

Am I crazy to even be thinking this. I guess my biggest question is why not?
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#3211225 - 12/09/13 12:39 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
StevieBoy Offline


Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 135
Loc: Central Florida
Your logic sounds good to me. I think you should try it. If you are nervous about it start with a mix of M1 0W-30 & 0W-20.
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#3211231 - 12/09/13 12:44 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 10642
Loc: Onondaga County
Were there any mechanical changes with the engine?

I would think that a 0/5w-20 would be better ... A 0w-20 would be a good quality oil that would help clean up, and prevent sludging of the passages in the future.

I'd run a mix of 0w30 and 0w-20, get a UOA and if it's good, go to 0w-20.
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#3211234 - 12/09/13 12:47 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 2832
Loc: MTL, CANADA
I understand your logic in thinking of going to a lighter oil, but I doubt you will notice much if any MPG gain by going to a lighter oil. These cars are known to burn oil, and I dont see how using a lighter oil will do anything different. I would use a quality 5W30 like PU and see how things go. Although, you can certainly put in 0w20 and see how it goes. Either way, the worst that will happen is that you will change the oil back again.
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#3211242 - 12/09/13 12:52 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
FutureDoc Offline


Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 1124
Loc: North Carolina
I am not sure on the Xw20 usage on the 1ZZ-FE engines (my MR2 has the same engine). I know some (1999/2000) had rod bearing issues but this was more common on Celica and MR2s... which also might be driver enthusiasm compounding the issue.
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#3211252 - 12/09/13 12:56 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
BillyTheKid Offline


Registered: 10/12/11
Posts: 449
Loc: ny
Three people I know have this same car and they all use oil. I would avoid the lighter weight oil if it were me. My father is one of the three and nothing I have used including Max Life have stopped it. Max Life slowed it the most, but not stopped it. PU it is sipping down as fast or faster than any other oil. This is all 5-30 weight. May try to start adding something thicker at top offs moving forward for him.

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#3211260 - 12/09/13 01:04 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
2012AccentSE Offline


Registered: 10/08/13
Posts: 168
Loc: TX
5w20/0w20 has barely caught on as a trusted weight with most car makers. I bet in the late 90's car manufactures didn't ever think about 5w20 because it wasn't a popular choice at all or non existent in a lot of areas. As for specs, Toyota probably didn't back spec that far back because what's the point? A management perspective would be why try and support an old product? Most of these cars are probably gone or sold to their 3rd or 4th owners by now...Let's support the new stuff!

This is just a guess smile


Edited by 2012AccentSE (12/09/13 01:04 PM)
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#3211275 - 12/09/13 01:15 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
tc1446 Offline


Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 681
Loc: Lexington, NC
With the cold wx you have I'd say go with 5-20. Easier to find and should work well. Mobil Super comes to mind and readily avail at Walmart. Come summer, change to 5-30 if its convenient. Thats all I ever used on my '04, mostly M1, and ran it 10K each oci. At 160K it used very little, perhaps a pint between changes.
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#3211287 - 12/09/13 01:24 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
quint Offline


Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 229
Loc: Cincinnati
I have been using either M1 or PP 0w-20 in my '97 Corolla (4AFE engine), even though it was not back spec'd for 0w-20 or 5w-20 either, I suspect due to the reputation it shares for oil burning due to the insufficient piston oil drain holes/gunk'd up oil ring, but after using it for about 7,000 miles now the horrific oil consumption it has been experiencing for the last umpteen years at first got even more horrific, but then went back to where it was, and is now DOWN about 20-30%, if the numbers on my Excel tracking sheet are to be believed. Its still bad, but its noticeably and numerically less bad than it was....

It also had a slight oil drip, maybe 2-3 drops a week, from between the engine and trans. When I first went to the 0w-20, that increased some... a few more oil spots here and there. Then it stopped completely. I havent seen any new, wet oil spots on the driveway in 3-4 months at least. The last time I was under the car, about 3 weeks ago, it looked pretty good. No impending drips that I could see.

I dont track the gas mileage the way I track the oil useage so I cant really say if its changed at all. It seems to get great mpg no matter what (low 30's). If you do change to 5w- or 0w-20, I wouldnt expect much of a gain, if any.

I think you are plenty safe in experimenting with it though. So far it seems to be doing pretty well in own my case.

My neighbor/friend has an '01 and his gulps down whatever oil we use in it (I do most of his maintenance). Mostly maxlife 5w-30 or whatever else is on sale.





Edited by quint (12/09/13 01:27 PM)
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#3211290 - 12/09/13 01:26 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
SOHCman Offline


Registered: 03/29/10
Posts: 1034
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: sw99
I have seen the "Unofficial" oil Toyota Chart that says 0w20 / 5w20 can be used in my Corolla (down to 1999). I have read the TSB (a while back) that showed the back spec to 5w20 down to 2006 IIRC. So... What is the reason Toyota did not back spec the 1999-2005 VVT-i 1ZZFE to 5w20? I know these year toyotas has small oil passages that would clog and result in oil burning. Seems to me that a thinner oil would flow better and reduce the clogging problem. As far as a timing chain, lots of new cars run chains and use 0w20.

Yes, the manual says 5w30 but my curiosity is getting the best of me. I want to maximize my fuel economy plain and simple. This new to me Corolla has some varnish that I am working to clean up. If all goes well, I plan to run 0w20 for 10k or so then send off an oil sample.

Am I crazy to even be thinking this. I guess my biggest question is why not?



I wouldnt do it on the 1zz engine. The reason its probably not backspeced is the 1zz has a documened ring coking issue where the rings run hotter than spec and cook the oil, clog up, and burn oil. My Vibe has the same engine.

I would not skimp on oil quality or grade or do extended OCIs, and if your engine qualifies for the TSB, you can get a new dipstick with higher marks to increase oil splash on the pistons to help control the ring temps. Or you can just fill 10mm over like me so you dont have to get the new dipstick.

Cheers.
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#3211376 - 12/09/13 02:59 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: SOHCman]
bepperb Offline


Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 4946
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Originally Posted By: SOHCman
.... you can get a new dipstick with higher marks to increase oil splash on the pistons to help control the ring temps. Or you can just fill 10mm over like me so you dont have to get the new dipstick.

Cheers.


I was going to say, I think the 0w-20 is ok when the engine has the new dipstick with increased oil capacity and/or a change to the piston rings.

If you plain and simple wanted better fuel economy you could overfill a half quart with 0w-20 and check it every gas fill up. There's probably a dozen better ways to increase fuel economy, though.
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#3211423 - 12/09/13 03:35 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
rrguy Offline


Registered: 09/20/10
Posts: 93
Loc: MN
I would guess it had to do with motor tolerrances & if too loose maybe concerned with, not keeping enough flow to get adequate oil to all passages?
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#3211442 - 12/09/13 03:57 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
cheesepuffs Offline


Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 450
Loc: Connecticut
A family member of mine has the same car and I found that even M1 5w-30 burned very quickly. Like others said, thinner oil is just gonna burn off even faster. So far believe it or not, GTX burns off the slowest of what I've tried out.

Not to get off topic but I might try GTX SynBlend next. You guys think is has as good or better cleaning ability than PYB?
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#3211448 - 12/09/13 04:05 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: sw99]
Smokescreen Offline


Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 2822
Loc: Alberta, Canada
There were some reported oil consumption issues even on the 2009+ models using 5w20. I wouldn't use it on the new ones either. Remember 5w20 is a CAFE initiative. Around the other parts of the world there is no call to use anything lighter than 5w30 in the older engines. They barely get a mention for the new engines. They specify all the way up to a 40wt in the world owners manuals.

I have been using 5w30 since 600 miles and I have zero consumption.
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#3211523 - 12/09/13 05:36 PM Re: 2001 Corolla - Why not 5w20 or 0w20? [Re: Smokescreen]
wag123 Offline


Registered: 06/14/11
Posts: 598
Loc: Texas
Just use M1 AFE 0w30 and be done with it. It is a direct replacement for 5w30 in all 5w30 applications and it will get you 95% of what you are trying to accomplish.


Edited by wag123 (12/09/13 05:37 PM)

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