To replace the engine oil on your Toyota Camry V6, you will need at least 4.3 quarts of new oil. If you are replacing the oil filter as well, you will need 4-1/2 quarts, according to the car's manufacturer. However, you may actually need almost an extra quart of oil if you let your engine oil drain for a few extra minutes during changes. However, other factors affect not only the amount of oil you need during changes, but its condition and change intervals.
If you: drive mostly in heavy city traffic, with frequent stop and go; drive mostly on muddy or dusty roads; and make frequent short trips of less than 20 miles; change the engine oil sooner than the recommended interval suggested by your car manufacturer. When engine oil fails to reach operating temperature, fuel, moisture particles and other contaminants make their way and settle in the oil, says James E. Duffy in "Modern Automotive Technology."
In addition, it is a good idea to check the oil level every one or two weeks, if the engine on your Toyota Camry has been in service for a few years now. Once the engine has reached operating temperature, turn it off and let it sit for a few minutes. Then pull the oil dipstick and wipe it clean with a shop towel. Insert the dipstick into its tube and pull it out again. Make sure the level is between the "Add" and "Full" marks.
When checking oil level, also check its condition. New engine oil has a transparent, light brown color. Used, old oil takes on a dark, opaque and dirty color. Over time, metal, dirt, moisture and other particles make their way into the oil. If left unchanged, these contaminants will begin to scratch and wear piston rings, cylinder walls and bearings, rendering your engine inoperable.
If you find yourself frequently adding oil to the engine, you might have an external or internal oil leak. To find external leaks, raise the front of your vehicle and look for dark and oil-wet spots around the engine. With internal leaks, you will see blue smoke coming through the exhaust pipe. Blue smoke, only at startup, usually indicates worn or damaged oil valve seals. A constant stream of blue smoke during driving usually indicates worn-out piston rings and cylinders.
For best results, replace the engine oil in your Toyota Camry every 12,000 miles or three months. Also, you can follow the recommendation in the car owner's manual or vehicle service manual for your particular model. After changing the oil, store the old oil in a closed container. Many auto-parts stores and automotive shops will accept your used oil for recycling. If necessary, call your city offices to locate a local recycling center.
- Toyota Camry 2002-2006 Haynes Repair Manual; Haynes Publications; 2009
- Modern Automotive Technology; James E. Duffy; 2003
- Photo Credit Photo courtesy of Rudolf Stricker at Wikimedia.org.
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