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What’s The Right Engine Oil for Your Car?

Maybe a lot of car owners are familiar with the basic stuff about engine oil, why it’s so important and how often they need to change it, but not too many people can make a distinction between different types of oil and what type or brand would fit their engines the best. There are a lot of oil types out there, and it’s quite easy to get confused and make the mistake of buying the wrong one. Each oil type has different attributes, regarding viscosity, different additives, and so on, so it’s important to inform yourselves about these things before you decide which type to buy, as putting the wrong oil can affect fuel efficiency and can do some damage the engine.

Toyota Engine Oil

Toyota Engine Oil

The first thing you should pay attention to when buying oil are the numbers on the labels. There are different designations on the labels, indicating the oil’s viscosity levels. The most common numbers you can see include 5W-30, 0W-30 10W-30, 10-40, and so on. Oil viscosity refers to the oil thickness, which is important to know because it determines how well an oil works in cold and hot temperatures. So, if you get a 10W-30, for example, it means that the oil is going to be better for use during the winter months, when the temperature is pretty low. This oil is thinner than, let’s say, the 20W-50, and thin oil is good for winter because it has better chances to move effortlessly inside the engine than the thicker oils. All this can be very confusing, and it’s not easy to understand, and that’s why car makers provide information about what type of oil to use for a specific car, but having some basic knowledge about oil viscosity wouldn’t hurt.

Semi Synthetic Engine Oil 10W-30 for Toyota Vios

Semi Synthetic Engine Oil 10W-30 for Toyota Vios

Another question you should ask yourself when buying oil is if it’s a conventional engine oil, synthetic or high-mileage oil. The standard oil standards imposed to change your oil every 3,000 miles, but now car manufacturers say that you can do it every 5,000 miles. High-mileage oils are relatively new to the market, and they are designed to last for over 60,000 miles. High-mileage oils are relatively new to the market, and they are designed to last for over 60,000 miles. But, what lifespan the oil has depends on the engine, as well.

Another choice would be getting synthetic oil, which is more expensive than other types, but offer better performances and last a lot longer than conventional ones. They are recommended for fast, high-performance vehicles, and work well in both cold and hot temperatures. Apart from this, owners have to know that there are oil additives that improve oil’s performances, and the most common additives include: dispersants, detergents, antioxidants, and friction modifiers. If you live in Ontario, get the right oil for you car at an oil change Ottawa location.

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49 thoughts on “What’s The Right Engine Oil for Your Car?”

  1. Faisal Newon says:

    I have a Toyota Probox 2003 model car with VVT-i, 1.3 Litre, gasoline engine (2NZ-FE).
    I wonder which grade is perfect for my engine as I have lost my user manual right after purchasing. Upto now I have used Synthetic 20w50 API-SJ with 4500 km interval.
    Can anyone suggest me which grade is best for me? And what should be the interval ?
    Note: In summer temp. goes upto 42 degree C and in winter temp. goes down at 12 degree C.

  2. Ronald says:

    Hi im Ronald from Manila Philippines, i have a vios 1.3 dual vvti and with my 10k change oil i use Toyota EO 10w-30.. Is this the right oil for my car? Thanks..

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hi Ronald,
      yes, that is the right engine oil for your car. In fact, the primary factory that influencing the use of engine oil is the hot/cold weather.
      since Manila is tropical country, using the 10w-30 eo is the right choice.

      1. Phan says:

        Can use fully / semi m oil for a year or more?
        Due seldom drive long distance journey.

        1. Kelvin Ang says:

          Hi Phan,
          can but not recommended as oil viscosity change gradually…
          anyhow, I havent change my engine oil for over a year due to I am working in the different country, seldom drive my car..

  3. Phan says:

    Hi Kelvin,

    About fuel injection cleaner, do you recommend to use other than Toyota brand? Or better use Toyota brand?

    May i know your advise and opinion.


    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hi Phan,
      Nice to see you here again. Yes, we can absolutely use other brand of fuel injector cleaner. Brand such as Caltex, Castrol has proven to give excellent cleaning performance to any car.

      1. Phan says:

        Hi, is BTS or STP the good brand too for fuel injection cleaner?

        1. Kelvin Ang says:

          Hi Phan,
          from the website review, apparently, the BTS is a good brand for fuel injection cleaner.
          Share me your experience after you using it 🙂

          1. Phan says:

            Due to keen to try so I bought and poured in BTS fuel injectiin cleaner on 16 April 2017. As at today, i can not feel any improvement on pick up and acceralation.

          2. Kelvin Ang says:

            Hello Phan!
            Nice to see you again! Since there is no improvement on the pickup/acceleration, that mean your engine and injection is clean and functioning the optimal level.
            Congratulations to you for taking well your car 🙂

  4. firdaus says:

    Hi Kelvin,
    I use TOTAL QUARTZ 7000 FUTURE GF5 5W30 for my vios 2006.
    Its okay for that oil?
    If not, any recommendation for better engine oil?

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Of course! It is OK to use Quartz 7000 Future GF5 5W30! It is semi-syn engine oil develop according to Asia cars.

  5. Phan says:

    Hi Kevin,

    For ageing Vios with 140,000 km, isnt fine to use Semi Syn 10w 30 or need to grade 40?


    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hi Phan, is OK to use Semi Syn for aging Vios. Just use the engine cleaner every 20,000km to keep your engine running in optimum level.

  6. Phan says:

    Hi Kelvin,

    May I know isnt fine if swipe from grade 40 to 10w 30 due all the way I using more with grade 40? Will it hurt the engine?


  7. Pulin says:

    Hi Kelvin…need your advice…my ride vios 2013 …now its almost reaching 80K km….is it ok if I use Liqui Moly Semi Synthetic MOS2 Leichtlauf 10W30 EO for my vios??….is it advisable for semi 10W 30 EO to change every 5000km?

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hello Pulin,
      is it definitely OK to use MOS2 Leichtlauf 10W30 engine oil for your Vios.
      Semi Syn oil can last from 7500km to 10000km before required change.

      Only Mineral Engine Oil required changing of every 5000km.

      Share us your experience after you get your engine oil changed 🙂

  8. Phan says:


    I would like to share my drive and engine oil expenrience here.

    I had used below listed engine oil on my Vios;
    1. Shell 5w 40 (quite powerful but not fuel save, 10,000km)
    2. Mobil 5w 50 (quite heavy feel but smooth, 10,000km)
    3. ELF 10w 50 (quite heavy feel and EO change dark colour quick, 7,500km used 2 times so 15,000km)
    4. Voltronic 5w 40 (smooth, fuel save but pick up slow n the heaviest among the EO i used, 10,000km)
    5. ELF 10w 30 mineral type (fuel save, a bit noise but the more poweful and quick response – which i like the most. But only dare to use 5000km)
    6. Lexus 5w 40 (cheap fully synthetic old cost me RM95 only, fuel save, EO change dark quick, only dare to use 5000km due not confident to use 10000km)
    7. Mobil 5w 30 (slow response, engine noisy n fuel save – 10000km)
    7. Mobil 0w 40 (fine response, fuel save as usual, engine not noisy as grade 30, old quality quite good due drive until more than 8500km still maintain the performance of the car, pick up slower than ELF 10w 30.

    My drive record is 17.2km/liter or 630km for remained last bar of fuel indicator) So, i estimate full tank at least can drive 720km.

    If ELF 10w 30 mineral can drive 10,000km, i will stick to it due i like the feel of fast response n powerful. So, next month oil change i would like to use Toyota Semi Syn 10w 30 due can use 10,000km.

    Just wonder can ELF 10w 30 mineral (Monographite) drive up to 10,000km?

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hi Phan,
      this is awesome! Thanks for your sharing on the experience of using different type of EO for your Vios. The details are so value to us!
      Technically, Engine Oil without synthetic (mineral) should be only drive up to 5000km, to be safe!

      I love your sharing, do you mind to share your story at the homepage of the website; by clicking the “Upload” button at the homepage ( and post your story 🙂

      I am sure a lot driver going to appreciate that 🙂

      1. Phan says:

        Alright! ?

  9. Jojie says:

    Hi Kelvin,

    Good day! I just bought a 2015 VIOS. (Manila) Currently using 5w-40.. Is it ok to change it to Shell 0w-40?

    Thank you!


    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hi Jojie,
      no problem. Just go ahead and change. Manila is hot city, the feature of this 0w-40 is protection during low temp.

      Share us your driving experience after you changed the engine oil.

      1. Jojie says:

        Hi Kevin,

        Good day. I am using 0w-40,. I’m just curious, every time I start the engine specially in the morning – engine sounded more like a racing car for about 2-3 minutes then it will eventually subside. Is this normal for the 0w-40 oil.. I am scheduled to do change oil next week.

        Im bit confused if i’ll go back to 5w-40. will the shell Helix Ultra be ok?

        Your response is highly appreciated.


        1. Kelvin Ang says:

          Hi Jojie, there are many reasons the engine sound roaring for the first few minutes.

          The engine is cool down, and the system is trying to heat up to optimum temperature before the engine rpm go to normal speed.

          Check also your car radiator, if the coolant is sufficient, make sure there is no leakage.

          Lastly, check with your mechanic.. Not sure if changing engine oil will help, and you may need to overhaul the engine…

  10. Phan says:

    Thanks Kevin,

    I think either use Toyota 10w 30 Semi Syn or Mobil 10w 40 or Toyota 5w 40 EO. I keen to try 10w 30. I also drive with light pedal.

    Again thank you for your advise!

  11. Phan says:

    Hi, am i using wrong grade of EO? I felt the car quite heavy while pick up and swipe gear also slow from 1st to 2nd gear.
    While want to accelerate, it seem like less power.
    May i know your advise and what should i do?

  12. Phan says:

    Hi, I am Phan. I owned Vios 2006. I alway use Fully Synthetic 5w 40 EO and currently using Mobil 1 0w 40 for almost 20000km (2 times). I change EO every 10000km.
    I alway find my car engine not in optimum performance or not power when pick up and up hill plus slow accelerate.

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hi Phan,
      thanks for drop by. You may want to check the other factor that impacting your car’s performance. It could be your air filter is clogged, or O2sensor might need to clean or combustion in engine is incomplete, which you need to get the engine cleaner or overhaul.

      please share me again your update 🙂

      1. Phan says:

        Hi, may i know what you mean by engine cleaner?

          1. Phan says:

            Yes, i used the Fuel Injector Cleaner before when clock at 100000km and now going to 140000km for EO change. In your opinion, may i know which grade is the most suitable EO for Vios use in Malaysia for all round performance? 5w 30 or 10w 30 or 5w 40 or 10w 40 or etc?

          2. Kelvin Ang says:

            Hello Phan,
            myself using 10W-30 for the last few years, and my vios performance at the tip top as long as I change the EO on time. Most of the time, I drive with light pedal, occasionally rev till red line for fun 🙂

  13. Hi.. my vios e manual 2016, is already 14,800+kms.. i went to a local shop here in manila and had a vortex 5w40 engine oil and a new oil filter as well.. is this okay even if the manufacturer recommends a 10w30 oil?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hello friend from Manila,
      It is OK, since the grading is grade according to the viscosity of the oil and Manila is a hot country! Technically any other grade of oil is good to go 🙂

  14. Mohd Yusuf Musa says:

    hello again & morning kelvin,
    it’s regarding the oil filter. For full-syn oil, my mechanic told not necessary to change the oil filter after 5,000 km.. is this true? I used to change it before this.?

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hi Yusuf,
      I change the oil filter on the same time with engine oil, which is every 10,000km.

  15. Mohd Yusuf Musa says:

    Hello Kelvin,
    My car is 2018 vios, all the while i hv been using 5w-40 oil or should I turn back using 5w-30 or 10w-30 or swith to 10w-40 or 20w-50?

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Hi Yusuf,
      2018 model yet to out. You can just continue to use full synthetic oil (5w-40) if you have budget. If not, you can change to lower cost engine oil (semi-syn) or mineral. It doesn’t harm the engine as long as you remember to change the engine oil on scheduled time (every 3-4 months or every 10,000KM).

      1. Mohd Yusuf Musa says:

        hello Kelvin,
        Thanks for ur reply…I meant year 2008. if I switch to semi-syn, what will be the viscocity n max km?

        1. Kelvin Ang says:

          the semi-syn can last about 10,000km before change to new engine oil 🙂

  16. jhon says:

    Hi,, i have desame problem in my vios , im ussing fully synthetic oil…do you think this is one of reason why my idle down to 7 from 9…and vibrate when the ac on…

    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      It has nothing to do with engine oil.
      Go and check the ECU setting, try clean the O2 sensor, check the engine coolant and reset the ECU.

  17. Zul says:

    Hi Kelvin,

    What is the Vios 2011 EO spec/recommendation in owner manual? I bought a used vios 2011 and no owner manual.


    1. Kelvin Ang says:

      Toyota would recommend the Toyota engine oil.
      Semi-synthetic will do 🙂

      1. Zul says:

        Thanks bro, is it 10w-30?

        1. Kelvin Ang says:

          Hi Zul,
          yes! I am using it for the past 5-6 years. My Vios engine still in optimum performance 🙂

          1. Zul says:

            Thanks Kelvin,

            sorry i have one question but not related with EO.. 🙂
            just check, is it normal vios have a low idle and slight vibration when AC is on? my idle is around 600 rpm and sometime down to 550 rpm and slight vibrate and going up 700-750 when AC kick in,
            AC is operating normal and cool but keep cycling every 10 second, when car moving there’s no vibration..

            Sorry previously im driving viva and it’s my 1st time driving sedan 4 cylinder ..

            Thanks bro, keep up the good work.

          2. Kelvin Ang says:

            Hi Zul,
            for vibration during idling, you may want to clean your throttle body and reset your ECU. Just unplug your car battery connection from the terminal and leave it for 10 minutes, then re-plug back.

            Let me know if the problem still persist 🙂

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