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Lexus Still Recommends Dino Oil...?

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The wife was just given a '97 ES300, and thus I need to get up-to-speed on everything-ES300......

Great to find this Forum, and thanks to the owner(s) and mods.

I was told by the dealer that, except for a couple/few models designed with synthetic motor oil usage in-mind, non-synthetic is still recommended by Lexus....... Hard to believe, given the qualities and performance of synthetic, especially under more-extreme conditions.

I would appreciate any knowledgeable input re the relative merits of using syn vs. non-syn in this machine. Is there ANY reason, whatsoever, why one would not want to use syn.....??

Also, opinions re viscosity for a typical 70-95 degree summer season...? [ I've never been one to accept, absolutely, any mfgrs. viscosity recommendations, given the 'CAFE' standards influence, etc. For me, it's about max. protection, period. Not emissions, not fuel economy, just longevity....]

Also.....recommendations re transmission fluid?


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Welcome! If your car has had proper maintenance and you continue, it will serve you for a long time.

We have a '97 ES with 233,000 miles on dino oil. Unless you're going to use extended drain intervals in the 10k-12k mile range, there's no reason to use synthetic. I'm in Georgia and I use 5W30 in our car year round. As long as you change your oil regularly, you're never going to see any oil-related issues unless you use something like 90 weight oil in it. I did see a slight bump in gas mileage on the highway when I used synthetic, about 1 mpg.

The recommendation from Lexus probably has a lot to do with the fact that many Lexus owners get their oil changed at the dealer. If they recommended synthetic there wouldn't be as many oil changes for the dealers to overcharge on.

How many miles are on your car and do you know if it has had the timing belt changed?

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Thanks very much for your reply and input...

The vehicle has 92K miles.

The wife's sister gave this one to her and, while the BIL does seem to have kept up with general maintenance, it doesn't seem that he followed recommended periodic service such as timing belt. No suprise, there... This is, indeed, an assess-to-determine-state situation, so I do need to take a critical look at everything.

If the timing belt was not done, I'm sure it is quite overdue, mileage-wise. And, I'm sure it'll be a fun job...!

Regardles of OCI claims/representations, I like to change oil twice annually. That, in no small part, due to my comfort level in having a synthetic with a 'low bottom-end' viscosity for winter, sometimes '0W', for those sub-ten-degree starts.

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