What Kind of Oil Should I Use In My Toyota Camry?

Reader Question Hi Austin

You mention someting about thinner oils. I have a question for you. I have 1991 Camry with slightly over 200K+ miles. It was overhauled last year (around October). I was using 40 oil, now I am using 50 oil which is supposed to be thicker. Down here in the tropics, (Belize Central America) temperatures is usually in the high 80s to mid 90s, especially inland. (and I live inland) Kindly advised me which is best. I have already read the motor-oil bible but still unsure on which oil to use.

Thanks for you regular emails bro.


Yo Pappy!!!! I was in Belize for a day with my family a few months ago via a cruise ship. Very nice place, I need to come back.

On your car…hummmmmm. let me say this. I would NOT use 50wt oil in a Toyota Camry, its WAYYY to thick. Actually I would not use 40wt either…still tooo thick. 10w30 is probably what was recommended by Toyota originally, which is thin….but that small high reving engine needs to squirt as much oil to the top of the engine as it possibly can.

When you use thicker oil it is harder for the engine to push the oil to the top of the engine where the valves are located. It also makes the engine work harder, will make it use more fuel…..because the engine has to work harder, and might even blow out a few seals, just because of the added pressure that thick oil is creating.

I know you are using the thick oil to protect the engine due to high mileage, but you might be doing more damage than good. One thing you might want to consider is Castrol 20-50wt. Yes, it is thick, but it will be easier on your engine than the straight 40 you are using now, and you will get the benefit of the 50wt as well with out as many side effects.

Personally speaking though, since you have been using 40 wt. you SHOULD either stick with the 40wt or try the 20 50 castrol. If you switch to a thinner oil NOW, you take a big risk of creating oil leaks internally. If you reduce the pressure the engine is creating with the 40 weight, you will probably start to leak oil at some of the seals….understand? If you switch to a thicker oil, you just increase the pressure inside the engine even more, cause the engine to work even harder, and run the risk of not getting enough oil to the top of the engine thus burning up the motor.

Summary, stick with what you have been doing (probably best) or switch to 20-50wt.


Austin C. Davis

Posted in: Reader Questions

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