First of all: these aren't just rumors or "club-soda for stains" gimmicks/tricks. These is from 3rd party tests, and straight from manufacturers, the API and/or RMA. (American Petroleum Institute and Rubber Manufacturer Association)
That link basically says that WIX filters are the best, all of them are cut open. So look at how they are all made, which leaf springs are the dumbest idea in oil filters, they don't spring back actually...IDK how many FRAM filters I removed at my old job that had the internals rattling around.
If anyone has ever said that using anything other than Toyota filters on a Toyota will void your warranty, that is a lie and can be illegal to say (if you are working at a shop) Although, you do have to at least use an approved filter model, and oil viscosity.
Interestingly enough, K&N style air filters actually let in more dust than paper air filters...I can't remember how to find that study, but they had some DAMN good filters after the car-air-filter and the weight was significantly higher from dust with the K&N air filters compared to OE style paper air filters.
As for oil? Use either Mobil or Castrol. Preferably a 0W oil...i.e. if your car calls for 5W30/10W30 use a 0W30; 5W20 use 0W20; 10W40 use 0W40; BUT if your vehicle is a diesel and calls for 15W40, use 5W40 meant for diesels. It's not "too thin", no not at all! the W actually stands for 'Winter' and not 'weight' as many people believe...Castrol even has a publication about this on their website.
Please note that these meet or exceed the manufacturers warranty requirements for the aforementioned viscosity's.
There are only three oil producers in the States, Shell (Pennzoil, Quakerstate...etc.); Exxon (Mobil); and BP (Castrol). Everyone else buys 'base-stocks' from these companies and mixes up their own oil to sell.
So how is this rated/measured? the 5 in 5W30 is rated at how hard it is to pump compared to water when the oil is at 0 degrees Celsius. So when your engine oil is cold it pumps easier making the engine get better lubrication at start-up which protects the engine and reduces fuel consumption since the engine is trying to maintain a certain idle speed. Especially at start-up, which is usually higher than "operating-temp" idle engine speed. For example: The Honda S2000 idles at 2,100 RPM's when the engine is cold, and 1,100ish at operating temp.
Most vehicles call for automatic-transmission fluid as the power steering fluid! Same for the transfer case! It is hydraulic fluid after-all and is even used in car-lifts or other hydraulic equipment. There are books to look up this stuff, even at Wal-Mart...but no the employee there will NOT know how to read that book -_- a tech MIGHT be able to read it...best to try it on your own.
In case you didn't know, most automatic-transmissions need their fluid to be checked while in park WITH the engine running. A few Daimler-Chrysler vehicles need it to be in neutral. How can you tell? Instructions are "written" on the dipstick.
Some Toyota's or other vehicles call for Dexcool engine coolant! The orange-ish engine coolant? Your owners manual might not state that since I think it is a brand name for GM, but it will state a code for requirements. Which can be found on the back of the coolant bottle. Otherwise it will often call for ethylene-glycol.
Tires: There are several sizing classifications...P-Metric; Euro-Metric; LT-Metric; and High-Flotation.
- P-Metric: P265/75R16
- Euro-Metric: 265/75R16 (notice it's missing the P)
- LT-Metric: LT265/75R16/E (the last letter is the ply rating: C=6 ply at 50 PSI; D = 8 ply at 65 PSI; E = 10 ply at 80 PSI; Radial tires might not actually have 10 ply's. That is ratings from when we used Bias-ply tires)
- High-Flotation: 31x10.50R15LT/E
DO NOT INFLATE TO MAX PRESSURE ON SIDEWALL Why? That is there so it can be used on several different cars. Doing so will make the tire wear out prematurely. If you want to argue this, work at a tire shop and see all the tires that come in. That and/or check your tire pressure once a week, you are actually suppose to check it at least once a month. I've heard it all...i.e. "I did that, and you are still wrong. I want free tires. Mine are defective." when they've had this same problem 50 other times they came in -_-
Tire Pressure Sticker Locations (depending on make/model): Drivers door jamb, passenger rear door jamb, lid of trunk, under the center console lid, glove box. If it's missing your local tire shop should have it in the "MAST-Tire-Fitment-Guide" (Toyota's are always in the drivers door-jamb)
Load Rating: if you change load ratings from the stock load rating under the stock tire size, look up on the load-inflation table (in a "MAST-Tire-Fitment-Guide") what the weight the old tire could handle at the stock pressure, and find a matching weight-carrying-capability on the new tire size and load rating and use that. Especially if you are switching from passenger tires to LT tires!!! (EXAMPLE ONLY: 35 PSI in a passenger tire might handle the same weight as 50 PSI on an LT tire)
- Older cars called for 10W40 engine oil for the transmission. (Honda Civic) Which is actually almost the same as 80W90 rated gear-oils (now are missing a lot of molybdenum-disulphide) but if your old car does call for this, it also states what API code it needs to be. Which is when it had more moly in it. They removed it and currently decreased zinc content to meet emission standards.
- Significantly older cars call for an older API code that needs to be followed! Since that oil has more zinc content in it, and is needed for the flat-tappet valves. (I think it is 1979 and earlier engines, with API SH) The current API code of SM removed quite a bit of zinc in PPM.