Few Floridians know the state’s turnpikes and highways better than Gary Smith, of Orlando. The retired auto-parts courier canvassed much of the state during his career, driving from Jacksonville to Pensacola to Miami and most places in between. In fact, with the help of AMSOIL products, he’s put nearly 635,000 miles (1,022,000 km) and counting on his 2011 Toyota Tacoma, with no oil-related problems.
Smith recently took the truck to Fuller’s Automotive, in Orlando, to repair a leaking spark-plug-tube seal that had begun to allow oil into the spark-plug hole. When Jim Fuller, who owned the shop from its 1976 inception until he recently sold it, removed the valve cover, he couldn’t believe the cleanliness of the engine and knew he had to show Smith.
“That’s why I got my camera out and started taking pictures,” he said. “I said, ‘You have to see this; no one will believe it.”
As the images show, the valvetrain area is clean and void of any signs of deposits or heavy varnish, which you’d expect to see in an engine with so many miles. The common wear points, like the camshaft, timing chain and sprockets, show virtually no wear.
“If you look closely at those cam lobes, there’s hardly any sign of wear,” said Fuller. “Usually, you have a distinct wear line on the lobes after that many miles, but I didn’t see that there.” The condition of the timing chain and sprockets also impressed the longtime mechanic. “If you take a close-up view of those sprockets, you can see there are no pointed tips on them,” he said. “Chains wear quicker than about anything in there.”
Smith has been servicing his Tacoma at Fuller’s Automotive since he bought it new in 2011. He started using AMSOIL XL 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil (XLZ) with the first oil change and hasn’t looked back. He changes oil about every 7,500 miles (12,000 km).
Unfortunately, an accident involving his previous truck forced him to buy the Tacoma. His original truck at that time had 450,000 miles (724,200 km) on it and also used AMSOIL synthetic motor oil. “I was really unhappy because I wanted to get a lot of miles out of it,” Smith said, who has his sights set on 1 million miles (1.6 million km) with his Tacoma.
Smith began delivering auto parts to transmission shops around Orlando in 2005. As he proved himself, his area expanded until he was driving roughly 600 miles each day, five days per week. “I drove night runs,” he said. “I used to drive to Miami, Tallahassee, everywhere. There was less traffic on the road [driving at night].”
“I haven’t had any problems at all, oil-related,” he said. “It’s always run very, very nicely. It sounded good. It drove good. It still does to this day; it’s in great shape.” Following his 2018 retirement, Smith no longer drives as much as he used to, but he still loves to get behind the wheel and hit the road whenever he can.
“I’m very proud of the mileage and that I’ve taken so good care of it,” said Smith. And a big part of that has been thanks to AMSOIL XL Synthetic Motor Oil and the excellent service Jim Fuller, who’s been an AMSOIL Dealer since the 1980s, provided all those years.
“That’s the best oil you can get,” Smith said. “Every time I drive my truck, there’s that little sticker up in the window, and it tells me when I need an oil change. I look at that number and I look at the mileage, and I know when I get the oil changed, everything is going to be good – AMSOIL is the best.”
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