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Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan 2005+

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  • rrc1rrc1 Posts: 5
    Maybe the harmonic balancer wasn't installed correctly on the engine. The dealership mechanics should be able to detect any unusual vibration very quickly. Let us know what you discover with the test drive. I can feel some vibration in my SXT steering wheel, but it is no problem.

    I took my Caravan back in to the dealership last night and went for a drive with the Head of Servicing. He said there was definitely something strange in the ride. I brought the van in today for servicing and they found that a belt in the right rear tire was broken and causing the wobble at speed that I was feeling. This was fixed and the van is driving much smoother than before.

    The vibration in the steering wheel and seat are still there but not as intense as before. I took another new 2005 GC for a test drive last night and it had the same vibration as bad or worse than my van, so I guess it is just something in the way these vans drive. I think I was overly sensitive to the vibration because of the wobbling from the rear tire that was making me feel sick. I'll see how the drive to work is tomorrow.

    The dealership has been very good at investigating the problem and listening to my complaints so far. I'm glad they found something that could be fixed and I wasn't imagining the weird feeling I was getting when driving this new van. :)
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    The vibration in the steering wheel and seat are still there but not as intense as before. I took another new 2005 GC for a test drive last night and it had the same vibration as bad or worse than my van, so I guess it is just something in the way these vans drive. I think I was overly sensitive to the vibration because of the wobbling from the rear tire that was making me feel sick. I'll see how the drive to work is tomorrow.

    Maybe the bad tire effected other areas? kinda when you have a gut, and that messes with your back muscles and alignment (only thing I could come up with :)
  • Thanks for the thoughts Shipo & Micweb on Mobil 1. I will consider using a synthetic. The previous owner used dealer oil which was Quaker State 10W30. It bugs me that the dealer would use 10W30 exclusively instead of 5W30 as owners manual states. Hope this didn't create problems with break-in. The oil looks quite dirty to me at 3,000 miles with Castrol dino just before I have been changing it. Maybe Castrol is cleaning up the engine. I note that more oil is used in high speed highway driving. Does this Forum think that Castrol is one of the best Dino oils? I wonder if Castrol is a "thinner" dino oil than some of the rest.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s (before I went to Mobil 1) I used to swear by Castrol GTX. Are they still that good? Unknown. I know that for their Castrol Syntech brand, they cut corners and sell a Hydro-Cracked oil instead of a true synthetic (except in Germany), and for that reason, I've stopped using their oil.

    As for "thinner" oils, it depends upon what is causing your consumption issues (albeit issues that many a VW and Cadillac owner wishes they had). If it is simply oil making it past the valve guides, then the thinner the oil when hot (the second number in the oil spec), the more you're likely to use. That having been said, if the problem is your oil rings, my suspicion is that the thinner oil may actually be better able to work its way in there and clean that gunk out. If you do decide to convert to a fully synthetic oil, switch back and forth between 5W-30 and 0W-40 for a few oil changes and see if you notice any difference.

    A quick note about Quaker State oil: Back in the mid to late 1970s, I used to be the "go to guy" at my college for my fellow students who were driving old beaters that needed a new engine. Dumb though it was, I would overhaul any I6 engine from the Big 3 for $100 plus parts, and any V8 for $175 (Chevy Vegas and them furrin thangs was extra), and as such, I made a fair amount of money and saw the insides of lots of engines. The engines that I hated tearing down the most were those that had been run on a steady diet of "Pennsylvania Grade Crude", meaning Quaker State, Pennzoil, Wolf's Head and a few others that escape me for the moment. Why? Two reasons, 1) because of how much gooey crap was inside the engine, and 2) because of how said gooey crap smelled. Yuk, barf! Is Quaker State et. all still "Pennsylvania Grade Crude"? Don't know, don't care, I simply won't use it.

    As for what type of driving uses the most oil, our older van (a 1998 GC Sport 3.8) spent the first half of its life as a bus-station hack and maybe only got out on the highway every other week or so. Once we moved up here to New Hampshire (from the NYC metro area), it started spending easily three quarters of its time on the highway. With all of that said, I haven't really seen any correlation between average speed and oil consumption. In fact, last summer I drove it from just north of Boston to Chicago to Manhattan and then back to the Boston area. I drove nearly three thousand miles at an average speed of 72 mph (per the trip computer), which meant that I spent lots of time north of 80 mph, and my oil consumption didn't seem to change at all.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    We are a family with two cars. Until recently, the two cars were a 2005 Ford Focus ZX3 hatchback with a stickshift, and a 2005 Honda CR-V with a 5 speed automatic transmission and a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine. In November of 2005, we traded in the hatchback on a bigger hatchback – a 2006 Dodge Caravan SE, with no options and thus the 4 cylinder 2.4 liter engine. Although the lack of power windows and power door locks, and manual side mirrors, is a little spartan these days, I grew up on cars like these and find the presence of air conditioning, good upholstery, and carpeting plenty of frosting on the cake. The rest, as my dad used to say, is for Cadillac owners and not practical people (he never met an accessory that didn’t eventually break down).

    The big question gnawing at me when I switched to the Caravan, was whether a 4 cylinder – the lone surviving 4 cylinder in a minivan – would be strong enough to propel it. To keep up with traffic, including freeway merges. And to haul a reasonably sized cargo – not 7 adults and their overseas luggage (unrealistic, get the 6 cylinder!), but at least four “old fashioned” (not fat!) adults and light luggage.

    The answer afater 4,500 miles of driving it in all conditions, including mountain and snow, is – yes. It isn’t fast, but it’s adequate. It used to be that the CR-V felt considerably slower than the Focus ZX3. Now the CR-V is top dog, it is considerably faster than the Caravan! But other than the subjective difference in pick-up, the Caravan keeps up with traffic just fine, and it is extremely quiet at high speeds.

    The only negative the typical driver will notice, is that there is a fair amount of engine roar if you have to get on the throttle in a short freeway merge situation (in other words, run it up to 50 mph in second).

    For city driving, the 4 cylinder is definitely more than adequate, since the gearing and throttle tip-in are set up for good off the line performance up to 35 mph.

    I am getting 23.8 mpg based on a 35 mile (each way) commute to work via a fast flowing freeway, with only some slow and go for a couple of miles on the trip home. On roadtrips (gas up, get on the freeway, get off to gas up, drive some more on the freeway, gas up again etc. with no significant) I have hit as high as 25 mpg. So this is one of those rare new cars that comes close to its freeway rating (even those “highway” on the EPA cycle is more “rural” than the modern 75 mph or faster interstate trips).

    While the SE can be had with a power package, or a V-6, for years Dodge has been using this entry level van as an advertising tool to get shoppers onto their lot. They list less than $100 over $19,000, but often go on sale in dealer ads for less than $15,000, or even less than $14,000. The lowest I have ever seen them is for $13,500, and when I saw that, I had to buy one. At least in California, what they advertise, they have to sell, and the dealer had 7 to choose from. Although this base model has the grey polyurethane bumpers (the same plastic used on the Honda Element), I was able to choose a darker color van which hides, very well, the fact that this model has unpainted bumpers.

    I’m not zipping around other cars anymore, and I’m not getting 31 mpg anymore, but the automatic is very convenient, the Caravan is incredibly quiet, and when I load up family and friends for a long drive, I am probably getting one of the best “miles per passenger” ratings out there.

    I highly recommend the 4 cylinder Caravan (at least 2006 and later, since they cleaned up emissions to match passenger car standards in 2006).
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    frogger123 bravely asked for a flurry of opinion:

    "Does this Forum think that Castrol is one of the best Dino oils?"

    Who knows? Once upon a time, Castrol, as a European oil, was one of the few oils whose cans indicated it passed obscure European and Japanese test requirements that were more severe (due to overhead cam designs and higher rpm) than those for American cars (due to cam-in-block ohv designs and lower rpm). At that time I ran Castrol exclusively.

    Since then, small, high revving, overhead cam engine designs have become common from American manufacturers, and oils from major refiners have become much better.

    In particular, some large refineries, like Chevron/Texaco and Conoco Philips (although C-P still had conventional motor oils), have implemented some pretty advanced refining techniques (hydrocracking - see here: http://baseoil.conocophillips.com/products/grp2_base_oils/index.htm ). Chevron invented and licenses hydrocracking and "isodewaxing" and calls its resulting base stock (the basic oil to which additives are blended) Isosyn and has this to say about it: "ISOSYN™ base stocks, ... rival synthetics in critical engine tests." Chevron explains Group I, II, II+, III, and III+ here: http://www.chevron.com/products/prodserv/BaseOils/gf4_faq.shtml

    What is very interesting to note, is that Syntec, Castrol's line of "fully synthetic" motor oil, is a Group III oil sold at $5.00 or so a bottle, but in actuality it only exceeds the performance of Type II+ oil (Chevron Supreme) by a tiny margin (the intrinsic viscocity index of III oils is slightly better than II+ oils). Yet Chevron Supreme is only 1.50 a bottle, or even less at Costco.

    General consensus on other user groups is that Castrol GTX no longer rules the roost, but has incredible marketplace momentum since it started out as one of the best oils. Castrol is now owned by BP, British Petroleum, which produces some of the most advanced Group V base stocks in the world; thus the rave reviews on German Castrol.

    One other factor to consider is the obscure Chrysler MS6395L specification for the oils to be used in its cars. This is in addition to the grade requirement and any SAE or ILSAC starburst requirement in your manual (in my manual, I could find the MS6395L requirment, but the SAE and ILSAC requirements were missing! maybe the Chrysler requirement includes them).

    The following oils that I know of satisfy the Chrysler specification: Mobil 1 5-30 (not the Extended Performance version); Chevron Supreme 5-30; Havoline 5-30; Castrol GTX 5-30; Castrol GTX 5-30 Start Up.

    FWIW, in the manual for my 2006 Caravan, Chrysler has shifted radically away from encouraging longer oil change intervals. I owned a 1999 Dodge Neon, 2002 Neon, 2004 PT Cruiser, and finally this minivan. Oil change intervals used to be 7,500 miles, except severe service, which was NARROWLY defined. Now, the maximum is 6,000 miles, and severe service (3,000 mile changes) is BROADLY defined, to the point where Chrysler adds a note that "most drivers fall into one of the severe categories."

    Thus the reason I use Mobil 1 - it has the most stable (Group IV) base stock, and the best additive package, and Exxon Mobil's FAQ guarantees its perfomance up to the car maker's maximum oil change interval, unless the car is driven according to Exxon Mobil's definition of severe service - which really is severe service, not the whimpy DC version. I don't want to live in the dealer's waiting room, since I drive a lot, but do want to protect my vehicles, and Mobil 1 seems like the best bet for full protection with the convenience of 6,000 mile oil change intervals.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    This is my last post on oil, since this isn't an oil forum. However, the original post by frogger123 was based on consuming a quart of oil every 3,000 miles in his 6 cylinder Caravan, and what impact (if any) that might have on his catalytic converter.

    Here is what Chevron says:

    "What are the drivers behind GF-4?
    "The simple answers are tougher Emissions and Fuel Economy standards mandated by the U. S. Government. Automotive OEM's need better fuel economy to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) limits. They also need their catalytic converters to provide reduced emissions for 120,000 miles. Higher quality base oils are an important part of the solution to GF-4."

    and

    "Why do emission regulations impact lubricants?
    "There is no engine test that measures emission system stability, but the OEM's have data showing that sulfur and phosphorus are poisons for catalytic converters and must be limited. Thus, in GF-4 oils sulfur is limited to 0.5%, maximum, in 0W- and 5W- engine oils and 0.7%, maximum in 10W- engine oils. Phosphorus is limited to 0.08%. This restricts the amount of zinc dialkyldithiophosphate, the workhorse anti-oxidant and anti-wear agent, which can be used in engine oils, which in turn, may restrict the amount of Group I oil in GF-4 blends."

    Obviously, using a quart of oil in 3,000 miles is going to expose the catalytic converter, over a long period of time, to more contaminants than with an engine that uses less oil. Also obvious is that the new SM grade oils will contain fewer contaminants than a non-SM oil (there are a few non SM, non GF4 oils available for passenger car use - Mobil 1 Extended Performance, because it NEEDS those extra antiwear additives to go the extra distance, and Shell Rotell T Synthetic, because as a dual purpose oil, diesel and passenger car, it needs extra antiwear additives to protect in the punishing diesel environment).

    Does it matter when replacement aftermarket converters are now only a couple of hundred dollars? Is 120,000 of service (formerly 70,000 miles) from a converter reasonable to expect? Have converters been failing in large numbers so far?

    I guess when it comes down to it, as an individual, I don't want to chase the last fractional mile per gallon at the expense of engine wear and tear, nor do I need an absurdly long catalytic converter life at the expense of engine wear and tear.

    That is probably one of the reasons, in addition to being able to tout an extended drain interval oil, that Mobil 1 has taken the amazing step of selling an oil (Extended Performance) that doesn't satisfy either the SM or GF4 requirements...let's see if they can survive in a market place that demands conformity.

    Meanwhile, on Aisle 3, consumers everywear are buying 10-40 oil (the most popular in parts shops etc.) and dealers are installing 10-30 instead of 5-30....which is why I carry in my own oil, no matter what vehicle I own. More and more owners are doing the same.
  • Boy Micweb - what a rendition with some very thought out advice - I'm impressed! Gives me alot to consider. Thanks Castrol 5W30 is a SM rated oil - I double checked. I won't worry about my CAT. I will really consider using Mobil 1 when my castrol is used up - probably in 6,000 more miles. Castrol has become pricey & I am considering switching to chevron or conoco for my 1993 chev pu 350 when my castrol supply runs dry. Two more questions for you Micweb. First, I have been using castrol in my 93 chev pu for about 65,000 miles. PU has 123,000 on it now. Do you think it is wise to switch to conoco or chevron now? There is quite a debate about switching oils due to additives and mileage on an engine. The second question is, at what mileage do you think rings are fully seated in a new engine. As stated before my 2005 GC 3.8L engine has 24,000 miles on it. If I drive hard once in a while i.e. get up to 5000 RPM once in a while in the next 1,000 miles or so, could the rings have a chance to seat better?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    You can switch oils pretty much anytime. I don't like to switch oils at every oil change, for just the concerns you describe (the possibility of battling additives), but I have come a long way from doing double Mobil 1 oil changes at the same time to "flush out" residual dino oil in my vehicles. If your PU has 123,000 miles, why not keep it on Castrol? The difference in cost is negligible (compared to other costs of ownership), and that way you'll really know just how good the Castol is. At this point, I'd say "good enough!"

    As to seating the rings, my understanding is that this is done, or not done, in the first 600 miles of driving - there are, as I recall, some crosshatching on the factory cylinder walls to help them scuff in. Even if your 24,000 miles is a typo (did you mean 2,400?) the rings are probably no longer an issue; but "driving hard once in a while" and varying speeds during the first critical 600-1,000 miles are definitely a good idea. I personally try to avoid full throttle until I hit 3,000 miles, but will use up to 3/4 throttle to hit high rpm, once the car is FULLY warmed up.

    I have also noticed engines continuing to break in over the first 10,000 miles, so something is definitely going on even after the first 600-1,000 miles, and long term car tests in the magazines often show performance increasing (not decreasing) as their test vehicles approach 15,000- 30,000 miles.

    I guess the total break-in process is a lot longer than we think, but at least our ability - as drivers - to harm the vehicles is a lot less after the first 600-1,000 miles.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    "avoid full throttle until I hit 3,000 miles"

    Curious as to anyones thoughts on reliability with Caravans(or any van)that have been rentals and are usually sold to the public at around 20,000 miles. Much is said about proper "break in", yet usually people(myself :blush: ) who rent autos are pretty hard on them from the get go(i.e frequent and heavy throttle, usually long trips at a constant high speed)...or as some say "they get ragged out" Keeping this in mind, it seems to be a bit risky in buying a rental.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Engine break-in is a wierd thing to say the very least. On my last two BMWs (both with the I6 engine) I noticed very little change (if any at all) beyond 2,000 miles, however, for both of our 3.8 liter there were very noticable gains in both performance and fuel economy to beyond the 20,000 mile mark.

    Regarding your rings, my bet is that the compression rings are fully seated and there is nothing more that you can do with them shy of pulling the motor and rebuilding it (not that I'm suggesting that, it sounds like they're doing just fine). When I was mentioning your rings earlier it was in reference to your oil rings, and they don't "seat" in the conventional sense. They are however very suceptible to getting cruded up, and that means that they aren't scavenging the oil off the cylinder wall as effectively as they should.

    Given the relatively frequent oil changes that your van has had I'd be a little surprised if you had an oil ring problem, in spite of the Quaker State oil that has been used. Then again, maybe that stuff really is that bad.

    To bring this discussion full circle, I simply don't think you have anything to worry about with regards to your oil consumption. My bet is that if you keep your van properly maintained, you'll see well beyond the north side of 100,000 miles as still won't see your oil consumption drop to the point of concern (i.e. 1 quart per 1,000 miles).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Shipo & Micweb - thanks for all your thoughts & discussion on these subjects - enlightening as well as fun! Regards, Frogger123
  • I found out that extra bins for the overhead rail system are indeed $140 (yes 140) PER BIN...Vans equiped with the system have room for 2 or 3 more (as noted in sales literature)..SO $280, or $420 EEEEEEEEK

    Where can I find a wreck?
    Tony
  • The specifications are what is important when it comes to engine oil......in other words, the letters on the can that tell what service it is rated for. The brand is not important. For years I have used the Walmart house brand, "Super Tech", with very good results. Before the Walmarts arrived I used various brands, mostly Sears. I generally run cars about 160,000 miles or so before buying a new one. Just make sure you use an oil that has an American Petroleum Institute seal on the label or top, and it should have a rating of SM. That is the API's top rating for gasoline engine oils. If it says "SM" and has the API mark it meets the DaimlerChrysler MS6395 specification. The can may also have some lesser ratings, like SL or SJ, but as long as it has the SM you are safe. By the way, if you see a service rating starting with c, like CI, CH or CJ, that is for diesel engines.
  • By the way, at 141,000 miles, my 98 Astro Van is now getting the best fuel mileage ever......19 to 20 mpg with mostly highway driving. Nothing to brag about, and I'm hoping to beat that by three or four miles with my new SXT. My first two tanks averaged 22 mpg, but I'm expecting improvement as the engine loosens up.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    I have a 2005 DGC and it isn't using any oil. Doesn't the cap on your oil dipstick tell you to use 5W20?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "My first two tanks averaged 22 mpg, but I'm expecting improvement as the engine loosens up."

    Both of our DGCs showed noticable power and mileage improvements through 20,000 miles where things pretty much leveled off. That having been said, with 106K on one van and 58K on the other, both seem to have marginally improved since then. I say "seem to" simply because a half of a mile per gallon is hard to prove given all of the other factors that could be in play here. At this point, our 1998 3.8 is able to do about 24 mpg on the highway and our 2003 3.8 is more like 26. Of course a few weeks ago we had some "Hurricane force winds" one evening, and on that drive home I got 11 mpg at a steady 65 from the 1998 (I knew it would be bad so I reset the OBC so I could see just how bad). The good news is that the next morning, even though the winds had died down to a nice 20-30 knot breeze, I managed to get 28 mpg for that same 40 mile commute back to work. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Currently doing about 17.5 MPG, 06 SXT 3.8L ....
    2200 miles though on her...I do hope it edges up to 19+ as it brakes in
    Tony
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    We picked up our brand spankin' new 1998 3.8 liter DGC one evening in early summer of that year and promptly left for a 600 mile trip the next morning. During that trip it averaged a little less than 18 mpg, I was dissappointed to say the least. That having been said, as you know from my previous post(s), that same van is now getting more like 24 mpg on the highway. I have no doubt that your van will loosen up over the next several thousand miles and your mileage will substantially improve.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I like it, so does Mrs. Shipo... She'll take hers with a Hemi and a 6-Speed manual. Please.

    Gee, wouldn't that be fun to have a Hemi 6-Speed Caravan and a Hemi 6-Speed Challenger. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    WOW!!! if that the 2008!!! WOW!!!
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Not really sure, but it very well could be. Notice the European or Australian plates?
  • The oil cap on the valve cover does state to use 5W20 however, the owners manual states to use 5W30 in the 3.8L engine. I choose to use 5W30. The dealer uses 10W30 and the original owner took the van to dealer for oil changes. Perhaps this is why I am consuming a quart of oil in 3000 miles. Perhaps the engine should have been broken in with 5W20 or 5W30 oil. Good luck with your van marine2!
  • I got my DGC when it had 15,400 miles on it so I cannot comment on the "after break-in" mileage. In addition, my mileage has remained stable & I cannot say it has improved. I currently have 24,000 miles on the van. Last summer when my 05 SXT 3.8L had 16,000 on it we took a trip from Montana to Sante Fe, NM. We averaged anywhere from 24 - 27 MPG. I find hills (especially if tranny downshifts), speed (above 70 MPH) & wind can really cut mileage. I am very pleased to say the least on my DGC's mileage. Even on winter gas in Montana I can average up to 22 - 24 MPG on the highway. On a fairly straight stretch driving 60 - 65 MPH at around 6,000 ft. in New Mexico, I averaged 30 - 31 MPG according to the computer. I have checked the computer by checking my mileage the old way. In town, I have been averaging 17 - 18 MPG. Again, I am pleased with the DGC's mileage.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Chrysler must have changed the manual sometime during the year frogger. On page 422 of mine,it says to use 5W20 on the 3.8 and 5W30 on the 2.4.

    I was quite concerned using that light weight of oil in my van as I live in Phoenix and it can get up 120 in the summer. But the service tech said it was ok. Our 2004 Civic also says to use 5W20.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    WOW....I may have to trade my 2006 Sienna in on another Chrysler in a couple of years... Chrysler has THE most attractive exterior minivan styling. Sadly, the 2006 GC SXT interior is not as attractive as my lower priced 2002 T&C LX and some nice features of my 2002 T&C LX were deleted. Chrysler needs to add back all the nice interior features that have been deleted in the past few years.
    In contrast, my 2006 Sienna LE has a VERY attractive interior but the exterior styling is NOT as attractive as DC minivans. The HVAC and stereo controls on the Sienna are NOT as user friendly as those on my 2002 T&C LX. I hope my 2006 Sienna is as reliable in 4 years as is my 2002 T&C. :blush: :blush:
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The 5-20 oil spec was co-developed by Ford, Honda, Exxon-Mobil, and Conoco Philips. Conoco makes the 5-20 oil for Motorcraft, Ford's parts division. Originally Motorcraft was sold as a "regular" dino oil, later the label was upgraded so they are ALL "synthetic blend." (The formula never changed, Motorcraft just decided to take more credit for the superior formula they had from the get-go.) Reportedly the Motorcraft is 60% Group III oil and 40% Group II oil; both group II and III are hydrocracked (catalytic converter processed, not solvent refined), while regular dino oil is just solvent processed. So in a lot of ways you are better off with a 5-20 oil, than with one of the "weaker" 5-30 oils; the weight is only part of the picture, and the robustness of the 5-20 formulation makes up for the slightly lower viscosity.

    General consensus is that the specification for 5-20 is impossible to meet, unless the oil is mostly synthetic. General consensus is that 5-20 oil is designed to fall at the high end of permissible weight for a 20 weight, not that far from the bottom end of 30 weight oils. Most 5-20 formulations are supposed to be very resistant to shearing and loss of viscoscity, since the formulations use a lot of high viscoscity index synthetic base stock. So, once again, the the debate between the "20" and "30" is not so easy to resolve.

    However, an extreme ambient temperature such as the 120 degree summer is certainly a factor in choosing oils. My preference if I were in Phoenix would be to play it safe and use Mobil 1 5-20 which is a full synthetic, or even Mobil 1 5-30 full synthetic. Each are very well engineered, and we all know that the 5-20 spec if there more to save gas than save engines, and that the 3.8 WILL still take 5-30 oil. I would try to get your dealer's ok; when Ford owners faced this dilemma several years back, the Ford customer service line told customers they could run any oil approved by their dealer without risking voiding the warranty.

    Alternatively, do 3,000 mile oil changes instead of 6,000 mile changes. 3,000 mile changes are pushed very hard by the current (2006) owner's manual.
  • I reviewed my 2005 DGC owners manual again and nothing is said about 5W20. It states under viscosity recommendations that both the 3.3L & 3.8L are to use 5W30. Perhaps the 5W20 recommendation came at a later date in 2005 with an updated manual.

    If an engine is consuming oil, I would think that a lighter weight oil might pass through easier.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    An important point to remember is that those oils are both 5 Weight oils. True, the 5W-20 theoretically thins out less than does 5W-30 when hot, but they are both still 5W oils. A couple of posts back made an interesting point about the differences in the composition of the two oils, and to me at least, the difference didn't sound all that great.

    Question: Which is thinner, 0W-40 or 5W-30?
    Answer: 0W-40

    Frogger123, if you want to put a REAL oil in your van, you might want to consider Mobil 1 0W-30 or even 0W-40 (a markedly better oil than even the 0W-30).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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