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Engine Oil - A slippery subject Part 2

mznmzn Posts: 727
Here's the spot for all your engine oil questions
and answers. If you're looking for Part 1 of this
topic, it's right here.

carlady/roving host


  • ghtrapghtrap Posts: 26
    Well, let's start the oil topic #2.

    I was a die hard 10w-30 user until about a year ago and finaly gave up and went with 5w-30 like my owner's manuals said for both my Accord and Explorer. I actually picked up some gas mileage, but I do believe the greatest benefit to the engine is upon start-up - flows better in a cold engine.

    Even though I have nothing against it, I still am too much of a die hard to go with synthetic. I'm one of those who uses Quaker State dino and changes every 3,000 miles. My engines last very well.
  • After reading the last two posts, I'm inclined to agree on 5W-30. I was surprised to hear that so many manufacturers suggest that viscosity. I haven't made up my mind on synthetics, though. I've read previous posts suggesting that synthetic users have to crank their engine less during the winter (better start up). I wonder if the difference is as pronounced with a 5W-30 weight oil as a 10W-30... I don't exactly live north of the artic circle (Ohio), so I wonder if this is a moot point.

    I've always changed at 3-4K also, depending on manufacturer recommendations. Don't know if it's really needed, but I'm not going to second guess the engineers who designed my car.

    ghtrap--just out of curiosity, do you notice better starting all year or just in winter?
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    I noticed that OLDs recommends 10w30 for the intrigue with 3.5 l. IT is posted on the oil filler cap. MOst other cars do recommend 5w30 and that is what I use in my Lexus ES300 and Honda Odyssey. If you want quick lubrication at start up to reduce engine wear and you do not drive near redline continually a good 5w30 should do the trick. I would admit that 5w30 would not lubricate properly say a Honda Civic that goes to high rpms a lot in warm summer months.
  • btroybtroy Posts: 92
    5-30 and 10-30 will have the same viscosity under high temperatures. The only difference is in low-temperature viscosity.
  • rs_pettyrs_petty Posts: 423
    But I believe one reason 5w-50 is not recommended by the manufacturers is it is only available from a few companies and in synthetic. They have to conform to a wide consumer base. I wonder if the engine would even know if it had 5w-30 or 5w-50. Perhaps though on second thought it would create too thick of an oil layer in the lubrication system causing oil pressure to be too high leading to seeps & leaks and possibly reducing gas mileage.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    Best of both worlds? Opinions and experiences?
  • rs_petty: I'm inclined to think that you are right about that being too think. That's the same as 20W-50, and my guess is that tolerances are probably too tight. As per my previous posts (and answers to it), it looks like most of the manufacturers are getting away from that heavy stuff.

    sporin--I don't think I would ever use a synthetic blend. I checked out the numbers, and they are virtually identical to conventional oil. I've seen posts here where the amount of synthetic oil in the blends is MAX 25% (some only 10%--I know that number for sure). You'd be economically better off to buy a quart or two of synthetic for your next oil change and mix it with the conventional oil (they're all fully compatible, but you could get Castrol Syntec and Regular Castrol, if it gives you greater peace of mind), and you'd get a higher % synthetic (that's all the manufacturer does--there's nothing special about the blends. Just more money.

    My question--anyone know anything about Motorcraft oil? It seems to be more expensive, and I wonder if it's actually made by Ford or if they just slap their name on it.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    in my bimmer. mobil 1. i was amazed the first time i poured syn out of a bottle. the stuff flows like water.
    i noticed when i put syn in my f150 that it just "sounded" better at startup. could be a placebo effect.
    comment on syn blends. frankly, worst of both worlds, imho.
  • Can anyone share their long term experience with using synthetic in a turbocharged engine? I'm considering changing from dino to Mobil 1 in my '94 Volvo 940 which just turned over 100k. I am especially interested in frequency of synthetic oil changes for anyone with a turbo. I plan to run Mobil 1 with the A-C Delco Ultra-guard Gold filter in my new Honda Odyssey LX and change oil every 7500 mi. (Thanks for the filter suggestion Inky!)
  • ghtrapghtrap Posts: 26

    I can't actually say that I can tell the difference between 5W-30 and 10W-30 upon start up whether its summer or winter, I just believe in the theory that the 5W-30 should flow better to the upper portions of the engine when cold.

    I live in Kansas, so I don't even have the winters that you do in Ohio. You may or may not be able to tell a start-up difference with the 5W-30 at very cold temperatures.
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    I switched to mobil one 5w30 from conv 10w30 and get 2 mpg better in very similiar driving-almost identical. It also starts easier. I will run for 6,000 miles to get my money out of it.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066

    I am figuring to go to Mobil 1 5W-30 at 20k miles, with 7500± mile changes. car is a 99 Passat 1.8 Turbo. Owners on and have reported...
    • better mileage
    • easier startup in cold weather
    • cooler running temps

    ...when switching to Synthetic.
  • treyh1treyh1 Posts: 34
    How much oil is normally used between changes? I've got a 5 qt capacity & when I pour up the old oil to recycle it I usually get just a little over 4 qts. I change every 3500 miles; the truck is a 3.0 Ranger with about 35,000 miles on it. Is this about average for oil usage?
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    it's normal for ford trucks to burn oil... i don't know why, but everyone i know (plus myself) who owns one says they do, and the service rep at the dealer said that it's normal....
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Most of today's carmakers don't consider oil consumption excessive until it exceeds one quart in 1000 miles. No way would I worry about one quart in 3500. You should be OK for many thousands of miles to come.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,705
    I have a 94TLC that uses one quart or so in 14,000 miles. It has app 65,000 miles on it.
  • Hey everyone,
    As far as the choice between the two viscosities, I thought the 50 weight would be better in hot temperatures/long hard driving conditions. Since the 50 refers to the high end temps. I have not read or heard of any manufacturers recommending it but it seemed logical to me. 4 cylinder engines do have to work harder, get hotter, so should need more protection. Since I am not an expert on motoer oils, I will defer to those who know more. But I do think that a synthetic 5W-40 at least should be a good bet in a new engine (I just turned 850 miles on my 2000 Tiburon). I Would appreciate any additional comments on this subject, maybe someone who has actually tried 5W-50. Or maybe a mechanic.
  • Use what your manufacturer recommends. Too wide a viscosity range is bad because the extra polymers added to make wide viscosity range can breakdown and cause problem per oil FAQ:
  • My theory is:
    Synthetic oil is known to flow much better at low temperatures and therefore there has to be less wear during the warm up.

  • I don't think anyone would argue the point that synthetic is better at start up. It is better for everything. The real question is--is the cost justified? I'm still trying to make up my mind personally. I mean, I've always changed oil according to manufactuer recommendations and have never had an oil related problem. If you use synthetic, your engine might last much, much longer. But if all the other parts on the car are falling apart first, is it really worthwhile? Dino might make it last to that point also. That's the dillemma...
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