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Engine Oil--A slippery subject

gusgus Posts: 254
A place where we talk about engine oils.


  • royallenroyallen Posts: 227
    It seems like there are 3 main issues: 1. what, if anything, besides SAE grade matters? 2. Are extended range viscosity oils (10-40 etc) good or not, is synthetic better, are additives helpful and what data are there to go by? 3. Anyone gone to the expense of installing an electric oil pump or"preoiler" to pressurize the engine oil system before starting and eliminating the dry start wear?
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 759
    Royallen, I feel synthetic provides a pretty quick lubrication. I used to think about getting a pre-lube kit, but after reading about how well synthetic flows under all conditions, I don't fret anymore. Of course, a pre-lube can make changing oil a breeze, and not as messy :)

    About Amsoil from the other topic: I think that one does not have an SAE certification. I would not use it for that reason, but use any other major synthetic.
  • What weight oil is installed in cold climates (10 or 20 below) by the "Jiffy Lube " Places?

    5w 30?
    Is there a lower weight commonly used?
  • Some have a synthetic rated @ 0w30. Mobil 1 I believe it is!
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 759
    I don't work for Jiffy Lube so I don't know what the definite answer is. However, the reputable places will probably put the manufacturers recommended oil in your car, unless you ask for another type.

    I highly doubt that they will use a 0w30, a weight that most manufacturers will recommend against.

    Does anyone know if they have synthetic to offer you in most places now?

    5w30 synthetic flows freely to around -40F I think. There aren't too many places where 0w30 is necessary.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Maybe Alaska...I remember they would keep the trucks running for weeks at a time rather than risk shutting them off at -55, except for quick stops for maintenance during the day.

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  • sam775sam775 Posts: 22
    I go to Jiffy Lube. In my area they use some a nameless bulk oil if you don't ask for a particular brand. If you ask for a particular brand they charge you an extra $3 for using the bottled brand. Once, they put it in my car when I told them to use Penzoil. They replaced it for free so no biggie. They have all the factory specs in their computer system, so they follow it well. They do offer synthetic (Mobile 1) changes for somewhere around $40
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Has anyone had any experience with Jiffy Lube or similar places trying to over-sell? know, running into the waiting room with a tissue caked with transmission fluid and telling you it "didn't look good"...(of course not, transmission fluid doesn't look very good on tissue paper).

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  • sam775sam775 Posts: 22
    Around twice a year they inform me I need an air filter and wiper blades. Which I already know before I go in. I kindly tell them "I know". I change that kind of stuff after they do the oil change to check and make sure my oil filter is on tight (and make sure it's a new one) and the oil is at the proper level. They run in and tell everyone something about their car.
  • mt1mt1 Posts: 4
    Hey wait a minute. Jiffy lube has signs all over their stores saying we use penzoil brand oil and lubricants. Now I see that I am not getting penzoil unless I ask for it and pay $3 more? I am little confused here isnt that false advertising?
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    No, they're being misleading, but they're not advertising falsely. They do use Pennzoil, but only by request, and only if you pay $3/quart extra.
  • Amsoil is SAE SH rated. On the bottle label. Use exclusively in my cars. Go to:

    This excellent site will give you the skinny on synthetic oils. Amsoil's specs finish near the top. But, all synthetics work very well under extreme cold or hot conditions. (In Edmonton this year, we've had no shortage of -35 nights this winter)

    Mercedes Benz has begun factory filling some of its vehicles with Mobil 1.

  • gusgus Posts: 254
    johngenx, thanks for posting that link!
  • The one near me uses, I'm pretty sure, Penzoil bulk oil. It comes in large drums, but its still Penzoil. I'll double check this when I have a chance.

    (I also think Jiffy Lube is owned by Penzoil now, so it wouldn't make much sense for them to buy oil from somewhere else.)
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 759
    Large drum? That's "on tap" I believe, and is much fresher normally. Just kidding.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    That link you posted was very curious...after an exhaustive barrage of facts and figures, they essentially say

    " But of course, you need more information to REALLY judge the quality of an oil"!

    Gee, my eyes are already crossed.

    But it was interesting, thanks for posting it.

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  • My two "major name quick oil change" experiences"

    One left the screw in filler plug out where you add oil. Blew oil on engine on interstate.

    One brought me the air filter and said "we recommend these be changed every 10,000 miles". My new car at that time was having its first oil change at 3750 miles. Nice try.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,382
    I have never failed to hear that from any friend that has ever used a oil change place.

    I hate to think that it is written in procedural manuals to leave the oil change plug either loose or off.
  • gusgus Posts: 254
    I was just talking with a coworker today about how the quick oil places seem to put in their own aftermarket drain plugs (with some sort of built-in drain hookup) in cars, and leave them loose! On top of that, they always seem to catch oil leaks, and then tell the customer something alarming or unbelievable (or both), like "the oil pan gasket on your two-year-old car is leaking!" Maybe the oil is residue from the last change, or a front seal leak or even a leaking pressure switch, but whatever it is, they send customers into a tizzy with that stuff!
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
    I went to a highly recommended garage for an oil change once in an unfamiliar town. My father-in-law's recommendation. That should tell you something.

    After I picked it up and drove it home about 100 mi, I went to see what the oil level was. No dipstick.


    A friend of mine found a cork in place of his drain plug. I kid you not. The mechanic actually said "How the heck did that get there?"

    About the JiffyLubes, I can't bear to go in there anymore. I used to have teams of lowlifes under my direction (in a different industry), and going in there and seeing them hanging out and fooling around just made me think of the kinds of things my guys would do on the job, and that was too scary.

    Oil changes are so easy and so crucial, I've just gone back to doing my own. Gives me a chance to tune my resonating heat shields to a nice major 7th chord too.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    I HAVE to do my own...who else has a 27mm wrench?

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  • They'd be happy to use vise-grips for you shifty!!
  • shifty.
    Just out of curiosity, what king of vehicle uses a 27mm wrench. I worked in a fast lube (Pit Stop) for four years (part-time when in college) and the biggest metric wrench I recall using is a 19 mm on Mazdas.
    I could tell you guys some pretty good stories about my days as a 'lube technician'. The worst I did was blow the engine of a 86 Renault Encore. Actually, that's a good thing. One less of them on our roads today...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    You mean you just beat the engine to it by a few days!

    Oh, 27mm wrench?...most Alfa Romeos...oh, yes, please use a vice grip on my two piece cast aluminum 7 quart finned oilpan....please! It won't mind, I'm sure.

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  • dmkdmk Posts: 22
    Have had a few interesting experiences in "fast oil change" places. One time the air cleaner cover was completely off and sounded as if I inverted the air cleaner cover. Not long after that experience(which prompted me to check everything out after a change) I checked the air filter cover and it was indeed loose. It was also empty. Went back to the shop and they said "oh we must have forgot to put it back in". Back in went the OLD filter. I also had my coolant changed by one of those recycle machines(which I'll never do again) and they damaged the low coolant sensor. Went back to the shop and they said they did nothing to it and wouldn't fix it. Oh well! Bottom line, buyer beware at those fast oil changes with all those highly competent workers there.
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    My favorite quick oil change stories:
    1.A friend of mine used to work at a BMW/Porsche dealer in VA. Cars would come in with drain plugs replaced with oversized bolts or rubber plugs. And the customers wondered how the tech knew they went to "Speedy Lube"...
    2. A friend of mine was told by a quicky shop neanderthal that his coolant level was "really low". Piltdown Man had mistaken the window washer bottle for the coolant recovery tank. On a Chrysler.
    3. My favorite. Cheapskate acquaintance takes SAAB 900 to quicky joint. Pit monkey pulls drain plug, drains oil, and replaces plug. After adding @3 quarts of oil, oil overflows out the valve cover. The reason? Pit monkey had drained the transaxle.
  • Here's my all-time favorite. As I mentioned before, I worked as a lube tech for a while. Here's the story. This guy comes in for an oil change with his Grand Marquis (older model). He's bitching and threatening us. Keeps telling us what a crapy oil change we did last time on his car, and so on... The kind of customer any store can do without. He yells at me "Make sure you grease the drive shaft". I looked carefully at the universal joints and along the drive shaft for nipples. There are none, so I tell him so. The old fart starts bitchin some more, telling me that his car has grease fittings on the drive shaft. To please the guy, I check again; no nipples, no grease fittings. Nothing to grease on the driveshaft. To please him, I said something like "Oh, sorry, I must have not seen those grease fittings" and proceeded to slap on some grease, making it look like I was greasing some virtual nipple. The guy keeps on bitchin: "Make sure you take both the oil plugs off. Last time, you only got the lower one". (Ford had the smart idea of straddling the oil pan over the frame, making it necessary for two oil plugs on the pan) He must of thought that I was some retard that could not tell a ball point hammer from a wrench. Of course I knew about the incredibly two plugs. Then, when I suggested that the gasket for the oil plug should be replaced (about 50 cents), he said he refused to pay for it, saying that we had broken it. Break a gasket, come on! I gave him the gasket because he was being a real [non-permissible content removed] and I didn't want more of an argument. As he went off to pay for his bill, I got a can of red spray paint and wrote [non-permissible content removed] in BIG letters on the transmission pan, figuring the guy would not find out and we would laugh at it the next time he would come back. The guy paid his bill and left. About a week later, he came back. He was holding his transmission pan in his hands. Needless to say that he was cursing. (glad I wasn't working that day). He had apparently gone to another garage to have his leaking transmission gasket changed. They removed the pan and showed it to him. Well, because of what that, I didn't get canned, but I was forced to take two weeks off work. Perfect for my summer vacation! I don't work at the lube anymore, but everyone there still remembers the incident. It has become somewhat of a classic joke and even today I still laugh about it.
    PS Sorry for the language
  • I had the oil changed on my van at a large well known quick oil change place. They showed me my PVC filter and told me it needed to be changed, which I declined. About two weeks later the engine began running roughly and would stall continuously. The dealer mechanic discovered that the housing for the filter was improperly replaced and that the filter got pushed into the crankcase. When I showed the 145.00 repair bill to the shop manager, the most he wuold do is offer me two free oil changes. I will never trust anybody to change my oil ever again, let alone any of those quick lube clowns!!!!!!!!!!
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    well, since we're varying from actual oil to quick lubes, here are my reasons to never use these places again (things that have either happened to me or to others who told me):

    1. Changing transmission fluid via dipstick - about as effective as changing engine oil through the dipstick

    2. Pulling one spark wire to "get the oil to circulate" as the engine coughed - no lie, that was the manager's explanation

    3. Hearing an impact wrench - outside of loosening lug nuts, there is no need for an impact wrench on any part of a vehicle

    4. Hearing "whoops" from the guy in the pit

    5. Places that offer freebies - your oil change price refelcts it somewhere. One place would hand EVERY customer the day's paper and a phone to make local calls free (it was a wired phone that came down from the ceiling). Needless to say, that same place changes your oil and gets you out now.

    6. A small place with high turnover (never seeing the same tech twice)

    7. Constantly being "upsold" to other services

    8. Constantly out of what you request (ex: specific brands of oil or fluid)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,600
    A couple of years back, we lowered our oil change prices in order to better compete with the quickie lubes.

    For one thing, we were tired of having to explain to our customers that they needed to replace their expensive oil pan because some Rambo kid had overtightened the plug. There is also a 15 cent crush washer under that plug that should be changed every time. Instead, they over tighten the plug to compensate.

    They will then write on the work order " NOTE: YOUR OIL PAN PLUG IS STRIPPED!"

    Yep, it sure is!

    Some of these places also use oil filters of questionable quality.

    Upselling is the real name of the game, I think!

    Be careful...
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