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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Don't be fooled by pricey, fancy oils

From the Detroit Free Press:

Don't be fooled by pricey, fancy oils
Auto experts say money often wasted
July 15, 2004
BY MARK PHELAN
FREE PRESS AUTO CRITIC
Deciding what oil to put in your car used to be as simple as ordering an after-dinner drink in Dublin. You'd buy a quart of 10W-30 as reflexively as I'd order a glass of Jameson's whiskey.

OIL DESIGNATIONS
The numbers following an oil's name -- 10W-30, for example -- indicate how viscous, or thick, the oil is.

The first number, 10 in this case, shows how viscous the oil is at low temperatures. The second, 30, is its viscosity at high temperatures. The W means "winter."

Both numbers are important. Oil must flow freely at low temperatures for lubrication when the engine first starts and during the winter. But the oil must also flow at high temperatures, such as when the engine has been running for a long time.

Today, topping up your crankcase is more like watching my friend Deb order a martini: Bombay gin -- Sapphire if you have it -- a hint of vermouth, a dash of olive juice and bleu cheese instead of a pimento in the olive -- no, make that two olives on a skewer.

Oil companies advertise a bewildering variety of oils they say were painstakingly developed for specific vehicles. Whether you drive an SUV, a car with a lot of miles on it, or a sports car, they claim to have the one and only oil that's right for it.

It's enough to drive a person to drink, and it's a waste of money, according to a variety of experts.

"They're trying to distinguish an essentially generic product," said an expert on Ford's vehicle-service operations, who asked not to be named. "They're marketing a commodity."

The designer oils with their special claims can cost six times as much as motor oil distilled from the black goo that came bubbling up in Jed Clampett's backyard. A recent check of Detroit-area stores turned up synthetic oils selling for as much as $5.99 a quart, versus 99 cents for store-brand 10W-30.

That's an extra $20 to $30 an oil change, but it's chicken feed compared to rebuilding an engine, so a lot of people dig into their wallets just to be on the safe side.

Automakers say you should simply stick to the oil and service schedule they recommend.

"We test oils in extremely rigorous circumstances," said Tracey King, Chrysler Group product development specialist responsible for testing and recommending oils and other organic materials. "Our engineers try to break the engine's parts. If they succeed, we specify another oil."

"As long as you follow the manufacturer's recommendations, you can't go wrong," said Harold Schock, professor of mechanical engineering and director of Michigan State University's Automotive Research Experiment Station.
The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and petroleum industry's trade group, certifies oils and agrees that the manufacturer's recommended oil is the preferred choice.

"We always recommend consumers follow their owner's manual," API spokesman Kevin Ferrick said, although he added that owners of classic cars from the 1960s and earlier should also consult with car clubs for the latest information.

The API's "Starburst" emblem on the container guarantees an oil meets the automakers' standards, King said. Beyond that stamp of approval, the API does not endorse any specific oil.

Chrysler recommends traditional oil, sometimes called mineral oil, for almost all its vehicles, she said. The only exceptions are high-performance models like the Dodge Viper, for which the company recommends synthetic oil. Most automakers recommend a single grade of oil -- at Ford Motor Co., it's a 5W-20 synthetic blend -- for nearly all their cars and trucks.

Ford recommends oil changes every 5,000 miles or six months for vehicles that get normal use and every 3,000 miles or three months for vehicles that do heavy work like towing and hauling heavy loads.

Most automakers recommend oil changes in that range, but some, including BMW and General Motors, use engine sensors to determine the interval, which can be much longer.

Some synthetic oils claim to last as much as 15,000 miles, but "we see no evidence of that," Chrysler's King said. "They have not demonstrated it, so we do not accept it."

Automakers all say the oil they put in a new car or truck should be used throughout the vehicle's life.

"Oil companies make so much money off oils for higher-mileage cars," King said. "We don't recommend it. There is no need to spend money on it."
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 01:47 PM
 
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high mileage oil is the biggest joke there is...75000 miles is high mileage now? thats a load of bull..LHs arent even supposed to have a first tune up until 100K....that being said, the only thing i put synthetic in is the differential in the truck (1 mpg difference so far) and the new transmission im putting in next week to replace the POS i have now...maybe when i get the V8 done, it might get synthetic, but beyond that, its Kendall GT-1 dino for me
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 03:13 PM
 
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Yeah, there's a sucker born every minute.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 03:15 PM
 
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So buying the "high mileage" oil is a waste of hard earned money?? What type of oil should be put in a '98 Corde in the winter?? Summer???
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 03:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unkut2003
So buying the "high mileage" oil is a waste of hard earned money?? What type of oil should be put in a '98 Corde in the winter?? Summer???
Summer? 10w-30

Winter? 10w-30 (5w-30 if it gets really cold regularly)

I could be wrong, though.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 03:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00ChryslerIntrepid
Summer? 10w-30

Winter? 10w-30 (5w-30 if it gets really cold regularly)

I could be wrong, though.

Ok, thats what I always use, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't messing something up. I just changed my oil yesterday and put in the Pennzoil High Mileage and a STP filter!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 03:28 PM
 
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10w30 is a good all around oil if it gets cold...down here, i always use 20w50 because oil temps tend to get pretty high around here (hot air+running motor) and 20-50 is the choice for me
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 05:11 PM
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I don't know about everyone else..........but if you read the owner's manual...........for my car: '02 Intrepid R/T it recommends 10W30 year round!!!!!!!!!



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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 07:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avenger
I don't know about everyone else..........but if you read the owner's manual...........for my car: '02 Intrepid R/T it recommends 10W30 year round!!!!!!!!!
I don't recall what my manual says, but I've always taken my car to the dealership for oil changes and they have been using 5W-30. My last oil change was a few weeks ago and they used 5W-30.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 07:12 PM
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Can't recall off hand what mine requires, but it's first tune up is not at 100K.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 07:22 PM
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Okay... just out of curiousity... I've been using synthetic since my car had 6,000 miles on it, it's now at 42,000. I don't buy into the claims of 15,000 miles either, but from everything I've read, on and off of this site, synthetic is suppose to be better in the 2.7L for preventing the 'Oh so scary and deadly' sludge build up. So given what this article says with the nice little quotes from the Chrysler people, (who seemed to have a harder time "breaking" the 2.7 than the consumer has), what is everyone's opinion on that matter? Synthetic or Dino? I'm not looking for what the service intervals should be, I already know that, just curious what everyone thinks about synthetic preventing sludge to prolong the life of the 2.7...
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-18-2004, 10:18 PM
 
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I have heard that high mileage oils do help engines that may have weak valve stem seals. For instance, the 92-95 Ford 4.6 l had valve seals that can leak in higher mileage vehicles (over 125,000 miles), and the additives help keep them softer.

My 94 stills uses no oil, so I still use regular old motor oil
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2004, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heymikey
Okay... just out of curiousity... I've been using synthetic since my car had 6,000 miles on it, it's now at 42,000. I don't buy into the claims of 15,000 miles either, but from everything I've read, on and off of this site, synthetic is suppose to be better in the 2.7L for preventing the 'Oh so scary and deadly' sludge build up. So given what this article says with the nice little quotes from the Chrysler people, (who seemed to have a harder time "breaking" the 2.7 than the consumer has), what is everyone's opinion on that matter? Synthetic or Dino? I'm not looking for what the service intervals should be, I already know that, just curious what everyone thinks about synthetic preventing sludge to prolong the life of the 2.7...
Synthetic is a must in my opinion. It has been proven as the "quick fix" for the sludge issue, since synthetic won't sludge up nearly as much as natural oil. Infact, it will accually remove standing sludge with time.

Stick with synthetic. I do. I always will.
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