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So here's the dilemma ... Chrysler says I should run 5w-30 in my car if the temps go below 0°F and 10w-30 if they get above 100°F. In KC (on average) we have 5 days below 0°F and 10 days above 100°F. When I change oil and go with Mobil1 I'm not going to change the oil again for 12 months. Since the car will go through both temperature "extremes" over that year what weight oil should I get? Does oil viscosity mix and match like gasoline octanes?

If I put in 3 qts. of 10w-30 and 2 qts. of 5w-30 will I end up with 8w-30 or just a mess that won't properly mix?
 

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I run 5w-30 year 'round here in Utah. We see both extremes as well. I did the same in CO growing up. Never had a problem.
 

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D76G12 said:
When I change oil and go with Mobil1 I'm not going to change the oil again for 12 months.
Why? I knew I was lazy, but damn! Seriously though, why are you not going to do it again for an entire year?
 

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Axle said:
Why? I knew I was lazy, but damn! Seriously though, why are you not going to do it again for an entire year?
I don't think it'll need an oil change for that long. I'm going to change the filter at 6 months and I'll do a lab test on the left-over oil in the old filter just to be sure. I'll also have a lab test done at 12 months when I change the oil again. But I only drive 1000 miles a month so we're talking 12k miles - not 15-20k like most people ...
 

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D76G12: What state are you in? I'm going to say you'll be fine with 10w-30. My old 1995 Cirrus would start no problem -40C with 10w-30 assuming I plugged it in.
 

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D76G12 said:
I don't think it'll need an oil change for that long. I'm going to change the filter at 6 months and I'll do a lab test on the left-over oil in the old filter just to be sure. I'll also have a lab test done at 12 months when I change the oil again. But I only drive 1000 miles a month so we're talking 12k miles - not 15-20k like most people ...
Will this be with dino oil or synthetic? I know Mobil 1 makes a synthetic in 0W40 so that should have both bases covered, summer and winter.
 

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I really think it doesn't matter. Your premise is fairly valid though. Your mix would result in 8W-30. The odd part is that they are both 30 for the high number and therefore are identical when the engine is warmed up. I personally like the thinner oil. 5W-30 would be my choice for the two year round. Of course I would change it twice a year at least. I use Mobil 1 and change mine 4 times a year.
 

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D76G12 said:
I don't think it'll need an oil change for that long. I'm going to change the filter at 6 months and I'll do a lab test on the left-over oil in the old filter just to be sure. I'll also have a lab test done at 12 months when I change the oil again. But I only drive 1000 miles a month so we're talking 12k miles - not 15-20k like most people ...
It's not recommended that you sample oil from the filter. If you're taking samples like that without changing the oil you're better off using a sampler that will draw it up through the dip stick tube. This will give you a better idea of what's in the pan and not what you loosen out of the filter...
 

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Axle said:
Will this be with dino oil or synthetic? I know Mobil 1 makes a synthetic in 0W40 so that should have both bases covered, summer and winter.
Ummm "Mobil 1" is all synthetic. Their dino oil is labeled "Mobil Drive Clean" or something like that...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
dbaudiopro said:
It's not recommended that you sample oil from the filter. If you're taking samples like that without changing the oil you're better off using a sampler that will draw it up through the dip stick tube. This will give you a better idea of what's in the pan and not what you loosen out of the filter...
Thanks for the info! I've never done an oil sample before but that makes sense ... :fun_08:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I decided to go ahead and put in 5w-30 today to flush the system of the old oil. In 3 months I'll change oil using the "mix" and take a sample for testing. After that, I'll start changing the filter and testing every 6 months. Assuming everything is good with the tests I'll change oil once a year ...
dbaudiopro said:
Here is Blackstone Lab's recommended procedure for sampline oil from diesel/gas engines:

http://www.blackstone-labs.com/gas_sampling.html

And a link to the pump they sell to obtain a sample via the dip stick tube:

http://www.blackstone-labs.com/pump.html
Thanks for the links db! I was planning on using Blackstone (same as the oil life study guys) I just hadn't gotten around to finding their site, yet.
 

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D76, I know you use Mobil 1; you've stated it in at least 1000 posts. Go to an Amsoil site and do some reading about synthetics in general. Their conclusion is that 0W-30 or 5W-30 will work just fine with a synthetic, no need to use 10W-30. The low W, or winter number, gives you the easy starts, but they all act as 30's at high temps. Syns also have a much lower pour point than dinos anyway, so even a 10W syn is going to be better than a 5W dino. Another problem with dinos is they contain waxes that solidfy at low temps; pour point depressants are added to counteract that, but they get used up quickly.
Multigrade Dino oils start as a thin oil, say 5-8W, then viscosity improvers are added so they'll hold their viscosity within the 30 range at high temps. These VI's have a tendency to shear, leaving you, after a few thousand miles, with less than 30 when the temp is high. Synthetics don't have to have much VI, in fact they begin life as a 20 or 25 wt oil (approx), and only need enough VI to make them act as a 30 at high temps. Being synthetic, they don't thicken as much at low temps, so the oil acts like a lighter one when it's cold. At least that's my understanding of the deal.
 

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dbaudiopro said:
Ummm "Mobil 1" is all synthetic. Their dino oil is labeled "Mobil Drive Clean" or something like that...
My point was they make one in 0W40.... not what the official name of the company is and how all of "1" is full synthetic.
 

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As 'religious' as people get about oil brands and viscosity, it's more of an art than a science. I don't think that it's even possible to buy motor oil that doesn't 'meet or exceed' ASE lube specs.

In nominal engine performance scenarios, the quality of oil comes into play during:

- engine startup.

- short driving trips where the engine and oil do not warm up fully.

If you garage your car, you've got a 20-30 degree advantage on the outside weather in the winter (assuming a cold weather climate of course). If you always drive 10 miles or more and make sure that the engine gets fully warmed up to drive out any accumulated condensation, etc, etc, you are also covered. These two conditions probably account for most of the engine wear people see over time.

I'm NOT accounting for engine/component or design failures like head gasket or water pump failures that may contaminate the oil. Pretty much no oil will cover your ass in those situations. Same thing with a cooling system failure that runs engine temps way above spec. All oil 'bets' are off in the case of internal failures.

As far as going 12 months between changes, it's probably not a good idea with aluminium block engines. Remember that in addition to lube, oil cleans and cools your motor. Combustion by-products, including acidic compounds, accumulate in the oil and no filter will get them out. Sure, changing the filter (espec if you use an oversized filter or something really big from www.permacool.com) will get you a new quart of oil from time to time. But you are only taking a quart or 1.5 quarts out of the system on a filter change. Not enough to really keep things clean.

Remember that 'just sitting there' you'll be getting moisture condensation in the engine. That water will react with the metals and the oils no matter what you do.

Done yourself, an oil change is less than $30 even with Mobil1. Done 3-4 times a year regardless of mileage it's cheap insurance.
 

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With an analysis done on a regular basis you'll know the condition of the oil. You'll know exactly how much contamination is present, you'll know how much active ingredients are left. But the question comes, at ~$20-30 a pop for an analysis and ~$30 a pop for a full oil change, at what point does it really save you money. There has been plenty of tests run through analysis to show even dino oil can easilly exceed the 3 month/3000 mile interval...
 

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Axle said:
My point was they make one in 0W40.... not what the official name of the company is and how all of "1" is full synthetic.
Well, after he stated in his original post he was switching to Mobil 1 I was confused as to why you would ask if he was running dino or synthetic. Hence my statement...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
dbaudiopro said:
With an analysis done on a regular basis you'll know the condition of the oil. You'll know exactly how much contamination is present, you'll know how much active ingredients are left. But the question comes, at ~$20-30 a pop for an analysis and ~$30 a pop for a full oil change, at what point does it really save you money. There has been plenty of tests run through analysis to show even dino oil can easily exceed the 3 month/3000 mile interval...
I figure I'll do three tests. One at the end of this three months (I'll change it then) when it will only have gone 3k miles - but will also have a little of the old dino in it. Another 6k miles after the change when I change the filter (mostly for my own piece of mind) and another at 12k miles to see how well it faired. If all those tests look good then I'll just go into that cycle for the next few years and not worry about it until the mileage starts getting up there - maybe 70-80k when I change the timing belt, water pump, and all that stuff. It may need extra changes (6 month interval) for awhile after putting a bunch of new parts in - or maybe indefinitely since it'll be wearing more due to age. But, hopefully, I'll be "retired" by then ... :)
 

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If you use Blackstone they'll give you advice on how many miles they think you have left. Since you're looking to extend the intervals you'll probably want to send in a virgin sample and have TBNs done at each sample as well. This way you have something to compare against...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
dbaudiopro said:
If you use Blackstone they'll give you advice on how many miles they think you have left. Since you're looking to extend the intervals you'll probably want to send in a virgin sample and have TBNs done at each sample as well. This way you have something to compare against...
I was just going to use the base sample they took in the Oil Life Study as a baseline but I have to double check to make sure that Blackstone hasn't change their methodology since they did that. Somewhere in there they did change just not sure where. But I suppose there could be a variance between batches. Hmmmm ...
 
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