FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more - Honda Civic Forum



Fuel, Oil, Cleaners & Other Maintenance Extending the life of your Civic requires the proper fuel, oil, and cleaners, along with other regularly scheduled maintenance.

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Old 03-19-2005   #1
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FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

More than you ever wanted to know about the above listed items.

copied from the technical forums on s2ki.com:


Engine oils:
"Comparison oil tests of 10w30":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=169852
"Changing from Synthetic oil to Regular":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=192849
http://www.s2ki.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=272021
"Valvoline MaxLife - a sleeper oil, and a decent additive":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=189870
"What happens if you accidently mix in engine oil with different viscosity?":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=189631
"Can I mix synoil with another synoil?":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=187840
"Mobil 1 R (Racing) has been released":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=187357
"Good article on impact and hypocrisy of oil company change intervals":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=184529
"5w40 engine oil rec....for hot weather, race conditions, etc.":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=197819
"SM API-spec is coming soon.":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=198032
"MaxLife Synthetic 10w30: New Product":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=198014
"Blackstone Labs Summary Analysis: Mobil 1":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=212703
"New Motorcraft 10w30...outstanding minoil":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=212702
"Can you change your engine oil TOO much?":
http://www.s2ki.com/forums/index.php?act=S...=0#entry4205938

Oil filters:
"3 oil filters compared":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=191911
Honda OEM Oil Filter Summary:
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=192750
Oil FILTERS - dissected:
http://www.lesabret.com/filters/filter.html

Additives:
"MaxLife - a sleeper oil, and a decent additive":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=189870
"VOA of MaxLife Engine protector":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=194334
"Made the switch to synthetic today":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=192733

Virgin oil analyses:
"OE oil fill analysis....Accord V6":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=193726
"VOA's of Red Line MT-90 and MTL":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=195010
"Mobil 1 R (Racing) has been released":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=187357

Used oil analyses:
"VOA/UOA of Honda MTF":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=194999
"Differential Fluid comparison and analysis - old vs new, Mobil 1 vs Redline.":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=141409
"Oil analysis (crankcase) from S/C'd car.":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...threadid=144873

Miscellaneous:
"What's in those fuel injector cleaners? Are they safe?":
http://forums.s2ki.com/forums/showthread.p...jector+cleaners
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Old 09-09-2005   #2
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FAQ about Oil

I am going add to this thread a FAQ section, hopefully this can help clear up some posts on here. It seems to many people don't want to sift through S2000man01's linked threads, so here are some abbreviated answers, for more info follow the links or post in this thread.


Q1: Is it okay to switch from dino (organic) oil to a synthetic oil?
A1: Yes it is fine. This myth came from the time before detergents where used in oil. During this time, sludge and huge amount of carbon would build up, some times actually sealing blown gaskets. Then some one would dump detergent oil in, and the detergents would remove the carbon build up (as they are supposed to do) and hence expose a blow gasket. If you always use detergent oil (which you always should) this won’t be a problem.

Q2: What is the best brand of oil to use?
A2: This is a simple rule that generally applies, you get what you pay for. For newer cars, Mobil 1 is best buy IMO. Red Line is one the best I’ve seen, followed by other high end oils like Amsoil. Royal Purple is also good, but the TBN seem to drop pretty quickly, I wouldn’t use it for more than 3,000 miles. If your car is over 60,000 miles, Valvoline Max Life is an excellent choice, it has a high molybdenum count that could be very beneficial to older cars. Motorcraft 5w20 is what I use, while Mobile 1 is good, it is costly and Motorcraft 5w20 cna be had for $9 and some change for 5 quarts at Wal Mart, making it a very cost effective oil. Change it every 4,000 miles and you'll be fine with Motorcraft.

Q3: How long can I go on an oil change?
A3: This is a very complicated question, all I can do is give you some tips on how to find the best time for you. First off, this is only here to educate you, if you want to get the max life out of your oil, you need to send it to an oil lab for analysis, this is the ONLY way to know exactly how long you can go. Synthetic oils WILL last longer than dino oils. A GOOD dino oil can take you to 5,000 miles without a problem. A synthetic can go to 7,500 – 10,000 with out much problem. Some factor that may shorten your oils life: a tank of bad gas, sulfur (can be introduced by bad gas or smog, also not this will seriously shorten the life), poor running engine (this will create carbon that will blow by into the oil), a heavy foot (constantly flooring your car will also create more carbon that has to be adsorbed by your oil), and introducing excess water in to the engine from water logging your car (common with CIA that don’t have a bypass valve).

You should also not let your oil set for to long. Once the oil is used (just once in the car is enough) it will start to break down and oxidize, even if you do not run your car. This is why it is recommended to change the oil every 1 year, in fact you should change your filter every 6 months too. Your filter will also start to degrade once used, regard less of use. I personally go about 7-8 months between oil changes, and am just to cheap to replace the filter then replace it again a few months later.

Q4: I just bought a new car, when should I change the oil?
A4: The factory oil has a high molybdenum, this helps in break in of the engine. Leave this oil in for 5k. If you are worried about contaminates or factory metal shaving or that kind of thing, you can simply change the oil filter around 1,000 miles. If you insist on changing the oil (which I do) then use an oil with a high molybdenum count, such as Valvoline Max Life (I know its weird to put oil designed for old engines in a new engine, but trust me on this).

Q5: what do the numbers like 5w20 mean?
A5: "They are easily recognized by the dual viscosity designation (i.e. 10W-30 where the 10W is the low temperature, or winter designation and the 30 is the high temperature designation)." Source: http://www.castrol.com/castrol/gener...tentId=6003347

Q6: What oil (viscosity) is best for my car?
A6: Read the OWNERS MANUAL!!! Honda recommends 5w20, use 5w20. The exception is if you live in cold weather and the car is started in cold weather, then you use 0w20. Look it up in the manual, there is a nice graph showing this.

Q7: Is it okay to use 5w30 or other viscosities in my 7thgen civic?
A7: 5w30 is probably okay, although there is no real reason to use this oil. It will NOT protect you engine better. It is less viscous at operating temperature, and the D17 motor (like most motors) run on a “sling” method where the crank shaft hits the oil in the oil the pan and slings it around to lubricate. Using a thicker oil will just means there will be more drag on the crank shaft as it goes through the oil and the oil will not be as able to be “slung” around to lubricate. IMO 5w30 will probably not hurt your car, but I would not go any higher. And certainly do not go to 10w30, specially if you live in a cold area.

Q8: Why do people use 5w30 and thicker oils then?
A8: the thicker oil will have a greater ability to carry heat away the lower part of the engine. An N/A D17 will not create enough heat for this to be a problem. If you have moved to a turbo, this should also not be a problem because hopefully you have installed an oil cooler and can continue to use 5w20.

ADDITION INFO -- added Dec. 27, 2005

Now for the big topic: Synthetic versus petroleum base oil (aka dino oil)

First lets start with how they are made. Dino oil actually comes from crude oil, that right the same stuff that makes gasoline. Crude oil goes through a process called distillation where smaller particles can be separated from large particles and you can get separate say gasoline, diesel and motor oil. This is a fairly complex process and requires lots of energy and capital and yet is not 100% efficient. When you buy dino oil you are actually buying a variety of oil molecules, some small some large. I’ll revisit this and explain why this is bad in a moment, for now lets look at the synthetic oils. Without getting into to much detail, synthetic oils are very homogenous, that is all the molecules of synthetic oil are about the same size.

So why does the size of the molecule of oil matter? Smaller molecules have low flash points, or they burn easier and faster. So if you put dino oil into your car, the smaller molecules will burn very quickly (along with many more additives thus creating more build up). Also keep in mind that smaller molecules will thin the oil out, so after you burn off the small molecules, all you have are larger molecules that create a thicker oil, so dino oil can actually thicken after extended periods of use. Since synthetic oil has all the same size molecules, they are not less likely to burn at lower temperatures, but when they do the same size molecules are left, so it does not get thinner or thicker. Dino oil also adds more additives than synthetic additives, when these additives get burned they will create carbon which can thicken the oil, so now you have two ways that the oil is getting thickened.

Because of the uniform molecule size of dino oil, it is generally not recommended in high heat producing engines. For instance, the 4G63 in the Mitsu Evo, it is a small engine producing a large amount of power, lots of power means lots of heat the oil has to soak up. With all this heat being soaked up, dino oils tend to break down very quickly, hence the reason Mitsu says in the owners manual that synthetic oil is required.

Other info:
GC (aka German Castrol)

Last edited by Jrfish007; 08-03-2006 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 09-16-2005   #3
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Oil Additives & Filters - This will scare you.

Think you're doing your engine a favor by putting in some fancy-dancy oil additive? Pictures don't lie and I chanced upon this interesting webpage concerning oil additives, so before you throw down your hard earned bucks for an additive check this link out and you will be amazed. http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/images/lucas/lucas.htm
Like the man said, use a good, high detergent, high quality oil and addivaties are not necessary. By the way, WalMart sells SuperTech 10W-30 fully synthetic oil with the same API specs, five quarts for $11.88, half price of Mobil 1.

If you have a considerable number of miles on your engine, you'll find that the improved detergency of the synthetic oil will remove sludge that's been building up in your engine. One way to handle this is after the first installation of synthetic oil, change your filter at 1000 miles, again at 3000, and again at 5000. After this, revert to your usual oil and filter change interval.

Tip: NEVER exceed your MAX oil level on the dipstick! Overfilling causes the oil to be whipped to a froth and becomes filled with micro air bubbles so you don't get pure oil going to the lube points but rather oil mixed with air, I keep mine at least quarter of an inch below the max level.

Very good comments on synthetic oils and additives by CrunchyCookie:
http://forums.automotive.com/communi...r-oil-changes/

EXCELLENT link about oil filters.
http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilters.html

Diesel oil and gas engine oil: Only difference, diesel has a different additave package which amounts to more detergent in the oil to keep the diesels clean because burning diesel fuel produces much more carbon and contaminants than gas. Will using diesel lube oil in a gas engine hurt it? No, but a gas engine doesn't need the additional additave package. Look at the API star on the oil container, SJ - the S means it is for spark ignited engines, CD - the C means it's for compression ignited diesel engine. You will find S and C on some containers because that oil can be used in either gas or diesel engines.

Not saying which is best, just throwing this out for your consideration and have a nice day. Huney.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huney
Think you're doing your engine a favor by putting in some fancy-dancy oil additive? Pictures don't lie and I chanced upon this interesting webpage concerning oil additives, so before you throw down your hard earned bucks for an additive check this link out and you will be amazed. http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/images/lucas/lucas.htm
Like the man said, use a good, high detergent, high quality oil and addivaties are not necessary. By the way, WalMart sells SuperTech 10W-30 fully synthetic oil with the same API specs, five quarts for $11.88, half price of Mobil 1.

If you have a considerable number of miles on your engine, you'll find that the improved detergency of the synthetic oil will remove sludge that's been building up in your engine. One way to handle this is after the first installation of synthetic oil, change your filter at 1000 miles, again at 3000, and again at 5000. After this, revert to your usual oil and filter change interval.

Tip: NEVER exceed your MAX oil level on the dipstick! Overfilling causes the oil to be whipped to a froth and becomes filled with micro air bubbles so you don't get pure oil going to the lube points but rather oil mixed with air, I keep mine at least quarter of an inch below the max level.

Very good comments on synthetic oils and additives by CrunchyCookie:
http://forums.automotive.com/communi...r-oil-changes/

EXCELLENT link about oil filters.
http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilters.html

Diesel oil and gas engine oil: Only difference, diesel has a different additave package which amounts to more detergent in the oil to keep the diesels clean because burning diesel fuel produces much more carbon and contaminants than gas. Will using diesel lube oil in a gas engine hurt it? No, but a gas engine doesn't need the additional additave package. Look at the API star on the oil container, SJ - the S means it is for spark ignited engines, CD - the C means it's for compression ignited diesel engine. You will find S and C on some containers because that oil can be used in either gas or diesel engines.

Not saying which is best, just throwing this out for your consideration and have a nice day. Huney.

First, there is a thread about all this already stickyed at the top the this section, I merged them instead of locking your thread

Most of the oil additive stuff has been covered in here many times. Very few oil additives work well. Lube Control and Red Line make decent additives, this is from people that work for Lubrizol. Lubrizol is the company that researches and produces the additives that go into almost all gas and oil, in other words they are huge and know what they are talking about.

Most oils have plenty of additive to go 5,000 miles, organic oil or synthetic. The additives are different, but really the only difference is that the dino oil will break down. A GOOD dino oil will have plenty of additive.

Do not use 10w30 in a 01+ civic. This will help nothing and actually hurt your engine in the long run.

If you have a high mileage engine, use Valvoline Max Life, it's got a high "moly" count. This an additive the is VERY desirable in anti-friction and is about 25% synthetic. It's not really that expensive either, I bought the 5 quart jug at Wal-Mart for just over $10. Most tripoligst also use this, it has to be good for them to use it!

Finally, there is NO reason at all to change the oil filter that many times when going from organic oil to synthetic oil. Todays organic (or dino) oils have PLENTY of additives that can suspend and hold carbon particulates, hence preventing the formation of sludge. Sludge is a thing from the 60's and 70's when synthetic additives where just being put out to the public. If you change your oil every 5,000 miles, organic oils will protect your engine. The second quote you gave by cookie even said don't worry about using synthetics.

I don't mean to flame the new guy, but there is a wealth of info on here and I don't want people to get the wrong idea about stuff, so I try to keep it straight. Most of the info on this thread Ive had read through by a few tripolist (mechanical engineers that specialize in oil and lubricating fluids). Please dont take personal offense to this 

I fully support any info on here that is backed by either credentials or testing reports (oil test reports from labs).
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I will add that the point of never over filling, and not adding addatives are good points. But bobstheoilguy only tested one in that test.
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Old 09-16-2005   #6
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so i read some more about the oil that 5w20 should be used unless start conditions are under -20F.so what about hot weather temp nurmer 20.30.40...?these numbers are the thickness @ 50C or F?but our engines get like 90C so what hot temp nr will
have his best effect on the engine?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaRk_MauL
so i read some more about the oil that 5w20 should be used unless start conditions are under -20F.so what about hot weather temp nurmer 20.30.40...?these numbers are the thickness @ 50C or F?but our engines get like 90C so what hot temp nr will
have his best effect on the engine?

The numbers that are used to rate the engine oil are based on 50C, but when the engineers choose the oil for your car, they take into account that it is hotter in the engine. The 50C thing is just a reference point, otherwise this oil could say they are 5 at 110C and this oil could say they are 30 at 30C, and it would be a major pain to buy the correct oil weight. Oil has a pretty predictable path of viscosity as it heats up. In otherwords, 20 at 50C will alway be around 40 (or whatever the correct number is) at 90C regardless of brand and blend. And I think 50C is actually pretty close to the temp of the oil, although I have yet to measure that in a modern car (I don't think my '73 Camaro works the same as teh civic's lol). It would interesting if some measured the hot oil temp, I'm sure SOMEONE on this site has it monitored.
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Old 09-17-2005   #8
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oh ok is see.i was reeding some more about the oil/temp and they use 100c as a
reference point.so if i am correct this is right?the numbers, such as 0w30 or 10w30 give the viscosity classes of an oil.
the viscosity are a half-measure for the cross-section of oil.
w stand for winter the number before the w stand for the viscosity of oil
below 0C.the second number are the visositeit of oil at 100C. how
higher this number how ropier oil.

Well i know this about the temp of the oil with an Itr it gets like 190-195F
with normal driving and dragging it wil get to 210F.He uses castrol 10w60 oil.

Sind here in belgium its not that cold/hot and it doesnt often go below 0C
i can go for a 0w30 / 5w30 if i am correct.

Last edited by DaRk_MauL; 09-17-2005 at 12:02 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaRk_MauL
oh ok is see.i was reeding some more about the oil/temp and they use 100c as a
reference point.so if i am correct this is right?the numbers, such as 0w30 or 10w10 give the viscosity classes of an oil.
the viscosity are a half-measure for the cross-section of oil.
w stand for winter the number before the w stand for the viscosity of oil
below 0C.the second number are the visositeit of oil at 100C. how
higher this number how ropier oil.

Well i know this about the temp of the oil with an Itr it gets like 190-195F
with normal driving and dragging it wil get to 210F.He uses castrol 10w60 oil.

Sind here in belgium its not that cold/hot and it doesnt often go below 0C
i can go for a 0w30 / 5w30 if i am correct.

I would stick in the 20's for your civic. 5w20 is what the US manual says, maybe your is different, let us know if it is. the second number being the hotter number, by going to 30 you're making the oil thicker, this doesn't help anything at all except give the oil a better capacity to carry heat away from the engine (which you do not need). It will lessen the abitly of the oil to lubericate and cause more drag on the drive train (hence slightly lowwer MPG and less power), this effect is probably not noticable though. It will cause a higher oil pressure than you car was orginally deisnged for and put additional stress on the gaskets and all that. Overall, just stick with what Honda says.
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Old 09-17-2005   #10
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well i will check the manual i have at home.i know that all hondas and most car here are usesing semi systhetic 10w40.

Last edited by DaRk_MauL; 09-17-2005 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 09-18-2005   #11
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my manual do not realy say which oil in the engine, however it says in the manual, if
original honda mtf are not available, can engine oil be
uses with a viscosity of SAE 10w30 or 10w40.

But I found something that might come against what nevertheless skilful can be
therefore...... lol

surroundings tempering hour
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Old 09-19-2005   #12
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HUmmmmmmmmmm..... that's interesting. To my knowledge all 7thgen civic's use 5w20 or 0w20. In my personal opinion, you can not use oil that is to light. If the oil is to light, it will just blow by the piston rings and burn and end up coming out your tail pipe. This will be followed by you engine oil turning extremely black very quick. If you use to thick of oil, it will not flow correctly and then this could cause some serious problems such as blown gaskets.

I asked a friend of mine that works for Honda's R&D department about this, he said that all the D17 engines are made the same (some have different A/F maps) but the lubing system is the same, hence all D17 will run best on 5w20. In a area that is hot year around, you can run 10w20, and if all that is available 10w30 can be used, be he recommend to try and stick with 5w20.
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so i tried figgering out the table a little more.so this is what i come up with.
the 0w20 - 0w40 and 5w20 - 5w40 are good for place where surrounding hour
go from < -20F till 100F> so if your living somewhere where it gets colder than
-20f get other oil. So sinds in belgium the temps go from max 10F till 85F i can
easly go for 0w20.still i do not complain with semi 10w40.1 thing maybe is wen the oil
has done like 7500km the engine sounds a little more rougher wen i do a complete oil
change the engine goes a little smoother.Also no weird smoke comming out of the exhaust so thats ok than so still no complains. running 15.7sec on 1/4
mile with stoch internals,hp racing header,invidea n1 and custom injen air box.
not so bad i think for a d17.

About the engine you guys al got D17a2 i got a D17a9 but my guess this is
just the same engine.but i am not sure.
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Old 09-23-2005   #14
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hey any word of your friend?
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Old 09-23-2005   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaRk_MauL
hey any word of your friend?

Oh yeah, sorry. He basically said this: 5w20 or 0w20 is the optimal oil for the D17 engine. He said for the cold number you should not go above 10 and the hot number should not go above 30. So 10w30 is okay, but he agreed that there is no benfit in using this oil for a stock engine. 10w30 should not cause any major problems for the average person, an agressive driver should stick to 5w20 because agressive corning with high RPM's can cause oil starvation with the thicker oil. He said a 10w40 has been used in some civics, but agian oil starvation and high RPM corning became an even bigger issue. Hope that answers what you where looking for.
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Old 09-23-2005   #16
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indeed thats what i was looking for, also after taking a good look at the oil table
from in my manual.i came to the conclusion i could run on 0w20 or 5w20 with no
problems.so gonna change the oil.thx for the info

Peace
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Old 12-13-2005   #17
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I ran 0w40 onec w/o a problem....was all they had in stock....
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Old 12-13-2005   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomster
I ran 0w40 onec w/o a problem....was all they had in stock....
In your civic? BTW, unless you are tearing apart your engine it is hard to see what oil really does, but it's interesting 40 didn't blow anything.
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Old 02-18-2006   #19
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wow this is an awsome thread!! Can't believe i'm still using fram filters .

Hoepefully i can still find the OEM a01 filters.
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Old 12-12-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrfish007 View Post
First, there is a thread about all this already stickyed at the top the this section, I merged them instead of locking your thread

Most of the oil additive stuff has been covered in here many times. Very few oil additives work well. Lube Control and Red Line make decent additives, this is from people that work for Lubrizol. Lubrizol is the company that researches and produces the additives that go into almost all gas and oil, in other words they are huge and know what they are talking about.

Most oils have plenty of additive to go 5,000 miles, organic oil or synthetic. The additives are different, but really the only difference is that the dino oil will break down. A GOOD dino oil will have plenty of additive.

Do not use 10w30 in a 01+ civic. This will help nothing and actually hurt your engine in the long run.

If you have a high mileage engine, use Valvoline Max Life, it's got a high "moly" count. This an additive the is VERY desirable in anti-friction and is about 25% synthetic. It's not really that expensive either, I bought the 5 quart jug at Wal-Mart for just over $10. Most tripoligst also use this, it has to be good for them to use it!

Finally, there is NO reason at all to change the oil filter that many times when going from organic oil to synthetic oil. Todays organic (or dino) oils have PLENTY of additives that can suspend and hold carbon particulates, hence preventing the formation of sludge. Sludge is a thing from the 60's and 70's when synthetic additives where just being put out to the public. If you change your oil every 5,000 miles, organic oils will protect your engine. The second quote you gave by cookie even said don't worry about using synthetics.

I don't mean to flame the new guy, but there is a wealth of info on here and I don't want people to get the wrong idea about stuff, so I try to keep it straight. Most of the info on this thread Ive had read through by a few tripolist (mechanical engineers that specialize in oil and lubricating fluids). Please dont take personal offense to this 

I fully support any info on here that is backed by either credentials or testing reports (oil test reports from labs).
nvr over fill oil u kan blow ur engine
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Old 05-29-2007   #21
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

The Motor Oil Bible states that 5w20 will not provide enough protection when compared to 5w30. See excerpt below.

Well, now that I've made it clear that you shouldn't use heavier weight oils than recommended by your
vehicle manufacturer, I'm going to confuse the issue a little. We're going to talk about 5w20 motor oils.
For the 2001 and 2002 model years, Ford and a number of other vehicle manufacturers are moving to a
5w20 viscosity recommendation for at least some of their vehicles. They say that you'll maintain
adequate engine protection while getting better fuel economy with the 5w20. Well, technically, this may
be true, but let's dig a little deeper.
The fact is, the engines did not really change between the 2000 and 2001 model years. So, the
lubrication requirements of the vehicles did not change. But, Ford, and possibly other manufacturers,
were having trouble meeting the CAFE standards set by the government. 5w20 is their answer to this
problem.
You see, the only reason 5w20 was specified for your engine is to increase the CAFE (Corporate
Average Fuel Economy) reported to the Federal Government. CAFE is the combined average fuel
economy of all of a vehicle manufacturer's product line. Minimum CAFE levels are specified by the
Federal Government.
In order for a vehicle manufacturer to continue selling profitable large trucks and SUV's, which typically
have poor fuel mileage, and still meet mandated CAFE requirements, they must also sell smaller cars
which have much better fuel economy ratings to offset the poor fuel economy ratings of the larger
vehicles. Sometimes, that's not enough.
For model year 2001, the change to 5w20 oil will allow a vehicle manufacturer's overall CAFE to
decrease by a very small amount, typically in the tenths of a mile per gallon range. 5w20 oil is a lighter
viscosity than a 5w30 oil and therefore has less internal engine frictional losses, or less drag on the
crankshaft, pistons and valve-train.
This decrease in frictional power loss promotes increased fuel economy. But, the minimal increase fuel
economy is virtually undetectable to the average consumer without the use of specialized engine
monitoring and testing equipment when compared to a 5w30, 10w30 or a 0w30 viscosity motor oil.
So, the 5w20 offers you a fuel economy increase that you'll never notice. What about engine protection.
The truth is 5w20 oil has less film and shear strength than a 5w30, 10w30 or a 0w30 motor oil. This can
lead to increased engine wear under today's demanding heat and high-stress engine performance
conditions.
Of course, since vehicle manufacturers know that most consumers don't expect to keep their vehicle
longer than 100,000 miles or so, that's ok. You'll receive adequate protection in order to keep your
engine running for 100,000 miles. But, beyond that is another story.
So, if you're not really going to see any significant fuel mileage increase and engine protection is likely
to suffer, do you have to use a 5w20 motor oil to maintain your warranty?
NO.
Vehicle manufacturers recommend using motor oils meeting certain viscosity grades and American
Petroleum Institute service requirements. Whether the motor oil is a 5w20, 5w30, 10w30 or 0w30 or
even a synthetic vs. a petroleum-based oil will not affect warranty coverage. A 5w30 motor oil is a
perfectly acceptable alternative to the 5w20 oil that is recommended for your 2001 or 2002 vehicle
because the same engine was in service in 2000 using the recommended 5w30 grade (at least with
Ford vehicles).
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Old 06-16-2007   #22
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

interesting
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Old 08-18-2007   #23
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

Wow. Very interesting. My friend and I both had mustangs for our first cars. I got mine in 2001 and he had one since 2000. We couldn't figure out why the recommended oil viscosity changed from year to year.
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Old 07-12-2008   #24
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

Been using Red-Line 5W-20 for a year. Did an oil/filter change last May and got a record 33.2mpg in town during heavy stop/go traffic. Don't think the oil resulted in the fuel mileage. What with the price of fuel now, I have seriously changed my driving habits. Love that Civic; it has paid for itself with fuel savings!
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Old 07-12-2008   #25
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

will be using valvoline maxlife 5w20 + LC20 for the rest of the car's life. i get roughly 35mpg on average with mixed driving, and over 40mpg on the highway. I have LC20 in the tranny oil too.
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Old 10-19-2009   #26
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by stock View Post
But, Ford, and possibly other manufacturers,
were having trouble meeting the CAFE standards set by the government. 5w20 is their answer to this
problem.

Of course, since vehicle manufacturers know that most consumers don't expect to keep their vehicle
longer than 100,000 miles or so, that's ok.
Honda didn't have any problems meeting CAFE standards, I personally don't think that's why they went to 5w20. The four cylinder Honda hybrids all use 0w20, and the 2010 CRV runs 0w20 now as well, so I do think the thinner oil is being used for it's effect on fuel economy.

The Mustang is a perfect example of Ford doing that though. I worked at a Ford dealer for a year, and several of my friends there with 01-04 mustangs told me that for a while they ran 5w20 like Ford now said they could. They also said their lifters started making noise, and the engine didn't feel quite the same, but the fuel economy they were getting did not increase noticeably. As soon as they went back to 5w30 (the original that Ford called for) the noises went away and they had no other problems. Now on the newer Ford (and Honda, I expect) engines, they were designed from the get go to run on 5w20.

As far as consumers not expecting their vehicles to last past 100k miles, I think that doesn't apply as much to Honda or Toyota or Nissan. I'm a lube tech at a Honda dealer now, and hell, there was one 98 civic with 350k miles on it that came in for an oil change, the oil pressure light was on, and it tried to stall on me on the way into the shop. When I drained the oil, NOTHING came out. The filter had oil in it, but not even a drop came out of the pan. Honda durability for you.
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

Just a thought: why is it that the same engine in Europe is calling for 5-30 and in the USA 5-20?????? Same engine so what goes?????
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottotheclown View Post
Just a thought: why is it that the same engine in Europe is calling for 5-30 and in the USA 5-20?????? Same engine so what goes?????
weather. humidity. climate. elevation....and most of all, 5w30 will protect your engine a tad better than 5w20.....5w20 will giv you slightly better gas milages...

...and that's a key selling point in the consumer's eye [in America]
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Old 11-01-2010   #29
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaRk_MauL View Post
so i read some more about the oil that 5w20 should be used unless start conditions are under -20F.so what about hot weather temp nurmer 20.30.40...?these numbers are the thickness @ 50C or F?but our engines get like 90C so what hot temp nr will
have his best effect on the engine?
I'm using 5W20 for Canadian harsh conditions, I just have changed it with Castrol GTX that I use on my car since the date that I bought it.. Always changed it in time, never had a problem... I was thinking before to change and try something new.. then why change when the one I use is doing the job...




I also have tried the Lucas additive one time.. Never again... My fuel gauge "went down" faster than before without it...

Last edited by nuxil; 11-01-2010 at 08:16 AM.
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Re: FAQ about oil, fuel addatives, filters, and more

Quote:
Just a thought: why is it that the same engine in Europe is calling for 5-30 and in the USA 5-20?????? Same engine so what goes?????
Can someone verify if this statement is true? If it is, the debate about Honda's recommendation for 5w-20 vs 5w-30 oil is relatively meaningless.

When it comes to fuel mileage, I would assume the difference between the cheap dino oils and the best full synthetic oils will be more than changing viscosity of the same type of oil.
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