10,000 miles W\O oil change - Page 3 - 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 07-12-2005   #61
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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Motor Oil

Read this article and tell me to do my research. But here's the important parts.......

What Does Motor Oil Do?

The type of driving you do, the climate in which you live, and the age of the vehicle, the manufacturer's recommendations all have a bearing on the type of oil you should be using. An added factor in your car/truck's life and performance is related to how you handle the most routine aspect of any vehicle's maintenance - the frequency of oil changes or, more importantly, THE TYPE OF OIL YOU USE! Yes, it DOES make a difference!

What Is An Oil's Job?

The biggest responsibility of any oil is to form a layer between metal surfaces of various engine parts, in a transmission or in the differentials. This layer is what provides the lubrication characteristics of any oil.

Oil serves as a sealant, filling the microscopic ridges and valleys found in any metal surface, increasing the engine's efficiency.

Oil must serve as a cleaning function, carrying away dirt or other debris which damages bearings or other parts which operate in tight tolerances. Debris is removed through the engine oil filter or the transmission filter. Oil uses detergent additives to combat combustion by-products. Burning gasoline (or diesel fuel) produces acids, moisture, soda, ash and other contaminants. The detergent fights these by-products, inhibiting their buildup as sludge, varnishes, etc.

Oil is a tremendous coolant. In the engine, the oil cools the underside of the pistons, valve springs, camshaft, rods, crankshaft and bearings. The oil picks up the heat from the combustion of fuel, as well as friction, and takes it away (no matter how good the oil may be, there is always friction). The volume of the oil in the crankcase helps transfer the heat, but where a car/truck is used in high temperature climates, for hauling trailers or heavy loads, an engine oil cooler is sometimes recommended.

By using 100% Synthetic Oil the engine will remain COOL even in the harshest conditions. It will cause the average engine to operate 30 degrees to 50 degrees cooler than normal! That could very likely eliminate the need for an oil cooler altogether.

Oil is the only coolant in your automatic transmission. There's a small radiator within the engine's radiator to take the heat away. When your vehicle is used in high temperature climates, hauling trailers or heavy loads, synthetic ATF is highly recommended.

The type and condition of the oil chosen is important. Oil comes in a wide variety of ratings and viscosities, designed for particular applications or vehicle age. With so many choices, a car/truck owner has to know the proper viscosity and API rating recommended for his particular vehicle.

Matching Oil to the Way You Drive:
While you drive, you subject your engine to varying conditions, including:

Stop and go driving in town at low speeds
Constant high speed freeway driving
Very High temperatures
Very low temperatures
Varying loads
Each puts stress on your car/truck's engine oil. In fact, just starting the engine places extreme stress on the engine's oil, especially in winter weather.

The next time you change your oil, take a minute and think about the following: how you drive, the conditions you encounter - on the street or highway - and the environments your car or truck operates in. Do you do mostly stop and go driving, or is it mostly open freeway driving? Is the outside temperature very hot, or very cold? Do you frequently tow trailers or haul heavy loads? Is your vehicle an older model, with lots of miles, or a newer model?

The way you define your driving habits, environment and the loads you haul or tow, plus the age of your car or truck, will help determine which type and grade of oil you select. No matter what conditions you encounter, 100% Synthetic Oil offers you the right combination of premium engine oils to give your car/truck's engine the proper protection it needs. It can protect you from what is called: "Dry Engine Start-Up"! It always leaves a film of oil on surfaces preventing "metal to metal wear" during cold starts!

Viscosity:
One of the main areas of concern of any car/truck owner is the viscosity of the oil. The term "weight" has been applied to viscosity for a number of years, but it has nothing to do with how much the oil weighs. On any oil container, the viscosity is clearly marked, with numbers like SAE 0W-30 5W-30, 10W-40, 20W-50, etc.

What do the numbers mean?

Viscosity is defined as the physical property of any fluid to resist flow when pressure is applied. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) uses a numbering system to represent an oil's viscosity at a specific temperature. The higher the number, the more resistant it is to flow. The lower the number, the easier it flows. This allows you to make an "apples to apples" comparison of various oils.

Engine oils must operate in very difficult environments, plus perform a number of important tasks:

It must flow easily at temperature well below zero.
It must supply lubrication at very high temperatures (in excess of 250°F).
Lower viscosity oils flow well at very low temperatures, they are the choice for severe winter operation. Obviously, the ability to flow readily is critical to start your vehicle's engine in brutal cold, and calls for a lower viscosity, such as 0W or 5W viscosity grade.

For protection against high engine operating temperatures, oil must be able to function and provide the needed lubrication. When the vehicle is operating in summer heat, with temperatures above 80 to 90 degrees day after day, the need is for a high viscosity oil.

But do you want to change grades of oil every time the weather gets warmer or colder? Probably not. This is why there are engine oils with two viscosities on the market, known as "multi-viscosity" oils. These oils carry the low temperature flow, and high temperature lubrication properties of the two oils, such as a 0W-30. The "W" refers to winter, with a special additive package to give better cold weather starting performance. As an example, under high heat, OW-30 will have the same flow characteristics as a 10W-30 because their "high numbers" are the same.

Synthetic Oils will handle both the high heat of the Desert Southwest or the cold cranking demanded in Alaska! Many of them have pour points are as low as 76 degrees BELOW Zero!

The issue of engine oil volatility is an important one to every car or truck owner, yet few know about it. Volatility is related to viscosity. Volatility is defined as the characteristic of liquids to become a vapor when heat is applied. A liquid is said to have "high" volatility if it tends to evaporate when heat is applied, and "low" volatility if it tends to remain a liquid when the same amount of heat is applied.

To meet the federal government's fuel mileage standards, auto makers tell owners to use lower viscosity oils. Unfortunately, low viscosity oils tend to evaporate more easily than high viscosity oils. The problem: Using a low viscosity oil generally leads to what appears to be an oil consumption problem, when actually the problem is evaporation - the most fuel efficient oils evaporate most readily.

Potential Problem Areas
Oil Consumption: More volatile oils mean higher oil consumption; less volatile oils mean less oil consumption.

Starting Friction: If the lighter parts of the oil evaporate, the remaining oil will not provide the proper low temperature starting characteristics.

Engine Deposits: An oil in a vapor state is more likely to decompose, forming harmful deposits (varnish, sludge), than oil in a liquid state.

Heat Stress: Less oil in the pan results in higher engine temperatures. Higher oil temperatures lead to greater evaporation, more oxidation, more deposits and shorter engine life.

Engine Wear: If the oil thickens, greater wear will occur on starting. The oil's anti-wear additives will be used to fight oxidation, rather than prevent wear.

Additives:
An additive package aids in improving the oil's life. Remember, nothing lasts forever. Additives are like the oil they help - they have a limited life. Because of the quality of additives, Lubricants can far exceed the extended drain intervals!

Some of the additives are:

Detergents: Keep high temperature engine parts, such as pistons and rings, clean and free from deposits.

Dispersants: Suspend and disperse materials that could form varnishes, sludge, etc., clogging the engine.

Anti-wear: Gives added film strength to prevent wear of heavily loaded surfaces (like the crankshaft's rod and main bearings).

Friction Modifiers: Reduce friction losses throughout the engine for more power and better fuel mileage.

Corrosion Inhibitors: Fight the rust and wear caused by acids and moisture. They protect vital steel or iron parts from rust, and corrosion of other metals.

Oxidation Inhibitors: Oxygen can combine with oil (even the best ones) at high engine temperatures to form damaging materials. These additives reduce thickening of the oil, and sludge formation.

Foam Inhibitors: The spinning of the crankshaft and the rods introduces great air turbulence in the crankcase, causing oil to form bubbles (foam). These additives limit bubble growth and break them up quickly. This keeps foam levels low, allowing the oil pump to circulate oil, not oil and air, through the engine.

Viscosity Index (VI) Improver: A VI Improver adds to oil's natural tendency to fight viscosity change with temperature variations. Because of the way synthetics are constructed (that's right, CONSTRUCTED) many of oils DO NOT NEED VI IMPROVERS! It is already built into the Synthetic Base Stock!

Pour Point Depressant: This additive improves a winter oil's ability to flow at very low temperatures. This is not really needed in true synthetic oil because the inherent ability of synthetic base stocks to flow in cold conditions (remember, in many instances as low as 76 degrees below zero!).

Service Class:
The Owner's Manual for your car/truck will specify which API Service rating you must use to meet the warranty requirements, depending on whether your engine is a gasoline engine or a diesel. Gasoline engine oils are designated with SG or SH (and now, SJ). Diesel engine oil is designated with CD, CD-II, CE, CF, CF-2, CF-4, or CG-4. Some oils are rated for both gasoline and diesel applications, others are not. For example, an oil with a designation of SJ/CG-4 may be used in both gasoline and diesel engines in light trucks.

The SJ rating is the most current, with the most sophisticated additive packages to combat the effects discussed above. This service designation can replace all oils designated SC to SH. For diesels, ratings are based upon service applications. The latest is CG-4, which can be used to replace all other (except CF-2 and CD-II, a two-cycle diesel engine oil). If you have a question, I can assist you with getting the right service and viscosity ratings. When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is: Go with the best-the SJ rating (gasoline engines).

When to Change Oil:
When using a petroleum oil, generally oil change intervals should not be extended beyond 5,000 miles. With the high stress applied to the lubricants in today's high temperature, high performance engines, petroleum oils begin to break down almost immediately. If I was using a conventional petroleum oil in my vehicle, I would probably change it every 3,000 miles.

Synthetic Oils Beat Petroleum Oils On All Counts!

Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle's engine. Without it, there is little likelihood that any of your vehicles would make it past the end of our street each morning. For decades conventional petroleum oils have been providing adequate protection for all of our vehicles. Notice the key word here: adequate. Petroleum oils, for the most part, have done an adequate job of protecting our engines from break down. If you change it often enough, you can be relatively sure that your car will last 100,000 to 150,000 miles without a serious engine problem.

My question is this: Why are you settling for adequate when something better has been available for the past 25 years? Do you ask your mechanic to simply keep your vehicle from breaking down, or do you want him/her to keep it running in tip-top shape? The fact that you are reading this article suggests the latter. It is perfectly reasonable to expect top performance from your vehicles. You are certainly paying for it. It's tough to buy a vehicle for less than $15,000 to $20,000 anymore. That's a great deal of money to shell out for adequate performance.

Today's engines are built for better performance, and, although petroleum oils are designed for better performance today than they were 10 or 20 years ago, there is only so much that can be done. Today's engines need high performance lubricants, and synthetics are the only ones that fit the bill.

Why Petroleum Oils are Insufficient
Conventional petroleum oils are insufficient for use in today's vehicles primarily because they are a refined substance. Unfortunately, no refining process is perfect. Impurities will always remain when any refining process is done. Thus, there are many components of petroleum oils which are completely unnecessary for protecting your engine. They do absolutely nothing to lubricate your engine. In fact, there are even some components of petroleum oils which are actually harmful to your engine.

Prone to Break Down
Some of the chemicals in conventional lubricants break down at temperatures within the normal operating range of many vehicle and equipment components. Others are prone to break down in these relatively mild temperatures only if oxygen is present. But, this is invariably the case anyway. These thermally and oxidatively unstable contaminants do absolutely nothing to aid in the lubrication process. They are only present in conventional petroleum oils because removing them would be impossible or excessively expensive.

When thermal or oxidative break down of petroleum oil occurs, it leaves engine components coated with varnish, deposits and sludge. In addition, the lubricant which is left is thick, hard to pump and maintains little heat transfer ability.

Poor Cold Temperature Start-ups
Petroleum lubricants are also likely to contain paraffins which thicken dramatically in cold temperatures. As a result, petroleum lubricants will not readily circulate through your engine's oil system during cold weather. This may leave engine parts unprotected for as long as five minutes after startup! Obviously, significant wear can occur during this time frame.

Marginal Heat Control
Even when all conditions are perfect for conventional oils to do their job, they still don't do it all that well. Part of the problem is that (because of their refined nature) petroleum oils are composed of molecules which vary greatly in size. As the oil flows through your vehicle's lubrication system, the small, light molecules tend to flow in the center of the oil stream while the large, heavy ones adhere to metal surfaces where they create a barrier against heat movement from the component to the oil stream. In effect, the large, heavy molecules work like a blanket around hot components.

There is another effect of the non-uniformity of petroleum oil molecules which reduces their effectiveness as well. Uniformly smooth molecules slip over one another with relative ease. This is not the case with molecules of differing size. It would be much like putting one layer of marbles on top of another. If the marbles were all of the same size, they would move over one another fairly easily. However, if they were all of differing sizes, the result would be much less efficient. In the case of petroleum oils this inefficiency leads, ironically, to added friction in the system (the very thing that lubricants are supposed to reduce). Hence, petroleum oils are only marginally capable of controlling heat in your engine.

Maybe Adequate is OK for You
Once again, I would like to state that petroleum oils ARE adequate for the purpose of protecting your engine. Under normal circumstances, most vehicles lubricated with petroleum oil should run satisfactorily for 100,000 to 150,000 miles without serious incidence. However, in order to achieve this life expectancy it will be imperative that you change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles religiously.

So, if you like the hassle of changing your oil regularly and you are only looking for marginal performance for the next 100,000 miles, feel free to use petroleum oils. By the way, if you're interested, I've got an old dishwasher for sale too. You have to rinse your dishes first, it's really loud and runs for about 3 hours, but it gets most of the food off of our plates. It's a steal at only $50. Let me know if you're interested.

However, if you aren't all that fond of pulling dirty dishes out of your dishwasher, I'm going to assume that you don't relish the idea of changing your oil every 3,000 miles or dealing with another pushy car salesman every 3 to 5 years either. If that's true, keep reading. I think you're going to like this.

Synthetic Oils Simply Perform Better
There are five main areas where synthetic oils surpass their petroleum counterparts:

Oil drains can be extended
Vehicle life can be extended
Costly repairs can be reduced
Fuel mileage can be improved
Performance can be improved
Synthetic lubricant molecules are pure and of uniform size. This is because synthetic oils are designed from the ground up with the sole purpose of protecting your engine. Nothing is added if it does not significantly contribute to the lubricating ability of the oil. In addition, in top-quality synthetics, no component is added which is contaminated with any substance that might lessen the lubricating qualities of the oil. Not only that, synthetic oils are designed so that the molecules are of uniform size and weight. This significantly adds to the lubricating qualities of the oil.

Extended Oil Drains
Heat and oxidation are the main enemies of lubricant basestocks - especially of the contaminants in conventional basestocks. Once a lubricant has begun to break down, it must be replaced so that the vehicle is not damaged by lack of lubrication or chemical attack. However, since synthetic oils are designed from pure, uniform synthetic basestocks, they contain no contaminants or unstable molecules which are prone to thermal and oxidative break down.

Moreover, because of their uniform molecular structure, synthetic lubricants operate with less friction than petroleum oils which have the non-uniform molecular structure discussed earlier. The result is better heat control, and less heat means less stress to the lubricant. Thus, synthetic oils can be used safely for much longer drain intervals than conventional lubricants. In fact, synthetic oils have been guaranteed for 25,000 miles or one year since 1972 for AMSOIL. Red Line Oil recommends long drain intervals of 10,000 to 18,000 miles.

You might ask why other synthetic oil manufacturers are not recommending extended oil drains for their synthetics. The answer is really very simple: money. They are afraid that if they recommend longer drain intervals, they won't sell enough oil - petroleum oil, that is.

You see, petroleum oil is their golden goose, and has been for years. The only reason large oil companies produce a synthetic oil is because somebody else did it first (AMSOIL), and they must please the small (but growing) percentage of the population which has already decided that synthetics are better and won't purchase anything else.

Petroleum oil is where the money is. With recommended oil drains of only 3,000 miles, many people are changing their oil 5 to 8 times per year. If everyone suddenly switched over to synthetics, they would begin to realize that it is possible to go 10,000 to 25,000 miles or more without an oil change (depending upon the oil). This is a scary thought for large oil companies who depend upon regular oil changes for their business.

Extended Vehicle Life With Fewer Repairs
HEAT REDUCTION

More often than not, vehicle life is determined by engine life. One of the major factors affecting engine life is component wear and/or failure, which is often the result of high temperature operation. The uniformly smooth molecular structure of synthetic oils gives them a much lower coefficient of friction (they slip more easily over one another causing less friction) than petroleum oils. Less friction, of course, means less heat in the system. And, since heat is a major contributor to engine component wear and failure, synthetic oils significantly reduce these two detrimental effects.

In addition, because of their uniform molecular structure, synthetic oils do not cause the "blanket effect" which was mentioned earlier. Since each molecule in a synthetic oil is of uniform size, each is equally likely to touch a component surface at any given time, thus moving a certain amount of heat into the oil stream and away from the component. This makes synthetic oils far superior heat transfer agents than conventional petroleum oils.

ENGINE DEPOSIT REDUCTION

In discussing some of the pitfalls of petroleum oil use, engine cleanliness was an issue. Petroleum oils tend to leave sludge, varnish and deposits behind after thermal and oxidative break down. This leads to a significant reduction in engine performance and engine life as well as increasing the number of costly repairs that are necessary. Since synthetic oils have far superior thermal and oxidative stability than petroleum oils, they leave engines varnish, deposit and sludge-free.

COLD TEMPERATURE FLUIDITY

Synthetic oils and other lubricants do not contain paraffins or other waxes which dramatically thicken petroleum oils during cold weather. As a result, they tend to flow much better during cold temperature starts and begin lubricating an engine almost immediately. This leads to significant engine wear reduction, and, therefore, longer engine life and fewer costly repairs.

Improved Fuel Mileage and Performance
As indicated earlier, synthetic oils, because of their uniform molecular structure, are tremendous friction reducers. It has already been stated that this is crucial to extending engine life, but it must also be mentioned that less friction leads to increased fuel economy and improved engine performance. Of course, logic points in that direction anyway. Any energy released from the combustion process that would normally be lost to friction can now be transferred directly to the wheels, providing movement. Vehicle acceleration becomes swifter and more powerful while using less fuel in the process.

The uniform molecular structure of synthetic oils has another performance enhancing benefit as well. In a petroleum oil, lighter molecules tend to boil off easily, leaving behind much heavier molecules which are difficult to pump. Certainly, the engine looses more energy pumping these heavy molecules than if it were pumping lighter ones. Since synthetic oils have more uniform molecules, fewer of these molecules tend to boil off. Moreover, when they do, the molecules which are left are of the same size and pumpability is not affected. Obviously, the end result is little loss of fuel economy or performance.

Those Who Know, Agree
According to a technical paper (850564.1985) by the Society of Automotive Engineers, "Laboratory engine dynamometer, vehicle chassis rolls and over-the-road field tests confirm the outstanding performance capabilities for optimized synthetic engine oils in passenger car diesel as well as gasoline engines, including severe turbocharged models...Vehicle testing under severe and extended drain conditions demonstrates the performance reserve available with these synthetic engine oils. In addition to excellent protection against critical high-temperature piston deposits, ring sticking, overall engine cleanliness and wear, these synthetic oils offer fuel savings and superior low temperature fluidity."

In 1989, Mechanical Engineering Transactions had this to say in its 1989 Synthetic versus Mineral Fluids in Lubrication article: "Oil drain intervals in both industrial and automotive applications can be extended typically by a factor of four due to the improved oxidative stability of appropriately additized synthetics."

It's Your Choice
Ultimately, it does not matter what we say. You have to decide how important these factors are to you. If you don't mind changing your oil every 3,000 miles and you'd purchase a new vehicle every 2 or 3 years regardless of its condition, maybe you don't need synthetics. Of course, the fuel savings and performance may still make the switch worth it. However, once again, the determination of whether to convert your vehicle over to synthetics can only be based on the relative importance that you place on any of these benefits.

If these benefits are of importance to you, don't settle for adequate anymore. Step up to the ultimate in protection, synthetics. Better yet, don't just use a synthetic, use the synthetic manufactured by the largest, most experienced synthetic lubrication company in the world.

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Motor Oil
Choosing the best motor oil is a topic that comes up frequently in discussions between motoheads, whether they are talking about motorcycles or cars. The following article is intended to help you make a choice based on more than the advertising hype.

Oil companies provide data on their oils most often referred to as "typical inspection data". This is an average of the actual physical and a few common chemical properties of their oils. This information is available to the public through their distributors or by writing or calling the company directly. I have compiled a list of the most popular, premium oils so that a ready comparison can be made. If your favorite oil is not on the list get the data from the distributor and use what I have as a data base.

This article is going to look at six of the most important properties of a motor oil readily available to the public: viscosity, viscosity index (VI), flash point, pour point, % sulfated ash, and % zinc.


Viscosity is a measure of the "flowability" of an oil. More specifically, it is the property of an oil to develop and maintain a certain amount of shearing stress dependent on flow, and then to offer continued resistance to flow. Thicker oils generally have a higher viscosity, and thinner oils a lower viscosity. This is the most important property for an engine. An oil with too low a viscosity can shear and loose film strength at high temperatures. An oil with too high a viscosity may not pump to the proper parts at low temperatures and the film may tear at high rpm.



What many inexperienced people tend to forget is that along with anticipated temperature viscosity selection should also be based on engine specific technical specs. It must includes clearances in cold and hot condition (relative extension of valves is one of the major considerations), time it takes to warm up, RPM, max and min, diameter of oil passages, type and diameter and productivity of the filter and many other parameters. There is always trade off involved here. As an example of what designer faces consider that engine includes many mechanisms and operates in very wide range of temperatures. General rule all mechanical engineers follow is the faster mechanism works the more liquid lubricant is used to keep up with surfaces to fill gaps. On the other hand, the more load is present, the more viscose oil should be. On the other hand what is the point to have heavy weight oil if it cannot keep up leading to break in oil film, which will result in metal-to-metal contact? Just imagine how would behave heavy grease in fast turning turbine. Obviously it won’t work at all and that’s why turbine oil is very light. Low speed heavy load trucks tend to have heavy weight oil in them and small high rpm light duty engines will best work on light oils providing long engine life. Just put 5W__ engine oil in the car that recommends 10W as preferred and you will hear valve noise during warm up period. That’s because valves are cold and much shorter than hot valves. We have extra clearances between valves and cams that result in extra noise when oil film is thin and does not provide enough dumping and protection. You are experiencing extra wear here, but if temperature really drops below certain point, you do not have much choice. We have to sacrifice and at least to deliver oil to moving parts… Do you get the idea yet? Even designer of the engine now rely on the computer to optimize oil for the engine giving various weights to different criteria. It is just too many parameters to take in to account all of them and not to forget single one of them. That’s why it is important follow manufacturer specification for preferable oil for particular temperature.

The weights given on oils are arbitrary numbers assigned by the S.A.E. (Society of Automotive Engineers). These numbers correspond to "real" viscosity, as measured by several accepted techniques. These measurements are taken at specific temperatures. Oils that fall into a certain range are designated 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 by the S.A.E. The W means the oil meets specifications for viscosity at 0 F and is therefore suitable for Winter use.

The following chart shows the relationship of "real" viscosity to their S.A.E. assigned numbers. The relationship of gear oils to engine oils is also shown.

__________________________________________________ _____________
| |
| SAE Gear Viscosity Number |
| __________________________________________________ ______ |
| |75W |80W |85W| 90 | 140 | |
| |____|_____|___|______________|___________________ _____| |
| |
| SAE Crank Case Viscosity Number |
| ____________________________ |
| |10| 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | |
| |__|_____|____|_____|______| |
__________________________________________________ ____________
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42
viscosity cSt @ 100 degrees C
Multi viscosity oils work like this: Polymers are added to a light base (5W, 10W, 20W), which prevent the oil from thinning as much as it warms up. At cold temperatures the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as it normally would. The result is that at 100 degrees C the oil has thinned only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-vis oils is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more than a 50 weight would when hot.

Multi viscosity oils are one of the great improvements in oils, but they should be chosen wisely. Always use a multi grade with the narrowest span of viscosity that is appropriate for the temperatures you are going to encounter. In the winter base your decision on the lowest temperature you will encounter, in the summer, the highest temperature you expect. The polymers can shear and burn forming deposits that can cause ring sticking and other problems. 10W-40, and 5W-30 require a lot of polymers (real synthetics excluded) to achieve that range. Some synthetics (not really synthetics based, but rather hydro processed oils) use a lot of polymers. Look carefully on 5W-50, 5W-40 by Castrol and Shell "Synthetics” which are actually hydro processed oils and both are use mineral oil based stock from Shell. In most cases high polymer content you can see right away in %ash column. That's what will be left in you engine (cylinders, valves oil channels) after oil circulate there and some burn in combustion chamber. It sure forms more sludge and deposits in the engine. This has caused problems in diesel engines, but fewer polymers are better for all engines. The wide viscosity range oils, in general, are more prone to viscosity and thermal breakdown due to the high polymer content. It is the oil that lubricates, not the additives. Oils that can do their job with the fewest additives are the best.


Very few manufactures recommend 10W-40 any more, and some threaten to void warranties if it is used. It was not included in this article for that reason. 20W-50 is the same 30 point spread, but because it starts with a heavier base it requires less viscosity index improvers (polymers) to do the job. AMSOIL can formulate their 10W-30 and 15W-40 with no viscosity index improvers but uses some in the 10W-40 and 5W-30. Mobil 1 uses no viscosity improvers in their 5W-30, and I assume the new 10W-30. Follow your manufacturer's recommendations as to which weights are appropriate for your vehicle.



Viscosity Index is an empirical number indicating the rate of change in viscosity of an oil within a given temperature range. Higher numbers indicate a low change, lower numbers indicate a relatively large change. The higher the number the better. This is one major property of an oil that keeps your bearings happy. These numbers can only be compared within a viscosity range. It is not an indication of how well the oil resists thermal breakdown.

Flash point is the temperature at which an oil gives off vapors that can be ignited with a flame held over the oil. The lower the flash point the greater tendency for the oil to suffer vaporization loss at high temperatures and to burn off on hot cylinder walls and pistons. The flash point can be an indicator of the quality of the base stock used. The higher the flash point the better. 400 F is the minimum to prevent possible high consumption. Flash point is in degrees F.

Pour point is 5 degrees F above the point at which a chilled oil shows no movement at the surface for 5 seconds when inclined. This measurement is especially important for oils used in the winter. A borderline pumping temperature is given by some manufacturers. This is the temperature at which the oil will pump and maintain adequate oil pressure. This was not given by a lot of the manufacturers, but seems to be about 20 degrees F above the pour point. The lower the pour point the better. Pour point is in degrees F.


% sulfated ash is how much solid material is left when the oil burns. A high ash content will tend to form more sludge and deposits in the engine. Low ash content also seems to promote long valve life. Look for oils with a low ash content.

% zinc is the amount of zinc used as an extreme pressure, anti- wear additive. The zinc is only used when there is actual metal to metal contact in the engine. Hopefully the oil will do its job and this will rarely occur, but if it does, the zinc compounds react with the metal to prevent scuffing and wear. A level of .11% is enough to protect an automobile engine for the extended oil drain interval, under normal use. Those of you with high revving, air cooled motorcycles or turbo charged cars or bikes might want to look at the oils with the higher zinc content. More doesn't give you better protection, it gives you longer protection if the rate of metal to metal contact is abnormally high. High zinc content can lead to deposit formation and plug fouling.

The Data:
Listed alphabetically ("---" indicates the data was not available)

Brand VI Flash Pour %ash %zinc

20W-50
AMSOIL (old) 136 482 -38 <.5 ---
AMSOIL (new) 157 507 -44 --- ---
Castrol GTX 122 440 -15 .85 .12
Exxon High Performance 119 419 -13 .70 .11
Havoline Formula 3 125 465 -30 1.0 ---
Kendall GT-1 129 390 -25 1.0 .16
Pennzoil GT Perf. 120 460 -10 .9 ---
Quaker State Dlx. 155 430 -25 .9 ---
Red Line 150 503 -49 --- ---
Shell Truck Guard 130 450 -15 1.0 .15
Spectro Golden 4 174 440 -35 --- .15
Spectro Golden M.G. 174 440 -35 --- .13
Unocal 121 432 -11 .74 .12
Valvoline All Climate 125 430 -10 1.0 .11
Valvoline Turbo 140 440 -10 .99 .13
Valvoline Race 140 425 -10 1.2 .20
Valvoline Synthetic 146 465 -40 <1.5 .12

20W-40
AMSOIL 124 50 -49 --- ---
Castrol Multi-Grade 110 440 -15 .85 .12
Quaker State 121 415 -15 .9 ---

15W-50
Chevron 204 415 -18 .96 .11
Mobil 1 170 470 -55 --- ---
Mystic JT8 144 420 -20 1.7 .15
Red Line 152 503 -49 --- ---

5W-50
Castrol Syntec 180 437 -45 1.2 .10
Quaker State Synquest 173 457 -76 --- ---
Pennzoil Performax 176 --- -69 --- ---

5W-40
Havoline 170 450 -40 1.4 ---

15W-40
AMSOIL (old) 135 460 -38 <.5 ---
AMSOIL (new) 164 462 -49 --- ---
Castrol 134 415 -15 1.3 .14
Chevron Delo 400 136 421 -27 1.0 ---
Exxon XD3 --- 417 -11 .9 .14
Exxon XD3 Extra 135 399 -11 .95 .13
Kendall GT-1 135 410 -25 1.0 .16
Mystic JT8 142 440 -20 1.7 .15
Red Line 149 495 -40 --- ---
Shell Rotella w/XLA 146 410 -25 1.0 .13
Valvoline All Fleet 140 --- -10 1.0 .15
Valvoline Turbo 140 420 -10 .99 .13

10W-30
AMSOIL (old) 142 480 -70 <.5 ---
AMSOIL (new) 162 520 -76 --- ---
Castrol GTX 140 415 -33 .85 .12
Chevron Supreme 150 401 -26 .96 .11
Exxon Superflo Hi Perf 135 392 -22 .70 .11
Exxon Superflo Supreme 133 400 -31 .85 .13
Havoline Formula 3 139 430 -30 1.0 ---
Kendall GT-1 139 390 -25 1.0 .16
Mobil 1 160 450 -65 --- ---
Pennzoil PLZ Turbo 140 410 -27 1.0 ---
Quaker State 156 410 -30 .9 ---
Red Line 139 475 -40 --- ---
Shell Fire and Ice 155 410 -35 .9 .12
Shell Super 2000 155 410 -35 1.0 .13
Shell Truck Guard 155 405 -35 1.0 .15
Spectro Golden M.G. 175 405 -40 --- ---
Unocal Super 153 428 -33 .92 .12
Valvoline All Climate 130 410 -26 1.0 .11
Valvoline Turbo 135 410 -26 .99 .13
Valvoline Race 130 410 -26 1.2 .20
Valvoline Synthetic 140 450 -40 <1.5 .12

5W-30
AMSOIL (old) 168 480 -76 <.5 ---
AMSOIL (new) 186 464 -76 --- ---
Castrol GTX 156 400 -35 .80 .12
Chevron Supreme 202? 354 -46 .96 .11
Chevron Supreme Synt. 165 446 -72 1.1 .12
Exxon Superflow HP 148 392 -22 .70 .11
Havoline Formula 3 158 420 -40 1.0 ---
Mobil 1 165 445 -65 --- ---
Mystic JT8 161 390 -25 .95 .1
Quaker State 165 405 -35 .9 ---
Red Line 151 455 -49 --- ---
Shell Fire and Ice 167 405 -35 .9 .12
Unocal 151 414 -33 .81 .12
Valvoline All Climate 135 405 -40 1.0 .11
Valvoline Turbo 158 405 -40 .99 .13
Valvoline Synthetic 160 435 -40 <1.5 .12
All of the oils above meet current SG/CD ratings and all vehicle manufacture's warranty requirements in the proper viscosity. All are "good enough", but those with the better numbers are icing on the cake.



The synthetics offer the only truly significant differences, due to their superior high temperature oxidation resistance, high film strength, very low tendency to form deposits, stable viscosity base, and low temperature flow characteristics. Synthetics are superior lubricants compared to traditional petroleum oils. You will have to decide if their high cost is justified in your application.



The extended oil drain intervals given by the vehicle manufacturers (typically 7500 miles) and synthetic oil companies (up to 25,000 miles) are for what is called normal service. Normal service is defined as the engine at normal operating temperature, at highway speeds, and in a dust free environment. Stop and go, city driving, trips of less than 10 miles, or extreme heat or cold puts the oil change interval into the severe service category, which is 3000 miles for most vehicles. Synthetics can be run two to three times the mileage of petroleum oils with no problems. They do not react to combustion and combustion by-products to the extent that the dead dinosaur juice does. The longer drain intervals possible help take the bite out of the higher cost of the synthetics. If your car or bike is still under warranty you will have to stick to the recommended drain intervals. These are set for petroleum oils and the manufacturers make no official allowance for the use of synthetics.


The numbers above are not, by any means, all there is to determining what makes a top quality oil. The exact base stock used, the type, quality, and quantity of additives used are very important. The given data combined with the manufacturer's claims, your personal experience, and the reputation of the oil among others who use it should help you make an informed choice.

Last edited by TiM3; 07-12-2005 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 07-12-2005   #62
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Im convinced you guys are right. Still wont make me change intervals due to habbit/own experience that works.

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Old 07-12-2005   #63
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Nice cut and paste however the data is old.

For example, your document says the latest standard is SJ. No longer true and it hasn't been for years. The current one? SM. Your article didn't take into account the changes from J to K, K to L and L to M. Years have gone by...

The table listing oil properties doesn't list the oil SPECIFICALLY recommended by Honda: 5w-20. It would be important have this info since we're talking about it for our engines.

Your cited data doesn't list TBN numbers. It's very important to know this info because it gives us the acid neutralizing ability of oil. High TBN is good along with knowing the balance of the additive package.

100 C: Gives you a "thickness measurement", via an industry wide standard for how thick oil will be at a given temp. Very important to know and if your data truly wanted to be complete it would have this info. M1 5w-30 is nearly as thin, at temp, as their 5w-20 made for our cars. RL 5w-20 might even be thicker than M1 5w-30.

There are many other reasons why the data is incorrect and shouldn't considered as gospel. The true appreciation of what oil can do, and which one you should use, should come from current data and not something that is years old.

I'm afraid that we'll have to agree to disagree and leave it at that.
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The point is you were trying to compare high end cars using synthetic versus Hondas using conventional. Data maybe old but the principles still stands...

1. Climate
2. Driving Conditions i.e. Traffic, stop and go
3. Driving habits

all adversely effect your engine, things you said didn't matter since I drive a 127 hp Civic. If you go down to your local Autozone and pick up some conventional Quaker State or Pennzoil 5w-20 and put it in your engine, are you still going to wait 5k-7k miles before you change your oil? If you drive like a grandma, great. I don't, so I'm not willing to push it before changing my oil.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiM3
After I got it changed, I could definitely tell a difference in the way my car ran and how it sounded. I just can't believe that the oil in my car after maybe just 6000 miles would protect my car just as well as it did at the 3000 mile mark.
i'll copy and paste this from our local tribologist expert.

Quote:
1) Placebo effect - just as a clean car runs better, so does a car with fresh oil, esp if one's expectations are inclined to like it - you switched for a reason, and it is our natural psychological tendency to avoid conflict with ourselves (see "cognitive dissonace")

2) Lighter oil factions in fresh oil - it is a fact that the carrier oil which is used to transport the additive package is a light faction oil - this vaporizes pretty fast in the oil's service life. Some people may feel the slightly reduced parasitic drag, but based on the numbers, it is hard to imagine so.
in other words, your "perceived" improvement in the engine running quality or something to that effect is nothing more than your own cognitive dissonance.
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Old 07-12-2005   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiM3
Not like it was dramatic or anything [email protected]$$, but it is definitely noticable. Ever listen to a car that hasn't changed its oil in 7k miles and listen to the same car that just after it changed its oil????? I'm guessing you haven't.


If you can't tell the difference in the way it sounds and drives after you change your oil after 7k miles, I'm not the ignorant one.
right. read above.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiM3
The point is you were trying to compare high end cars using synthetic versus Hondas using conventional. Data maybe old but the principles still stands...

1. Climate
2. Driving Conditions i.e. Traffic, stop and go
3. Driving habits

all adversely effect your engine, things you said didn't matter since I drive a 127 hp Civic. If you go down to your local Autozone and pick up some conventional Quaker State or Pennzoil 5w-20 and put it in your engine, are you still going to wait 5k-7k miles before you change your oil? If you drive like a grandma, great. I don't, so I'm not willing to push it before changing my oil.
yeah this pretty much showed how outdated this article was

Quote:
When to Change Oil:
When using a petroleum oil, generally oil change intervals should not be extended beyond 5,000 miles. With the high stress applied to the lubricants in today's high temperature, high performance engines, petroleum oils begin to break down almost immediately. If I was using a conventional petroleum oil in my vehicle, I would probably change it every 3,000 miles.

Synthetic Oils Beat Petroleum Oils On All Counts!
lol havoline GF4 is equal to or better than many synthetic oils. the person who wrote this has no idea, or the information here is so old it's not even funny.

SJ the latest in oil standards? lol holy crap, we've moved through 2 other standards since that was the truth.
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Old 07-12-2005   #68
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by the way Tim, you still never answered my question. look at the pictures I posted of my dipstick. you can clearly see the color and opaqueness of the oil.

how many miles are on my oil? remember, you said you could tell when to change it just by looking at it.

other than that, you really need to open your eyes and listen to what the experts are saying. 3000 miles on any car is overkill. that's just plain fact. pretty much any UOA of 3000 mile oil will prove that.
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Old 07-12-2005   #69
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S2000,

U da man!

I'll distract TiM3 and then you hit him low. I'll quickly recover from my feigned move and hit him high. We'll repeat until he agrees to 5k changes.

Sound like a plan?
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Old 07-12-2005   #70
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Old 07-12-2005   #71
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sorry guys this is too redundant for me. why can't i just change my oil when i want, and you can change yours when you want and we can all just be happy. im done arguing about this. i really don't care. have fun.
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Old 07-12-2005   #72
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i just looked to see how bad this got. worse than i imagined. i mean, cutting and pasting a geocities webpage is infallible fact???

do what you want. but don't tell others to join the 3k cult or lose there car, we'll probably get oil monitors fairly soon anyways and end most of this arguing, esp. if all these companies keep having sludging issues. people have gone 12k miles on non synthetic or blended oil using one of these devices.
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Old 07-13-2005   #73
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That placebo effect part of the article was talking about oil additives and not simply just oil changes. You guys are trying to act as though I'm stupid, whereas I'm just trying to carry on a debate. So you're telling me S2000man, that you cannot tell any difference after you change your oil? How often do you change you oil anyways?

I simply posted the artcle not as gospel, but just as a reference to show I'm not the only one. I didn't post it as the bible. Truthfully, I don't even change my oil every 3k, mostly because I forget, am busy, or just plain lazy. But that doesn't detract from my point that I would if I could. Last month I switched to Mobil 1 5w20 Full Synthetic, so I actually won't be changing my oil for a while.

As for your question S2000man, excuse me if I have trouble believing your pics and what you say about them. I could go outside too and check my oil and take pics and show you as well but that wouldn't be really fair would it? I believe there's a big difference b/t the way oil looks after 10k/7k miles then it does after 200 or even 1000. Let's just leave it at that. Thanks for taking the time to take the pics anyways.

As for FLASHLIGHT, why don't you get your own mind and get off S2000man's d*ck. Grow up, instead of "yeah s2000man, lets get him!" Your points don't even make sense. You use Viper's, Porshe's, and MB as examples of why you don't need to change your oil every 3k miles when I'm sure they don't use bulk conventional oil. You also claim that climate, driving conditions, and driving habits don't really have any effect on the oil simply because I have a 127 hp (actually I only have a DX) Civic. So I guess if I drive in 90-100 degree weather, stop and go traffic, and accelerate fast a lot, all of that doesn't do a number on my oil?!?

I'm not just saying that either, I do all of that which is why I switched to synthetic to get better protection.

As for the rest of you, I know people have done it before and never said it can't be done. I know you "can" wait almost 10k or over, but at 9k miles is that oil protecting your car just as well as it did at 3k?????? Keep in mind we're still talking about conventional and not synthetic or synblend.

Doubledeuce, as I stated earlier. I didn't post the article as the bible of oil changes, granted I know its geocities but I agree with it which is why I posted it. Number's like that I have to believe are largely under favorable conditions and not the "norm."

If you never push your car and always drive the speed limit, I will agree with you, you don't need to change your oil every 3k miles. But few of us (meaning the general public, but especially us Civic's here who like to mod our cars and push it) drive that way and under favorable driving conditions all the time. The 3k mile is more of a rule of thumb rather then the rule.

Last edited by TiM3; 07-13-2005 at 10:46 AM.
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Why not get an oil analysis done on your oil say at about 3k miles? It's pretty cheap, and will give you exact, scientific results about your situation.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiM3
That placebo effect part of the article was talking about oil additives and not simply just oil changes. You guys are trying to act as though I'm stupid, whereas I'm just trying to carry on a debate. So you're telling me S2000man, that you cannot tell any difference after you change your oil? How often do you change you oil anyways?
the placebo effect I posted was in regards to just changing the oil. while there may be a SLIGHT change in the way the engine behaves, it would be impossible for the human body to notice such a change. tests HAVE been done to see how much, if any, difference change in the engine was made. the results showed that the difference was so small and insignificant, that you'd pretty much have to have the most keen senses of any human being on the planet to notice.

in other words, it's your own cognitive dissonance that makes you think you see a difference.

Quote:
I simply posted the artcle not as gospel, but just as a reference to show I'm not the only one.
no one ever said you are the only one on the planet who still believes these fallacies. but we're trying to help show you why most of what you're saying is no longer true in regards to today's technologies.

Quote:
As for your question S2000man, excuse me if I have trouble believing your pics and what you say about them. I could go outside too and check my oil and take pics and show you as well but that wouldn't be really fair would it? I believe there's a big difference b/t the way oil looks after 10k/7k miles then it does after 200 or even 1000. Let's just leave it at that. Thanks for taking the time to take the pics anyways.
i'm disappointed. if you believe there's a big difference in how the oil looks after 500 miles vs over 7000 miles, then you should have been able to tell. but sorry to say dude, you can't tell the difference between oil after 200 miles vs oil after 7000 miles. no one can. not without some form of testing.

FYI my oil has about 9000 miles on it. shocking isn't it.

Quote:
As for FLASHLIGHT, why don't you get your own mind and get off S2000man's d*ck. Grow up, instead of "yeah s2000man, lets get him!" Your points don't even make sense. You use Viper's, Porshe's, and MB as examples of why you don't need to change your oil every 3k miles when I'm sure they don't use bulk conventional oil. You also claim that climate, driving conditions, and driving habits don't really have any effect on the oil simply because I have a 127 hp (actually I only have a DX) Civic. So I guess if I drive in 90-100 degree weather, stop and go traffic, and accelerate fast a lot, all of that doesn't do a number on my oil?!?
I think his point was that even on conventional oil, the type of driving you are talking about isn't really considered "hard driving". if you ever talk to a tribologist, they'll tell you that unless you're doing hard road racing at the track every week, or you live in the yukon or death valley, there is no need to follow the "severe conditions" oil change intervals. regardless of what car you drive.

Quote:
I'm not just saying that either, I do all of that which is why I switched to synthetic to get better protection.
another misconception. while synthetics do offer better protection in regards to extreme hot or cold, it's unecessary unless you live in extreme temps (yukon/death valley). today's decent conventional oils protect just as well as synthetic oils (some even better). the only reason the average consumer should buy synthetic now adays is for longer drain intervals. which you don't even do anyways, because you believe the 3000 mile change mantra.

Quote:
As for the rest of you, I know people have done it before and never said it can't be done. I know you "can" wait almost 10k or over, but at 9k miles is that oil protecting your car just as well as it did at 3k?????? Keep in mind we're still talking about conventional and not synthetic or synblend.
at 9000 miles, no, conventional oil is probably not protecting just as good as at 3000 miles. however, that doesn't mean it's not protecting effectively. in other words, it's not going to hurt anything as long as your oil level is full. honestly, there is no reason you can't go 7500 miles on conventional oil on the civic.

Quote:
If you never push your car and always drive the speed limit, I will agree with you, you don't need to change your oil every 3k miles. But few of us (meaning the general public, but especially us Civic's here who like to mod our cars and push it) drive that way and under favorable driving conditions all the time. The 3k mile is more of a rule of thumb rather then the rule.
even the S2000 can go 5000 miles on conventional oil no problem. 3000 mile oil changes aren't even a rule of thumb anymore. they are obsolete.
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Old 07-13-2005   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpayne5
Why not get an oil analysis done on your oil say at about 3k miles? It's pretty cheap, and will give you exact, scientific results about your situation.
exactly. if he were to do that, i gaurantee the results would come back showing his oil could have gone much longer than 3000 miles. many people have already done this, as well as many experts. it's already been proven with VOA and UOA comparisons.
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Old 07-13-2005   #77
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Tim,

S2000's comment about my comment was exactly what I intended. I'm sorry if it didn't come across that way however the cars that I listed (Viper, MB, etc) are not recommending 3k changes and those are performance cars pushing the envelope much harder than your DX.

My point being that 5k for an everyday Civic driver who isn't autocrossing, rallying or track racing frequently is a reasonable change interval. The science says so.

For giggles go to BITOG and read the posts by the GM engineer about the testing they went through in determining that M1 5w-30 met their performance specs for the Corvette. It is good insight into what forces are at work in an engine and how oil works.

I'm done with the topic unless, of course, someone says something I feel like responding too.
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Old 07-13-2005   #78
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s2000man01,

I use 10w30 on my boosted civic. I have for many many miles now, the car drives awesome, better than stock it seems. I use mobil1 synthetic 7500. Is it ok to go to 5000, or would 3000 still be a good time to change it. I figure 3000 is good, cuz it probably gets dirty quiker?

Is there any need for changing it at 3000, or could I make it to 5000. I know 10w30 isnt what Honda recommends, but it works nicely for me.
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Old 07-13-2005   #79
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you're using synthetic so i think you'd be able to go at least 5000 miles on it, even with the turbo.
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Old 07-13-2005   #80
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Just like what was said, the 3k or 3 months is a marketing ploy by the big companies for you to get it done more often and make their pockets fatter. Even though my company would pay for it, I stick to the 7500 miles just because I'm comfortable with it. That's about every month and half for me though.
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http://www.blackstone-labs.com/index.html

Check them out. For $20, you get a detailed oil analysis, with recommendations. The kit is free, also.

Here is a sample analysis:
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Re: 10,000 miles W\O oil change

Anyone using 0w-20 and if so do you notice any improvement in mpg?
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Re: 10,000 miles W\O oil change

LEFTY, this is a 7yr old thread man... and you should know better than to ask a question thats been asked a million times with a million answers.
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Old 06-09-2012   #84
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Re: 10,000 miles W\O oil change

its good in the cold climates below freezing, otherwise no benefit. and it only helps before the engine warms up. after that youre back to a 20 weight. so it will only improve mileage a bit within the first 5-10 mins of driving.
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Old 06-09-2012   #85
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Re: 10,000 miles W\O oil change

Sometimes I like seeing old threads come back that are older than my membership...especially when it's such a heated debate, such as this.
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Old 06-10-2012   #86
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Re: 10,000 miles W\O oil change

Checked my Email and saw this thread

Well I still own this car and its running great with my 5000K -7 k oil changes . Gas mileage seems to be the same . only thing different is gas prices from 2005

Take Cares everyone
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