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Old 03-15-2015, 11:44 PM   #41
Chris Arnold
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Warm weather is here!!!

I'm taking the car to a mechanical car wash tomorrow, and I'm planning to get the underbody sprayed liberally to clean off any remaining salt from the winter.

I went back to Summer tires and aluminum wheels, today. Hoping to see a slight fuel economy improvement.

Also, I found what I hope was my 65mph vibration culprit:


That looks much bigger in the picture than it is in real life. I didn't notice it until last week. I think it probably came from the same curb that took out my front tire on the same side (passenger). Now that I've swapped to summers, I'm interested to see if I can still detect a vibration at 65. Tire rack's road hazard warranty should take care of the cost of replacement.

Coming up in the intermediate future (no hurry):
- Warmer weather is here, but I'm still 1,500 miles from an oil change. At that point, I'll switch back to 0w-40 for the summer.

- No rush, but I'd like to take the car to the guy who charged my A/C system to check it for leaks before the summer heat hits.

- After the switch to summer wheels and tires, I was thinking about getting another alignment, and maxing out the camber settings to see if it results in an improved alignment.
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Old 07-09-2015, 12:17 AM   #42
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93,500 miles.

I just can't get over how good this car is. I haven't had a single issue with the car since I got all of the new-used car issues sorted over 20k miles ago. It's been on 3 long car trips. Once from OH-NY-FL-OH. Once to NJ and back, and once OH-AR-NJ-OH. Runs like a champ, and I really enjoy all the little gadgets I have in the car. Plus, even though I've been pulled over a couple times, it's like the cops feel sorry for me or something, because I never got a ticket.

Tire Rack replaced the winter tire, and I actually got to keep the old one, so it can serve as a back up in I have any future mishaps. I bought a new set of All-Season Continental TrueContact Tires, but haven't rushed to put them on. They're in the garage waiting for when I finally tire of the junkyard tires, two of which are getting close to their mark. I just decided to get them while there was a $70 rebate, last month. I'm planning to put 'em on in another month or so. I'm waffling back and forth on whether to put two on or just go ahead and do all 4.

Also, I've been running 0W-40 all summer, and the fuel pressure has been great. I believe it does make a slight difference in the amount it burns. In the warm weather, I can't hear a tick from the valve train. I imagine that I'll be switching back to 30 weight with my next oil change since that oil change is likely to run me back into colder temps.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:34 PM   #43
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Just wanted to report that after nearly 1 year and 23k miles, knock on wood, there were no repair needs. The Saturn has lived up to the reputation.

Here was the cost of ownership for the year:

Depreciation costs For this I need to compare purchase price and estimated sale price. I bought the car for $3,608 including all fees and taxes. Additionally, I will add in the initial cost of repairs, additions, and modifications for everything that I will eventually sell with the car. The initial repairs and additions costs include:

A/C recharge = $90.08
Lifetime alignment = $184.16
4x Alloy Wheels = $120
1x Steel Wheel = $10
Stupid mechanic fee for horn diagnostic and incorrect tensioner replacement, whoops!= $330
Tensioner pulley = $18
Belt = $20
Misc other stuff (maybe) = $50
Total initial repairs = $822.24

I did buy a stereo head unit, a GPS, and a radar detector that will be transferred to the next car when I move on from this one. Also, there were a few things I was able to fix with supplied parts from the dealer through whom I purchased the car.

As a rough estimate, I looked on CL and it seems that a Saturn of up to 200k miles that doesn't *appear* to need repairs is going for north of $1,500. I also believe there is 0 age-related depreciation at this poing. So, I presumed a $1,500 sale price once my car is at 200k miles as a basis for estimation. I bought the car with ~72k, and am currently at 95k. So, (23k/128k)*(3608+822.24-1500)= $526.52

Fuel costs I've averaged anywhere from 28mpg to 42mpg and averaged around 35mpg overall. Gas prices have fluctuated from just over $3 to as low as 1.80 this year. So, I will estimate conservatively $2.75/gal. So, 23k/35*2.75=$1,807.14

Insurance I have liability on the car with a pretty healthy max coverage, and pay 371.36/yr

Financing-0

Repairs- Aside from the initial repairs that I rolled into the purchase price, above, Repairs this year are $0.

Fees and taxes= $64.50 (1 year registration)

Maintenance costs
Tires
Summers 90k mile tires @ $312.96 + $65 (balancing) = ~387.96*15/90= $64.66
Winters (hoping for 30k miles): $352.20 +$65 (balancing)= $111.25 * 8/30 = $29.67

Brakes approximating conservatively $150 for pads and rotors every 40k miles = 150*23/40 = $86.25

Oil changes = $25 (5Q oil from Walmart) + $5 (filter) + $3 (windshield washing fluid) every 4k miles = $33/4000 * 23k = $189.75

Opportunity costs = As this was the cheapest type of car in the category I was searching, and as I needed reliable transportation aside from my old mustang, I consider my opportunity costs to be $0.

Downtime costs = $0

Grand total for 1st year = ~3,139.86
Cost per mile = 3,127.28/23,000 = 13.652/mi


Fixed costs per mile (registration, insurance, etc) for this year = 1.896/mi
Operational costs per mile (fuel, oil, tires, depreciation due to mileage etc) = 11.756 /mi

That's pretty good in my opinion. For the record, I am perfectly comfortable in this car. I've taken it on several 10+ hour trips around the country. Although I do think of it as my beater, I'm perfectly proud to drive it around as it is a very clean well-maintained car with a nice paint job and no visual defects.

If you saw anything I didn't consider in my estimate, please let me know.
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Old 08-13-2015, 08:55 PM   #44
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Now 40-weight has a couple of benefits. 40-weight oil has higher viscosity and shear strength SAE minimums at operating and high pressure/temp extremes. Mobil 1 0W-40 oil also remains thicker than M1 5W-30 down to ~-31 F.
This last sentence perplexes me. If the 0W-40 oil has higher viscosity than 5W-30 down to -35 C, then SAE J300 suggests that the 5W-30 should in fact be marketed as an 0W-30 oil, on the basis that when an oil satisfies the requirements for multiple SAE winter viscosity grades, the lowest grade is used for labeling purposes.

It also surprises me that you are hearing more valve clatter (presumably on cold start?) with Mobil 1 0W-40 than with Mobil 1 5W-30.

My own reservations about using an 0W-40 oil (even one marketed as a full synthetic) have to do with the wide grade spread. The traditional rule of thumb is to aim for the narrowest spread that is compatible with good wear protection at normal operating temperature, as this minimizes the amount of viscosity improver that has to be added to petroleum basestocks to meet the SAE viscosity criteria for both the winter and summer grades. This is why many people use 10W-30 (grade spread of 20) in cars for which 10W-40 (grade spread of 30) is also identified as an acceptable alternative. The purpose of viscosity improver, which is relatively short-lived under typical engine operating conditions, is to convert a Newtonian oil into a non-Newtonian oil, and this is nearly always done by increasing the viscosity of thin oil rather than by decreasing the viscosity of thick oil. As a result, oil tends to thin out of the upper viscosity grade in service. High VI content also translates into high potential for sludging.

With synthetic oils this consideration is less important since the desired non-Newtonian viscosity performance can be obtained directly from the synthetic basestocks themselves. The problem is that in the US, API allows Group III (highly refined natural petroleum) basestocks to be used in synthetic oils. Therefore, I don't trust any synthetic oil aimed at the American mass market--and that includes Mobil 1--not to contain viscosity improvers or basestocks that have the same problems as viscosity improvers.

With these cars, I would stick year round with a low-NOACK, low-TEOST 5W-30 consumer synthetic oil at the usual 3,000-mile OCI (Mobil 1 actually has mediocre TEOST numbers; Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is better, though hard to find), or one of the Amsoil Signature Series 5W-30 oils (probably HDDO) when running an extended drain with lab support.
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:23 PM   #45
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There are easily obtainable 100% PAO base stock oils on the market. There is a slight performance difference between brands due to the minimal additive package construction. Using a true synthetic of 0w-40 or 5w-40 is not going to cause any problems with startup or normal operation lubrication. The elephant in the room is accurately identifying a 100% PAO base stock synthetic oil. Using a 40 weight oil in a well used Saturn may be a good move if it is not an oil burner as the normal bearing wear will easily accommodate the increased oil viscosity at operating temperature .

The problems come in when you are buying oil on special sale from no name refiners.

The majority of these 40 weight oils come in at the lower end of the 40 weight oil allowable viscosity spec for the grade at 100C. They are close to a heavy 30 weight.

The oil flow to the lifters is restricted by the increased cold viscosity with the 40 weight vs the 30 weight, look the 40C viscosities. The lifter filling is FLOW dependent and not pressure as pressure is max when flow is zero. Increasing viscosity reduces flow and raises pressure at any given RPM as it is a positive displacement pump.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:39 PM   #46
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OldNuc is spot on with my thoughts both about the 40-weight synthetic oil and also regarding the added lifter noise. Mobil1 0W-40 is a "light" 40 weight oil. As far as the last comment of my quoted post perplexing you, just do the research. I did not make those number up; indeed, I pulled those numbers from Mobil 1, IIRC.

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Old 08-14-2015, 01:09 AM   #47
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For your 96 or higher (OBDII) cars, an UltraGauge may be a good investment...

Has alarms for coolant temp, etc

I set mine at 215, boil at 15 psi is 212, I believe...

http://www.ultra-gauge.com/ultragauge/

...
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:40 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Arnold View Post
As far as the last comment of my quoted post perplexing you, just do the research. I did not make those numbers up; indeed, I pulled those numbers from Mobil 1, IIRC.
I think you must have calculated them, using ASTM D341 and the kinematic viscosity values at 40 C and 100 C (which are also the basis of the viscosity index). I have looked, and have not found low-end viscosity measurements for either the 5W-30 or 0W-40 grades of Mobil 1. The closest I have come are a pour point for 5W-30 and a MRV value for 0W-40.

Mobil 1 0W-40 PDS:

http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lub...l_1_0W-40.aspx

Mobil 1 5W-30 PDS:

http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lub...il1_5W-30.aspx

And just for fun, SAE J300 as of April 2013:

http://www.paservice.it/wp-content/u...300_201304.pdf

ASTM D341 viscosity calculator:

http://www.widman.biz/English/Calcul...erational.html

The calculated kinematic viscosity curves for both grades cross at approximately -33.13 C and the values are almost the same at -35 C. There are several possible reasons why 5W-30 is not instead classified as an 0W-30 oil, but it is not obvious which of these applies. (Incidentally, the Mobil 1 line includes an 0W-30 oil.)
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Old 08-14-2015, 05:12 AM   #49
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IIRC, the oil burning issue was resolved with the 2000 models. Updated rings with oil return passages or something of the sort.

Nice score. Lots of good miles left.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:00 AM   #50
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Absolutely not correct. No S-Series OEM piston has proper drainback ports, none.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:09 AM   #51
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The M-1 0w-40 40C and 100C viscosity numbers are at the bottom of the page,
Viscosity, cSt (ASTM D445)
@ 40 C 75
@ 100 C 13.5

The M-1 5w-30
SAE Grade 5W-30
Viscosity @ 100C, cSt (ASTM D445) 11.0
Viscosity, @ 40C, cSt (ASTM D445) 61.7

Only ball park values though derived from selected samples for certification.
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Old 08-14-2015, 09:21 AM   #52
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... I set mine at 215, boil at 15 psi is 212, I believe...
Boiling point for pure water at 15psig is 244F, that is 29psia, or 2 BAR. A 50/50 mix is higher. This chart at the bottom of the page will give you the various values. http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/bo...ter-d_926.html
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:35 AM   #53
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Something to keep in mind is the VI is defined by the 40C and 100C viscosity values and the area between those 2 values. What happens to viscosity vs. temperature at <40C and >100C is undefined. Actual testing can be eye opening as it is high temperature you should be concerned with as well as minimum ambient temperature starting viscosity. This turns out to be one more example of that expression --you get what you pay for-- which is to be expected.
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:39 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The M-1 0w-40 40C and 100C viscosity numbers are at the bottom of the page,
Viscosity, cSt (ASTM D445)
@ 40 C 75
@ 100 C 13.5

The M-1 5w-30
SAE Grade 5W-30
Viscosity @ 100C, cSt (ASTM D445) 11.0
Viscosity, @ 40C, cSt (ASTM D445) 61.7

Only ball park values though derived from selected samples for certification.
Yup, these are also the values I found and that are given in the PDS for which I supplied links. The OP was making a claim about viscosity at the very low end (~-35 C) and it was this that I was querying. The ASTM D341 viscosity equation supports his statement that 0W-40 has a higher viscosity than 5W-30 down to the curve crossover point at about -33.13 C, but this is not directly evident from the published data.

BTW, these are ASTM D445 kinematic viscosity values. SAE winter grade determinations are based on absolute viscosity (units of cP rather than cSt) as measured by a cold cranking test spelled out in a different ASTM test procedure (D5293 instead of D445). Assuming both weights of Mobil 1 are correctly graded, it doesn't seem D5293 values are directly comparable to D445 values even when kinematic viscosity is multiplied by density (0.85 g/mL for 5W-30, 0.855 g/mL for 0W-40) to obtain absolute viscosity. 0W-40 has a calculated kinematic viscosity of 10800 cSt at -35 C and this gives absolute viscosity of 9230 cP, which is well in excess of the 0W maximum of 6200 cP at -35 C. On the other hand, 5W-30 has calculated kinematic viscosity of 6279 cSt at -30 C (the certification threshold for 5W) and this yields absolute viscosity of 5340 cP, which is well below the 6600 cP limit for 5W.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:05 PM   #55
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From a practical point of view this cold cranking viscosity belongs in the exact same bin as CCA ratings on starting batteries <-- as useless as you know what on bulls. It is marketing hype.

The easiest to use spec is the cold pour point which you can test in your freezer if you want and if you can not pour it then it will not get pumped. You can get one of these gadgets fairly cheaply used and do your own testing at the lowest temperature you will realistically experience. http://www.visgage.com/

A battery heater and block heater will do wonders for extending the service life of the engine and any oil is too high of a viscosity at starting temperatures to provide adequate lubrication. Attached graph displays the consequences of low temperature on battery capacity, do note that 100% capacity occurs at 77F and this graph is based on a fully charged battery. Most batteries sitting in Saturns are not fully charged.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:29 PM   #56
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Quote:
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I think you must have calculated them, using ASTM D341 and the kinematic viscosity values at 40 C and 100 C (which are also the basis of the viscosity index). I have looked, and have not found low-end viscosity measurements for either the 5W-30 or 0W-40 grades of Mobil 1. The closest I have come are a pour point for 5W-30 and a MRV value for 0W-40.

Mobil 1 0W-40 PDS:

http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lub...l_1_0W-40.aspx

Mobil 1 5W-30 PDS:

http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lub...il1_5W-30.aspx

And just for fun, SAE J300 as of April 2013:

http://www.paservice.it/wp-content/u...300_201304.pdf

ASTM D341 viscosity calculator:

http://www.widman.biz/English/Calcul...erational.html

The calculated kinematic viscosity curves for both grades cross at approximately -33.13 C and the values are almost the same at -35 C. There are several possible reasons why 5W-30 is not instead classified as an 0W-30 oil, but it is not obvious which of these applies. (Incidentally, the Mobil 1 line includes an 0W-30 oil.)
Well done. I'd had this discussion years ago, and that's exactly where I found the information. Here's a message I sent to others in my corvette club when some were asking why 5w-30 is recommended in N America while 0W-40 was recommended in Europe, where I lived at the time.

Quote:
At 40* celsius (104*F), which is the lowest temp for which their viscosity is listed, the 5W-30 is thinner (61.7 cSt vs. 75 cSt). At operating temperature, as anyone would expect, the 5W-30 is also thinner (11cST vs. 13.5cSt).

This website produces a viscosity vs. temperature graph for each oil if you know the information on the product data sheet: http://www.widman.biz/English/Calculators/Graph.html

It's broken down in 5* C increments, but for the interest of brevity, I'm not going to list the results of every cell. If you want that level of detail, just enter the data from the product sheet into the flash app at the link above.

Here's the viscosity numbers that it pumped out:

M1 0W-40
Temp (C)/ viscosity (cSt) 0W40/ vicsocity (cSt) 5W30
-35/10804/10939
-30/6402.7/6279
-20/2520/2346
-10/1129/1011
0/563/490
10/307/261.7
20/180.8/151.6
40/75/61.7
60/37.4/30.5
80/21.4/17.4
100/13.5/11

So, the results indicate that the 5W-30 oil is thinner than the 0W-40 at any temperature higher than -35*C (-31*F). At that temperature and colder, 0W-40 is finally thinner than 5W-30.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:35 PM   #57
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You are making a bad assumption, or the programmer maed a bad assumption. The VI is only defined between 40C and 100C what happens outside of those extremes is not defined and you will find 1 or 2 low temp data points but 1 of them is more or less a mathematically obtained rectal extraction, cold cranking viscosity is a calculated value.
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
A battery heater and block heater will do wonders for extending the service life of the engine and any oil is too high of a viscosity at starting temperatures to provide adequate lubrication. Attached graph displays the consequences of low temperature on battery capacity, do note that 100% capacity occurs at 77F and this graph is based on a fully charged battery. Most batteries sitting in Saturns are not fully charged.
OldNuc, do you yourself use an engine block heater? Bob Sikorsky used to cite wear prevention as a justification for using them even in Arizona. I have toyed with the idea of engine preheating over the years but never actually done anything with it because I have never been able to garage a daily driver. My neighborhood is safe, but even so an extension cord reel with real copper is quite a temptation.

I've been considering a solar-powered battery maintainer, which at least could be kept inside the lockable envelope of the car.
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Old 08-14-2015, 01:04 PM   #59
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OldNuc, do you yourself use an engine block heater? Bob Sikorsky used to cite wear prevention as a justification for using them even in Arizona. I have toyed with the idea of engine preheating over the years but never actually done anything with it because I have never been able to garage a daily driver. My neighborhood is safe, but even so an extension cord reel with real copper is quite a temptation.

I've been considering a solar-powered battery maintainer, which at least could be kept inside the lockable envelope of the car.
The car I'm parting out now has a block heater if you're interested in buying one.
...
1999 SL2 MT (287,130 km @ 10/2019)
2012 Ford Focus SEL HB MT
2011 Suburban LT

Past Saturns
2001 SL1 MT (438,500 km 11y)
1993 SW2 AT (10y)
2001 LW200 MT (3.5y)
1992 SL2 MT (5y)

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Old 08-14-2015, 01:08 PM   #60
OldNuc
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Far Southwestern Iowa
Posts: 66,693
 

1998 SC2
Default Re: New to Saturn

I use a 60 watt plug in battery heater and a genuine Saturn block heater and they are on a timer set to turn on about 2 hours before the earliest predicted car start time. Makes a huge difference in starting. I have been doing this for years. Weather above 75F or so there is less of a gain but block heating still makes good sense. Batteries are designed for 77F and much above or below is not good.

The solar powered trickle charger that is voltage regulated to meet the float charge limits listed below is perfect. The voltage drop between the battery and cigarette lighter socket has to be considered as well.

Starting batteries.
Open Circuit Voltage (Fully charged): 12.8 volts

Recommended Charging:
The following charging methods are recommended to ensure a long battery life: (Always use a voltage regulated charger with voltage limits set as described below.)

Alternator: 13.3 to 15.0 volts

Battery Charger (Constant Voltage): 13.8 to 15.0 volts; 10 amps maximum; 6 - 12 hours approximate charge time.

Float Charge: 13.2 to 13.8 volts; 1 amp maximum; (indefinite time at lower voltages)

Rapid Recharge: Maximum voltage 15.6 volts. No current limit as long as battery (Constant voltage charger) temperature remains below 125F (51.7C). Charge until current drops below 1 amp.

All limits must be strictly adhered to.
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