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Old 07-01-2013, 03:22 PM   #1
romeroom
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2000 SL2
Default Oil Type to use

The 2000 SL2 I just bought has 57,000 miles on a rebuild engine, which was done by a GM dealer.

It is in need of an oil change and would an opinion or two that includes preferred choice as it relates to: Full synthetic or blend, or regular, brand, and viscosity.

I realize there are a lot of posts on this issue, which I will be going through. I'm just wondering if there are any fresh new ideas out there.

Thanks so much.

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Old 07-01-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

No brilliant new ideas. Use 10W-30 in climates that don't get real cold (don't go below about 20F). Use 5W-30 in climates where it gets colder than that.

Synthetic versus dino oil is a religious discussion. As long as you change it at correct intervals, either is good. The NISSAN dealer that services my wife's Nissan uses 5-30 pennzoil dino oil in all cars..... which seems like the cheap stuff to me but they put it in everything.

My gripe about syn is that about 99% of the "full synthetic" sold in the US is dino oil sent through a refining step called hydrocracking so the big price tag is a ripoff IMHO. It's not made from synthetic base stock.

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Old 07-01-2013, 06:30 PM   #3
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Oil Type to use

Use a full synthetic 5W-30. If really cold use a 0W-30...
Any brand works...

On sale at NAPA for $3.49
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...520_0332668449

The Saturn S series had a flaw, the oil drainback grooves on the pistons would clog over time, and cause the rings to wear.
Oil burning then starts....

Not sure if your mechanic drilled the holes in the pistons to cure the problem (look on the forum for info on this), so a full synthetic is called for...

...
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205/60R15 "H" rated tires, 5mm spacers rear...
Mobil 1 ESP 0W-30, NAPA 41516...
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
romeroom
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattwithcats View Post
Use a full synthetic 5W-30. If really cold use a 0W-30...
Any brand works...

On sale at NAPA for $3.49
http://www.napaonline.com/Catalog/Ca...520_0332668449

The Saturn S series had a flaw, the oil drainback grooves on the pistons would clog over time, and cause the rings to wear.
Oil burning then starts....

Not sure if your mechanic drilled the holes in the pistons to cure the problem (look on the forum for info on this), so a full synthetic is called for...
Many thanks. Full synthetic it is.

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Old 07-01-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Now all you have to do is figure out what "full synthetic" means...... I basically gave up.

A post I read from another forum FILLED with "experts" on all things oily.....

Quote:
Base oil quality is no longer defined by just three simple categories consisting of conventional, semi-synthetic, and synthetic. With the introduction of new processes and feed stocks over the past dozen years, we now have numerous base oils grades and blends thereof, resulting in a continuum of base oil quality, such as:

Grp I
Grp I & II blend
Grp I & III blend
Grp II
Grp II & III blend
Grp II+
Grp III
Grp III & IV blend
Grp III+
Grp III & IV & V blend
Grp III+ & IV & V blend
Grp IV & V blend

While the exact quality order of such base oil selections is debatable and dependent on component grade and ratios, the point is that the quality steps are now so small as to make labels such as semi-synthetic and synthetic difficult if not impossible to place.
I guess he surrendered too.

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Old 07-01-2013, 09:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Motor Oil University at Bob is the Oil Guy

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/motor-oil-101/

...
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyhunter View Post
The NISSAN dealer that services my wife's Nissan uses 5-30 pennzoil dino oil in all cars..... which seems like the cheap stuff to me but they put it in everything.
Another reason to stay clear of car dealers. They bought a big 50 gallon drum of oil and put it in every car no matter what. How convenient.

...for them.

Synthetic oil is far better than conventional oil. Even Briggs and Stratton agrees with me. I found that out this weekend when looking up what oil to put in my lawn mower.

http://www.briggsandstratton.com/us/...ecommendations

...
1997 SW2 used 12/29/2011 with 124,200 -27 mpg
2004 Ion3 new 11/2003 (totaled) 11/2011 -23 mpg
1994 SL1 new traded
1992 SL2 new traded for above
* 1986 Yamaha ce50 Jog -100 mpg

Last edited by dummo; 07-01-2013 at 11:15 PM.. Reason: added website

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Old 07-02-2013, 01:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Most expert opinions I've ever heard opine on this subject have always said:

5.) Synthetic oil can typically be replaced less often than regular oil
4.) Unless your manual states specific intervals for both types of oil changes, the safest, most reliable method for determining intervals other than what the manual states between synthetic oil changes is a used oil analysis to determine oil life.
3.) Typically the longer life expectancy of synthetic oil will be offset by the higher price of synthetic oil
2.) Using synthetic over conventional may offer a very slight fuel economy improvement
1.) Using the correct viscosity and adhering to proper changing schedules AND filling the engine with the correct amount of oil (it is indeed possible to overfill engine oil and risk damaging the engine), any oil you use will do its job to protect the engine.

Side note of a personal observation, every user manual I've had access to and read has recommended against oil and fuel additives.

What do I use personally? I use Castrol Edge w/ Syntec (or whatever it's labeled now). Reason being, it's one of the cheaper oils that 'say' full synthetic and is reliably available in the larger containers.

Other than that, most "things" I've heard don't seem to have a universal conclusion, and there's numerous stories of people doing completely opposite practices and saying they've had no issues.

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:25 AM   #9
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2002 SL2
Default Re: Oil Type to use

Note -
The oil change indicator reset switch is in the engine bay fuse box, just behind the battery.

...
2002 Silver SL2, manual, 5th gear swap (.605), 80,000 miles, black badges,
205/60R15 "H" rated tires, 5mm spacers rear...
Mobil 1 ESP 0W-30, NAPA 41516...
NGK BKR6E-11 spark plugs

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Old 07-02-2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Quote:
Originally Posted by multimediaman View Post
Other than that, most "things" I've heard don't seem to have a universal conclusion, and there's numerous stories of people doing completely opposite practices and saying they've had no issues.
Bingo!

I've used nothing but cheap oil filters and oil. Oil consumption is minimal (less than 1 quart per 3K - 5K OCI) for a car with 182K miles. As long as you change your oil regularly, you will be fine.

Love seeing new blood with sensible reasoning abilities.

...
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As of 09/30/17: 223,751 Miles - SOLD
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Quote:
Originally Posted by dummo View Post
Synthetic oil is far better than conventional oil.
But how do you define synthetic.... and more importantly, how do you buy it?

Oil companies are not putting the blend information on their oils and they change them all the time to save money. How is "synthetic" a blend of dino oil base stocks that have been processed differently?

In many cases, you are paying BIG money for dino oil base stock.

The point is that the term "synthetic" has been so hopelessly corrupted it no longer has any meaning.

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Old 07-02-2013, 04:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Cheap oil is where you find it. I bought a 5qt jug of Pennzoil Platinum synthetic 5W30 at Walmart for $22.47. Then I filled out an online form for a rebate from Pennzoil. I got a check in the mail for $10, so the synthetic oil cost me $12.47 for 5qts. I also got a $5 off coupon to use on another oil purchase from Pennzoil. I like the Motorcraft FL400S filter, $3.97 at Walmart.

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Old 07-02-2013, 04:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Quote:
Originally Posted by bountyhunter View Post
But how do you define synthetic.... and more importantly, how do you buy it?

Oil companies are not putting the blend information on their oils and they change them all the time to save money. How is "synthetic" a blend of dino oil base stocks that have been processed differently?

In many cases, you are paying BIG money for dino oil base stock.

The point is that the term "synthetic" has been so hopelessly corrupted it no longer has any meaning.
I agree there is a lot of advertising hype that makes things confusing. I check out PQIA and look at the numbers of the different oils. The higher a TBN, and the lower NOACK volatility the better. Cold pour point is another number to look at, if you live where it gets below zero, a synthetic can get up into your valvetrain quicker to lube the motor. It makes it easier to choose an oil, synthetic or not.
http://www.pqiamerica.com/testresults3a.html

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Old 07-02-2013, 04:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid View Post
Motor Oil University at Bob is the Oil Guy

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/motor-oil-101/
Pretty good article, but it has a definite "Oil Company" bias because it omits a couple of things. This statement (from the article) is ABSOLUTELY A FACT:

Quote:
Remember that most engine wear occurs at startup when the oil is too thick to lubricate properly. It cannot flow and therefore cannot lubricate. Most of the thick oil at startup actually goes through the bypass valve back to the engine oil sump and not into your engine oil ways. This is especially true when you really step on that gas pedal. You really need more lubrication and you actually get less.
My pet peeve:

It is the reason that many decades ago, oil makers added ZDDP to the oil which is a wear inhibitor. It forms an actual metal layer on the steel surface which protects it and reduces wear during the critical cold start period where the oil is basically not lubricating. Nobody seems to care about this which is rather puzzling. Virtually all new oils have very little ZDDP and the new "0-20W" oil trend is partly because they are trying to compensate with oil that flows better cold. Put the ZDDP back in and the problem goes away, but they won't because the EPA doesn't want it in the oil any more. The oil companies are not talking about it.


And this lie bugs me:

Quote:
The downside of a mineral based multi-grade oil is that this VII additive wears out over time and you end up with the original straight 10 grade oil. It will go back to being too thin when hot. It will have a thickness of 6 instead of 10. //// With normal oil change intervals the VI improver will not wear out and so the problem does not really exist.
A half truth: in cars, maybe. In motorcycles, the gearboxes chew up the VI's pretty fast. But VI's have another drawback.

Another important fact: If you buy 5 - 30 oil (which is 5W base oil stuffed with enough VI's to jack the hot viscosity up to where 30W would be) it means a significant amount of the oils volume is taken up by VI's which are not a lubricant. The bigger the ratio of a multiweight oil, the more VIs it has in it. 5-30 has a ratio of 6, 10-40 is 4, and 20-50 is 2.5.

What is 0-20? Who knows.

The point is that TRUE synthetic base stocks have a more stable viscosity than dino stocks and don't need as much VI added. Another reason it might be nice to actually know what kind of oil we are buying..... which is never going to happen. Their attitude is, "We don't want to confuse you with facts, just throw your money here and buy our oil."

Last edited by bountyhunter; 07-02-2013 at 05:06 PM..

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

A point from the BITOG article:

Quote:
Synthetic oils are a whole different story. There is no VI improver added so there is nothing to wear out. The actual oil molecules never wear out.///When the additives wear out in a synthetic oil it still has the same viscosity. It will not thin as a mineral oil.
This means there really is a fundamental difference when using a true synthetic base which has specific advantages. It would be really nice to know when you are buying a "syn" oil if you are actually getting this or not.... or you are getting a typical oil loaded up with VIs necessary to make the viscosity grade.

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Old 07-03-2013, 09:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Interesting. Thanks Bountyhunter. I was thinking about trying Mobil 1 0W-30 for better cold-start lubrication but maybe that's not such a great idea.

Mobil 1 has a video on their site of a teardown after a million kilometer test. Obviously they couldn't have done many cold starts on the car if they put a million km on it for the test. Of course everything in the engine looks wonderful during the teardown.

My Saturn had lots and lots of cold starts in its younger days even though it's a fairly low mileage car.

...
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:40 AM   #17
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

How long does it take for oil to 'cool' off? If you ran the engine for 15 minutes, go to the grocery store and come back out 30 minutes later, that isn't considered a cold start. I wouldn't think.

...
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:42 PM   #18
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid View Post
My Saturn had lots and lots of cold starts in its younger days even though it's a fairly low mileage car.
My car also has tons of cold start/short trips. My commute to work was only 4 miles when I had a job. That's the old joke about the used car that the lady only drove to church and the grocery store..... low mileage but may have a lot of engine wear for it's mileage.

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Old 07-03-2013, 05:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

OK this is whats really confusing me. Most of what I've read about motor oil says that most of the wear and tear occurs because of the oil being too thick when cold and impeding flow. Also that 0w30 5w30 and 10w30 should all be about the same viscosity at operting temp. My understanding (although I don't have the a source at the moment) is that even 0w30 oil is much more viscous when cold then any 30 weight oil at operating temp. It seems that basically the operating temperature viscosity is optimal and all common oils have a higher viscosity then optimal when cold but a 0w30 oil would be closer.

So why is it we aren't all running 0w30 in our engines? And also similarly why would anyone put 10w30 in their engine? Even in a warm climate the oil would be thicker then optimal on startup. I'm honestly asking by the way.

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Old 07-03-2013, 05:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Oil Type to use

The first number is the cold cranking viscosity equivalent SAE grade. The reason that 0w-30 is not recommended for summer use is most oil becomes too thin at operating temperature due to the massive additive package to get a 0w-30 oil using less than optimal base stock.

If the engine is neither leaking or using oil then it is easy to purchase and use a true PAO synthetic oil that is indeed 100% gp-4 PAO base stock. Those grade numbers denote a viscosity range, not a specific viscosity.

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