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Old 10-20-2010, 01:09 PM   #1
StarLady
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1992 SC
Default Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Hi, all:

My car is due for an oil change soon, and there's a couple "quick oil change" places I'm considering taking it to (please don't suggest I do my own oil change - I can't do that). One shop uses "PetroCanada" oil, and the other uses "Mobil Clean 5000" oil.
Which one would be better for my '92 Saturn SC?

I'm inclined to go with the Mobil Clean 5000, only because Mobil is a brand I'm familiar with, but I really don't know if it's okay for *my* car.

Your input will be much appreciated.
TIA.

...
1992 SC - TwinCam (Automagic)
Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

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Old 10-20-2010, 01:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

The Mobil will be fine.

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Old 10-20-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The Mobil will be fine.
Agreed. Just make sure the shop is reputable and doesn't like to play the classic quick-lube games...

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Old 10-20-2010, 02:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

The Mobil 5000 oil is a fine product.

Best,

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Old 10-20-2010, 02:47 PM   #5
azrocketman
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Any oil that is American Petroleum Institute rated "SL" or "SM" is adequate for your Saturn. The preferred viscosity is 5W-30 although 10W-30 will work (I'd favor the 5W-30 oil for use during the winter). You might also ask about the oil filter. Fram, while having a poor reputation on most car forums, is perfectly adequate for our Saturns. Wix, NAPA, and Purolator brand filters have a good reputation.

If you use the Mobil Clean 5000 I would still stay with 3000 mile change intervals.

By the way, since you purchased the car new, what have you been doing for all these years?

Steve

Last edited by azrocketman; 10-20-2010 at 02:56 PM..

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Old 10-20-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
sam7474
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

StarLady,

Agree with all replies. As long as you stick with 5w30 you're ok.

One thing to watch out for at these "quick oil change" places is many of them have a high employee roll-over and sometimes they're not well trained.

When they're not careful they can damage the oil pan plug threads. As a client you're allowed to ask as many questions before choosing the place...

Note: SOME of these places allow you to bring your own oil. If you've been using another brand and you feel more confident using it, ask if you can bring it. Doesn't hurt to ask.

Sam7474

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Old 10-20-2010, 06:16 PM   #7
jzdanows
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

I have been toying with the notion of using 5w20. Engineers at my work say the closer the numbers are the more stable the oil. I have used 5w20 in everything in the recent past but haven't decided about the saturn yet. look into it, the oil is great and its a synthetic blend, not too thick and protects much better than counterparts. Just a suggestion, please make an informed decision before doing anything.

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Old 10-20-2010, 07:19 PM   #8
t&m
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Ive seen some really nice reports from Mobil Clean its a fine product. I would use it and not give a second thought.

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Old 10-20-2010, 07:23 PM   #9
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1992 SC
Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Thank you so much for all your helpful replies.

azrocketman:
I always took my car to the dealer, until about a year ago. Now I live in town that doesn't have a Saturn dealer. The last oil change I did a few months ago was at the place with the Petro Canada oil. It never occurred to me to ask about what brand/type of oil went into my car, other than making sure it was 5W30. But recently I read that different brands/types could have different effects on the engine/performance, and sometimes not in a good way.

Sam7474:
Wow! I didn't know you could do that. Something to consider. Thanks for the tip.

Thanks again, everyone!

...
1992 SC - TwinCam (Automagic)
Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

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Old 10-20-2010, 07:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Castrol GTX High Mileage did my SC great all the way to 200k+ miles. IMO this is one of the best non-synthetic oils around.

I'm sure the Mobil oil would be fine also. If it's easily available to you Mobil would be the one to use.

...
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Old 10-20-2010, 07:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

I used Valvoline 5W-30 in my 92 SC, 96 SC2 and 02 SC2.

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Old 10-20-2010, 08:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Find an actual mechanic if you can. It'll cost more than the "quick-lube" places, but it'll be worth every dime. Even if the quick-lube were free, it wouldn't be worth it, given their history of screwing things up in ways that result in expensive permanent engine damage.

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:30 AM   #13
Equalyzer
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Quote:
Originally Posted by azrocketman View Post
Any oil that is American Petroleum Institute rated "SL" or "SM" is adequate for your Saturn. The preferred viscosity is 5W-30 although 10W-30 will work (I'd favor the 5W-30 oil for use during the winter). You might also ask about the oil filter. Fram, while having a poor reputation on most car forums, is perfectly adequate for our Saturns. Wix, NAPA, and Purolator brand filters have a good reputation.
In July, I tried using 10w-30 Castrol GTX High Mileage in mine. Engine performance dropped so sharply and became so sluggish, I actually changed the oil out after just 1000 miles. My father reported similar power loss when he tried high mileage oil in his Oldsmobile Intrigue. I stopped using them after that.

Castrol GTX seems to be an excellent oil that will clean out an engine nicely, but if you see Wolfman's "Final word on oil additives" thread, he recommends not using high mileage oil more than once or twice. I believe he said continual use can cause the seals to rot. Not to mention, it makes the oil thicker--not something our cars like, in my experience.

Also, I've heard that messing with viscosity can actually damage the timing chain. I can't say for sure, but I once heard that the engine oil is used to lubricate the timing chain, and incorrect viscosity can cause the computer's load sensor to throw errors and ultimately damage something over time. For what it's worth, my mother's '98 SW2 had its oil changed with erratic viscosity differences (someone apparently figured oil was oil). It experienced a mysterious engine failure at 65,000 miles...

Saturn's computers are notoriously sensitive, which is why I like to use OEM-spec products when I can. My choice is standard Pennzoil 5w-30 and a Purolator PureONE filter, but as long as your choices are from reputable companies and are to original specs, it should be fine. It is best however, to pick one oil and stick with it. Theoretically, different brands could have slightly different formulations, and as seals might settle in with one formula, changing brands repeatedly could be hard on the engine.

Just note that I'm not an expert, I just report what I hear.

...
- Long ago: '93 SL2, "Celeste" (currently living out retirement in a Southern California garage)
- Now: '99 SC2, "Lucy" (restoration project)

Last edited by Equalyzer; 10-21-2010 at 02:42 AM..

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Old 10-21-2010, 07:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

i use quaker state 5w30 in our '99 sl1, ever since purchasing the car in 2002.
change the oil & filter (wix) every 4 months.

...
Gerry
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Find an actual mechanic if you can. It'll cost more than the "quick-lube" places, but it'll be worth every dime. Even if the quick-lube were free, it wouldn't be worth it, given their history of screwing things up in ways that result in expensive permanent engine damage.
^^^^^^^^ +1

Go with a real mechanic. It may be ten bucks more but is worth it when it comes to future repairs.

Not only that, but you'll be giving your money to a small local business instead of a giant corporation.

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

I'm happy to see you can get Petro Canada lubricants where you are located. They are some of the best in the business.

Do not hesitate to put PC oil in your car. It is an amazingly good product.

That being said, really any oil that meets the car's spec (think any oil within recommended grade) will suffice.

Key is as always, making sure the car is not low on oil/going too far past normal oil change schedules.

If it were me, I would go with the Petro Canada oil.

...
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:59 AM   #17
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equalyzer View Post

... I believe he said continual use can cause the seals to rot. Not to mention, it makes the oil thicker--not something our cars like, in my experience.

Also, I've heard that messing with viscosity can actually damage the timing chain. I can't say for sure, but I once heard that the engine oil is used to lubricate the timing chain, and incorrect viscosity can cause the computer's load sensor to throw errors and ultimately damage something over time. For what it's worth, my mother's '98 SW2 had its oil changed with erratic viscosity differences (someone apparently figured oil was oil). It experienced a mysterious engine failure at 65,000 miles...

Just note that I'm not an expert, I just report what I hear.
What you are hearing is nonsense not supported by mechanical sense.

Steve

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Old 10-22-2010, 10:51 AM   #18
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzdanows View Post
I have been toying with the notion of using 5w20...
usually the manufacturer will put out a bulletin, I know this because I checked the oil filter book at walmart; my 97 mustang's oil cap said 5-30w, but the book said 5-20w, so I checked and sure enough ford had an update stating that they now recommend the 5-20w for the 97 per better gas mileage. I would use what the manufacture recommends.

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Old 10-22-2010, 11:21 AM   #19
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Default Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

Quote:
Originally Posted by azrocketman View Post
What you are hearing is nonsense not supported by mechanical sense.
This part is true, though
Quote:
I once heard that the engine oil is used to lubricate the timing chain

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Old 10-22-2010, 01:50 PM   #20
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Happy Re: Please help me choose the oil for my '92 SC

alordofchaos,

You know, by taking statements out of context, you can have a great future in politics.

Steve

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