What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby lne937s » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:29 am

I don't want to take anything away from the Blackstone oil analysis report, it is a fantastic resource for measuring wear... However, your motor oil has to do many things that are not measured in the Blackstone test:

- Anti-wear additives form a thin film on the surface of metal parts and prevent wear on parts. These used to be metal-based (e.g., lead, zinc). Some diesel oils and racing oils still contain metal anti-wear additives. However, when the oil burns during normal operations, that metal vaporizes and forms a thin film of metal in your catalytic converter, making it no longer work. You need to make sure you are using oil for gasoline engines that use organic anti-wear additives if you want to meet emissions.

- Shear strength- your oil contains a bunch of microscopic plastic springs called viscosity modifiers. When they get hot, they expand and make the oil thicker. If you look at an oil with a viscosity rating of 10W30, that means the oil acts like a SAE 10 weight oil when cold and a SAE 30 weight when it is hot-- the reason is viscosity modifiers. But these springs can break (i.e. "viscosity breakdown"), which is tested by running the oil through a fuel injector. If the viscosity breaks down, then the oil will not have the film strength needed for your engine when it gets hot.

- Water emulsification and rust prevention- ethanol-blended fuel and low temperatures can lead to water in your oil. This can lead to rust in the engine and "white sludge", which is kind of like mayo.

- Volatility- a thin film of oil coats the inside of the cylinder in your combustion chamber. If the oil does not have low enough volatility, it vaporizes and burns off... and you burn oil. Thinner oils tend to contain shorter molecules, which tend to have higher volatility. Synthetic oils use modified hydrocarbons (PAO, esters, etc.), which reduce volatility to various degrees. If you want to have the fuel economy, cold start and horsepower benefits (NASCAR qualifying traditionally used 0 weight oil) of a thinner oil, it is good to take a look at its volatility.

- Seal conditioners- your oil interacts with plastic seals (valve seats, main seal, valve cover gaskets, etc.). Some specialty synthetics can actually degrade seals in the name of other performance measures. Seal conditioners can help keep the seals flexible and even help restore their flexibility in the case of some high-mileage oils.....

There are a lot more...

Needless to say, your oil does a lot of things beyond just preventing wear. I would personally take ILSAC GF-5 as a good measure of meeting overall performance parameters http://www.gf-5.com/. There are some brands that have actual meaningful benefits in one area or the other, and you should look at the product sheets and prioritize what's most important to you if you want to improve something.


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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby darylzero » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:06 am

Wow! great post lne937s. Do you work in the oil industry?

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby lne937s » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:08 am

darylzero wrote:Wow! great post lne937s. Do you work in the oil industry?
Used to work in motor oil marketing/advertising. The company I used to work for makes great products, but I didn't think it was appropriate to push for one or the other here.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby szh » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:47 pm

lne937s wrote:I don't want to take anything away from the Blackstone oil analysis report, it is a fantastic resource for measuring wear... However, your motor oil has to do many things that are not measured in the Blackstone test:
Good informative input, thanks much! :yesnod

Yes, meeting the oil standard tests - for sure, at least the ones that the car manufacturer spec'ed - is quite important! In my 2003 M45, Infiniti specificed API oils specs(API SJ) that have been exceeded by pretty much all the oils on the market today.

The Mobil 1 0W-40 I use also meets the ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4 specs - i.e., the ones used by high-end European car manufacturers, so it was one of the reasons I switched to it on my car after the first 10k miles were done.

I have not looked at the ILSAC specs, but will do so.

Z

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby lne937s » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:23 pm

szh wrote:
lne937s wrote:I don't want to take anything away from the Blackstone oil analysis report, it is a fantastic resource for measuring wear... However, your motor oil has to do many things that are not measured in the Blackstone test:
Good informative input, thanks much! :yesnod

Yes, meeting the oil standard tests - for sure, at least the ones that the car manufacturer spec'ed - is quite important! In my 2003 M45, Infiniti specificed API oils specs(API SJ) that have been exceeded by pretty much all the oils on the market today.

The Mobil 1 0W-40 I use also meets the ACEA A3/B3, A3/B4 specs - i.e., the ones used by high-end European car manufacturers, so it was one of the reasons I switched to it on my car after the first 10k miles were done.

I have not looked at the ILSAC specs, but will do so.

Z
The reason I tend to concentrate on ILSAC is that it was created to simplify the multitude of manufacturer standards. Essentially, if it meets GF-5 (and dexos equivalent for GM vehicles) it meets the manufacturer standards of domestic and Japanese branded gasoline powered vehicles, as well as API, SAE and ASTM industry standards.
ILSAC, International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee, is formed in 1992 by AAMA (American Automobile Manufacturers Association, representatives of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation) and JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) to define the need, parameters, licensing and administration of lubricant specifications. Together with the Tripartite system (API, SAE and ASTM) the formed EOLCS, the Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System. ILSAC oils often carry the API Service Symbol (Donut) including the Energy Conserving designation and/or API Certification Mark (Starburst).
However, not all oils meet the standard. To my knowledge, only API-licensed Royal Purple meets the standard. Many other expensive synthetic specialty brands also do not meet it. If it says "classic car" or "racing", in many cases it doesn't meet one or more parameters due to the lack of emissions systems and short drain intervals (oil life doesn't need to be as long, water doesn't build up, etc.) typical in the vehicles that are referenced.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby AZhitman » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:41 pm

Wow, great info! Thanks so much for chiming in!

Since you're here, and we're on the topic, I have several classic Datsuns. I have been using the Shell Rotella diesel oil in those, along with a ZDDP treatment. Since these cars don't get driven a ton, my oil change intervals are typically <1000 miles, every six months. Thoughts?

I've been a fan of the Castrol synthetic blend for our three turbocharged modern cars.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby PEZi » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:13 pm

MinisterofDOOM wrote: The real question is: what filter do I use.
Yup.

I feel biased here, but driving in extreme weather conditions and various seasons, I do use AMSOIL. Yes, I use the stuff I sell. For the Audi I currently have, I drive 3,000 miles a month and need something where I'm not constantly changing the oil. I'm using the 5w40 in my 1.8t and changing it every 15,000. Analysis is as good as it gets for a 16 year old DD. The real thing is the filter, though. Not many filters are going to hold up to an extended oil change. The AMSOIL Absolute Efficiency does.

Used all AMSOIL products in the 720 I had, as well. The old school single cam loved it some extra zinc!

All of the actual race cars I've driven have been MOTUL, though. 300v all the way, baby!

PS: I wish I still drove a Nissan :(

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby lne937s » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:11 am

AZhitman wrote:Wow, great info! Thanks so much for chiming in!

Since you're here, and we're on the topic, I have several classic Datsuns. I have been using the Shell Rotella diesel oil in those, along with a ZDDP treatment. Since these cars don't get driven a ton, my oil change intervals are typically <1000 miles, every six months. Thoughts?

I've been a fan of the Castrol synthetic blend for our three turbocharged modern cars.
Sorry for the delayed response, I have been in transit (in Narita at the moment). Regarding diesel oil vs. gasoline oil, I am not an expert, but I know there are a few differences. One is compatability with emissions systems, which may not make a difference on pre-emissions Datsuns. The other relates to the higher combustion temperature in diesel engines. To combat degradation of the oil from heat, there are special additives. In addition, motor oil is also designed to work with a certain level of exhaust gasses and unburnt fuel getting past the rings and into the oil. Due to the higher combustion temperature, untreated diesel exhaust has high levels of NOx. In addition, diesel fuel tends to have higher sulfur content than gasoline, which creates SO2. Just as NOx and SO2 create acid rain (nitric and sulfuric acid), they tend to degrade into acid in your oil-- diesel oil has an additive package designed to fight this... However, gasoline has its own issues, especially if blended with ethanol. Ethanol combustion puts water in your oil and GF-5 has been formulated to combat this. Diesel oil, due to the the lack of ethanol and typical duty cycle does not go as far to address the issues of water and white sludge. And oil diluted with diesel does not tend to have the same lubricating effect... If you are changing your oil regularly in a non-emissions car and use ethanol-free race/aviation fuel it may not make a difference... but I would naturally tend to use oil designed for gasoline vehicles in a car for general use...

got to go, the plane is boarding...

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby Mr1der » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:13 pm

I've been rocking Mobil 1 5w-20 and a WIX filter in the Civic for the 200k miles I've but on it. No smoking, it'll use about a quart between 5k mile interval changes. Poor car looks like hell now as I've gotten afraid to do any body work because everything in the damn world wants to hit it :(

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby szh » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:16 pm

lne937s wrote:
szh wrote:I have not looked at the ILSAC specs, but will do so.

Z
The reason I tend to concentrate on ILSAC is that it was created to simplify the multitude of manufacturer standards. Essentially, if it meets GF-5 (and dexos equivalent for GM vehicles) it meets the manufacturer standards of domestic and Japanese branded gasoline powered vehicles, as well as API, SAE and ASTM industry standards.
ILSAC, International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee, is formed in 1992 by AAMA (American Automobile Manufacturers Association, representatives of DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation) and JAMA (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association) to define the need, parameters, licensing and administration of lubricant specifications. Together with the Tripartite system (API, SAE and ASTM) the formed EOLCS, the Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System. ILSAC oils often carry the API Service Symbol (Donut) including the Energy Conserving designation and/or API Certification Mark (Starburst).
However, not all oils meet the standard. To my knowledge, only API-licensed Royal Purple meets the standard. Many other expensive synthetic specialty brands also do not meet it. If it says "classic car" or "racing", in many cases it doesn't meet one or more parameters due to the lack of emissions systems and short drain intervals (oil life doesn't need to be as long, water doesn't build up, etc.) typical in the vehicles that are referenced.
I looked into the ILSAC tests for Mobil 1. It appears that tthe 5W-30 weight of almost all the Mobil 1 full synthetics meet the ILSAC GF-5 and many of them also meet the Dexos specs from GM.

My current oil (Mobil 1 in a 0W-40 weight) does not meet those. However, it does meet the Mercedes 229.3 and 229.5 specs (that a former oil expert at NICO had recommended), the ACEA specs also mentioned, and a "Nissan GTR spec" that appears to be a special case of some sort(?) I have not found any detailed info on that spec requirement yet though, so do not know what it is.

So, I am not sure if I should/would stick with 0W-40 or switch to 5W-30. However, since I change my oil and filter at the 3750 mile mark, I believe that the point may be moot. Since I change the oil often enough to ensure that I have good, relatively clean oil in the car. :yesnod

Z

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby szh » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:17 pm

lne937s wrote:
darylzero wrote:Wow! great post lne937s. Do you work in the oil industry?
Used to work in motor oil marketing/advertising. The company I used to work for makes great products, but I didn't think it was appropriate to push for one or the other here.
If you no longer work for that company, I don't see a conflict of interest exists anymore. Please feel free to mention them and the products ... :)

Z

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby Bubba1 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:01 am

I find the Blackstone testing stuff quite interesting, but I'm wondering if at the end of the day, those differences are small enough that it will not impact how long the engine performs or lasts under ordinary use. Am I wrong to conclude that spending extra money to buy an oil that passes some additional standards beyond what's required by the manufacturer is unnecessary?

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby szh » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:55 pm

Bubba1 wrote:I find the Blackstone testing stuff quite interesting, but I'm wondering if at the end of the day, those differences are small enough that it will not impact how long the engine performs or lasts under ordinary use. Am I wrong to conclude that spending extra money to buy an oil that passes some additional standards beyond what's required by the manufacturer is unnecessary?
I would say "fresh oil is good oil". :yesnod

So, as long as it meets or exceeds the car manufacturer requirement, and is changed often enough (the only real reason for the oil analysis, if you want to find out what the correct OCI should be), then any good oil from a reputable supplier is fine, IMHO.

Of course, having said that, I still do overkill myself - with my steady OCI of 3750 miles, using Mobil 1 SYnthetic 0W-40. Because I can. :yesnod

Z

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:26 pm

I use synthetics for higher flash points/coke points (specifically for my turbo cars), and less foaming/frothing (high revving).
Everything else gets the cheapest crap I can put in there.

They don't make an oil cheap enough for my Honda.

Z- feel free to send me your used 0w-40 Mobil 1. I'll push it straight through the Honda (and the 240 truck)!

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby szh » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:45 pm

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:Z- feel free to send me your used 0w-40 Mobil 1. I'll push it straight through the Honda (and the 240 truck)!
:biggrin: Would love to!

There are disposal fees around here for used engine oil ... so, would be great to capture it instead and give it away. :yesnod Shipping to where you are would be silly though ... oil can only go by truck, afaik.

Z

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby Tibikehauler3 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:19 pm

Hi,

New to this great forum...please don't kick me off yet..

Back in the day Mobil 1 was a steal and therefore I used it in all my newer cars...beaters got Valvoline or Castrol GTX. When Mobil 1 lost suit to Castrol and went to non PAO base ..or non Group IV I quit using it.

It is a still a very good oil..factory fill for a long list of performance cars. I understand one of their oils is still made with Group IV base but they will not specify which one it is.

PAO oil's are Amsoil, Redline and Royal Purple. As far as I know these are the only ones for sale in US. Motul and Shell make great oil for various applications but I have no experience with them.

I own 4 Toyota's, an old Benz, and had a Pathfinder. With the exception of Tundra transmission I use Amsoil in most all of them. I first used Amsoil or Mobil 1 in a Pathfinder in 1992 and have been using them since.

I just bought a 2001 Pathfinder LE 2wd and may switch to synthetic if all is healthy. I will change diff lube to Amsoil 75w-90 or 80w-90 in next couple of days.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:43 am

Sounds like you throw away a lot of money, unless your oil change interval is in the 10k+ range.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby Kompresshun » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:57 am

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:Sounds like you throw away a lot of money, unless your oil change interval is in the 10k+ range.
Not everyone is as cheap as you are Shames ;)

I never have ventured into using Amsoil, Royal Purple, or Redline but it's mainly because it's not as readily available. Royal Purple is getting a little easier to find, but i've always heard once you start using it that you shouldn't really switch to another brand. If I went with any of those three it would probably be Amsoil, but again - I really don't like having to plan way ahead on my oil changes, so I just stick to Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum personally.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby Bubba1 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 10:57 am

I strongly suspect the rumor about one should not switch to another brand after using Royal Purple was started by Royal Purple.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby Kompresshun » Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:03 am

Bubba1 wrote:I strongly suspect the rumor about one should not switch to another brand after using Royal Purple was started by Royal Purple.
I suspect that is more likely the truth as well. I'm not that interested in trying their oil to find out though, because i'm not really convinced it's any better than what's on the shelf next to it. Amsoil is the only thing that I feel like that may have a chance of being any better, but I don't see enough proof with Amsoil, Royal Purple, or Redline to convince me that I should spend extra money on it.

I'm perfectly content with what I buy off of the shelf at Wal-mart in a 5 quart jug :)

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Sun Aug 10, 2014 3:53 pm

Everyone thinks oil is some kind if black magic voodoo that doesn't make sense. It really isn't that complicated. There's a lot of marketing hype, but when you get down to it that's all it is. Hype.
Hence the purpose of this thread.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby Tibikehauler3 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:59 am

Sounds like you throw away a lot of money, unless your oil change interval is in the 10k+ range.

reply

Costs about same. I usually go between 5000 and 7000 miles on synthetic.

I just bought Castrol GTX 5w-30 for sons 2001 Pathfinder...5.79 quart ( good for 3750 miles using 5.25 quarts equals .008106 cents per mile) vs. Amsoil at 9.28 quart...including shipping cost which is kind of variable because the round off it seems (( good for at least 7000..maybe more) equals .00696 cents per mile) So at just 7000 miles Amsoil is is less expensive.

Toyota dealer and Benz dealer use 7500 miles as about the most you want to leave oil in engine because of acid build up. However one mechanic at the Toyota dealer changes his Mobil one at 3500 miles...to each I guess.

The reasons I use synthetic are:

1: A couple of mechanics I have been using for almost 19 years told me that the best thing synthetic does is " it still protects your engine if you don't change it on time..it for lazy people" I was busy and didn't get my wife's oil changed for 11,600 miles. Dealer said was OK cause synthetic doesn't break down as fast as dino..

2. A parts guy at dealer has 372,000 miles on his 2006 or 2007 Camry and drives 188 miles per day 6 days per week to work. He has always used Mobil 1 and changed between 10,000 and 12,000 miles.... That is good enough for me. And I would probably still be using Mobil 1 if it were still a group IV oil...

3. Lastly, a student of mine in 1985 had an accident in mountains of Colorado and destroyed his radiator on his Jeep. He drove over 75 miles with hardly any coolant in engine. It was cold and mostly down hill but the Jeep made it home. Dealer told him that the Amsoil synthetic oil saved him from being stranded and destroying the engine. He was still driving the Jeep 8 years later. The 1988 Nissan Pathfinder I had then in Colorado made awful valve noise when I started it up. When I heard about synthetic from the Jeep guy I tried it. It actually flowed quickly to the top of the engine when it was 8 degrees outside.

I have been looking at Z convertibles and new Tundras. If I spend that much money on a vehicle I am gonna spend a few extra cents to buy what I consider the best oil.. I wish I could use it in my sons new to us Pathfinder...but Castrol GTX will be great I think.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby Kompresshun » Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:32 am

PapaSmurf2k3 wrote:Everyone thinks oil is some kind if black magic voodoo that doesn't make sense. It really isn't that complicated. There's a lot of marketing hype, but when you get down to it that's all it is. Hype.
Hence the purpose of this thread.
You can call it hype or voodoo black magic all you want, but aside from certain applications I fully believe that synthetic should always be used. If you're too cheap and willing to take a risk, then that's fine by me. If you think the cheap a** Wal-mart store brand oil is good enough for your vehicle then that doesn't bother me either. It's your vehicle and not mine.

There is far more proof, voodoo or not that synthetic is worth the money though compared to dino oil or just cheap oil in general. You can look at every oil analysis in the world, but i've seen enough proof in my lifetime alone in my own vehicles and other vehicles that it has made the engines last longer and saved them from catastrophic failure on many occasions. I could go on for hours with stories that have proven this point over and over. I've had zero catastrophic engine failures in 26 vehicles over the past 16 years myself though.

Yes, there is some hype involved but the only hype I see is that Mobil 1 is better than Pennzoil Platinum or Royal Purple is better than Redline and ect. If you choose any well known synthetic, I think you are making a safe bet regardless of brand. I do not believe in buying store brand oils, but I don't think you can go wrong with anything name brand in most cases.

Synthetic saves and extends the life of engines and drivetrains when used properly. Simple and easy.

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Re: What's Your Favorite Engine Oil?

Postby PapaSmurf2k3 » Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:48 pm

I've actually blown 1 engine... and it was running mobile 1 haha. Not that that was engine oil related or anything, just saying.

Its very rare that vehicles now a days get retired due to some sort of engine oil/lubrication related failure.
Seems like more engines don't start due to some stupid sensor or computer or wiring gone wrong. Cars rust away to nothing before the engines stop working due to lubrication in many parts of the country.
Kompresshun wrote:There is far more proof, voodoo or not that synthetic is worth the money though compared to dino oil or just cheap oil in general.
I'd love to see it if you can find it. Every scientific test I've seen seems to suggest that yes, its slightly better, but no, you don't really need the better characteristics unless:
You beat the ever living piss out of the vehicle (turbo/supercharger/high RPM/racing)
You really want to push the oil change interval (like has been mentioned in this thread)
You leave the oil in the car for a long time without changing it (such as a classic car)
The engine specifically calls for it (like it has narrow journals that can get clogged with sludge or something).


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