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fish2live

5w20 oil?

Question

fish2live

i brought my truck into the local ford dealer for a free oil change i had a coupon for.they put 5w20 in my 03 chevy p/u, in the manual it states to use 5w30 only. should i be concerned?

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TravisC

should be fine probably start better in the cold. just put the 30w in next time.

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Jeremy airjer W

Well theres your problem, Leave those ford guys alone!

5w20 is the viscosity rating that the oil has. It has all of the lubricating characteristics and additives needed for proper lubrication. Its just a little thinner. I would be more concerned if the used 5W30 in your 5w20 system.

The only thing I could possible think of is if the mains are a little worn you may start to hear them make noise just because the oil can more readily move through the parts that they are trying to lubricate and if anything is leaking you may notice it leaking a little bit more.

If your really concerned about it bring it back and tell them you want 5W30. There should be no problems from them as they should have filled it with 5W30 to begin with! The big yellow print on the oil cap should have been a big clue!!!

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schweady

Been doing the exact opposite in our 2002 Taurus for 94,000 miles now, no problem. Cap says 5W20, been using 5W30. Mostly because 4-5 years ago, nobody had 5W20 and when you did find it, it was double the price. My family Ford dealer said it's really no difference... He said Ford was just able to advertise a slightly better gas mileage on the window sticker when 5W20 was the recommended weight oil. ??

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Capt. Don*

When we change oil, the oil we put in the engine isn't necessarily what shows on the invoice. Our computers generate an invoice based on what labor operation was keyed in. For a light truck w/gas engine our system is built to print 5/20 on the invoice as that is what Fords use. Most likely they put 5/30 in but the invoice shows what it was programmed to read for the menu price. You could check with them to be sure, but even if it is 5/20 this time of year shouldn't be a concern.

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fish2live

thanks for the replies. i am not to concearned about it, i figured they know what they are doing. just wanted to double check just incase

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Dragonsm

I have an easy solution to the problem......just go trade the Chevy in for a Ford PU and the 5/20 will be correct. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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BobT

My understanding is that engine tolerance has been tightened and using heavy oil may pose problems, especially before the oil gets up to running temperature.

I also believe that using lighter oil may improve fuel economy slightly. With the improvements in lubricants today from what they were in the past, lighter oils are now possible because they can handle the heat much better and so don't break down as quickly.

Bob

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Jeremy airjer W

Your are spot on BobT.

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mjhowe

and speaking of oil...why is it that my daughters 1987 Honda civic with 230,000 miles on it, which specified a 7,500 mile oil change, runs better and uses less oil, than my 1998 suburu with 150k that gets oil changed at 3000 miles?

How were we all duped into thinking 3,000 miles was the magic number....Oils are better, maunufacturing tolerances are better, yet we change it more often...

Just makes a guy wonder....

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theoilman

If your Chevy has been run on 5W-30 and you switch to a lighter oil, 5W-20, it may start burning/using oil. Just change back to the 5W-30.

A little history on viscosities (Viscosity is resistance to flow, a lighter viscosity means less resistance to flow.)

Back in the 1970s and well into the 1980s almost all American cars used 10W-40 and Asian used 20W-50. In the late 1980s to around 1990, everything switched mostly to 10W-30. Around that time there were a number of large improvements in manufacturing tolerances and consistency. Bearing to shaft clearances got closer, piston to cylinder wall clearances got closer, and cylinder honing improved to 'micro-honing. With these tighter clearances you got the same protection using a lighter viscosity oil.

A few years later, many started changing from 10W-30 to 5W-30 primarily for improved cold performance, with little change in overall protection (The _W is the cold viscosity and the -30 is the hot protection. For a warmed up engine a 5W-30 and 10W-30 should be the same.)

Around 2000 most Fords and Hondas changed to 5W-20 while making no further improvements to engineering internal in the engine. If you drop the viscosity of an oil while holding everything else about it the same you will increase fuel economy - maybe 0.01 mpg - not enough that you or I could ever measure it, but when you are Ford and making millions of vehicles, improving their CAFE (government test Corporate Average Fuel Economy) even a tiny amount means big bucks to them. To provide adequate protection Ford at the same time changed from a minimum spec 5W-30 petroleum lube to 5W-20 partial synthetic required to try to hold protection at about the same level.

What do the vehicles actually require?

The GMs gasoline engine vehicles I have checked out are now under-hood stickered 5W-30 while the owners manual says 5W-30, 10W-30 or 0W-30 (must be synthetic) are all approved. Then it goes on to say 'Don't Use 20W-50.'

Fords however leave a lot of doubt: under-hood stickered 5W-20 while the owners manual simple says '5W-20 preferred.' In my dictionary 'preferred' doesn't mean I have to use it. But Ford gives you no further guidelines.

If you want the best protection switch to AMSOIL. E-mail me direct and I will mail you a copy of the test data that proves it. Yes, AMSOIL is some of the highest priced oil you can buy, but it is the Lowest Cost. With better fuel economy (3% to 5% for most), reduced wear (50% lower) and longer oil change interval (up to 25,000 miles/1-year normal driving; 15,000 miles/1-year severe driving, gasoline or diesel), it will cost you less in the long term.

Sorry about the 'ad' for those who are sensitive about it, but it just continues from the technical questions here.

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vitalshot5

Everybodies a salesman......all oil brands are not the same but have to go by a government standard.....pick an oil and stick with it no matter what brand is your best bet....if it calls for 5-30 stick with 5-30 and also try and use the same brand throughout a vehicles life.

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Jeremy airjer W

Quote:

and speaking of oil...why is it that my daughters 1987 Honda civic with 230,000 miles on it, which specified a 7,500 mile oil change, runs better and uses less oil, than my 1998 suburu with 150k that gets oil changed at 3000 miles?


Thats an unfair comparison. Two different manufacturers, completely different cars, completely different engineering, completely different standards.

7,500 miles between oil changes is under "ideal conditions". These conditions exhist in a lab and no where else. Granted the better the engine is engineered, the better the efficiency. The better the efficiency the less contaminated the oil gets. Pair that with better refined oils with better additives and you may be able to drive a little longer.

7,500 miles, not this guy. Toyota tried it with there 3.0 in the camry. Guess what, things went terribly wrong. Excessive amounts of sludge built up in the pan and they starved for oil. Toyota forked out a lot of cash to take care of that problem. Was it the oils fault, was it poor engineering, or a momentary lapse of reasoning. Maybe a combonation of all three.

My new vehicle requires an oil change every 5,000 miles. They use regular mobile one at the dealer. Its one of the top oils in my opinion, but I still change it every 3,000 miles, for nothing else than a little peace of mind.

As far as synthetics go, in my opinion, they are better lubricants. Do they last longer? Yes and no. If the engine is at 100% than yes, it will probably last a little longer. If the engine is worn out with a ton of blow-by, than no its not going to last any longer. All that fuel and carbon and whatever else ends up in the oil. The oil may be fine but its all the debris and acids that build up that will do the damage.

Its $20 to change the oil to possible prevent thousands in repairs. Why not have it done every 3,000 miles.

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Whoaru99

Again, yes and no.

The filters should be catching the particulates large enough to do damage, and synthetic oils tend to have higher TBN numbers and stronger/more durable additive packages. That's why they claim (and often recommend) longer service intervals.

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BobT

I don't agree that we change it more often. I do agree that quite often we probably change it more often than needed, depending on driving habits. The 3,000 mi interval is the norm today for heavy duty use, such as lots of stop-and-go traffic like you have in city driving or quite a bit of heavy hauling as when pulling a big boat, camper, etc.

For the person who primarily uses their vehicle for highway and pleasure use a 5,000 mi interval is probably adequate. Probably the most significant advances have come in the design and quality of the engine lubricants. They aren't near a subject to thermal breakdown as they once were. Tighter engine tolerance, cleaner engine performance, and better filtering, both air and oil, have also contributed.

30 years ago the normal interval was 2,000 mi. It is now more than double that amount.

Bob

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mjhowe

Almost every oil maunufacturer (non-Syn) and oil change outfit tells you to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Manufacturers may put different frequencies in the manuals, but the MARKETERS have evryone convinced its 3k.

.

It may be apples to oranges, the point was, how did 3k become the norm, when engine tolerances and oils got better?

Tuneups are now 100,000 miles or more on many vehicles, so obviously they are engineering stuff to last longer...except oil?

I have used synthetics on several vehicles, and agree, on a worn engine, they are no cureall. I started using Mobil one in my 1998 Suburu at 145k and now I have 70lbs of compression in #3 cylinder...but thats a whole nuther story!

I agree, 7500 miles is probably pushing it...My point was that in 1987, Honda spec'd 7500 miles for thier little civic...and I doubt that the folks who owned the car before me changed it at 3k...and its lasted over a quarter million miles. NO smoke and still runs like a rocket

Its a good topic of conversation, obviously, cause thiers lots of opinions! grin.gif

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