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Motor Oil 106 (only 4 more chapters to go yet)

Part Six. A personal recommendation.

These are the motor oils I recommend. This is based on information that I just happened to collect. I have not gotten the specifications of all oils out there. My opinion on these oils is based on viscosities. By this I mean less honey like at start up temperatures and appropriate for the required viscosity at operating temperature. I broke it down to two classes, 1-Fully Synthetic and 2-Mineral (dinosaur) oils and blends of dinosaur and synthetic. The asterisk is my preferred from each group of very similar products. And these are usually easier to find in my experience. Remember, all oils are too thick at start up. There is no such thing as an oil that is too thin below 100F. The thinnest motor oil made is still too thick at start up temperatures.

It seems that many engines work best with a multigrade 30 weight oil. Others would do better with a 20 weight oil and few would require a 40 weight oil. You can only determine what is best by experimenting. Admittedly I did not think my Ferrari Maranello would need a 20 weight oil. In truth I could actually use a 10 weight oil. A 0W-10 would be good but it simply does not exist for normal use. Red Line does make 2W, 5W and 10W oils (this acts as a 0W-10 multigrade oil) but they are for racing only. One Formula 1 team has actually used these very oils off the shelf from Red Line.


. Synthetic Class:

60 wt:
Redline straight 60 wt racing oil (racing only, acts as a SAE 20W-60 oil)
Shell Helix Ultra Racing Oil 10W-60
Valvoline SynPower 20W-50*

50 wt:
Castrol Syntec 5W-50*
Shell Helix Ultra 15W-50
Penn Synthetic 5W-50

40 wt:
Mobil 1, 0W-40*
Shell Helix Ultra 5W-50

30 wt:
Mobil 1, 0W-30*
Penn Synthetic 5W-30

20 wt:
Mobil 1, 0W-20*
Valvoline SynPower 5W-20



. Non-Synthetic and synthetic blends:

60 wt:
Castrol Syntec Blend 20W-50

50 wt:
None recommended - all relatively too thick at start up.

40 wt:
Penn regular Multigrade 10W-40
Valvoline Durablend 10W-40*

30 wt:
Penn regular Multigrade 5W-30*
Valvoline Durablend 5W-30

20 wt:
Penn regular Multigrade 5W-20*
Valvoline Durablend 5W-20


If while on the road you are forced to add oil there are rules. Let us say for example that our engine has synthetic Mobil One 0W-30.

Use the same type and brand if you can. If you are using Mobil 1 then it is acceptable to mix different grades but use a close grade when possible. It is not a good idea to mix say 1/2 your oil tank with 0W-30 and 1/2 with 15W-50 Mobil One.

If there is no Mobil 1 available then use mineral based oils next, preferably Mobil as first choice then any other name brand next.

The last choice is to mix a synthetic of another brand. They specifically say this should not be done.

I personally use Mobil 1, 0W-20 in the 575 Maranello and for the first oil change I drained the Murcielago’s 5W-40 Agip and replaced it with 0W-30 Mobil 1. The engine became much quieter. A valve tappet noise disappeared. I may try the 0W-20 next. For all my other cars I use the regular Pennzoil Multigrade 5W-20.

You have to try by experimentation what operating oil grade your engine requires. In all cases however, you want the oil that gets least honey-like at startup.


aehaas

Answers to the Oil Midterm Exam
I feel these were all difficult questions. You would be doing well to get 3 correct.

1- At normal operating temperature, 212 F, a straight 30 weight oil has a viscosity of how many centiStokes?
A- 3
B- 6
C- 10
D- 20
E- 30
The correct answer is C- 10 cS.

2- While racing at 95 F, mid-summer in Florida, which of these synthetic oils gives the best protection at 302 F oil temperature?
A- 0W-40
B- 5W-40
C- 10W-40
D- Straight 40 weight
E- They are all exactly the same
The correct answer is E- They are all exactly the same.

3- While starting up your car at 75 F, mid-winter in Florida, what is the approximate viscosity of a straight 10 (ten) weight motor oil?
A- 3 cS
B- 6 cS
C- 10 cS
D- 20 cS
E- 30 cS or higher
The correct answer is E- 30 cS or higher.

4- The biggest problem with mineral based motor oils with long tern use is:
A- Thinning
B- Thickening
C- Loss of VI (viscosity index) improvers
D- Both A and C
E- None of the above is correct
The correct answer is B- Thickening

5- Which of the following mineral based motor oils are still too thick at a 75 F startup temperature?
A- 20 weight
B- 10 weight
C- 5 weight
D- All of the above
E- None are too thick
The correct answer is D- All of the above
 

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I use Mobil 1 0W 30, however the car is not used too frequently - once a month maybe (6 Litre V12 engine). Is there any danger that this oil will drain over time and engine damage will occur?

I also have a V8 Vantage (1980's Aston), there are no valve 'seals' as such, just valve guides. Is there an oil choice implication with this?

Many thanks

Neil
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oil falling off of parts has no ill effects as far as I know. Synthetic oils fall off less than mineral oils, all others things being constant. Always use the most current rated oil as SL and soon, SM.

aehaas
 

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Dr Haas: LAmborghini recommends Agip 5W40 in my 99 SV Fully synthetic. I was considering your recomendation to go to Mobile 1 0W40. I understand why it would be the better choice but when I talked with the Lambo field rep for the east coast, Craig, a guy I believe you know, he expressed some reservations about using the 0W40 beacause Lamborghini had not done any testing with that oil. Based on your research, I mentioned that the "0" weight would simply provide less start up wear do to less thickening. I am not sure if he really understood that or was simply being cautious and did not want to recommend an oil that the company had not tested. I will probably just change from the recommended 10W40 and go with the 5W40 Agip. A concervative compromise.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
"We have not tested that oil in our cars" is what all manufacturers will tell you. The Agip fully synthetic 5W-40 is a good oil, use it. If you live in a cooler climate however, the 0W-40 Mobil 1 is better at startup. I am shortly going to the 0W-20 Mobil 1 in my wife's Murcielago, just to see what it does.

Yes, I have spoken with Craig Lortie and he knows me.

aehaas
 

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Dr: If you go to a 20W oil in your Murcielago it sounds as if you are trying to increase the oil flow therby reducing the oil pressure. Is your primary reason for trying the 20W to reduce the oil pressure? I now you mentioned earlier that you had a lot of pressure at around town speeds and low RPM.
 

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I get 80 PSI at 2,000 RPM in my Maranello using the 0W-20 Mobil 1. In the Murcielago I get around 45 PSI at 2,000 RPM using 0W-30 Mobil 1. Both are around town and the engines just do not get that hot. It will be interesting to see what the Lamborghini does but the only way to find out is to try it. I will certainly let everyone know after I run around a bit.

aehaas
 

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I must comment:

I suggest that if your that interested in the chemical aspects of motor oil broken down for the lay person as well as actual test on filter media then buy the book on the internet called the motor oil bible. THe author is a petro engineer and has done very extensive test with most oil brands and weights.

This book should clear up anymore questions you have on which oil and weight to use and the info comes from credible test and studies, not just opinions.
 

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Actually, use Royal Purple 5w 20 during the winter and 10w40 in the summer and you will love it and gain about 5 to 10 hp as proven on independent dynos. I have been an oil undergraduate most my life and this is what is now in all 8 of my cars.
 

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Oil manufacturers always say that THEIR oil is better. No matter what label you read it says you will get better gas milage, a cleaner engine, more power, easier starts and more life. But what other oil is it better than? If they were comparing the same brand and grade of an earlier API / SAE rating then it would all be true.

What oil was is the other engine that got 10 less BHP in the Royal Purple independent test. I like Royal Purple. But I would like to know if the other test engine had Red Line 10W-40 synthetic, Castrol GTX mineral based 20W-50 or what.

Is the engine a 4 banger that got 120 BHP instead of 110 or a Murcielago that got 590 BHP instead of 580. Was the test statistically significant. I have seen some tests of the same engine run multiple times getting quite variable numbers.

aehaas
 
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