$500 beater, Oil suggestions?

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Festus, MO
I picked up this '02 Cavalier from a family member, 1 owner, 203,000 miles. All it needed to pass inspection was a set of front brake pads - easy enough. Standard 2.2L, new clutch and serpentine belt at 198,000 miles, slight oil leak at valve cover gasket, and another at the drain pan gasket. Interior is rough, but for the price I'll just add oil occasionally, drive it, and not complain. LOL Standard clear-coat peeling from that era, and this one is no exception. haha It's had a diet of whatever 5w30 and Fram filters the local auto/tire shop uses, so I see no reason to change anything. Any oil suggestions would be appreciated, but I have never read where these things are picky. I'm planning on using it for an 80-mile commute - 40 each way, 4-days a week. Of course I'll use the Yamaha Maxim when the weather permits. It was getting around 30-mpg on the highway, so I can't complain about that either. [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
 
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gathermewool

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Great get! It looks like the tires have a good amount of meat on them, and there's only that one spot of rust I see on the passenger side rear. I would check the alignment of the passenger-side headlight, though. It looks like it's cocked. I would run the cheapest oil and filter and figure out what the consumption/leak-rate is before considering more expensive oils. With that said, synthetic oils are on sale from time to time and oil is relatively cheap, so do what makes you feel good.
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by dareo
Nice car! Thats one payment on our TourX but you get to keep it forever.
Some rust in front of passenger side rear wheel, light scrapes behind rear wheel, dash cracked in multiple places, carpeting under rear window is coming up - it's a little rough. But it runs, it's paid for, and Liability Insurance is dirt cheap!
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by gathermewool
Great get! It looks like the tires have a good amount of meat on them, and there's only that one spot of rust I see on the passenger side rear. I would check the alignment of the passenger-side headlight, though. It looks like it's cocked. I would run the cheapest oil and filter and figure out what the consumption/leak-rate is before considering more expensive oils. With that said, synthetic oils are on sale from time to time and oil is relatively cheap, so do what makes you feel good.
Yes Sir. Tires aren't bad at all, and the passenger side headlight has been lowered and adjusted since the pic was taken yesterday. Surprisingly, it looked a lot worse than it actually was - light was shining almost parallel to the driver's side. lol It's probably going to get whatever oil is cheap. Not worth putting much money into.
 

Normac

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I 100% agree, Char Baby. nwjones18 - The advantage for me is that on one else in the family will drive it, being a manual. grin I added an 'under the hood' pic to the original post. I've seen worse.......
 
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That LN2 engine is a good beater engine. By good, I mean better than the Ecotec that replaced it. Just keep oil in it, and it probably won't care what kind it is.
 
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Originally Posted by Normac
I'm planning on using it for an 80-mile commute - 40 each way, 4-days a week.
Man that is a PERFECT car for that long commute. Real good MPG, and no issue racking up miles on it. Keep the mileage off of your good rides. For oil I would use cheap 10w-30 in summer and cheap in 5w-30 winter, and change at 10K intervals. With almost all highway mileage, it can easily make a 10K interval. If you want, toss a DashMat over the dash to hide the cracks. Just $50 for a custom fit. https://www.covercraft.com/us/en/pr...UpJmq6gIVAdbACh3A_AKiEAAYASAAEgKbEvD_BwE
 
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Costco has a special on Chevron oil if you want to go super cheap. I don't go super cheap on old cars if they are running well.
 
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I have a similar commute, in my beater I run on sale synthetic with a fram ultra for a reasonably long distance, 8-9k miles on the oil and double that on the filter. Probably overkill but I'd like the engine to outlive the rest of it.
 

JHZR2

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Good definition of a beater. If it remains reasonably reliable, Id say youve done quite well!
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by JHZR2
Good definition of a beater. If it remains reasonably reliable, Id say youve done quite well!
If I get 6 months out of it, I'm not out anything. lol Much cheaper on gas than the Avalanche, and saves miles on the wife's Chevy Sonic.
 
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Originally Posted by gfh77665
Originally Posted by Normac
I'm planning on using it for an 80-mile commute - 40 each way, 4-days a week.
Man that is a PERFECT car for that long commute. Real good MPG, and no issue racking up miles on it. Keep the mileage off of your good rides. For oil I would use cheap 10w-30 in summer and cheap in 5w-30 winter, and change at 10K intervals. With almost all highway mileage, it can easily make a 10K interval. If you want, toss a DashMat over the dash to hide the cracks. Just $50 for a custom fit. https://www.covercraft.com/us/en/pr...UpJmq6gIVAdbACh3A_AKiEAAYASAAEgKbEvD_BwE
Dude! that is 1/10th the value of the car...lol. Wear those cracks with pride!
 

Normac

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Originally Posted by Barkleymut
Dude! that is 1/10th the value of the car...lol. Wear those cracks with pride!
I found a cheap dash cover for $14 on eBay, that's more in my price range for this car. Not as nice but who cares.
 
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I would use whatever I could get cheap, or Chevron Supreme, PYB, or whatever high moly blend or Dino I could get cheap. As hot as this summer is getting, 15W40 HDEO would even be on my short list.
 
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