5w-20 or 10w-30 in an 03 Honda?

Not open for further replies.
Jul 8, 2003
Guys & Gal: Very cool website! I have an 03 Honda Accord with the i4. The manual calls for 5w-20 weight oil which seems to light for hot summer use OR am I too "old school"? I put in Castrol GTX 10w-30 for the hot summer months. Most of my driving is on the interstate, typically about 4k per month. I have been changing it at the 4k mark, along with the Honda filter. Any thoughts?
mobil 1 0w20, good gas mileage and protection. run it in my 02 civic ex 5 spd, and i have no consumption and about a 2 mpg increase in mileage.
I dont have the luxury of having all the M1 oils here.... currently using RP 5W30 seems to works just fine (seat of my pants UOA... [Big Grin] )in my '02 Acura TL. which calls for 5W20... not quite convinced yet. Got 6 lt. of German 0W30 Syntec in waitng the wings...maybe for the winter storage..!?! J
Hi- Just as an example, I have a 2001 F-150 Triton v8. During that year, ford decided to change from recommending a 5W-30 to a 5W-20 oil. There were no internal changes documented between those years that would constitute an oil viscocity change. Some assume that the change was directely related to corperate CAFE numbers, which provides Ford and Honda with a better EPA standing. Others argue that the change is because of issues regarding piston to cylinder clearance. This is BS. I've been running 10W-30 (Red Line) in my 5W-20 spec'd truck for 20,000 miles with no-problems. My father has a 97 F-150 with the same engine..he's been running 10W-30 and the engine now has 200,000 miles on it with full compression for each cylinder (he's been using Mobil 1 synthetic). Honestly, teh choice is yours, but Honda cannot void your warranty due to oil viscocity, so don't worry about it. Just use what makes you feel comfortable.
Personally, I'm sticking with Pennzoil 5w20 and 3-4k intervals on my '03 Accord i-4. Pennzoil has gotten good feedback here in the oil analysis. With your high mileage, though, synthetic might make more economic sense...0w20 Mobil 1 might get to 8-10k (please do periodic UOA during first interval to confirm the oil will make it this far in your car), more than halving your oil change interval to once every 2-2.5 months. Read up on the Used Oil Analyses here for 5w20 and you'll see they mostly hold up well under normal drain intervals.
Honestly, teh choice is yours, but Honda cannot void your warranty due to oil viscocity, so don't worry about it.
Yes they can. [crushedcar] Any auto maker will seize any little thing to avoid paying for warranty repairs.
I guess I'm recting to the fact that everyone who is a proponent of the newer 5w-20 oil uses UOA's as a gauge of how well an oil works in a specific engine. The fact is, no matter what the laboratory proceedure is, the lab tests will not be a good measure against real world applications like stop and go traffic, extended idling, dusty off road conditions and ambient temps. up above 100*F. The Lab. is a controlled enviornment. The real world is not and for every UOA you send in, there is that much more possiblity for change. I am not against teh idea of 5W-20 working, but I will wait to have others prove that this oil is as good of a protector as the trusty 10W-30 and 5w-30 applications.
johnicon- There is a legal agreement called the Magnuson/Moss act that protects the consumer that buys aftermarket parts. This includes oil. As long as teh oil is API certified, you're in the clear. [ July 09, 2003, 11:48 PM: Message edited by: mf150 ]
ssjones, I think Mobil 1 5W-30 would be the best choice with Mobil 1 0W-20 being a good alternative. I think I would change at about 7,5000 miles. You may be able to go to 10,000 miles but I would do a used oil analysis at about 7,500 miles to verify that the oil is still in good condition before trying this. I really se no advantage to 10W-30 over a 5W-30 oil and I think it does get fairly cold in MD in the winter so I think that a 5W-30 or thinner oil would be a better choice all year. If you stay with a conventional oil then I would just use 5W-20 and change at 4,000 or 5,000 miles like you are doing now. Remember that any 5W-20 oil approved by Honda has to pass a double length sequence IIIF test and as such is more robust than your typical over the counter API certified motor oil. With all of those interstate miles your motor is not really working hard and you will get better gas mileage and much better cold weather performance with the 5W-20 motor oil. [ July 10, 2003, 12:05 AM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
mf - your close on the details of the act - specifically if you use a product that meets the specs laid out by the manufacturer, then you are in the clear. In most manuals, the guidance on oil is not just "use an API certified oil". We could all use SA or SB oils in that case, as they are API certified. Of course they are non-detergent oils for use in pre-1930 motors, but the fact is they are API certified. Would you like to go that route?
MNGopher- Thanks for the clairification. I've justy never heard of any oil related issues affecting warranty or the normal operation of an engine. Those of you that feel comfortable running a 20 weight oil, go for it. I don't. It does make sense to run a 5W oil in the winter when it is below zero. I just want to clairify that there are some people that use the non-spec'd oils, like 10W-30 with no problems. I do not let a vehicle manufacturer tell me what oil to put in my vehicle, especially when there have been no changes to the cylinder clearances or structure of my engine. In 01 Ford switched to recommending a 20 weight oil. The year before, the recommended a 30 weight oil. Most of the engine that "required" a 30 weight oil are around the 200,000 mile mark and are still going with near full compression in each cylinder. Will the same be true with the exact same engines on a 20 weight oil? What about higher revolution engines, like the Honda in this thread? Some people have said that a 30 weight oil shears down to near a 20 weight oil anyway. In the instance of a 10W30 vs. a 5W20, there are more polymers in a 5W20 than in the 10W30. What does the 5W20 shear down to? Maybe a 10W? Or maybe the 5W-20 doesn't shear [Roll Eyes] . I am not trying to disuade anyone from using what they feel comfortable using. I am not a chemical engineer or an engine specialist, but I do feel that 10W30 is a perfectly good summer oil for an engine that has a 5W20 recommendation. It would be a first if Honda or Ford rejected a warranty for running 10W30 in one of their 5W20 vehicles.
MF150 said "It would be a first if Honda or Ford rejected a warranty for running 10W30 in one of their 5W20 vehicles." Where did you get that info, from Ford and Honda corporate personell, or just the local dealer?
I had some good results using Honda 5W20 in my sisters 03 Civic EX. If you are not comfortable running it, go with a 0W30 or 5W30. -Joe
Wow, thanks for all the replies & input. I meant to say I was using 5w-30 not 10w-30. The plan was to switch back to 5w-20 in the Fall/Winter. I do all my own changes so it is not inconvenient to complete frequent changes. I guess I'm a little uncomfortable stretching the interval to 8K with a synthetic. (I do use M1 in my 96 Impala SS)
ssjones, that's what I do. Got a 02 Accord but with V6 and nothing but highway miles. But something really weird happened when I went from the 5-20 to 5-30. Seems at higher speeds, the engine is running higher rpms than it did before. I asked this question before but all said it's something else besides the motor oil doing it. Next change I'm going back to the 5-20 just for curiosity sake to see if it does drop the rpm's down at that speed. Weird.
The oil would have nothing to do with your RPM's at cruising speed. That is determined by the gear ratio in the transmission and the final drive. The only way the RPM could increase at the same speed is if the trans was slipping.
I know. It's bugging the #ell out of me. Checked the trans. all is good. I know they are all hooked up mechanically and it couldn't be the oil. But it happened exactly when I switched from the 20's to the 30's. Hope it's not something with the electronics. But you know, if it DOES go back to the former rpm settings prior to going to the 5-30, what the #ell could that be about????
Not open for further replies.