Any of you guys using 20W50?

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MD
I ocassionaly use it in my 79 320i which calls for it down to 20 F. I belive back then BMW used to make engines with really long lifes in mind as i've seen a bunch with 250K and over.20W50 was pretty much the grade of choice until about 93 for BMW. 20W50 has all things popular nowadays against it,it's thick,flows slower to moving parts plus passages and dissapates less heat than other grades.However it's also responsible for getting a lot of engines over 250K miles. Can this grade be considered in todays vehicles obsolete? [I dont know]
 
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Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
A dino 20W-50 is obsolete in 2004 new cars.... A synthetic 20W-50 still has many uses, such as the BMW's you mention and other middled aged well tended beasts. I ran the 243K mile 1985 Volvo 245Ti for 3 years on Amsoil Series 2000 20W-50, winter and summer. The car loves that oil, but for half the price I'm running Amsoil full syn. 15W-40 with no ill effects......
 

Alan

Thread starter
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MD
Hi I see here in the states 20W50 is obsolete but in Asia and Europe they are used and recommended in the same vehicles used here.I saw Ken4's 02 Camry UOA that showed little wear with a xxW50 oil.In the states,5W30 is recommended all year long.
 

Kestas

Staff member
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The Motor City
The higher weights seem appropriate for tropical climates. Some Australian drivers report even higher weights of oil are available and are used in their vehicles, up to 70W. I had one vehicle (85 Omni) where I exclusively used 20W50 for its life (165K) before I sold it. No oil related issues except I couldn't start it once when it was below 10°F. That was before I was smart about oil (thanks to BITOG). I still sometimes use it on my 71 Cutlass in the summertime where I use it mostly on the freeway.
 

vvk

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481
Location
Philadelphia
I use it in my 1986 SAAB. It makes the engine run 100% smoother and quieter than 10W-30. With the 10W-30 valve lifters were really noisy. They are completely quiet with 20W-50. Obviously a pressure issue. The car runs like new with over 300k miles.
 
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Tn
20W-50 may make things quieter because of the acoustic dampening effects. It will also raise operating temperatures in the block. It might be a choice for an oil burner. I have found that some synthetic and HM oils will quiet things down without increasing the grade.
 
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453
Location
Galveston, TX
quote:
Originally posted by Alan: I ocassionaly use it in my 79 320i which calls for it down to 20 F...... .....Can this grade be considered in todays vehicles obsolete? [I dont know]
I used to use 20w-50 all the time....Castrol GTX dino, mostly. Back in 1990, when I worked in New York City, there were winter days when I'd have to dig my car out of a tomb of snow and ice, and it'd still start instantly the moment I turned the key, this with 20w-50 GTX. It's funny, in those days, there was little talk about thick oils wearing out your engine....people just poured in the thick stuff and ran their cars for 250,000 miles, no fuss, no drama. Now, I mostly use HDEO 15w-40's. Oil technology has improved such that one gets comparable protection from the 15w-40's. But if I had to do an emergency oil change or top-off, I'd have no hesitation about pouring in Castrol GTX 20w-50 if my regular HDEO was not available.
 
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Greece
quote:
Originally posted by haley10: 20W-50 may make things quieter because of the acoustic dampening effects. It will also raise operating temperatures in the block. It might be a choice for an oil burner. I have found that some synthetic and HM oils will quiet things down without increasing the grade.
Raised operating temperature in the block make the cooland to deteriorate much sooner than usual.
 
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Location
Greece
quote:
Originally posted by yannis:
quote:
Originally posted by haley10: 20W-50 may make things quieter because of the acoustic dampening effects. It will also raise operating temperatures in the block. It might be a choice for an oil burner. I have found that some synthetic and HM oils will quiet things down without increasing the grade.
Raised operating temperatures in the block make the cooland to deteriorate much sooner than usual.

 
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USA
My rule for running 20W50 is as follows. If your high temps are at least 40F you are fine! If not give your self the cushion of a thiner weight in case a cold snap comes through. I had excellent results with 20W50 Castrol GTX before switching to synthetics like M1 15W50. I think that in all but a few cases you are better off runing a good 15W40 HDDO in conventional oil, 5W40 or 15W50 in synthetic oils! Their are some applications I ecopnoise by running Delo,Delvac, or Pens-LL in 15W40 in the summer and then usualy run a synthetic or synthetic blend 30wt in the winter!
 

TC

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California
Alan: You mentioned "today's vehicles," but for warranty purposes alone, 20w-50 is considered obsolete and may potentially void one's warranty, and therefore inappropriate for newer cars. But for older rides, sure, I suspect that weight is as appropriate as it's ever been. The simple fact that many of those older vehicles are in car heaven now, corresponding to a reduced presence of thick oils at the parts stores, might suggest that 20w-50 has somehow become "obsolete" (for any vehicle). But your instincts are on-target -- it's still a perfect weight for certain rides. The Chevron and Havoline spec sheets say it well: "20w-50 is recommended primarily for older engines in high temps and heavy duty operations such as towing...It is also recommended for some high performance engines used in racing and rallying." Should one write off the newer "thin" oils as insufficient, one should recall there's plenty of UOA's in these boards showing little wear even with 5w-20 oil, so I suspect Detroit knows what's it doing... [Smile] [ February 06, 2004, 12:04 AM: Message edited by: TC ]
 
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By Detroit
When I got my oil pressure gauge I was running 5w30 and had hot pressure of 36. Spec is 40-60. I put in 10w40 and am getting 45 psi. Good. Now I believe the next step up increases the high sheer viscosity, so I was going to try 15w40 in the summer, but my favorite (Valvoline Maxlife) does not come in that grade. They do have 20w50 and I am thinking, why not? I don't see any reason I can't run 20w50 in the summer. This is a '95 300 I6 with 107000 miles. Also, regarding engine noise, I guess a thicker oil would dampen the sound effects, but also would reduce the mechanical action that causes some of the noise. I know back with the 5w30 my engine was somewhat noisy, mechanically. Now I can't tell because my exhaust is noisy too, but based on that experience I will never run 5w30 again unless I move to, say, Manitoba.
 

Alan

Thread starter
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MD
I think raise in engine temperature when using 20W50 can benefit the longevity of the motor.Pat Goss made a really good point on his show saying engines made in the 50-60's ran a lot cooler and didn't last nearly as long as some of the newer hotter running designs. Higher temperature makes for a cleaner running engine.
 
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79
Location
Alabama
Now I'm really confused about oil weight.Especially w/ the family fleet:95 Dodge Intrepid,94 Ford Ranger and a 90 Ford Mustang GT,all with around 130k miles. I have been using 10W30 Havoline conventional. [Confused] So now what? What is really funny though, is when I worked for Advance Auto and people would come in w/ a new Ford. They WOULD NOT buy anything but 5w20. Especially the grand/great-grandparent age, they were scared to death to use any other weight. [freaknout]
 
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