Anyone here who drove in the 1970's NOT use 10W-40?

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Sep 8, 2005
My first car was a 1975 Toyota Corona. It lived a long happy life on Pennzoil 10w40. I also used Pennzoil 10w40 in my second car, a 1981 Honda Accord.

Have not used it since.
Nope. I got my license in 1976, and while I used it on many cars in the '70s and '80s, by the '90s I was using 10W-30 and -- on older German cars) 20W-50 in the summer.

After discovering BITOG and other car-oriented sites, I've gone to 15W-40 in gas cars and mixtures of that with 5W-30.
In the old cars('60 Opel, Stupid-baker wagon, 57 Chevy, 65 Ford & others) I always ran a straight 30 weight. It was well into the middle 70's, & I was in my mid 20's, before I began using multiweight oil. When I did- yup, it was 10w40.
In 1970 I bought a 65 Plymouth Belvedere II with the old 225 sland six and 3 on the tree. For a couple of years I ran it on 10w-40 then I read 20w-20 was best for it. I used 20w-20 with a can of STP at each oil change and the mileage got a lot better. Good thing too with the 73 oil embargo.
I'm sure I used some back in the day, though I drove a lot of VW's and older cars and didn't use much multi-weight besides 20w50. Oddly enough my '01 Hyundai Accent calls for 10w30 or 10w40, until I discovered BITOG I didn't trust the 10w40, but currently have a load of T-A 10w40 from Wallyworld in it. Same mileage as the 10w30 T-A and 5w30 ST synth, possibly a little quieter. That one's hard to call.
The Navy used to have garages for us with lifts and tools and everything. Like a hangar for cars. For my 66 Charger (383 Magnum/Holly with a Torque-Flite 727 shift kit) I used to buy 5 Quarts 20W50 Castrol with Purolator filters probably cost a quarter a Qt, maybe 75 cents or a buck for a filter. OCI was 1500 or 2000 back then. Navy Exchange, nice, eh? Of course, I was, as a Second Class AME making maybe, $480/Month, pretax. Oh, don't forget the $44.00/month Hazardous Duty Flight Deck Pay! Pre-tax, that is.

Lark! Things have changed, my 05 Accent GT specs 5W20. I throw in a little VSOT, which makes it, I don't know what, (7W-25?), but it seems to be ok. These things have been refined a lot in 15 years, this 4 banger is so smooth, or isolated, or something, I can't even hear it idling, sometimes I think it's stalled at a light. They spec 5W20 for all seasons, which doesn't bother me any, but it ANNOYS the heck out of some folks around here, that's for sure!

My 92 Elantra I traded for this one spec'd 20W50 for average summertime temps 70-90 degrees, 10W30 winter. I used to run 0W30 winter and 10W40 early summer, and 20W50 in July-September.All Syn, Mobil1.. Very smooth, great mill, but at 268,000, the rest of the car was....dying, let us say!

How many on your Accent, Larks? What engine?

My how times have changed..
Used a lot of 10w 40 in the 70s. Also used 20w 50 a bunch in forged piston motors. Used straight 30wt sometimes in a few cars and trucks and bikes along with straight 40wt on one street/strip car.
Back in the early 1970's I changed my father's Grandville (1971 Pontiac). I would always use Quaker State 10w-40. I think it was called Deluxe. Back then a case of oil was 24 cans. That Pontiac used over 6 quarts per change. As I recall, 10-40 was the oil to use if you wanted your car to last. By the way, my father sold that car in 1978 with over 200k miles. Thanks for the memories.
My dad's 1974 and 1976 Cadillacs (V8-472 & V8-500) both lived on SHELL 10W-50. Other family cars used mult-vis, likely 10W-40 by end of 1970's. 3-4000 mile oil/filter changes were the rules on egnine lubes, and annual for trans & rear gears (except after towing or with water immersion when it was done more quickly or immediately).
In the 60's it was Castrol 20w-50 for a lot of people. Oil came in cans, not bottles. It was tough keeping the spout clean, and not spilling oil as you poured it into the engine. If you drove a foreign car it was 2k intervals, clean and gap plugs, reset the points, check the condensor, cap and rotor, change the oil and filter, check the timing and reset the idle. Ignition parts did not live long, oh and don't forget, greasing the wheel bearings, and all those zerk fettings under the car. All the fancy stuff, like electronics and fuel injection started in the late 70's and by the early 80 maintenance for the driveway mechanic/owner was greatly reduced. In 1960, if you told an owner/mechanic that cars would go for 100k without touching the spark plugs, timing and adjusting the idle, you would not have been believed.

Originally posted by wileyE:
Sure don't miss punching holes in the cans! these newfangled bottles sure are better.

There's pros and cons to both. There's less waste with cans, plus they are incinerable. I still keep the old can opener in my tool box as a reminder of the old days.
If memory serves, it was either SAE 40, 10w40 or 20w50 for a 68 Bettle, 10W40 for a 68 Satellite (318) and 10W40 for a 75 Chevelle Malibu (350).
When I was a younger (high school and college age///it was in the 80's not the 70's btw) I used Pennzoil 10w-30 in the winter and Pennzoil 10w-40 in the summer regardless of vehicle at 3-4K oci's. No reason other than that is what my dad always did on his cars.

That routine yielded several hundred thousand trouble free miles and very clean engines.

My family has gotten great service from Pennzoil for the last 40 years. I tend to be more of a bargin shopper when it comes to oil these days but price being equal I will always choose Pennzoil.
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