Are there any "bad" oils anymore?

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1,527
Location
Mid-West, USA
Really, we sit around for HOURS on this site, and for what? We split hairs on which oil is better than the other. But really, if we think about it....is there really a bad oil anymore? And I don't mean, dollar store "Black Dog Star" oils and such.... Name brand oils....are there any that are bad that will not do the job required? Pretty much any current SN GF-5 oil that meet the specs required for your engine is going to get you an engine that outlasts everything else on the car. At least won't fail because of the oil.... You really aren't going to see a lot of varnish or sludge that is caused because of the oil if changed at the appropriate time, isn't neglected and not topped up, and overall is well maintained, PCV etc..... So, why not just buy what is cheapest at the time and not worry about the rest? I know we all want what we think is the best, of the best, of the best and all.....
 

JAG

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5,320
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
I don't think the majors make any oils I'd call "bad" but there are some particular oils that I think stand out as better in some areas, such as being capable of longer drains, withstanding higher temperatures better, better cold temperature performance, lower volatility, etc.
 
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838
Location
One Step Beyond
I'd say a bad oil would be ...... U.S.E.D. Oil My brother had bottles of it in his garage. When I'd go to visit, he'd ask me if I wanted any U.S.E.D. oil. He was a great mechanic. Then he passed away at age 52.
 
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725
Location
Idaho Former FL
Before my bitog days I had no clue of viscosities @100c or volatility or tbn. Oil was oil, it all did the same job, I used what I had layin around or pyb. Now I see all the great advantages of synthetics vs conventionals and brand A vs brand B is purely personal preference. After my PU stash is gone, (1 more jug), its back to "whatever" my engine will not care as long as there is clean oil inside!
 
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17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: Cooper
You really aren't going to see a lot of varnish or sludge that is caused because of the oil if changed at the appropriate time, isn't neglected and not topped up, and overall is well maintained, PCV etc.....
There's alotta guys on here who don't care if their engine is full of varnish; it's sad.
 
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2,035
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: larryinnewyork
I'd say a bad oil would be ...... U.S.E.D. Oil
I love Ultra Synthetic Ester Detergent oil ! hehe
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Originally Posted By: Cooper
You really aren't going to see a lot of varnish or sludge that is caused because of the oil if changed at the appropriate time, isn't neglected and not topped up, and overall is well maintained, PCV etc.....
There's alotta guys on here who don't care if their engine is full of varnish; it's sad.
yeh that's true. i've never seen a varnished engine that had clean, coke-free piston rings either.
 
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Messages
17,301
Location
OH
I think that your premise is correct in that any API SL/SN/SM oil in a grade close to that recommended will work just fine in any engine on appropriate drain intervals. What about engines with exotic oil requirements? Probably doesn't matter in this country as long as drain intervals are reduced and the car isn't tracked. Some engines do seem to beat their oil up badly judging by the UOAs seen here. This isn't so much an oil issue, though, as it is a drain interval issue. In some cases, a premium oil ends up being the cheapest choice, as with the Plat you're using in your Civic after the FRN credits. I have three cars on FAR oil at the moment, so I guess I am inclined to use the least expensive available oil. I will pay more for an oil I really want to use, but there may be no real benefit in doing so.
 

Cooper

Thread starter
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1,527
Location
Mid-West, USA
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
What about engines with exotic oil requirements?
Originally Posted By: Cooper
Pretty much any current SN GF-5 oil that meet the specs required for your engine is going to get you an engine that outlasts everything else on the car.
 

Cooper

Thread starter
Messages
1,527
Location
Mid-West, USA
Originally Posted By: Donald
Look at the PQIA tests. Certainly a lot of "bad" oils out there but few if any from major brands.
Originally Posted By: Cooper
And I don't mean, dollar store "Black Dog Star" oils and such....
 

Cooper

Thread starter
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1,527
Location
Mid-West, USA
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
In some cases, a premium oil ends up being the cheapest choice, as with the Plat you're using in your Civic after the FRN credits.
Yup, I agree. I am using the Pennzoil Platinum 0w20 in both the Civic and Forester. I have enough oil for both of my cars now until the GF-6 oils come out. Having a hundred quarts of oil for $1 each of Pennzoil Platinum is the best deal I have gotten for a long time. Could not pass up stocking up.
 
Messages
17,301
Location
OH
Typical exotic oil specs are proprietary and go well beyond SN/GF-5, but you already know that. These are usually intended to preserve engine durability under sustained hard use along with allowing for long drain intervals. Examples would be the certs for VAG, BMW and Mercedes engine oils. Long before these certs existed, the German practice was simply to recommend very thick API spec oils with the same goals in mind. This was what I had in mind when I suggested that an API spec oil would be fine even in engines for which oils meeting specific certs are recommended. For example, the OM of my pre-LL-98 BMW recommends the use of either 15W-40, 15W-50 or 20W-50 for typical OH summer temperatures. API SF/SG was specified and the MM allows for what I'd consider pretty long drain intervals, although I ignore it. 10W-40 is actually not recommended for ambient temperatures above 60F, so I guess I've gone daringly thin with the grade I've been using in this engine.
 

Cooper

Thread starter
Messages
1,527
Location
Mid-West, USA
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
I'd bet that the Civic would be very happy with HGMO SM:)
If I only had some of that high moly, high VI stuff laying around! I hear that stuff is pretty hard to find these days....not sure who in their right mind would get rid of something like that anymore.
 
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456
Location
Seattle WA
Ah, but how would you KNOW there are no bad name brand oils out there unless you spent those hours examining data and opinions on this site! smile It's kind of like saying all wine won't kill you so it's all pretty much the same!!! Who needs a wine critic? While it's true, the brand names won't kill your engine, I'll bet the different oils WILL leave different AMOUNTS of sludge/varnish if you could do a controlled test. So there are OK oils, better oils and best oils for sure. Knowing which oil to buy when it's on sale is important! Knowing each oil's characteristics makes me look for the ones I prefer and the one's I tend to stay away from. That's got some worth I think. Not to mention those beer conversations, "Hey, what oil you run in that Harley?" Most guys blink try to make something up or have no idea!
 
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