Best oil for frequent short trips........

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3,031
Location
Florida
It would be interesting to know what the best oil would be for repeated short trips of less than 2 miles or so. These vehicles would be exposed to lots of stop and go, city type, driving. A typical soccer mom that drives 2 miles to drop kids off at school, shuts vehicle off and starts back up after 10 minutes to drive again 2 miles. Would synthetics or dinos be the choice? Opinions? Daily Drives: -2003 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner XtraCab, Impulse Red, Peppy 2.7 Liter 4 Banger, Running Mobil1 Synthetics SS 5W-30. ODO 6600 Miles. -1995 Toyota 4-Runner, Evergreen, 3.0 V6, Running Mobil1 Synthetic SS 10W-30. ODO 82600 Miles. (Switching to GC next)Nope sticking with M1. http://community.webshots.com/user/amkeer
 
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1,432
Location
Virginia
I know that top-quality synths have higher TBNs (therefore better at dealing w/water in oil), but are synthetics better at handling the actual water that accumulates in the oil during this type of use? Exactly how? I just changed out some M1 that had plenty of crud in it from many short trips in cold weather. Only about 3K miles in 6 months, but the oil looked like hell...seems to me the best thing to do would be to drain that stuff out. That's what I've never quite understood about Amsoil/M1 claims that it's good for a year even under severe service...what about all that water and fuel that could accumulate? Obviously, taking a long trip every week would clear some out, but they don't say anything about having to do that to get the 1-year interval. Any thoughts? Amsoil guys?
 
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413
Location
Marietta, GA
quote:
Originally posted by Matt89: That's what I've never quite understood about Amsoil/M1 claims that it's good for a year even under severe service...what about all that water and fuel that could accumulate? Obviously, taking a long trip every week would clear some out, but they don't say anything about having to do that to get the 1-year interval. Any thoughts? Amsoil guys?
My experience with Amsoil ASL/ATM x-30 for the 1 year OCI is that with a small sump on two Nissans, 3.5 quarts for 4cyl and 4.25 quarts for V6, is too long. I had insolubles and lot of iron in that OCI. I now limit Amsoil to 9-10 months to avoid this problem. The S2k 0w-30 is probaly the best candidate for the one year OCI.
 
Messages
175
Location
Ooooooooklahoma
I have been contemplating this scenario myself. At this point I feel that the severe duty OCI and a good CI-4/SL rated dino oil makes the most sense. Currently am using Mystik's JT-8 10W-30 (CI-4) in my 94 Toyota Pickup that endures a stop and go 3 mile commute to work and countless other short trips. How many miles does this soccer mom log each year?
 
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2,569
Location
College Dorm...
A "dino" HDEO 15w-40. Why? High TBN - HDEO 15w-40's are the only mineral oils that have the high TBN that is needed for situations like this. Dino, not synthetic - You could use synthetic, but it isn't really cost effective, because even with the high TBN, you'll still be changing on normal 3k intervals or so...
 

Amkeer

Thread starter
Messages
3,031
Location
Florida
Matt brings up some good points! What about the water and gas accumulation? Is dino a better answer because of this? [I dont know]
 
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5,785
Location
Dixie
Matt, If you do lots of short trip driving, the Series 3000, 5w-30 or the 10w-40/15w-40 would be my choices. The "SL/CI-4", diesel formulated additive chemistries can take lots more abuse than even an ACEA "A3/B4" formulation. These are also the best products to use in marine inboards or farm equipment for the same reason. ....I'd certainly change the filter after six months and top off the crankcase as well. You are going to see significantly higher wear rates under these conditions, than driving on the highway. Then again, if you are putting very few miles on the engine, the rest of the vehicle will still wear out first. Lets say you only drive 5000-6000 miles per year - how many car bodies/interiors are going to last for 25-30 years? I think any good engine will still last for at least 150k miles under those conditions. So ultimate engine life becomes a moot point .... Water and fuel act as catalysts for oxidation and nitration, but a PAO/Ester basestock and robust additive chemistry is still going to resist these much, much better.
 
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917
Location
Singapore
It takes 20~25mins to heat up the oil in my camry to normal operating temps. With short trips, I would recommend using the thinnest possible oil allowed, and the lowest viscosity index (so it heats up faster).
 
Messages
175
Location
Ooooooooklahoma
quote:
Amkeer posted: Toy, about 4000-5000 miles per year...
I had a feeling she isn't logging many miles. This vehicle may go months without getting the oil up to OT. This is severe oil trashing duty.
 
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8,711
Location
Nothern USA
I can't follow the reasoning on a 15W- for short trips. Go with a 5W- dino and change at least every 3 months. It has worked on my 77 LUV with 120,000 miles. Maybe splurge and use a 0W synthetic. I would stick with a -30 unless your owners manual suggests otherwise.
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by labman: I can't follow the reasoning on a 15W- for short trips. Go with a 5W- dino and change at least every 3 months. It has worked on my 77 LUV with 120,000 miles. Maybe splurge and use a 0W synthetic. I would stick with a -30 unless your owners manual suggests otherwise.
It's not the 15w-40 I'm recommending, it's the High TBN that will protect the engine against the contamination that will just plain kill the oil (and engine) when driven in conditions like described. A standard 5w-30 dino will work, but doesn't have the high TBN that is needed in conditions like this, and after 3k, the oil will be getting near "shot", whereas the HDEO will have a good reserve left over. There are some synthetics that have a High TBN and a lower viscosity (Amsoil 5w-30HDD, various 5w-40's), but when changing every 3k, they just aren't cost affective. If Amkeer wants to run a synthetic though, then I suggest a GII, Rotella-T 5w-40.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I still believe that for frequent short trips, especially in cold weather, you'd be better off with something like 0w20 Mobil 1, or any of the 5w20s for that matter. A good cost effective solution would be Pennzoil 5w20, changed every 6 months.
 

Amkeer

Thread starter
Messages
3,031
Location
Florida
Ok, here is the scoop. The vehicle is the 4-Runner and its currently running the 10-30 m1 which gets changed twice a year. Its seems to me based on the knowledgeable posters here that its best to change this oil more frequently since the oil will be contaminated more rapidly. So it seems like 3 month oil changes are best, right?
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
quote:
Originally posted by Amkeer: So it seems like 3 month oil changes are best, right?
I don't think you can say. Once a year might be OK. You have to test the oil to be sure. I put less than 3k miles in one year on a Honda running M1 that saw mostly short trips. I changed the oil after 1 year and the TBN was still 10+.
 
Messages
79
Location
Texas
Your scenario with mostly short trips is nearly identical to the use my 1990 F-150 gets. It has over 200,000 mi. trouble free, using Exxon XD-3 in 15w-40 year around. Internal corrosion seems to be nil, oil pressure is same as new, compression the same, as is oil consumption. Apparently the CI-4s and their predecessors work well in this kind of gas engine service.
 
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