Best Oil For High Mileage Minivans

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Apr 30, 2004
I'm new here and some what overwhelmed by all the good information here. I've been reading through all the posts and I'm overloaded by all the information. I own two Mopar MiniVans, both are 1996 models. One has the 3liter motor with 82k miles and the other is a 3.3liter with 156k miles. My question is "what would be the best dino oil to use in them" ? Also what viscosity?
My vote would go for chevron, havoline, or pennzoil. 5 or 10w30 in the winter.....10w30 in the summer. If I had consumption problems, I would try pennzoil or castrol HM.
I had good luck with Valvoline 10W30 in my '93 3.0 mini van. At 80K it had to have the valve seals replaced and at 130K I crashed and totaled it. It was a great car! If the motors are loose one of the 15W40 heavy duty oils might help.
My '96 GC (Gr. Caravan) with 130K is on 15w45 Pennzoil LL and previously Delvac 1300 15w45. Having made every mistake (ran the old 10w40 oils with Slick 50, Duralube, Motor Honey, until engine internals were a deep brown Walnut stain and smoked horribly), all I can say is use a name brand dino (as others have previously posted), synthetic like Mobil 1, or blends (it's hard to go wrong nowaday with oil), when you get high miles go to a 15w45, and do ARX treat dose for the seals. I was driving my van this weekend and I could hardly hear the engine. With the 2 sliding doors, this is the ideal family van. In 2005 though Chrysler is changing body styles to a SUV/van style. I wonder if these older models will become collectable? [ May 02, 2004, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: rg144 ]
lakeman What's your OCI on your 3.0 and do you have any consumption issues? Just asking since my 92 3.0 never used a drop until around 3k miles (even with M1)..then used it regularly ..from almost new. The valves seals let go at about 130k+ ..but the engine runs strong yet at 160k+. I abandoned synthetics for many years in this engine ..and used just about anything cheap. Due to a strange cycling lifter tap at cold start up ..I tended to go thinner on weight in the colder months.
i had a 3L with over 150,000 miles, until it was stolen and it worked as well as the day it was made. it used no oil and had a ICE cold a/c. always used havoline 10w30, oil changes weren't frequent though. it lived a tough life with towing plus lots of highway and city driving. when it started leaking and i was forced to open'er up and replace the valve cover gaskets, the insides were clean as a whistle - no varnish. it's amazing how durable engines are sometimes, i guess we were lucky unlike other owners who have constant tranny problems.
GC is the oil I use in my 97 AWD Aerostar 4.0L. Over 200,000 miles and my van loves the stuff!. Smooth, quiet, no oiol consumption. Fuel economy a-ok. What more could you ask? All on near 7,000 mi intervals.
Thanks for the replies! I guess my instincts are pretty good as I've always used 10-40 in my high milers. I'm kind of new to these high tech motors, stuck in the 60's I guess, as this 5-30 oil seems thin to me. I'm going to try 10-30 in both vans and see how it works just so I don't have to buy two types of oil. Both motors seem tight and they run vey well although I've noticed the 3liter is starting to leak at the rear valve cover. Thanks again.
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