"Better" oil for severe, short trip operation?

Messages
8,110
Location
MI
Hello everyone, My wife's minivan with 4 cyl. is used for driving to work 75%, around town 15%, and trips 10%. Work is only ONE mile away. Currently use 5w30 dino, 3,000 OCI. With 120,000 miles on it, there is varnish and crude visible under the oil cap. Auto RX is probably recommended. With this or future cars, is there a type of oil that might work best for short trip driving? Would synthetics be better for these conditions? It seems bad to extend the OCI with so much condensation occuring. Any ideas? We live in Michigan, with large temp. extremes. Thank you.
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
I think one of the High Mileage oils would be ideal for your van. Keep to 3000 mile oil changes. When I finish the Auto-Rx treatment in my Oldsmobile van, I'm planning on using Pennzoil High Mileage. I used to us Mobil 1, but my van only sees about 5000 miles a year now, and I don't think the added cost of using a synthetic is justified anymore—especially given how good an oil the Pennzoil HM is.
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
I agree with Eiron that a heavy duty motor oil like Rotella would be good in this application, but I would stick to the severe service schedule in the owner's manual, which probably says 3000 miles or 3 months. The HD oil has high detergents for cleaning and other additives and/or increased additives that should help absorb the abuse of short trips better than a passenger car motor oil. Should be able to get 10w30 heavy duty motor oil if you visit a truck supply or maybe the NAPA parts store. They do make it but it generally is not sold at Walmart except in the heavier 15w40. [ March 22, 2004, 01:04 PM: Message edited by: TallPaul ]
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
You guys need to take a look at the additive levels on these HM oils, especially Pennzoil. Calcium (the primary detergent) is at CI-4 levels with over 3000 ppm. You won't see it much higher than that in Rotella or any other HD oil.
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: You guys need to take a look at the additive levels on these HM oils, especially Pennzoil. Calcium (the primary detergent) is at CI-4 levels with over 3000 ppm. You won't see it much higher than that in Rotella or any other HD oil.
Excellent Point! I think Maxlife has around 2500 ppm calcium. But I thought the HD oil had some other things above and beyond a "high mileage" oil, such as higher zinc phosphorus levels and especially important on a short trip car, higher TBN to absorb acid from the short trip fallout.
 
Messages
951
Location
Loveland, Colorado
Yes, good point <b>G-Man II</b>. I guess I haven't really concerned myself with the HM oils 'cuz they've been marketed so vaguely. With the HDMOs, I know what the targets are for oil performance (API/ACEA ratings & all the various OE specifications). Do any of the HM oils list meeting any API/ACEA/OE specs?
 

TC

Messages
1,644
Location
California
Yep, as others have pointed out, a high-TBN oil is needed to cope with the condensation -- and therefore acid and sludge accumulation -- inherent with such short trips, plus "Severe Service" as previously mentioned. Synthetic would certainly help, but personally I wouldn't splurge for it on a 120K mile minivan. Typical TBNs: Union 76, Kendall: 6.2 Valvoline: 7 Chevron, Havoline: 7.4 Valvoline MaxLife: 8 Chevron Delo 400: 10.1 Shell Rotella: 11.5 My suggestion would be to use the cheapest name brand "diesel" oil you can find, even Napa or similar, changed every 3K or 4K mi. [ March 22, 2004, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: TC ]
 
Messages
951
Location
Loveland, Colorado
Hi doitmyself, I'd strongly recommend either Shell's Rotella T synthetic at 5k mile intervals or M1 0W-40 (or new 5W-40) at 10k mile intervals. All of these oils have great TBN levels & more robust additive & cleaning packages for your type of driving. I just got my 0W-40 UOA back for my turbo 4 cyl under similar climate & driving conditions (8,800 miles/14 months). Iron's a little high, but averages out to typical 3k mile OCI levels for this engine model. Other counts average out to pretty low levels for this engine, & TBN is still way up there.
 
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