College Student and Cars - Most Crucial Oil Trait?

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2,569
Location
College Dorm...
Well, here in college now, I've realized how most students here operate their cars/trucks. The vast majority of students live off-campus, but most only a few miles away. Four or five days a week, they drive a few miles to the parking area, and then drive a few miles back to their house/apartment. Now, while the coolant temperature does get to it's thermostat-open point, I seriously doubt the oil approaches any temperature that will burn off contaminants. Now, in conditions like this, I'm thinking that the most desirable trait of an oil, above everything else, would be one with a high total base number, to help neutralize the acids/contaminants that would accumulate (And continue to remain in the oil until the student took a long drive somewhere). Please shoot some holes in my argument. [Big Grin] [ September 20, 2003, 01:15 AM: Message edited by: Jelly ]
 
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3,216
Location
BC, Canada
The highest tbn I know of is 70, marine oil sae 40. I worked at a Shell station near a university in 74, half of the engines are running 2-3 quarts low. Beer first, oil ....well somewhere down the list of priorities. Lots of rusty dip-sticks in need of oiling around that place. [ September 20, 2003, 01:20 AM: Message edited by: userfriendly ]
 
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1,908
Location
Fort Worth, TX
2-miles, get a bicycle. I used to service mine -- everything -- every six months back in the days of points ignition and $3.50/gl gas (1979, adjusted for inflation). Mainly, get it out on the Interstate for 50-100 miles once monthly. Figure it takes a MINIMUM of 15-miles for ALL fluids to warm up enough to BEGIN burning off accumulated "bad chemistry". Get a good oil (look up diesel detergent oils like MOBIL 1300), a filter, and don't exceed 5k; or change with seasonal weather.
 

Jelly

Thread starter
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2,569
Location
College Dorm...
TheTanSedan, In case I didn't make myself clear, I DON'T do this...I'm a certified oil nut and understand why these kind of trips are brutal on oil. ...I'm just curious as to what you all think would be the best "trait" of an oil for people that do.
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Yes but you're forgetting the daily runs to the beer store for these college kids, which must heat up the oil then! [Smile] I think a 0w20 oil would protect these engines better, although you'd still need to find a way to burn off the moisture somehow.
 
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3,693
Location
Chattanooga, TN
Guess it depends. Daughter at college, short trips (on campus so no commute) but still short trips to Wal Mart, fast food etc and maybe once a month the longer trip home. I change once a year, filter at 6 months, using Amsoil 0W30. She averages 7-10,000 miles per year UOA has been fine.
 
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47,691
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Throw a good synthetic diesel oil in the beater once a year when the kid is home from school and fuggedaboutit. Southern school Amsoil AME 15W-40, Northern school Amsoil HDD 5W-30.
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
When I was a student I had to walk to school uphill, barefoot, through five feet of snow! [Smile] Just kidding, when I was in my last year of college I had an 87 Mustang GT and was running Amsoil 10w40! [ September 20, 2003, 08:10 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 
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173
Location
Iowa
I shudder when I think about what the inside of the typical college students engine looks like. Living in a college town, probably at least once a week I pull up next to the "typical" college kid and inform him that one (or more) of his/her tires are **** near flat. Half the time I get a "hey thanks" and the rest of the time just a vacant puzzeled look that screams "what is a tire". One time I ran into a very clueless girl (typical sorority nitwit) at the gas station about 2 blocks from campus. I noticed she had 2 tires that were nearly flat and informed her of it and that she could fill them right over there with the free air hose the gas station provided. Her response, "How do I do that." So being the nice guy I am, I had her pull around to the air hose, got out my pressure guage and filled them all up. A week later I ran into her again at the same gas station. She says, "Hey I remember you. You fixed my car for me. It sure rides nice now and doesn't want to drive into the curb constantly." Dear God, please help...
 
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11,284
Location
Spring HIll
Going along with the Mobil 1300, Chevron Delo 400 at Walmart is quite cheap--$6.50 or so per gallon and a Supertech filter. Good oil and a really cheap price. Somewhat off topic: A guy I knew had a '73 Maverick (enough said, right!?) that he drove back and forth from Chicago's north suburbs to Parks college in Cahokia, ILL...(near St Louis). I never drove in it (thank GOD!). However, my friend's only ride back to Chicago for Christmas 1991, was the passenger's seat of that Maverick. It burned alot of oil. If I remember right, it was about 4 quarts for that trip, one-way. And the exhaust leaked so you HAD to keep the windows rolled down in order to breathe real, fresh air. (I guess the proper oil for this car is the cheapest Supertech for $4.17 for a 5 qt jug and a Supertech or Fram filter...whichever was on sale!) Yeah, the guys at the local parts store not only knew him by name, but knew all the parts for HIS car. I'm sure it's the only 73 Maverick they had to stock parts for, but they always seemed to have them on hand! Thank God I owned my Saturn to drive in back then rather than being held slave to that death trap! I'm sure MANY others have "college kids with no money" car horror stories. Anyone else want to document their stories?
 
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254
Location
Calgary AB
I remember when I was a student and was doing 160km round trips to school, ah those were the days. I'd say that the most important characteristic for 'student oil' is that it is CHEAP:)!!
 
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9,365
Location
USA
quote:
Originally posted by Forkman: I shudder when I think about what the inside of the typical college students engine looks like. Living in a college town, probably at least once a week I pull up next to the "typical" college kid and inform him that one (or more) of his/her tires are **** near flat. Half the time I get a "hey thanks" and the rest of the time just a vacant puzzeled look that screams "what is a tire". One time I ran into a very clueless girl (typical sorority nitwit) at the gas station about 2 blocks from campus. I noticed she had 2 tires that were nearly flat and informed her of it and that she could fill them right over there with the free air hose the gas station provided. Her response, "How do I do that." So being the nice guy I am, I had her pull around to the air hose, got out my pressure guage and filled them all up. A week later I ran into her again at the same gas station. She says, "Hey I remember you. You fixed my car for me. It sure rides nice now and doesn't want to drive into the curb constantly." Dear God, please help...
hope you got rewarded for your help. [Wink]
 
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9,448
Location
USA
If it warm weather then extended drain intervale is important. If it is colder climate then corsion protection and flow are important. In the winter most students only shop for beer, whiskey and food ever two weeks or more. The only people that leave the dorm any sooner are the ones that run home to Mom and Dad every weeked or those that work. I knew people that would not go any place off campus for 4 weeks at a time dureing winter. Me and one of my roomates used to give about 40-50 jumps starts every weekend because we always had charged up batterys. We where both in flight school so we had to go to the airport three time a week or more year round so our vechiles always had charded up battery's and well oil engines. If I was a poor college kid I would run a HD oil like Delvac 15W40 in the warm weather and a good synthetic 10W30 in the winter!
 

Jelly

Thread starter
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
Well, I'm definitely a "poor college kid", and I run Delo 400 in my truck. If I have to make short trips, I'll make a long trip soon after just to keep contamination level low (yep...I'm an oil addict!). I started this thread because, quite simply, I believe that the most vital trait of an oil in these conditions is one with a high TBN (mixed-fleet oils...Delo, Delvac, Rotella, Long-Life) because of oil contamination issues. It simply amazes me how people care for their cars here at school. They're so dependent upon these machines to take them to their classes and work, yet, for the large majority, they don't properly take care of them. They're idea of maintainance is getting something [email protected] fixed when it fails. They would rather spend $xxx.xx for a kick-butt sound system then change the fluids, and keep tire pressures up. For example...was walking back to the apartment the other day, and I see this late model Pontiac with the music blaring. As I got closer, I noticed the most awful sound coming from this cars engine. I swear it sounded exactly like a small Kubota tractor diesel engine. What in the world would make a four or six-cylinder gas engine sound like this???
 
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9,448
Location
USA
I made alot of money in college working on cars on the side. I also got alot of free meals and dates this way. The worst thing I ever did was let people know I was a Tech. before comeing to college. I now know how doctors must feel!! I agree that young people often have their prioritys skewed. [ September 24, 2003, 07:00 PM: Message edited by: JohnBrowning ]
 
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690
Location
Fort Smith, AR
Jelly I doubt you personally will have problems with your vehicles because you know better than the average college bear. But I also doubt any oil will overcome what I think is essentially a driver controlled issue (versus engine condition). The true cure comes when the college kid ends up having to foot the bill for the car, oil, repairs, and so. It's amazing how much financial responsibility matures people. As for my own 2 vehicles away at college...my secret weapon is my wife who willingly still does the laundry when the boys lug it the 60 highway miles home for cleaning. [Big Grin] [ September 24, 2003, 07:59 PM: Message edited by: Roger ]
 
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74
Location
N. VA
Go to the movies at the mall 10 mi. away every few weeks, doing high rev shifts. The matinees of course. My Bug never had a problem. [Cheers!]
 
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342
Location
Limon, Co
I'm no college kid but I do have the short trip issues to contend with in both my 02 dodge ram and wifes 03 hyundai. we live in rural Colo and our engince DO NOT warm up all the way unless you idle(bad) for 15 minutes or take that 2x and month trip into town to walmart. which is about a 150 mile raound trip after its all said and done. I am seriously thinking of tracking down a 10W-30 Diesel oil. the ladies car is stayng on either 5w or 10w Valv durablend. I knoiw the rap Valvoline gets around here but her car is responding well with it. Getting back on subject a HD oil might be the ticket. either way i would and AM staying with 3k changes. due to those miles. you would do well to stay the same.
 
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8,711
Location
Nothern USA
Why a 10W- for short trips in Colorado? At least in the winter I would go with a 5W- for ease of starting and oil flow. Maybe even cough up for a 0W- synthetic for the Dodge. That would give it good protection on the longer trips too. With a heavy oil in a cold engine what little oil may be circulating may be bypassing the filter. I want something that is going through the filter and on to the bearings. Hard starts and short trips are tough on batteries and the rest of the electrical system too. Back to the college students. When my daughter was in school, I did the maintenance on her 90 Beretta, Tech 4 and a 5 speed, as part of our support of her. I had it on the same 3 month interval as my car and truck for an AC Delco filter and Pennzoil 5W-30 dino. I compared the PF 52 on it to the PF 47 on my Grand Am and switched the Grand Am to PF 52 too. As for the students beating their cars, their parents should have taught them better, if they even knew better. Off topic: We joked about her car being the Alpha. When she visited home, it always got to stay in the garage, sometimes crowding out both the truck and Grand Am. Not only that, it frequently was up on jacks with me spending all my time with it. Obviously when it joined the pack, it took over as top dog.
 
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