Dad's old oil advice

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Many years ago my father told me that if your car or truck seems to use more oil then you would like try going up a grade. However he was never specific on how much oil your car should or should not use to make the switch? I did take his advice on my 1992 Volvo 960 and went from Mobil 1 10w30 to Mobil 1 15-50 and my car never ran better and also then used little oil but that was also more then going up one grade. Is this advice still relevant with today's cars? I'm not saying going to 15-50 but say from a 5w20 to a 5w30 weight oil will it help reduce oil consumption if your car seems to use a fair amount of 5w20?
 
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I've known a bunch of people who used the same logic, and I think most of the high engine treatments, stp, Lucas, motor honey, hyper lube etc are just mainly oil thickeners, which slows consumption.
 
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Yes and no. Some believe,and rightly so,that thicker oil has a harder time getting to the top of the cylinder and thereby doesn't lubricate the topmost part of the stroke. I've also seen some engines consume more oil when going a grade thicker so really it's engine and operating condition dependent. If your engine is consuming more oil than it once did then it certainly won't hurt going a grade thicker however it's not a guarantee right. Definitely worth a try since it really doesn't add any actual cost to the next oil change,since a 20 and 30 grade of the same tier cost the same money.
 
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Well, I have never been a fan of heavier oil but ... The pinion seal on my rear axle leaks a lot of 80w-90 and I have bad vibrations on it ... 85w-140 doesn't leak or vibrate so, I can see that.
 
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My father gave the same advice, plus that as a vehicle ages, you should change the oil more often, (he would drop from 3,000 miles per change to 2,000 per change). On the other hand, my father in law said just the opposite, that as a vehicle ages, it will burn more oil as it wears, but he always used a straight 30w saying the rings were only part of the engine. He feared a heavier oil actually increased wear to other parts of the engine as it would not flow as well, especially in cold weather, (he lived in Wyoming). Now, compare the results. "Back in the day" (70's and early 80's), my father would usually get between 100,000 to 125,000 miles on a motor which would be burning a quart every 500 to 700 miles. My father in law on the other hand typically racked up 200,000 miles before reaching the same rate of oil consumption.
 
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Originally Posted By: GreeCguy
My father gave the same advice, plus that as a vehicle ages, you should change the oil more often, (he would drop from 3,000 miles per change to 2,000 per change). On the other hand, my father in law said just the opposite, that as a vehicle ages, it will burn more oil as it wears, but he always used a straight 30w saying the rings were only part of the engine. He feared a heavier oil actually increased wear to other parts of the engine as it would not flow as well, especially in cold weather, (he lived in Wyoming). Now, compare the results. "Back in the day" (70's and early 80's), my father would usually get between 100,000 to 125,000 miles on a motor which would be burning a quart every 500 to 700 miles. My father in law on the other hand typically racked up 200,000 miles before reaching the same rate of oil consumption.
I sometimes found myself extending the interval a bit as the vehicle ages. My logic is that at that point the vehicle has approached the end of its life and I figure I could save a few dollars stretching things out a bit. Condition of the vehicle and my 'love' for it are also a factor. Keep in mind I keep most of my vehicles until the beg to be junked.
 

gathermewool

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Additionally, if an older engine consumes, the additives and basestock are being replenished every time makeup oil is added. Aren't there some on here who never change the oil in their old oil-burner, but only change the filter every so often?
 
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Originally Posted By: gathermewool
Additionally, if an older engine consumes, the additives and basestock are being replenished every time makeup oil is added. Aren't there some on here who never change the oil in their old oil-burner, but only change the filter every so often?
Yes - there are a few on here that do. And they posted UOA results along with valve cover pics. Engine looked good. I had a friend that did it too. No UOA data, etc, to back it up, but he went about 40K on top ups and filter changes. that engine leaked a bunch of oil.
 
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Going to a heavier weight oil helps oil consumption in SOME engines. Today you can get High Mileage oils that USUALLY are a much better choice. In every case you have to try a few and see what works best.
 

gathermewool

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Originally Posted By: Miller88
Originally Posted By: gathermewool
Additionally, if an older engine consumes, the additives and basestock are being replenished every time makeup oil is added. Aren't there some on here who never change the oil in their old oil-burner, but only change the filter every so often?
Yes - there are a few on here that do. And they posted UOA results along with valve cover pics. Engine looked good. I had a friend that did it too. No UOA data, etc, to back it up, but he went about 40K on top ups and filter changes. that engine leaked a bunch of oil.
Thanks for that. I can see not attending to a slight leak, but you make it seem like he's a mobile oil slick, sheesh!
 
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I used to have a 1980 MGB, and with around 55,000miles on the odometer, a lot of oil was sucked in through the vent pipe on the valve cover. Some of the oil did go past the piston rings. Even after a full engine rebuild at 67K miles, oil was still being pushed out of the valve cover vent pipe, even though i added an external oil breather tank. This way the oil was no longer being sucked in to the engine. Every 1,000 miles, i would get about 1/8 qt trapped in the oil breather tank. Point is, its not always the piston rings at fault.
 
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Originally Posted By: Camprunner
Many years ago my father told me that if your car or truck seems to use more oil then you would like try going up a grade.
Curiously enough, my uncle (dad died young) told me if your vehicle used too much oil, FIX THE VEHICLE! Geez...
 
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Originally Posted By: Camprunner
, FIX THE VEHICLE! Geez...
LOL. Excellent point. And as much i hate to be a middle man, not every one has few $K to drop in repairing a +10 year old vehicle. Or the give an efin in the first place. Some cars just arent worth the time and money repairing them. You might gladly drop $5k fixing a 1992 Volvo, and i would gladly set it on fire. But i would gladly spend $5k on a 2001 BMW, and you would push me of a cliff for doing so. Each to his own.
 
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I'll be 60 next month, so that qualifies me for my own "Dad's old oil advice" column. Last year I bought several 5L bottles of 20W50 GTX that were priced too low to resist. Now I can't think of anything I would want to put it in, and there it sits. I'm so old, it seems that I can't even take my own advice. Now what am I going to do?
 
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Buy a case of TGMO, make your own synthetic blend... My mower is running 50:50 synthetic 5W20 and dino 20W60 after my oil temperature experiment...
 
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Originally Posted By: Shannow
Buy a case of TGMO, make your own synthetic blend... ..
Not surprisingly that's what I'd recommend considering how reasonably priced TGMO 0W-20 is in Canada (5.65/L or less in bulk)and nothing else is going to offset the very low VI of the 20W-50 motor mud. I wouldn't use more than 10% of the 20W-50 in a 0W/5W-20 application. 30% 20W-50 will give you the viscosity similar to a 5W-30 (at least above feezing). 40% similar to a PCMO 10W-30 and a 50/50 blend would make an oil similar to a HDEO 10W-30.
 

gathermewool

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Originally Posted By: used_0il
I'll be 60 next month, so that qualifies me for my own "Dad's old oil advice" column. Last year I bought several 5L bottles of 20W50 GTX that were priced too low to resist. Now I can't think of anything I would want to put it in, and there it sits. I'm so old, it seems that I can't even take my own advice. Now what am I going to do?
Great post; I smiled.
 
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Our Chrysler 3.8 consumes about 1 quart every 3000 miles whether I run 5w20 or 5w30 oil. Maybe a 40 or 50 weight would be different?
 
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chrysler 3.8 are known oil users. in florida, the dealer put 5 40 diesel in my fathers caravan. he traded before he found out if that would work though.
 
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