Do You Have To Use 5w-20?

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1,381
Location
Southeast Kentucky
You just opened the proverbial can of worms! There has been a lot of discussion over this. One argument is that federal warranty laws state that a manufacturer cannot make you use a certain part unless they provide it free of charge. Also, Ford can only void your warranty technically if they prove that 1)you used something other than their spec'd oil and 2)that the unspec'd oil itself actually led to the engine damage. And it will differ from dealer to dealer, some say use 5w20 and others may not care what oil you use. Amyone confused yet? [Eek!] For me, I decided to use the 5w20 during my warranty to avoid any hassles and also because its proving to be a very good oil.
 
Messages
897
Location
owatonna, mn
Okay, here's the deal. Took me about 10 minutes on the phone with the warranty department. Lots of social engineering involved (lying) on my part. But I finally got her so mad that she stopped reading the answers off the little cards and just yelled at me. "NO! Using a different weight oil won't automatically void your warranty! But you should use what is recommended in your book." Basically, they can try to blame whatever went wrong on the oil. I'm not sure who the burden of proof lies with.
 
Messages
1,181
Location
NJ, USA
quote:
Originally posted by darkdan: Basically, they can try to blame whatever went wrong on the oil.
There is the key. They can try and they most likely will. The result will be a protracted legal case which will cost you more $$ and aggravation and time away from work. No they do not require it, it is recommended. In fact, many dealers were filling with 5w-30 back when the 5w-20 was tough to come by. My dealer said nothing when I gave them my own oil to use for my scheduled maintenance (Amsoil 0w-30). Of course they did mention it when I had the truck in for the cold start piston slap problem. They basically said the first thing they need to do is drain the non-Ford motor oil and fill with the proper 0w-30 which means they have it on their file that I'm not using Ford spec oil. If one wants to be 100% safe and not worry about having to fight a huge corporation like Ford, use the 5w-20 during warranty. Mikep
 
Messages
125
Location
Virginia
When I talked to the Service Advisor at the local Ford dealer about this, he said that FoMoCo legally can not require you to use it. But if you have an oil related problem during the warranty, they can and will make your life miserable! He recommended having all oil changes done at the stealership (duh!)with the Motorcraft 5/20 and filter. All information is then on their computer if a claim is required. If you can't, or do not want to get it to them, you should use the Motorcraft 5/20( or one that meets spec) and an OEM filter and have full documentation to back it up. Anything else ( 5/30, 10/30 etc) you are on your own, and they are going to fight you on a claim. You will probably win, but it is going to be a battle.
 
Messages
625
Location
Silver Spring, MD (USA)
The real question is... Why not use it? Some of the 5w-20 and 0w-20 UOA's are better then some of the thicker oils! Heck one guy in a Mazda6 went from a 5w-30 to a 0w-20 and cut some of his wear #'s in half. Here's a whole crapload of 5w-20, 0w-20, 5w-30, and 0w-30 UOA's on the same engine. Mazda6 UOA's [ February 25, 2004, 08:50 AM: Message edited by: crossbow ]
 

tpi

Messages
200
Location
So. CA
quote:
Originally posted by crossbow: Why not use it?
Because in some climate and usage conditions it isn't the best choice. I've had quite a few new cars over the years and have never had the oil viscosity checked during engine warranty work. I can see them questioning the oil if its properties are very unusual, but a grade (or two) heavier shouldn't alarm anyone provided you use good judgement in your selection (no oil pump drives sheared off due to high viscosity in very cold weather) I can see the mfg. questioning sludge or varnish caused by neglect however.
 
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305
Location
Ohio
Clearly states in the owner's manual(s) that 5w-20 is the RECOMMENDED weight for optimum fuel mileage, protection, etc... Without saying "REQUIRED", the dealer/Ford is going to have the burden of proof. Of course, you may have to justify why you didn't use Xw-20 weight. However, using a 5w-30 won't be the same as using a completely different spark plug, for example, should a problem arise. Change your oil regularly, and odds are it will never even be an issue.
 
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82
Location
Rhode Island
You don't have to use it, but it is an excellent oil! I run 5w30 only because Schaeffers does not make a 5w20. If they did I would certainly use it. By the way does anyone know if they plan on coming out with a 20 wt oil?
 
Messages
4,652
Location
The Garden State
quote:
Originally posted by heyjay: In extreme cold, most 5W-20's freeze by -40 and hit the MRV 60,000cP limit at -30 to -35. Jerry
Just for your information the MRV TP-1 for the Conoco/Motorcraft 5W-20 oil is 18,[email protected]*C. Not the 60,[email protected]*C you said. Mobil 1 5W-30 is 12,[email protected]*C. So Motorcraft 5W-20 is not that "bad" even when compared to a full PAO synthetic for cold weather starts. Of course a 0W-20/30 true syntetic will pump better in really cold situations. But for the price difference if you don't have those really cold temps the Motorcraft 5W-20 oil is good, especially if you do a lot of short trips and won't want to leave the oil in too long over the winter. It doesn't cost a lot to change and you get fresh oil for the spring or midwinter oil change. Whimsey
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by BlackF250: You don't have to use it, but it is an excellent oil! I run 5w30 only because Schaeffers does not make a 5w20. If they did I would certainly use it. By the way does anyone know if they plan on coming out with a 20 wt oil?
I asked Bob that very same question last summer and his exact words were "very unlikely"
 
Messages
2,534
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
[Cool] Not sure about warranty issues. I'm pretty sure the ONLY reason for 5w-20 is friction and mpg. That said, the UOA's are very good. Also the Motorcraft 5w-20 is a syn blend. I can't see that a 5w-30 would hurt if you got a blend or full syn especially if you live in a hot climate. FWIW I have an '02 Ranger and the manual recommends 5w-20 for the 4 cyl and 3.0 V6 but 5w-30 for the 4.0 V6 that I have. [I dont know]
 
Messages
305
Location
Ohio
As far as high-temp climates are concerned -- I think it is printed right on the back of FoMoCo's 5w-20 bottles that they developed their specification with extensive testing in the desert (not sure if it was Death Valley or not [Wink] ). So, at least according to FoMoCo, the -20 weight is absolutely adequate for hot climates. However, I noticed when I was in a Tampa (FL) Wal-Mart a few months back that they had NO 5w-20 oil available. It was mostly 10w-30 & 10w-40, with a 5w-30 mixed in here and there. It does at least make you wonder. It may be nothing more than Wal-Mart corp. being behind the times. [I dont know]
 
Messages
526
Location
Manitoba Canada
quote:
Originally posted by Whimsey:
quote:
Originally posted by heyjay: In extreme cold, most 5W-20's freeze by -40 and hit the MRV 60,000cP limit at -30 to -35. Jerry
Just for your information the MRV TP-1 for the Conoco/Motorcraft 5W-20 oil is 18,[email protected]*C. Not the 60,[email protected]*C you said. Mobil 1 5W-30 is 12,[email protected]*C. So Motorcraft 5W-20 is not that "bad" even when compared to a full PAO synthetic for cold weather starts. Of course a 0W-20/30 true syntetic will pump better in really cold situations. But for the price difference if you don't have those really cold temps the Motorcraft 5W-20 oil is good, especially if you do a lot of short trips and won't want to leave the oil in too long over the winter. It doesn't cost a lot to change and you get fresh oil for the spring or midwinter oil change. Whimsey

The Motorcraft oil is a blend, so it still flows ok at colder temps. Otherwise, it would not have an MRV below 20,000 cP at -35 C. Jerry
 
Messages
526
Location
Manitoba Canada
Well, in theory, during the warranty period if you don't get servicing done by the dealer with paperwork to prove it, you can be S.O.L. if anything goes wrong. That said, they only seem to care if you actually get through the warranty, which is usually 3 years or 60,000km / 36,000mi. It seems only in North America do car makers perpetuate this myth that "one oil is good for all seasons and all driving conditions." In extreme cold, most 5W-20's freeze by -40 and hit the MRV 60,000cP limit at -30 to -35. In extreme heat, who knows? Unless somebody can prove consistently that a xW-20 provides engine protection in Death Valley towing +12,000 lbs, I'd wonder. FWIW: in Europe Ford does NOT recommend an xW-20, nor does Honda. They usually recommend a 5W-30 or 10W-30, and Honda has oil viscosity recommendations, based on ambient temps, that also include 10W-40, 15W-50, and 20W-50. Jerry
 
Messages
4,652
Location
The Garden State
quote:
Originally posted by heyjay: [/qb]
The Motorcraft oil is a blend, so it still flows ok at colder temps. Otherwise, it would not have an MRV below 20,000 cP at -35 C. Jerry [/QB][/QUOTE] I was under the impression that all 5W-20's that met the Ford spec # had to be blends anyway. And since only Ford and Honda spec 5W-20 oils then it would not make sense for an oil company to make a 5W-20 that could not meet Ford's tougher specs. Whimsey
 
Messages
4,652
Location
The Garden State
quote:
Originally posted by jthorner:
quote:
Ford and Honda spec 5W-20 oils then it would not make sense for an oil company to make a 5W-20 that could not meet Ford's tougher specs
I noticed yesterday that Pennzoil dino 5W-20 does not call out the Ford spec on the back of the bottle while Pennzoil Blend 5W-20 ("SUV, etc.") does. This makes me very leary of using the Pennzoil dino 5W-20. Castrol GTX 5W-20 dino does call out the Ford spec on the bottle. Maybe it is really a blend. John

I just looked at the Pennzoil site and they said that the multigrade "dino" Pennzoil meets the Ford spec's for 5W-20. And the UOA we've seen for this oil have been really good. They are cheating themselves out of customer's if they don't put on the bottle that it meet's Ford's specs. I thought I read on this site that it's a blend of Group II+ and Group III. They just don't advertise it as a blend. Similar to Motorcraft calling their 5W-20 a blend and yet Conoco who makes their oil and is the same does not call their 5W-20 a blend. Whimsey
 
Messages
1,381
Location
Southeast Kentucky
"I just looked at the Pennzoil site and they said that the multigrade "dino" Pennzoil meets the Ford spec's for 5W-20. And the UOA we've seen for this oil have been really good. They are cheating themselves out of customer's if they don't put on the bottle that it meet's Ford's specs. I thought I read on this site that it's a blend of Group II+ and Group III. They just don't advertise it as a blend. Similar to Motorcraft calling their 5W-20 a blend and yet Conoco who makes their oil and is the same does not call their 5W-20 a blend." I know what you mean. With all the money spent on advertising, Its hard to understand why they wouldn't use that info. I con't understand why a pickup manufacturer hasn't found a way to put a Cat diesel in a pickup. That yellow motor and Cat badge on the fender would sell trucks like hotcakes. Whimsey
 
Messages
305
Location
Ohio
I'd be suprised if the Castrol GTX 5w-20 is a blend. If it is, there is most likely very little "synthetic" in it. The reason I say this is because Castrol makes their Syntec Blend in a 5w-20 weight. Since the amount of "synthetic" in a blended-oil has often times been critiqued as being a very small amount, I would think the amount in their GTX would be even less, almost negligible, if present at all. Z-
 
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