Engines quieter vs louder depending on oil

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I see a lot of comments while cruising threads that some such oil was quiet or noisy any my thought is this..what causes this, and does it matter? is there any relationship between these noisy oils and wear or do we even understand this phenomenon? Are there any oils that are almost always quiet or does it depend on the application in question and how it meshes with the oil used? I'm interested to hear anything anyone knows about it.
 
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Most of the comments here about noise generally seem to imply M1 = noisy and PP & PU = quiet. I switch between brands of oil from time to time depending on what's on sale, or what's available, or whatever looks good to me at the time, and I've never experienced a difference in noise levels one way or the other. Just my 2cents
 
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I have no idea, but do notice my engines are sometimes quieter with NEW/FRESH oil...regardless of brand. However, even that doesn't make sense to me as I'm sure I always OCI before the oil is too old.
 
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35 years of diy oil changes on multiple cars using multiple brands of oil. Never noticed even the slightest change in engine sound, or any other difference in engine behavior/performance due to oil type. All I can say is that some folks must have extremely sensitive ears.
 
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JOD

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Originally Posted By: lawrencerd
I see a lot of comments while cruising threads that some such oil was quiet or noisy any my thought is this..what causes this, and does it matter? is there any relationship between these noisy oils and wear or do we even understand this phenomenon? Are there any oils that are almost always quiet or does it depend on the application in question and how it meshes with the oil used? I'm interested to hear anything anyone knows about it.
Mostly, it's due to the power of suggestion--psychoacoustics in action. Unless someone does a legitimate blind ABX comparison, the comments mean absolutely nothing. Most people have an extremely limited understand of the perception of sound and what influences it; and generally, the more you try and explain this to folks, the more defensive and mad they get about it. It's no different that the audiophile crowd raving about the $5,000 speaker cables or the magnificent sound of $10,000 amplifiers. Of course, in blind testing people can't actually tell a difference. I believe Richard Clark's million dollar amplifier challenge is still open if anyone wants to prove this wrong... There's no explaining reason to either group of people though, so don't waste your breathe. Just understand that what people "hear" doesn't necessarily equal the wave forms being transmitted. Still, people seem to love talking about the 'smoothness' of oil!
 
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I've noticed some difference between oils in some vehicles, others, not so much. Both Ford Duratec 4-bangers I own/have owned sounded the same no matter what oil or grade I filled them with. My Sedona is much the same. Time will tell on the Miata, since I haven't changed the oil on it yet. I did have a '97 Grand Am with the terrible 'Twin Cam' 2.4L that definitely sounded different depending on the oil I used. But no matter what, it always sounded like it was going to fall apart. It never did though... that car never quit! Fond memories of that machine...
 
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I can absolutely tell the difference between some oils in my Jeep, others not so much but occasionally I'll hit one that is quieter than most in them too. I don't believe it makes one wit of difference in protection though, just my personal satisfaction. I actually feel sorry for those who can't ever tell the difference. That is a part of the fun.
 
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I have been driving for almost 50 yrs and have owned many cars and used just about every name brand oil I have never noticed any differance in sound I know my butt dyno is broke and now my ear dyno is gone also!! What next?
 
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I have noticed a difference. I think it probably depends more on engine design than oil. If there are particularly noisy parts coated in oil, then the film will change with different oils.
 
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I go through 150 gallons of engine oil a year now, years ago i went through a lot more. Times that by 42 years and that equates to a couple of oil changes anyway. Not one engine in good condition using the same weight oil sounded any different with this oil or that oil and my ear is well tuned to engine noises. A few worn out pigs or piston clappers may sound quieter with thicker oil but only until the oil begins to thin out. A hot engine may sound quieter for the first few min because its the oil time every few thousand miles the hot engine has cooler thicker oil. Its temporary and meaningless. IMHO its mostly psychological.
 
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I noticed a big difference with my ZTEC Focus. The valve train has been noisy on this car for years. When I used Valvoline Maxlife synthetic blend, the valve train noise was quite a bit louder. Not I'm going to fall apart loud, just more noticeable. Kind of like how much louder it sounds with the hood open than when it's closed. Now that I have Quaker State Defy in it, The upper engine makes almost no noise at all, not even on start up. It took about 1000 miles to quiet down as much at start up though. But now I can hear what sounds like a muffled rod knock or piston slap when it's cold. I don't believe its a new sound, I just never heard it before because the head made so much noise. While not scientific or anything, the car seemed to run better, start easier, and I got about 2 more miles per gallon on average with the Maxlife. My mom's Grand Cherokee with a 4.0 makes a lot more more noise with some oils. My daughters 2.4 Cavalier is noticeable as well but not as much as with the Focus.
 

Bud

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I am in your boat on this one. We have been driving about the same amount of time and I also have never noticed any difference in sounds after an oil change. Maybe we are related. grin
 
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At idle I question how much of a difference I've heard, but I've definitely have heard a difference under acceleration. M1 was definitely the loudest, however I have to also state that I have no reason to question it's ability to protect the engine. Yes, it was louder, but I'm confident it was still protecting my engine. I'll also say that I understand why a lot of people haven't heard a difference. I think the type of car your driving makes a difference. While they've gotten better, Subaru's used to have very loud engines under accretion making it easier to hear differences. Compare that to my friend's Acura where I don't hear the engine much at all, making it more difficult to tell if there's a difference after an oil change.
 
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Originally Posted By: JOD
Originally Posted By: lawrencerd
I see a lot of comments while cruising threads that some such oil was quiet or noisy any my thought is this..what causes this, and does it matter? is there any relationship between these noisy oils and wear or do we even understand this phenomenon? Are there any oils that are almost always quiet or does it depend on the application in question and how it meshes with the oil used? I'm interested to hear anything anyone knows about it.
Mostly, it's due to the power of suggestion--psychoacoustics in action. Unless someone does a legitimate blind ABX comparison, the comments mean absolutely nothing. Most people have an extremely limited understand of the perception of sound and what influences it; and generally, the more you try and explain this to folks, the more defensive and mad they get about it. It's no different that the audiophile crowd raving about the $5,000 speaker cables or the magnificent sound of $10,000 amplifiers. Of course, in blind testing people can't actually tell a difference. I believe Richard Clark's million dollar amplifier challenge is still open if anyone wants to prove this wrong... There's no explaining reason to either group of people though, so don't waste your breathe. Just understand that what people "hear" doesn't necessarily equal the wave forms being transmitted. Still, people seem to love talking about the 'smoothness' of oil!
This times a million.
 
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A major factor in this is the startup noise caused by the engine temporarily running "dry" after an oil change for the first few seconds. Once this has occurred, the power of impression and suggestion takes over, and the oil is considered "noisier" than the previous oil. I did my friend's Honda S2000 one time, and upon dry startup, it sounded like it threw all 4 rod bearings for about 5 seconds. A major factor in this is cam phasing systems. Some require oil pressure to return to idle settings, and sound like complete garbage until the oil pressure builds. In some rare cases, the situation is real. One such example is Triton 5.4 3-valve engines. Whether due to cam phaser wear, or other engine wear, idle oil pressure with the thin 5W-20 Ford recommends becomes insufficient to return the phasers to idle setting, and the engine sounds like it's breathing glass marbles. A change to RT6 or similar HDEO eliminates the problem. That is definitely a situation where changing your oil can create or eliminate a significant amount of noise.
 
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I only notice a change in engine sound as the oil ages in the OCI. For example, the 4.0 liter six in my work Jeep Cherokee ticks less at the beginning of a change than after 2500 miles. That's with a house labeled Warren 10W-30 dino. It's not a placebo effect either.
 
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This is also true. 3000GT's are well known to have ticky lifters, due to undersized oil supply channels, and this goes away with the use of a good synthetic. Probably more engines out there like that too.
 
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Originally Posted By: DoubleWasp
This is also true. 3000GT's are well known to have ticky lifters, due to undersized oil supply channels, and this goes away with the use of a good synthetic. Probably more engines out there like that too.
My 3000GT HATED synth. Ticked like crazy,especially on cold weather startups. With dino,absolutely no noise at all.
 
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