European vs. American vehicle oil requirements

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2,387
Location
Chicago area
Many have conjectured about why the same vehicles are currently spec'd for different oils, depending on which continent they are sold. Generally, the European models will require a thicker oil. Some say it's because of CAFE only, at the expense of engine wear. I think that the Europeans [and other parts of the World] have traditionally used longer oil change intervals, and the Mfrs. spec heavier oils because they know they will shear down to a thinner viscosity. It could be that simple.
 
Messages
1,183
Location
Vermont
In another thread I wanted to see what the climate in Indonesia was where they are commonly using 20w-50 engine oil and how that might compare with things locally. There to is the type and duration of use to consider. Some time ago I questioned the degree of snowfall my father remembered from his youth in France - only a few inches and it wouldn't stick around. Though of the top of my head, latitudes may be close, but air currents and so forth play a part. 20's or 30's (deg.f) might be the lowest seen in the area he was, but I have yet to dig-up the facts. M1 0w-40 in the Volvo taps away at cold start in the winter. This year, I'm adding a little 0/5w-20 to the 5-30...short tripper. So far so good.
 

vad

Messages
1,856
Location
So Cal
quote:
Originally posted by Curious Kid: M1 0w-40 in the Volvo taps away at cold start in the winter. This year, I'm adding a little 0/5w-20 to the 5-30...short tripper. So far so good.
Why don't you try some other oils in the 0w30 range like GC or Esso XD-30. Your engine just might like them better. Mobil 1 is not one-fit-all solution. BTW, I don't like mixing oils or even different grades of the same brand. There is no need for that. Unless of course you're bruce381 He does that for living. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
1,183
Location
Vermont
Vad - I do have some GC 0w-30, but unfortunately my real main seal is starting to leak alittle, so I'm starting to use a synth blend, which seems to have help minimize it. A bandaid, I know. I bought the car used with 68K on the clock. 5-cyl. modular engine design - b5254f series, non-turbo. [Off Topic!] I figure 50-50 gc 0w-30 with C's 5w-30HM in the spring change-out, then 5w-20 with fall filter change. OCI is 1yr/5-6K. How does that sound?
 
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545
I just reviewed my UOAs on one of my cars for shearing of the oils I use. My OCIs are 7,500 miles. I'm showing two with Schaeffers 15W-40 did NOT shear to a lower grade on the two reports I have on it. So, I was not using a 20W due to shearing throughout those OCIs. I have one OCI with Scheaffers 9000 5W-40 and it sheared to the high borderline 30. Yes, I know some of the 30 weights shear to 20 weights during their period of use, but I don't use them.
 
Messages
866
Location
Norway
quote:
Originally posted by Curious Kid: Some time ago I questioned the degree of snowfall my father remembered from his youth in France - only a few inches and it wouldn't stick around.
Europe is a little more than France [Smile] The span in temperature is equal to USA (including Alaska). 0W-40 is a popular choice in Scandinavia during winter. If I lived in Greece or south Italy, I probably would go for a 5W-40 or maybe 15W-50.
 
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148
Location
PA
Wouldn't it be great if we could get a thread (or even a forum) started where people posted their engine type (and other vehicle data) along with the OCI info listed in their owner's manual (including fluid and filter recommendations), the type of oil/filter they are actually using, and what they are really using for OCI's? The reason I ask is because there doesn't seem to be a central database or website that allows for comparison of European, North American, Japanese/S. Korean recommended OCI's by engine manufacturer. Or am I wrong?
 
Messages
783
Location
Austin Texas
In Europe, people get to drive on the autobahn , floor the throttle, and drive as fast as the traffic and their cars allow: An oil suitable for 110dF temperatures and 70MPH may be completely unsuitable for 100dF and 170MPH; Even when the engine is identical between the states car and the European car.
 
Messages
1,183
Location
Vermont
Because I haven't been to Europe, just what might one guess is the percentage of drivers that actually experience the ability to drive as fast as they wish/drive through an area of no speed restriction> Is this type of harsh, sustained speed really that much more common then I think it to be, and even with the higher gas prices (given that the average vehicle mpg/kph is probably higher, though probably not enough to balance)??
 

vad

Messages
1,856
Location
So Cal
quote:
Originally posted by Mitch Alsup: In Europe, people get to drive on the autobahn , floor the throttle, and drive as fast as the traffic and their cars allow:
Following in the bar1's steps, Germany is a little less than Europe. [Wink] And even in Germany itself the most autobahns do have speed limits.
 
Messages
2,917
Location
Georgia/Retired
I'd like to mention that lighter viscosity grades are starting to become the norm in Germany (as well as the entire Euro continent). Volkswagen, the largest manufacturer in Europe, has gone to a 5W-30 viscosity grade with their new VW 504.00 and 507.00 specifications. BMW's LongLife 01 specification is a 5W-30 oil (as opposed to their LL-98 which was 5W-40). Things are making a change but the viscosity grade is only one aspect of the specification. All VW 504 oil's may be 5W-30 but not all 5W-30's are VW 504. (just my example)
 
Messages
148
Location
PA
From my experiences living in the south of Germany, I'd have to say that it's somewhat of a myth with regards to long stretches of uninterrupted gas pedal mashing. All Autobahns have many, many stretches of regulated speeds (130kph), combined with long-term road construction projects and areas around cities where speeds are limited due to noise polution. Don't get me wrong: There are ample opportunties to legally get your car up to 225kph and go for twenty-thirty-fourty kilometers. However, I find that the Autobahn experience consists of simply racing from one traffic "stau" ("jam") to another. Gawd forbid you get the itch to go cruising on any holiday or Sunday...it's wall-to-wall traffic in many parts of the country. And I'm not even mentioning Radar-Kontrolle! C.T.
 
Messages
441
Location
Toronto, Canada
While Europe is diverse both in climate and driving politics it does offer some comparisons. A very small part of Europe would experience the range of temps and conditions that are routine for the 100 million or so people living along the Canada US Border. Where I am in Summer its routinely 90 Farenheit and winter minus 20 is common. Also the combination of enormous distances and brutal traffic routinely experienced by so many here puts a range of stresses on the engine and oil. I would tend to think that the daily 2hours of stop and go commuting interspersed with routine 200 mile trips at speed are more common here. [Off Topic!] And while the autobahn has an exaggerated mythological status for us as a promised land of unrestricted driving, it certainly is true that European driving in general features less sluggishness and lane hogging idiocy. They leave the left lane open for passing and actually use their rear view mirrors. In France I found that most people drove around 140kmh on the large highways and at that speed many people were passing me. I did see police who had pulled people over, but they certainly were not targeting the people passing me at 160 or 170. Perhaps they stopped people who were driving dangerously rather than people who were just driving quickly. Canadian drivers are worse than anyone. My countrymen seem to think that if they are under the posted limit notheing else matters. Not signalling, paying attention, driving in the right lane. I am astonished when in the US that in many areas people actually drive 55. Politically it is odd given the American tradition of personal freedom and technically its infuriating. I've had some enormous rentals with automatic transmissions that you had to routinely tap the brakes just to keep it under 55.
 
Messages
866
Location
Norway
quote:
Originally posted by peterr: A very small part of Europe would experience the range of temps and conditions that are routine for the 100 million or so people living along the Canada US Border.
Check your Europa map again. Russia is the biggest country in Europe and a lot of it is way north. Even more north than my country [Smile] Btw: Lowest recorded temperature here: -52C (-62F). [ October 22, 2005, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: bar1 ]
 

vad

Messages
1,856
Location
So Cal
IMO when the most people say Europe they don't include Russia in it. Yes geographically Europe stretches all the way to the Ural Mountains. But Russia is almost a continent by itself. The most of Americans don't have a slightest idea how huge it - it's got 8 times zones! Siberia, the biggest Russian region is bigger than all of the USA including Alaska plus all of Europe except Russia. And yet, there is space for one more France!
 

vad

Messages
1,856
Location
So Cal
I've spent a couple of years in the Russian City called Murmansk, which is in the region where Russia shares its border with Norway. I haven't met a single Norwegian during that time. Culturally and economically, there is still a huge divide between those two countries.
 
Messages
866
Location
Norway
Interesting, I know Murmansk too. It is only 300 miles from here (air distance). I've also been there, a long time ago, just after the collapse of Soviet Union. Took 6 months to get a visum. And your right, there are big differences between Norway and Russia in those fields. But things are slowly getting better.
 

vad

Messages
1,856
Location
So Cal
Actually I'll be flying back to Russia for a short visit some time in the next 6 months. It's been over 7 years since my last visit. I can't even imagine the transformation that had to take place. I probably won't recognize the country and many things I've been accustomed to. I really wanted to go visit Murmansk too but my schedule won't allow me to accommodate that trip.
 
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