GC in a 2004 Acura TL?

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First off, this is NOT my car. This car is a "Saturday afternoon" car. It has just over 3400 miles, and received its first oil/filter change with M1 10W-30 and a pint of Valvoline Maxlife Engine Protector (MLEP). The car is driven once a week, for 13 miles one way and 13 miles back. (26 miles total) Already, after Mobil 1 10W-30 and the MLEP was installed, fuel economy has dropped by at least 1 MPG. I was thinking that the fuel economy drop might have been caused by the 10W-30, since it is thicker than the 5W-20. But now that I look at it again, the 10W rating compared to the 5W rating for the factory fill 5W-20. (An analysis of the factory fill will be posted in the next few days) The more I think of it, the more that it has to do with the MLEP. A VOA of the MLEP showed its viscosity at a good 40wt, thus might have caused the M1 to thicken into a mid-upper 30wt. I was wondering if German Castrol 0W-30 would be a good match for this car, since during the 13 mile commute, the oil isn’t at its normal operating temperature for the majority of the trip. Thus, the 0W-30 would offer better fuel economy since its viscosity at 40C is lower than a 5W- or 10W- oil. That would be probably be the best way to offer a good balance of protection and fuel economy, since the German Castrol would probably be the same thickness as the M1 10W-30 right now, since it has the M1 has the MLEP right now. The BITOG “take” on the subject? Michael
 
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I would put a good 5W-20 in that car with no additives. With such infrequent use I would change the oil at least once every six months to get the contaminants out and would not bother with a high dollar synthetic. Put a good mid range oil like Castrol Syntec Blend 5W-20, Motorcraft 5W-20 or Mobil Clean 7500 5W-20 in there with no extra additives. Change the oil and filter once every six months and leave it at that. The TL is a very nice car and such a regimine will keep the motor very happy for decades of such light use. There is absolutely no reason to put a thicker than factory spec oil in a vehicle which never sees more that 13 miles of driving at a time. The oil is never even getting up to peak operating temperature. Someone is overthinking the situation. In this case, just doing what Honda/Acura recommends is the best course of action. John P.S. GC is a thick 30 weight oil and is highly unlikely to improve fuel economy compared to the Mobil-1 10W-30.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Wan: The BITOG “take” on the subject?
My take is: don't worry about it. If you only put 26 miles a week on it, does 1 mpg difference in fuel economy really matter? I agree with jthorner. Use Honda recommended grade. Don't spend too much on the oil, but rather change it more often.
 

JHZR2

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Though Im sure that GC will work fine, it may be too thick for your application, based upon what is actually necessary for excellent lubrication of that engine. At slightly below freezing and above, GC is pretty darn thick. Dont let the 0w- fool you, its got to creep its way up to a heavy 30 weight oil (its almost a 40 weight oil actually), pretty darn fast. Looks like Mobil1 is putting out a 5w-20 M1 synthetic. I think that is going to be your best easy to get bet. You could use the M1 0w-20, but that is getting phased out as we speak. Your other option is to mailorder redline 5w-20, which would likely be a good match for your engine, as Honda engines seem to do best when their oils have a lot of moly in them. At the same time, the ester base of the redline may not be as good for a sitting car, due to the fact that ester oils arent very compatible with water (condensation). Dont use any additives, except for lube control, which will help prevent oxidation. None others have really shown to do much, but, IMO, lubecontrol helps reduce wear rates from what Ive seen. Get out with that car. 13 miles may be getting the oil up to temperature, but it may not. If the oil isnt getting hot enough to boil off water, then youre doing about as bad of a thing as possible: driving the car long enough to get lots of condensation, but not long enough to boil it off ever. Id try to get out on a 50+ mile drive once a month. Itll be better for the car, regardless of what oil you choose. M1 or redline, 5w-20, they get my votes. JMH
 
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There's always margin of error as well. Check those tire pressures as well. Someone wrote awhile back that tire pressures will affect mpg more than oil viscosity. I would recommend going GC year round. Yes, during the winter (your winter is a few weeks, right? LOL) the oil may be a bit thicker, but during the summertime it will get up to operating temp much quicker especially if you have to use the A/C. Honda (Acura) make good engines, so you are halfway there already.
 
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Please note there is now a GC forum for posts concerning GC..
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Wan: First off, this is NOT my car. This car is a "Saturday afternoon" car. It has just over 3400 miles, and received its first oil/filter change with M1 10W-30 and a pint of Valvoline Maxlife Engine Protector (MLEP). The car is driven once a week, for 13 miles one way and 13 miles back. (26 miles total) Already, after Mobil 1 10W-30 and the MLEP was installed, fuel economy has dropped by at least 1 MPG. I was thinking that the fuel economy drop might have been caused by the 10W-30, since it is thicker than the 5W-20. But now that I look at it again, the 10W rating compared to the 5W rating for the factory fill 5W-20. (An analysis of the factory fill will be posted in the next few days) The more I think of it, the more that it has to do with the MLEP. A VOA of the MLEP showed its viscosity at a good 40wt, thus might have caused the M1 to thicken into a mid-upper 30wt. I was wondering if German Castrol 0W-30 would be a good match for this car, since during the 13 mile commute, the oil isn’t at its normal operating temperature for the majority of the trip. Thus, the 0W-30 would offer better fuel economy since its viscosity at 40C is lower than a 5W- or 10W- oil. That would be probably be the best way to offer a good balance of protection and fuel economy, since the German Castrol would probably be the same thickness as the M1 10W-30 right now, since it has the M1 has the MLEP right now. The BITOG “take” on the subject? Michael
 
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quote:
Originally posted by JHZR2: ... due to the fact that ester oils arent very compatible with water (condensation)....
replace that with theory... no one is putting refridgerant oil in their engine.
 
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I used GC in '02 TL during the summer of 2003. FWIW, I found GC was too thick, the engine did not have the snap it had with the other oils. The smart little program on my handheld told me I used more fuel. The best economy I got was with RP and RL, both were 5w30. I now have M1 5w20 in the sump, since the car became a hangar queen since last novembre, I dont have any data for the M1. Spring is LATE... [Canada] Jean
 
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I would run straight Pennzoil 5W-20 with no additives. If synthetic is totally desired then, Mobil 1 5W-20 with no additives. Your barely getting up to operating temperature here, so the 20wts. would be best for mpg, performance, and keeping warranty. Additives are not needed or desireable in this application.
 

The Critic

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Thanks for the advice. I was just curious. M1 5W/20 would probably be the better choice.
 
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