Havoline 5/20 Is this normal???

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Aug 20, 2003
I just opened a new bottle of Havoline 5w/20, (Chevron/Texaco Global Lube on the back, which I assume is the newest version)from a sealed case to do an oil change on the 02 Ford van. This stuff is a DARK brown! Is this normal? The older Equilon version, and the current 5w/30 is a light amber color. The Motorcraft 5/20 that was drained at 4000 miles was not this dark. Whats the deal? Anybody else use this stuff? Why so dark? Is it defective? I went back to the store, and bought 6qts of the Motorcraft to use until I find out. I emailed Chevron/Texaco and will post their reply ,if and when I receive it. If this has been asked before, I apologize. I did a search and came up with nothing.
I noticed the same thing on my recent oil change on my '99 F150 - the new Havoline was VERY dark in color, not anything like the previous bottles that were all a very light, honey like color. Both came out of bottles labeled with the ChevronTexaco, not the old equilon stock. It caught me by surprise. Guess I'll found out in three or four months if this stuff is OK!
I'm not too sure about the havoline but i know the pennzoil 5/20 is pretty dark right out of the bottle... Jeff.
I received an email reply from Chevron as follows; "Thanks for contacting us and I have attached a file that better explains the reasons for this change in color. The name on the file says Supreme but this change in color also applies to the Texaco Havoline line." The file is a page from a trade mag and states as follows; "As a result of a recent reformulation of Chevron Supreme Motor Oil SAE 5W-20, you and your customers will notice a significant change in the color of the finished product. The new formulation, which meets the service fill requirements of both Ford and Honda also meets API energy conserving and ILSAC GF-3 standards. The difference in color is highlighted below." A photo of two vials is incuded, one light amber and one medium brown. Does not state why it is so dark or the reason for the re-formulation. I would love to do a VOA on this stuff ( and a UOA after 3000 miles) but with one kid in college and another one joining him next year, I am in serious fugal ( read cheapskate!) mode. Which is why I ended up with this stuff in the first place, $1.08 qt at the new Advance Auto down the road.
I wouldn't worry. Obviously ChevronTexaco is aware that the reformulation would result in customer questions and got ahead of it in print. Since this weight grade is now supposed to handle winter <b>AND</b> summer service nationwide, I'd imagine the improvements involve some serious EP and anti-wear upgrading to compensate for the restricted viscosity range. Maybe even some esters, some of which decidedly do NOT smell pleasantly sweet! I used a bottle of Lubegard in my previous Honda's automatic transmission. According to Lubegard, the stuff is a compounded "liquid wax ester" (synthesized from various "seed" oils - jojoba, flaxseed, rapeseed, peanut, soy, sunflower kernel, canola, etc.) and has a very strong, almost heavy gear oil-like, odor and about as dark.
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