Help me choose the right AMSOIL please...

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Aug 11, 2004
Baton Rouge, LA
I have a 2002 Chevy Impala LS with the 3.8L V6 and I have 40,000 miles on the car now. I've been using AMSOIL Series 2000 0W-30 since the car had 3,500 miles on it. I'm wondering if the Series 2000 0W-30 is the best oil for my car... Should I maybe go with the Synthetic 5W-30 (ASL) or the Synthetic SAE 10W-30? My car calls for 10W-30 on the oil cap. When I first emailed AMSOIL about it a couple years ago, they told me the Series 2000 0W-30 would be the best. I usually change my oil every 8,000-9,000 miles. I use the AMSOIL SDF-29 filters, and I change it at every oil change. I ask because I've read on here that some people don't like the Series 2000 0W-30. Also, the S2K 0W-30 costs a good bit more than the other synthetics. For the most part, I'm looking for the BEST oil for my car. Secondly, I wouldn't mind saving $3-4 a quart if one of the other two are better.

I live in Baton Rouge, LA (hot summers, mild winters). I've put a 180 degree thermostat in my car (down from the stock 195 degree). I've done a few performance upgrades, such as a cone K&N style filter, reprogrammed PCM (premium fuel required), and high ratio rocker arms. Thank you for your help!

Both the ASL 5w-30 and the series2k 0w-30 are good, but for the cost difference, i dont really think that the 0w-30 is that much better than the 5w-30.
Thanks for the quick replies, awesome! Will switching from 0W-30 to 10W-30 cause any problems after 40,000 miles? And, will the 10W-30 protect as good as the 0W-30 has been? Which has the better base stock and additive package? Thanks again!

BTW, here's an email I just received back from AMSOIL: "In response to your inquiry, we suggest the use of our AMSOIL Synthetic 5W30 Motor Oil (ASL) or our AMSOIL Series 2000 Synthetic 0W30 Motor Oil (TSO)."

Why would they suggest everything but the oil that my car recommends (the 10W-30)? Is there some advantage the 5W-30 will have over the 10W-30, either due to weight/viscosity, or design of that particular oil (ASL vs. ATM)?

Also, what about he XL-7500? Is that just a marketing thing? Thanks again.
All the XW-30's will work. In theory a 0W and sorta a 5W will give slightly quicker oil pumping up when the weather is cold in LA....and maybe, just maybe slightly better MPG - but:

a) I don't think that's a factor in your climate
b) They all should be about the same vis. when hot
c) I am a firm believer (with any brand of multiweight oil) the less spread the better, hence my recommendation of the 10W-30. You simply don't need a 0W or 5W where you live, and the lower viscosity spread outweighs any of the other so called advantages of a 0W or 5W. Heck, I use a synthetic 15W-40 where I live!!!

The XL line is group 3 oil - not a bad oil but 7500 mile MAX OCI and it's over priced.
Other than cost have you had any complaints reguarding the 0-30 oil. After 8-9K miles how did the oil look I think as he said the others will do well for you I'm sure. I plan on going with the S2K 0-30 for my first synthetic oil. Its so hot down here now going to a 180 thermostat is a good idea.I have gallons of 0-30 5-30 10-30. I plan on useing 0-30 German Castrol in my wifes car since the UOA's on this board showed such good #ers for Hundyi.I think the 3.8 is one of Chevy's best engine so the switch shouldn't hurt.
dropitby: No, I have no complaints with the Series 2000 0W-30 (except the cost). After 9,000 miles the oil is pretty dark, but still liquid and flowing well. Yeah, this 3800 is a fine engine... I'm enjoying it!

Pablo: Thank you for your help! Why is a lower viscosity spread better?
Since the maker of your car recommends 10w30 and good synthetic 10w30 will be fine. If someone recommended 0w30 or 5w30 either they were trying to get you a very slight cold flow performance advantage or there is a lower profit margin on 10w30.

What benefit do you think you get from droping the thermostat from 195 to 180 degrees?

My understanding is that the higher the temp the more efficient the engine runs and since you are running a fine synthetic oil the temp should not be an oil issue at all.
The 0W-30 is a better oil. You could certainly use either the 5W-30 or 10W-30, and would probably save close to $7 a year.

On the other hand, my former son-in-law changed his Saab from AMSOIL 10W-30 to 0W-30, and picked up a consistent 50 more miles per tankful before the "get gas soon" light came on.
I have the 3.8L and the 0W30 will do fine but the 10W30 does just as well for 12,000 mile OCI. I have been doing that for several years with good UOA as well. About $2/quart less expensive as well. I feel the 0W30 will go for longer intervals but for the 7500-12,000 miles OCi the 10W hold up just as well and gives the same wear numbers.
Thanks for all the information everyone! I really appreciate it. Looks like I'll be switching from S2K 0W-30 to SAE 10W-30 and saving about $35 per order!

Ugly3: I put the 180 degree thermostat in as a performace mod. It works great (the cooler your engine/intake, the more HP). My engine still gets plenty hot enough to burn the impurities out of the oil from ignition.

Originally posted by Spector:
I have the 3.8L and the 0W30 will do fine but the 10W30 does just as well for 12,000 mile OCI. I have been doing that for several years with good UOA as well. About $2/quart less expensive as well. I feel the 0W30 will go for longer intervals but for the 7500-12,000 miles OCi the 10W hold up just as well and gives the same wear numbers.

So you have the 3800 II and have done an oil analysis? Would you mind telling me 1. What oil you used, 2. How long you had the oil in, 3. Did you change the filter midway through, 4. What were the results? I'd really appreciate it!
I've used the Amsoil 10w-30 and S2K 0w-30 for 10-12 OCI. The 10w-30 held ok for 12K but drained it as the TBN was depleting. The 0w-30 is a tad better for further OCI and gas MPG was slightly better. For a 10K OCI both oils are very close and perform about equal.

The reason I tried the Amsoil S2K 0w-30 is because I bought 16 qts for $6.5 each so I thought I had a good deal on my hands.
Amsoil 10W30. First two samples filter replaced at mid point. Last sample same filter throughout.

These engines throw a lot of copper. Approximately 7-9 months of driving in these intervals.

On my daughters car I used the 10W30 for 3 years (once a year intervals of about 10,000 miles) and the 0W30 the last 3 years. Wear numbers almost identical. 4 cyl Ford Zetec engine on hers.

[ August 12, 2004, 09:19 PM: Message edited by: Spector ]

Something else to look at is your filter. If you have the clearance, the SDF23 will give you a filter that is 1/3 taller than the SDF29. All other specs (diameter, gasket, pressure relief valve etc) are the same. Both are even the same price so all you need to check is whether it will fit. The SDF23 is 4.8 inches tall so figure your going to need a minimum of about 5.75 from the gasket mating surface to get it in. (6"+ would make it easier) Not sure where the filter is mounted on your vehicle so you also need to make sure that nothing hits it when you turn the vehicle (linkage) and it doesn't hit any anything due to suspension travel.

The 23 isn't a big filter, but it is definately larger than the 29.
Actually, I have come to the conclusion that the filter is pretty much a useless apendage in modern engines and with today's oils. I have yet to cut one open and see anything near being clogged etc. That is why I went my last OCI with no filter change and it made no difference. Full flow spin on filters are catastrophic prevention only. They really do liitle to extend an OCI IMO. Bypass yes, full flow ??? I very much believe now that flow is more important then filtration for long engine life.
Just my opinion. Thus, a larger filter capacity then the OEM size doesn't mean much to mean from a filtration point of view, maybe a hair more oil but that would be about it.
How about the Series 3000 5W-30 HDEO? I think it's one of the best oils Amsoil makes and it's the same price as the 0W-30.It has more AW additives than 0W-30 and the winter weight doesn't matter to you in your climate. It's what I'd use if I wanted to run longer OCIs.
I don't really care about long oil change intervals... I kinda believe that the oil should be fine, but it's going to be contaminated with dirt/stuff after that much time, so it's time to change it. Most I would ever go would be 10,000 miles (unless I had bypass, which I don't). I'm mainly interested in what protects the best-- and, if they protect the same, which one is cheaper. Thanks a lot, guys!
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