Help me decide

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Feb 5, 2004
I've read many many posts and seem comfortable with what I am doing with my truck now but I'd like to get some opinions from everyone. Price is beginning to be a concern lately so keep that in mind. I've never done a UOA and I probalby will not have the funds to do one in the near future hence the price beginning to be a concern.


03 Silverado 5.3 liter. 38,000 miles. Used dealer oil for first two changes at 1600 miles, and 5000 miles. Since then I have used Mobile 1 5w-30 at intervals coresponding closely to my GM oil life meter. I tend to change around 20% of oil life remaing which seems to vary between 5000 and 7000 miles. The 7000 mile interval included a 3500 mile road trip. While I feel comfortable doing this I have been toying with the Idea of going back to Dino oil for cost reasons. I plan to keep this truck as long as it is economically viable which I hope is near 200k. What kind of oil would you use and why? I'm thinking of switching to Penzoil for the summer and maybe going back to M1 in the winter. The truck is driven a mix of conditions. I pull trailers on some weekend trips usually 500 miles or more. Max trailer weight being around 3000lb. During the week my wife drives the truck to work which is 22 one way miles of varying hiway stop and go. Should I bite the bullet and stick with Synthetic or should I be ok going back and forth with dino syn? I'll save the info on my other car for another post someday. Thanks for all opinions!
Buy what's on sale. Your truck isn't worth much more than that.

edit: a dino like Delo bought in 1 gallon containers, and changed according to the oil life monitor, is a pretty cheap way to go. 200k no problem.

[ February 13, 2004, 04:33 PM: Message edited by: satterfi ]
I have a new Suburban with the 5.3. I changed my oil at 1610 miles. I used Scheaffer's #703, a 10W30 blend along with a Delco UltraGuard 44. I didn't reset on this change, so I will do the 2nd change at the regularly scheduled interval. After that, I plan on changing at the interval suggested, about every 5 - 7K.

Reasons: Schaeffer's give good "bang" for the buck. It's thicker than many 30 wts. and seems to stay there. The UltraGuard filters seem to do a great job of filtering and has good flow.

I'd go about 3-4k with Pennzoil, or 6-8k with Mobil 1, so 5-6k with Scheaffers sounds good to me. I may do a UOA after 3rd change and see about streching it a bit.
Stick with the mobil 1. There are many 200,000 mile plus vechicles around using little oil on mobil 1, which justifies using this oil. 5000-7000 is about right for a very conserative oil change and long life for the engine. Use auto-rx about every 60,000 miles and your engine should perform as new for a long long time. Dino juice will not do this, as I know from two cars using 3000 mile changes I still own.
I did the same thing. I left mobil1 for castrol gtx 5w30 and my trucks valvetrain is not as loud.
If this truck were mine, I'd run:

Rotella-T 5w-40
AcDelco filter


Well, the Rotella will give you great protection and on top of that, will keep your engine clean, and free from deposits and varnish. Sure, it's a little thick compared to your standard energy conserving thirty-weight oils, but not overly least not enough to be concerned with anything.

Run Rotella 5w-40, change on 5,000 to 7,500 intervals. As I mentioned, doing this, as long as nothing else goes wrong (CSK, coolant leaks, etc...), you'll have a very well-protected engine, and on top of that, a very clean engine as well.

$12/gallon at Wal-Mart, and if you can afford an '03 truck, you can afford this oil!

Every person I've recommended the 5w-40 Rotella to (that is using this oil in a car that calls for the standard 5w-30/10w-30) was happy with the switch (just not the higher price). Unless your looking for absolute maximum fuel economy (Rotella could slightly reduce economy...maybe 1/2 mpg), I'm 100% positive you'll be happy with the switch as well, as from the start, it will probably provide you with a smoother, quieter engine that consumes/burns less oil.

Even in Minnesota, this should give you a year round oil, giving you the cold-start performance you need for the frigid winters up there, but being able to deal with the hottest, hardest running conditions you'll run in, either flat out across the desert of pulling in the mountains (etc, etc, etc...)

High levels of protection and a super-clean engine to can't ask for much more than that!

(BTW, sorry if this sounds like a sales pitch. I don't work for Shell...I'm just a college student who's spent the past year or so learning, reading, and researching about oils. Through this "knowledge building", I've came to really enjoy the benefits of HDEO 5w-40 and 15w-40 oils. Using a 15w-40 oil, while possible, is simply not the best choice at all for this vehicle. Rotella 5w-40 on the other hand, is much more acceptable, and like I said, if this was my vehicle, this is what I'd run in it.)

[ February 14, 2004, 03:09 AM: Message edited by: Jelly ]

Originally posted by CardGuy:

Should I bite the bullet and stick with Synthetic or should I be ok going back and forth with dino syn?

My opinion is that switching back and forth between dino and synthetic is not a good idea for max benefits of the synlube and this includes cost effectiveness .

You might want to opt for a blend for your truck . Through analysis these new blends from Q-State , Valvoline and Castrol hold their TBN and viscosity very well and jug price is 10 bucks for 5 quarts . You will save money on oil filters over the life of the truck as well by averaging 2-2500k and possibly more miles per interval just depending with no loss in fuel mileage and fuel mileage is a key cost over the coarse of 200k miles .

If you want to stick with a synthetic , the Castrol 0w-30 would be a great year round oil for your 5.3 pushrod engine and where you live . Even though you might want to be cautious on extended drains with that engine , for a few more dollars annually this might be the way to go and would be my choice given the details you have described .

Good luck .
I would personally go with the GM monitor and stick with the syn. Sounds like the 5W-40 Mobil would work well when the monitor says 0%.

I think this would give you a good assurance.

Since you tow and haul, that's my recommendation.

Jelly may have a good argument, but I have no experience with Rotella.
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