Honda Recommends 10W-30 in Australia

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As a 2003 Honda owner I have followed the 5W-20 debate with some interest. My first inclination was to believe that if Honda specified 5W-20 then of course they must know what they are doing. Then I noticed that many Acuras with the same engine families as the Honda, but running high compression and higher power output (TSX for example) specify 5W-30. Other people's post led me look at some of Honda's non-USA English language web sites. Checking in on the Australia site I find that Honda lists only one "Honda Motor Oil" at: Honda Australia Parts Page This is a 10W-30 SJ oil and appears to be specified for all Hondas in Australia. I very much doubt that Honda makes engines with different internal clearances for different marketplaces, so something else must be the reason for specifying 5W-20 in the US and 10W-30 in Australia. Fuel economy issues and driving conditions come to mind as possible explanations. Perhaps there are others as well. Any comments?
 
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CAFE. With the VTEC, I'd use a shear stable 10w-30 or a very good 0w-30 like GC or even S2k. Clearances are not any different for these engines, however, the 20wt oils are putting up great numbers and are doing the job just fine. I think what people fail to realize with this viscosity issue, is that if you make a 20wt and load it up with good EP/AW adds, it's going to be as good or better then a thicker oil that is average. Look at M1, MC or any 20wt oil UOA and it does show they are protecting very well. [ February 02, 2004, 08:02 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
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Well, that finally answers my question. I remember asking this in an older thread about 15W-50 or something like that. It is VERY revealing that car makers, with the exception of Porsche, DB, and BMW, specify CAFE oils here but thicker oils elsewhere. In some cases, FAR thicker oils. How much of a MPG difference are we really talking about? I suppose that fraction of a MPG applied fleet-wide helps to build the CAFE "credits" to be applied against gas guzzlers. I do know that my 1990 Toyota 4Runner 3.0 V6 had a "general" recommendation of 10W-30. I ran Delvac 1 5W-40 or Mobil 1 15W-50 with NO difference in MPG. Though the motor was MUCH quieter. With a 5W-30 it sounded like marbles inside a coffee can. Jerry
 
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I'd say this is just one more bit of evidence that proves -20 weight was/is specified solely for CAFE. Maybe my argument is geared more towards FoMoCo, but like you said, it is doubtful Honda is building their engines to different clearances/specs in different parts of the world. Perhaps Honda is just trying to head off upcoming EPA mandates by already using a thinner oil and building their engines "cleaner" (not that this has been a problem for Honda). Just so nobody labels me a -20 weight oil hater, I just came in from dumping the M1 0w-30 in my Focus and replacing it with M1 0w-20. I'll do one more change before I send in for an UOA to post, but based on what I've seen here, I'm pretty confident it will do its' job quite well. Z-
 
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While CAFE plays a major role in this issue, I'd also put some weight on availibility and acceptance. Its taken many years to shift most users to the acceptance of xw30 weights in this country. Along with gaining acceptance also came getting manufacturers on board to produce and distribute the stuff. In countries such as Australia, where the use of oils like 20w50, 60 weights, and even 70 weights. has been the norm for ever, switching to even a 10w30 is probably stretching public acceptance. Getting a manufacturer to produce an oil for a market with limited acceptance would be tough. It's been asked before, but what's the difference betwen using a poorly built xw30 that shears to a 20 weight in 3000 miles (which we see regularly) and using a better built xw20 that doesn't shear out of grade when both deliver decent wear for a given engine? [Smile]
 
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It's been asked before, but what's the difference betwen using a poorly built xw30 that shears to a 20 weight in 3000 miles (which we see regularly) and using a better built xw20 that doesn't shear out of grade when both deliver decent wear for a given engine? There probably is no difference. You know that and I know that. However, 95% of the general population doesn't. Keep in mind that even the majority of people who are even interested enough to change their own oil don't know a whole lot about the specs & techs of oil. Heck, how many times has a new user joined this board and started off with something to the effect of "I've always liked oil, but never realized how little I actually knew about it"? I know I fall in that category. Fact of the matter is, marketing-types aim at that 95%, not the minority of "experts". Old habits die hard, and the uneducated will always rule. Most people simply feel more comfortable using Xw-30 than "that new, high-tech Xw-20 weight!" [Cheers!] [ February 03, 2004, 03:27 AM: Message edited by: ZiTS ]
 
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But, I thought that members such as Doug mentioned that they had 20 and 30 weights introduced in Australia 20 years ago with immediate failures. Others have mentioned that the first grade of M-1 was a 20 weight and that we had 20 weights in the 70's with engine failures by 60k miles. Are we not learning from the past or is this a "what's old is new again" thing?
 
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Or is it a case of poorly built 20 and 30 weights that weren't ready for long term use being pushed then versus the more highly refined products made today? That may be part of the reason for the resistance, same as it is for the use of light diesel engine in North America after the failure of GM and its light diesels in the '80's.
 
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If this is related to CAFE, we're not talking about dramatic differences in MPG. Although I would like to see somebody do a carefully controlled engine dynometer test of say Mobil 1 0W-20 versus Mobil 1 15W-50 on a representative sample of motors and test cycles. This test would represent the "extreme" difference of scale. It would take a long time to run to fully satisfy Chi Square Law statistical requirements. I do know in my 1990 Toyota 4Runner with 3.0 V6, running it in Utah I used Mobil 1 15W-50, which the shop manual approved for the ambient temps I had. I did try a "short" change interval running Mobil 1 5W-30 in higher temps: overall NO differnce in fuel economy, with the exception of 1 tank and ONLY 1 tank returning about 0.25 MPG more, the difference I can't account for otherwise (Same trip length, same speed, same driving pattern, same fuel station, etc). Running the Mobil 1 5W-30 in temps from 75-105 F, the motor was MUCH noiser. Lot's of tickticktick valvetrain noises. Used more oil at 1 quart per 4,000 miles versus 1 quart per 8,200 miles on Mobil 1 15W-50. You could purchase 5W-20 oils back then. Maybe I should have tried an oil change interval on 5W-20?? I don't think cultural attitudes are necessarily to "blame" here. That would imply that folks in South America, Europe, and Australlia are dumb as a box of rocks by not seeing the "benefits" to running a CAFE oil. Given the fact that fuel prices can be 2-4x higher than here in most parts of the world, most folks are FAR more sensitive to MPG than we are. You'd think they would be eager to gain even 0.25 MPG if the motor was well protected. Yet those folks appear to follow the "book" which recommends far different viscosity grades than here. Nobody has adequetly explained why the same motor in South America or Europe or Australlia requires a different viscosity grade than here. If it has to do with fuel quality, the Europeans had low-sulfur fuels LONG before we did. So in that respect, the oil should have an easier time not having to deal with high levels of sulfur. Thing is, folks in the rest of the world have a much simpler choice to make regarding fuel economy: the can purchase a small turbodiesel car like a VW Lupo 3L and get exceptinal fuel economy. Here we attempt to legislate fuel economy and everybody drives a giant SUV. Weird. Nobody would consider a gigantic pickup truck or Suburban as "daily transportation." Unless you run a coach company and stuff 10-15 fee-paying passengers into one. CAFE "Corporate AVERAGE Fuel Economy" my emphasis on "average." So a minute fraction of a mile per gallon applied over hundreds of thousands of units results in "credits" that can be applied to gas guzzlers. Again, I think common sense goes a long way here. You have to match the viscosity to ambient and engine load. Jerry
 

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It is pretty obvious that the CAFE laws are not working to improve fuel economy. The experiments have been done on a global scale and the answers are in. Tax the **** out of motor fuel and drivers will buy more efficient vehicles. The Ford F150 is the best selling vehicle in the US today and gets around 15 MPG. 30 years ago the Chevy Impala was the best selling vehicle in the US ... and got around 15 MPG. Both are large, full frame, rear wheel drive vehicles offered with a range of six and eight cylinder engines and an option list many line items long. The only real difference is that the Ford people suggest using 5W-20 oil while the old Chevy specified a range of single weight oils depending upon driving conditions. Progress? John
 
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A few years ago Ford said in an official anouncement that the change from 5W-30 to 5W-20 motor oil would reduce fuel consumption by an average of 0.6%. jthorner, good post. Our idea of saving fuel here in the USA is using 5W-20 oil in our Ford Excursions. I believe the weight of a typical Ford Excursion is about 7,000 pounds. [Roll Eyes] [ February 05, 2004, 09:17 PM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Sin City: A few years ago Ford said in an official anouncement that the change from 5W-30 to 5W-20 motor oil would reduce fuel consumption by an average of 0.6%. jthorner, good post. Our idea of saving fuel here in the USA is using 5W-20 oil in our Ford Excursions. I believe the weight of a typical Ford Excursion is about 7,000 pounds. [Roll Eyes]
Geez, that's scary. Lessee how this works out at the following: 10 MPG + 0.6% = 10.06 MPG 15 MPG + 0.6% = 15.09 MPG 20 MPG + 0.6% = 20.12 MPG 30 MPG + 0.6% = 30.18 MPG 40 MPG + 0.6% = 40.24 MPG 50 MPG + 0.6% = 50.3 MPG For the average driver, a savings of say 3-4% is nice. For large HD trucks, Mobil uses the average +3% fuel savings running Delvac 1 as an incentive. So unless I punched the wrong numbers on my calculator, these results would be unnoticeable by the average driver. However, applied over hundreds of thousands of units, it adds up quickly. There must be a proper formula to transfer CAFE "credits" to gas guzzlers, it's probably weighed to favor smaller cars and discount larger vehicles. Under heavy use, I don't like the implication of a lower HTHS. I guess we'll know when the fleet of xW-20 cars puts on heavy miles. Jerry
 

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0.6% [Embarrassed] ! I would guess that they could achieve the same thing by reducing the engine displacment by some negligable amount like 10 cc per vehicle. It is interesting that only Honda and Ford have grabbed this particular ring. John
 

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quote:
Originally posted by jthorner: 0.6% [Embarrassed] ! I would guess that they could achieve the same thing by reducing the engine displacment by some negligable amount like 10 cc per vehicle. It is interesting that only Honda and Ford have grabbed this particular ring.
And Mazda.
 
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I have just changed over from dino 5w20 (Castrol GTX) to Mobil-1 0w20. I'm not sure I like it though. I can almost swear that there's more noise at start up (in the upper part), and it doesn't sound as smooth on cold start as before. The temp gauge shows that the engine operating temperature is a hair cooler. It barely gets below freezing at night currently, and during the day it's above freezing. I think I'll try 5w30 next time, I feel like the engine wants something thicker than water. Somewhere I've heard second-hand that Ford decreased the expected engine life after they changed over to 5w20. I'd love to know the truth there!
 

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quote:
Originally posted by jthorner: As a 2003 Honda owner I have followed the 5W-20 debate with some interest. My first inclination was to believe that if Honda specified 5W-20 then of course they must know what they are doing. Then I noticed that many Acuras with the same engine families as the Honda, but running high compression and higher power output (TSX for example) specify 5W-30. Other people's post led me look at some of Honda's non-USA English language web sites. Checking in on the Australia site I find that Honda lists only one "Honda Motor Oil" at: Honda Australia Parts Page This is a 10W-30 SJ oil and appears to be specified for all Hondas in Australia. I very much doubt that Honda makes engines with different internal clearances for different marketplaces, so something else must be the reason for specifying 5W-20 in the US and 10W-30 in Australia. Fuel economy issues and driving conditions come to mind as possible explanations. Perhaps there are others as well. Any comments?
Honda recommends 5w-40 semi-synthetic oil for all of their cars in the UK. The EP3 is built in the UK and then shipped to different markets. It has a different oil requirement in the UK, Japan, Australia and the US. Hmmm.
 
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Now I'm really confused! The SAME MOTOR in the UK has a recommended 5W-40, here in NA the SAME MOTOR has a recommended 5W-20. I was under the impression that drivers in the UK also had to put up with a lot of short trips, city driving, etc. Especially those who live in London. Of course, the Europeans don't have this artificial fuel economy standard with CAFE which is averaged out over hundreds of thousands of units. It's sort of like Ford refering to the Excursion as a "low emission vehicle." Hmmm, compared to what? A Kenworth?? I need an Excedrin! Jerry
 

cvl

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quote:
Originally posted by heyjay: Now I'm really confused! The SAME MOTOR in the UK has a recommended 5W-40, here in NA the SAME MOTOR has a recommended 5W-20. I was under the impression that drivers in the UK also had to put up with a lot of short trips, city driving, etc. Especially those who live in London. Of course, the Europeans don't have this artificial fuel economy standard with CAFE which is averaged out over hundreds of thousands of units. It's sort of like Ford refering to the Excursion as a "low emission vehicle." Hmmm, compared to what? A Kenworth?? I need an Excedrin! Jerry
Yup. They don't have nearly the same amount of high-speed highways as we do here in the US, nor do they see the extreme temperatures that we see here in the US. Kind of makes you scratch your head, doesn't it? How much is due to CAFE and how much is due to the target demographic's preconceived ideas on oil viscosity is open for debate.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by heyjay: It's sort of like Ford refering to the Excursion as a "low emission vehicle." Hmmm, compared to what? A Kenworth??
Yep, and my '88 CRX may not pass emissions based on ppm. I get 3 times the mpg as a Ford Excuse. I should get a litte break on the NOX.
 
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