I would definitely stay with the W20's. Mobil 1 0W-20 might net you a small gas mileage increase but would not protect any better with 3K intervals. You can try the Mobil 1 and see if your mileage improves otherwise I would stick with the Pennzoil 5W-20 unless you want to extend your intervals. I am using Pennzoil 5W-20 now in my 02 Accord and have had excellent results with my UOA. By the way I just picked up 2 cases of Pennzoil on sale for $1.28 qt before rebate and .88 after rebate, at this price I can change it every 3K all day long.
[ November 17, 2003, 06:52 PM: Message edited by: khager ]
Synthetic oil flows much better than dino at 15'F. Your engine will crank faster/more easily with synthetic oil at those temps.
Realistically, you will be able to get 165K again sticking with dino oil and 3K OCIs... but if you're obsessive about oil (and you probably are, since you're here) go for the synthetic!
5W-30 synthetic is fine and I doubt you would lose efficiency, but while under warranty I'd stick the manufacturer's recommendation of a 20 weight, so that means 0W-20 synthetic, like Mobil 1 0W-20.
You can definitely go longer than 3,000 miles with Mobil 1, let used oil analysis be your guide.
The thicker oil vs. thinner oil debate will never end. Many people think xW20 oils exist purely for fuel economy, with some sacrifice in long term engine wear. Others feel 20 weights are completely adequate in a properly engineered engine where oil temps are well controlled. (HOTTER oil is THINNER oil, too thin and you will have problems...) Going to a 30 weight oil will probably be invisible to YOU. Mileage may decrease slightly, it may not...
If you do switch to a 30 weight, synthetic or not, you will have a much bigger choice of oils.
PS - Mobil 1 30 weight oils are almost a 20 weight anyway...
For what its worth: I drive a 2002 honda civic ex. it started life running pennzoil 5w20. and it worked very well...after 10k miles went to m1 0w30 and it ran ok, but lost a little responsiveness, dropped it out after 4k miles and switched to amsoil xl7500 5w20...been using it ever since (approaching 30k miles) with no problems. mileage dropped 2 with the m1 from 38 to 36) and went up 2 with the amsoil (38 to 40) highway driving. I am almost at my third oil change with amsoil 5w20 and mobil 1 oil filter. its been a good combination so far for me. change interval for the amsoil has been about 7k.
the pennzoil I changed at 3k and it worked well. did need to top off around the 3500 mark though. no top off with amsoil. in any case no reason to switch to heavier oil. the 20 works fine.
I had a '99 V6 and when it turned 70K miles I decided to go for extended intervals and went with synthetic - M1 5W-30. The car never run better, smooth and quiet. Fuel economy improved a bit on hwy but since I floored it regularly I didn't notice a difference in city driving. I kept the intervals at 5-7.5K miles, not really extended but it was usually convenient to change it then. When I sold it the guy had a mechanic check the car and they couldn't believe how clean the valve cover was after such a mileage.
I used Pennzoil 5w20 in my 03 Accord and got very good results with a 6.8k OCI. See My UOA
Honda recommends V6 OCI 75% of 4 cylinders so you may get the same result at 5.1k.
I'm now trying M1 0w20 and have not noticed any increase in gas mileage as other have had.
The Motor Cradt brand of 5W20 available at walmart has done well in UOA. If you change every 3000 miles or so it is doubtful you would see a huge improvment in fuel economy or cold cranking.
Keep an eye out for timeing chain wear etc. if your engine has a chain. THeir are published papers documenting 5W20 shortcomeing in this area!
WOuld be grateful for your thoughts. We have a 2002 Honda Accord, V6, 36K miles, running well on dino 5W-20 (about to do change, 3200 miles on Pennzoil 5W20, no topping off, oil is clean). Our goals are long-term engine proteciton and bext fuel efficiency, we do 80% highway driving in Northeast and New England, a few days starting car under 15 degrees F but not too many.
Would we gain in protection by switching to synthetic? Fuel mileage improvements? If so, which? We've been doing pretty well on MPG so far, getting 29.5-32.7 on highway. Down a little bit recently, but thermostat may be off, car is running cooler than it was before.
I see many great comments about synthetic 5W-30, but will we lose efficiency by going to a heavier oil? Are we better off staying with a 5W-20?
We take good care, changing oil every 3-4K miles, and also maintain well otherwise. Last Honda was 87 Accord, went 165K miles, engine was still in great shape, not burning at all, getting 32-36 MPG on highway. Thanks for comments, Steve
With your highway oriented driving and conservative 3-4,000 mile change intervals, stick with whutcha been using. Yeah, PAO synthetics are superior, but they're also a waste of money at 3-4,000 mile intervals. Let your previous experience with your '87 Accord be your guide - and conventional oils are better than they were 6 years ago. 5W-20 will crank just fine at -15 F., too, since all brand 5W-20s are at least a "synthetic" blend with some portion of Group III base stocks blended in even if they don't say so on the bottle.
My thoughts exactly mirrow RayH's. "Changing oil every 3-4K miles" = go with conventional oil. Any name brand SL oil will work fine for you, including taking your winter temperatures into account, unless you have some specific need/experimentation/severe service consideration which might steer you towards synthetic. And take warranty compliance into account when considering whether to switch weights.
I belive that JASO wanted to raise the amount of Phosphorus(sp)If I am remebering correctly. I was not paying as much attention as I should have to the paper. I figured I would never run 20wt oil so I dismissed most of what I read. Sorry! I belive someone else on this site also posted something simalr once so maybe they will chime in.
To be honest with you I would imagine that to truly get long term protection from a 20Wt. the level of AW/EP add's wuld have to exceed curent API levels. I belive that this is one reason that the 5W20 oils installed at the factory by Honda and Mazda have such high levels of moly and zink. I am sure that the moly also helps the rings as they have a propencity for moly uptake.