Honda vs. Toyota and the OnGoing 5w-20 Debate

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For all you old BITOG salts, my apologies, but here's another thought concerning the debate about 5w-20 viability. For years, Honda and Toyota have built engines that have different empahsis (Toyota usually leaning to maximizing torque, Honda going for high rpm horsepower, etc.) but are still similar in physical build philosophy. They are generally tight clearance, high-precision machines with low tolerance for deviation. Doesn't it seem that, at least in theory, both mfr's engines would be prime candidates for the use of 5w-20 oil? Doesn't Toyota have all the more potential motivation to bend in the CAFE wind? They've got V-8 Land Cruisers, Sequoias and Tundras, 4-Runners, and Tacomas, which have no fuel swilling counterparts over at Honda (except perhaps the Pilot). So why has Honda gotten on the 5w-20 bandwagon, while Toyota has not? One thought I had was that perhaps Toyota is being ultra conservative after its V-6 sludge "scandal," and is letting others jump in the pool first to see how it goes. I'm tossing this one out just to generate further discussion on this complex topic, as opposed to looking for concrete definite answers (unless we've got any "insiders" willing to step forward... [Wink] . What do you all think?
 
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I think the verdict is still out on the use of 5w20 oils. In synth form they are fine, but the majority uses dino which would shear back to a very thin oil. The longevity is questionable therefore I can see the reasons 30 weight is whats recomended with Yotas. What do you really gain with a 20 over a 30 anyway? Daily Drives: -2003 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner XtraCab, 2.7 Liter , Mobil1 Synthetic SS 5W-30. ODO 8350 Miles. -1995 Toyota 4-Runner 3.0 V6, Mobil1 Synthetic SS 10W-30. ODO 84500 Miles. http://community.webshots.com/user/amkeer
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ekpolk: My jury will remain out until I see a large number of happy owners STILL posting good results after 7-10 hot summers worth of 5w-20 use.
Well, since this board is only a couple of years old, NO oil posted on here has this track record. [Roll Eyes]
 
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eKpolks comment: AMEN to that!!!!! These new oils are going to have to do some time in the trenches before I take a leap of faith. GmanII....what???? [ April 21, 2004, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: Schmoe ]
 
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In general, Toyota has been more conservative than Honda, engineering wise. Honda tends to stress innovation and efficiency and Toyota, reliability and longevity. So, it makes sense that Honda goes for 5W-20 first and Toyota has more of a wait and see attitide. As for Ford, that one is a mystery to me. I would expect GM to take more risk than Ford.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Schmoe: But you guys are forgetting one thing, it's not the viscosity of the oil, it's the viscosity at the BEARINGS. You can't tell me that a 5W20 would have the same viscosity as a 5W30 at those pressure points. Film strength is higher with a 5W30. Yeah, you guys are going to throw UOA's at me and say that look at the low amounts of lead that come back using a 5W20, and I'll say that yes, that is true, but there a lot more other variables out there that our low lab prices aren't examining for. Example, the oils with no Mo and B, they come back with good wear numbers and elevated ZDP's, but there has got to be other additives in those oils that make up the whole package that the labs aren't picking up because we are talking about a lot of money to run GC mass specs, atomic absorption, etc.,etc that you and I would not want to pay for.
I wouldn't tell you 5W-20 has the same viscosity at those pressure points, I'd tell you it has BETTER viscosity at those pressure points. While 5W-30 has a higher viscosity when first poured into the engine, once its been in the engine for 1K-2K miles, its already broken down in terms of viscosity beyond what the 5W-20 would break down to. This is because the base stocks used in 5W-20 are far superior to those used in the 5W-30's.
 

ekpolk

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quote:
Originally posted by bottgers:
quote:
Originally posted by Schmoe: But you guys are forgetting one thing, it's not the viscosity of the oil, it's the viscosity at the BEARINGS. You can't tell me that a 5W20 would have the same viscosity as a 5W30 at those pressure points. Film strength is higher with a 5W30. Yeah, you guys are going to throw UOA's at me and say that look at the low amounts of lead that come back using a 5W20, and I'll say that yes, that is true, but there a lot more other variables out there that our low lab prices aren't examining for. Example, the oils with no Mo and B, they come back with good wear numbers and elevated ZDP's, but there has got to be other additives in those oils that make up the whole package that the labs aren't picking up because we are talking about a lot of money to run GC mass specs, atomic absorption, etc.,etc that you and I would not want to pay for.
I wouldn't tell you 5W-20 has the same viscosity at those pressure points, I'd tell you it has BETTER viscosity at those pressure points. While 5W-30 has a higher viscosity when first poured into the engine, once its been in the engine for 1K-2K miles, its already broken down in terms of viscosity beyond what the 5W-20 would break down to. This is because the base stocks used in 5W-20 are far superior to those used in the 5W-30's.

So you're saying that all 5w-20s, from the cheapest generic Group-I store house brand, all the way to the top-of-the line synthetic formulation, are ALL better than ANY 5w-30??? With all due respect, you're not just painting with a broad brush, spraying paint everywhere. I would venture to guess that there are individual 5-20s that are better than a certain individual 5-30s, especially in the cheap mineral range, especially since these oils start with similar vis stocks and the 30 just gets a heavier dose of VIIs, depending upon which performance criteria you're measuring. On the other hand, a good synthetic, not dependent upon the heavy dose of VIIs for its performance won't be breaking down the way you assume all 5w-30 oils will. On what are you basing your statement that all 5w-20s are made with far superior base stock compared to 5w-30s? If you have evidence to support this generalization, please share it with us. Otherwise, I think this sort of judgment should be made product-by-product. I don't put a combination of ALL available 5w-30s into my engine, I select ONE brand and use it. So I want to know about the product I select, not an entire vis grade as a whole. Are you saying that the lowest Group I based 5w-20 is better than Redline, M-1, and Amsoil's 5w-30 products? If so, please present your evidence of this, not just general opinions.
 
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In future years, expect to see just about all gasoline engines using 5W-20 and heavy duty diesels using 10W-30 for the fuel savings. The savings per car isn't much, but the saving for a year for the whole world will be significant. The oil industry can produce oils that work...it is up to the consumer to be willing to pay more for the oil and run the oil longer than 3000 miles to amortize the cost. And up to the consumer, including owners of heavy trucks, to think in the present instead of thinking in the past. Ken
 
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Ditto what ekpolk and Schmoe opined. I wish I was as eloquent last night on another thread. [Wink] It would also probably be a more enlightening debate if people refrained from derogatory comments like "people who think Xw-XX viscosity oils are better than Yx-YY are idiots" and supported their hypothesis with some MEANINGFUL and RELATED facts. Now as Arnold once said in Commando, "let's party". [Big Grin]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ekpolk: Are you saying that the lowest Group I based 5w-20 is better than Redline, M-1, and Amsoil's 5w-30 products? If so, please present your evidence of this, not just general opinions.
There is no such thing as a modern 5w20 made with Group I. If it meets Ford's spec, it's made with Group II/II+, and III. Period. End of story. If it doesn't meet the Ford spec, but is certified GF-3, then it has to be made with Group II and/or II+. There is simply no way to build a 5wXX oil that meets either or both of these specs using Group I alone, or even with some Group I in the mix. (10w30 is another matter, however.)
 
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I'm new here and basically know nothing, nor do I have a dog in the fight. But, out of curiosity, I threw the question to a buddy of mine. He grew up working for his dad's service station and changed a lot of oil, worked on cars, built his own racecar, etc.... So, I asked him what he thought about some new vehicles specifying 5W20. He said it should be fine if the new cars have engines with tight clearances. But after the engine starts to show some wear, a heavier weight oil would be a better choice.
 

ekpolk

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quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II:
quote:
Originally posted by ekpolk: Are you saying that the lowest Group I based 5w-20 is better than Redline, M-1, and Amsoil's 5w-30 products? If so, please present your evidence of this, not just general opinions.
There is no such thing as a modern 5w20 made with Group I. If it meets Ford's spec, it's made with Group II/II+, and III. Period. End of story. If it doesn't meet the Ford spec, but is certified GF-3, then it has to be made with Group II and/or II+. There is simply no way to build a 5wXX oil that meets either or both of these specs using Group I alone, or even with some Group I in the mix. (10w30 is another matter, however.)

OK, strike from my question the reference to Group I oil, and my question still stands. On what basis can anyone support a broad general assertion that all 5w-20 oils (irrespective of their base composition) are superior to ANY 5w-30 oil? In such a broad claim, I'd assume that it's meant to imply that 5w-20 oiled engines will last longer than equavalent 5w-30 engines. I certainly haven't seen any evidence to support long-term conclusions with respect to 5w-20. Look, I'm really not trying to start a nuclear confrontation here, or dis anyone's OPINIONs, and I'm NOT a zealot for any grade of oil, and I'd be just as skeptical of a sudden change of recommended oil UP the vis scale, if it were similarly made without any change to the engines involved. Again, just please point me to the EVIDENCE of 5w-20s superiority, and let the chips fall where they may.
 
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First of all, all bets are off in terms of Synthetic oil. I haven't done any research on any of them because I don't use them. All of the oils I'm referring to are dinos. As G-man II said, I also haven't seen a single 5W-20 with anything less than a group II base stock, and the vast majority are II+ or III. While some of the 5W-30's use II or higher, many still use group I. I haven't said ALL 5W-20's are superior to ALL 5W-30's, but I am saying I think generally speaking, 5W-20's are better than 5W-30's. I'm sure if someone wanted to badly enough, they could find a 30 that's better than a 20.
 

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Cool. Looks like perhaps we're having an "apples and oranges" communication problem. I'm the opposite -- totally syn oriented. It's all I've used for nearly 20 years, with fantastic results on OCIs ranging from 5k to 10k at different times over the years. I had a Civic I flogged mercilessly for ten years, and it was spotless and performed great on M-1 5w-30 (and occasional 10w-30) the whole time. Currently, I drive so much that respectable dino OCIs would have me living in the oil change lounge (almost 35k miles in the last 12 mos). BTW, don't take my manner as being pushy; I'm just trying to unearth as much info on all this as I can -- I may be new here, but I'm already hooked on the site. In the friendly spirit of airing out the merits of the oncoming tide of 5w-20, what do you think of the Hyundai limitation on the use of 5w-20 (see the parallel thread)? In fairness, my first thought was not that it's an oil problem, but instead perhaps an implied acknowledgment that their engines are not assembled with the same degree of precision as Honda's and Ford's. Or maybe something else is going on. . .
 
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quote:
the majority uses dino which would shear back to a very thin oil
The statement above does not seem to be consistent with the posted used oil analysis results on this board. The dino 5W-20 oils tested seem to be quite sheer stable, more so than many 5W-30 oils. John
 

ekpolk

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quote:
Originally posted by jthorner:
quote:
the majority uses dino which would shear back to a very thin oil
The statement above does not seem to be consistent with the posted used oil analysis results on this board. The dino 5W-20 oils tested seem to be quite sheer stable, more so than many 5W-30 oils. John

I'd be inclined to consider shear on an oil-by-oil basis, since it can be so variable. But I'd agree that since shear is largely a result of the amount of VIIs used, that 5w-30s as a group might be more vulnerable to the problem. Of course selecting a synthetic built from a naturally high VI base fluid should pretty much take that issue off the table.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by bottgers: [/qb]
I wouldn't tell you 5W-20 has the same viscosity at those pressure points, I'd tell you it has BETTER viscosity at those pressure points. While 5W-30 has a higher viscosity when first poured into the engine, once its been in the engine for 1K-2K miles, its already broken down in terms of viscosity beyond what the 5W-20 would break down to. This is because the base stocks used in 5W-20 are far superior to those used in the 5W-30's. [/QB][/QUOTE] A poor 5w-30 may drift down some but implying that they all will be lighter than the 20 WTs in a couple of thousand miles is just silly. I'm not aware of any current spec 5W-30 that will loose 10 viscosity points in that period let alone all. Looking at 30 WTs that start close to a 20 WT and move a few points to 20, aren't shearing that much. Since a light 5w-30 should be almost as stable as a 5W-20 anyway, they aren't going to pass a 20 wt on the low side in the same interval regardless of length. Many 5w-30s barely move in a normal OCI and something close to all will stay thicker than a 5W-20 even if they shear more. If a 20 wt is enough than fine, you don't need a 30 but be reasonable. A modern 30 wt should have higher viscosity at a pressure point or anywhere else.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Amkeer: I think the verdict is still out on the use of 5w20 oils. In synth form they are fine, but the majority uses dino which would shear back to a very thin oil. The longevity is questionable therefore I can see the reasons 30 weight is whats recomended with Yotas. What do you really gain with a 20 over a 30 anyway? Daily Drives: -2003 Toyota Tacoma PreRunner XtraCab, 2.7 Liter , Mobil1 Synthetic SS 5W-30. ODO 8350 Miles. -1995 Toyota 4-Runner 3.0 V6, Mobil1 Synthetic SS 10W-30. ODO 84500 Miles. http://community.webshots.com/user/amkeer
I don't believe the verdict is still out on the 5W-20. There are plenty of UOA's in this site alone showing it's superior to 5W-30.
 
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But you guys are forgetting one thing, it's not the viscosity of the oil, it's the viscosity at the BEARINGS. You can't tell me that a 5W20 would have the same viscosity as a 5W30 at those pressure points. Film strength is higher with a 5W30. Yeah, you guys are going to throw UOA's at me and say that look at the low amounts of lead that come back using a 5W20, and I'll say that yes, that is true, but there a lot more other variables out there that our low lab prices aren't examining for. Example, the oils with no Mo and B, they come back with good wear numbers and elevated ZDP's, but there has got to be other additives in those oils that make up the whole package that the labs aren't picking up because we are talking about a lot of money to run GC mass specs, atomic absorption, etc.,etc that you and I would not want to pay for.
 
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