I live in Southern CA... dealer uses 10w30; should I use 5w30?

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Mar 14, 2004
My car is a 2002 Altima 2.5 with pretty low miles. I don't drive it too often, and when I do, it's a lot of city driving. Anyway, I'm asking this question from a weather-specific standpoint. It doesn't get too cold here in Los Angeles, maybe 40-45 degrees at the very coldest, and that's rare. Also, I park my car in the garage overnight, so the car's not exposed to those temperatures overnight. However, it gets HOT during the summer (>100). Having said that, I'd like to use Mobil 1, but I'm undecided as to whether I should use 5w30 or 10w30. The dealership uses 10w30 year-round because it doesn't get too cold here. The car manual says that it's okay to use either one at these temperatures, but seems to recommend 5w30 overall. Why doesn't the dealership switch, then? Will I suffer in performance or gas mileage if I switch to 5w30 in the heat of summer? Keep in mind that here, "winter" is only maybe 3 months long. The rest of the year is at least 60 degrees, usually more. Thanks.
Go with Mobil 1 10w-30 year round. I wish I lived in S. California. [Frown] I hope to move out their someday. I could work for Redline oil. Just kidding.
DaveInLA, I just traded in a Mercury Villager Van (aka Nissan Quest) with 126+K on it bought new in Santa Maria CA in '93. I bet it had at least 75K left in it. Used 5W30 almost exclusively as per OEM recommendations with no oil consumption even at 126+K. I am back in LA on business ALL the time so I know the climate from the beach communities to the valley to the high desert...would not have ANY qualms about running 5W30 in that Altima...unless Nissan has dramatically changed their recommendations. In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to run 0W30 in it. Hope this helps. [ April 11, 2004, 01:54 PM: Message edited by: pscholte ]
The truth is either of these oils will work fine in your climate. I think I would actually choose the 10w30 for your application as its probably more stable and cold starts are not an issue. I visited Ca. for the first time last November. It was really strange leaving a warm L.A. in late November and a few hours later being in chilly Ky! Oh, I now know why I always see the images of Ca. surfers wearing the body suits. That water at Newport Beach was COLD!!!! [Eek!]
Since your manual says either is acceptable I would certainly use 10W-30 in So. Cal conditions, especially since you garage the car overnight. John
The Altima is pretty tough on engine oil. I think the M1 10W-30 would be a good year round choice.
Either would work. Either will pump up fine. I guess it really depends how much you go up to Arrowhead, Big Bear, etc during the winter. [Big Grin] I was born in Fullerton. Seriously. I would use the 10W-30 in so cal. And myself being a thickhead would be very tempted by XW-40's....does the manual mention an XW-40? My Volvo manual does for warm climates. NOT that this would produce better wear numbers, just a point of discussion. Lastly, have you searched the UOA's on Altima 2.5's?
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