Is 5-30 needed?

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May 27, 2002
Been reading for a while and the concensus seems to be to use 10-30 instead. Is the 5-30 just for the manufactures to meet tougher gas mileage requirements? The service manager at Saturn cautioned me against using 10-30 because he said the timing chain had small holes leading to it and they have seen chains break because of oil starvation. Hence his idea that the thinner 5-30 be used. This engine is I suppose hard on oil and I am currently going through three treatments with Auto-RX to hopefully decarbon the stuck oil rings. (It is drinking 3 quarts in 3K) If this thing will stop using oil I had planned on using M1 10-30. If it still drinks then I will use good cheap dino like the fav. Castrol GTX. Should I be fearful of using 10-30 dino oil?
What does it say in your owners manual? Personally, I'd have no problems running a 10W30 in place of a 5W30. They are the same, once they reach operating temperature.
Chris, This engine burns oil due to the cylinder head design. Nothing will fix this - you can only hope to minimize it. Even a low mileage, 16 valve Saturn engine will drink oil least that was true of the earlier models.
The owner manual says that 5-30 is the prefered oil, 10-30 is fine for temps above 0 F. We live in GA so it only gets down to about the 20's at the lowest. It also says that you can use straight 30 weight above 40 F. Also this is my wifes car and she is not afraid to rev this thing up and run it hard at times. [Burnout]
Forgot to mention that this is the 1.9 SOHC motor in a 1995 SL with about 85k miles. [Duh!]
Keep in mind that a synthetic 10w30 flows better than a dino 5w30, so anytime a car calls for 5w30 you can substitute 10w30 synthetic in it's place.
The owner manual says that 5-30 is the prefered oil, 10-30 is fine for temps above 0 F.
Bingo. That's what I figured. Some dealers... Personally, I'd run Schaeffer's or Mobil 1 in that engine.
So could I go with a synthetic 10w30 year round in Alaska? Pumpability is the main concern during the winter months. I have two pickups one a 5.4L and another 4.0L, both have oil pan heaters.
Originally posted by Chris: Patman, Would you recommend using the 10-30 GTX though? [Confused]
In your case yes. With Atlanta's relatively mild winters, you shouldn't have a problem running this oil all year round. I wouldn't want to have a 10w30 dino oil in an extremely cold climate, but it should do just fine even if you get a rare day or two in the 0-10F range. I like the 10w30 GTX oil analysis results I've seen, it does appear to be a great oil for a dino. It should even be able to handle up to a 5k drain (with oil analysis to be sure)
Originally posted by pepper32: So could I go with a synthetic 10w30 year round in Alaska? Pumpability is the main concern during the winter months. I have two pickups one a 5.4L and another 4.0L, both have oil pan heaters.
That's a tough call. If I lived up there I think I'd want to have the absolute best cold weather oil I could possibly find for the colder months. Would those oil pan heaters be used at all times, or only when at home? How much do they actually heat up the oil? I think in an extreme climate like Alaska, you'd be better off finding the best 0w30 there is. I'm honestly not sure which 0w30 has the lowest pour point, but if it were me, I'd find that oil and use it. I do know that Amsoil used to have a -70F pour point, even for it's 10w30, but that has changed in the recent formulations. Even Mobil 1's pour points have gotten less favorable over the years.
So the other reason for this post is who should use 5-30 weight? Should all of us who are out of warranty just ignore the 5-30 and use the more stable 10-30? According to Frank my rings are getting stuck with carbon, how does this play in all this? Could the 5-30 weight oil be breaking down in 3K and causing the problem? Maybe a synthetic would hold up better. [I dont know]
I was reading the owners manual for my 2002 Chevy Silverado 5.3L engine the other day. In thier recommendations for oil viscosity they stated that 5W-30 was the preferred oil. However you could use 10W-30 if the outside temperture would not go below 0 degrees fahrenhiet. It also stated that if the outside temps were expected to drop to -20 degrees fahrenhiet. Then you should use a 5W-30 synthetic. I think the 10W-30 synthetic would be just fine to at least -20 degrees or maybe even lower. I use Amsoil and it states its pour point is -60 degrees. Pumpability temperture is generally about 20 degrees warmer than the pour point. So I think that 10W-30 would be good down to -40 degrees fahrenhiet.
Does a 5w-30 cause less wear at startup than a 10w-30, even in a warm weather climate? Or is the difference negligible over time? There is a car in the family used only for errands around town. So short trips, and it's not driven that much. About 8000 miles per year, and oil is changed every 6 months. The owner's manual lists 5W-30 and 10W-30 dino oils, with 5W-30 as recommended. The temp is between 40 (winter night) to 90 degrees (summer day) F here. Sticking with dino oils, should I be using 5W-30 or 10W-30?
If you're sticking with dino, definitely use 10w30, there are way too many VI improvers in a 5w30 dino oil and it will thin out real quick. In warm weather there is very little difference in how quickly a 10w30 flows compared to a 5w30, so you are better off using the 10w30 since it'll have a better NOACK value and will be more stable.
I run 5w30 synthetic in my wife's Honda, for a couple of reasons. Number one, she's already getting terrible gas mileage with her short trips, so I don't want to make it any worse. Number two, with those short trips, a thicker oil might not be a wise choice. Number three, she tends to drive the car harder than I would like when the engine is still cold, so this ensures that her engine isn't starving for oil during this critical time. If it were my car, with my driving style, I'd go with 10w30 instead. I've never done an oil analysis on her oil yet, but it's coming soon. Hopefully I won't find that the 5w30 has thinned out to a 5w20, like other TriSynthetic reports I have seen.
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