Is Mobil1 5w-30 the Roger Maris of motor oils?

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658
Location
EU
Some will remember the stigma that was forever attached to Roger Maris' homerun record. He bested the long-time record set by Babe Ruth, but there was always that unfortunate asterisk attached to his name. He broke the record *BUT*--he did it in a season with more games. Motor oil analogy: Mobil1 5w-30 is widely praised in these pages as a top-notch, quality oil that may be the most common in usage, as determined by general reading here and by looking at oils mentioned in post titles. Not a scientific survey, just a general impression. It's way up there, anyway. *BUT* the oil comes with baggage. In the same posts praising this oil, one will read quite regularly that "it tends to run on the thin side" when warmed up, or something to that effect. This is not to agree or disagree or argue that point. But I do wonder this: why then, isn't Mobil1 0w-30 the preferable variety. By the numbers: 0W-30 5W-30 Gravity, API 34.5 32.8 Specific Gravity 0.852 0.862 Pour Point, °C (°F) -54° (-65°) -48 (-54) Flash Point, °C (°F) 232° (450°) 235 (455) Viscosity Cold Cranking, cP @ °C 3,[email protected]° 3,[email protected]° Cold Pumping, cP @ °C 16,[email protected]° 12,[email protected]° Kinematic, cSt @ 40°C 54.8 53.7 Kinematic, cSt @ 100°C 10.1 9.7 Pumpability Limit,°C (°F)-50°(-58°) -46°(-51°) Viscosity Index 176 169 Energy Conserving Yes Yes Color, ASTM L5.5 4.5 Better viscosity and pumpability. Comparable flash point. Same brand, same availability. Is it the lower viscosity at startup that prevents this oil from taking top Mobil1 honors? Seems to me that if one drives in an environment for which the 5 weight would be suitable, that the 0 weight would provide equally suitable performance, and better at warmed-up temperatures. It would pump somewhat more readily at startup and yet provide better protection when hot. Help me with this, please. [ January 14, 2003, 10:32 PM: Message edited by: YZF150 ]
 

tai

Messages
54
Location
Austin, TX
I'm guessing there is concern it has more viscosity improvers than 5w-30 and 10w-30 and thus wouldn't last as long. Also, I thought Mobil 10w-30 is the Roger Maris of oil. [Smile]
 

Bub

Messages
72
Location
Temple, Tx
The stigma may have come from down south where I live. Ask any quickie lube place and they will almost always recommend 10w-30 over 5w-30 saying that 5w-30 is "too thin in the summer". How much of this is based in fact is unknown to me, but yes I'll have to agree, everytime I hear a comment about 5W30 that phrase is in there. Bub
 
Messages
4,933
Location
Lakeville, MN
Even here in MN, it seems like finding Mobil 1 0w30 is pretty hit and miss. Some places carry it, others don't. Just about everyone carries the 5w30 and 10w30 flavors though. I agree that some of the stigma here attached to the 0w30 has to do with the bigger spread in the viscosity numbers, which usually means more Viscosity Improvers to break down over time and allow the oil to shear back to a lighter weight. I have also heard that the 0w30 uses a better base oil and requires very little VI, so who knows? [I dont know]
 
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951
Location
Loveland, Colorado
5W-30's the now-defunct "LP" setting on your VCR! Assuming 10W-30's considered the standard-range oil ("SP"), & 0W-30's the extended-range oil ("EP"), is there really a need any more for the 5W-30 long-range oil ("LP")? Not as durable as SP, & not as versatile as EP... [Wink]
 
Messages
403
Location
California
quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: The Wal-Marts in my area always have a few bottles of the 0w30 on the shelf. Check your local Wal-Mart.
I live in a large populated area, and the closest Walmart is a 30-40 minute drive without traffic. I did go there once and they don't carry it, but did pick up a 5 qt jug of 10w30. The Autozone here does carry it but is another 30 minute drive without traffic. I have at least 3 auto supply stores within 5 minutes drive, and none of them carry it.
 
Messages
51
Location
Texas
I get the M1 SS 0W-30 at Pep Boys in Dallas. As I have posted earlier, I really like this oil compared to the M1 Tri 5W-30. Currently, I am using it in an old car (88 Legend) and a new car(Pilot). The gas mileage I get with it is as good or better than what I got with Amsoil 5W-20. It also results in noticeably less start up lifter noise than the 5W-20 or the M1 Tri 5W-30. I will do UOA on it in the new Honda soon. I also want to compare it with the new 0W-20 from Mobil.
 

YZF150

Thread starter
Messages
658
Location
EU
I'm skeptical that the average driver/oil user would make an oil choice based on something as esoteric as base stock/viscosity improvers. Maybe it is an availability issue, after all. That said, and getting back on track, considering the oils themselves, is there anything to this, do you think:
quote:
I agree that some of the stigma here attached to the 0w30 has to do with the bigger spread in the viscosity numbers, which usually means more Viscosity Improvers to break down over time and allow the oil to shear back to a lighter weight. I have also heard that the 0w30 uses a better base oil and requires very little VI, so who knows?
These seem to be mutually exclusive states of affairs, in terms of oil quality. How many of you, the oil cognoscenti, use or would use the 0w instead of the 5w? Why do you? Why don't you?
 
Messages
403
Location
California
If you look at the specs of the 0w30 and 0w40 for pour point, flashpoint etc., they are very similar in everything except viscosity, and both are different from the 5w30, and 10w30 (which are similar to each other). Because of the similarities to the 0w40 (I believe the 0w40 to be a superior formulation), I would deduce 0w30 is also a better formulation than the 5w30. I will probably try 0w30 in my vehicle, but finding it isn't that easy. People that visit this board are more likely to buy it, but unless it's in the Owners manual, the average person probably won't. Therefore I think stores are less likely to carry it. When I asked someone at a Kragen if they had a 0w30, they were a bit confused as to why anyone would need a "Zero" weight oil. I tried to explain what the 0w meant but I could see by the confused look on his face that I wasn't going to get too far.
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by Giles: If you look at the specs of the 0w30 and 0w40 for pour point, flashpoint etc., they are very similar in everything except viscosity, and both are different from the 5w30, and 10w30 (which are similar to each other). Because of the similarities to the 0w40 (I believe the 0w40 to be a superior formulation), I would deduce 0w30 is also a better formulation than the 5w30. I will probably try 0w30 in my vehicle, but finding it isn't that easy. People that visit this board are more likely to buy it, but unless it's in the Owners manual, the average person probably won't. Therefore I think stores are less likely to carry it. When I asked someone at a Kragen if they had a 0w30, they were a bit confused as to why anyone would need a "Zero" weight oil. I tried to explain what the 0w meant but I could see by the confused look on his face that I wasn't going to get too far.
The Wal-Marts in my area always have a few bottles of the 0w30 on the shelf. Check your local Wal-Mart.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
22,017
Location
Guelph, Ontario
In looking at the specs of various Mobil 1 viscosities, I get very confused. I just don't understand for instance, how 0w40 can flow better in cold than 5w30, when the 0w40's viscosity at 40c is a much thicker 80.3cst (compared to 53.7cst for the 5w30) I realize that 40c is a higher temp than is used for the cold temp tests, but it still confuses me how radically the oil can change at those lower temps. Or even the 15w50 as well, it has such a thick viscosity at 40c, 124.7, yet it's pour point is the same -49F as the 10w30, which has a viscosity of 61.3cst at 40c. I completely understand how the second number of an oil's viscosity works (since the oil has to be in a certain viscosity range at 100c), but the first number has always been very puzzling to me. What I don't understand is how you see an oil classified as a 5w30, but it doesn't perform as well in cold weather as a synthetic 15w50 oil would. To me, I would think that ANY oil labelled as a 5w would outperform ANY oil labelled as a 15w, simply because in order to qualify as the 5w it has to pass more stringent cold weather tests. So how is it that 15w50 Mobil 1 has a lower pour point temperature than a lot of the 5w30 conventionals out there? (for instance, M1 15w50 has a pour point of -37c, while 5w30 GTX is -33c) [I dont know] [ January 15, 2003, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 
Messages
238
Location
Girard, Ill
quote:
Originally posted by YZF150: Some will remember the stigma that was forever attached to Roger Maris' homerun record. He bested the long-time record set by Babe Ruth, but there was always that unfortunate asterisk attached to his name. He broke the record *BUT*--he did it in a season with more games. Motor oil analogy: Mobil1 5w-30 is widely praised in these pages as a top-notch, quality oil that may be the most common in usage, as determined by general reading here and by looking at oils mentioned in post titles. Not a scientific survey, just a general impression. It's way up there, anyway. *BUT* the oil comes with baggage. In the same posts praising this oil, one will read quite regularly that "it tends to run on the thin side" when warmed up, or something to that effect. This is not to agree or disagree or argue that point. But I do wonder this: why then, isn't Mobil1 0w-30 the preferable variety. By the numbers: 0W-30 5W-30 Gravity, API 34.5 32.8 Specific Gravity 0.852 0.862 Pour Point, °C (°F) -54° (-65°) -48 (-54) Flash Point, °C (°F) 232° (450°) 235 (455) Viscosity Cold Cranking, cP @ °C 3,[email protected]° 3,[email protected]° Cold Pumping, cP @ °C 16,[email protected]° 12,[email protected]° Kinematic, cSt @ 40°C 54.8 53.7 Kinematic, cSt @ 100°C 10.1 9.7 Pumpability Limit,°C (°F)-50°(-58°) -46°(-51°) Viscosity Index 176 169 Energy Conserving Yes Yes Color, ASTM L5.5 4.5 Better viscosity and pumpability. Comparable flash point. Same brand, same availability. Is it the lower viscosity at startup that prevents this oil from taking top Mobil1 honors? Seems to me that if one drives in an environment for which the 5 weight would be suitable, that the 0 weight would provide equally suitable performance, and better at warmed-up temperatures. It would pump somewhat more readily at startup and yet provide better protection when hot. Help me with this, please.
And who did Roger hit number 61 off of??? Tracey Stallard!
 
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2,235
Location
SE MI
I thought with PAO synthetics, the oil was made in one weight, with pour point depressants added to meet something like 0W-30 standards, so that VIs are reduced if not eliminated?
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by metroplex: I thought with PAO synthetics, the oil was made in one weight, with pour point depressants added to meet something like 0W-30 standards, so that VIs are reduced if not eliminated?
Actually, PAOs don't respond to pour point depressants, so they aren't used in PAO-based synthetic oils. A pour point depressant prevents the residual wax in conventional base oils from solidifying. Since PAO doesn't have any wax, a PPD isn't necessary. PAO-based synthetics aren't made in one weight. The finished viscosity is the product of the base oil blend and VI improvers (if needed).
 
Messages
874
Location
Pacific NW
Patman, pour points aren't part of the grading system, and from what I've read those test methods are somewhat subjective anyway. I'm trying to ignore them even though it's a simpler concept and easier to find on the average data sheet. But like you, I found they often fail to match the actual friction/temp characteristics we're looking for. To me, comparing grades instead of specs is a trap/word puzzle/bad thing. And comparing specs without considering the ASTM test methods can lead to puzzlement. If pour points were part of the system, like cold cranking, they'd be an upper boundary and anything lower is a bonus. Sell it where you want as long as you don't cross the upper boundary. Grades only have low-temp boundaries on the bad side. It's a maximum resistance at specified temps. But an oil can perform better and be difficult to compare. i.e. A high quality 15w50 like M1 might qualify as a 0W50 but there's no market, so it's sold as 15w50. Nothing wrong with that. Meanwhile a conventional 5W30 barely qualifies, and in service rapidly fails to a 10W20. Marketing vs. reality. I'm probably not helping and should let someone else chime in. [Smile] David
 
Messages
4,933
Location
Lakeville, MN
I don't think the quality of the base oil and the use of viscosity improvers are exclusive of each other. For the "syn" products, like Mobil 1, they are generally a better quality and more uniform base oil than say a conventional. As a result, the better "engineered" base oil can more closely meet the targeted viscosity at temp without the use of a heavy dose of VI's. The VI's are more susceptible to breaking down over time, and causing an oil like a 5w30 to shear back to a 5w20 over time. That being said, I have heard from others say that Mobil 1 0w30 needs very little or no VI's. The theory that seems to still hold true is choose the oil with the least "spread" in the numbers that will adequately protect your engine based on expected temperatures. For many folks, that typically means using a 10w30 instead of a 5w30, so you can imagine some peoples reactions to running a 0w30. Then you can see some of the newer oils like 5w40 or the 10w60 being recommeded in M3's. Lots of skepticism on some of those oils being able to hold grade. Pesonally, I would use the 0w30 if I was interested in paying over $4 a quart for Mobil 1 and I could find it on a regular basis. It would probably make some of these morning starts a little easier, but I have not had any problems using 5w30 products.
 
Messages
403
Location
California
quote:
Originally posted by sprintman: Whats a Roger Maris???
Not what but who. Read the first post in this thread and it should be clear. He's a baseball player that broke Babe Ruth's home run record. You know who Babe Ruth was right?
 
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