Keep/Change Oil...

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Feb 3, 2003
Bay Area, CA
Hi guys, I've been lurking around here for the past couple months reading and trying to get up to speed. Like the other post, I never really thought much about the oil I put into my car before I found this site. I hope my questions aren't too basic here.

Basically, I have a 1996 3.8L Camaro with roughly 102,000 miles that I do 90% of the miles on the highway. My car does about 50 miles a day on the freeway and the RPMs are usually around in the low-mid 2000 range. I've had my car for 60,000 miles and in order of use I went with Chevron, Mobil 1, Pennzoil and the Valvoline Maxlife oils (10w-30). I've always changed my oil near 3,000 miles though I can push it. The last 9,000 miles I've used the MaxLife. I'm cautious to go back to Mobil 1 with my miles though I didn't have any noticeable leaks when I used it previously. I'd like to just use a good oil that has moly that would work well given my situation. Not too demanding I think...

Also, my girlfriend has a 2001 Mustang (3.8L) with 25,000 miles and she does at least 75% stop & go driving. Right now she gets her oil done at the dealership with the Motorcraft 5w-20. Just like to hear a recommendation for a good oil for her as well.

Thanks guys!

BTW: We're both in extreme temps.

[ February 04, 2003, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: Stealth26 ]
For your girlfriends car I'd stay with the 5W20 through the warranty period. Is she going to keep the vehicle for a long time? If so, I'd then switch to at least a 5W30 synthetic, with her driving style.

If you're happy with the MaxLife, I'd stick with it if you want to. Our Mechanic told us that it's a good oil in theory, but with too much use it may "overcondition" the seals on her Outback and cause them to leak. We switched to Mobil Blend on her vehicle. I've always been partial to Mobil1. I'd go back to it in a heartbeat and stay with it in 10W30, until the end.

I'd recommend the Chevron or Pennzoil in your Camaro, unless it's using oil. No need to mess with those seals if you don't have to, and besides, Valvoline Max-Life is not highly regarded on this board, IIRC. I also think your gf would be better off using 5w30 in her Mustang; I believe Ford does not mandate the use of a 20w in that engine (check the owners manual).

Ford has a TSB out which basically says the new oil to use in almost all models 97 and up, except for PSD's, is the 5WThinny. My Dealer showed it to me and it lists specific vehicles and years.

Thanks for the input guys! I may have over estimated my GF's driving. 75% seems high now that I think about is probably around the 50% area since she drives in traffic a lot and hits a lot of red lights on expressways, so a lot of 50 MPH to stops. I checked her manual and it says 5W-20 oil...

As for my car, I did some searching and I see GTX has gotten good reviews. I may go with that unless there are any reasons not to.

Thanks again guys!
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