Kia Niro engine oil specification confusion

Messages
5
I have a new 2019 Kia Niro (HEV) - production date late October 2019 purchased in July, so on the lot for a few more months than typical - but got the exact package I wanted - very deeply discounted.

So, my plan is to do the first oil change at 3,000 miles. I'm in Minnesota, but the car stays in an attached garage in the middle of town, so really more like southern Iowa in terms of winter impact on starts. My driving is mildly spirited (after break-in), and there's a normal mix of driving but quite a bit of the short trip situations. I'm quite sure I'll be keeping this vehicle for a long time - and many miles.

The Finance guy said Kia is strict about full synthetic for warranty, which I was planning to do anyways given the hybrid GDI configuration. What has me confused (or would it be more correct to say - what has Kia confused) - is the specification. While the cap lists "0w20" spec, the manual indicates a C temp range of -30 (or lower) to +50 (or more) for 0w20, 5w20 and 5w30 - all listed together on the same graph... with ACEA A5 "or above" / API SM(!) / ILSAC GF-4 - with the disclaimer that ACEA A3 is allowed if A5 "is not available in your country." (Nothing in the manual says anything about full synthetic.)

Well, I get that Kia wants 0w20 as a matter of pushing up the MPG claim, but I really do question that specification for 0w20 and A5... and how rare it is to find that combination. Given that Pennzoil Platinum Ultra 5w30 achieves not only A5/B5, GF-6A and API SP, the pour point is -48 C which beats out many of the 0w20 formulations for cold weather performance and the viscosity ratings - I would think that oil would be a great choice. The specs on Total Quartz - no matter the formulation - as the preferred pour do not seem nearly as good. Perhaps there are detergent differences, but who would know?

So, am I missing something? I admit that I'm not nearly as well-briefed as most of you here, but I have more than a basic understanding of oil technology. Please be kind - this is my maiden voyage here.
 
Messages
15,056
Location
Canada
I’m not going to debate 5w-30 vs. 0w-20.

Your car calls for 0w-20. You are concerned about maintaining the warranty. Use the 0w-20 of your choice.

Don’t give them the fuel they need to make a warranty claim difficult if they were looking for a reason to.
 
Messages
1,807
Location
Indiana
My daughter owned a 2014 Elantra and now a 2019 Santa Fe and my son owned a 2010 Soul so I can tell you from experience that their oil recommendations in the owners manual are a complete mess. They used to recommend Quaker State, that's still what Hyundai recommends in my daughters Santa Fe, and the owners manual lists 5W-20, 5W-30 and 10W-30 along with the goofy ACEA A5 or higher recommendation. The oil cap has 5W-20 on it, I'd like to see a Quaker State 5W-20 that meets ACEA A/5. The finance guy is full of it, I'd hand him the manual and ask him to show you where it says synthetic is required for the warranty.
 

ScooterMaxiJim

Thread starter
Messages
5
I'm wondering, addyguy, if your Canada regulations regarding warranty compliance might be more sympathetic to the corporate side (though that isn't my understanding)... Just to be clear, here is the bar chart in the manual. I'm pretty sure that 0w20 isn't mandatory for warranty compliance - and - in fact - PPU 5w30 certified for A5 is one of the few oils available that clearly complies based on the listing in the owner's manual.
Oil chart.jpg

Farrar... my all-time favorite car was the 2002 Elantra GT manual that I kept for 14 trouble-free years... and there was never a doubt about 5w20 with that one. Things have gotten more complicated in recent years.
 
Messages
10,948
Location
USA
Welcome to BITOG :)

It is impossible to find an A5/B5 0w20. The only current ACEA standard any 0w20 can meet is C5. OTOH, 5w30 is available in A5/B5 as well as A3/B4

Napa Synthetic is on sale for $3.39/qt this month, so that would be my choice. There is certainly nothing wrong with PUP, either.
Liqui-Moly Longtime High Tech 5w30 is A5/B5 and sold at Napa and Amazon.
 

ScooterMaxiJim

Thread starter
Messages
5
Thanks for all the helpful replies. I suppose I might be overthinking it, but what the manual is stating has forced me down this rabbit hole to ensure full compliance - and a valid warranty claim, if necessary down the road. I hope to stick with a plan once I figure out the best option - so sales to get the absolute best price each time is not likely to be in the cards for me.

It is almost true that the A5 and 0w20 is impossible to find, but there is at least one exception to the rule:
https://www.redlineoil.com/0w20-motor-oil

So the Redline 0w20 fetches $50 per gallon... and the PUP 5w30 comes in at half that price. I'm sure that the Redline is great stuff designed for these smaller vehicles - but not sure the price difference is worth it. If nothing else, it seems PUP provides a bit better summer heat-related protection.
 
Messages
45
Location
lexington nc
Go with PUP if that meets the standard. I had a Soul for awhile and liked it a lot, but extensive reading of the Soul Forum showed that KIA went out of the way to find reasons not to honor a warranty. That was my conclusion, so if I had a Kia or Hundai, I'd make sure the oil met their standard. Perhaps it would be worth you while to take ur manual to the dealer management and have they write in your book what is best for your area.
 

ScooterMaxiJim

Thread starter
Messages
5
The finance guy is full of it, I'd hand him the manual and ask him to show you where it says synthetic is required for the warranty.
I had meant to also mention in my earlier response to you that the finance guy was wanting to sell the added service package, so emphasizing how expensive those service trips are due to synthetic. It is true that one of the "expert" long term reviews (Edmunds if I recall correctly) remarked on how pricey those Niro service trips are - so I'm sure that dealers hope to make up for low selling margins on the service side with the Niro requirements. The service interval calls for a new cabin air filter every 7,500 miles, as well. (This might trigger purchase of a K&N that I can clean on my own... access is easy.)
 
Messages
1,807
Location
Indiana
I'm guessing they make a nice commission on those packages. It is good that Hyundai/Kia gives owners some choices in oil grade based on ambient temperatures, but the SM and A5 wording is probably confusing to folks who don't have a clear understanding of what they mean. SM was introduced in 2004 and replaced by SN in 2010, they've had plenty of time to update the OM.
 
Messages
288
Location
Florida
I'd go with the 0w20, 5w20, or 5w30. Stay away from the 10w. The first number is how fast the oil flows. 2nd is when it's at operating temp. You'll be safe with the 0 or 5 of your choice. PP or PUP are good at OCI of 5 - 6k miles with OEM filter. Don't use aftermarket oil filter. I can give you 768 million reasons why.
 
Messages
3,633
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
I'd go with the 0w20, 5w20, or 5w30. Stay away from the 10w. The first number is how fast the oil flows. 2nd is when it's at operating temp. You'll be safe with the 0 or 5 of your choice. PP or PUP are good at OCI of 5 - 6k miles with OEM filter. Don't use aftermarket oil filter. I can give you 768 million reasons why.
I agree with this except that I've used aftermarket filters on all sorts of Kia's and Hyundai's without incident. If your filter did make the engine sound funny on start upand you took the car to the dealer they'd drop your new oil and filter and charge you for a change. If that happens just replace the filter and don't tell anyone. Dozens of oil and filter changes and it's never happened to me. Had a Kia DI Rio eight years ago and it didn't happen then either.
 
Messages
12,474
Location
North Carolina
I'm wondering, addyguy, if your Canada regulations regarding warranty compliance might be more sympathetic to the corporate side (though that isn't my understanding)... Just to be clear, here is the bar chart in the manual. I'm pretty sure that 0w20 isn't mandatory for warranty compliance - and - in fact - PPU 5w30 certified for A5 is one of the few oils available that clearly complies based on the listing in the owner's manual.
View attachment 26136
Farrar... my all-time favorite car was the 2002 Elantra GT manual that I kept for 14 trouble-free years... and there was never a doubt about 5w20 with that one. Things have gotten more complicated in recent years.

My 13 Elantra has a similar chart. I run 5w30 without issue.
 
Messages
288
Location
Florida
I agree with this except that I've used aftermarket filters on all sorts of Kia's and Hyundai's without incident. If your filter did make the engine sound funny on start upand you took the car to the dealer they'd drop your new oil and filter and charge you for a change. If that happens just replace the filter and don't tell anyone. Dozens of oil and filter changes and it's never happened to me. Had a Kia DI Rio eight years ago and it didn't happen then either.
Hyundai/Kia have settled a $768 million lawsuit. Hyundai/Kia sent out TSB to service managers stating if any engines had fires and anything other than OEM oil filters were used, they were instructed to void the warranty. Basically, they were CYA and blaming the customer for the fires, knowing the manufacturing defect that caused the fires. I've read the entire case and TSB that are easily found inline. It took 4000 fires, 3 dead bodies, a class action lawsuit, judges, juries, countless lawyers and 1.5 years of litigation for Hyundai to confess. Or use an OEM filter and at least take that piece of leverage away from them. MMWA is useless and simply words on a piece of paper. I understand what you're saying, but OEM Hyundai oil filters are good and not any more than aftermarket. That what was meant that I can offer 768 million reasons why to use an OEM oil filter on all Hyundai and Kia vehicles while under warranty.
 
Messages
780
Location
E. Tennessee
Hyundai/Kia have settled a $768 million lawsuit. Hyundai/Kia sent out TSB to service managers stating if any engines had fires and anything other than OEM oil filters were used, they were instructed to void the warranty. Basically, they were CYA and blaming the customer for the fires, knowing the manufacturing defect that caused the fires. I've read the entire case and TSB that are easily found inline. It took 4000 fires, 3 dead bodies, a class action lawsuit, judges, juries, countless lawyers and 1.5 years of litigation for Hyundai to confess. Or use an OEM filter and at least take that piece of leverage away from them. MMWA is useless and simply words on a piece of paper. I understand what you're saying, but OEM Hyundai oil filters are good and not any more than aftermarket. That what was meant that I can offer 768 million reasons why to use an OEM oil filter on all Hyundai and Kia vehicles while under warranty.
Can you find that TSB and show it for us to see? I'd be VERY interested in seeing this.
 
Messages
361
Location
So. Calif.
My call would be a synthetic 5W30 meeting the required specs and an OEM oil filter. In the past, there have been some issues with after-market oil filters and Kia issued a TSB strongly advising the use of their filters. To avoid any possible warranty issues, I use OEM, which is a good filter.
 
Messages
3,633
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
My call would be a synthetic 5W30 meeting the required specs and an OEM oil filter. In the past, there have been some issues with after-market oil filters and Kia issued a TSB strongly advising the use of their filters. To avoid any possible warranty issues, I use OEM, which is a good filter.
I can't change my own oil (condo) and am working through a stack of $10 oil, filter and rotate coupons. Were I changing my own I'd do what you're doing
 
Messages
462
Location
T-County, Ohio
I run Pennzoil Platinum 5w30 in my 2017 Elantra 2.0L year round now except for a few changes using the Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5w20. The 5w20 printed on the cap is just for the best fuel economy. I’ve also used Fram Ultra filters without any startup noise, but will be going with the factory Hyundai filter since it’s now available in my area. I’m just going back to changing the filter with every oil change. But using 5w30, I still average between 38 and 42 mpg depending on my driving and a/c use.

L8R,
Matt
 
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