Looking for extended drain oil

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Aug 27, 2003
Well, I suppose I should change my forum name... I'm no longer a "forkman". In 2 weeks I start as a correctional officer in a medium security prison.

I'll be moving and leaving my fiancee behind for a year (until she finishes college). I'm looking for an extended drain oil for her 94 Regal since I won't be able to do the typical 4000 mi changes I've been doing on it. It currently has 125K mi on it.

It'll probably get changed every 6 months or about 7000 miles.

Her typical driving habits:
She drives mostly short trips to and from school and work each day. 6 mile round trip to school and about 9 miles round trip to work. That's about 6 short trips per day lasting no longer than 15 minutes each.

About twice a month she goes to visit her family (and will now be driving to visit me). These trips are about 150 miles one way.

The car right now has Mobil1 10w30 in it. I was thinking of using Havoline 5w40 synth but have decided against it since its not a PAO based synth.

What does anyone think of using M1 0w40 in this application. Or perhaps some combination of M1 10w30 and 0w40.

I like the looks of the specs for the M1 0w40 with its cSt at 40deg being 80 with many dino 10w30s being in the low to mid 70s at this temp. And the cSt at 100deg is 14.3 so its not too high in the 40wt range.

So opinions or suggestions.

And please no Amsoil or Schaffers recommendations. I'd like to keep the oil something easily purcashed at any autoparts store or WalMart.
Wal*Mart has Shell Rotella T Synth, 5w-40. The only Wal*Mart oil I'd do extended on. $3.25q My friend in the heating oil biz is getting a 55-gallon drum based on recommendation from me and his oil distrubitor. Al little thick for some engines, like ones requiring 20 weight but desirable in most higher-mile cars. HT/HS is attractive at 4.0. I use it in German cars, my friend will use it in fleet diesel and gas V8s. Great stuff. Although Gruppe 3, it is not hydrocracked it's Shell's own wax isomerate, equal to PAOs. Same base as Ultra Helix whatever...

[ October 12, 2003, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
Mobil 1 should be fine for a 7k run.

Mobil 1 should be fine for a 7k run

I realize price isn't and should not be much concern when picking out an oil, I lecture my friends on this point. However, I need about 70 quarts a year to service the 6 or so cars I am responsable for. Therefore, I am looking to optimize costs and $5 Mobil 1 0w-40 does not do it for me. I would have to go way extended drains to make it worthwhile verses regular jug Mobil 1 at $3.75/q. Changing 2x a year anyway, would 0w-40 Long-Life really help? Now, for our poster, I want to recommend an oil that will go extended in a V8, mixed-fleet oils are made for this and at $3.25 Rotella might be best anyway. In reality, regular Mobil 1 is very good for most cars, I bought my cousin a jug for his new Toyota. For the EXTENDED drain the poster wants, fleet oil is good. Saw a TBN of 14 on Rotella syn (old method). Maybe it is me, I just am not warming up to M1 0w-40 extended drains while I am comfortable with regular M1 normal 6000 mile intervals.
Any of the better synthetics will do fine at 7K miles -- shopping by price should be a safe bet. A less expensive option for her 10 year old Buick's extended drains would be a diesel/gasoline oil such as Rotella, Delo 400, etc. As you may know, they're formulated to handle the additional contamination brought on by diesels and/or extended drains.
Since you limited some of the fine oils marketed and supporting this site, I suggest using any SL/SM rated 10w-30 with a pre cleaning using Auto-RX then a 2 ounce per qt load of LC to stabilize oxidation. Add 1 to 3 ounces LC every 1000 miles based on cleanliness of the oil. No problem going 6 months or 6000 miles. Analyze it then and I bet you can go longer.

I will say that LC is inexpensive and easy to use and works really well with Amsoil and Schaeffers oils too.

Good luck.
I just looked at the specs for the RotellaT synth 5w40 and they do look very good and may suit my application pretty well.

Although, I'm a bit concerned about using a 40wt with the winter temps here in Iowa averaging during the coldest months (Jan-Feb) anywhere from 15 to -10F.

[ October 12, 2003, 07:26 PM: Message edited by: Forkman ]
Congratulations on the new job. I've been a correctional officer for the last 12 years, working in the federal system.

As far as the oil to use, the only way you will really know what oil will hold up for extended use in her particular car, is by doing an oil analysis. It doesn't sound like you will have time to do that. I would probably just have her get her oil changed somewhere locally on a regular basis instead of trying to find an oil that may be suitable for extended drains. Most dealers anymore have pretty reasonable oil change prices if you don't trust the quickie lube places.

Alot of people here are saying to use Mobil 1, but in my truck, oil analysis recommendations on this oil, have been to keep changing at 3-4,000 miles. My wife's 98 Grand Prix, which may have the same engine as your fiance's Regal, recommends changing at 5,000 miles based on analysis. Don't assume what works in one person's vehicle, will work in yours. Good luck.


Originally posted by TSoA:
Wal*Mart has Shell Rotella T Synth, 5w-40. The only Wal*Mart oil I'd do extended on.

Extended-Drain Oil at Wal-Mart For Me:

Shell Rotella-T (5w-40 and 15w-40)
Chevron Delo
Mobil Delvac 1300
Pennzoil Long-Life


concerned about using a 40wt with the winter temps

Won't matter at all. Your engine will operate at about the same temp, winter or summer. 40 weight is the high-temp rating. Thickness should be ideal for a higher-miles car with some engine wear. Cold cranking will be excellent due to the 5w cold rating. Consider sending a UOA in after her extended interval. I know the price is comparable to 30 weight Mougl 1 but I like Shell's reputation.

[ October 12, 2003, 10:39 PM: Message edited by: TSoA ]

Congratulations on the new job. I've been a correctional officer for the last 12 years, working in the federal system.

Thanks. I'll be working for the state. The pay's good, the benefits are good, and the retirement is probably one of the best around (of course I'll have 25 years to go before I can get there but...)


Again is someone going to air the tires check the other fluids,the air filter belts and hoses etc.?

She'll handle that. She just doesn't change the oil because her arms aren't long enough to reach up through the wheel well around the tire, over the tie rod end and behind a coolant hose to get the filter off. **** , mine are barely long enough and I'm 6'2".


Won't matter at all. Your engine will operate at about the same temp, winter or summer.

I'm not so sure about that in this case since its all short trip driving of less than 5 miles and 15 minutes. I can't see how the oil can possibly get up to "operating temp" in this short period of time in the dead of winter.

I'd stick with Mobil 1, but run their 5w-30 in the winter instead of the 10w-30. I don't think the diesel oils are going to give you the same cold weather performance or fuel efficiency.

You are correct in that it may take 10-15 miles for the oil to come up to operating temp on a cold day. I see this even down in Alabama in the winter, with the oil temp gauge on my Audi 100.

BTW, what is anyones opinion of adding one or 2 quarts M1 0w40 and the rest (4.5qt total) 10w30.

[ October 13, 2003, 02:03 PM: Message edited by: Forkman ]
Congrats on the new job. I was a correctional officer for the state of VA for 8 years. Best advice I can give is to work for the Federal B.O.P. May require some experience in the state system first, but the cutoff age is 37. So get in when you're young enough. Don't make the mistake I made and waste your life working for the VA Deptof Corrections or theequivalent. Good luck!
Woot. alot of C/O brothers on here. Wife and my self are both Correctional Officers for the state of Colorado. Best advice. Stay out of all the political bullshiiit that admin likes to delv in. God the stories I can tell everone working in a level 4 facility. And to make this an oil subject...I love Valvoline Durablend.
Well here's what I decided to go with since I'll be doing the oil change tomorrow morning.

3.5qts of M1 10w30 + 1qt of M1 0w40.

I don't like the idea of going with just a crankcase full of 0wX oil. I tried 5w30 M1 in the Regal before and there was an increase in engine noise over the typical slight tick that this engine exhibits on 10w30.

1 qt out of 4.5 is about 22% of the total crankcase volume. I figure it shouldn't drop the 10wX rating too much (probably something in the neighborhood of a 9wX if there were such a rating) and should thicken up the cSt rating at 40 and 100 deg without pushing them so high that they would be in category of a 40wt, just a "thicker" 30wt.

If I notice any signs of the engine running differently (namely louder than usual) I'll just drain it out and refil with nothing but 10w30 M1. I've got about 15qts of it setting in my garage that I picked up with my employee discount before I quit working for Target so it only cost me about $3.00/qt so I don't mind wasting a bit of $$$ if I do end up having to change out the mixture if it does cause any odd noises.
Well I changed the oil today in the Regal.
3.5qts M1 10w30 and one of 0w40.

I think I may have found the solution for this car (at least for the time being). Engine noise was reduced substantially both at cold startup and hot startup. The oil pressure is about the same when at cruise speed (perhaps slightly higher) but the psi at idle when comming to a stop is greatly improved, no longer setting right on the top of the "red zone"... its now about 2 needle widths above it.

I'll probably do a UOA at the next change and may try 2qts 0w40 next time, and in summer may go with nothing but 0w40.
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