"Lower tier " oils you have run...

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I drive my vehicles about 14,000 miles per year and own simple basic sedans and minivans. I call them basic but I'm old, so a car with AC and power windows is loaded to me. Changing oil twice a year [7,000 mile OCI] I use the cheapest oil available that meets the latest API spec. I buy this oil where it's convenient, Walmart, Canadian tire, or even the grocery store. 9 times out of 10 it's a store brand, but if a brand name is on sale and cheaper, I'll buy it.

I keep cars until they are about 17 years old. By then the interiors are showing their age, maintenance becomes more frequent and more difficult, seized fasteners and minor rust becomes a pain and the paint fades. It simply becomes time to get rid of them, but the engines do not suffer through lack of lubrication in any way that I can tell.

What would I have gained by spending more on name brand oil? I change oil twice a year to avoid changing my own oil outside during the winter [snow] months. Spring and fall works for me. SAE/API oil specs have improved year after year and any engine I have seen built after 1990 out lives the car built around it.

As far as I know, the store brand oils I have purchased are usually made by Shell Canada or Warren. It doesn't matter, only the spec it meets.

I currently own a Hyundai engine that may not follow in the footsteps of previous engines I've owned.
 
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Personal stories - "I ran Oil X in car Y for Z miles" - don't individually prove anything, but taken in aggregation, those stories might add up to be statistically significant, if you could collect enough of them to plot trends.

I would expect by now that if "lower tier" oils were significantly more likely to cause premature wear or failure, there'd be a preponderance of anecdotal evidence in that direction. That there isn't doesn't prove anything either though; it would only be worth considering if there actually was.
 
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The lowest tier oil I used to run back in the day was Wolf's Head 20w50 in my Celica Supra with a tad low compression and for its weekly top off.

I use ST for full oil changes fairly often now, but probably the lowest tier oil I use for a topoff is Cam2, sold at my local API store.

Bought a bunch of NAPA house brand when it was on sale last month, in anticipation of prices going through the roof (was right) at $13 a gallon, as a replacement for Supertech.
 
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My takeaway from reading, here and elsewhere, is that any API or Dexos oil is fine if you change it regularly, but if you're going to stretch your interval, you'd want a more premium oil. Obviously there is not universal agreement on this point, but it seems like a reasonable conclusion.

Since I change at 3000, I buy Kirkland (Warren) and feel fine about it.
I'm running Kirland in the Corolla right now. Has just over 2k on the oil now couple of things to do and it goes to my Grandson who is a senior in High School this year. This oil does 5K miles easy!
 

SR5

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I keep cars until they are about 17 years old. By then the interiors are showing their age, maintenance becomes more frequent and more difficult, seized fasteners and minor rust becomes a pain and the paint fades. It simply becomes time to get rid of them, but the engines do not suffer through lack of lubrication in any way that I can tell.
That has been my observation too.

For the average Joe in a normal car, regular oil changes gets you there. After about 15 years the car nickel and dimes you to death, but nothing to do with engine lubrication.
 
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I keep cars until they are about 17 years old. By then the interiors are showing their age, maintenance becomes more frequent and more difficult, seized fasteners and minor rust becomes a pain and the paint fades. It simply becomes time to get rid of them, but the engines do not suffer through lack of lubrication in any way that I can tell.
That has been my observation too. For the average Joe in a normal car, regular oil changes gets you there. After about 15 years the car nickel and dimes you to death, but nothing to do with engine lubrication.
My old boss had a firm rule about this: The first time the car strands you is the last opportunity it will have to do so. He will fix the car and then trade it in. I thought, Hmm, not a bad policy, and in 2015 when my '05 Acura TL suddenly dropped to Not Going Anywhere Right Now mode as I tried to pull out of a parking lot, I fixed it and sold it. (Broken front axle.) I bought a Civic Si and I was astonished at how tight it felt, which made me realize how loose and sloppy the Acura had gradually become over the decade I owned it. But the engine was still super strong, and I wasn't even as meticulous about oil changes in that car as I am now; I would change it when the dashboard told me to.
 
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I said earlier that I buy the Kirkland oil and feel fine about it. For those who feel likewise, here's a PSA: buying it from Costco.com is cheaper than picking it up in person. The local Costco stores currently have it at $35.99 for a two-pack of 5-qt jugs, so $18/jug. But online it's $65.99 for a four-pack of 5-qt jugs, shipped free, so $16.50/jug, which is pretty much the best deal anywhere for full synthetic 0w20 or 5w30.
 
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I run Fram Conventional 10w-30 in my 2000 GMC Savana 3500 cut-away cab box truck (5.7L V8) and Fram Conventional 5w30 in my 2007 Chevy Express 1500 cargo van (4.3L V6). Both of those things leak oil a ridiculous amount and don't see a lot of miles per year (around 3.5K to 6K). I see no reason to use anything fancy in either of those.
 

bbhero

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Imp4 think a little on your own...

It's not that difficult.


Certain products are considered lower tier... By many people. Just because of the name or lack of advertising.

Doesn't mean it is totally accurate. Or true.
 
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Certain products are considered lower tier... By many people. Just because of the name or lack of advertising.

Doesn't mean it is totally accurate. Or true.


I think a lot of this is perception. Back in the day my idea of lower tier oils would be Sears Spectrum or the stuff Monkey Ward would sell. For our beater that went through oil like a fish it was PureLube which we could buy at the local Food King in gallon jugs for cheap.
 
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I think a lot of this is perception. Back in the day my idea of lower tier oils would be Sears Spectrum or the stuff Monkey Ward would sell. For our beater that went through oil like a fish it was PureLube which we could buy at the local Food King in gallon jugs for cheap.
Likewise. In the back of my falling-apart Dodge there was always a case of Montgomery Ward 10w40 and a can spout.
 
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Lower tier? Sam's club Prime, autozone STP, oreillys store brand. When you're broke,cheap oil is better than no oil. I typically prefer Castrol GTX Dino but some here consider that to be lower tier oil made by a high tier company
 

bbhero

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I think a lot of this is perception. Back in the day my idea of lower tier oils would be Sears Spectrum or the stuff Monkey Ward would sell. For our beater that went through oil like a fish it was PureLube which we could buy at the local Food King in gallon jugs for cheap.


That's what I am stating...

It is " perception "....

Doesn't mean it is true or accurate.

A oil that is API approved and Dexos approved is extremely likely to be a good oil.
 

bbhero

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Lower tier? Sam's club Prime, autozone STP, oreillys store brand. When you're broke,cheap oil is better than no oil. I typically prefer Castrol GTX Dino but some here consider that to be lower tier oil made by a high tier company


This is a very good post. .

And Castrol themselves clearly say that other oils in their lineup " out perform" Castrol Ultraclean...

Castrol EP = top top tier

Castrol Black Edge = top tier

Castrol GTX full synthetic = mid tier

Castrol Ultraclean = low tier
 
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This is a very good post. .

And Castrol themselves clearly say that other oils in their lineup " out perform" Castrol Ultraclean...

Castrol EP = top top tier

Castrol Black Edge = top tier

Castrol GTX full synthetic = mid tier

Castrol Ultraclean = low tier
Where does Castrol GTX Magnatec fall into that list?

I'd expect the full synthetics to outperform the Ultraclean synthetic blend, wouldn't you? I think Castrol is stating the obvious.
 

bbhero

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Where does Castrol GTX Magnatec fall into that list?

I'd expect the full synthetics to outperform the Ultraclean synthetic blend, wouldn't you? I think Castrol is stating the obvious.




Castrol GTX full synthetic is mid tier just above Castrol Ultraclean. Which I had in that previous post.
 
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