Mazda's extreme spec for 5w-20

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1,181
Location
NJ, USA
I thought this was interesting and wanted to share it here and get some opinions. Even though I have used, and will continue to use, 5w-20 in my '04 Mazda6i I'm not sure I agree with their spec as stated in the owners manual. From page 8-10 of my owners manual under "Recommended Oil"; "Engine oil viscosity, or thickness, has an effect on fuel economy and cold weather operation (starting and oil flow). Low-viscosity engine oils can provide improved fuel economy and cold weather performance. But high-temperature weather conditions require higher-viscosity engine oils for satisfactory lubrication." I found this interesting that they mention benefits in fuel economy and cold weather operation with low viscosity oils (surprise surprise) but when it comes to "satisfactory lubrication" in high temps they admit higher viscosity oils are needed. Now the part that suprised even me (a 5w-20 proponent) is the small graphic under the quoted passage which shows a thermometer with scale from -30f to 120f and directly under it another graphic with text that states 5w-20. [I dont know] Now I'm usually one to adhere to manufacturer specs but could this really be accurate? Would someone who lives in an area that routinely reaches those high temps be safe using a 5w-20? I imagine driving in rush hour, stop and go traffic in 110f weather with 5w-20 dino in the sump and I must say it doesn't give me a good feeling. On the same page there is a large box with a bold "CAUTION" which reads; "Using oils of viscosity besides those recommended for specific temperature ranges could result in engine damage." So with their words they are dangling the carrot of using a different viscosity oil but at the same time making the recommended temperature range for 5w-20 so broad that most people in north america would be going against their recommendation by doing so. Also the fact that the only mention of proper lubrication is with higher viscosity oils makes one wonder. The plot thickens (so to speak [Big Grin] )
 
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4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
I hate ambiguity like that. [Bang Head] They need to get engineers to write the manuals instead of politicians. My Canadian manual for the Mazda 3 states that it must be 5W-20 SL and it gives the little temperature chart, but only says: "Energy conserving oils are recommended. A chief contribution they make to fuel economy is reducing the amount of fuel necessary to overcome engine friction." That's all it says. We don't see too much over 100F though.
 

mikep

Thread starter
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1,181
Location
NJ, USA
quote:
Originally posted by rpn453: I hate ambiguity like that. [Bang Head] They need to get engineers to write the manuals instead of politicians. My Canadian manual for the Mazda 3 states that it must be 5W-20 SL and it gives the little temperature chart, but only says: "Energy conserving oils are recommended. A chief contribution they make to fuel economy is reducing the amount of fuel necessary to overcome engine friction." That's all it says. We don't see too much over 100F though.
Mine also has pics of the two API stamps (one with 5w-20 inside it) and specifies SL and ILSAC (not ILSAC GF3 but simply ILSAC).
 
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7,409
Location
Austin, TX
This kinda' reminds me of the summer of 2000 in Dallas when it was over 100 degrees for 44 consecutive days. Fortunately by mid-September it cooled down to the mid 90s with only a handful of days over a 100. They were handing out free air conditioners that summer since so many poor and elderly people were croaking from the heat. [Eek!]
 

mikep

Thread starter
Messages
1,181
Location
NJ, USA
quote:
Originally posted by Hootbro: Is this a Ford built Mazda?
Yes. Built in Flint Rock Michigan where the new 2005 Mustang will also be built.
 
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3,118
Location
San Antonio, TX
quote:
Originally posted by 427Z06: This kinda' reminds me of the summer of 2000 in Dallas when it was over 100 degrees for 44 consecutive days. Fortunately by mid-September it cooled down to the mid 90s with only a handful of days over a 100. They were handing out free air conditioners that summer since so many poor and elderly people were croaking from the heat. [Eek!]
 
Messages
3,118
Location
San Antonio, TX
quote:
Originally posted by jorton:
quote:
Originally posted by 427Z06: This kinda' reminds me of the summer of 2000 in Dallas when it was over 100 degrees for 44 consecutive days. Fortunately by mid-September it cooled down to the mid 90s with only a handful of days over a 100. They were handing out free air conditioners that summer since so many poor and elderly people were croaking from the heat. [Eek!]

So what could happen to 5w oil under these conditions?
 
Messages
80
Location
Rockledge, FL
I think that those statements have let the manufacture get out of any warranty coverage they feel they need to. It's like use 5-20w, but if it died, well you should have used a 10-30w the way you drive or where you drive. Watch out. I personally would use the oil that you feel is right for the engine.
quote:
Originally posted by mikep: I thought this was interesting and wanted to share it here and get some opinions. Even though I have used, and will continue to use, 5w-20 in my '04 Mazda6i I'm not sure I agree with their spec as stated in the owners manual. From page 8-10 of my owners manual under "Recommended Oil"; "Engine oil viscosity, or thickness, has an effect on fuel economy and cold weather operation (starting and oil flow). Low-viscosity engine oils can provide improved fuel economy and cold weather performance. But high-temperature weather conditions require higher-viscosity engine oils for satisfactory lubrication." I found this interesting that they mention benefits in fuel economy and cold weather operation with low viscosity oils (surprise surprise) but when it comes to "satisfactory lubrication" in high temps they admit higher viscosity oils are needed. Now the part that suprised even me (a 5w-20 proponent) is the small graphic under the quoted passage which shows a thermometer with scale from -30f to 120f and directly under it another graphic with text that states 5w-20. [I dont know] Now I'm usually one to adhere to manufacturer specs but could this really be accurate? Would someone who lives in an area that routinely reaches those high temps be safe using a 5w-20? I imagine driving in rush hour, stop and go traffic in 110f weather with 5w-20 dino in the sump and I must say it doesn't give me a good feeling. On the same page there is a large box with a bold "CAUTION" which reads; "Using oils of viscosity besides those recommended for specific temperature ranges could result in engine damage." So with their words they are dangling the carrot of using a different viscosity oil but at the same time making the recommended temperature range for 5w-20 so broad that most people in north america would be going against their recommendation by doing so. Also the fact that the only mention of proper lubrication is with higher viscosity oils makes one wonder. The plot thickens (so to speak [Big Grin] )
 
Messages
7,778
Location
Oklahoma
Kind of hard to believe that was written in the manual, especially when they are built at the Ford plant. Ford has been an advocator of the 5W-20 oils, heck, I even think they started the whole 5W-20 movement. Again, it clearly keeps the line divided between the pros/cons and believer/non-believers of this weighted oil.
 
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688
Location
Fort Smith, AR
I hate to ask a dumb question, but...why the concern about high weather temps? My Escape's operating temperature is somewhere around 180 degrees (considering that it has a 180 thermostate in it), and the coolant system keeps it in that range regardless of stop-and-go city driving or highway driving. My point is that the engine is always operating at much higher temps than the outside temperature. What am I missing?
 
Messages
625
Location
Silver Spring, MD (USA)
For any others with a Mazda 6i, or Mazda 6s, or a Mazda 3s (which uses the same engine as the Mazda 6i), here's all the collaborated UOA's thus far. http://www.mazda6tech.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=26 Top link is original UOA, bottom is a link to the bob thread's discussion on said UOA. I haven't added ashu's latest Mazda 6i UOA, as 6tech is about to move (again) to another server, and any changes I make now to the database will be lost during the move =/. Do note that most of these engines are 2003's. The 2004 6i and 6s had a sump increase of 0.5 qts. (Hidden change). This puts the max volume of the 6s's oil/filter at 6 qts, and the 6i's at 5.0 qts for 2004. I figure when those UOA's start coming in, we'll see even better #'s. I am thinking of running redline 5w-20 for the new car (6s '04 MTX) and will post some of that goodness to start another "what the heck is going on with redline UOA's" type fight [Smile] . I figure between that, Group III's, and heavy vs thin, we'll be arguing till ford spec's 0w-1 for everybody.
 

mikep

Thread starter
Messages
1,181
Location
NJ, USA
quote:
Originally posted by crossbow: The 2004 6i and 6s had a sump increase of 0.5 qts. (Hidden change). This puts the max volume of the 6s's oil/filter at 6 qts, and the 6i's at 5.0 qts for 2004.
Hmmmm, this is news to me. I have a 2004 6i and my owners manual says 4.5 qts and when I fill with 4.5 qts. the dipstick reads full. [I dont know] .
 
Messages
555
Location
south texas border
1998 expedition 5.4, 1998 f150-4.2, 2002 civic ex. Running motorcraft 5w20 in 5.4 and honda, pennzoil 5w20 in 4.2. yesterdays temps. About 108 F. No problems. [Cheers!] In fact, by the seat of the pants, the honda at least seems to run smoother in the hotter temps. [ June 17, 2004, 11:04 AM: Message edited by: dustyjoe1 ]
 
Messages
625
Location
Silver Spring, MD (USA)
mikep, It seems there is a descrepancy between different dates in 2004. Some people have the manual which clearly states (5 qts), others still say 4.5 qts. The workshop manual actually says 5.5 qts for 6s, and 4.5 for 6i...but some individuals dipsticks and manuals say 6 qts and 5.0 qts. Perhaps there was a sump change halfway through the model year? I'll try and get more info on this.
 

mikep

Thread starter
Messages
1,181
Location
NJ, USA
quote:
Originally posted by crossbow: mikep, It seems there is a descrepancy between different dates in 2004. Some people have the manual which clearly states (5 qts), others still say 4.5 qts. The workshop manual actually says 5.5 qts for 6s, and 4.5 for 6i...but some individuals dipsticks and manuals say 6 qts and 5.0 qts. Perhaps there was a sump change halfway through the model year? I'll try and get more info on this.
Thanks Crossbow. I appreciate the info. Dustyjoe....that is a real world testimony to just how good lighter viscosity oils can be.
 
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