Mobil 1 & Excessive Engine Noise

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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
I thought I’d start a thread talking about Mobil 1 and the noise so many of us have noticed. The current discussion has been going on this thread but given it’s title, there are probably many people who have something to contribute but don’t know the discussion is ongoing: http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=004029;p=1 I want to ask why Mobil 1 seems to allow engines to be so noisy. [Confused] It doesn’t seem to be its thinness as thinner conventional oils (like 5W20) are found to be quieter. I once thought molybdenum quiets down an engine because going from M1 Tri-Syn to other oils with molybdenum seemed to make a world of difference. But Mobil 1 added moly to their SuperSyn formulation and still, people have the same complaint about excessive noise. Amsoil and perhaps Royal Purple are formulated similarly (primarily a PAO base) but users don’t seem to have the same problem with noise. So what could be different about Mobil 1? [I dont know] --- Bror Jace
 
Messages
34,045
Location
Southern NJ
Good question Bror. I don't have the knowledge to answer this. My guess would be it has some relation to the four-ball wear properties maybe. M1 does very poorly in this test, worst then many dino oils. Regardless, it doesn't effect it's wear numbers but can annoy the ear! [I dont know]
 
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3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
I have no idea why this is, but my anecdotal evidence says it's always been this way going back to the early '80s. Back then we tried M1 in some of our 4cyl, air cooled, Japaneses sport bikes. These things defined the phrase WFO as a riding style. [Big Grin] With M1 we noticed increased valve noise and some leaks but oil temps were pretty low. Who would have thought we'd still be talking about the exact same things with M1 20+ years later. We went back to Klotz synthetics in the bikes even though I've continued to run M1 in my cars and trucks to this day...
 

Jay

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1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
Most of the folks who try Mobil 1 for the first time in their Honda K20A2 and K20A3 engines remark how much smoother and quieter the engine is.
 
Messages
2,556
Location
Columbus Ohio
I have no idea what causes the extra noise, but I do have one thing to add. The old Tri-syn was much louder in my camry, than the supersyn. But the supersyn is louder than RP. [I dont know] I can't tell any difference in sound between the formulations in my truck or camaro.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Amsoil and perhaps Royal Purple are formulated similarly (primarily a PAO base) but users don’t seem to have the same problem with noise.
My wife's 2000 Civic has always had a very slightly noisy valvetrain, which was a bit noisier on a cold start, and this was with both M1 TriSyn and Royal Purple. After switching it to GC 0w30, her engine is considerably quieter, the valvetrain noise is almost non existant now once warmed up, and on a cold start it's barely noticeable.
 
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3,845
Simple answer for this thread is that M1 is a thinner viscosity in each of the SAE ranges. The "thickness" and/or density of the fluid directly impacts the sound propagation or transmittance of engine operation to the user. Moly and other EP adds also quiet things down by stopping metal to metal contact. Most of the very early OTC syns like M1 were very thin weights relatively speaking ( remember 5w-20 M1) and thus the increased noise levels. A thick oil or oil made more dense by add levels ( slick 50 with milled PTFE ) really absorb the engine noises and give the incorrect impression of reduced wear and improved or smoother operation. Another variable is materials used in construction of the engine it self. Roller cams are quieter than a pushrod engine. Thin aluminum oil pan alloys transmit more sound than a thick steel oil pan. Etc. [ November 03, 2003, 02:35 PM: Message edited by: Terry ]
 
Messages
10
Location
Austin, TX
quote:
Originally posted by Patman:
quote:
Amsoil and perhaps Royal Purple are formulated similarly (primarily a PAO base) but users don’t seem to have the same problem with noise.
My wife's 2000 Civic has always had a very slightly noisy valvetrain, which was a bit noisier on a cold start, and this was with both M1 TriSyn and Royal Purple. After switching it to GC 0w30, her engine is considerably quieter, the valvetrain noise is almost non existant now once warmed up, and on a cold start it's barely noticeable.

My experience as well. Switching from M1 0W-40 in my Saab 95 to GC 0W-30, the engine is a lot quieter and smoother.
 
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5,785
Location
Dixie
I agree with Terry ....The Delvac 1, 5w-40 (100 Cst @ 104F) is a very "quiet" oil .... On startup, Mobil 1, 5w-30 and 10w-30 are thinner than most petroleum oils, no matter if it's 0F or 100F.
 
Messages
3,216
Location
BC, Canada
With the merg of MobilExxon perhaps ExxonEsso will influence the M-1 blend to the superior Super Flo formula? The trouble with M-1 is Wal*Mart. Keeping the price (and quality) of the product low. A Canadian Esso/Exxon PAO Ester PCMO would be priced up with Delvac-1, and sales would no doubt.....tumble. In other words, in this case you get what you pay for. [ November 03, 2003, 03:06 PM: Message edited by: userfriendly ]
 
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2,480
I think it's more than just a simple matter of viscosity. Mobil 1 is a PAO, but it's addative package leaves a lot to be desired. That's why there's Delvac 1...
 
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7,775
Location
Oklahoma
One thing that I have noticed is that if you look at some of the UOA's that use M1SS, they all, most of them, seem to have slightly higher levels of iron. Even if the silicon count is low, say 1 to 9 ppm. Often wondered if there is some coorelation between iron and M1.
 
Messages
4,107
Location
Savannah, GA
quote:
Originally posted by Jay: Most of the folks who try Mobil 1 for the first time in their Honda K20A2 and K20A3 engines remark how much smoother and quieter the engine is.
I agree Jay. I would add most Honda/Acura 4 cylinders to that list. -Joe
 
Messages
392
Location
Toronto, Canada
I just put some M1 10w-30 in a 1994 Toyota Camry with the 1MZFE V6 with 200,000 kms and the darn thing is so quiet now, I can barely tell it is idling and super smooth. Really amazing compared to Castrol GTX 5w-30 that was previously used. I had always thought it was psychological.
 

wtd

Messages
2,646
Location
southwest Mo.
I currently 900 miles into my 5W-30 Havoline oil change and the engine is still quieter than when I was running Mobil 1. Truck also feels like it has more powerful but thats probably just psychological. Wayne
 
Messages
252
Location
AB, Canada
Psychological...you bet! I think the reason half the people here use synthetics is purely unscientific peace of MIND! I use a 0W synthetic for the winter; I FEEL better about my car on those cold winter starts! PS - my Hondas all get M1, and they are NOT excessively noisy. (Many Hondas are a little bit noisy in the valvetrain; they have solid type lifters that are inherently noisier than a self-adjusting type valve set-up...do those valve adjustments!) PSS - I did notice my Integra is quieter on 0w40 than it was on 10w30, and a friends Civic SiR is quieter on GC 0W30 than it was on M1 5W30...maybe 30W M1 IS a little thin...
 
Messages
94
Location
Seattle
I kinda have to agree wit da Geeman, I think the same holds true for alot of things, having expensive synth in my rig makes me feel better (esp in the winter). I have recently went to M1 10w30 in my F150, everything sounds fine to me, the little 4.6L running smooth as ever. BTW I found a smokin' deal on M1 tonight (for others interested in a jankety sounding engine), G.I. Joe's sporting-goods has M1 for $14.97 a gallon (better than Wally's if I remember), oddly enough they also carry Amsoil.
 
Messages
3,542
Location
Colorado
I changed my oil today again using M1 10w30. I forgot to prefill the oil filter and when I started the truck (2003 Silverado 5.3 V8) ther was absolutly NO knocking or "dry" engine noise. It was smooth and quiet as if there was oil in the top end right off the bat! These Vortec V8's are known for there knocking noises and such but mine is dead quiet with Mobil 1. After the engine is hot and I do a start it some times has a faint knocking noise but is goine within 15 seconds. I'll post the UOA as son as I get it back.
 
Messages
173
Location
Iowa
I've noticed the same thing in regards to noise with respect to M1. 94 Regal w/ 125K mi. M1 10w30 = noisy engine. Swapped one quart of 10w30 for 1 of 0w40. Noticeable decrease in noise at startup and idle. 03 Century with 13K mi. M1 5w30 = noisy engine. Swapped out the M1 for Havoline Syn. 5w30. Almost no engine noise at all at startup or otherwise.
 
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