New Ford recommendation -- 5W-20

vvk

Messages
481
Location
Philadelphia
I have seen this in Ford's TSBs and on Motorcraft.com -- Ford now recommends the 5W-20 oil that meets WSS-M2C153-H spec on many of the older cars. Even my sister's 1994 Mercury Tracer is on the list. I have two family vehicles that fall under the new directive: a 1994 Tracer and a 1998 Escort. The Tracer (1.9l SOHC, auto) has over 200k miles on it, so I am sticking with 5W-30 and 10W-30. The Escort, however, is a baby with only 62K miles. I am starting to think that maybe using 5W-20 in winter would not be such a bad idea. It is very cheap and seems to have impressive specs and UOAs. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Should I just stick with the originally recommended 5W-30? The Escort is driven extremely gently. 70/30% city/highway. It has the SOHC 2.0l SFI engine and automatic tranny.
 
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5,358
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Gone
Unless you have a specific objective in changing (e.g improved fuel economy [would be negligible IMHO]) or Ford has said you will reduce wear dramatically, etc by changing AND you can get 5W20 cheaper than 5W30, I would stay with the 5W30.
 

Kestas

Staff member
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13,917
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The Motor City
It's interesting that I take care of roughly the same cars - 1991 Tracer 1.9L 63K and 1998 Escort 2.0L DOHC 110K. I agree with pscholte, stick with the regular 5W-30 oil changes. The cost/benefit of switching to 5W-20 semisynthetic is high cost/low benefit for the life of the car.
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
If anything you should be going to a slightly thicker oil as an engine ages, not going the other way around, so Ford is very foolish to start recommending 5w20 on 10 year old engines! [No no]
 
Messages
2,363
Location
Texas
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: If anything you should be going to a slightly thicker oil as an engine ages, not going the other way around, so Ford is very foolish to start recommending 5w20 on 10 year old engines! [No no]
Patman, You dont consider though the benefits to ford if you use oil that is too light and it blows the engine at 100K. Then you are out of warranty and are likely to show up and buy a new car again. But, then again, I could be wrong and ford is really trying to benefit its customers.... Dan
 

Jay

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1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
vvk, do you have any UOAs on the Escort with 5w-30? If so, you could try the 5w-20 and see how it performs compared to the 5w-30. In my Honda engine the 5w-20 showed the same or slightly lower wear metals as 5w-30 and 2% better gas mileage. Give it a try.
 
Messages
180
Location
San Jose CA
quote:
Originally posted by Jay: vvk, do you have any UOAs on the Escort with 5w-30? If so, you could try the 5w-20 and see how it performs compared to the 5w-30. In my Honda engine the 5w-20 showed the same or slightly lower wear metals as 5w-30 and 2% better gas mileage. Give it a try.
Take a look at Bob Winters UOA on his Escort when he went from a 15-50 to a 5-30. All wear decreased quite a lot. This Mazda engine may actually run better on a 5-20, as it may very well be a flow/circulation issue. I will be finding out myself on my 99 Escort where I have been a bit unhappy with the lead numbers with 5-30.
 
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450
Location
Louisville, KY
Some engines have weak oil pumpms and a thin oil wont hurt especialluy in a low rev driving environment. But if you look at our UOA section you will find that the thicker oils generally do better. Fred... [Smile]
 
Messages
9,283
Location
Fayetteville, NC
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: If anything you should be going to a slightly thicker oil as an engine ages, not going the other way around, so Ford is very foolish to start recommending 5w20 on 10 year old engines! [No no]
-------------------------------- Patman, I TOTALLY agree with you: I have 97 T-bird (4.6L), and the dealer wanted to put 5/20 or 5/30 in it: i think it's ridiculous to go down to a thinner oil when as an engine ages! I use 10/30 and 10/40 but with 87,000 miles i think I'll stay with 10/40 in the future ------------------ [Off Topic!] does anybody have any info on Chevron 10w-40? is this also a good oil like their 10/30? I haven't seen many uoa's from their 10/40 -Thanks
 

Al

Messages
19,202
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by Dan4510: You dont consider though the benefits to ford if you use oil that is too light and it blows the engine at 100K. Then you are out of warranty and are likely to show up and buy a new car again. But, then again, I could be wrong and ford is really trying to benefit its customers.... Dan
Hahahah..You got that right Ford knows exactly what they are doing [Big Grin] Patman-what were you thinking [LOL!]
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Dan4510:
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: If anything you should be going to a slightly thicker oil as an engine ages, not going the other way around, so Ford is very foolish to start recommending 5w20 on 10 year old engines! [No no]
Patman, You dont consider though the benefits to ford if you use oil that is too light and it blows the engine at 100K. Then you are out of warranty and are likely to show up and buy a new car again. But, then again, I could be wrong and ford is really trying to benefit its customers.... Dan

How many people would buy a car of the same make if their first engine died at 100k though? And especially if they put two and two together and realized that a recommendation by that car maker could've been the reason for the failure of the engine. I think Ford is simply in bed with CAFE. Perhaps they are getting bonus points from them for recommending the lighter oils in older cars too? Or maybe they've bought up six billion gallons of 5w20 for their dealers and want to sell more of it. [Smile]
 
Messages
19
Location
Georgia
quote:
Originally posted by vvk: I have seen this in Ford's TSBs and on Motorcraft.com -- Ford now recommends the 5W-20 oil that meets WSS-M2C153-H spec on many of the older cars. Even my sister's 1994 Mercury Tracer is on the list. I have two family vehicles that fall under the new directive: a 1994 Tracer and a 1998 Escort. The Tracer (1.9l SOHC, auto) has over 200k miles on it, so I am sticking with 5W-30 and 10W-30. The Escort, however, is a baby with only 62K miles. I am starting to think that maybe using 5W-20 in winter would not be such a bad idea. It is very cheap and seems to have impressive specs and UOAs. Does anyone have an opinion on this? Should I just stick with the originally recommended 5W-30? The Escort is driven extremely gently. 70/30% city/highway. It has the SOHC 2.0l SFI engine and automatic tranny.
The reason why Ford is going to a lighter oil is partially due to the over head cam motors. The thinner the oil the faster it gets to the camshaft. The only way to really blow an overcam motor is to rev it when it is cold when there is no oil to lubricate is. Also the misconception of heavier oil being better is over. Lighter weight oil in most cases is better. If you have a four cylinder motor in your car than go with the lighter oil. All four cylinder motors have an over head cam.
 
Messages
19
Location
Georgia
quote:
Originally posted by 97tbird:
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: If anything you should be going to a slightly thicker oil as an engine ages, not going the other way around, so Ford is very foolish to start recommending 5w20 on 10 year old engines! [No no]
-------------------------------- Patman, I TOTALLY agree with you: I have 97 T-bird (4.6L), and the dealer wanted to put 5/20 or 5/30 in it: i think it's ridiculous to go down to a thinner oil when as an engine ages! I use 10/30 and 10/40 but with 87,000 miles i think I'll stay with 10/40 in the future ------------------ [Off Topic!] does anybody have any info on Chevron 10w-40? is this also a good oil like their 10/30? I haven't seen many uoa's from their 10/40 -Thanks

Hey look at what I wrote below. The thinner oil is better for the 4.6 SOHC motor however I had a 94 T-bird and it burned oil. I tried thicker oil but it did not help. This was after 100K miles. Does yours burn oil?
 
Messages
34,054
Location
Southern NJ
quote:
Also the misconception of heavier oil being better is over.
I agree, but it's not that one is better then the other, it just depends on the engine. People who run 40wt and 50wt oils in 4cyl cars that call for 20wt or 30wt oils are "thick" headed. [Big Grin] Check the recent UOA of the Ford with the 20wt oil. Excellent results. All 20wt results thus far have been great. [ October 09, 2003, 09:09 PM: Message edited by: buster ]
 
Messages
2,363
Location
Texas
quote:
Originally posted by Patman:
quote:
Originally posted by Dan4510:
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: If anything you should be going to a slightly thicker oil as an engine ages, not going the other way around, so Ford is very foolish to start recommending 5w20 on 10 year old engines! [No no]
Patman, You dont consider though the benefits to ford if you use oil that is too light and it blows the engine at 100K. Then you are out of warranty and are likely to show up and buy a new car again. But, then again, I could be wrong and ford is really trying to benefit its customers.... Dan

How many people would buy a car of the same make if their first engine died at 100k though? And especially if they put two and two together and realized that a recommendation by that car maker could've been the reason for the failure of the engine. I think Ford is simply in bed with CAFE. Perhaps they are getting bonus points from them for recommending the lighter oils in older cars too? Or maybe they've bought up six billion gallons of 5w20 for their dealers and want to sell more of it. [Smile]

Patman, I think you are giving way more credit than is warranted. Most people dont connect events unless they are very close timewise. In my experience, most people do not connect two events if they are over 10 seconds apart. And, yes, I am very cynical, but made so by experience and observation. Dan
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by yellow68: The reason why Ford is going to a lighter oil is partially due to the over head cam motors. The thinner the oil the faster it gets to the camshaft. The only way to really blow an overcam motor is to rev it when it is cold when there is no oil to lubricate is. Also the misconception of heavier oil being better is over. Lighter weight oil in most cases is better. If you have a four cylinder motor in your car than go with the lighter oil. All four cylinder motors have an over head cam.
I've heard a lot about American OHC engines requiring lighter oil, but I've never seen an authoritative resource saying this. Does such a resource exist, or is it just a "belief?" Doesn't a four need to work harder than a larger engine in the same car? For a harder working engine, I'd prefer a grade heavier oil. I have two OHC engines in my garage, and both allow 10W-30 down to 0°F. Ken
 
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
quote:
Originally posted by yellow68: The reason why Ford is going to a lighter oil is partially due to the over head cam motors. The thinner the oil the faster it gets to the camshaft. The only way to really blow an overcam motor is to rev it when it is cold when there is no oil to lubricate is. Also the misconception of heavier oil being better is over. Lighter weight oil in most cases is better. If you have a four cylinder motor in your car than go with the lighter oil. All four cylinder motors have an over head cam. [/QB]
Likely you are correct that all modern 4's do have OHC. Pushrods once were common, but in a straight engine, don't make much sense. An OHC reduces the parts count. With only a little longer belt or chain, you eliminate the pushrods. My SOHC 77 truck doesn't even have lifters. The cam followers (rocker arms?) bear directly on the cam. It has a chain and mechanical non lifters. After I bought my 92 Grand AM, I upgraded the old truck to the same 5W-30 dino every 3 months from 10W-30 dino every 6 months. I figure quarters I put on over 3000 miles, I am getting away from the needing more frequent changes due to short trips. With your common 16 valve DOHC designs, hydraulic lifters (lowerers?), and smaller oil filters, likely it is important to use a thinner oil to get the oil flowing up top quickly. With nothing up there but a rocker arm, cold, thick oil would protect it until warmer oil got there. If you need flow up there to work the valves, you do want a thinner oil. Ford may also be thinking that a modern 5W-20 may be as heavy at operating temperature as the older 10W-30's that sheared down before long.
 
Messages
2,480
I'd love to know where these 'old wife's tales' begine...OHC requiring thinner oils...com'mon... I've never seen a Japanese or German engine that was a 'pushrod' design and they never recommended a 5-20 unless you lived in Antarctica. In fact, German OHC engines traditionally used 40 and 50 weights...and my buddy's 1987 Toyota MR-2 specs a 5W-50 to be used exclusively.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: I'd love to know where these 'old wife's tales' begine...OHC requiring thinner oils...com'mon... I've never seen a Japanese or German engine that was a 'pushrod' design and they never recommended a 5-20 unless you lived in Antarctica. In fact, German OHC engines traditionally used 40 and 50 weights...and my buddy's 1987 Toyota MR-2 specs a 5W-50 to be used exclusively.
And how many MR2s have you seen lately? [Wink]
 
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