Newbie is asking - Which oil for '03 Honda? Synthetic?

Not open for further replies.
Aug 15, 2003
Hi there,
I've read most stories on the 5W20-topic. It seems, the reason is CAFE, not engine care.
After all, I need to do first oil-change on my '03 Accord V6, which "requires" 5W20.
I've never tried a synthetic oil, but I feel I want to go for it. Also, read about Amsoil oils. But, I'm wondering, if Amsoil is so good, why aren't these sold in the auto-parts shops?

***Bottom line - please, advice which synthetic oil I should go for (or should I)? Is it going to be Mobil 1-5W30? I checked with local dealers - they offer Valvoline and Castrol. Keep in mind, I live in SoCal Desert, with summer temp. 100'+F.
I live in laredo tx. last week it was 109+ , have a honda civic 2002ex. I ran penzoil 5w20 for first 10,000 and then switched to amsoil 5w20 synthetic...which its not really its a tough as nails group III. but they tell you that up front.
I have had zero problems with the heat. I wouldn't worry about it...the pennzoil worked fine too....the only reason I went to amsoil is that its much more convenient dropping the oil every 7000 versus 3. Just don't try to run 5w20 in a 98 ford pickup down works but it doesn't like it much.

What does "goodness" have to do with being sold in auto-parts stores? The same places carry all kinds of hackliquids, stuff that will damage your engines, etc. FWIW I have more than once gone into Napa stores that carry Amsoil. So Amsoil IS sold in stores, whatever that means.

To answer your question - once the factory fill is out there is really no reason on a new car not to switch to synthetic oil. You could use Amsoil 5W-20, which indeed is a Group III as is Castrol and others. I would truly love to see a UOA on Amsoil XL 5W-20 - so I would be willing to sell it to you at my cost and free shipping - if you agree to do a UOA at the lab of your choice.
I would take Panblo up on that one. As usual (usually) I would agree with Pablo. Amsoil is an excellent oil.It marketed thru dealers which means usually it may to expensive for some stoors to stock. You can't go wrong with the Mobil 1 or Amsoil.

Personally I would be using either the Amsoil 5W-30 or Mobil 1 10W-30 where you are. But I'd still take Pablo up on his offer

This is a great board and if you are patient and do some back reading you will learn a lot.
Agreed, take Pablo up on his offer...and if you don't like the UOA (I don't know of any reason why you won't, but just in case) you have some Group IV/V (full synthetic alternatives); M1 0W20,which I am not crazy about (until we know more about it) for your potentially 3 digit SoCal heat; M1 5W30; or, probably your best choices, German Castrol 0W30, Redline 5W30, or Amsoil 0W30 or 5W30. Please remember, if you depart from your owner's manual guidance you are taking a chance (I believe a very small one, but a chance nonetheless) that should an engine issue come up and lubrication becomes an area of focus, your dealer could say, "Ah ah ah." I think you would be fine with a 0W or 5W30 but you just need to keep the preceding in mind. Also, please keep in mind in regard to your first UOA on Amsoil. Your engine is still breaking in and your wear metals will probably be higher than normal. Give the Amsoil a chance with another UOA before you decide what you think of it. You should see your wear metals come down on the second UOA.
dany0022, Honda is under no CAFE constraints in their 20-weight recommendations. Their average fleet gas mileage is well above the point where CAFE kicks in.

And yes, take Pablo up on his offer before he discovers the 3 Amsoil 5w-20 reports already posted.

[ August 16, 2003, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: Jay ]
Too funny Jay - and indeed I may be mistaken but I think those are the old formulation PAO based XL 5W-20. Still my fault for not being clear and I can be further corrected...I'll check, too. Thanks.

As to departing from the manual:
- As I said, I checked with local dealers, and they all offer synthetic as an alternative to 5W20. But what they offer is Valvoline & Castrol, 0W30' and 5W30'. So, if they do it, it won't void the warranty, obviously.

I guess, the main question to me is: whether I should use synthetic, and which one?

Does anyone know what oil Honda calls for in Asia or Europe for the Accord? I'd be curious to know if they also call for a xxw-20 outside of the US.
It's nice to see this board corroborate the recommendations on CordClub.

To date I've been running M1 5/10w30 for almost 100K in my '01 4cyl Accord('01 was the first year Honda recommended 5w20 for the Accord,I believe). No runs, no drips, no errors.
And no consumption between 6K-7.5K intervals. Now if Walmart would "rollback" there 5qt jugs to last years price, that would be icing on the cake.

[ August 16, 2003, 02:07 PM: Message edited by: mike1qaz ]


From what I have learned here, for your new car I would move to Mobil 1 5w30. It is convenient and affordable (Wally World 5qt - $18.88), and has been run through the mill in a lot of cars with very nice results.

20 weight is too light for the high heat you will be running your car in. Besides, M1 is a slightly light 30 weight anyway, so you won't be making that much of a difference in mileage, yet you will be giving your new car better protection.

If you are still unsure, go to the UOA section of the forum, and search for Accords and see how other peoples experiences with the oils is. You can't beat learning from other peoples experiences...

Hope this helps. Enjoy your new car.


Originally posted by dany0022:

As to departing from the manual:
- As I said, I checked with local dealers, and they all offer synthetic as an alternative to 5W20. But what they offer is Valvoline & Castrol, 0W30' and 5W30'. So, if they do it, it won't void the warranty, obviously.

I guess, the main question to me is: whether I should use synthetic, and which one?



I wasn't clear....I did not mean to imply using a synthetic would be a problem; what I was refering to was departing from recommended grade, especially if the owner's manual has any cautions or warnings regarding viscosity selection. You've made it clear that the dealers don't have a problem with doing that. Sorry for the confusion. Given what the dealer is happy with I would go with German Castrol 0W30, if you can find it.
Mobil1 0w20 appears to be a well built oil and is a special order item at Advance Auto parts. It's also a 'true' synthetic made with PAO technology.
Yesterday, I went to the local Honda dealer, spoke with the serv.mgr. He said, they put 5W30 & 10W30 on all Hondas that require 5W20, because of the hot weather here. Also, they have a few brands that one can choose from - Castrol, Valvoline, syn.blend, Mobil; and if certain Mobil was missing, they would go and get it for me. He also said, that it is good to wait until around 10K before putting synthetic.
This makes sense to me, but does it to you?

That makes sense, especially in SoCal. I just wish a dealer or anyone from Honda, acting in their professional position, would put that in writing.

In a hour I'm heading off to Palm Springs for dinner. Their current temp is 105 (111 with humidity) and although I'm not worried about having 5W20 in my new Civic EX, I have spent a great deal time thinking about an oil that handles the higher heat on a continued basis. M1 5W30 (first time I've typed that!) seems like the ticket. I've used it since 5k on my Exploder without any problems.

Which Honda dealer was it? Any reason given for waiting until 10k for syn?

Thanks for the info!
The dealer was Unicars Honda, off the I-10 Freeway.
The reason for 10K - engine still breaking.
Not open for further replies.