Newbie question on Formula Shell

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May 27, 2002
6000 is probably too far on most dino oil. Motorcraft and Havoline/Chevron are better options and are safe to 4k unless the miles are all highway, then maybe to 5k.
I bought a couple of cases of Forula Shell 5-30 for my Caravan. It was something like .85/qt at Advance Auto. This was one of the few oils that seemed to reduce the oil leaking via the valve seals (common problem). I got a Penzoil change when I got it inspected to throw my wrench friend a bone ..and it smoked like crazy.

I don't necessarily know how it ranks ..but it served my purposes for a "beater" (92 Caravan 3.0 Mitsu with leaking seals). The engine still runs strong and delivers good service.

No one here will support a 5-6k oil change interval without UOA to back it up. I would counter that since you say that none of these cars are "special" and that costs are a factor, I doubt that any of these vehicles will see any diruption of service to your family bacause of your OCI. Most will probably have some other factor that will mean getting rid of them.

What I would ask you for is the "characteristics" of each of your cars. Do they routinely consume oil between changes? Do they use NO OIL and then start using oil regularly. Are they otherwise in good shape? How do the owners drive them?

Keep in mind everyone here is seeking the "ideal" and that isn't what you're asking for. You're asking "Can I get away with this and feel okay?" ..I say "probably".
"No one here will support a 5-6k oil change interval without UOA to back it up."

Actually, I'll happily back up 5K-6K oil changes for non-Severe Service without UOAs. I've never come close to wearing out any of a half-dozen engines with that interval and up to 150K miles of driving. All those car engines were like-new when I sold 'em. That's what oil certifications are for, a fact completely lost on some UOA advocates. The cert's confirm that an oil will perform in a certain manner for a certain service interval. There's always exceptions, but they're of no concern to most drivers. Europeans routinely go much, much longer than 5K-6K on oil, with no adverse effects. Fleets, due to higher overall costs and potential cost savings, can take better advantage of UOAs.

UOAs for individual car owners can be helpful and even point out needed repairs. But to suggest in any way that they're NECESSARY -- no way, Jose. And such a need for newer engines is rarely borne out in UOAs on this board, unless reducing iron wear from 16 ppm down to 10 ppm is somehow a "need," which it never will be, of course.

"No one here will support a 5-6k oil change interval without UOA to back it up."

Actually, I'll happily back up 5K-6K oil changes for non-Severe Service without UOAs.

Errr ..insert "virtually"
Quite frankly, I believe that UOA's are quite helpful if going farther than 3k on a conventional oil......particularly in winter, or in an engine that is hard on oil. I believe that if you go 6k on dino in a toyota "sludgemonster", you will have very serious problems.
NASCARNATION: I am highly inclined to agree with TC's comments. I have been inclined to study or read anything about oils for many years. However, I've actually learned more here overall. I'm not an oil guru, but then most of us on this board aren't. There is a small handful here that highly deserve our respect. Again, TC is on course. Owner's manuals of today are instructing 7,500 to 10,000 mile OCIs for non-severe driving conditions. I have two and recently sold another for which the interval in the books are all 7,500 miles of non-severe driving. My brother-in-law recently purchased a new Chevy truck, for which the book instructs 10,000 mile intervals. However, please pay attention to Gearhead's notice about known sludgemasters that gum up oil more readily than most others. Gearhead has a very valid point to make on that part. Enjoy your work. I've always enjoyed doing my own repairs (except very major) and maintenance.

[ May 01, 2004, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: krholm ]
I've used FOrmula Shell in quite a few cars - owing to it's economical advantage at point of purchase. The only two things I found were - it stank like an old fish and a very minor amount of varnish on the dipstick where it would be next to the exhaust manifold, this was with a winter front installed well into spring and many many hours at idle.

Cold start performance was excellent and I had no reason to doubt this oil. Like anything at the bottom end of the price range I wouldn't expect optimum protection in a high performance engine, but certainly good for a few hundred thousand miles in a daily driver.

Originally posted by cryptokid:;f=35;t=000094

go to pepboys and buy the oil today, may 1st is the deadline. send the rebates in postmarked at the latest of may 8th, and you can grab 2 cases of quakerstate for 80 cents a quart, and 2 cases of pennzoil for 90 cents a quart. if you service alot of cars, you might as well stock up.

I can't believe the oil prices that are quoted on this site !!

The cheapest skanky stuff that is available locally is AusOil at the local $2 shop. It's 20W-40, rated to SF, and still $7 for 5 litres.
First let me say that the knowledge base on this forum is incredible and thanks to all those who contribute!
Between kids, kid's spouses, etc I have become "responsible" for maintaining quite a fleet these days.
None of these are particularly special cars, and cost is somewhat of a factor. Change intervals are usually 5-6000 mile range. They all list 5W30 as an option. One oil I can find that seems reasonable is Formula Shell 5W30 at Sams Club in cases of 12 for about a dollar a quart.
I've not seen much mention of Shell on the forum.
Or are there better choices at the bottom of the cost pyramid?
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