Oil choice causing sounds of friction ....

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Jun 28, 2005
don't know what else to try. The truck in question is the '97 Rodeo with 155k miles; runs flawlessly, and no oil burning/using issues, doesn't leak, etc. Thing is is this truck has seen a life of Havoline oils, about 2yrs ago a sound that 4 different mechanics have concluded to be sounds of friction has developed. It's not a loud sound, but still one I don't care for. It's not the sound of ticking lifters, fuel injectors, and the timing belt and tensioner are new. The rods have also been ruled out, via the fact that the noise has not increased, but yet in fact decreases as the engine oil gets miles on it. The uoa's that I've had done, show incredible numbers for an engine with 155k miles. Thing is, is the truck ONLY seems to really like 5w-30 Havoline blend - this is the only oil that it seems to like, but it shears out WAY too much after only 2k miles of 3-4k rpm's of mountain driving which I do a lot of in the summer. I've tried other 5w-30 oils, i.e. regular Havoline and Chevron, friction noise gets REALLY loud, as well as the 10w-30 Havoline blend. This is what doesn't make sense, the sound of friction is not related to viscosity, as it'll be quieter on one 5w-30 but loud on other 5w-30's. Last summer I tried a round of 10w-40 Havoline, in which it really quieted it as well, but I'd like to use an oil viscosity range that doesn't shear so badly. Still the odd thing is, after about 1-2k miles on the oil, the friction sound gets quieter; when I change the oil/filter at 3k it gets louder again. This is what I can't figure out. FWIW- I only change the oil every 3k because Isuzu engines like REALLY clean oil and have a tendency for their lifters to clog if not changed frequently enough. Also, oils I have tried are Rotella 5w-40, still leaves sound of friction, worse for about 3-4 days then gets quieter. GC - forget it, won't do it again, truck sounded REALLY bad. Regular 10w-30 Havoline (the oil the truck lived on for 148k miles) gives off a friction sound that I don't care to really hear, a sound I never heard before 2yrs ago. I've read that in order for one to bypass the sounds of friction is to use a thinner oil and one likely to have lessor amounts of zinc, but that combination could also cause more wear. My truck calls for 5w-30 only at below 0F temps and not in the heat of summer or with extensive highway driving. I'm about to dump in 15w-40 Delo for summer to see what happens, but is the 15w too much for a SOHC engine?? ANY thoughts are welcome, I'm at a loss of what's causing this sound.
Originally posted by mechtech: What mechanic would use the term "sound of friction"?
I really think that they don't know what else to suggest, other then friction causing the sound - as this sound is not limited to a certain viscosity, or oil for that matter. For instance, Havoline HM 10w-30 - sound was REALLY quiet Havoline HM 5w-30 (attempted for winter) - truck got REALLY loud Havoline 5w-30 (attempted for winter) - truck was loud as well Havoline 10w-30 - even louder then the 5w-30 Havoline blend 10w-30 - REALLY really loud Havoline blend 5w-30 - REALLY really quiet Havoline 10w-40 - Loves it If you had an owner that came in wanting to know why an engine had no particular preference for light or heavy oils, and yet made different levels of sound between so many very close formulas, what else would you suggest?? And also the sound starts to lighten after 1-2k miles on the oil, again another *weird* thing.
Originally posted by beanoil: Obviously, you like the truck. The truck likes the Hav 5-30, but it shears in 2k miles? Is there a burning reason why the Hav just couldn't be changed every 2k? I'm thinking that a 50/50 of the Hav 10-40, and 30 weight Delo could be your ticket to the shear/noise issues. You would be spreading out the VI's over a larger volume of oil, and adding a shear resistant oil with a robust add pack. Just a thought....
The Havoline blend 5w-30 has been pulled off the shelves in all of our local stores, I can only find it at a Havoline quick lube and they charge attrociously for just 6 qts. Way way too expensive to dump every 2k miles. I am going to keep using it in the winter months though for sure. I can't locate delo 30 weight anywhere in this town. You have any ideas?
(within the) sounds of friction ....
And in the naked light I saw 16 valves rockin', maybe more Engine is talking without speaking Drivers hearing without listening People writing checks for all that needless wear... And no one dared Disturb the sounds of friction "Fools", said I, "You do not know Friction like a cancer grows" Hear my words that I might teach you Take my advice that I might reach you" But my words, like silent oildrops fell And echoed In the bells of friction And the people bowed and paid For the foolish way they played And the light flashed out its warning In the words that it was forming And the sign said, "The oil of the sump is scraping off the cylinder walls" And whispered in the sounds of friction
* read the following in your favorite late-'60's Top 40 radio deejay voice... "...and that's Gary Allen with Sounds of Friction from his hit album, Live at the Simon & Garfunkel Garage available now on wax and 8-track at your favorite record store." [HAIL 2 U!] [Cheers!] [LOL!]
I'd get a case from a Chevron jobber. Can you get 5-30 Chevron or Havo syn and add it to regular 5-30 Chev or Havo and see if you can blend your own 5-30 Havo Blend? I didn't see Chev or Havo syn on the list of trys ? You already have the 10-40 or the 10-30 HM covered for summer so I'd still try a Havo syn/reg mix or Havo syn alone this summer to see what works before winter. I'd probably try MC or TA blend 5-30 that are more shear resistant and WM priced low enough to run short OCI if they are noisey at $2.12 and $1.50 respecively. If you can't find one that works I'd use the 5-40 Rotella syn T. Your truck is working on 40 - the rotella and the 10-40 Havo and its 5W takes care of winter starts.
Gary - you did it. That was my exact thought when I saw the header....but dude I'm slappin' and howlin'...my right high eye won't stop awatterin'... A job well done!
Your truck likes thicker oil. There is nothing wrong with that. Also nothing to feel guilty about either. Just run the HM 10W-30 in the winter and 10W-40 in the summer.
Obviously, you like the truck. The truck likes the Hav 5-30, but it shears in 2k miles? Is there a burning reason why the Hav just couldn't be changed every 2k? "Last summer I tried a round of 10w-40 Havoline, in which it really quieted it as well, but I'd like to use an oil viscosity range that doesn't shear so badly." I'm thinking that a 50/50 of the Hav 10-40, and 30 weight Delo could be your ticket to the shear/noise issues. You would be spreading out the VI's over a larger volume of oil, and adding a shear resistant oil with a robust add pack. Just a thought....
Gary - help me out here, are you suggesting a different oil and/or viscosity. Or are you say something is internally wearing out inside the engine. I got your point of the oil choice scraping off the cylinder walls, but what does this tell me to do?
Originally posted by Gary Allan: You mentioned that the 5w-30 was the loudest ..but you also indicated that it was use in the winter. Does that mean that your 10w-30 was used in the warmer months ..and that you DID NOT use the 5w-30 in warmer months?? This could be the difference in your perception, if you see what I mean [I dont know]
I do see what you mean, however, I did attempt 2 rounds of 5w-30 last summer as well, early in the season to see if the noise was different - no change in noise then what I hear in the winter. Those 2 attempts were with Chevron 5w-30 regular oil, which creates the same loudness of noise as the Havoline 10w-30. Thing is, is I seem to be the only one who can really hear the noise, it's between the passanger wheel well and the bottom of the engine. I'm at a loss really, as some of the thicker oils, i.e. Havoline HM 10w-30 and Havoline 10-40 are loved, and yet only one thinner oil is liked 5w-30 havoline blend. But yet, other oils, i.e. Havoline HM 5w-30, wanted to try for winter was a definite non-liked oil. Thing is, I have pretty much stuck to Havoline, so I'm beginning to wonder what I would hear if I branched out a bit, i.e. Valvoline Maxlife, Durablend, Castrol GTX - couldn't hurt to try I guess. Is my understanding correct when I say that I believe Rotella synthetic 5w-40 does not have many friction modifiers?? What about GC 0w-30? These have been the only two non-Havoline oils I have tried on this rig. The GC was really really bad sounding, yet other 3.2L's owners have loved the GC, so again, I'm confused. I sure hope it's not the oil pump, never had one fail on a vehicle before.
Gary Allan: As I begin reading your response, my iTunes begins playing "Desolation Row" by Bob Dylan. I got confused and thought YOU were actually singing.... You'd give him a run for best protest poet ever. [Off Topic!]
I'm uncertain of the FM properties of RTS 5w-40. Maybe someone else knows. This is a north south engine configuration, correct? (not sideways). If it wasn't ...then it would point to the "front" of the engine ..but that doesn't work with the N:S setup [I dont know] I still say "go thin" and see what happens. MC 5w-20 for just one OCI won't do any harm to your engine ..at least in any substantial measure (I doubt any). I use it in my 3.0 Mitsu without a care. I like to go to extremes to set some boundaries. If visc has anything to do with it ..that will nail that issue shut. Then it's just fine tuning. If it's not viscosity related ..then it shouldn't be effected (although other properties in the lighter oil may effect it too - but that's for later "isolation").
Ok, sure, I'll give the MC a try; can't hurt. But, I'd like to see if someone can answer the question as to why suddenly at 8-9yrs of age the truck would develop a preference for a lighter oil after having ran 7yrs/120k miles of it's life on 10w-30 in the winter and 10w-40 in summer. Up until a year ago, this truck never saw a 5w-30. And yet it still seems to like the 10w-40, just not the 10w-30 and only 1 5w-30 oil - that I've tried anyway. Should also note that it likes the 10w-40 Havoline from the get go, with that particular viscosity/oil combination it doesn't have to wear into the OCI to like it - the sound is nearly gone the minute you turn the key after the oil/filter change. This is why I'm so baffled.
Maybe thinner oil is able to better squeeze through the slowly clogging oilways, therefore lubricating better? [I dont know] The analogy to vascular disease seems very plausible to me.
This is why I'm so baffled. Me too if the 10w-40 dino is quieter from the get go. Let me share with you my HLA noise on my Caravan. It occurred all at once with the use of 15w-50 M1. I tried regular M1 and a variety of dino oils ..but no matter what ..at about 3k ..it would start consuming oil. This was something unheard of in a "owned from new" vehicle for me. Some had minor consumption ..but it was typically linear ..so much after so many miles. Anyway ..the tick remained for the rest of the ownership until Auto-Rx ..regardless of what weight oil I used. It was very odd too in that it would "cycle" like oil wasn't getting back to the pan quick enough and running it low. It stopped when the oil warmed. The strange thing now is that the HLA's are ticking lightly anyway now ..and the only stuff that quiets them is 20w-50 weight. I discovered this in my filter testing. Even 15w-40 produces ticking at idle when cold or warm. Now I run everything from 5w-20 to 20w-50 without a care ..even in subfreezing temps. It only appears to cost me short trip fuel economy. I agree that this is a very odd condition that you've encountered here. I will be very interested in the ulitmate discovery of what stops it ..even if you can't figure out what is doing it.
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