So I recently got a new to me 2010 Ford Escape Limited with the Duratec 3.0, AWD. This is a 3rd/extra/outdoorsy/adventure vehicle/grocery getter. Wasn't looking for a Limited but price was ok so... It has 85k miles. The car seems to be maintained well overall. No rust anywhere visible in the usual suspect areas. CarFax shows oil changes being done at a few independent places AND at Ford dealerships. When I first got the car i took it to the dealer (had a coupon) and got the oil change and fluid check done. (had coolant flushed at same visit) Used MC 5w/20 (the recommended oil) and the FL-500s MC filter. Just for peace of mind, then I took the car to an indie Ford place (run by a former Ford master tech, and sort of a friend) and had the PTU fluid and ATF also drained and filled. (both fluids were still in good condition, per mechanic. But now I know). However the mechanic also told me that he noticed the valve cover gaskets are "seeping/leaking" a little bit and oil pan gasket also a bit. He said I probably wouldn't even have to add oil betw OCs, but just keep an eye on it. He also suggested when the 100k (or is it 95k?) service comes up for spark plugs etc it will be better to do the VC gaskets at that time because labor involved is similar. He is an honest guy and I trust him. Per the research I have done it seems fairly common for this engine. I have only driven 1000 miles so far on 5w/20 and no drop in oil level so far. No drops on the ground either. SO... MY question is: i don't know what oil was in the car when I got it changed at the Ford dealer with 5w/20. (Last recorded OC was at an indie place). If it has been some dino oil or a thicker oil I keep wondering if the change to 5/w20 somehow "assisted" or is assisting with the usage/leakage. (I am not saying it STARTED it, just that the 5/20 semi-syn might have "assisted" it a bit) - Esp because the guy who changed the oil never mentioned that he saw VCG leaking .... may not mean anything. He may not have been interested enough, who knows? While i know that different oils cannot STOP the leakage/seapage I am sure I can do something to minimize it. I am wondering if I should: -- go with MC 5w30 syn blend (I have read Ford recommends 5w/30 in other areas of the world for this engine) I live in NC - pretty hot. I also know that it is not that much "thicker" than the 5/20 MC -- Go with a 5/20 High Mileage oil (And which would be best??? GTX? MaxLife? Others? Are all HM oils Syn blend? are there fully dino HM oils? -- go with a DINO 5w/20... (does it even exist?) --Go with a DINO 5/30. --Any additives that has a good rep for minimizing leaks? And if so, keep the oil at 5w/20 or 5w/30? So... a lot of questions/options... I would be interested to see what you guys think.... or WWYD? MPG is not a primary concern as it is abysmal anyway.