Oil for a beat 97 Civic. 200k w/ 20,000 OCI, Evil Owner. SAE 40 ok?

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I'd use the Rotella 5W-40. That's what I'm going to use year round in my son's 200K+ mile Pathfinder when we're done with the Auto-Rx treatment.

Strange...I have a female friend in Boston who also needs some bodywork done on her Nissan...

(avoiding the all too obvious bodywork and oil change comments for now...)
As you said, Honda like thinner oil. I would go with the Chevron Supreme 10w-30. She will have to be gentle with the car below 20 deg F. Rotella 5w-40 would be my second choice. Third, if you are feeling extremely generous would be GC 0w-30 (best choice without factoring cost).

Make sure you use a new Honda crushable washer for the drain plug. Go to a dealer and get 10 or 20 at $.35 a piece. I ruined the thread on an old Honda trying to get it not to leak a few years ago.
Haha - every (generally with few exceptions) female in this area needs work done to their car! This goes for most men too! Cause everyone drives like they are on very heavy, illegal drugs here. On top of that we have the world largest amount of rotaries, the Big Dig, and the largest number of colleges per square mile. Oh and we live on the coast and in the rust belt.

Boston is the h#ll for automobiles!
One of my female friends from out-of-town is coming in and I am replacing some broken body hardware and giving her a oil change.

Hmmm, sounds fishy to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Body work and an fluid exchange!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Body work and an fluid exchange!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG, I missed the Freudian content! I made her squeal
like a pig when she was young and fine, no interest now.
One of my female friends from out-of-town is coming in and I am replacing some broken body hardware and giving her a oil change. She ran dry a week ago I explained that is because of not changing it often enough. Se said something about using hi-mi oil last time, if so great. What I want though is a good cleaning oil that is not too heavy but will not dissapate. Maybe a 15w-40 HDEO but she is in Boston, kinda cold. I am not wasting my GC on her, and she is kinda cheap about the car. Should I make her spend the money on GC? Penzoil HMV or Chevron I guess. Long life is obviously important, is 5w-40 Rotella too thick, I generally use it but I know Hondas like thinner oil. Rotella, yes?
I would use what I used in my son car that has some consumption problem. 15w-40 delo 400. It has worked great and along with auto-rx seems to have fixed his consumption issues. This is a great oil to clean out the engine and slow consumption.
If it's a beater with consumption issues then I wouldn't stress too much. I'd pour dino Pennzoil or Chevron 10W-30, and put 2 extra quarts in the trunk so she can add it whenever the oil light comes on. The car is (pretty clearly) "unloved" and thin synthetic might slip pass those worn out parts even faster.
If the car consumes oil but has good seals I would choose Rotella 5w40, my reasoning is that she is not carefull to check oil and the 40 weight should slow oil consumption down compared to xxw30 while still offering good cold weather starting and a reasonably low price, not to mention it will survive her unitentional extented drain.
argh, the Wal*Mart by her did not have the Rotella T synth. I got 3 different oils at the W*M on the way there. Chevron Supreme, Penzoil HMV and Mobil 1 0w-40 as the true Long-Life option. Although I found her car to be a total pos and falling apart. $5, $10 or $20 was the choices cost-wise, she opted for the M1 0w-40. Whatever, she is a total twity and LOVES Jiffy Lube at 20,000 miles intervals. For the record, her sump was aparently dry. She claims 2 quarts added "not long ago". She explained that car service makes her anxious, funny...the opposite of the cathartic feeling we get! Did not know how to check her oil, the husband, a lawyer is clueless too. It took 10 seconds of cranking for it to start. Narly a tune-up in 200k. She thinks that is great, a rusted and destroyed 6 year-old car. "Checking the oil is for Jiffy Lube"!!! Definately from the drive-it-till-it-breaks school of thought. I actually think she is too dumb to understand it and that causes anxiety and "it's ok if I ignore it" mentality. She refused to install 2 tires as well, although admitting to spinning out on her bald AND dry-rotted tires. It will bite her in the A someday.
TSOA, there was a recent UOA on Castrol's HighMileage 10w-30 on a Honda motor that went 9200 miles with zero oil added and the oil was still holding up. Maybe this is something to consider?
TSoA...if you care TOO much, it will bite YOUR a**!!

She is gonna kill her car, period. If you jump in and try and fix what isn't fixable...and something really breaks, guess who gets blamed...?

Been there, done that. Some people have to learn their own lessons about car maintenance...

Put some oil in it, give her a quart or two for top up, show her how to check it, and WALK away.

If it breaks down, her lawer husband will probably just sue somebody anyway, maybe even YOU!!!

Exactly. I got her up on a fluid that maybe can go a year, that is the most I can do. I will be surprised if the car makes it through winter. It was really beat. What people forget about disposible cars is the level of service that a cheap and unmaintained car provides is rather low. It drove like crap, had limited traction, acceleration and economy. Nothing was comfortable or good about it. For God's sake, please clean the windows. Brake fluid, hydrolic fluid, and every other fluid was low, I did not add anything lse except tel her to get a tranny fluid change. Advice taken, don't want any responsability.
You did all you could do for her TSoA. This is where those cars got their reputation for durability. People treat them like they are disposable and you're right, they ride, drive, handle, and look like crap when in that condition. But somehow they keep on running...
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