Oil rec to quiet high mileage Honda

Oct 25, 2010
Hello all, long time lurker, first time poster. I'm looking for ideas to quiet down an old, but still strong Honda Civic with the D17A2 VTEC motor. It's a 2003 that's pushing 300k miles on the clock and I plan to drive it and keep it going until it falls apart. My ownership of the vehicle has only been for the last 60k/5yrs, and I've always used whatever full syn 5w20 is cheapest at the time. Lately it's been M1 vanilla bought by the case at Sam's Club or SuperTech FS. The owner's manual specs 10k OCI's with 20k filter changes, under normal use. "Severe service" calls for 5k for both. I do a fair amount of short trips for school in the winter, so I split the difference and run about 7k for oil and filter. Not interested in extending OCI's. And yes, I know that synthetic is probably overkill for my application, but I don't really care. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Again, my main reason for considering different oil is to see if it could quiet down the "clickety-clack" of your typical high mile valvetrain. And before you ask, yes, I have done the manual valve lash adjustment and it made no difference. The only "recommended" grade is 5w20, but I'm wondering if a Xw30 or even Xw40 oil would be beneficial. It does use a fair bit of oil too, about 1qt per 1000mi, but it has a few leaks, that I may get around to addressing (oil pan gasket and valve cover and cam plug)
If you want to try something thicker, maybe delo 5W40 or a 10W40 high mileage oil, I'd watch most diesel oils they tend to be high in phosphorous and if the car's burning oil that can contribute to killing the cat,
I've found Magnatec to be a "quiet" oil. Just changed the oil in our '12 Civic with 2 quarts of Edge 0W-20 and 2 quarts of Magnatec 5W-20 (leftover from other cars) and it was noticeably quieter than the oil the Honda dealer used (bought used a few months ago). I wouldn't be afraid of using 5W-30 in that either (general consensus is going up one 'step' is harmless) plus I'd bet money Honda spec'd it or listed multiple viscosities in other countries anyway.
Can't say I do... I used to buy Valvoline more so I can't say I even looked. People say Castrol GTX (conventional) is great at quieting engines too.
Do you remember Castrol "Startup" ? I bought some on clearance at Meijers a while back and boy that really quieted down my car. You couldn't even tell it was running.
Was Startup the US version of Magnatec before Magnatec was available in the US?
I had 2 2001 Honda Civic coupes, both with D17a1 though, so non-VTEC. As mentioned above^^^ Castrol Magnatec 5w30 does a great job of quieting it down. So does Quaker State Ultimate Durability 5w30. If you wish to stay with Mobil1 though, then M1 AFE 0w-30 or M1 FS 0w-40 are exceptional options.
Oil leak may be the oil pump o-ring vs the oil pan (or both) it is kind of a pain in the rear, but might as well do it next timing belt. (been there)

IME D17 really doesn't care much what oil, It is probably back spec'ed to 0/20, but has also been spec'ed for 5/30. 0/40 does work fine in Hondas spec'ed for 5/30.