Oil Recommendation: 1997 Mazda Protege 1.8L DOCH

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I just bought a Manual 97 Mazda Lantis 323 1.8L DOHC 16 Valve BP which in the USA seems to be labeled a Protege. I'll try and provide as much info as I can as per the sticky oil post. The head and rings were done on the car a few years ago. Previous owner says it was using about 4 liters of oil in six months without any noticeable oil leaks ( although when I checked the oil it looked over full ). There's no noticeable oil stains under the car when it stands for extended periods. However, after putting it up on a lift we noticed an oil leak bottom passenger side of the engine which I'm assuming must only act up when the car is running. Also some weird idle issues, but I don't think that's relevant to this ( correct me if I'm wrong ). Previous owner was putting some generic 20W50 oil in it, don't know what the original owner did. I live in a generally hot arid country ( might get down to freezing two weeks a year ) and do mostly short city drives. Autozone site recommends various 10W30's, but after reading the Oil University stuff I was figuring why not a 5W30? What's worth putting in; mineral, blend or full syn? I've seen a Prestone 5W30 syn blend oil which isn't too expensive, a full syn German oil which is three times the price, and I'm pretty sure I can pick up Motorcraft at the local Ford / Mazda dealership, but don't know how much it costs. One more thing, what's the deal with High Millage oils for older cars? Anything special about them that I should go hunting for one?
 
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High mileage oil is supposed to help reduce oil use..but effectiveness depends on severity of leak. Id run a quality dino or blend. Motorcraft would be a solid choice. A 10w40 or 5w40 is what id use.
 
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Whatever you can get on the cheap, 5w30, 10w30, 5w40, 10w40 would all be fine. A good syn blend 5w30 would be ideal if you can find it for the right price. Motorcraft is good stuff but not sure if the price is too high in your country. I would not go any thicker than 10w40 though. 20w50 is going to sap some power from that little engine.
 
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Shalom - Congratulations (Mazletov?) on getting your new (to you) Mazda! I just bought a '97 Mazda MX-5 Miata last week, with the same 1.8L engine as your 323. I'll be curious how you make out with your oil selection and experience. Mine was about a quart low, and had the common "lifter knock" noise. I added a quart of el-cheapo store brand 15W-40 just to get the level up, and that seems to have cured the knock for now. I'm wondering if maybe your car also had a knock and if perhaps the previous owner used 20W-50 to quiet the knock. I plan on doing an oil change before I put it in storage (Michigan is not known for being either "hot" or "arid"). I bought a gallon (3.8L) jug of plain Shell Rotella T 15W-40 (white jug) to try to clean it out as it is supposed to have more detergents and was relatively cheap. I figure I'll run that for a few to several hundred miles, then drain & change again after winter. Good Luck! -Raj
 

sailorbob74133

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Looks like I'll just go for the Prestone 5W30 or the Motorcraft if it's about the same price. I'll update on how it does after I put some miles on it.
 
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The Mazdas are very durable. But before you get into the Oil University stuff, I believe that is written for newer cars and I think the author recommended thicker oil for older rides. I'd find a 10W-30 high mileage if available in Israel. Maybe a 10W-40 or 15W-40 would work well too. The cars were originally using 10W-30 so I would go to a 5W-30 in a hot climate... My 1988 Mercury Tracer (a Mazda 323) called for 10W-40 but also recommended 20W-50 in summer heat. That engine was of course the crude 1.6L and was a generation behind yours...
 

Y_K

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My 1994 Protege ES with the same engine called for 10W-40 in the manual. Still running for a student
 

sailorbob74133

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On autozone it says either 5W30 or 10W30 - they're out of the cheapish Prestone SynBlend 5W30, the next cheapest thing that looks decent is a Prestone 5W40 Fully Synthetic. I figure since "winter" is starting and 99% of my driving is short hops in the city the 5W40 Full Syn might be good for me, and then in spring switch to something cheaper like a no name 5W30 dino. I got the impression from reading the Oil U. stuff that there is never a reason to go for a thicker oil, since the cooling system is supposed to maintain a specific temp in the engine and the manufacturer recommend oil will have the right viscosity only at that temp. A thicker oil won't get down to the right viscosity at the engine's operating temp.
 
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Mazda F engines have the cam riding on the lifters with no rockers. I would use an oil with around 1000PPM zinc. I have a 01 Protege with 263,000 miles (FS engine). High zinc oils have kept me from having to re shim the lifters (at least I feel this to be the case). I would rather have a higher ZDDP oil in a 5W30 than a low zinc 5W40 oil for a Mazda F engine. Some 1.8 F engines had hydraulic lifters while others had solid lifters. I run M1 0W40 most of the time in my Protege.
 
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If you suspect it's using/burning oil I'd stick with a High Mileage blend product. Full synthetic may make a present leak worse. 5W-30 or 10W-40 should both be fine since it doesn't get that cold there.
 
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Originally Posted By: sailorbob74133
On autozone it says either 5W30 or 10W30 - they're out of the cheapish Prestone SynBlend 5W30, the next cheapest thing that looks decent is a Prestone 5W40 Fully Synthetic. I figure since "winter" is starting and 99% of my driving is short hops in the city the 5W40 Full Syn might be good for me, and then in spring switch to something cheaper like a no name 5W30 dino. I got the impression from reading the Oil U. stuff that there is never a reason to go for a thicker oil, since the cooling system is supposed to maintain a specific temp in the engine and the manufacturer recommend oil will have the right viscosity only at that temp. A thicker oil won't get down to the right viscosity at the engine's operating temp.
I'd just go with the 5W-40 and call it a day. The Oil U stuff is not gospel, although I personally agree that thinner is generally better overall. However, I think the assumptions are regarding newer cars. Secondly, oil temperature is not the same as the water temperature and there is a fluctuation. Also, older vehicles tend to have more wear in the tolerances and the (slightly) thicker oil may compensate and slightly increase compression levels, which is why most high mileage oils tend to run thicker in grade...
 
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Also, the Prestone 5W-40 looks like it could be an excellent product: http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Prestone-5W-40-Fully-Synthetic-Motor_10964064.html
Quote:
Specifications Prestone Fully Synthetic Motor Oil SAE 5W/40 from Honeywell International Inc Prestone Fully Synt Prestone Fully Synthetic Motor Oil SAE 5W/40 from Honeywell International Inc Prestone Fully Synthetic Motor Oil is a specially blended from a 100% mix of P.A.O. (Polyalphaolefin) and Ester based lubricant. It incorporates advanced additives to provide outstanding high temperature deposit control and excellent low temperature soot dispersal. Prestone Fully Synthetic Motor Oil is formulated for maximum protection under extreme conditions and provides added protection to vital engine parts over conventional motor oils. With its high viscosity index and excellent thermal stability inherited from its synthetic base, Prestone Fully Synthetic Motor Oil demonstrates an extremely low tendency for high temperature carbon deposit and oxidation, providing better engine cleanliness and extended drain levels. Furthermore, the advanced additive package incorporated in Prestone Fully Synthetic Motor Oil also enhances the products detergency and dispersant performance, giving the engine ultimate protection for the longest period. Suitable for all prestigious vehicles Turbo-proven dependability Superior engine performanc Excellent high temperature dispersal with anti-wear Outstanding engine cleanliness Action and oxidation resistance Provides excellent deposit control Easy start-up at low temperature Performace Standards Porsche All Season Engine Oil BMW Special Oil M. BENZ 228.1/229.1> VW 500/501/505 Performance Level 1 API: SL/CF/CF4 ACEA A2-96, A3-98, B3-98, E2-96 Issue 2
The "ester" component may help the seals as a high mileage oil would...
 
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Why when I go to the Prestone website, there is no mention of Motor Oil in their product line? I noticed the port for this oil is Singapore. Is this an oil for Asian markets?
 

sailorbob74133

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I went ahead with the fully synthetic Prestone 5W40. Seems to be running well so far. Nickdfresh - cool you were able to find a description of the oil - I couldn't find it on the Prestone website. Since I live in Israel, it probably is sold only in middle eastern or asian markets I guess... I had to replace the coolant temp sensor, so I also had the oil changed at the same time - mechanic said it looked like a high quality oil, although I don't know how he could tell just by looking at it.
 
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No problem. Your mechanic probably saw the cool gold jug smile I suspect the oil is blended in Asia, possibly Singapore but there's nothing wrong with that. Just for facts, Prestone was one of the first "synthetics" in the world as they marketed a synthetic oil in around 1950 touting many of the benefits of today's synthetics. But at that time Prestone was owned by U.S. chemical companies. I don't know what became of it or why it never really caught on... I'm honestly not sure why Prestone doesn't sell oil in North America, their primary competitor, Peak, does...
 
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