Oil Suggestion for 1988 GMC Sierra beater truck

Messages
670
Location
va
5.0 V8 automatic 2WD 208k miles...smokes a bit on startup....but I don't care....just mentioning this for purposes of oil suggestions. No visible leaks. Don't care about MPG obviously because as per below, I only drive it 392 miles per year! LOOOL! Environmental details: Highest outdoor temps ~110F Lowest seen ~-3F. Typical summer highest temp yearly extreme 102F. Typical winter lowest seen 8F. I really limit driving in the winter until mid day 40-50F since it is 2WD and I like to avoid black ice. The truck is run about once every week to drop trash off at my local dump 3 miles round trip, and to refill propane in the winter...maybe to a hardware store every once in a while. It is a TRUE BEATER TRUCK with TONS of other problems making me not want to throw much money or time into it. By my calculations, I drive it ~392 miles per year. I have had the truck for 2 years and have just made sure that the oil level is even. I have no idea how long the last person left whatever oil is in there and figured that I didn't care since I'd be disposing of it soon. Well my plans have changed. Beater trucks run $1500 in my area and they are generally in horrible shape as well. Since it is such a limited use vehicle, I don't know what to do besides slowly fix it back up. I definitely don't know what to do about oil changes! Does any oil have to be swapped out once a year regardless of miles? (I think this is still the rule of thumb). Even once a year is awfully annoying since I have 6 other vehicles! Oil suggestions along with change frequency PLEASE? Thank you all so very much as always!!
 
Last edited:
Messages
36,461
Location
ME
With six other vehicles I'd try "Mobil two" reused & reclaimed from their changes. Since it never warms up, I'd go with the cheapest 5w30 you can find. IIRC Ace Hardware has a sale this month where you can buy online at $1.99 a quart. Or hit kmart for their "super S". If you were hauling with seriousness I'd say a diesel 15w40 but you never warm up. For filters, I'd pick some up as order-padders with advance auto sales applied to maintain the rest of your fleet to hit coupon thresholds.
 

dx92beater

Thread starter
Messages
670
Location
va
Originally Posted By: eljefino
With six other vehicles I'd try "Mobil two" reused & reclaimed from their changes. Since it never warms up, I'd go with the cheapest 5w30 you can find. IIRC Ace Hardware has a sale this month where you can buy online at $1.99 a quart. Or hit kmart for their "super S". If you were hauling with seriousness I'd say a diesel 15w40 but you never warm up. For filters, I'd pick some up as order-padders with advance auto sales applied to maintain the rest of your fleet to hit coupon thresholds.
Mobil Two...LOL!! My Forester XT needs to have it's oil changed at annoying low intervals for a cheap [censored] like me!! I am running Rotella T6 5-40 on that one. I run Mobil 1 10w-30 on my DSM and on my Chrysler Minivan. Which one of those would you grab? Also, I still have to change the oil every year huh? Thanks!!
 
Last edited:
Messages
35,682
Location
NY
Originally Posted By: eljefino
With six other vehicles I'd try "Mobil two" reused & reclaimed from their changes.
I didn't call it Mobil 2 [good name btw] but over the years I've made a similar recommendation a few times. I mentioned a neighbor many years ago running a Chevy van on my waste oil for quite a while. It sure beat buying the oil, and I'd be willing to bet it didn't shorten the life of his vehicle by one single day.
 
Messages
9,070
Location
Illinois
I'd buy whatever is on sale, whatever is cheap, wherever it is that you get all of your other oil and filters, and then change it once a year (or every other year), whenever you feel like it. I can get store brand oil at the local farm supply store (where I buy my motorcycle oil) for $1.79 a quart (SN approved), and some sort of a (Made in China) store brand filter for $1.99. Sounds about right to me. An oil change for just a little over $10. I'd not lose a whole lot of sleep over this.
 
Messages
1,019
Location
Va
Frankenbrew or reuse the T6. Super S HM on sale right now would be tempting. I wouldn't go cheap on the filter, new oil might get some crud stirred up. Up size the filter if you can.
 
Messages
13,194
Location
Maricopa Arizona
I just would not change the oil. Just make sure it is topped off. Less than 400 miles of drive time a year on a truck that is over 25 years old even changing the filter and oil would not be worth the return of investment to me.
 
Messages
10,146
Location
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
So this beater truck is run for just 3 miles round trip and it has "TONS of other problems". I wouldn't even bother to change the oil, just make sure it's topped up. At this stage in it's life nothing you're going to do now is going to make any difference. I once had an old Renault winter beater that still ran well enough but was so rusty I decided to stop all maintenance including oil changes and would scrap it when it died. It had a couple of engine oil leaks so it needed topping up regularly but I only added used oil from my other cars. The car was still running three years later and by that time I was topping it up with used ATF, gear oil and even a gallon of used cooking oil but it still kept running. By this time it had a half inch of black sludge at the bottom of the dip stick. I was about to cry uncle and just scrap the car when a Renault enthusiast left me a note on the windsheild that he'd like to buy it if I was interested. Not trying to sound to eager I sold the next day. I did advise that the car could do with an oil change.
 
Messages
1,445
Location
Dana Point, CA
Originally Posted By: CATERHAM
..I was topping it up with used ATF, gear oil and even a gallon of used cooking oil..
Ah yes, an earlier iteration of the infamous 'CATERHAM blend' in that one? wink
 
Messages
1,048
Location
SE Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: Chris142
how about you buy 2 gallons of 5w40 hdeo and 4 filters. every year change a filter and top off the oil. when the filters and oil are changed/used up do a oil change. should be every 4 yrs.
This is a really good idea. I might suggest using an inexpensive synthetic API SN 5w-30 though. Any of those other 6 vehicles use 5w-30?
 
Messages
10,146
Location
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: splinter
Originally Posted By: CATERHAM
..I was topping it up with used ATF, gear oil and even a gallon of used cooking oil..
Ah yes, an earlier iteration of the infamous 'CATERHAM blend' in that one? wink
I see you're fully entrenched in the thicker is better camp.
 
Messages
3,083
Location
Alabama, United States
I have a friend with an '89 GMC with serious ring issues. His truck is getting whatever is cheap. Soon it will probably be getting used whateverW-whatever. If the truck was used more, I'd highly recommend QS Defy 5W or 10W-30.
 
Messages
780
Location
Illinois, USA
Originally Posted By: splinter
Originally Posted By: CATERHAM
..I was topping it up with used ATF, gear oil and even a gallon of used cooking oil..
Ah yes, an earlier iteration of the infamous 'CATERHAM blend' in that one? wink
Wait... seriously? Cooking oil? Talk about Bio-Friendly wink
 

mjk

Messages
1,482
Location
Wishin' I was in Wi
I guess I am not seeing in the post, how much oil it is going thru during your typical year. Whatever your choose to do, given the mileage, I'd probably try to save money and throw it at the other issues that the truck has (slowly, over time).
 

Tzu

Messages
363
Location
near Buffalo, NY
Have you ever thought of just getting a trailer to pull the garbage once a week for a 3 mile round trip in another vehicle? The bare bones insurance on my beater old Camry is $475.00 per year, but I do drive it about 11,000 miles per year as well since I have an Impala/Silverado as my nicer vehicles. I don't save that in fuel over driving my truck or Impala, but it is nice to have. You might be paying more for insurance than everything in the maintenance costs combined. Personally, I would spend the $20 at Walmart on PYB10w30/ AC Delco once a year and change the oil/filter and then it's done for another year. Maybe have more uses for the truck to justify it's usefulness? But, I'm sure the truck is worth atleast the $20 just for the convenience. There is a recent thread here about a guy that never changes his oil, just the filter and tops off and he seems to be doing fine. Maybe that is the way to go here?
 
Messages
367
Location
Ct., USA
It's funny that you say you don't care about this "beater", yet take the time out to ask what to use. What does GM spec in the book? Given the amount you drive and the temp changes, I think something like a 10W-30 would work nicely, change it yearly with the filter, too. Any brand will do.
 
Top