Opinions on my car (switched to synth at 130K)

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49
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Columbus OH
Excuse the complete noob question, but I've been pouring over these forums all week and my head's about to explode, so I just thought I'd get it out there and ask. Last year I got 1993 Honda Civic Del Sol Si. Engine is the D16Z6, 1.6L 125HP SOHC VTEC. It has been extremely well maintained given that it belonged to a guy who never crawled under it. It has a fairly complete service history. Everything has been kept up with, and oil has been changed pretty consistantly every 3K - 5K using QS, Pennzoil, or Valvoline 5w-30. I got the car December 2002 with 128,137 miles on it. Oil changes have been: 128,137m - Mobil Drive Clean 5w-30 + OEM Honda Filtech filter. 131,500m - Mobil 1 5w-30 + OEM filter 138,000m - Mobil 1 5w-30 + OEM filter The car currently has 141,400 miles on it. I drive it pretty hard -- about once a week I get it up in the 98 - 103 MPH range and heat the brakes up till they're pretty soft, but most of the time it's just your average commute with stop-go driving and 80 MPH on the highway. I'm very happy with the Mobil 1 5w-30 every 6000 miles, and it has consumed absolutely no oil since my last change 3500 miles ago. Should I put a more aggressive cleaning oil in it for awhile? I noticed many have recommended Rotella T and Delvac 1 for their detergent packages, and many people suggest the Auto-RX additive. I don't really know how I feel about Auto-RX. Every person I've talked to who knows anything has always said all oil additives are for idiots. Should I take the valve cover off and try to determine how dirty the engine is? There is some faint ticking for the first few miles after startup, but I don't know if using 0w-40 for the winter is the answer. Also, my GF has a 2001 Saturn SC2 with 42,000 miles on it. It has had the oil changed at the dealer every 3000 miles, and I just put Mobil 1 5w-30 in last week. I know the car's been maintained perfectly, so I doubt there's much need for heavy cleaning, but I did put the big orange Fram filter on it (I couldn't find the AC Delco part number and was in a hurry). Looking around the net, I have been given the impression that the Fram filter will cause her car will explode any second. I was going to start using Pure 1 or Motorcraft filters on both cars. People have said they may restrict flow, but with a synthetic 5w-30 is this going to be a problem? Thanks for any help.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by BadBatsuMaru: ...It has a fairly complete service history. Everything has been kept up with, and oil has been changed pretty consistantly every 3K - 5K ... ...I'm very happy with the Mobil 1 5w-30 every 6000 miles, and it has consumed absolutely no oil since my last change 3500 miles ago.
I've extracted key parts of you post. Since the car has been well maintained, you are happy with the M1 5W30, you are using no oil, AND given your climate, stick with what is working. I would do a UOA to ensure that the oil is doing as well as you perceive that it is.
quote:
...and many people suggest the Auto-RX additive. I don't really know how I feel about Auto-RX. ...Should I take the valve cover off and try to determine how dirty the engine is?
Yes, and if what you can see is really clean, I wouldn't run the AutoRX. (I will probably get some disagreement on this one since your car has so many miles and stuff you can't see will no doubt have deposited over time. Get everyone's advice and then make the call.) If you don't like what you see, do the AutoRX treatments. It is not "your average 'oil additive'"; it is a specially formulated, natural ester cleaning agent and you should not be hesitant to use it.
quote:
Also, my GF has a 2001 Saturn SC2 with 42,000 miles on it. It has had the oil changed at the dealer every 3000 miles, and I just put Mobil 1 5w-30 in last week. I know the car's been maintained perfectly, so I doubt there's much need for heavy cleaning, but I did put the big orange Fram filter on it (I couldn't find the AC Delco part number and was in a hurry). Looking around the net, I have been given the impression that the Fram filter will cause her car will explode any second.
I WOULD strongly consider a treatment on her car if that is the DOHC engine. I would wait until the next oil change so you don't have to "go short" on the M1 and AutoRx works best with dino anyway. The car will not explode with the Fram but I would go a diferent route on the next oil changes.
quote:
I was going to start using Pure 1 or Motorcraft filters on both cars. People have said they may restrict flow, but with a synthetic 5w-30 is this going to be a problem? Thanks for any help.
You're not going to hurt anything with either of those filters, but for your car, since you like to push it occasionally, I would consider a NAPA GOLD or a K&N. Hope this helps.
 

BadBatsuMaru

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49
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Columbus OH
Thanks for the reply! I was just trying to give as much helpful background information as I could. My biggest question for each car was basically whether to: 1) continue using regular M1 5-30 2) switch to a more detergent oil for X miles 3) add Auto-RX to the current oil 4) add Auto-RX (to what oil?) at the next change
 
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1) Yes 2) Pull your valve cover and see how it looks. If you think cleaning is needed don't go with a "higher detergent" oil, go with AutoRx. 3) AutoRx works best with dino, even though Frank has made changes to the application protocol to allow for use with syns, so I would wait 4) add it to any SL rated dino (preferably one on sale)...if it were me, Pennzoil or Castrol GTX.
 

BadBatsuMaru

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Columbus OH
Thanks. One more thing... I must be completely blind since I have to ask this, but can someone point me to a FAQ about Auto-RX, i.e. where to get it, how to use it?
 
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Just search the web with AutoRX. You'll find it. I just added it to my GF's car a 98 Beetle. Previous to our relationship she had "forgotten" to change the oil several times, which yeilded 33k on the same oil. I just added it last night, but I'll keep everyone posted as the treatments progress. I never added anything to my oil either, but in a way that can be good and bad. This board has industry experts that can be trusted with their recommendations. But I would never add any thing that hasn't been tested, approved of and recommended by these guys. [ October 03, 2003, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: crashz ]
 
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quote:
Originally posted by BadBatsuMaru: Thanks. One more thing... I must be completely blind since I have to ask this, but can someone point me to a FAQ about Auto-RX, i.e. where to get it, how to use it?
Go to the list of forums on this board; scroll down to "Share Your Favorite Links Here" and under that "Support Our Site," select that and look for the links to AutoRx
 
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quote:
33k on the same oil
You should have saved a sample, that's "Black Gold" for a used oil analysis! Worth the $15, fun factor. I am a Rotella Fan.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by TSoA:
quote:
33k on the same oil
You should have saved a sample, that's "Black Gold" for a used oil analysis! Worth the $15, fun factor. I am a Rotella Fan.

Ahh, you must know the Shell family, Harvey "Dutch" Shell and his lovely wife Rotella T. Shell (actually she prefers last name first, you know, Shell, Rotella T.) [Wink] [ October 03, 2003, 08:24 PM: Message edited by: pscholte ]
 

BadBatsuMaru

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Columbus OH
pscholte: Yes, the Saturn SC2 has a 1.9L I-4 DOHC engine. So, you guys just go by the instructions on auto-rx.com? I found some odd statements on the site... http://www.auto-rx.com/pages/faqs.htm "Oil does not wear out it just gets dirty." Yeah... But, I suppose if the experts trust these guys, I'll go with it. Now, if I continue to use a good synthetic after Auto-Rx, is it still going to gunk up? Will I have to use something with more detergents than M1 to keep things clean? I don't know if I'm comfortable continuing to put half a bottle of Auto-Rx in every few oil changes. I certainly don't want to put an additive in my oil every time I change it.
 
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It is true; the basic oil doesn't really wear out or lose its ability to lubricate. It gets contaminated from combustion byproducts, acids, etc and its additives get used up; so we have to change it. In my opinion, once you clean out the engine, if you use a quality synthetic and don't use oil change intervals that exceed the capability of the oil to keep the engine clean (that's part of what UOAs are for), it will stay very clean. If you are so inclined you can use one of the additives proven to work by members of this site (like AutoRx--a couple of ounces each change, or Lube Control and that will really slow down the "getting dirty" process.
 

BadBatsuMaru

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Location
Columbus OH
Well, it's still a pretty ridiculous thing to say. The only way you can say oil doesn't wear out is if by "oil" you mean the basestock only, and that is not what people mean when they say oil. I guess I'm really getting too far ahead of myself. I'll try out the Auto-Rx next change and see how things go after that. The site says they recommend dino oil because they say the esters in Auto-Rx would probably work best if there are no other esters in the oil you're using. Now, I know a lot of the Group 3 oils have good specs because they have some esters added to them, but is that also the case for some of the high-end Group 2 oils? For example, your Castrol GTX, Exxon SuperFlo, Chevron Supreme, etc. I don't want to use some $0.85 Group 1 oil, but if I'm going to use dino for the Auto-Rx, the whole point is to avoid esters, so I'd like to make sure I'm getting a good oil with no ester. One more thing... I'd like to get in there and poke around and see how things look before the Auto-Rx and after, and now and then just to see if things are staying clean. Every time I've ever removed a valve cover, it's always been a good time to replace the gasket anyway. If I'm just getting in there to look around, can I get away with using the same gasket? I'm talking about a gasket that only has 2000 miles on it, but the way it gets smashed down I guess it might only be good for one seal.
 
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