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Dec 22, 2002
The Garden State
I have a 1996 Ford Contour with the 4 cyl. Zetec motor, 5 spd manual tranny and aluminum wheels with wide low profile tires. It's my very poor man's BMW
and driven like one. At least in the "good" weather. Here in lies my dilemma. I've used various synthetic oils from about 1,500 miles on the odometer. It now has about 56,000 miles. I've been using Mobil 1 5W-30 for several years now. I was planning to use Schaeffer's 5W-30 blend with my next oil change on Tues. But here lies the dilemma. This car is used mainly in the late spring for a trip to southern Florida, over 3,000 miles RT and tool around for the rest of the summer and fall. It will sit in a heated garage during most of the winter unused due to the salt on the roads. I'm hesitant to put in the Schaeffer's to have it sit for most of the winter and change it again to take a run to Florida from NJ in the late spring. So here are my options:

1-Put in the Schaeffer and dump in the spring for new traveling oil. Seems like a waste of money.
2-Put in dino oil for the winter "rest" and then put in the Schaeffer's for the spring & summer travel.
3-Don't put any oil in so I can buy a real BMW

I guess I'm not sure about having the car sit for basically 4 months of the winter and then take a 3,000+ mile trip as well as using it for several months afterwards without changing the oil.

How many miles on the oil now in the sump? I would put in cheap dino for the winter and the good stuff in spring.

If the current oil has not been over extended, it may do to leave it in till spring. Depends.
The Mobil 1 in the sump has been in for 7 months, about 5,000+ miles. It has to be changed one way or another. It can't go another 4 months until the "spring fling". I'm strongly leaning towards using dino for the winter hibernation and then using the Schaeffer's for the spring trip and summer/fall miles.

Probably doesn't matter way. Its a matter of preference. Cost for cheap oil and filter= $10. I would just say that when you run it in the winter run it on the warmest day and get it up to temp to lesen the condenstion.
The 3000 mile RT trip will definately boil off any condensation, and not put much strain on the oil unless you are constantly doing 90 or 100+, LOL.
Just don't drive it hard for the first few miles out of the garage.

Short trips are the killer because it eats away at the TBN additives due to the water condensation.

Supposedly Mobil 1 (an older,inferior version) was used in a test called the Aunt Minnie test where it was driven for very short distances (5 days a week?)where the miles only were 5000 miles within 2 years (or was that 5?). The engine temps definately didn't heat up enough
Anyhow they just found 400ppm iron, but couldnt find where did it get worn from because the engine looked fine, no sludge! Someone from the group said the iron probably came from corrosion with the oil sitting for so long.

I think that the Ester oils wouldn't do as well as the PAO oils because Esters supposedly don't absorb the water as well as PAO does. Perhaps that is why some PAO users with bypass filters still see water in their oil, because the filter can't take the water out that was encapsulated in the oil?
Just head to Wally World and pick up some Havoline (leave the Chev Supreme for me
) and use it for the winter. If you're feeling giddy then pick up some SuperTech blend or even "Full" synthetic which they have in 5 qt. jugs.

I feel as you do that using your Schaeffers now, when the car will basically sit all winter, is a waste of some darn good oil.

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