Pennzoil Ultra Platinum deposit buildup?

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Hello all, I'm curious if anyone who uses Pennzoil Ultra Platinum has noticed any excessive sludge/deposit buildup issues. I have been using Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W30 almost exclusively in my 05 Honda Civic 1.7 VTEC and usually changing it around 4K miles or at the very most 5K miles and I have not been very impressed with it's cleaning and I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this.

I recently changed my timing belt, water pump, oil pump seal, etc and I first noticed slight but noticeable crud buildup under the valve cover on the rocker arms and cylinder head similar to the oil pan below. I wish I thought to take a picture of it. The buildup wasn't much, but I refreshed that engine about 3-4 years ago and thoroughly washed the cylinder head and valve train to like new condition before reassembly, so my expectation would be very minimal to no buildup with almost all highway miles and 4-5K mile oil changes with synthetic oil.

I suppose mild buildup in the cylinder head area after several years of driving is acceptable, but IMO the worst buildup is what happened to the bottom of my oil pan after only 4400 miles. I slightly cracked my original oil pan on a rock several months ago and had to replace it with a used one, which I very thoroughly washed to like new condition before I installed it. It now looks like this. The bottom of it is lightly coated in some kind of greasy sludge. Again, not terrible, but that's after only 4400 miles. My daily commute is 50 highway miles per day (25 miles each way) 5 days a week and I don't idle much, sit in traffic, drive short trips, etc. I also regularly accelerate to redline, which I would think should help prevent buildup like this compared to driving like a granny all the time.

I'm considering switching to another brand of Hello all, I'm curious if anyone who uses Pennzoil Ultra Platinum has noticed any excessive sludge/deposit buildup issues. I have been using Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W30 almost exclusively in my 05 Honda Civic 1.7 VTEC and usually changing it around 4K miles or at the very most 5K miles and I have not been very impressed with it's cleaning and I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this.
I recently changed my timing belt, water pump, oil pump seal, etc and I first noticed slight but noticeable crud buildup under the valve cover on the rocker arms and cylinder head similar to the oil pan below. I wish I thought to take a picture of it. The buildup wasn't much, but I refreshed that engine about 3-4 years ago and thoroughly washed the cylinder head and valve train to like new condition before reassembly, so my expectation would be very minimal to no buildup with almost all highway miles and 4-5K mile oil changes with synthetic oil.

I suppose mild buildup in the cylinder head area after several years of driving is acceptable, but IMO the worst buildup is what happened to the bottom of my oil pan after only 4400 miles. I slightly cracked my original oil pan on a rock several months ago and had to replace it with a used one, which I very thoroughly washed to like new condition before I installed it. It now looks like this. The bottom of it is lightly coated in some kind of greasy sludge. Again, not terrible, but that's after only 4400 miles. My daily commute is 50 highway miles per day (25 miles each way) 5 days a week and I don't idle much, sit in traffic, drive short trips, etc. I also regularly accelerate to redline, which I would think should help prevent buildup like this compared to driving like a granny all the time.

I'm considering switching to another brand of oil next oil change because I'm not thrilled with this much buildup in the oil pan after only 4400 easy miles and I would expect the valvetrain and head to stay free of that sticky buildup for more than a few years with easy driving conditions and 4-5K mile oil changes. Do you think these expectations are unreasonable?

Any thoughts are welcome as always!

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I bought a 2011 Mazda 3 as a commuter car to drive back and fourth to New Orleans, switched oil to at that time it was pennzoil ultra, there was no platinum, I think In 2014 they released the platinum and I switched. I changed it at 5,000 miles due to the long idle time in traffic. When I pulled the valve cover off at 170,000 miles to change the gasket, there was some buildup in one area of the head. I have never seen that in other cars with Mobil 1. I had an 06 Nissan Frontier with 310,000 miles on it when I changed the valve cover gaskets and the engine was spotless. Ran Mobil 1 5w30 for 5,000 mile intervals. Needless to say I strictly run Mobil 1 in everything, even my lawnmowers.
 
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Here is a good write up on detergents and dispersants. Detergents are surfactant (surface acting agent) and dispersants suspend the small particles (one micron or less) in the oil until the oil drain. Appears the detergents that should have taken over the surface of the lower portion of your aluminum pan were settled with soot. (Maybe larger than 1 micron?) The pan structure allowed the larger particles to settle, the support fins. If they did not settle there most likely they would catch at the oil filter.


Just my view… not an issue at the very bottom of your oil system. PUP has a very good detergent/dispersant package but has limitations. Mobil 1 has a base oil formulation that also acts like a surfactant.
 
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Good to know. I'm not sure what year my engine is since it's used and JDM engines have no VIN, but the temp sensor failed a couple weeks after install. In my case, the sensor failed completely open and the coolant temp showed -40 degrees all the time. Replaced the sensor with a spare from the old engine and it has been reading properly ever since.

I'm sure a bad coolant temp sensor could definitely contribute to this issue though since it's an important input for fuel delivery. If the ECU thinks the engine is cold all the time and injects too much fuel, the rich mixture certainly will create incomplete combustion and excessive soot. Some of that soot will end up in the oil around the piston rings and valve seals. I have seen severe fuel delivery problems like bad MAP sensors turn the oil black within just a couple hundred miles of driving.

So, this is not a new engine. It is new to you? but it is a JDM so you bought it from a vendor.
So, is this picture come from when you bought the engine or after your usage?

What I am getting at is if you did not open it up when you buy it, how do you know that sludge or whatever that is, was already like that when you bought it?
Those sludge may already be there when you buy it and the oil does not cause it?
 
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About 20K miles ago I made the switch to the Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage for my F150 since there's the claim of being made from natural gas leaves less carbon deposits and has exceptional anti-wear properties (being on sale was nice as well).
 
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So, this is not a new engine. It is new to you? but it is a JDM so you bought it from a vendor.
So, is this picture come from when you bought the engine or after your usage?

What I am getting at is if you did not open it up when you buy it, how do you know that sludge or whatever that is, was already like that when you bought it?
Those sludge may already be there when you buy it and the oil does not cause it?
I was wondering the same thing. I'm a little unsure how this is directly attributable to the brand.
 
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Suppose you just changed to a really good detergent/dispersant oil. You ran it for 4000 miles. Is the oil clean or dirty now?
 

Avery4

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So, this is not a new engine. It is new to you? but it is a JDM so you bought it from a vendor.
So, is this picture come from when you bought the engine or after your usage?

What I am getting at is if you did not open it up when you buy it, how do you know that sludge or whatever that is, was already like that when you bought it?
Those sludge may already be there when you buy it and the oil does not cause it?
As I said in my first post, I know there was no sludge buildup of any type before using this oil for several years because I tore down and thoroughly clean the engine up before installing it and I am the one who installed that oil pan.
 
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I just had my oil and filter changed yesterday and I have been using Pennzoil Plat 5w30 and Ultra Plat. 5w30 over the past few years. This thread has got me all nervous now. Like most of you of course you def love your vehicle/vehicles. Honestly the only big reason why I use Pennzoil is the price point and the Main point is because Pennzoil claims that their oil is made from natural gas and not crude oil. Thoughts?
Change brands try Valvoline
 

Avery4

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I have got to ask… The OP‘s picture. Does any one other than the OP see engine sludge?
Maybe it didn't show up well on the picture, but there is a brown/black coating on the bottom of the oil pan and it is worst around the corners. There was also some mild buildup on the valvetrain and cylinder head, which I didn't think to take a picture of.

As I said the buildup certainly isn't enough to be a problem, but I was expecting better from only about 40K miles of mostly highway driving with 4-5K mile oil change intervals. Also, as I said, that buildup in the oil pan is after only 4400 miles.
 

Avery4

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Suppose you just changed to a really good detergent/dispersant oil. You ran it for 4000 miles. Is the oil clean or dirty now?
I'm not sure what point you are trying to make? Of course if you have a filthy engine and the oil dissolves a lot of that buildup it's going to get dark. But my post wasn't about the oil getting dark, it was about the inside of the previously very clean engine accumulating an IMO excessive amount of deposits while using this oil.
 
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Maybe it didn't show up well on the picture, but there is a brown/black coating on the bottom of the oil pan and it is worst around the corners. There was also some mild buildup on the valvetrain and cylinder head, which I didn't think to take a picture of.

As I said the buildup certainly isn't enough to be a problem, but I was expecting better from only about 40K miles of mostly highway driving with 4-5K mile oil change intervals. Also, as I said, that buildup in the oil pan is after only 4400 miles.
If you read more on sludge it will clump. It is organic. It is very visual. I do not see that.
 
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I'm not sure what point you are trying to make? Of course if you have a filthy engine and the oil dissolves a lot of that buildup it's going to get dark. But my post wasn't about the oil getting dark, it was about the inside of the previously very clean engine accumulating an IMO excessive amount of deposits while using this oil.
You have the residue at the very bottom of your pan.


It needs water and oxygen to form. One cause of oil sludge is a bad PCV valve. Short trips that do not remove moisture. My point is that appears to be carbon soot at the very bottom of your pan. You would expect sludge to start at the valve train and the upper pan. Area that is exposed to moisture and oxygen.
 
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OVERKILL

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Maybe it didn't show up well on the picture, but there is a brown/black coating on the bottom of the oil pan and it is worst around the corners. There was also some mild buildup on the valvetrain and cylinder head, which I didn't think to take a picture of.

As I said the buildup certainly isn't enough to be a problem, but I was expecting better from only about 40K miles of mostly highway driving with 4-5K mile oil change intervals. Also, as I said, that buildup in the oil pan is after only 4400 miles.
That sounds like varnish (and heavy varnish where it is really dark). Is it somewhat hard and sticky?
 

CleanSump

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You state you don't really know the mileage on a used motor. Did you pull the pistons and clean the grooves and undersides? Did you clean out the oil galleries and passages? Could be some of this stuff in the pan is from the oil finally freeing up crud that was already in the block and just moved and precipitated out.
 
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