Rotella Synthetic Engine Noise

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Oklahoma
Yesterday I changed my '88 Accord from 10w-30 Mystik to Rotella Synthetic 5w-40. I was hopful that the Rotella would work well in this higher mileage car (162,000 mi) that is used for short trips. This morning I started up the car and there was much more engine noise than usual. Sounded almost like piston slap, but more so (perhaps a bit of rod knock). I immediately killed the engine and checked the oil to make sure. Level was fine with very fine bubbles on the dipstick. After the engine warmed up the noise abated somewhat, but is still greater than usual. I will probably change out the Rotella tonight. Funny thing is, I ran the engine last night to check for leaks and the noise did not seem to be there. Going up to a 40 wt shouldn't make this much difference. Thanks for any comments or advice. [ June 09, 2003, 10:17 AM: Message edited by: tgharch ]
 
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You're probably referring to a stuck lifter. Depending on what you've used in the past, you probably have CRAP built-up from using inferior (aka thin) oils. Does Auto-rx ring any bells? With that high mileage, best use auto-rx first...ESPECIALLY before going up in grade...it should eliminate these noises (assuming there's nothing wrong with the engine).
 
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Honda engines are known for their piston slap on start up. Rotella doesn't have the moly and boron AW/FM additives that a lot of oils do now days. These additives do a lot to "soften" the piston slap, so without them, you're probably going to hear more. As far as the comment about a stuck lifter, I'm pretty sure your engine has solid lifters, so the noise you're hearing isn't that. (Although they will clatter like crazy if they aren't adjusted properly.)
 

tgharch

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Oklahoma
G-Man Absolutely right on the lifters, they are solid. Anyhow this is nothing like a lifter noise. You're probably right, about the AW/FM adds in Rotella. I would have thought the Mystik (Citgo) 10w-30 would have been similar (on AW/FM) since it's a fleet oil as well, but maybe not. [ June 09, 2003, 11:58 AM: Message edited by: tgharch ]
 

tgharch

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Oklahoma
I just started the engine again and drove the car for a awhile. It seems to be worst at startup and 20-30 seconds afterward. At operating temp it's OK. The hallmarks of classic piston slap. I'll probably continue this interval with the Rotella Synthetic and consider a change to another oil for the next interval. Too bad it increases the piston slap, $12.88 per gallon for a Group III is a pretty good deal.
 

CJH

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When you start the engine cold, you are experiencing a 5 weight oil, not a 40 weight. So saying "going to a 40 weight shouldn't make this much difference" is not really correct...more like "...going from a 10 weight to a 5 weight should not make this much difference. I switched my Chevrolet Lumina to Rotella T 5W40 a short time ago. It may be a bit noisier, but not dramatically. The 5W40 did make a huge reduction in my oil consumption. The consumption with 5W30 and 10W30 dinos had been 850 miles / quart. Going to Castrol 10W40 GTX HM improved it to 1,050 miles / quart. After 2,300 miles on the Rotella, it looks like I am getting about 1,500 miles / quart, although it is a bit early to say this with confidence. I would stick with the Rotella 5W40 if I were you.
quote:
Originally posted by tgharch: Yesterday I changed my '88 Accord from 10w-30 Mystik to Rotella Synthetic 5w-40. I was hopful that the Rotella would work well in this higher mileage car (162,000 mi) that is used for short trips. ... Going up to a 40 wt shouldn't make this much difference.
 

tgharch

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Oklahoma
CJH Thanks for the input. I agree with your statement about 5W vs. 10W. I should have stated it differently. That's what surprised me about Rotella, I didn't think it was too different from what I was already using. It's good that it is helping with your consumption issues. I really didn't try it for improved consumption. I just thought the 5W and the high TBN would help with the short trips and the 40 would help with the higher mileage on the engine. I can't keep from wondering if the increased noise is a sign of increased wear. I'll see how this interval goes before I make a decision.
 
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Ahhhhah!! Yes, but only if you're starting the engine at -30C or something godforsaken cold temp...at about room temp. or something thereof, a 5-40 will be thicker than a 10-30 (even though I'm not sure where exactly they cross)... I'll still stand by my original post and recommend auto-rx at your 162k mi. BEFORE stepping up in grade...and then report to us the difference in 'noise' levels once all the baked-on products have been cleaned out.
 
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Dr. T based on what you said, that would mean an older car would be better off with a thinner oil barring oil consumption issues? Isn't this opposite to what the general thinking is?
 

CJH

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489
Location
Pennsylvania
quote:
Originally posted by tgharch: I can't keep from wondering if the increased noise is a sign of increased wear.
All other things being equal, QUIETER is better than NOISIER. No argument about that.
 

tgharch

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Oklahoma
Thanks Al. The noise goes on for too long to be a ADBV problem. The idiot light goes off immediately on startup. It could be a another problem with the filter though. Flow restriction or some other flaw. I would expect the filter to go into bypass, but since the bypass is on the filter (I think) that could be a problem as well. I have had good luck with Wix filters in the past, but everybody lets a bad one slip out the door from time to time.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by tgharch: G-Man Absolutely right on the lifters, they are solid. Anyhow this is nothing like a lifter noise. You're probably right, about the AW/FM adds in Rotella. I would have thought the Mystik (Citgo) 10w-30 would have been similar (on AW/FM) since it's a fleet oil as well, but maybe not.
If you don't want to switch to a synthetic, then go with a good conventional oil that has moly in it. I'd use Castrol GTX 10w30.
 
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Nooo. What I was saying is that with years and lots of miles of neglect with CAFE thin oils, you will get hardcore build-up that should first be removed with auto-rx BEFORE stepping up (again, assuming it's not too late). Or you could struggle with the noise, etc. for a couple years or another ~50k with frequent oil changes and hope this does the cleaning...diesel oils eg. delvac 1 would benefit the quickest.
 

tgharch

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Oklahoma
Dr T. while I agree that AutoRx might be beneficial here, the noise that I hear is something totally new with this oil change. I have used 15w-40 in past summer months and have not heard this noise specific noise before. I would totally agree with you if this noise occured no matter the oil used. This seems to be something with Rotella Synthetic and this particular engine. Please understand that I am not attacking Rotella Syn. I believe that it is a decent oil. Perhaps the lack of FM's affects this engine in an unusal manner. The other discussion on this site concerning Basestocks vs. AW/FM's at startup touches on this. I know the consensus has been that fleet oils are best for short trips because of the high TBN, but do the lack of FM's hurt overall wear? Any opinions?
 

CJH

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489
Location
Pennsylvania
quote:
Originally posted by CJH:
quote:
Originally posted by tgharch: I can't keep from wondering if the increased noise is a sign of increased wear.
All other things being equal, QUIETER is better than NOISIER. No argument about that.

I notice more noise at "1st start up" in my car too with 5W40, but it goes away in a minute or so. If the engine is still warm, it doesnt happen. This oil flows so easily, that I am wondering if maybe the oil drains down more completely than with the dino, and then there is not as much protection at 1st startup. (When I say "first startup", I mean in the morning when the engine is cold, rather than when you are starting a warm engine. Does this make sense? On the positive side, when i peek inside the oil hole, I used to see metal and springs that were covered with amber varnish. The springs are still covered, but I am starting to see bright metal showing through on the metal head. I have had the 5W40 in for 2,600 miles so far. Maybe it is my imagination. I will keep looking!
 
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tgharch, you are the only person I know of on this web site who has used Mystik oil, other than myself. My Dad was a good mechanic and he liked Mystik, although he usually used Conoco since it was cheaper. I know two professional mechanics who swear by Mystik and will not use anything else. One of them used it in his race car as well. The other mechanic is 83 years old, still works as a professional mechanic, and will not use anything but Mystik oil and Hastings oil filters, unless a person brings in their own oil filter and their own oil. I guess Mystik is a lot more common in Oklahoma. I have never seen any VOA or UOA on Mystik at this web site, so I don't know if it is a good oil or not. I personally have started to use Schaeffer's Oil. Before that, I was using Chevron Supreme, which ran great in my Saturn. Auto-RX seemed to be effective in cleaning my engine up.
 

tgharch

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40
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Oklahoma
CJH, I know what you mean about 1st startup. My engine does the same thing. Warm starts are quieter. Mystic, I started using Mystik in my Honda and '70 Chevelle about two years ago. I have been well satisfied with the performance. My BIL works for a large petroleum service company and their lab did some tests of motor oils. Their engineers were impressed by Mystik. I decided to try it. The reason I tried the Rotella Syn was the decent price for a Group III and the fact that Wal Mart raised the price of Mystik 60 cents per quart recently. Mystik fans in Oklahoma are a hardcore group. The ones I've met wouldn't even consider using anything else.
 

Win

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I'm using Mystik 15/50 in one of my Jaguars and am well pleased with it - I'll be moving all of my vehicles to Mystik (except the V12 will still get Mobil 1) as soon as I can use up my stocks of other oils ... Win Dooley
 
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Joplin
quote:
Originally posted by tgharch: I just started the engine again and drove the car for a awhile. It seems to be worst at startup and 20-30 seconds afterward. At operating temp it's OK. The hallmarks of classic piston slap. I'll probably continue this interval with the Rotella Synthetic and consider a change to another oil for the next interval.
Tgharch: How about giving the board an update on the start up noise that you experienced with the Rotella T synth. ? Is it the same or changed over time? Has the varnish condition continued to get better?
 
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