SAE ratings

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460
Location
Memphis, TN.
The SAE estsblishes ratings for various motor oils. For instance, my new Bonneville is supposed to use a 10w30 with an SL rating. SO isn't the quality of oil largely the same from brand to brand if they all meet the SL rating? In other words Auto Zone's Coastal for 95 cents a quart is just as good as the Castrol at $1.79, etc since they are both rated the same, and both meet the manufacturers warranty requirements.
 
Messages
47,788
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
SL is not an SAE thing, it's an API thing. And no, just because an oil meets a minimal API rating does not make it equal to others. I will say this, SL did raise the bar a bit, but we are still talking minimums here AND not everything about API centers around making your engine last, either.
 
Messages
4,632
Location
Decatur AL USA
quote:
Originally posted by 3putter: The SAE estsblishes ratings for various motor oils. For instance, my new Bonneville is supposed to use a 10w30 with an SL rating. SO isn't the quality of oil largely the same from brand to brand if they all meet the SL rating? In other words Auto Zone's Coastal for 95 cents a quart is just as good as the Castrol at $1.79, etc since they are both rated the same, and both meet the manufacturers warranty requirements.
Im not really going to answer your question just post a couple of statements. 1. All Attorneys passed the bar so all attorneys are equally skilled. 2. All Doctors graduated Med School so they all are equally adept. 3. All cars passed goverment crash test so they are all equally safe. 4. All Realtors passed the test so any Realtor will sell your house just as fast. 5. Any ASE certified Mechanic is just as good after all they passed the same test. Shall I continue? Assumming you have the 3800 and not the Northstar V8 it is not very hard on oil so any SL certified oil should suffice for 3,000 mi drains. For 5,000 mi drains I suggest something like Chevron, Havoline, Pennzoil, Castrol, or Motorcraft. Quality oils need not be expensive and neither does a high price guarantee quality. If you are going to go by the GM Oil Life Monitor I would use a quality synthetic like Mobil 1. One of the ways to judge the quality of a synthetic oil is to see how many of the extended drain manufactures ratings it can pass. If a oil passes MB 229.5 and GM LL-A-025 and VW 505.00 for instance it is a outstanding oil capable of standing up to drains of up to 20,000 mi. Unfortunately to the best of my knowledge there is currently NO 10W-30 available in the US capable of passing these tests. At least not all of them. Gene
 
Messages
52
Location
Washington DC
quote:
3putter: The SAE estsblishes ratings for various motor oils.
The SAE established the viscosity measurement standards for motor oils. The American Petroleum Institute established ratings (S- for spark ignition engines, C- for compression ignition engines) for performance of motor oils. There are also European, Japanese, international, military, and manufacturer standards.
quote:
For instance, my new Bonneville is supposed to use a 10w30 with an SL rating. SO isn't the quality of oil largely the same from brand to brand if they all meet the SL rating? In other words Auto Zone's Coastal for 95 cents a quart is just as good as the Castrol at $1.79, etc since they are both rated the same, and both meet the manufacturers warranty requirements.
No. The SL designation, for example, sets minimum standards for wear, sludge, volatility, and other performance measures for an oil run through a standard sequence test. Some oils (certain synthetics for example) far exceed those standards, showing much lower wear, sludge, and volatility or a capacity to be run much longer than the standard sequence. That's why high-performance automobiles like Porsche, Corvette, and Ferrari issue supplementary standards of their own, so you don't try to cruise the Autobahn at 130mph in your $200,000 automobile with a crankcase full of Auto Zone's Coastal for 95 cents a quart.
 
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