Sears Spectrum Oil, unknown vintage SC in 97 car.

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I checked on my old baby, 97 Nissan Altima that I sold to a friend. He found a stash (~50 quarts) of old Sears Spectrum 10W-40 in paper/metal golden cans and used it to change oil in Altima. No starburst, no API markings, only SC and some other acronyms next to certifications statement. "Superior protection", cleaning abilities... marketing slogans abound. The can is similar to this: Is this oil safe to use or should he dump it?
 
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SC is PRE-1967, so that oil could be as old as some of our more senior members here. The official warning is:
 Quote:
CAUTION - Not suitable for use in gasoline-powered automobile engines build after 1967. Use in more modern engines may cause unsatisfactory performance or equipment harm.
 
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He should consider selling the stash on e-bay and using the money to buy a modern motor oil. The oil may be OK to use in an old lawn mower but it really doesn't have a use in a late model car. Even a $2 per quart Walmart Supertech oil is better than this old stuff.
 
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 Originally Posted By: odessit
I checked on my old baby, 97 Nissan Altima that I sold to a friend. He found a stash (~50 quarts) of old Sears Spectrum 10W-40 in paper/metal golden cans and used it to change oil in Altima. No starburst, no API markings, only SC and some other acronyms next to certifications statement. "Superior protection", cleaning abilities... marketing slogans abound. The can is similar to this: (Picture) Is this oil safe to use or should he dump it?
Dump it quick!
 
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 Originally Posted By: dishdude
But it's Sears Best!
I kinda like the old skool Sears logo, with the checkered flag and gold text. Looks retro.
 
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Cool beans! I remember that can. "Sears Best" was actually a decent product standard way back then. I still have "Sears Best" timing guns and dwell meters from that era that still work fine. Had to toss out a "Sears Best" battery charger after the selenium rectifiers finally blew out, after 40 years. But anyone using that oil in even a 1968 engine, let alone a newer plant, does so at their peril. Service SC is a very basic formula. IIRC, the jump to SD and SE was fairly significant with the increasing emission control loads of the newer engine families during that time. The VIIs aren't probably all that durable, either. Sludge city. Be curious to see what a VOA on the stuff shows. FWIW, one of my mechanic buddies had a customer who used to bring his own oil for changes in his late 80s Chrysler - Pitt Penn API-SA. Absolutely insisted that it be used, despite the warnings. So they did. The car ran for several years until one day the guy disappeared.
 

odessit

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Ok, thanks guys for the info. I doubt that UOA happen, the car is almost 4 hrs away from me. VOA - is a remote possibility, I will ask him to save me couple cans. Edit - he'll keep 2 cans for me. Currently he has 1K+ miles on that oil, he will change it this weekend. Semi-Jokingly - Group buy anybody?
 
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My dad had a stash of oil from when he used to take care of his cars. At some point he decided that 10-12,000 OCI's on dino was okay. Now I change his oil (on time I might add.) Anyway after one nice 10,000 mile OCI on Napa dino in his dakota I used some of that old oil (60s vintage Penzoil SAE 30) to flush out the engine with a can of seafoam. I ran it for about 30 minutes and believe it or not his engine was quieter than it was with the Maxlife that followed it. At the end of 30 minutes with seafoam what came out was nasty black. That was 3 years ago and the truck still runs so you could use that oil, albeit in a limited capacity.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Volvohead
FWIW, one of my mechanic buddies had a customer who used to bring his own oil for changes in his late 80s Chrysler - Pitt Penn API-SA. Absolutely insisted that it be used, despite the warnings. So they did. The car ran for several years until one day the guy disappeared.
SA??? He would have been better off selling it. That stuff is for cars sold before 1930. He must have thought additives were the devil.
 
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Hello Gopher Freak, you said, "SA??? He would have been better off selling it. That stuff is for cars sold before 1930. He must have thought additives were the devil." And what you said is the truth....funny but very truthful, That is why I was kidding also about adding EOS {Engine Oil Supplement} in the Sears SC vintage oil to be able to use in a mower. Even as old as I am I can't remember SA. Wasn't it next to non-detergent?
 
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 Originally Posted By: LumpyMeatLoaf
Hello Gopher Freak, you said, "SA??? He would have been better off selling it. That stuff is for cars sold before 1930. He must have thought additives were the devil." And what you said is the truth....funny but very truthful, That is why I was kidding also about adding EOS {Engine Oil Supplement} in the Sears SC vintage oil to be able to use in a mower. Even as old as I am I can't remember SA. Wasn't it next to non-detergent?
As far as I know, no additive, non-detergent. People collect stuff like that not put it in a new(ish) car. SA was outdated when John Dillinger was alive.
 
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Unfortunately, there are still people out there that think API-SA is like Grade A, and somehow better than the following letters of the alphabet. They also tend to buy oil at places like supermarkets, where for some reason SA tends to sit on shelves.
 
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