Shocked RE: 03 Explorer

Messages
2
Location
Florida
I work for an employer with a fleet of 2003 Ford Explorers. The manual states to use 5W20 oil. I was shocked to see that 15W40 is used in them. They have bout 6,000 miles on them now. nono: No apparent problems, start with no noise, run smooth. What do you think?
 
My employer used to do the same thing until the local ford dealer threatened to refuse warranty work on the engines d/t viscosity. All vehicles, ford 7.3L diesels, 5.8L, 5.4L, 5.0L, 4.6L, 4.2l V-6, & a 4.0L explorer saw Mobil Delvac 15w-40. (not Delvac 1) While the explorer was totaled in an accident about 130k miles & was kept in a heated garage, the 5.8L & 5.0L engines were kept outside year round and experenced temperatures of -10F with cold starts. These engines all went well over 200k miles prior to the company selling the vehicles. The triton engines (5.4L & 4.6L) and the 4.2L v-6 engines were in use and had seen 15w-40, but all were switched to mobil drive clean prior to 50k miles.
 
Messages
3,216
Location
BC, Canada
I have never bought a Ford, but I keep on inheriting them. 92,95,and 96 Taurus/ windstar 3.0 and 3.8s and a 94 3.3 Intrepid. They all work great on xxW40 engine oils, synthetic for winter and 15W40 in summer. Even SAE 30 and 40 seem to work ok in those vehicles in the warm months. For the price those 5W20s (group IIIs in disguise) may be the ultimate winter oil for places like North Dakota, and the Canadian prairies. Heck, we got away with SAE 10W 30 years ago in those climates, and the cars lasted 200,000 miles. The salt rusted te fenders out before the engines wore out. [ October 26, 2003, 04:15 PM: Message edited by: userfriendly ]
 
Messages
3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
quote:
Originally posted by userfriendly: Heck, we got away with SAE 10W 30 years ago in those climates, and the cars lasted 200,000 miles. The salt rusted te fenders out before the engines wore out.
I've been thinking this for a while. It seems like eveyone goes into panic when it's mentioned that a 0W or 5W oil is not being used in cold climates, yet years back, 20W-20 and later 10W-30 and even 10W-40 were what everyone got by with because that's all that was available. Cars still started and ran quite a while, though I'm sure we'd be horrified with the wear numbers now... [ October 26, 2003, 05:12 PM: Message edited by: jsharp ]
 
Messages
3,216
Location
BC, Canada
Jsharp; Here is an example of a modern SAE 10W DH engine oil: 40C 38 100C 6.7 VI 134 Flash 207C/404F Pour -45C/-49F CCS [email protected] pump [email protected] SA 1.0 TBN 8.0 It would suggest from the numbers that this oil might pass a 5W20 multi-grade test, if we new the [email protected] typicals. The pail says SJ/CF, JASO MA, and a few other specs on it. Edit; What do wear numbers represent? 4ppm per 1000 miles of lead or iron in a V8 could indicate a 1M mile service life expentancy. A 10 PPM/1000 HR of silver in a locomtive engine means somebody is in deep sh!t. BTW, Is everyone in USA wishing Hillary R a happy birthday today? [ October 26, 2003, 05:30 PM: Message edited by: userfriendly ]
 
Messages
656
Location
Massachusetts
quote:
Originally posted by userfriendly: BTW, Is everyone in USA wishing Hillary R a happy birthday today?
Nope - Not to many Hillary fans here. Nobody wants that puppetier in the White house again.
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
Your employer is smart. 5w20 is about like sewing machine oil and I would not put that crap in any engine, but maybe an electric motor bearing. Farther north I would go 10w30 or 10w40 and where it goes below zero F I would get a 5W30. If it gets too cold for that, you need a block and oil pan heater and/or synthetic oil.
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
quote:
Originally posted by TallPaul: 5w20 is about like sewing machine oil and I would not put that crap in any engine
Paul, This is coming from a guy that uses 15w-40 in his gas-engine truck, but you're way off-base here...take a look at analysis results, and you'll see that the "new fangeled" twenty-weights can get the job done. [Cheers!]
 
Messages
591
Location
Pittsburgh PA
My employer has a LARGE fleet of vehicles. Ford, Chevy, Dodge,all mostly trucks. Almost all of them get 15w40 in them year round. Some have generators on them and the generators get 15w40 year round. Gas and diesel. Hundreds of thousands of miles with no oil lube problems. I would shudder to think how a 5w20 would hold up to sixteen hours of stop and go traffic and ideling per day, seven days a week. But then you never know.... [Big Grin]
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
quote:
How do you explain this UOA on Motorcraft "sewing machine oil"? Hardly what you could call light duty. Mikep
Sorry, I don't find the UOA on the Motorcraft sewing machine oil, but a single UOA is not statistically significant. You need a large sample size to draw any valid inferences. Also, did the vehicle the UOA came from see severe duty? What kind of miles did the vehicle have on the odometer? These factors also need to be considered. As for me, it seems plain that in the extreme environment inside our engines, too thin an oil is just not going to stand up. I think these folks at Machinery Lubrication are not dummies and they recommend going to a slightly thicker oil, say a 10w30. I will say I owe an apology for my original comment being snide. [ October 28, 2003, 08:33 AM: Message edited by: TallPaul ]
 
Messages
625
Location
Silver Spring, MD (USA)
Having never been much into car oils, or "above and beyond" levels of care for my vehicles... I find it quite humorous the raging debates you guys have over oil weights. From a completely outsider point of view...its much akin to any other advance in technology. Its newer and different, and thus must be inferior and/or crappier then everything thats been used since the begining of time. Change is good, but not to those who don't want to. Want another thicker/thinner debate? Try CRT's vs LCD's. People will ***** on either side of that wall for hours. I've seen good UOA's on thick oils on tiny 4 bangers, and good UOA's on big engines with "sewing machine" 20 wt's. Seems to me there can't ever be a general "You have to use light/heavy oils" cause each car's engine reacts differently to different oil viscosity's. But what do I know, I've only posted like 6 times and been wrong 5. [ October 28, 2003, 08:51 AM: Message edited by: crossbow ]
 
Messages
8,756
Location
RI
quote:
Originally posted by TallPaul: Depends on how severe of use the vehicle gets. Check out the compromise between thinner oils and engine wear: http://www.machinerylubrication.com/article_detail.asp?articleid=518&relatedbookgroup=Maintenance
What compromise? It all depends on oil temp. Cars using 5w20 possibly have better oil cooling than previous versions requiring thicker oils. Oil gets too hot, its toast regarless how thick it is. Give me thin oil and controlled oil temp any day.
 
Messages
1,181
Location
NJ, USA
quote:
Originally posted by TallPaul: [QB] Sorry, I don't find the UOA on the Motorcraft sewing machine oil, but a single UOA is not statistically significant. You need a large sample size to draw any valid inferences. Also, did the vehicle the UOA came from see severe duty? What kind of miles did the vehicle have on the odometer? These factors also need to be considered. As for me, it seems plain that in the extreme environment inside our engines, too thin an oil is just not going to stand up. I think these folks at Machinery Lubrication are not dummies and they recommend going to a slightly thicker oil, say a 10w30. I will say I owe an apology for my original comment being snide.
No apologies needed for the sewing machine thing. Funny thing is, when I purchased my '01 F150 and saw the 5w-20 requirement I pretty much reacted and felt as you do. I used that weight, albeit in a a full syn version, for the first 3-4 changes then switched to a 0w-30 syn because I just couldn't bring myself to keep using what I perceived as water masquerading as motor oil. As I read more and more about it and saw the UOA reports here I started to become a believer in that those highly educated, well paid engineers in Detroit may acutally know something about the engines they design and how best to keep them well lubricated. Even though I don't currently use a 5w-20, that may change soon. Anyway, here is the link to that UOA I meant to post in my previous response. [Cheers!] http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000915
 
Messages
13,132
Location
By Detroit
OK, maybe this stuff does work in the newer vehicles. UnDummy makes a good point that with better oil cooling the thinner oil can remain as thick as a thicker oil that gets a lot hotter. I'll buy that and add that the ideal situation would seem to be as thin an oil as you can run with sufficient cooling to maintain it thick enough to protect the bearings. Won't be running it in my pickup though--it needs 10w40 to maintain spec oil pressure. It would be interesting to see the UOA on the same truck subjected to the same conditions while running a 10w30 Valvoline Maxlife oil. But remember the other point in the article I posted, that the thinner the oil, the finer the filtration needed. Thanks for the info.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: My non-cafe 1994 BMW owner's manual states that 5-20 could be used up to 0C (freezing). What does this mean? That for temps over this, the protection is INADEQUATE.
For your engine it is inadequate. That doesn't mean it's inadequate for the vehicles which are now calling for it. And to be totally honest, I don't think we've seen a completely terrible 5w20 UOA on here yet, despite the cries from a lot of people that these oils would spell the early demise of many engines. Like I've said here many many times, one size does not fit all, so not all engines will have a problem running 5w20. We've seen 5w20 run in a big V10 Ford truck in the heat of summer, with towing having been done, and even still it got the job done nicely! If I recall, that particular UOA showed either 0 or 1ppm of lead in a 3-5k interval. You can't argue with that fact.
 
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