Short trips question

Messages
15
Location
South Dakota
Hi all, I did some searching on this topic, but I would like to ask about my particular situation. I have a 2003 Honda Pilot with the 3.5L V6, and it mainly gets driven very short distances daily--1-2 miles. Once a week or so it goes longer, and occasionly long-distance. This is year round--I'm in South Dakota, and the winters can get very cold. I've had it for almost eight months and have put 3000 miles on it so far on the original oil, and it is time for a change. I will double that mileage here shortly with a trip to PA in a few weeks. My previous vehicle was a 99 VW Passat with the 1.8T, and I used Delvac1, which seemed the best for my situaiton. I generally change the oil and filter twice a year. Now however, given Honda's 5w20 spec, I need to find a new oil, and I would like to stick with syn. Some of the advice I read/heard recommended diesel spec oil for the additives to better handle the consequences of short driving distances. So far, I'm thinking about the Amsoil 5w30 HDD, or going with M1 0w20 or 30, or 5w30. Any thoughts/suggestions? Sorry for the long post--Thanks!
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
I have a similar situation with two of my cars. It's only 1 mile to work. My plan is to monitor TBN using field test kits. I'll check the TBN every 6 months and when it gets below 6 I'll change the oil and send in a sample for full analysis. [ June 19, 2003, 09:31 PM: Message edited by: satterfi ]
 
Messages
238
Location
Monterey Park, CA
I read somewhere synthetics do not emulsify with water as dino oil does. This helps keep the water separate and the oil at peak performance until you take a longer trip to burn it off. Any truth to this? Leo
 
Messages
508
Location
milwaukee
If it were my car I'd change the oil before the trip to PA, especially since it is the first oil change on a new engine. The 0w-20 is a very good oil. The specs required by Ford are high. For your driving, 3,000 miles is a long way to go IMO.
 

sodak

Thread starter
Messages
15
Location
South Dakota
Yeah, I am definately going to change the oil before I go on the trip. M1 0w20 may be available locally, although Checker and Advance auto stores do not carry it right now. I am willing to go outside of Honda's 5w20 spec, although probably not beyond 30, at least until some more information and data become available. I'll probably test as I go along to make sure about the best time to change.
 
Messages
124
Location
west chester PA
i don't know about Hondas but VW advises against using 5w-30 or 5w-20 for continous highway driving especially in summertime.Lately, it's very hot and humid in PA. Why you got rid of the Passat ?
 

sodak

Thread starter
Messages
15
Location
South Dakota
We sold the Passat wagon because we wanted more space--two kids since we bought it. It was really hard for me to part with it--it was a great car. However, I sold it to my parents, so I will see it now and then (although they live in Alaska, so not too often!) I'm still leaning towards 0w20 or 30, or 5w30 in Mobil 1, but am thinking about Amsoil or Redline as well. This new 5w20 requirement really has me conflicted--just trust Honda to know what is best for their engines, or be skeptical about the motivation behind the new requirement, and go with a 30 wt.
 
Messages
7,775
Location
Oklahoma
If you do a search on Honda or 5W-20, you will find a lot of differences or "feelings" about this oil. I myself was pretty dedicated to the 5W20 saga until I read and searched alot on this board. I just did a UOA on Quaker State 5W-20 with 3400ish miles on it, lab said it was "a little thin." Wear wise, it held up pretty good, but I am now on the "5W-20 is too thin and it's a cop out by the manufacturers to meet CAFE standards so I'm going with 5W-30" bandwagon. Have a Accord, V6, 02 model. I've heard some good things about the 0W-20 Mobil 1. If I was you and in your climate, I would probably do that because the Mobil is a "higher" 20 weight. Also, I'd feel pretty good at night when it's cold outside knowing I have a 0W in the engine waiting to go in the morning.
 

sodak

Thread starter
Messages
15
Location
South Dakota
I'm heading to Greensburg to vist my in-laws. I'm leaning towards the M1 0w20 and then test it to see how it holds up. I'd like to stick with one oil year round, but if the 20 wt doesn't hold up well over the summer, I will go higher. Schmoe, is there any particular places you've seen some results on 0w20? I haven't seen much, although I haven't checked too extensively yet.
 
Messages
23,591
It's just a mile to work, huh? I'd walk or take a bicycle (Well, not if it's freezing!). [Razz] Anyway, if you live in a four-season climate (I don't - lucky me), then you may want to do at least 3 oil changes a year, regardless of miles driven. I'd do one before the winter, one after the winter, and one before the summer. If you drive only short distances, then you should really drive the car once a week at highway speeds for at least 30 minutes.
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
I ride a bicycle. Changing my oil 3 times a year would mean I change it every 250 miles. That gets expensive with Redline in the crankcase. I pay $5 for a Dexsil TBN test kit. Checking TBN every 6 months versus dumping the oil which may be fine makes a lot of sense.
quote:
Originally posted by moribundman: It's just a mile to work, huh? I'd walk or take a bicycle (Well, not if it's freezing!). [Razz] Anyway, if you live in a four-season climate (I don't - lucky me), then you may want to do at least 3 oil changes a year, regardless of miles driven. I'd do one before the winter, one after the winter, and one before the summer. If you drive only short distances, then you should really drive the car once a week at highway speeds for at least 30 minutes.
 
Messages
23,591
satterfi, my reply was directed at sodak, who lives in a four-season climate. With the little milage he puts on his car, he really should change the oil three times a year - most importantly before and after the winter, because the operating conditions that his engine has to suffer, combined with short-distance driving, are really hard on the oil. That obviously doesn't apply to you and me, since neither of us experiences actual seasons in CA. [Wink]
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
I think my comments still apply, 4 seasons or not, with low mileage cars. If you only pay a buck or two for oil then I'm in 100% agreement. Change it and be done with it. If the oil costs over $5/qt then test TBN before you toss it.
 
Messages
23,591
Hmm, if I were to drive only 750 miles a year like you, then I'd probably be reluctant to spend a lot on oil changes, too. [Wink] Now, I presume you do test your oil every what? 250 miles? and know what's best for your car. Though, driving 750 miles a year can't really be good for it, can it? Then again, I don't think you'll wear than engine ever out. [Wink] Well, in 166 years you'll reach the mileage I got on my car now. [Eek!]
 
Messages
102
Location
Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by sciroccoGTX16V: i don't know about Hondas but VW advises against using 5w-30 or 5w-20 for continous highway driving especially in summertime.Lately, it's very hot and humid in PA. Why you got rid of the Passat ?
Why does VW advise against the 5w-30 or 5w-20? Just curious. I don't own one but I just drove through the Arizona desert using 5w-30. Also, what is it with the Passat cars? They seem to me to be great cars. I would like to get feedback from Passat (or other VW owners - Jetta 1.8T or VR6) regarding their vehicles - good or bad. Thanks. [Big Grin] [ June 23, 2003, 01:09 PM: Message edited by: kiko ]
 

sodak

Thread starter
Messages
15
Location
South Dakota
moribundman, I have been thinking about adding another oil change to my schedule. I think this next time I will do a UOA and see what it says. I am certainly within walking distance of work (about 10 min), and I do it as much as possible, but taking the kids to daycare, esp in the winter, is much easier in the Pilot. We do walk up quite a bit in the summer. However, I really hate that the engine never gets a chance to warm up much (but evidently not enough to get up earlier and drive it around some!). I tired to compensate somewhat with the Passat with the Delvac1 diesel spec oil, but I know it couldn't help a whole lot. By the way, is there any truth to the idea that the additives in a diesel spec oil will better help with the consequences of short trips? As for the Passat, we really liked it a lot. It was enjoyable to drive, reliable, stylish, and fit both myself who is quite tall, and my wife who is quite short. There aren't many vehicles out there that fit us both comfortably. It was also a great vehicle to travel in--smooth, fast, and quiet. Decent mileage as well.
 
Messages
1,432
Location
Virginia
Sodak; If your Pilot is anything as nice as our Odyssey, I don't blame you for wanting to take it everywhere! Down to the mailbox & back! FWIW, this is what I'm doing with my vehicles: Run M1 0W-20 (or 0W-30) for 6 months, changing in Oct and April. Since the Honda dino oil recommendation for my van is 3,750 or 6 months under "severe" conditions, I think M1 provides the cushion I need to feel OK about it. If I end up going more than 3750 miles in the 6 month interval, that's great - an indication that I'm getting some longer trips in there. Mobil's website implies you could go a year of short trips on M1, but I like the 6 month plan and I think it would work for you too. Good Luck! Matt
 
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