Suggestions for oil newb

Messages
3
Location
NY
I know this question gets asked alot, but I would appreciate the help. I've done some searching on the topic, but my eyes start to bleed after a while with all the info available, ha. I have a 2003 civic si which calls for 5w-20 oil. I am a little concerned that this is too thin of an oil to be using especially in the summer months. I live in NY so winter shouldn't be a problem, I think. I don't really drive my car hard, but it's still in the back of my head that 5w-30 would protect better in hot weather. Seing how the rsx-s with basically the same engine is recommending 5w-30 it makes me worry even more. Again I am a newbie as far as oil so I don't know if my presumtions are correct. Ok now for my next question. I'm wondering if synthetic would be worth it for me. So far I have 9,000 miles on the engine and I have been changing the oil every 3,000 with conventional oil. I don't mind spending the extra money on synthetic, but I would like to know the advantages and possible disadvantages if any. Thanks alot for any help.
 
Messages
792
Location
MD
Based on my limited understanding, synthetic gives you advantages if you are towing. I plan to use it in my full size truck. Somehow it is better with high temperatures. The relevance to you is, some components in it don't break down as fast as the stuff in dinosaur (dino) oil. So I hear you can extend your oil change to 5K and some will tell you more - I personally don't plan to extend to more than 5K with any oil as my driving is "severe conditions". The other thing is, synthetic doesn't have some stuff dino mineral oil has. cannot remember what it is, I thought it was detergents, but it is not. That's an advantage. Synthetic of course costs 3 times as much, I don't know if it is cost-effective. "Synthetic oil has a better cold flow rate, which means it starts flowing and protecting your engine sooner then dino oil would." I have been using regular oil and am thinking about synthetic but not sure yet.
 
Messages
2,569
Location
College Dorm...
Ok, I'm not expert, but I have read (or am reading) a few books! [Big Grin] First off, when comparing passenger cars oils, true synthetics have several advantages when compared to a group I, II, or III oil (although group III's are considered synthetics...) - Longer Drain Intervals - Superior Low-Temperature Pumpability - Higher Resistance to "Breaking Down" Under Hot Temperatures - Since the base fluid (PAO, etc, etc..) itself can flow at a wider range of temperatures, less viscosity index-improvers need to be used, thus the final oil is more shear stable. - Higher TBN numbers - Longer Drain Intervals - Etc, etc, etc... If you want to run a synthetic in your Honda, then by all means do. There are no real disadvantages, except the higher price of admission. In your vehicle, I would have no problems with running a 20-weight, but I still like the idea of a thicker fluid-film (just my opinion), but I'm not getting into that now! Pacem, Yes, once again, when comparing passenger-car oils, a true synthetic will be better when placed under conditions such as towing. I still think you'd be very impressed with a HDEO 15w-40 though, either Delo, Delvac, or Long-Life.
 
Messages
425
You could try German Syntec, but I think M1 5w or 10w-30 is perfect for Japanese cars. If you have a 20 weight spec car and drive hard, a light 30w synth like Mobil 1 would be perfect. I would not use 40w or ACEA A3 oils(HT/HS>3.5), but ACEA A5 would be good and heavy for your car. All US-made Syntec meets this now, HT/HS of >3.2 and long-life. Mobil 1 30 weight is HT/HS of under 3.0! I would not use heavier than that, not any 40 weight oils at all.
 

Al

Messages
19,199
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Yea the German Syntec would be good. Used oil analysis with the 5W-20 have been good-but still I am just fearful of the 20 wt's. Mobil 1 5W-30 and 10W-30's are on the low side of the 30 wt. scale and not a whole lot thicker than the 20 wt's. I think you will get a bit more protection from the M-1 and of course longer (say twice as long) drain intervals. [Welcome!] [ October 21, 2003, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Al ]
 

trabadoor22

Thread starter
Messages
3
Location
NY
Ok thanks everyone. I think the GC is out of the question since I have a hard time finding most oils around where I live. I have found the Mobil 1 in 5w-30 for under $20 for a 5 qt. jug at Walmart though. I don't plan on using anything heavier than 5w-30 just to be on the safe side. Also I keep hearing about an oil analysis. I'm wondering how I would go about getting one done? Thanks again.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by trabadoor22: Ok thanks everyone. I think the GC is out of the question since I have a hard time finding most oils around where I live. I have found the Mobil 1 in 5w-30 for under $20 for a 5 qt. jug at Walmart though. I don't plan on using anything heavier than 5w-30 just to be on the safe side. Also I keep hearing about an oil analysis. I'm wondering how I would go about getting one done? Thanks again.
Right here: http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/terry.html Contact Blackstone and ask for the #46 Terry Dyson package.
 
Messages
70
Location
California
Look around the website, many paeople (jay, idrinkmotoroil, I, etc.) have the same car or engine with posted UOA's. As of now I don't remember seeing a "bad" report from any oil regardless of weight in this motor. Jay is really happy with his results when using "the lighter stuff" (M1 0w20) Idrink is happy with GC and I have some pretty good results with 5w30 M1. So just about any good oil responds well in this iteration of the K-series motor. You can extend your oil interval to 5k+ without a worry, but if you are going below 5k use a good quality dino, syn isn't worth the extra cost IMO. [ October 22, 2003, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: Surprise ]
 
Messages
99
Location
Oak Harbor, WA
If you read your owners manual, it might say to change your oil @ 7k miles with regular dino oil. 3k miles is typically for extreme service. The 3k miles OCI is pretty much a scam from the oil companies to sell more oil. Course' if your in NYC, that would probobly qualify as severe service.
 

trabadoor22

Thread starter
Messages
3
Location
NY
Thanks for the link. That's good to hear this engine isn't too picky. I ended up getting a case of Mobil 1 0w-20. It gets pretty cold here in the winter so I'm not too concerned. In the summer I think I will go with the Mobil 1 5w-30. Once I use the synthetic I'll probably go 5,000 miles between oil changes. I mostly drive short distances in stop and go traffic so I'm a little apprehensive about going longer than that.
 
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