Talk Some Sense into an Oil Thickie?

Joined
Feb 12, 2004
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Can you talk some sense into me? I recently bought a 2023 Acura Integra, basically Acura's version of the Civic Si. I've got 900 miles on it and am thinking of doing the first oil change this weekend. I just can't wrap my mind around using 0W-20 in a turbocharged engine that will see a lot of high revs.

I joined this site in 2003 and always watched the 20 weight debates from afar. This is the first time I've ever had to run a 20 weight, now I'm conflicted! I know that millions of engines have lived long and productive lives on 0W-20, and that this Honda L15CA may have been designed with 0W-20 in mind. But I also know that I will drive this harder than a typical commuter, and that the EPA requires them to state that only 0W-20 should be used, regardless of what the engineers would prefer, and that thicker oils are specified in other markets that don't have this EPA requirement.

As of right now I'm planning to find a fully synthetic SP rated 0W-30, with the highest HTHS and lowest NOACK numbers I can find. Am I crazy?
 
Joined
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It's your car and you're free to run whatever you want in it. Very unlikely you will cause any issues at all using a 0w30. Also very unlikely you will see any benefit.
 
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If it were my car I would use the 0-30 you are contemplating. I know that some engines speced for that grade eventually had recommended a 30 grade due to problems. Just my opinion.
 
Joined
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20 IS thick these days! 😁

Look at it this way if you want to feel better about "following the manual". Parts are not as sloppy as they used to be, or so they say. A thicker oil may not get into the small voids properly.

Disclaimer about engineers working from cubicle farms in pakistan, etc.
 
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Check the operator's manual for the car. It will give a range of acceptable oils. Many cars that recommend 0w20 say you can run 0w30 or 5w30. They might not say that up front but they print it in the apppropriate section of the manual if you look for it. If it does, then you're in the clear for warranty purposes. PS: check the API/ILSAC requirements too, not just the viscosity.
Your intuition isn't crazy. Some high performance engines recommend 0w20 but say to run heavier oils for track use.
 
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Sep 23, 2008
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Ontario, Canada
Read the manual like a lawyer and probably it doesn't really say you can't use a step up in viscosity. I also like to look what they recommend in other countries for the same motor. Usually it a step up in viscosity or show a temperature range for other grades.
I can't imagine a good 5W30 is going to cause any issues, and probably really isn't needed on the street either unless he's going sustained triple digits...
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
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Dallas,Tx USA
Check the operator's manual for the car. It will give a range of acceptable oils. Many cars that recommend 0w20 say you can run 0w30 or 5w30. They might not say that up front but they print it in the apppropriate section of the manual if you look for it. If it does, then you're in the clear for warranty purposes. PS: check the API/ILSAC requirements too, not just the viscosity.
Your intuition isn't crazy. Some high performance engines recommend 0w20 but say to run heavier oils for track use.
Yep, and a lot of manuals say to run a thicker viscosity under high speed and/or severe conditions.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
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North Carolina, USA
Check the operator's manual for the car. It will give a range of acceptable oils. Many cars that recommend 0w20 say you can run 0w30 or 5w30. They might not say that up front but they print it in the apppropriate section of the manual if you look for it. If it does, then you're in the clear for warranty purposes. PS: check the API/ILSAC requirements too, not just the viscosity.
Your intuition isn't crazy. Some high performance engines recommend 0w20 but say to run heavier oils for track use.
I just looked at my 2021 Silverado's owners manual:

Use SAE 0W-20 viscosity grade engine oil for the 5.3L and 6.2L V8 engines.

Caution
Failure to use the recommended engine oil or equivalent can result in engine damage not covered by the vehicle warranty.


I tow a travel trailer so I use 0W30. M1 ESP to boot. My engine, my choice.
 

blupupher

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Check the operator's manual for the car. It will give a range of acceptable oils. Many cars that recommend 0w20 say you can run 0w30 or 5w30. They might not say that up front but they print it in the apppropriate section of the manual if you look for it. If it does, then you're in the clear for warranty purposes. PS: check the API/ILSAC requirements too, not just the viscosity.
Your intuition isn't crazy. Some high performance engines recommend 0w20 but say to run heavier oils for track use.
Honda/Acura only list 0w-20 for this engine, regardless of country (at least the US and European owners manuals I found online).

That said, I too would have issues running 0w-20 in any turbo engine. I would be much more comfortable with a xW-30 oil for longevity.

I run 0W-20 and 5w-20 oil in several of my vehicles that are spec'ed for it, so have no real issues with "thin" oils, but none of them are turbo's either.
 
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