Understanding Noises and relation to oil

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Apr 18, 2004
Hi all, I read this forum quite a bit and learn a lot. However one thing I do not understand is the noises people experience by changing oil in their valvetrain I presume. Is changing the type of oil and "quieting" the noise actually helping the problem or masking one that is there? I have experienced these noises since 110k on my car now 210k only when temp is 0-30F and engine is not completely warmed up on a Civic. My valves are adjusted properly per schedule. Lastly are these noises really a problem or discomforting more for the intune owners? My Honda mechanic says my noise is normal for age. Oil has mostly been Valvoline and more recently Mobil dino and no change. [ April 26, 2004, 11:50 AM: Message edited by: andyfish ]
Also, engine construction has changed a LOT over the years. The newer aluminum engines are going to be nosier than their iron cousins. It's the nature of metal. In addition, there are a lot more plastic parts being used today which will also not suppress engine noise such as valve covers and intake manifolds. I think that a lot of us are just not used to this.
On a purely subjective basis, I've noticed that my 3.0L Toyota 1MZ-FE V-6 seems both quieter and smoother after having drained a fill of M-1 0w-30 and replacing it with Amsoil 5w-30 ASL. It's not like someone snuck a Jaguar V-12 into my Camry or anything, but it is there, FWIW.
The Amsoil 5w-30 has a high temp/high shear viscosity of 3.5 Cp, vs only 3.0 Cp for the Mobil 1, 0w-30 .... All things being equal, a thicker oil will reduced noise, vibration and harshness, ie "NVH" If you were to run the Mobil 1, 5w-40 - HT/HS of approx 4.0 Cp - in your Toyota V-6, you'd find it's significantly quieter than with the 0w-30. One thing I really noticed running 5w-20 and then 0w-20 synthetics in my 1995 Tacoma is that the valvetrain and timing chain noise was much more apparent .... Tooslick Dixie Synthetics
With engines using hydraulic lifters thicker oil will only reduce bleeddown and help stack up the valve train at high rpm which at times is a recipe for disaster and bad medicine for race engines . These type lifters are enginnered with viscosity in mind and can be tempermental towards it . So many engine components and designs and ...so many oils to choose from to exact the best of both [Smile]
I'm definitely a newbie here but I'm pleased to have quietened the piston slap in my Tracker. I've been told that piston slap is not unusual in a modern engine but it is was very irritating to me. I had been using the "no Moly" Maxlife because I didn't know any better but now it's Pennzoil for me. [Patriot]
Well if the noise is reduced because the parts are better cushioned this is a good thing. If the noise is reduced simply because the oil dampens spurious harmonics from non-critical areas like valve cover, time cover etc.... this is really of little value. Generaly it has been my experince that more noise is usualy associated with more wear. If we look at TS's Tacoma we see that his increased wear with 20 Wt oils also increased the noise from his timeing and valve train componets.
Great question. I think certain formulation even in thin 30 wts. can quiet things down and of course if you bump the viscosity enough it will have a similar effects. I'm not so sure that it has any effect on wear or lubrication efficiency. I think it's mainly a harmonic sound dampening effect and that's about it.
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