Viscosity difference by country (UK-USA)

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YES, I had a Honda Civic EX year 2000 that the manual specified engine oil 20w50 and in US they run in 5w30. The same for my Subaru Impreza. Here was recommended even thicker than UK. They got 200k miles on 20w50, too. 2 extra tanks, though. Very sensitive huh?
 
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I think that some parts of the US can experience much lower temps than the UK. My guess is that oil viscosity recommendations are based on the lowest temp the oil is likly to see. Hence, the UK and Austrailia among other places have manufacturers oil recommendations for lower viscosity.
 
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is there an OCI recommendation difference also? is the UK's gasoline similar to the US or lower sulfur?
 
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Has to do with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations in the United States. Manufacturers almost always specify lighter viscosity in the quest for better MPG.
 
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5W-30 in both the Sonata and the Sante Fe would be sensible. 10W-30 in both the Sonata and the Santa Fe would be brilliant.
 
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CAFE. ... The land of slightly better fuel economy (maybe), and "adequate..." engine protection. Adequate as in make it past warranty... ! Thick vs Thin.... again and again and again.... oh what fun ...!
 
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Originally Posted By: geeman789
Thick vs Thin.... again and again and again.... oh what fun ...!
Yes and I find it baffling how many people are afraid of 30 weight oil. You should see the stuff in a jar in my garage on a day like this when it's 106 F outside. The stuff is not even close to being a thick liquid.
 
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Probably because 5W-20s have been widely available in the US since both Honda and Ford adopted them a dozen or so years ago. Probably also because the recommended OCIs are much longer in the UK than they are in the US, mainly because oil is so much more expensive in Merry Old than it is here. There is no way that Hyundai would be able to shift any cars anywhere in the EU if they tried the 3750 mile OCI in "severe service" with almost any use of the car being "severe service" nonsense they play here. They have to recommend much longer drain intervals in EU markets, so they've recommended a grade better able to withstand the shearing and fuel dilution that accompany longer drain intervals. People like to claim that CAFE has driven US oil grade recommendations. It's equally valid to maintain that the need for much longer OCIs has driven grade recommendations in other markets. We use thinner grades here because we can afford shorter OCIs. Motor oil here is cheap by the standards of the rest of the developed world, as are cars, housing, food and just about everything else. If we had EU level motor oil prices, we'd be using thicker grades on much longer drain intervals as well. Dave Newton would be smiling with approval.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
If we had EU level motor oil prices, we'd be using thicker grades on much longer drain intervals as well. Dave Newton would be smiling with approval.
Are you saying a "thicker" oil is better for longer drain intervals? Would it be safe to say if you own a vehicle in the USA and plan on extending your OCI, and your engine calls for a 20 grade oil, you'd be better off with a 30 grade oil? That's if a 30 grade oil is recommended for your vehicle in Europe? Your comment got me thinking. I spend a lot of time here and never thought bumping a grade might be better for extending an OCI. Plenty of people in the USA run extended OCI's too, and maybe bumping a grade might be the way to go. BTW I'm asking a question not being a wise guy.
 

wemay

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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
Probably because 5W-20s have been widely available in the US since both Honda and Ford adopted them a dozen or so years ago. Probably also because the recommended OCIs are much longer in the UK than they are in the US, mainly because oil is so much more expensive in Merry Old than it is here. There is no way that Hyundai would be able to shift any cars anywhere in the EU if they tried the 3750 mile OCI in "severe service" with almost any use of the car being "severe service" nonsense they play here. They have to recommend much longer drain intervals in EU markets, so they've recommended a grade better able to withstand the shearing and fuel dilution that accompany longer drain intervals. People like to claim that CAFE has driven US oil grade recommendations. It's equally valid to maintain that the need for much longer OCIs has driven grade recommendations in other markets. We use thinner grades here because we can afford shorter OCIs. Motor oil here is cheap by the standards of the rest of the developed world, as are cars, housing, food and just about everything else. If we had EU level motor oil prices, we'd be using thicker grades on much longer drain intervals as well. Dave Newton would be smiling with approval.
This makes the most sense to me.
 
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Do they really change oil more often in the US? With the public less educated about cars, I'd think they would be more run it till it stops type of owner. With car ownership much less in Europe, their vehicle is a major investment, and taking care of it prime importance.
 
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Yep, same for my car. One weight - 0w-20 - recommended in North America. -30 and -40 weights additionally recommended in Europe, Japan, Asia, Australia. -50 weights additionally recommended in the Middle East.
 
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There's a growing trend I noticed here on BITOG: the less mechanically inclined a person is, the more likely they are to be afraid of thicker oils like 30 weight. Why that is, I have no idea. What we need is an onboard tribologist that's also a psychiatrist.
 
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Back in the 70's 10w-30 was the typical oil used in the US This was at a time long before CAFE While in the same era 20w-50 was the (almost) universal oil used in the UK It's not common for ambient temps in the UK to ever get much below freezing for any extended period of time. Where as in ND or Minnisota............ I just think manufacturers consider this.
 
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Silly question: I've worked in the parts industry for near 30 years. I never got real in depth on tolerances on measurements. I thought Ford & Honda went to a 20wt because of bearing tolerances getting tighter and oil galley diameters getting smaller, IE a thinner oil to run in their engines. Can a 20wt really give that increase on MPG without calculating it for multiple tank fills over a 30wt? Never owned anything needing such a thin base is why I'm asking.
 
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Originally Posted By: Nitrofan1
Silly question: I've worked in the parts industry for near 30 years. I never got real in depth on tolerances on measurements. I thought Ford & Honda went to a 20wt because of bearing tolerances getting tighter and oil galley diameters getting smaller, IE a thinner oil to run in their engines ...
If I'm not mistaken (and I could be), oil particles are 100's of times smaller (hundreth of microns?) than the smallest bearing tolerances (10's of microns?) ... so I'd imagine that all weights of oils can "fit" any common engine.
 
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Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
There's a growing trend I noticed here on BITOG: the less mechanically inclined a person is, the more likely they are to be afraid of thicker oils like 30 weight. Why that is, I have no idea. What we need is an onboard tribologist that's also a psychiatrist.
How mechanically inclined are you? From your posts you dont seem like you are at all!
 
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