What motor oil should I use?

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Mar 3, 2017
Dallas, Tx
Ok hi everyone! First time poster. Not too mechanically inclined but I care a great deal about taking proper care of my cars. Looking forward to your thoughts and really appreciate any insight you all have. Hard to find sound automotive advice these days. I will follow the format from the sticky:

1. Daily driver is a 2007 Honda Pilot EXL, V6 gas FWD, 157k miles. I am the second owner and I bought it last year at 140k mi. Inside and out it was pristine and had already had it's timing belt/spark plugs replaced so I took a chance on a higher mileage car. So far it has worked out and I have not had any major mechanical problems with it, except that I needed to replace the drive belt once.

Up till now I have not paid close attention to what oil I am using. I also don't know what was being used before I bought it, but based on the CarFax details it seems like it was serviced primarily at dealerships. The Honda dealership I have taken it to a couple of times uses a 5W-20 synthetic blend, but I don't know what brand. I have also taken it to an independent mechanic once or twice but I don't know what type of oil they used. I am meticulous about changing it on time/when the computer indicates a service is due, however.

Fuel economy is a secondary concern for me. My real issue is making this this sucker as long as possible. I have never owned a car outright before and I am 2 years away from paying it off. I have no intention of letting it [censored] out anytime soon. Also, not looking to increase time between oil changes. Strictly concerned with giving the engine the best chance at lasting many, many more years. I am still in school and a new car is not in the budget for me, even if that means spending a little more each year on transmission/suspension issues that I'm sure are down the road if not around the corner.

Live and drive in Texas. I drive between Dallas and College Station (180mi) a fair amount because my girlfriend lives there, but we are moving in together next month so that commute is no longer an issue. Most of my driving is in-town, going to work/school and errands. Bought the car 9 months ago and have put about 15k miles on it.

2. Owner's manual recommends 5W-20 and says synthetic or conventional is acceptable. It says always to use API certified oil.
Synthetic Oil
You use a synthetic motor oil if it meets the same requirements given for a conventional motor oil: it displays the API certification seal, and it is the proper weight. You must follow the oil and filter change intervals shown on the information display.
Engine Oil Additives
Your vehicle does not require any oil additives. Additives may adversely affect the engine or transmission performance and durability.

Does not specify a change interval, only to follow the indicator on the dashboard/computer.

3. Dallas, TX & moving to Houston, TX next month.
4. I do have a little bit of a lead foot but I try to speed up and slow down as gradually as possible. Now and again if someone is really doing 40 in the left lane I might gun it when they finally get out of the way.
5. Daily drive is short/medium trips but Houston and Dallas both are cities where commuting relies heavily on highway travel.
6. No leaks or known issues to speak of

As far as a preference--I suppose that's why I'm here asking you guys. My understanding was that synthetic is better for engine longevity and had less contaminants, but after reading up a little bit here I am sure I don't properly know anything about the topic. There is a Honda quick-lube walking distance from my new house so I will probably take it there strictly for scheduled maintenance moving forward, unless it turns out to be awful service. I don't mind bringing my own oil though.

Thank you so much to anyone who can lend some advice. Great many thanks!!!

Oil life indicators usually measure fuel dilution in the oil. The quick-lube place is going to charge you way too much for any oil change, much more for Synthetic and they spec whomever won their contract. The oil filter they use too is going to be of concern for synthetic. If you plan to run into 6-7k on synthetic, it's important to also have a filter specked for that mileage.

Today, most synthetics/synthetic blends that are known brands available at Walmart are more than adequate. Just make sure it's the correct grade. Fresh fluids regularly are probably more important then longer intervals. Price is not an indicator of quality, just simple economics and vague marketing ploys.
Any major brand of synthetic or syn-blend 5w-20 will serve you well. It sounds like you are driving mostly urban so the OCI should be around 5k-7.5k. Maybe the first time go by the monitor and see how it compares to actual mileage. I'm not familiar with that V6, but I assume no turbo nor DI or any cylinder management stuff?
The 2007 Pilot FWD has the J35Z1 engine with VCM. You can use either a diet of syn blend or full syn xW-20 oil and change according to the OLM. Keep an eye on the dip stick to check for any consumption.

More importantly change out your tranny fluid if it hasn't been done since you got the car.
We have a 2006 Pilot EXL FWD with the same engine. I've been using Pennzoil Platinum in 5w30 taking advantage of the rebates that make it pretty cheap. There is no measurable amount of oil burned between changes and the engine is quiet. Just recently I used the 0w20 flavor but the engine is a little noisier so I'll switch back to 5w30 at the next change.

I've been using Honda Filtech filters but used the last of my inventory. I'll probably go with a Fram Ultra next time around.
Your in a warm climate and you can use anything just as the manual says, as long as its an API oil.

Doesnt matter if syn, semi or conventional. I always lean to conventional or a semi for no other reason as its just something I prefer for my own reasons. I guess if I was sticking by the computer, maybe I would lean towards the semi. Though again, it doesnt matter.

One thing for sure, since its a warm weather car, if the manual gives the slightest hint that a 5/30 can be used I would use it. For me personally I use a 5/30 no matter what but that is a personal decision.

I think the manual spells out perfectly that it doesnt matter what kind of oil, as long as the proper API, which is what I have been saying for some time. There is no proof that one kind of oil is superior in an engine of a certain manufacturer over another, just marketing materials from the makers of the oil. IN fact, conventional oils have some positive attributes over synthetics as well when it comes to wear.
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