What oil should I use? Bye Bye Amsoil!!

Messages
24
Location
South Bend, IN
Hello everyone. this is my first post. Any help or input would be appreciated. Here is my issue: Car: 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP -Factory supercharged and i have some bolt-on modifications and mild exhaust work, as well a tune. Current Mileage: 49,800 Current Oil: Amsoil XL 7000 5w-30 (been using since 32,000 miles) Current oil filter: Amsoil Filter Ok to start off, i have nothing against Amsoil. I don't know enough about oil to even judge it. Right when I started using it, my car had pretty bad lifter tick at cold start. it was even audible standing 50ft away from the car, especially on a cold winter morning (my car is not garaged). The tick seems to be coming from the driver side bottom or middle part of my engine. Now that the weather is nicer I can still here a tick for a few seconds at cold start. During the winter it would last about 4 minutes and now that the weather is warmer it lasts about 15 seconds and isnt nearly as loud. This started happening right when I switched to Synthetic fluid. My first 3 oil changes with Amsoil were done at 3,000miles each in an effort to "flush" the dino oil out of the car and for my peace of mind i guess, even though i was probably just wasting money. I used a Wix filter my first 3 changes and use an Amsoil filter now. The tick was present using both filters. I've decided that I want to switch oils to see if that changes anything. I've been told to try changing oil weights during the winter but I kind of hesitate with that because my car calls for 5w-30. I kind of want to stray away from Amsoil because I have to drive 20min. to get it, its expensive and I really want to start changing my oil at every 3,000miles again (for my peace of mind) so a cheaper, but good oil is what I want. I'd like to give the synthetic fluid another shot to figure out if my car just doesnt like Amsoil, or doesn't like synthetic fluid. I live in Northern Indiana so the car experiences all kinds of weather all year around. It is not garaged either. I drive 80% stop and go and 20% highway/rural driving. Any suggestions or input would be great. Thank you!
 
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Messages
14,013
Location
Retired | Wausau, WI
(For your peace of mind) if you are going back to 3K changes, try Pennzoil 5W-30 in the yellow bottle and your favorite filter. WIX, Purolator, what ever you like. to BITOG
 
Messages
2,804
Location
NJ
Certain oils will make some sounds more pronounced. Amsoil oils are very good oils and unless you were planning on running 7k to 10k OCI's may be a waste. You could run Mobil 1 which most GM performance minded people will run and its spec'd for GM as are Pennzoil Platinum and Valvoline Synpower. I also want to confirm is your car 5w-30 or 10w-30. My 01 was 10w-30 specced and going down to 5w-30 on certain oils(same brand, different weight produced sounds).
 
Messages
47,527
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
First of all, just so you know (and not to start an argument) the XL oil is not a "true" synthetic oil. It's actually one of the better group III oils, but again the base oil is not truly and fully synthesized from smaller molecules. That said, feel free to switch oils. Pennzoil would be a good starting point. M1 may actually cost more.
 
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6,639
Location
South Florida
Sounds like piston slap to me and a sythetic will be thinner at lower temps than a conventional. The thicker conventional oils (at low temps) are better at covering up noises such as piston slap.
 

Midwestspecial

Thread starter
Messages
24
Location
South Bend, IN
My cars 5w-30. The pre-2004 Grand Prixs were 10w-30 though. I was thinking about Valvoline Synpower. I put 80,000 miles on my 1993 Grand Am and I tried about 8 different dino oils. The car seemed to like Valvoline the best. I'm thinking either Valvoline Synpower or M1 then. Thanks for the replies so far.
 

Midwestspecial

Thread starter
Messages
24
Location
South Bend, IN
Pablo: The Amsoil XL isnt a true synthetic!?!?! (the only reason i put Bye Bye Amsoil! in the title was to attract attention to it, although it sounds kind of arrogant) ______________________________________ Yea that was my theory behind this matter that the oil was thinner and causing noises to be more audible until it fully circulated through the engine.
 
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Messages
47,527
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
It sounds arrogant indeed. A slap without the facts, but no biggie. Also, the Amsoil filter, while it has proprietary media, is more than likely made by Wix as well. So if the ADBV was contributing to the noise, then you really didn't change anything. Yes piston slap can be quieted somewhat by a more viscous oil.
 
Messages
6,987
Location
Michigan
Feel free to play a little. Pennzoil Platinum is great, Mobil 1 would be a good bet, many like Castrol Syntec or GC. Many people are showing love for Shell Rotella right now for Turbos. They have a 5w-40 in that. *Please get over the 3,000 mile OCI if using Syn Oil. It is a waste. Go At least 5,000 miles.
 
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Messages
15,368
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Maybe check valve lash and injector noise. 3.8L Pushrod motor? I assume the lash is non-adjustable - but you may have a bad lifter. No need to put syn in if this is a roller cam motor. Oils with di-ester will quiet slap better than anything - thats what they're in the base stock for!
 

Midwestspecial

Thread starter
Messages
24
Location
South Bend, IN
you are right im just being a pansy. i'll go 4-5K on this next run. im going to head to the autoparts store during lunch and see what they got over there and check prices and filters. I am getting my car looked at on Saturday by a 3.8L engine professional (PRJperformance.com) and I'm going to have him check my lifter. Actually here is a video from this winter of the tick: http://s235.photobucket.com/albums/ee162/Midwestspecial/?action=view¤t=MOV02120.flv
 
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Messages
6,987
Location
Michigan
You can hardly beat Walmart prices for oil by the jug. Unless the auto parts store is running a special. Autozone and AAP I believe are running a Mobil 1 oil/Mobil 1 filter deal for 29.95 right now.
 
Messages
134
Location
Wi
I usually use Mobil 1 or PP but recently used semi syn Maxlife in my wifes MDX and it is working great. She had what I would consider piston slap and it really quieted down the engine. It is running smoother then ever. I also tried it in my sons 99 Olds aurora and it is working out really nice. His engine does not burn any oil at all which is very common for that V8 engine. I am starting to REALLY become a fan of the Maxlife oils and the semi syn is very affordable. That is coming from a guy that has ALWAYs purchased full syn oils. I would try one run of the 5W30 semi syn Maxlife and see how it works for you. Good luck.
 
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Messages
14,013
Location
Retired | Wausau, WI
 Originally Posted By: Johnny
(For your peace of mind) if you are going back to 3K changes, try Pennzoil 5W-30 in the yellow bottle and your favorite filter. WIX, Purolator, what ever you like. to BITOG
This original recommendation was based on two comments; 1) want to save some money, and 2) doing 3K oil changes for peace of mind. If you are going to do 5K+ oil changes and you want to stay with a synthetic oil, skies the limit. Pick your favorite brand and have at it. I would disagree with my friend Pablo on one thing, the Amsoil XL series oils are synthetics, just made with Group III base stocks instead of mostly PAO.
 

Midwestspecial

Thread starter
Messages
24
Location
South Bend, IN
hmmm a synthetic blend might be a good try. it will be ok for me to go from this Amsoil to a sythetic blend? Pable said the Amsoil XL was not a "true sythetic," although ive never heard that before. Thanks johhny for the replies. I see where you are at. I'm going to check out the Pennzoil oils today too. I can't wait till my lunch break!
 
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Messages
47,527
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
I did not want to have that "argument" in your thread - Group III base oils are pretty darn good and many have some properties close to true synthetics, BUT they are not purely synthesized. They just aren't. They are changed (a LOT) in processing, and some people/groups call these processes synthesizing - - they are highly treated petroleum oil - They are not all the same. Let's just leave it at that. The REASON I bring it up - you seem (in your thread title) to be condeming Amsoil. It has since become clear that you really didn't know you were not using one of Amsoil's true synthetic oils. Also - people are now recommending increased viscosity oils. Well if you open it up to that.........recommendations obviously change, but comparisons hardly seem fair. You should try a run of Amsoil 5W-40 DEO.
 
Messages
2,804
Location
NJ
 Originally Posted By: Pablo
It sounds arrogant indeed. A slap without the facts, but no biggie. Also, the Amsoil filter, while it has proprietary media, is more than likely made by Wix as well. So if the ADBV was contributing to the noise, then you really didn't change anything. Yes piston slap can be quieted somewhat by a more viscous oil.
I was going to state it might be the filter but typically Amsoil/Wix filters are high quality. What you could try to do is just swap the filter out for a Mobil 1 filter and see if it helps any. Just top off and if it still happens you can just drain the filter and oil and reuse the filter since it would only have a few miles on it.
 
Messages
14,013
Location
Retired | Wausau, WI
I personally think very highly of the Amsoil EaO filters. That and the EaA filters are all I use. My three favorite Amsoil motor oils are: SSO 0W-30 ATM 10W-30 and one of my all time favorites AMO 10W-40 Actually, you might want to give the SSO 0W-30 a try. It's a darn good oil.
 
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