What oil should i use?

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6
Location
usa
I own a small courier service.I have two Dodge Caravans a '91 with 186k miles and a '93 with 197k miles.They both run about 800 to 1200 miles a week 90 % at 75 mph +.They only use about a quart every 1500 miles so i think the engines are in good shape.I have been using Shell oil with a Purolater filter,but have used ohter oils.I try to buy oil that is around a dollar(us) a quart.I have no brand loyalty,just a buck a quart is all i have cared about.Is shell oil any good?Is there better for the price?Thanks in advance for any help.Oh by the way i live in Colorado where temps go from 100 degress to 10 below zero F.
 
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3,346
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
quote:
Originally posted by bruce: They only use about a quart every 1500 miles so i think the engines are in good shape.
Hmm you think a quart every 1500 miles is good? Mine uses less than a quart every 10,000. Sounds to me like you would be a good candidate for Auto-RX? Also I don't know what base stock shell is using, Didn't they have a fire and ice oil out a couple of years ago? Hmmmm.
 
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14,013
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Retired | Wausau, WI
Auto-RX sounds like something you should try. Sure would not hurt anything. Shell uses Group II base stock. It's now called Formula Shell unless you are using the Rotella T.
 
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194
Location
Roxboro, NC
look at what Bruce said... "I try to buy oil that is around a dollar(us) a quart." If he is switching brands to what ever is around a dollar then be might be having some additive clash that could be causing oil consumption in 1500 miles. Bruce, I think you should stay with the same brand of oil, it should help, and like the others said, maybe you need to purge your engines! just my thoughts. David [Roll Eyes] [ August 05, 2002, 10:05 PM: Message edited by: David ]
 
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3,693
Location
Chattanooga, TN
I woudl stick with what you are doing. However, for future vans seriosuly consider going to a synthetic or Schaeffers blend with extended drains. In a business like yours down time is a factor and extended drains will save you time and money in your business. Cheap sometimes does not mean cost effective.
 
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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
I think Spector made the case the best. If your business vehicles need to be on the road making you money instead of in the shop being repaired or maintained, then consider using a good synthetic or synthetic blend. The discussion on the rest of this site is what this is all about. I'm not a fan of the mass-market synthetics that are easily found on store shelves. Extended drains are where barrier additives come into effect and all API-approved oils are somewhat suspect in this regard. At the very least you could try an extended mileage oil like Pennzoil High Mileage Formula which is probably the best in this new niche: Group II+ oil boosted with esters and extra barrier anti-wear additives. All this for about $2 per quart. If I were you, I would switch all my vehicles over to this stuff today. 10W30 would not be a bad weight choice throughout your temp range ... although I would make an effort to find 5W30 for the winter. Changing weights seasonally within the same type/brand is OK. http://www.pennzoil.com/penn/products/car_truck/pdfs/motor_oil/HighMileageVehicle.pdf As others pointed out, buying the cheapest oil available means switching often and that could cause some additive clash eventually. I'm not sure how destructive this could be (my guess is not terribly) but it adds a lot of variables to any engine-condition diagnosing exercise. I agree with others that 1 quart in 1,500 miles is an engine with problems ... or at last significant wear. Maybe this is OK with you but my '95 Honda Civic 1.5L will go 7,000+ miles (at 80+mph at times) on Red Line oil and will not need a drop of top-off oil between changes. This is at nearly 122,000 miles. [Big Grin] When using a cheaper oil, don't forget the added expense of topping off the crankcase more frequently. A bargain is not always a bargain when all the dust settles and the chips are counted. Also, what drain intervals are you using for these vehicles? [Confused] --- Bror Jace
 

bruce

Thread starter
Messages
6
Location
usa
All this is very interesting.I thought one qt every 1500 miles or so was pretty good ,considering that with mileage close to 200k miles that some of it was due to minor leaks.I try to change the oil as close to 3k miles but sometimes the 3k mark is only 2 to 3 WEEKS so i let it go to 4 or 5 k miles.As far as auto rx is concerned,this is an engine flush right? I had always thought and read that you should not flush a high mileage engine.I dont think it is very dirty,the oil now has 2500k miles on it,2 weeks old,and is still just light tan in color.What the best change schedule ,oil brand and filter do you think i should be on?I also have heard that switching a high miler like mine to synthetic will cause leaks due to the better cleaning abilities.All this is pretty new to me,i always just bought a brand name oil and filter(no frams)and motored off into the sunset,maybe ignorance is bliss LOL.
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Auto Rx is an engine cleaner, but don't confuse it with the typical flushes, which are dangerous on high mileage engines. Those other flushes contain solvents which dislodge large pieces of sludge which can clog oil passages. Auto Rx cleans slowly over a 500 mile interval and breaks down the dirt into very very small pieces that are safely carried into the oil filter and trapped there.
 
Messages
485
Location
Montgomery, AL
quote:
Originally posted by Bror Jace: 10W30 would not be a bad weight choice throughout your temp range ... although I would make an effort to find 5W30 for the winter. Changing weights seasonally within the same type/brand is OK. [URL=Pennzoil high mileage I agree with others that 1 quart in 1,500 miles is an engine with problems ... or at last significant wear. Maybe this is OK with you but my '95 Honda Civic 1.5L will go 7,000+ miles (at 80+mph at times) on Red Line oil and will not need a drop of top-off oil between changes. This is at nearly 122,000 miles. [Big Grin] When using a cheaper oil, don't forget the added expense of topping off the crankcase more frequently. A bargain is not always a bargain when all the dust settles and the chips are counted. Also, what drain intervals are you using for these vehicles? [Confused] --- Bror Jace
Bruce -- Might as well add my 2 cents worth. The pennzoil is also good because it is ever so slightly thicker than both cheaper and even quality competitor oils. This should help with oil consumption if its in the piston ring area. Pennzoil, because it is high qauality, will not thin out like some cheaper alternatives. Also, if your consumption is from the piston area, don't switch to M1 5w30. It is thinner and you will eat more oil. Sidenote, if temps allow stay with a 10w30. A 5w30 will almost always be thinner. Disclaimer--you may have a different problem, though AutoRx does a great job at cleaning the engine safely/slowly but you have to take it out after about 500 miles. The owner of the company will also personally tailor the treatment for you. I left mine in 1K, but I had a pretty clean engine to start with. [ August 07, 2002, 06:10 PM: Message edited by: jjbula ]
 
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5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
Bruce, Well, if you are going to be using whatever’s on sale, at least you are trying to change it frequently. [Smile] Leaking with synthetics is not the problem it used to be but I still find engines prone to leaking (or ALREADY leaking) will often have greater problems with most PAO-based (traditional) synthetics. So, for the record, I wouldn’t use any of them … except the outrageously expensive, polyol-based Red Line. But, I can’t imagine you are contemplating this as it is $8 per quart. [Eek!] I didn’t say it before but I think the Purolator filters (even their cheapest) are probably fine for short-ish intervals. Just stay away from Fram filters as a general rule … and you already knew this. I think Patman is right about AutoRX being a very different type of engine cleaner. I would not in a hundred years contemplating using an old style kerosene/solvent type cleaner in any car … new or used. Still, I’m not exactly a fan of AutoRX either. For high-mileage vehicles I’d merely leave any minor accumulation where it is. Using the same drain intervals, I’d just pick a slightly better oil (the aforementioned Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle formula is a good place to start) and see what effect that has on consumption after about 6 months of use. As for that consumption, 1 quart in 3,000 miles is considered "normal" for most cars but I still think that’s a load of bull. [Mad] With a well engineered and manufactured engine filled with modern, low-volatility oils, I don’t think engines should require a bit of top-off oil if using 3,000 mile drain intervals. Once they approach 60K-80K they should begin to consume some oil but 1 quart in 1,500 still seems quite high to me. Johnny, Well, Pennzoil is winning among the major brands in my book because of a number of reasons, one of them being default: Castrol – Sleazy and their practices have essentially ruined the synthetics market … at least the mass-market synthetics. I used to use this stuff … repeat: USED TO use it. [Mad] Valvoline – I feel as though they’ve out-and-out lied to me about their formulas … and for a short while, I passed those lies on to others as "facts." Their oils are merely "OK" but I CERTAINLY no longer recommend Max-Life anymore. [Roll Eyes] Mobil – Based on the experience with my car, I no longer buy the hype of Mobil 1 and so, I have no use for anything from this company as long as there are better alternatives available. Chevron – Good, but availability and/or product line is very limited. Along with these cases, I previously bought into the myths that Pennzoil was a paraffin-heavy formula that tended to leave a waxy residue over time AND I felt that the newer formula’s high detergent ability might come at the expense of protection. Now I know it’s because you guys were the first of the big boys to employ a Group II+ base. So, I’m sorta making up for past sins. [Wink] Lastly, I’d hate for you (Johnny) to have to sell your children to gypsies in order to make the next month’s mortgage payment. Us racing-addicted, angry marketing types need to stick together. [Wink] --- Bror Jace "I was a patriot before being a patriot was cool." [Patriot]
 
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