What oil to run in the Aerostar next?

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Oct 22, 2003
By Detroit
The van is a '92 3.0L V6 Aerostar. It has 109,000 miles on it. It's last two OCIs have been synthetic (Synpower 1800 miles and NAPA 4000 miles). Prior to that it was years of Durablend. The NAPA has been in there since Feb 4 and is at 3600 miles now and included half a quart of Redline at the onset of the OCI. The oil change would be around the end of August. The van uses a quart about every 1300 miles and seems to "prefer" something a bit thicker than the average 10w30. Here are the possibilites I am considering (all in my stash): 1) Maxlife Synthetic 10w30 (SL) 2) Citgo Ultralife 10w30 (SL) 3) Redline 10w30 4) Redline 5w20 5) Pennzoil Platinum 10w30 (SM) 6) Havoline Synthetic 5w30 (SJ and SL) I probably would thicken up #5 or #6 with half a bottle Valvoline Synpower Oil Treatment. The Maxlife Synth and Citgo Ultralife already are thick enough. I am actually itching to try the Redline 10w30 in it, but wondered if it would take the Redline 5w20. Oil pressure on a 11.5 cSt 10w30 is around 40-42 psi hot at 2500 rpm (also at 2000) and around 13 psi hot at 700 rpm. Spec is 40 - 60 psi at 2500. So I think the 20 weight might be a bit too thin for it, though the HTHS is probably what really matters, right? The 5w20 has an HTHS of 3.3 and the 10w30 is 3.8. Or maybe a mixture of 5w20 and 10w30? Also, it handles Detroit winter starts fine on 10w30.
No reason to change with those low miles combined with (2) relatively new quarts of make-up oil added. Run this for another two months (mid October). Your next OC will take you thru the Detroit winter. I suggest the Red Line next all by itself. Save the VSOT for the Havoline & Citgo. Red Line really protects well... even as thin as the 5-20. I like your idea of mixing your two RLs evenly (50-50). I'll bet your mileage goes up & your consumption goes down.
I'm kinda leaning wht 3x7 here on the RL ..solo. I would probably go 50:50 on the mix (or 3 5w-20 and 2 10w-30 for 5 quarts). I think you will still be a 30 weight. If it were mine, I would run the 5w-20 ..but I like to buck convention every step of the way. So far 5w-20 in my Caravan is doing great. No consumption (now that I have new gaskets and seals) and decent pressure at highway speeds ..even @ 200F oil temp. I too would wait long enough so that you don't have to change it mid winter.
My suggestion unfortunately won't scratch your Redline itch... Since your Aerostar likes oils that are a bit thicker, and it does consume oil, why not give Syntec 5w-50 a try and forego any added oil treatments? This Syntec meets cold-crank specs in the ever-so-warm Detroit winters and will help fight against consumption.
Good! I think I will try the Redline. I have 5 qts 10w30, 5 qts 5w20, and 1.5 qts 10w40. If I mix the 1.5 10w40 with 3 5w20w (4.5 qt capacity) it will be the same viscosity as a straight fill of the 10w30. Uh, the 5w50 is way out, not just a bit thicker. Maybe a 5w40 Synpower if I had it in my stash, but I think even 40 weight (14 cSt at 100C) is a tad too thick. I upped things to a 40 weight once with a lot of Synpower and it seemed sluggish, but maybe it would have smoothed out over time, but I really did not keep it in long enough to see. And yeah, I can run it out to 5000 miles (approx. end of Oct). I forgot to factor the top up refreshing things. Got anxious on the miles. Don't know why as the Maxlife in my motohome has been in there 10 months now (but only 2600 miles). Thanks.
I notice-too that as my stash of oils gets bigger, I want to change it more often... especially if my consumption issue with my minivan hasn't improved.... which it hasn't. I'm about done with the Maxlife tryout. That one didn't help. I've tried them-all except Conoco Oils. Murrays had quarts of Kendall/Conoco syn'blend high mileage for $1.79. That's going in next. So far, Castrol seems to work the best in this 94' 2.5 V4 Caravan with 170K..... followed by Havoline. Maybe someday, I'll mix-em & see what happens.
TallPaul - We had a 3.0L Aerostar. It had 202K miles on it when we sold it. We switched to 10w40 and it slowed the consumption to just under a quart every 3000 miles. A 10w40 will not hurt that engine.
Originally posted by JeepZJ4.0: TallPaul - We had a 3.0L Aerostar. It had 202K miles on it when we sold it. We switched to 10w40 and it slowed the consumption to just under a quart every 3000 miles. A 10w40 will not hurt that engine.
If the Redline OCI does not cut the consumption (for future non-Redline OCIs) then I will try upping the viscosity. Instead of 10w40, I'll first try Maxlife Synthetic (11.5 cSt) with half a bottle Synpower Oil Treatment (prob. 12.5 - 12.8 cSt, which is pushing into the 10w40 range).
So far I have put 4500 miles on the Redline in a bit over 9 months. It is consuming at the rate of one quart every 1300 miles, which is a sad way to run Redline. What to do? I want to run this stuff for 18 month total OCI which would be about 9000 miles, but I will run out of Redline by 6500 miles. I can switch over and run Pennzoil SL Synthetic for the rest of the top ups after my last 1.5 quarts of Redline are gone. With the high consumption, I should be okay for 18 months as the additives will continue to be topped up (may boost the Pennzoil with SLOB). Running a Maxlife FL1A sized (over sized on Aerostar 3.0, which takes FL400) filter. Think the filter is good for the whole 9K?
A qt every 1300 miles? I would run to Walmart and get Tropartic dino or blend. I ran the blend in my work Aerostars w/ 4.0L (some with over 200,000 miles) and they ran well. Good oil at a good price.
Yeah, maybe I should get a barrel of bulk oil, eh? I remember my grandfather wouldn't even check the dipstick on his '63 Chevy Biscayne inline six, but would pour a quantity of oil from a gallon can of Montgomery Ward oil into the thing, fire it up, and drive off. If nothing else the Redline should have cleaned the engine out pretty good.
I had that same itch to try Redline, satisfied it, and remain happy with the choice. But a qt. every 1.3k would seriously make me rethink it. I might have to solve the consumption issue before spending that much money, or at the least, see if I could reduce consumption to 1/2 what you have. 2 cents for what it's worth.
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