Which one for 10,000 mile OCI?

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My mom-in-law's car needs 10,000 mi OCI. It is a 1998 Chevy Malibu, 3.1 V6. She drives 10k miles in 6 months (a lot of highway miles), so I want to minimize maintenance. In an nutshell: I have been changing her oil along with mine and my wife's, every 6 months. I was stunned to learn that her car was running funny and she checked the oil--it was 3 qts down. I then learned that she had 10,500 miles on the oil! Though I will check carefully for mechanical issues and overt oil-burning, I have a hunch that the oil simply broke down so severely that it ended up being burned, as I have not noticed any leaks, and her car has done well with 5-6k mi OCI's. So, I think I need a more robust oil. I simply don't have the time to change it more often. I was thinking about using a synthetic (Valvoline, Pennzoil Platinum, whatever)and a good filter (PureOne). Edit to add: the oil weight is 5w-30, and her current mileage is about 135k. How does this strategy sound? Are there any conventionals that can withstand this service interval? Would a heavier weight (HDEO) be advisable (we do have some cold winters here)?
 
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I'd go with a good synthetic, and hope no damage was done to the engine being down 3 qts of oil. If she plans on running 10,000 mile OCI's she's going to have to be checking the oil frequently. I wouldn't use a dino oil in her car, but a good synthetic (like the ones you mentioned) kept full should work fine.
 

Loogie

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Yeah, I know...I was floored when she told me, because I have been adamant that she check the oil every couple of weeks (I usually check it when she visits, but have been busy with a baby). She said her oil light never came on. I hate idiot-lights. I forgot to mention that the last oil change was with 5w-30 Formula Shell oil--the first time I have used this oil. Thanks for the advice.
 
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If you are planning 10,000 mile OICs, I would use synthetic oil guarenteed for that distance, Mobil 1 EP 5w30 or Castrol Edge 5w30 (easy to find locally). Normal synthetic MAY go that distance, but why chance it?
 
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 Originally Posted By: Johnny
Use Valvoline synthetic in it.
Hey Johnny, I was very surprised to see you suggest Valvoline over PP. Does Valvoline have any additional benefits in this specific application?
 

Al

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I assume the Intake gaskets have been changed on this car. If not its about 100% certain that its leaking antifreeze. Do a UOA to confirm.
 
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You win the prize for being to first to notice that. What that prize is I don't know, but you win it. Here is why I said that. Car has 135K, runs 10K between oil changes, this time is was Formula Shell, do not know what was used before. Car holds 4.5 quarts of oil, oil was checked, 3 quarts low. I do not want to recommend Platinum or any other Pennzoil product for this application because someday, someone is going to look inside this engine and see this god awful mess and ask, what oil did you use, and the reply would be, Pennzoil Platinum. Well, that oil is no good, look what it did to this engine. No, please use someone else's oil for this application.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Johnny
You win the prize for being to first to notice that. What that prize is I don't know, but you win it. Here is why I said that. Car has 135K, runs 10K between oil changes, this time is was Formula Shell, do not know what was used before. Car holds 4.5 quarts of oil, oil was checked, 3 quarts low. I do not want to recommend Platinum or any other Pennzoil product for this application because someday, someone is going to look inside this engine and see this god awful mess and ask, what oil did you use, and the reply would be, Pennzoil Platinum. Well, that oil is no good, look what it did to this engine. No, please use someone else's oil for this application.
That's why I suggested Amsoil. Everybody blames Amsoil for every problem EVER. So I figured he should use an oil that is used to this sort of blame.
 
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Knowing tha it is on OUR freeways here (good ol' Michigan), I would just go with Amsoil oil and filter. If I start getting a bit busier at work myself, I might even do that....
 
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 Originally Posted By: Johnny
You win the prize for being to first to notice that. What that prize is I don't know, but you win it. Here is why I said that. Car has 135K, runs 10K between oil changes, this time is was Formula Shell, do not know what was used before. Car holds 4.5 quarts of oil, oil was checked, 3 quarts low. I do not want to recommend Platinum or any other Pennzoil product for this application because someday, someone is going to look inside this engine and see this god awful mess and ask, what oil did you use, and the reply would be, Pennzoil Platinum. Well, that oil is no good, look what it did to this engine. No, please use someone else's oil for this application.
Eh, I think it would be okay. I'm sure it has the 3.1 in it, so it should be good. My old Cavalier w/ the 3.1 ran it's whole life on QS, it it ran just fine. Once, it sprung a leak, and the Cav ended up being 2 quarts low. Still ran just fine after that, and still ran well up until I had to get rid of it. (150k on engine, maybe burned .25 of a quart between OCI) If the rust didn't kill it, it would still be going... Those 3.1s are tough little buggers.....
 
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The oil that is chosen ISN'T going to be as important as checking ther level and topping off as needed. ANY synthetic oil, with regular top-offs, will easily go 10k miles. Just buy an oil 'in quantity' when on sale, and teach/make sure your mom checks/tops off as needed. But, if you absolutely need a recommendation, I'd personally go with one of the M1 HM versions - might help consumption. They are very good, robust oils.
 
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 Originally Posted By: BUBBA0420
I am sorry but 10,000 miles is way toooooo long I know someone that tried it on a Saab Turbo with Mobil 1 and had to replace the engine.
Well thats a turbo. I have a friend that has 290,000 miles on his 2000 Taurus and counting on M1 5-30. 10,000 OCI
 
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I agree with Addyguy, any good synthetic would work fine. After all, if the car burns 3 quarts in 10k, that means she's going to be adding a new quart every 3k or so, effectively boosting the oil every time she adds a quart. But the most important thing is that she check and add oil as needed, otherwise it won't matter what kind of oil she uses. Bubba, that's not true, many have done 10k OCIs for many years with a good synthetic, even turbo owners.
 
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