Why Is Europe Using 5w-40 Oils So Much?....

Messages
922
Location
Ontario , Canada
The more I see European info the more 5w-40 oil vis. I see used on vehicles. Why are they promoting this so much ?. Their weather/climatic conditions don't vary any differently than parts of N. America. Where we get oil recommendations like 5w-20 and our dealers go all nuts on you if you suggest even 10w-30 to them (on my Honda k20 engine) European manufacturers and dealrs all talk about 5w-40 on the same engine, even in England where it doesnt heat up very much. Doesn't make any sense, confuses me. So what do you guys think of 5w-40 oil ?, in almost all cases this is a synthetic oil that is used at that vis.. Does anyone recommend this oil ?. The Havoline specs look pretty amazing on it, can be used in almost all situations I think. Any responses would be appreciated. thanks
 
Messages
3,346
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
quote:
Originally posted by JSIR: The more I see European info the more 5w-40 oil vis. I see used on vehicles. Why are they promoting this so much ?. Their weather/climatic conditions don't vary any differently than parts of N. America. Where we get oil recommendations like 5w-20 and our dealers go all nuts on you if you suggest even 10w-30 to them (on my Honda k20 engine) European manufacturers and dealrs all talk about 5w-40 on the same engine, even in England where it doesnt heat up very much. Doesn't make any sense, confuses me. So what do you guys think of 5w-40 oil ?, in almost all cases this is a synthetic oil that is used at that vis.. Does anyone recommend this oil ?. The Havoline specs look pretty amazing on it, can be used in almost all situations I think. Any responses would be appreciated. thanks
Maybe becuase europe is about 10 years ahead of the API as fars as promoting quality oils. Also becuase cars over there generally drive faster. Higher speeds stress oils more so they need a higher HT/HS Vis usually over 3.5 for most high performance oils. Read this and see if it makes sense: http://www.audiworld.com/tech/eng14.shtml
 

Al

Messages
19,162
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
They probably have no CAFEs either. The market place takes care of that. That is they pay more for gas because the gov taxes it and then spends it on mass trans. They go longer intervals, so they need something that does not shear down. Bottom line (IMHO) they use the oil that provides for the max protection for their cars. I could be wrong though. Their engines may have all different clearances than ours. [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
No CAFE simple as that. 20/30 wt oils are for fuel economy period. If you have a 'throw away' vehicle like most in the US then those viscosities are fine. If you want a 'keeper' then get a real oil!
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
I tend to think that the viscosities recommended for motorcycles are more in line with what a car engine really needs. 10w40, 15w40, 15w50, 20w50. 10w30 is only recommended in my Japanese bikes when ambient temperature are a bit low, like -10F to 70F max.
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by sprintman: No CAFE simple as that. 20/30 wt oils are for fuel economy period. If you have a 'throw away' vehicle like most in the US then those viscosities are fine. If you want a 'keeper' then get a real oil!
What's wrong with good ole 10w30? American cars have been able to run hundreds of thousands of miles on this viscosity for years. I personally think 10w30 works perfectly fine and will be able to keep an engine lasting very long if you choose the right brand.
 
Messages
349
Location
Quebec, Canada
quote:
No CAFE simple as that. 20/30 wt oils are for fuel economy period. If you have a 'throw away' vehicle like most in the US then those viscosities are fine. If you want a 'keeper' then get a real oil!
So, Sprintman, are you saying using a 40wt oil like 10W40 or 5W40 is still good for vehicles rated for 5W30 or 10W30 - regardless of driving conditions? I'm not sure if Oz Land has higher speed limits, but North America is pretty lame on that. Regards, Oz
 
Messages
903
Location
CA
My Honda Civic CRX turns 4,100 rpm at 80mph(5th gear). I don't use the recommended 5w-30 oil. It's been M1 15w50 for 194k miles. It never gets too cold here though. If it did, I'd use a syn 10w40.
 

geo

Messages
62
Location
USA
5W-40 is called for in many European engines because it "traditionally" has been the thinnest oil that meets ACEA A2 and A3 sequences (or the older CCMC G4 G5). European auto manufacturers (VW/Audi, MB, BMW, Porsche, Volvo) also have their own OEM specifications that surpass ACEA sequences. Audi, e.g., specifies VW 500, 501, or 502 spec oils in most of their pre-2000 engines. Some newer European engines have been designed to operate with low friction and extended drain oil (ACEA A5) or with low-friction oil (ACEA A1). Some post-2000 Audi engines require VW 503 (ACEA A5+) 0W-30 or 0W-40 synthetic oils. Pentosin Pentosynth, LubroMoly, and Castrol SLX synthetic oils are favored in Audi circles. Standard fill in European Audis is Castrol SLX (not be confused with the inferior Syntec). BMW recommends Castrol RS 10w-60 synthetic for the M5 V8 before 3/00, and BMW 5W-30 synthetic oil after 3/00. BMW recommends 5W-30 synthetic oil for their S54 I-6 engine and 15W-40 mineral oil for their S52 I-6 engine. European oil selection is based on the manufacturer's engine design and therefore it is prudent to follow the manufacturer's recommendation. IMO, consult the European owner's manuals and ignore the US (CAFE) recommendations. [Patriot] [ August 06, 2002, 05:55 PM: Message edited by: geo ]
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
The_Oz we buy many vehicles here that you have or with exactly the same engines you have in US or Canada say. If not delivered with a US owners manual do you think they reccommend X/30W??? Of course not. See the post about export Blazer and oil viscosity reccommended in that owners manual (hint it wasn't X/30). Thats for US CAFE stds which just don't apply here or anywhere else for that matter. We want engines that last. I've owned many Ford Cleveland V8 engined vehicles and one w/Chev 350 SB and 20W50 was in the owners handbook for all of them.
 
Messages
153
Location
indpls, in
I agree CAFE has everything to do with 5w20-30 oils US oils. One other thing to consider is that generally speaking, most European engines rev higher per a given MPH than American made engines. Obviously, on some roads they travel at higher speeds than we do. I guess sustained 95+mph is not unusual. Here in the States, it's hard to maintain 80 mph. In my car i turn 1900 rpms at 80. I don't know the impact of those European engines running around w/ the light US spec oils, but I don't here of BMW, Audi, M/B etc engines failing regularly here. [Smile] Do Japanese cars in Europe run the 40 wt oils ?
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,597
Location
Iowegia - USA
I read a paper recently (can't remember whre I put it) that said European car engines are going to be running much hotter than current engines, hence the move to higher viscosity oils, and they felt the 5W40 was the best compromise between mpg and engine longevity.
 
Messages
349
Location
Quebec, Canada
quote:
The_Oz we buy many vehicles here that you have or with exactly the same engines you have in US or Canada say. If not delivered with a US owners manual do you think they reccommend X/30W??? Of course not. See the post about export Blazer and oil viscosity reccommended in that owners manual (hint it wasn't X/30). Thats for US CAFE stds which just don't apply here or anywhere else for that matter. We want engines that last. I've owned many Ford Cleveland V8 engined vehicles and one w/Chev 350 SB and 20W50 was in the owners handbook for all of them.
I think we both forgot to mention weather factors. I know that Oz Land has a winter season - I'm just curious though as to how cold does it get. I think Sydney rarely gets snow from what I've been told (if memory serves me right [Duh!] ) Regards, Oz
 
Messages
11,006
Location
Canberra ACT Australia
No snow in Sydney but here in the capital (Canberra) some 260kms from Sydney and 2000 ft above sea level we occasionally get snow. Snowy Mountains (how original) about 2hrs drive away. Also I'll bet if you look back at any owners manual from an older US vehicle pre CAFE, X/30 won't be there. Just a guess but it probably came in around the time CAFE reared it's ugly head? Somebody care to comment?
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by Ghillie: I was wondering this myself and found the question I was wanting to ask. Do U fellas still feel the same way now? 2yrs later?
Actually, what you are seeing as factory fill in Europe now is 0w40, 0w30, and 5w30 synthetics.
 
Messages
9,448
Location
USA
It has to do with engine temps and engine loads. You can not compare doing 70MPH at 1900-3000 RPMS in the USA to daoing 150MPH at 5000-8000 RPMS for sustained periods. In most cases the average engine sive in Europe is much smaller then what we see here in the United State or even North AMerica in general. You see alot more turbo charged pertrol and turbo charged diesels. You also typicaly see cars in Europe with two to four people in them and cargo. It is less common to see a car with just one person in it. If their is just one person init rest assured they have some type gear on typeor in the car. You also see a lot more light and medium armored cars. It is fairly common to see an armored BMW or Mercedes in Germany. I used to see 2-3 a week in and around Franfurt and Cologn. In Berlin you might spot a couple a day if you were looking for them. I truly belive that with the base stocks available to us currently as consumers a 5W40 represents the ultimate comprimise. You can get cold cranking and pumping numbers good enough for all but those in the artic circle. THey still provide good HTHS number in the 4-4.9 range and most have beefy additive packages! Did I mention you can run them year round. I ran some in -18F weather and it started up like it was 90F out side! [ May 16, 2004, 12:00 AM: Message edited by: JohnBrowning ]
 
Messages
23,591
quote:
The more I see European info the more 5w-40 oil vis. I see used on vehicles. Why are they promoting this so much ?. Their weather/climatic conditions don't vary any differently than parts of N. America. Where we get oil recommendations like 5w-20 and our dealers go all nuts on you if you suggest even 10w-30 to them (on my Honda k20 engine) European manufacturers and dealrs all talk about 5w-40 on the same engine, even in England where it doesnt heat up very much. Doesn't make any sense, confuses me. So what do you guys think of 5w-40 oil ?, in almost all cases this is a synthetic oil that is used at that vis.. Does anyone recommend this oil ?. The Havoline specs look pretty amazing on it, can be used in almost all situations I think. Any responses would be appreciated. thanks
1. Most new European motors don't spec 5W-40 oil, at least not exclusively 5W-40. Many newer models get away with using A2 spec oil. Some high performance engines still require 5W-40. 2. Why 5W-40 for some, especially slightly older models like my '96 Audi? Best all year round compromise for ambient temps from -20 to +40 degree C, which covers most of Central Europe. A 5W-40 will flow well enough in the winter, and it will afford proper protection at high engine load. However, see 1. 3. Europe may not have CAFE, but the trend to using increasingly A2 spec oil, low tension rings, roller cams, etc, hint at the effort of making engines more efficient. Just like with CAFE, durability is not the main concern. In Europe, prematurely worn engines are now more common than they were 10 years ago. And sludge is making a return.
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
quote:
Originally posted by moribundman: 3. Europe may not have CAFE, but the trend to using increasingly A2 spec oil, low tension rings, roller cams, etc, hint at the effort of making engines more efficient. Just like with CAFE, durability is not the main concern. In Europe, prematurely worn engines are now more common than they were 10 years ago. And sludge is making a return.
A2 is the ACEA spec for std, non-synthetic motor oil and is basically dormant. It hasn't been updated by the ACEA since 1996. A1 and A5 are the low HT/HS specs, with A5 also being an extended drain spec.
 
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