You guys have made me paranoid!

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Mar 27, 2003
Toronto, Ontario
You guys have made me paranoid! This is my first time posting on this site. I discovered this site a week ago and have been studying the forum. I never gave lubrication much thought before I found I have a 1991 Ford Escort 1.9l with 205,000 Km on it. Basically I see it as a longevity project. Going to keep it running for a long time. In the past my oil change regiment has always been change oil and filter two or three times a year. I switched a couple of years ago to the synthetic blend (5W-30) because it cost only marginally more than regular oil. This weekend I thought I would have a closer look at my engine. It doesn’t consume any oil that I am aware off. The oil remains pretty clear for much of the time it is in the engine. I pulled the cam cover off the engine and noted that there appeared to be some sludge and caked on deposits on it. This surprised me and I removed the crud on the cover with Simple Green and Easy Off. I also purchased a compression tester and got equal compression in each cylinder of 150psi - pretty good I think. The thing is I have never had a problem with any engine I have ever owned. I asked around my friends and family and got the same answer. Most major trouble has been with transmissions. My car got a quality rebuilt automatic transmission at 140K Km. I had changed the ATF and filter as the manual had suggested and it still went bad. I have been looking around for higher quality product in my area (Toronto). The problem I have is that full synthetics are three times the price and the cost of shipping/taxes/US exchange for specialty products like AMSOIL and Auto RX make them too expensive. I didn’t see much variety at the stores I visited either. I could only find Fram oil filters and have only read criticism of them. If I thought by switching to the high priced synthetics it would absolutely guarantee that I would never have anymore problems with my engine or transmission I would. But I don’t see that happening. So what I am asking is what is the best low cost, readily available products - Filters, ATF, Oil. Engine Cleaning Product - I should be using?
Welcome What oil and filter were you using? I have been very happy with Chevron/Havoline brands. On this forum blends are not recommended often. Most will say go for the full synthetic.
I say Puralator pure one oil filter, Mobil 1 or Motorcraft Oil (Autozone carries it, good stuff) and a two bottles of Rx. After the Rx treatment, run a maintenance dose and you should be fine. I thought the same as I ran synthetic most of the cars life and the engine is still dirty inside. Terry always makes the point that synthetic oil can only do so much in terms of cleaning and he is absolutely right. Motorcraft oil is as good it seems as Amsoil's XL line, which for the first time I saw at a Mobil Gas station. The bottles sat right next to Mobil 1....but cost $6.29 per qt. They can probably afford to do that bc they are the only company to state drain intervals on the bottles and people like to see that don't know any better. I was just talking with a friend who runs AMsoil's 5w-20 oil, hydrocracked group III and he is going back to Motorcraft 5w-20 bc it's only 1.99 qt and specs are similar. I'd go with Motorcraft if your going the synthetic/blend way otherwise stick with a good Castrol (regular and run the Rx dose with it). [ March 28, 2003, 11:27 AM: Message edited by: buster ]
Paranoid, hell everyone here is OCD. [freaknout] Can't remember whether I said it here or Edmunds in the last few days, but I've had about 25 cars and only three of them crapped out with any kind of engine related problem. One was a Corvair, one a Plymouth Arrow that I overheated, and the third was a Dodge Caravan that had the famous self-destructing valve guides. Doubtful if any of them would have lasted any more had I put in Mobil 1. I haven't had many cars with automatic transmissions but believe that this is a significantly greater cause of car death than engines are. When Quaker State was guaranteeing engines for hundreds of thousands of miles from oil related repairs if the owner religiously changed oil with QS they were probably on very safe statistical ground. Just for the record, the thought among a lot of posters is that blends (since they have less than 10% synthetic) are not the best deal. I think you'd be better off buying three quarts of dino and one of synthetic. I, for one, think the idea of additive clash is over stated, although some might warn you not to mix brands. Comments about Chevron/Havoline oils being good for the money are probably right on. I noticed some group IV Havoline for sale here at a very good price last week. However, if you change oil about every four thousand miles with any SL oil, chances are that something else is going to make you throw that Escort away rather than engine failure. [ March 28, 2003, 11:33 AM: Message edited by: csandste ]
Originally posted by asenna: So what I am asking is what is the best low cost, readily available products - Filters, ATF, Oil. Engine Cleaning Product - I should be using?
It doesn't really matter. Change the fluids and filters on a regular basis and be happy. Don't forget brake fluid. If one fluid makes a big difference in performance, it's brake fluid. (edit: for motorcycles anyway) [ March 28, 2003, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: satterfi ]
It's true, most of this is all over kill, but it depends on how often you change the fluids. If you follow short intervals like 3k mile oil changes, you can use anything and be fine. I really think the Motorcraft line of oil is the best bang for the buck right now in oil. At 1.99 qt., it's a synthetic blend. Castrol is 4.49 and M1 the only full syth. is $5 on average.
With the mileage that you have on your engine I would not change anything. Just keep it up and wait until it develops a life threatening disease. transmissions are probably the weakest link in the longevity of any vehicle. Service them as required and as you experienced, they still go.
I’m with the others here for your application. If I were in your shoes, I’d probably run Chevron 10W-30 and change it frequently. I would try to source out a Wix filter (Napa or Carquest), as they are one of the very best filters on the market, available most everywhere, and are not too costly (about $5 US). I fully support the statements made about doing a regimen of Auto-RX, and then some maintenance doses. For the Transmission, I highly encourage you to, at your next fluid and filter change interval, add a bottle of Lube Gard transmission treatment. Lube Gard is a bio based liquid wax ester that significantly increases the oxidation stability of transmission fluid, and removes existing and prevents deposit formation. Not snake oil, a legit product. You can check it out at we do not allow links to other sites sales pages that are not site supporters The brake fluid, as mentioned by others is equally critical (maybe more so sense it is you most important safety feature). The very easiest way to flush your brake system is with a Motive Products Power Bleeder. The product is so good that the proceedure to power bleed the brake is almost too easy. Good luck. [ March 29, 2003, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: BOBISTHEOILGUY ]
Thanks for the great feedback. Coolant and brake flush - done! My shopping list now includes: Castrol GTX NAPA Gold Filters Lube Guard Auto-RX when I win the lottery. Mostly chosen due to availability and cost. I looked for the German Castrol Syntec at Walmart they had none. Question: Best ATF? Are the Fram air filters sold at Walmart any good? They look slightly better than the Canadian Tire filters (also made by Fram)?
Why not arrange to buy your Auto-rx sometime when you are going to be in the States? Almost everyone I know has Canadian friends in the US and/or US friends in Canada. [Patriot] [Canada] Uh-OH! Now I'm gonna' be in serious trouble with the NAFTA crowd, huh? [Eek!]
asenna Cleaning: Auto-Rx is pricey, but you only need to use it every 50k km or so. Alternately, contact Patman...maybe he knows someone north of the border who'll split a case of Schaeffer's Neutra with you. Either product will remove that sludge you saw completely and safely. Patman is also the guy to contact about filters. What brands of reasonably priced oil are available in your area? Chevron? Castrol? Pennzoil? All are excellent, as are a few others. For your transmission, I'm a believer in in-line filters. Magnefine and SPXFiltran are two brands, although they're often rebranded when sold in auto parts stores. I think that either will add to the life of a transmission. They're kinda pricey, but cheap if they work. Don't forget biannual flushing of your cooling system. With the different metals used in modern vehicles engines and radiators, electrolytic corrosion is a much bigger problem than just clogging with rust. If your tap water has a high mineral content, use distilled water to mix with the antifreeze to avoid the possibility of a precipitate that will eventually clog your radiator. Ken [ March 28, 2003, 12:25 PM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]
Welcome fellow Torontonian! For your oil filter choice, I suggest going with the Carquest premium, they are found at Carquest stores (which are everywhere up here, you just need to look for them, as they are usually tucked away where you never realized) and these filters are the same as Wix and NAPA Gold. Very good and only $8 to $11 CDN. For oil, it depends on how much you want to spend. All of the major synthetics are available here, it depends on how hard you look. The only one which is financially not worth it here, is Redline, as the cheapest price I have found is $15 per quart. It's a great oil, but $15 is insane. Schaeffer oil is very good, and can be mail ordered from Saskatchewan, but you may not want to go that route. It ends up costing about $8 per quart with the shipping costs. This oil is a blend which outperforms many full synthetics, such as Mobil 1. Amsoil is readily available up here, but you have to buy it through private individuals. It's about $9 per quart. My suggestion to you if you want to go synthetic, go to Walmart and look for the 0w30 Castrol Syntec with the red labelling on it, the one which says made in Germany on the back. This stuff is Castrol Formula SLX oil, repackaged for Canada. It's $6.66 per liter, less than Mobil 1 (which is $7.12 per liter) If you plan on sticking with 5000km intervals, then just stick with conventional oil. If your engine doesn't burn much oil, go with Castrol GTX or Pennzoil. If it does burn a bit, try out Castrol GTX High Mileage oil. Canadian Tire sells it for $4 per liter, or $3 per liter when it's on sale. In the wintertime I suggest Pennzoil though, it flows much better than GTX.
The Fram air filters are excellent! Oil analysis on my wife's car with this filter shows very low dirt getting into the oil.
.......205k!!....That's more miles than I've driven accumulatively since I got my licence I think!! Ha Ha!! I wouldn't be too concerned with making any significant changes to your practices at this point. It seems to be working for you. How much more longevity can be expected out of this 4 cyl anyway? You deserve a new car maybe...yes? Keep doing what you're doing, and if it quits on you then you can decide whether it is worth fixing or just turn it upside down in your front yard and plant flowers in it!!
205,000 Kilometers or 137 000 Miles. I have never had a car go nearly as long. I junked my last car a '85 horizon when it had about 160,000 KM on it. When I was out West I met people with cars with 400,000+ KM on them. I thought let's see how long I can keep this one going. I don't mine spending a couple of hundred every few months to fix something - and I do the work myself - because it is a lot cheaper than new car payments, and I can put the money into something worthwhile like my house.
Paranoid, hell everyone here is OCD.
Yes....but oil is THE LIFE BLOOD OF THE CAR!!! [Razz] So, we are really the equivelant of slef-taight doctors...performing much-needed blood transfusions....we really should be more respected. We're saving cars!! But seriously, if any of my friends knew how obscesed I am with oil.....I'd be a laughingstock....we all would!!! [Patriot] But here, all of us freaks [Happy] can be friends.....we can sing camp songs around the fire...while reciting our favortie UOA's. It just chokes me up sometimes..... [bowdown]
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