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Folks, Good series of posts on this subject of oil. Always a lively discussion!

I'll chime in from the perspective of having the opportunity to consult with several of the companies that present brand- name oil, those in the silver, yellow, blue containers...One thing to keep in mind when considering what is a fact about oil, is that the product only needs to meet the rating stamped on the bottle and the API service number. So a $34 dollar bottle of API-SN plus, 0W-20 oil, will have to meet the same minimum standards as a $17 bottle. But it is true that manufacturers may use a variety of base oils and additives to meet these minimum standards. Working with a company that manufactures a particular type of additive and selling into all the majors, I understood that different manufacturers buy different formulations, different purity specs, etc. And the actual formulation is a serious trade secret. To a certain degree, you almost certainly will get what you pay for.

On the ability to evaluate the different oils, that is pretty technical and tough to do! Without a membership to the tribology division of ASME and the related publications that may address this subject, none of us will ever have anything other than anecdotal information and our own preferences and tolerances to guide us! I stick with the silver bottle and good filters and when I parked my 2003 Ody with 310K on it due to an (original) tranny issue, that engine still cranked and ran as well as any engine I ever had (except one old Volvo 4 cylinder).

On the issue of temperature ranges, keep in mind that the car is a system and where and how we run it affects a lot of the operating parameters. I am certain the engineers designed this car to run steady-state in the vast majority of climates and conditions anticipated by minivan drivers, accounting for some accumulation of bugs ;-). If you track your data using an OBDII sensor, you will run for a long time without changing coolant temperature much. Certainly, the heat generated and transmitted into the engine oil and transmission fluid will fluctuate, but the coolant system will remove that heat as designed, and strive to keep the system at equilibrium and within specs. Higher stresses will result in higher temperatures and loads on the system, including the lubricants. That's why at least older cars had different specs for "severe service" conditions. Not sure if this 2011 Ody I have has that.

A long time ago, someone advised me that the narrower the range of the oil weights (5-20 vs 10-50) the fewer additives needed in the package. I don't think that is based on factual knowledge, as the additive package in motor oil can run up to 30% by volume, and those additives do all kinds of things, in addition to controlling viscosity.

My 2 cents, worth price charged....
 

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I have been using 0w20 in my '03 for several years now. I have just over 200k miles on it and usually change the oil and filter around 5-6k miles or more. Includes some long hot drives on the Interstate from CO to IL in Jul and Aug. I have not had to add any oil between changes and the reason I went to 0w20 was because I only put on around 7-8k miles on it a year and it gets damn cold in the mountains of CO during the winter. Cold startups are supposed to cause the most engine wear so oil getting to where it is supposed to go in the first seconds or or so sounds like the way to go.
Buffalo4
PS: I also use my Ultra-Gauge for real time readouts while I drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
[/QUOTE]
@pdes
Folks, Good series of posts on this subject of oil. Always a lively discussion!

I'll chime in from the perspective of having the opportunity to consult with several of the companies that present brand- name oil, those in the silver, yellow, blue containers...One thing to keep in mind when considering what is a fact about oil, is that the product only needs to meet the rating stamped on the bottle and the API service number. So a $34 dollar bottle of API-SN plus, 0W-20 oil, will have to meet the same minimum standards as a $17 bottle. But it is true that manufacturers may use a variety of base oils and additives to meet these minimum standards. Working with a company that manufactures a particular type of additive and selling into all the majors, I understood that different manufacturers buy different formulations, different purity specs, etc. And the actual formulation is a serious trade secret. To a certain degree, you almost certainly will get what you pay for.

On the ability to evaluate the different oils, that is pretty technical and tough to do! Without a membership to the tribology division of ASME and the related publications that may address this subject, none of us will ever have anything other than anecdotal information and our own preferences and tolerances to guide us! I stick with the silver bottle and good filters and when I parked my 2003 Ody with 310K on it due to an (original) tranny issue, that engine still cranked and ran as well as any engine I ever had (except one old Volvo 4 cylinder).

On the issue of temperature ranges, keep in mind that the car is a system and where and how we run it affects a lot of the operating parameters. I am certain the engineers designed this car to run steady-state in the vast majority of climates and conditions anticipated by minivan drivers, accounting for some accumulation of bugs ;-). If you track your data using an OBDII sensor, you will run for a long time without changing coolant temperature much. Certainly, the heat generated and transmitted into the engine oil and transmission fluid will fluctuate, but the coolant system will remove that heat as designed, and strive to keep the system at equilibrium and within specs. Higher stresses will result in higher temperatures and loads on the system, including the lubricants. That's why at least older cars had different specs for "severe service" conditions. Not sure if this 2011 Ody I have has that.

A long time ago, someone advised me that the narrower the range of the oil weights (5-20 vs 10-50) the fewer additives needed in the package. I don't think that is based on factual knowledge, as the additive package in motor oil can run up to 30% by volume, and those additives do all kinds of things, in addition to controlling viscosity.

My 2 cents, worth price charged....
@pdespres: I am pleasantly surprised to hear the word "tribology" in an online discussion forum. You must have some engineering background. I am a tribologist by training. In addition to the tribology division of the ASME, another source on this subject is STLE.

I just learned everyday that people have driven their ody's to higher and higher mileage. :)
 

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The owner's Manual specifies 5W20 oil for my 2002 Odyssey. Can I use 0W20 instead?

Based on my understanding of oil weight, the answer seems to be not only yes, but also better. My logic is as follows:

1) At operating temperature (after engine warms up), there is not much difference between these two weights of oil. They both have the viscosity of a SAE weight 20 oil.

2) During start up (when engine is cold), 0W20 is thinner than 5W20, therefore has better lubricity. It reaches to bearings, piston walls, camshafts, and valve lifts faster than 5W20 does. Since most of engine's wear occurs at cold start up, 0W20 can reduce engine wear. It also may improve MPG slightly.

3) People often argue that a heavier oil generates a thicker oil film, therefore provides a better contact surface protection. But during cold start up, there is very little oil on the surfaces that need to be protected, so the first priority is to send oil there to generate the protection oil film. Because 0W20 flows faster at cold temperature, it will achieve that goal sooner. Once engine warms up, both oils behave the same (SAE 20 weight), therefore produce the same file thickness.

Then why didn't Honda specify 0W20? Was it because 5W20 was cheaper (no longer so)? Was it because 0W20 was not widely available in 2002? Or does 5W20 leave more residual oil molecules on surfaces? Did I miss anything?

I'd like to get your opinion.
I used to have a 04 Ody and an 05 Civic. The Civic started using oil when it got up in miles (interesting because I bought my son an 01 Civic with around 190k with original clutch and very little oil consumption). Anyways, I owned the Civic since new and have used 5w20 full syn Castrol. They did a head gasket on it at the Honda dealer and changed the oil with0w20. It used the oil that much faster. I am a service advisor at a Ford dealer and have been in parts at Honda years ago. I thoroughly believe that the engineers know what is right for their respective companies' cars. I would only use 5w20 if I were you. The reason behind 0w20 is due to the fact that the tolerances on the engines are very tight now. My wife's 18 Ody is 0w20 and my sis in law's and father in laws Camrys (both 18) take 0w16. That is a super tight tolerance engine on those cars. I recommend Castrol 5w20 Magnatech. This specific oil has additives that leave a film after shutdown on the engine components, so when the engine is started, it will have a chance to be lubed immediately. I have a 12 and 20 Mustang Gt with the 5.0 V8 32 valve engines. I trust Castrol in those engines especially since they have so many parts in the northern part of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I have been using 0w20 in my '03 for several years now. I have just over 200k miles on it and usually change the oil and filter around 5-6k miles or more. Includes some long hot drives on the Interstate from CO to IL in Jul and Aug. I have not had to add any oil between changes and the reason I went to 0w20 was because I only put on around 7-8k miles on it a year and it gets damn cold in the mountains of CO during the winter. Cold startups are supposed to cause the most engine wear so oil getting to where it is supposed to go in the first seconds or or so sounds like the way to go.
Buffalo4
PS: I also use my Ultra-Gauge for real time readouts while I drive.
True, 0W gives the best lubrication at cold start up. Another advantage of full syn oil is its better tolerance to high engine temperature, which may or may not be beneficial depending on each individual's drive condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
I used to have a 04 Ody and an 05 Civic. The Civic started using oil when it got up in miles (interesting because I bought my son an 01 Civic with around 190k with original clutch and very little oil consumption). Anyways, I owned the Civic since new and have used 5w20 full syn Castrol. They did a head gasket on it at the Honda dealer and changed the oil with0w20. It used the oil that much faster. I am a service advisor at a Ford dealer and have been in parts at Honda years ago. I thoroughly believe that the engineers know what is right for their respective companies' cars. I would only use 5w20 if I were you. The reason behind 0w20 is due to the fact that the tolerances on the engines are very tight now. My wife's 18 Ody is 0w20 and my sis in law's and father in laws Camrys (both 18) take 0w16. That is a super tight tolerance engine on those cars. I recommend Castrol 5w20 Magnatech. This specific oil has additives that leave a film after shutdown on the engine components, so when the engine is started, it will have a chance to be lubed immediately. I have a 12 and 20 Mustang Gt with the 5.0 V8 32 valve engines. I trust Castrol in those engines especially since they have so many parts in the northern part of the engine.
Thank you for sharing the information, @scottmann_82. I agree with you, in general the engineers know their cars better. I just wanted to understand if the final specs were truly based on the engineers' data, not marketing pressure. :)
 

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I am for the same reason. A few Toyotas in my garage all call for 0W20, and I want to know if I can stock the same type of oil.

Talking about oil brand, I wonder if any one has an opinion on Kirkland Signature vs. Supertech? Costco's oil is prized very competitively with Walmart.
Pretty sure Kirkland Signature Full Synthetic, Walmart Supertech Full Synthetic and Amazon Basics Full Synthetic are all the same oil.
All three come from Warren Distribution and all three test very similar in flow and additive characteristics. If they aren't exactly the same, they are darn close.
All three are great oils!!
Especially for the prices of the Kirkland and Supertech!!
 

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I am for the same reason. A few Toyotas in my garage all call for 0W20, and I want to know if I can stock the same type of oil.

Talking about oil brand, I wonder if any one has an opinion on Kirkland Signature vs. Supertech? Costco's oil is prized very competitively with Walmart.
Kirkland oil is made by Warren distribution. They make oil for Amazon, Walmart, and a whole array of other companies. I contacted them and they answered every question I had to my complete satisfaction. As for their TBN package and what they use for viscosity improvers. I think the kirkland oil is an excellent choice and well worth the price considering it is one third the price of other 'so-called' synthetic oils. Look up the word synthetic, it means totally man made, not found in nature. I know of only one totally synthetic lubricant and it runs around $38 per liter. I use the kirkland oil in my wife's 08 Odyssey 5W30. Synthetic only refers to the additives to the base oil that comes out of the ground. A well refined base oil with synthetic additives flows very nicely in cold weather, just give it a minute before you floor it on a cold start. I am not lubrication scientist but have spent countless hours studying oils.
Also use a Wix or Napa gold filter not the platinum high mileage filter. high mileage just means it filters less so it does not plug up over the long run. Never ever use a Fram filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Pretty sure Kirkland Signature Full Synthetic, Walmart Supertech Full Synthetic and Amazon Basics Full Synthetic are all the same oil.
All three come from Warren Distribution and all three test very similar in flow and additive characteristics. If they aren't exactly the same, they are darn close.
All three are great oils!!
Especially for the prices of the Kirkland and Supertech!!
I have used Supertech for well over a decade on a few cars, and have nothing to complain about. Recently I started to use Kirkland, just because it is from Costco and Costco brand is decent to me. However, I have never used Amazon. Anything special about Amazon? I just checked its price, $21 5W20 for 5 quarts.
 

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What you are saying is "normally" true, but not always. I remember traveling thru the Colorado mountains climbing a hill at 70degF and I overheated at altitude. Pulling a trailer too would have been much worse. 20W50 could have helped me on that summer trip.
Sorry to slightly hijack, but I noticed your CR-V died due to rust from non-use, and wanted to make sure you meant the engine failed, eg rings seized or similar?
 

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The owner's Manual specifies 5W20 oil for my 2002 Odyssey. Can I use 0W20 instead?

Based on my understanding of oil weight, the answer seems to be not only yes, but also better. My logic is as follows:

1) At operating temperature (after engine warms up), there is not much difference between these two weights of oil. They both have the viscosity of a SAE weight 20 oil.

2) During start up (when engine is cold), 0W20 is thinner than 5W20, therefore has better lubricity. It reaches to bearings, piston walls, camshafts, and valve lifts faster than 5W20 does. Since most of engine's wear occurs at cold start up, 0W20 can reduce engine wear. It also may improve MPG slightly.

3) People often argue that a heavier oil generates a thicker oil film, therefore provides a better contact surface protection. But during cold start up, there is very little oil on the surfaces that need to be protected, so the first priority is to send oil there to generate the protection oil film. Because 0W20 flows faster at cold temperature, it will achieve that goal sooner. Once engine warms up, both oils behave the same (SAE 20 weight), therefore produce the same file thickness.

Then why didn't Honda specify 0W20? Was it because 5W20 was cheaper (no longer so)? Was it because 0W20 was not widely available in 2002? Or does 5W20 leave more residual oil molecules on surfaces? Did I miss anything?

I'd like to get your opinion.
Stick with 5W20 to play it safe with that year model. The viscosity and pressures are critical for the V-Tech upper valve system to perform efficiently and do the job it was designed to do, save gas. I'm an original owner of a 03 and it still runs like new. I also still drive an 04 Saturn vue that also has a the same 3.5 V-Tech Honda motor as the Odyssey. What ever fluids Honda recommends use it, especially for motor oil and power steering fluid.
 

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Sorry to slightly hijack, but I noticed your CR-V died due to rust from non-use, and wanted to make sure you meant the engine failed, eg rings seized or similar?
Not sure if CR-V died so much from non-use as from rust. It failed inspection due to rust in under frame. After the Covid shutdown ended, my mechanic called and said we needed $7-8K massive repairs -- structure, power steering, and other stuff. We decided to get a new car. Wife was sour on Honda, and she liked the Kia Soul.

Everything was great about that 4WD CR-V. Wife loved it. Engine, drive train, and everything else perfect. I decided to find another mechanic. I was getting feedback from all my friends about their outrageous costs. Their business model was low cost preventive maintenance, quality work, but high priced repairs. Great for newer cars, but not for aging relics.
 

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The manufacturer usually releases a technical service bulletin that approve newer weights of oil for older engines.
 

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We have an Ody, a Maxima and now a CRV. Ody calls for 5w20, Maxima calls for 5w30 and CRV calls for 0w20. I just use what the manual says. I have used 5w20 in the maxima but since the price is the same, why complicate things by over thinking this? Just found out that Costco sells mixed weights too so you can pick up a 12 pack with 1 6 pack of 5w20 and another of 0w20. I have been buying the 5 qt SuperTech jugs for the correct weight for more than a dozen years.
My 00 Odyssey uses 5w-30, 03 Pilot n 05 Odyssey uses 5w-20, 16 Subaru outback n 19 Crv uses 0w-20. I used mobil1 synthetic gold 15k n now they have the 20k but never interchange their numbers. Thinking since in cold weather area, might just use 0W-20 for all my cars.
 

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The owner's Manual specifies 5W20 oil for my 2002 Odyssey. Can I use 0W20 instead?

Based on my understanding of oil weight, the answer seems to be not only yes, but also better. My logic is as follows:

1) At operating temperature (after engine warms up), there is not much difference between these two weights of oil. They both have the viscosity of a SAE weight 20 oil.

2) During start up (when engine is cold), 0W20 is thinner than 5W20, therefore has better lubricity. It reaches to bearings, piston walls, camshafts, and valve lifts faster than 5W20 does. Since most of engine's wear occurs at cold start up, 0W20 can reduce engine wear. It also may improve MPG slightly.

3) People often argue that a heavier oil generates a thicker oil film, therefore provides a better contact surface protection. But during cold start up, there is very little oil on the surfaces that need to be protected, so the first priority is to send oil there to generate the protection oil film. Because 0W20 flows faster at cold temperature, it will achieve that goal sooner. Once engine warms up, both oils behave the same (SAE 20 weight), therefore produce the same file thickness.

Then why didn't Honda specify 0W20? Was it because 5W20 was cheaper (no longer so)? Was it because 0W20 was not widely available in 2002? Or does 5W20 leave more residual oil molecules on surfaces? Did I miss anything?

I'd like to get your opinion.
I have used the full synthetic in my older Honda’s that don’t require it and think it is just better to do so.
 

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I have used the full synthetic in my older Honda’s that don’t require it and think it is just better to do so.
Engine oil quality is so regulated by the SAE, that I don't think any oil is "bad." That said, I have recently switched over to Mobil1 full synthetic at the recommendation of friends. I'm not sure if I will switch from 3k oil changes to 5K intervals. For years I used 10W40 in the summer and 10W30 in the winter on Chrysler products. Now on this Ody I have used 5W20 religiously, as recommended. If I lived in Monitoba, I might switch to 0W20, and if I lived in Florida, I might go back to 10W40.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
3,000 miles OCI, you really take good care of your car! Do you use full synthetic, and haul a lot?
 

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Actually, SAE specs viscosity ("weight"). API and ILSAC specify the other qualities that make an oil "SP" and/or "GF-6". Those are not regulations, they are standards/specifications. Which means old, obsolete specs like SA or SE can still be sold. Watch out for unknown brands on C-store shelves.
 
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