2012 Prius C 10k mile oil analysys

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Mr Incredible, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. Ryephile

    Ryephile The Technophile

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    Thanks for the correction, I had my brain on backwards.

    So, just a curiosity then? I still can't find a good reason to go thicker.
     
  2. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Back in the olden daze, the wider the viscosity spread on multi-viscosity oils, the sooner the oil sheared and broke down so if a person still has their grandfathers mindset, 5W-20 would be a considerably more durable oil than 0W-20. However, if you are using a decent quality synthetic oil, their is little difference now.

    If you are doing track days in a warm climate, then the higher viscosity might be worthwhile:D
     
  3. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Chance favors the prepared mind.

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    No problem. I don't see where going from 0w to 5w is a problem. If my car blows up, I'll try to document it:
    To each, their own. Tires, oils, ground effects, wide tires, $5k worth of stereo equipment, etc.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Well, I've got a few grand kids, so...

    Go back a few decades and no one had heard of, or would even consider, an oil as thin as 5W20. The norms were 10W30, 10W40, even 20W50.

    I'm not knowledable as to what's caused the shift to thinner emulsions. The main motivator's likely to improve fuel economy. I've read that closer/stricter tolerances allow the thinner oils to work. That thicker oil might actually be problematic with close tolerances. And maybe it's just a shift in mindset: engineers trying the thinner oils, seeing how they fare.

    This is from 1990 Honda Accord Shop Manual:


    Honda Accord 1990 oil guideline.jpg
     
  5. Rob.au

    Rob.au Active Member

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    I've mentioned this elsewhere, but for what it's worth, our manual has a diagram that shows operational ranges for 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30, 10W-30, 15W-30 and 20W-50, with the accompanying text:

    Clearly this is different from the US manual which is fairly emphatic about using 0W-20 and only grudgingly offers "If SAE 0W-20 is not available, SAE 5W-20 oil may be used. However, it must be replaced with SAE 0W-20 at the next oil change."

    Who knows what Toyota's thinking is behind this, although the fact that Australia has minimum temperatures around 0°F and my c is unlikely to ever see anything as low as 20°F (like most c's here) does indicate our climate is very different from minima in the US.
     
  6. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    For Toyota to be able to claim their mileage rating under US regulations, Toyota has to push the oil the car's fuel economy rating was based on. That is the main reason Toyota US pushes 0W-20 only.

    I suspect there is also a second reason that they are very specific about 0W-20 instead of 5W-20 in the US. Toyota wants to be able to claim a 10k mile oil change interval in the US and with US quality of oils, that requires a synthetic oil. At least when I got my Gen III, Toyota seemed reluctant to require a synthetic, but by requiring a 0W-20 they eliminate almost all non-synthetics.
     
  7. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Chance favors the prepared mind.

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    I wonder for how much longer? Less than 5 yrs?
     
  8. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    In the American market, Toyota cannot specify a synthetic oil only. In the EU, they can follow what other companies, such as Mercedes, VW, Audi, etc do and specify a unique oil that meets tight specifications.

    There is no distinction in the North American market for better oils. No matter the cheapest no-name, or an expensive synthetic, they will have an API SN and GF5.

    http://www.api.org/certifications/engineoil/categories/upload/motor_oil_guide_2010_120210.pdf

    The European ACEA rated oils have distinctive ratings based on normal or severe service, normal or extended oil drain intervals. The ACEA oils meet different specifications, and the manufacturer is free to set their own specification too

    It should stand to reason a no-name oil will NOT be as good as a synthetic oil. But under the API, all oils are graded the same. So the consumer will make the wrong assumption that all oils are exactly the same.
     
  9. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    There is nothing that limits US car manufacturers or imp0rters of cars to the mediocre API specs.

    If Toyota doesn't understand that, they need to go to GM, Porsche or some other car companies that use tighter specs that only a synthetic can meet for some of their cars. And no, the mythical properties of the widely misunderstood Magnuson Moss act don't disallow that as long as the oil is available from sources other than the car company.
     
  10. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    The problem is that in North America, the API only has the one grading system I pointed out. This results in a great deal of confusion, as the average motorist has been led to believe that all motor oils are exactly the same, and perform exactly the same, because they only have one grade. Such as GF-5 or SN

    My wife has a 2012 Impala that requires Dexos. We understand this oil is necessary, especially for gasoline direct injection. But the average Chevy owner does not. When I had the Impala in for its first complementary oil change, another Chevy owner refused to pay the extra cost of Dexos. Said he would get whatever cheap oil is on sale and do it himself, as "all oils are the same."

    As far as Dexos, you're pretty much forced to use a synthetic like Mobil 1, Castrol Syntec, etc. I'm ok with that, but evidently a lot of Chevy owners are not. They had better not complain when they have trouble with deposits in their gasoline direct injection, or timing chain stretch, or other issues if they use a cheap bargain oil
     
  11. Ryephile

    Ryephile The Technophile

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    Garbage in, garbage out. American's [as a well-deserved stereotype] are rather ignorant to this concept, instead relying on the hugely popular "frivolous lawsuit in, any sort of responsibly out".
     
  12. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I really hate to agree with that comment, but I do agree
     
  13. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Chance favors the prepared mind.

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    It's simply a mystery to most. If you really know anything about oil, look at how long it took you to accumulate that knowledge.

    It IS complicated and most operators aren't able to overcome the fear of doing it wrong. They just hope everyone doing the work knows what to do. With most oils being ok for most cars, this turns out ok most of the time. Others know things that just aren't so. Others are bull-headed and will do it their way whether they have full knowledge or not. It's human nature, and it applies to all things...not just cars.
     
  14. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I would like to add that although I can and usually WILL use a somewhat heavier oil in hot conditions, in severe cold I will run the lightest oil I can. Such as a 0W-30 or 0W-20.

    This gem is from the early 1990's and showcases Esso Canada's heavy duty engine oil lineup, the XD-3 series. They use a car in their cold weather room at -35 C to prove a point of using their 0W-30 versus their 10W-30. Note that both are heavy duty oils



    Skip ahead to about 4:20

    That poor car. With a battery booster and continuous cranking, it took over a minute of cranking with the 10W-30. I have heard starters grind like that, but usually just before they fry
     
  15. GasSaver1

    GasSaver1 Member

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    Wait I am confused about something-
    There is a lot of talk about full marks and filling to the full marks here, however, when you put engine oil into the engine it is COLD. When engine oil heats up it expands. When engine oil at the full mark expands it goes above the full mark.

    So isnt it pretty stupid to fill to the full mark if your intent is to not ovrfill the engine?
    Also if the oil is a few mms below the full mark (when cold) it does not mean the engine is running on empty. They give you a range where the engine would have a safe amount of oil taking into account temp changes.
     
  16. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Chance favors the prepared mind.

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    A tiny bit of common sense goes a long way here.

    Oil expansion during heating is a small enough amount to where it is not an issue. I wouldn't guess it to be more than two tbs, probably less than a tsp.
    Being 'spot-on' the full mark is more analretentionism than anything. A little over or a little under is not going to cause unit failure.

    Problems really CAN occur with gross overfilling. More than 1/2 qt would be too much, IMO. One qt or more is definitely asking for trouble.

    Gross underfilling (1 qt or more) is not going to kill anything right away, but it's only a matter of time. Prii aren't known for oil consumption, but 2-3 qts doing the work of 4 qts could cause some oil thickening or consumption problems.

    For my '12 C and our '09 Liftback, the oil is pretty much set it and forget it.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Like any tolerance spec, I'd think midway between the two marks on the dipstick is the sweetspot, if the engine's not consuming oil. In reality most engines do consume a little oil between changes, so leaning towards the high mark is a good strategy. And slight overfill is not going to catastrophic: any oil level has surely been set by the engineers with a goof-up factor.

    FWIW, our 2010 Prius doesn't appear to consume any oil, over the 6 month change interval I've been following (Canadian spec). That's a first for me, coming from a string of Hondas.
     
  18. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Bingo. Oil expands about 1% for each 100C increase in temperature, so from 0C (freezing) to 100C ( a reasonable oil temperature for a warmed up engine), 4 US quarts of oil will expand approximately 4 x 0.01=0.04 US quarts which is 2.6 US Tbs. Start from a more reasonable 20C and the expansion would be 2.0 Tbs.
     
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  19. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible Chance favors the prepared mind.

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    Thanks much for that cyperin'. I live in a math-challenged portion of the universe.

    Not bad, though, for a SWAG.

    But it reminds me of the time...I got my tbs and tsp mixed up, didn' know what a tsp looked like. I had a BAD cold, and the druggist I went to (I used to be their delivery boy) suggested I sign for some terpin hydrate. Codiene elixer. 1 tsp every x hrs.

    I thought, "I'm a pretty big guy, I'll take three tsp." But I used a tbs instead. 3 tsp per tbs. Plus it was a BIG tbs, so I took 9-12 tsp instead of 1 tsp.

    Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    My co-workers eventually figured out something funny was going on, and figured out what. Fun while it lasted.
     
  20. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    As far as work escapades, unfortunately I can't use the excuse of being under the influence of anything. I'm pretty sure I was born this way
     
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