Best conventional oil? Syntec 0w30 vs. other 5w30 synthetic?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by dvancleve, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. jendbbay

    jendbbay Member

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    My questions for jayman

    You indicate that the car dealer pulls the oil from the bin unless you make it perfectly clear that you want your empties, and that you intend to test the oil. Are you saying that you intend to test the new oil or the old? If it is the old, do you instruct them to return some for that test? If it indicate that you intend to test the new, how does one do that? I mean if I felt comfortable draining the oil myself, I would be doing the oil change myself. Sorry if you clarified this and I missed it.

    My other question has to do with this 5w30 vs 0w30 business. I understand that you advise 0w30, but I am so nervous about intentionally going against the instructions for the warranty. I take it that you are saying that the ACTUAL viscosity of the oil over the 5K miles is within spec if one uses the 0w30 and not in spec if one uses the 5w30, so that it would not be possible to claim an oil problem if there is engine failure. Right?

    What about the possibility that the dealer will record in the records that the customer is intentionally using the wrong oil. Would that create trouble later of there is engine problems?

    Also, since that record could be made, does it obligate you to have analysis done every time you dump the old oil, to prove that the old oil was still within spec?

    Thank you for all of your generosity in writing what you know to the list.
     
  2. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jendbbay @ Jan 26 2007, 12:56 PM) [snapback]381204[/snapback]</div>
    Sorry for the delay but I've just returned from a business trip.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jendbbay @ Jan 26 2007, 12:56 PM) [snapback]381204[/snapback]</div>
    What I meant to say is that you could tell the dealer to use the oil you've provided, but you would have no guarantee whatsoever they actually did so. As an example, the dealership I purchased my 2000 GMC Sierra from, my Dad brought in his 2003 Buick LeSabre for an oil change. He had Mobil 1 0W-30 in the trunk, to get it ready for winter. The service writer actually wrote on the service order "customer has own oil in trunk."

    My folks picked up the car, then went for groceries. After getting out of Safeway, they popped the trunk and - surprise! - there was the case of Mobil 1 0W-30 my Dad gave very clear instructions was to be used.

    They went back to the dealer, who claimed that Mobil 1 would "ruin" the motor. They had me drive over, and in their garage I drained the crap dealer oil and put in the Mobil 1.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jendbbay @ Jan 26 2007, 12:56 PM) [snapback]381204[/snapback]</div>
    I did my first used oil analysis on my Prius at around 16,000km, when it had already had a couple of complimentary dealer oil changes - and one normal interval on Mobil 1 0W-30. The analysis was a bit alarming, so I did the usual and mentioned this to the dealer and to Toyota Canada. Their response?

    Mobil 1 is terrible oil and our mystery oil is wonderful stuff.

    I chased a lot of dead ends on this one, including around $100 in lab fees to have various lots of Mobil 1 analysed. I then did a 4,000km analysis and the Na was LOWER than the last one. Clearly this indicated a problem with the previous oil used, and the lab suggested I try to snag a sample of it.

    After a bunch of persuasion and some mean glares on my part - I'm built like a nightclub bouncer - I watched as one of their greasy oil techs carefully filled the 120 ml sample bottle. Off it went, and ...

    http://priuschat.com/index.php?showtopic=14829

    Issue solved. That crap dealer oil was truly nasty.

    As far as sampling, I have Cat Toremont labs in Mississauga Ontario do the actual tests. The local Cat heavy equipment dealer sells the bottles for $17, which includes postage back to Mississauga. They also had for $30 the sample pump, which the 120 ml sample bottle screws into.

    You insert a long skinny plastic tube down the dipstick tube, then give the sample pump a few pumps to make a vacuum. You watch the oil start filling the bottle, and once it reaches the embossed line, you open a little valve to allow air in to stop filling.

    It's really simple, takes maybe a minute to grab a sample. I would think that most dealers would refuse to allow you a sample of their mysterious no-name tote bin oil.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jendbbay @ Jan 26 2007, 12:56 PM) [snapback]381204[/snapback]</div>
    Good question. Hell, even Toyota sent out a weird TSB about 0W oils causing "smoking" and "oil consumption" which makes me wonder what they're smoking in their crack pipes? I really could care less if it's a 10W-30, a 5W-30, or a 0W-30, at NORMAL OPERATING TEMPERATURE the tested viscosity in centiStokes will be virtually IDENTICAL.

    If you live in a moderate climate, then run 5W-30 year round without worry. If you live in a very severe climate, like mine, a 0W-30 is far more appropriate especially in winter. I'm running 0W-20 as a winter grade, and it works fine with ZERO oil consumption.

    BTW so far this winter we've experienced lows of -34 C a few times, and it's forecasted to become bitterly cold this weekend with lows of possibly -39 C.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jendbbay @ Jan 26 2007, 12:56 PM) [snapback]381204[/snapback]</div>
    It would be entirely up the the dealer to PROVE the oil contributed to an engine failure. Which makes me wonder what they did when those Toyota motors sludged up, no doubt running the wonderful no-name mysterious tote bin oil.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jendbbay @ Jan 26 2007, 12:56 PM) [snapback]381204[/snapback]</div>
    Oh sure they could, mine did. Then when I had the lab results back - see above - that PROVED they were using an inferior oil, contaminated at that, both the dealer and Toyota Canada changed their tunes. Pronto.

    Just to be a complete donkey to them, I always submit the latest used oil sample to add to my "file," also CC'd to Toyota Canada. They can clearly see I'm far exceeding the recommended oil change intervals, but since the oil tests so good, what can they say?

    Nothing, that's what.

    What really got me was that - given my industrial process control experience - I easily found the source of the contamination: the tote bin vent pipe was just that, a pipe with a 180 bend in it. I suggested in WRITING to the dealership owner - and CC'd to Toyota Canada - that they instead use a desiccant breather system.

    Over a year later, that tote bin still has the simple 180 bend pipe for a breather.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jendbbay @ Jan 26 2007, 12:56 PM) [snapback]381204[/snapback]</div>
    I don't see how it obligates you to a used oil sample everytime. It's up to them to PROVE the oil in some way contributed to the failure. Ironic how any ole cheap 5W-30 meets the spec, so long as you change it every 6 months or 5,000 miles, despite the fact a cheap oil may cause sludging, especially in cold temps.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. LongRun

    LongRun New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayman @ Jan 14 2007, 04:52 PM) [snapback]375621[/snapback]</div>
     
  4. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Yep, I've had similar weird tales from dealerships (GMC, Toyota, Ford, etc) so it must be some sort of universal disinformation campaign.

    You should have seen the Deer In The Headlights look when I brought along the two inch thick Imperial Oil Lubrication Handbook to my Toyota dealership. This was the same day I received the "wonderful" results of their mystery tote bin oil.

    I went to the *section* they had about motor oil testing, the SAE J300 specs etc, and you could have heard a pin drop in that room. Except for the sound of gears grinding inside their little heads.

    Yeah I also worry about any "serious" work they have to do to my Prius, if they're that clueless about oil. But once I CC'd a copy of the dealer virgin oil test results to Toyota Canada, they shut up and didn't say a peep about the oil I was using.

    Oh, explain this to me: Been over a year since I mentioned the breather pipe as a source of contamination for their exterior tote bin. I should also mention there is a large gravel parking lot for big rigs next to the dealership, so in summer a *lot* of dust floats over the dealership and that exterior tote bin.

    Since I have experience with industrial process control, I mentioned - in writing - the use of a desiccant breather system would all but eliminate the environmental contamination source. Would probably cost them a whopping $150 to install. I recommended a model from Des Case as I have a lot of experience with them.

    That simple breather pipe is still on the tote bin.

    Good Grief indeed. To put my mind at ease, I'm not sure if heavy drinking will help or not.

    It can't hurt though, right??

    "Jayman, I asked a local dealer about using 0w-30 and got a lecture on how it would destroy my engine. They said it was way too thin and on a warm day there would be metal to metal contact in the engine. They said that 5w-30 was five times thicker and event that was used just because of CAFE ratings. They said if I really wanted to protect my engine I should use 10w-30, which is ten times thicker. I'm worried about taking my car in for warranty work and all those things that you need special tools and a computer to do. If they are that stupid about engine oil, all I can do is hope for the best if I ever have to have them touch my car. Good grief Charlie Brown."
     
  5. molgrips

    molgrips Member

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    Here in the UK, Halfords (major car spares chain) say in the little book in their oil department that the recommended premium product for the Prius is a high performance 0W30, I don't remember the name. Supposedly for high performance engines, but claimed to help fuel economy too.

    Not sure if it's helping fuel economy or not! Too many other variables in my driving.
     
  6. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(molgrips @ Feb 5 2007, 05:06 PM) [snapback]385692[/snapback]</div>
    In the UK I'm aware of a synthetic 0W-30 from BP, the Visco 7000 series actually three different products. One is intended to meet the VW "LongLife" service regime of up to 24 months, the other is for GM/Opel FlexService, and the last is a "plain" 0W-30

    http://129.35.64.91/bpglis/lubtds.nsf/tech...2C?OpenDocument

    http://129.35.64.91/bpglis/lubtds.nsf/tech...57?OpenDocument

    http://129.35.64.91/bpglis/lubtds.nsf/tech...AF?OpenDocument

    Actually, using the BP Lubricant selector for the UK market, their primary recommendation for the Toyota Prius is their Visco 7000 0W-40. I'm not sure if this direct link will work for you

    http://www.ew2.lubesinfo.com/frameset.asp?...04&langid=1

    Keep in mind that the fuel economy "improvement" is theoretical and you probably will not notice it under normal driving. A theoretical "gain" of 2-5% can easily be masked by a -5 C change in temperature.

    Due to the extreme cold winters where I live - it was -39 this morning - I actually run a very light Mobil 1 0W-20. Running a MUCH lighter oil in extremely cold temps I have noted an average 10% improvement in city driving, with no difference on the highway at 110 km/h. It hardly begins to make up for the fuel economy loss from running aggressive studded snow tires.

    I hope this helps.
     
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