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Old 03-09-2010, 01:05 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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Ah, oil discussions. There always so fun.

To the OP, stick with what the owner's manual says. You're not modding or racing your car. The old seasonal oil thing was the norm before multi-viscosity oils became more abundant.

With that said, running a quality synthetic regardless of the type of car is never a bad idea IMHO. However, you have to be willing to buy the right oil, pay the premium and not be scared of running it for the length of time needed to realize the payback. If you aren't into cars and just want to go from A to B without worrying about things, change your oil based on manufacturer recommendations with the exact viscosity and type of oil they recommend.

For the rest of the crew, everyone has their own personal favorite oil. I personally prefer German spec Castrol, its never let me down but can be hard to come by (Advance Auto tends to stock it as an FYI). I have some friends who swear by Redline and others who swear by Amsoil..some...*gasp*...actually use Mobil 1.

One thing is certain though as M3Mitch said, there are some things you shouldn't go cheap on when talking about a car if you are anywhere in the know: gas, oil, tires and brakes.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,608,598 times
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Quote:
its never let me down
This is truly of virtually all of the oils and cars on the road today when oil was changed according to the manufacturer's spec. This doesn't mean there isn't a difference between Redline and Texaco Havoline or Walmart Supertech. But I question that the difference is anywhere near the importance attributed to it.

The oil geeks at Bobistheoilguy are obsessive about oil. They argue about the amount of molybdenum and silicon in their oil.

But because almost none of them can cite an apples to apples test of two identical engines where the ONLY change in their maintenance is oil - consider me a skeptic.

I am perfectly happy with the fully synthetic oils (usually M1) I use in my cars. It has never let me down. But neither has the dino oil I used.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:43 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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hoff -

When refering to "never let me down" this was generally in reference to oil used in several high performance cars that I've owned that saw significant track time. In racing, when you're pushing the car to it's limits and heat, frothing, sludging and g-load become major factors, you need to be aware of the benefits of running "better" products. I've seen quite a few blown engines at a track day that could have been prevented by spending a little extra on the oil.

The average guy changing the oil in his wifes minivan or his commuter car doesn't need to be sourcing top tier oils and can be pretty confident in following what the book recommends.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
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This is all true and Joe Average does not keep a car long enough for the reduced wear rates you can get with something like German Castrol to make much difference. But the OP asked IIRC "What's best" so I offered my opinion on that question.

People tend to get "sticker shock" when they buy oil or tires, or even brake pads for that matter, because they are buying several thousand miles "worth" of the product, and they lose sight of the fact that around 90% of the "per mile" cost of driving a (fully depreciated) car is fuel.

Typically Mobil-1 will "pay for itself" in terms of reduced fuel consumption. Or at the very least it will save enough fuel to pay for most of the extra cost of the better oil.

Motor oil, brake pads, parachutes, SCUBA gear - there are some items that I'm just against price shopping. That does not mean the guy who wants to save a buck on these items is crazy or bad, just that I don't think it's "worth it".
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,608,598 times
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M3 - I respect your posts. But resisting price shopping implies that spending more is always better.

I think you would agree that in many things, perhaps most, the most expensive item or substance is rarely the best (whatever that is). This is true of audio equipment, SCUBA, cars, computers, clothing, scotch whiskey, wine, and almost anything I can think of. Perhaps microprocessors is an exception since the newest and most powerful is usually the most expensive.

Most of the real "premium" items derive much of their value from enthusiasts of that item. It is often a perceived value - in some cases driven by marketing (Bose), mystique (audio cables), or rarity (luxury goods).
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
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Well let me first just note that for what was predicted to be a "flame fest" we are conducting ourselves more like Great Debates.

To be clear I don't seek out the most expensive oil, tire, whatever and figure it's the best - you are right that it's not necessarily best.

What I *am* saying is I think it's a mistake to "bottom feed" for stuff like lube oil that's a small part of your total budget, but has so much riding on it's performance. Another analogy would be to sweat the price of ammo on an African hunting trip - with all the money you have in the trip, the guide, etc. IMHO it makes little sense to be price sensitive on ammo, since it's a small expense with a very big downside if it does not perform adequately. And of course the analogy holds that most of the time "plain vanilla" will get the job done OK. I just like to have some relatively cheap insurance if things don't go quite as planned.

I happen to like Redline and I don't flinch at the price, at the same time if I were running a fleet I would probably sharpen my pencil and try to get something more cost effective. But for a handful of cars I like the "overkill" of having what I personally think is "the best I can get"

Getting back to the OP's original question, a small car driving in hot weather at say 80 - he's in Cali so unless he's always stuck in traffic or always off the interstate in Cali he's going to be doing 80 - in my 'roc I commonly see 110C oil temps. That's not a calibrated gauge but VDO has always made at least decent instruments so I'm thinking it's not off by more than say 5%. Under these conditions and given the spec of his car for a 5W-30, IMHO you really ought to go to at least a PAO type synthetic.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:58 PM
 
Location: NYC & NJ
747 posts, read 2,209,252 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
Typically Mobil-1 will "pay for itself" in terms of reduced fuel consumption. Or at the very least it will save enough fuel to pay for most of the extra cost of the better oil.
Let's not overstate things. There are many reasons to use synthetic oil, but mpg shouldn't really be your primary motive. You can't bank on any meaningful improvement in economy - if you get any, think of it as a nice bonus on top of the more defined benefits of using synthetics.

I see you're prone to overstating things and unsubstantiated claims such as the one about Redline. And you're not very good at backing them up, are you? Where is the credible evidence that Redline is the best and "top of the chain" oil out there? Sorry, "just ask the guys on BITOG forums" doesn't qualify as an answer.

Listen, I'm as pro-synthetic as you are when it comes to cars that need them and for the right reasons. I have no problems paying the price premium over lesser oils to get the 502/505.00-standard fully synthetic European oil for my car. But I also know about oil brand snobbery. It's fashionable on certain forums to diss M1, for example. But I've dug up UOAs from owners of my same motor and they've had no problems on M1 on extended intervals.

DATA > unsubstantiated forum claims

Quote:
Motor oil, brake pads, parachutes, SCUBA gear - there are some items that I'm just against price shopping. That does not mean the guy who wants to save a buck on these items is crazy or bad, just that I don't think it's "worth it".
You still don't get it, do you? As hoffdano and others have said, it's about quality shopping, not price shopping. Quality != Price. You seem to make that mistake over and over. In your mind, Redline is the best because it's the most expensive.

This is the same mentality that leads people to diss M1 on some forums. Apparently being readily available and often on sale at large outlets is terribly uncool. Much better to brag about using an expensive or obscure or hard to find oil

And who here has recommended "bottom feeding"? Talk about a straw man argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepcynic View Post
My '89 GTI has one.
If that doesn't prove my point, IDK what does. The last time you guys saw an oil temp gauge on an N/A 4 was an 82 'Rocco and an 89 GTI. Does that tell you something? Can you think about what oils were like back then and why the mfr might have wanted the gauge in there? You don't think oils have changed since then? And did you really just put your GTI into the same category as an Elantra? C'mon, the GTI is the prototypical hot hatch. It's always had relatively high specific output. It could barely be more different from an Elantra. Perhaps I should rephrase my question. When was the last time you saw an oil temp gauge on a family car like an Elantra? But I digress. I still don't see any logic let alone proof from M3 Mitch that using Redline in the OP's Elantra will offer any proportional marginal utility given the significant marginal cost ("It's really expensive so it will be good for your car" doesn't really qualify as logic).

To the OP: Stop overthinking this. A reliable family car is not meant to be this complicated. Or think about it this way: isn't this the same car that's sold all over the world including all over the middle east? The ambient temps you will see in socal are nothing compared to what other Elantra owners will see in SA, Kuwait, and the UAE for example.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:15 PM
 
1,634 posts, read 3,331,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.Costanza View Post

If that doesn't prove my point, IDK what does. The last time you guys saw an oil temp gauge on an N/A 4 was an 82 'Rocco and an 89 GTI. Does that tell you something? Can you think about what oils were like back then and why the mfr might have wanted the gauge in there? You don't think oils have changed since then? And did you really just put your GTI into the same category as an Elantra? C'mon, the GTI is the prototypical hot hatch. It's always had relatively high specific output. It could barely be more different from an Elantra. Perhaps I should rephrase my question. When was the last time you saw an oil temp gauge on a family car like an Elantra? But I digress. I still don't see any logic let alone proof from M3 Mitch that using Redline in the OP's Elantra will offer any proportional marginal utility given the significant marginal cost ("It's really expensive so it will be good for your car" doesn't really qualify as logic).
I only gave you a fact. I have no dog in this hunt.

Did I say anything about what I just quoted from you? NO

I just told you what my car is equipped with. Chill out.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,783,990 times
Reputation: 29355
The reason recommended viscosity has been trending lighter/thinner is because engine manufacturing techniques are getting more precise, and therefore tolerances (as you allude) are getting tighter. Stick with the 5W-20, it's the recommended viscosity for a reason. And the major point of multi-viscosity oils is to obviate the need to use different oils according to season.
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