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motor oils


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01-24-02, 05:09 PM   #1  
motor oils

I have been using a 10/40w oil from Sam's club for a couple of years in our vehicles.It is a really cheap oil, (about 10$ for a 12 qt. case). Has anyone else used this product and have any comments? I'm wondering if this isn't part of the reason why our van is in need of a set of rings. Any recommendations on any particular oil? Synthetics?
I'm thinking seriously about going to a better grade in any case. Thanx,

 
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01-24-02, 05:57 PM   #2  
Huxley
Oil

a freind told me that it was made by quicker state but I dont know if that is true. But think it would have to be made by a major label to supply wal-mart all across the country.

 
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01-24-02, 08:46 PM   #3  
Joe_F
You don't mention what year your van is, the engine type or the mileage, but 10W40 hasn't been a factory recommended grade for some time on newer vehicles.

10W40 is usually used on older vehicles with higher mileage where 10W30 or 5W30 (which was originally recommended) would be consumed by the engine burning it

I use 10W40 in the Oldsmobile (older and higher mileage) and in my 1979 Trans Am (owner's manual says it is OK).

My 80 Turbo T/A requires 10W30, which I use.

 
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01-25-02, 05:27 AM   #4  
We use the Sam's Club house brand 10w-30 in both our wreckers (Chevy 350's in both), changed every 3000 miles. My truck has 160k on the engine (295k on the chassis - original engine was NOT an oil-related failure) and uses no oil. Other truck pushing 100k, same thing. Don't waste your money; it's not WHAT you put in, it's how often you change it. If you are determined to spend more money change your oil every 2000 miles instead.

 
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01-25-02, 06:50 AM   #5  
I'm a Petroleum Engineer for a major oil company. Off-brand engine oils can come from anyone. And some are "bad". Remember, they are bought by price not quality. Stay with a major oil company's brand, Mobil, Texaco, Amoco, Shell. Companies like Quacker State, Valvoline, Castrol , etc. only buy the ingredients from other companies and mix them together and put it in their own labeled container. They don't have the research to develop and periodically upgrade their formulations. As far as changing every 3000 miles: if it makes you feel better to do so, fine. I change mine every 5000 miles and tests we have run would blow your mind as to how long engine oil can REALLY GO!!!

 
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01-25-02, 07:42 AM   #6  
Actually oil never really "wears out", just the various additives and of course the crud it collects make it necessary to change it.

Define "bad" oil? Enron? LOL

Your experience and training notwithstanding, I'll stick with real world vehicle track record. I would maintain that performance-wise there is little difference between the .89 Sam's Club and the $1.89 Mobil Brand. We also use Sam's tranny fluid and the tranny in my vehicle has 205,000 miles on it; when it was last opened up (at 90,000 miles for what I'm told is a common item on that particular tranny), the rebuilder said he couldn't tell the guts from those in a brand new unit. Like the motor oil it gets frequent changes, every 10,000 miles and filter every 20,000. If anyone needs to spend more money on oil/etc, make sure you buy name-brand FILTERS. My '95 Camry gets the same oil (I change at 5k on the car), has over 120,000 miles on it, uses "0" oil, and runs like it it just rolled off the showroom floor.

 
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01-25-02, 07:44 AM   #7  
Ooops, typo'ed there; 295,000 miles on the tranny.

 
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01-25-02, 11:04 AM   #8  
Joe_F
I agree with both of you..

The Sam's club IS probably made by a major company.

I have used Texaco, Exxon, Mobil and others for years. No problems.

3k and 3,000 miles. A GM engineer told my dad that in the 80's when he worked at Cadillac. I prescribe to it. Most people drive in the severe category and don't realize it! TowGuy is in the severe category. If you drive short trips, your oil turns to a lot of water, guess what, that's severe . Now you would think they wouldn't tell you that as they want you to buy a new car .

 
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01-25-02, 03:03 PM   #9  
Oil Followup

Wow I wasn't expecting such a response on this. As for the Caravan Joe, it is a 1990 with a 2.5L motor and it has about 135K on it. I feel bad about the oil use because it runs like a charm. 20 below zero and it don't matter it just starts right up. And power, I used it a number of times to haul our pop-up camper all over the East Coast and it performed well. After reading some of your remarks I'm having second thoughts about switching oils. Besides I've been running Sam's Club oil in my Subaru for a few years and have had no problems so far.As far as the VAn goes maybe it was going to happen anyway........ I am curious about the synthetics though. The way I understand it they can go 3 or 4 times longer between changes. Seems as though the oil would be worn out by then.... Thanx for all your input.

 
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01-25-02, 03:12 PM   #10  
Joe_F
135k on a 2.5L Caravan is pretty good. That's about right for engine problems on those, such as cams, rings and the like. You got decent service out of it.

My 307 Oldsmobile engine in my 84 Delta 88 has 141k on it. Doesn't really use any oil between changes. I do it four times it a year. Probably costs me under 6 bucks an oil change. If it keeps the motor going for a while longer and prevents problems, it's well worth it.

Figuring that my car was designed to run on SE API classification motor oil (the standard back in 1984), and now they are up to SJ or so, the oil can only be better.

Synthetic is a waste for most cars unless they are performance cars or high end vehicles. You won't see any benefit except for a lighter wallet in my belief

Another thing to check is the API rating on any oil. Many parts stores sell cheap oil which lacks the donut logo that says it is approved for use in newer engines. I have seen SA/SB graded oil still for sale. Those standards are for 60's and older cars!

Make sure the API rating on the oil is equal to or more recent than what your engine requires.

 
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01-25-02, 04:10 PM   #11  
135k on a caravan 2.5L? Definitely got your money's worth considering you did some towing in there also.
By the way, how badly is in in need of rings? And are you sure it's rings and not valve seals? I heard someone quote the other day (a reliable source) that the oem's don't consider oil usage to be a problem unless it's 1 qt/1000 miles (which seems like a lot to me; I could run my old Camry 10,000 miles and it wouldn't use a quart). Before you go to ther expense of engine repairs you might try going 20w50; definitely the band-aid solution, but what the hey, it's a 12 yr old vehicle with 135k miles on it!

 
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01-25-02, 04:20 PM   #12  
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Would 10w40 be fine for my 87 Astro? It's at 266,000 km. It's burning a liter every two weeks but that's city driving (short trips to the store & back). It's never been on the highway longer than 15 min. I'm planing to take it on a trip about 8hr's of driving. Any suggestions?

Ceaser.

 
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01-25-02, 04:45 PM   #13  
Two liters a month is a fair amount of usage. Using a heavy weight oil is a band-aid fix, like I said, but you're in no danger of doing any harm by giving it a try, especially with 266k miles on it (didn't know Astros lasted that long; towed one today with a fried motor; of course the fact it had very little oil IN it might have had something to do with it).

 
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02-04-02, 08:38 PM   #14  
don`t even....not all oils are the same. spend a little time tearing down different blocks ran under severe duty to say...bout the same mileage...and compare gum buildup and then tell me oils perform the same...lol wont name any name brands which there are several that are real bad at breakdown....10\40 is real hard on a motor unless its a cummins diesel pretty much....there is no way i would ever put cheap oil in one of my cars and there are several major brands that are cheap no matter what the price tag states....hey got pictures if anyone want to see what a block looks like after a hard drive......bad thing is that one of the co. sponsors us...lol

 
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02-04-02, 08:56 PM   #15  
Well, if I ever wear out the current engine in my wrecker (170k) I'll be sure and let you know how the 89c a quart Sam's Club did!
Severe duty? I think I qualify.

Bet you I can find plenty of engines with 50,000 miles on them using the expensive name-brand oils that are finished (usually because the owner got an oil change, oh every couple of years or so whether it needed it or not).

 
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02-05-02, 03:54 AM   #16  
Joe_F
I'd have to agree with TowGuy:

1) He's in the heat of FL.
2) He idles.
3) He's pulling cars
4) His vehicle is always running.

If that's not severe, I don't know what is. Ok, maybe idling on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway here in NYC during rush hour .

Study was done with cabs here in NYC a while ago using various oils. All changed the same interval.

No difference in quality among the better stuff that's API rated the same. I'll see if I can find the study on the 'net.

For most passenger cars and trucks if you use quality oil that EXCEEDS the original API rating of the unit and use good filters, the brand is not important. If you look at my motors, they are spotless, because I am regular with oil changes. This is important. Regularity AND quality stuff.

As Tow Guy states most people say "Yea, I have that good brand X motor oil in there. Good for 5000 miles". Yet, they drive in the severe maintenance category!

 
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02-05-02, 09:39 AM   #17  
Whatever you do don't buy PepBoys oil. It's terrible. Or maybe it just too good. My 90 Accord loves that oil. I have to put 1 quart every week almost. (5W30). If I use any other brand (usually buy Havoline), I only have to put maybe 1 quart per 3000 miles. I don't know what's in that oil, it doesn't seem any thinner then the rest of them. It probalby has something to do with the temperature, the Accords tend to run very hot.

 
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02-05-02, 09:47 AM   #18  
Joe_F
I usually buy:

Exxon Superflo
Mobil, the dino kind
Havoline
Sears/Spectrum Plus (which at one time was made by Sunoco)


They are usually on sale. I always have noticed over the years they are current API ratings and always exceed any of the minimum standards. My cars were made to run on SE motor oil and oil today is far superior to that in 1979, 1980, or 1984 .

I use 10W30 in everything but the 84 Olds and 79 Trans Am, for which both owner's books show 10W40 is acceptable. The Olds is higher mileage, and it doesn't use any 10W40. Haven't tried 10W30 in it. I change all my oil on the cars I use every day 4 times a year at minimum. On the Pontiacs a couple of times a year as they are used very sparingly.

As for coolant I buy Prestone, Peak, Sierra (made by Peak/Old World Industries), Havoline, as they are always on sale.

I usually use Castrol Dexron III in my transmissions as it stays in for 25k miles.

I try to use Delco filters where possible or very good aftermarket ones (Hastings, Purolator regular line, etc).

 
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02-05-02, 01:07 PM   #19  
Oil

Just for clarity's sake I went and checked the box that Sam's oil comes in and it says API Service SJ,SH Certified. Westland Oil Co. Shreveport,La.....
To Joe: My manual says to use a 10w/30 oil for a 2.5L and 5w/30 for the 3.3L motors. I usually use the 10w/40 where the motor has some miles on it and I figure it may help on usage?... To tow guy: I am not sure as to whether the oil is getting by the rings or the valve seals or both. With the amount of smoke I see at startup I am leaning towards the rings. Any surefire way to tell I'd like to know. I guess the valve stem seals would be an easier/cheaper fix, then if that didn't help then tear the bottom off of it!....After the motor warms up the smoke abates though. I'm assuming that the catalytic converter is eating it from then on......My wife generally uses the Van and she gets some looks at work when she starts it up.More than once people have asked her if it is on fire or getting ready to explode. LOL!!!!

 
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02-05-02, 01:11 PM   #20  
Joe_F
If it burns oil or has higher mileage, 10W40 will quell some problems but is a band aid solution for an engine that actually burns it.

Smoke on cold startup is usually valve stem seals.

The oil you are using is current motor oil as per API standards. It should have the starburst logo on it saying "Certified for Gasoline Engines".

Might be worth counting your losses when it gets really bad and pitching it for something better. If the truck is in nice shape, and warrants a rebuild, go with a Mopar or quality aftermarket rebuilt engine.

 
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02-05-02, 01:58 PM   #21  
I have a question regarding this. It puzzles me. I have a 2.2 4 cylinder Accord. 1990. The manual says use 5W30. If I use that everything is fine. It smokes a bit under hard acceleration, but uses only about 1 qt of oil per 3000 miles. That's with an oil pan leak. If however I put 10W30 oil in it I have to put 1 qt of oil every 2 weeks. I never understood the logic in this. The 5 is thinner, so it should loose more oil then the 10, which is thicker. Anybody has any better explanations?

 
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02-05-02, 05:02 PM   #22  
Joe_F
Strange, I agree.

Same oil brand each time?

 
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02-05-02, 05:21 PM   #23  
toni: In agreement with joe, as usual, that smoking on start-up is usually valve seals. That's because when the engine sits for a while and cools down, gravity takes over. Most makes/models will eventually do that, some early and some not until you get mega-miles on them, the nature of the seal.

Used to be the ring check was to check compression in all cylinders and then one at a time take out a spark plug, squirt a small amount of oil into the cylinder, and then check compression again. If the compression went up significantly (hard to define) it was probably rings because what happened was the oil you squirted in helped seal off the combustion area on the compression stroke.

Haven't seen or heard of anyone doing that in ages, tho.

 
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02-05-02, 07:36 PM   #24  
Originally posted by Doyle
don`t even....not all oils are the same. spend a little time tearing down different blocks ran under severe duty to say...bout the same mileage...and compare gum buildup and then tell me oils perform the same...lol wont name any name brands which there are several that are real bad at breakdown....10\40 is real hard on a motor unless its a cummins diesel pretty much....there is no way i would ever put cheap oil in one of my cars and there are several major brands that are cheap no matter what the price tag states....hey got pictures if anyone want to see what a block looks like after a hard drive......bad thing is that one of the co. sponsors us...lol
Hi Can you please send me those pictures. I am curious on how they look after running them hard.

Many thanks,
OM

 
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02-05-02, 07:48 PM   #25  
Same brand. I even tried different brands. I noticed it at first after I went to Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed. Of coure, they never read what type of oil the car needs, for them it's 10W30 or nothing at all. I just thought it's strange.

 
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02-06-02, 05:45 AM   #26  
Joe_F
TowGuy:

As far as I know that's still a valid check. I have seen compression testers that tell you to do that.

I'll have to check mine to see what the instructions say .

 
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02-06-02, 10:47 AM   #27  
Change often Buy More & More!

If I was an Oil Company & could convince you to change your oil at evey 1,000 miles with my oil, for 50 cents a Qt thats a $1.50 every 3000 miles. Sound familiar? When I drill, cut, tap metal I use an oil as a cutting fluid. If you use cheap or $4.50 a quart cutting fluid oh i sorry. Did I say that what you so carefully put into your expensive Mills was cutting fluid? Well that's exactly what I meant to say, As Oil picks up particles of combustion, cools, lubricates it becomes one fine example of a cutting fluid. The more costly the oil the higher priced the cutting fluid. We all have in one way or another known what is causing the wear we see in our internal combustion engines & not our Automatic Transmissions. I was the new mechanic doing, that's right tear downs and oil changes, when the oils went from non-Detergent to partical suspending oils (Detergent). The problem is today we have the best chemicals to add to oils for tricks we only dreamed of in the 60s. Why is it do you think that the folks that make our oil partical removal devices, have laged so far behind the evolution of oil technology? We have all read about the tests with taxi cabs where the fleet used the same oil for 50,000 miles without changing and had very little wear and their oil was clear and clean. It had nothing to do with the oil brand. It seams that someone had invented a filter that used a special roll of perforated tolet paper. It worked because the filter removed particles down to the very very small micron sizes. There is a company today, no not the inexpensive perforated tolet paper roll, but an interesting concept none the less. Amsoil makes a filter system that uses one filter to take out the 5 microns and then with the oil that is backed up that regular oil filters dump back unfiltered into your engine. This 2 filter system takes that over flow oil and sends it through the 1 micron filter with the result being as you drive your oil gets cleaned down to the 1 micron level. I think it's a good idea one worth a try, there on order as we speak. http://www.amsoil.com Allways remember it's not the oil you use, but how big your particles are in your cutting fluid that counts for or against you in our fight against engine wear. Marturo

 
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