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#3372882 - 05/15/14 10:09 PM Need help with Oil choice
clearanceman Offline


Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 66
Loc: WV
1995 Honda accord. 232,000 miles. Only runs about 3000 miles every six months but they are all stop and go short trip hard miles. I've been changing the oil for several years with Syntec full synthetic every six months, pure one filter. Recently, I had scratches in the cam and it was getting worse. So I, myself changed the cam (used), rockers (used), timing belt (it was close to time to do it and it had to come off when the cam came out), balance belt, water pump, oil pump (it was suspect and 20 years old but it did pass spec), all the seals along the way, timing covers, and drive belts.

While in there, I noticed a lot of varnish and even a trace of sludge in a couple places. I've owned this car for 7 years and always used synthetic oil never going more than 5000 miles between changes even when it was driven 40,000 miles per year for awhile. I've used several different brands but syntec for the last four at least.

In my mind, the oil is somewhat suspect although people tell me the cam probably wasn't heat treated correctly. So, since the car isn't driven much AND because they are all hard miles:

Should I get better oil, do I NEED to get better oil? If so, which oil? It only takes four quarts, I'm not worried about paying for four quarts of even Redline every six months. Trust me, I just paid for $500 worth of Honda parts, I don't want to change the cam and rockers again. BTW, it's hard to believe because there is a well of oil under the cam and it gets dipped in oil the first rotation on start up.

And I have a 2000 legacy with 261,000 and it's driven about 20,000 miles per year. I use the same oil and filters. When I've had it apart there is no sludge and very little varnish. Maybe the oil pump was bad? I just think maybe I should get better oil for the Honda if I'm only going to change it every six months anyway.


Edited by clearanceman (05/15/14 10:18 PM)

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#3372892 - 05/15/14 10:16 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
Merkava_4 Online   content


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 9591
Loc: Clovis, CA
Quote:
I've been changing the oil for several years with Syntec full synthetic every six months, pure one filter.


Quote:
While in there, I noticed a lot of varnish and even a trace of sludge in a couple places. I've owned this car for 7 years and always used synthetic oil never going more than 5000 miles between changes


How'd you manage to get sludge and varnish using Syntec with a 5000 mile/6 month OCI ?

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#3372895 - 05/15/14 10:18 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: Merkava_4]
clearanceman Offline


Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 66
Loc: WV
This is the question. It kind of blew me away. Since I haven't seen it with the Subaru. Maybe the oil pump was going bad? And the last few years were 6 months/3000 miles...


Edited by clearanceman (05/15/14 10:19 PM)

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#3372902 - 05/15/14 10:35 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
clearanceman Offline


Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 66
Loc: WV
The old oil pump didn't feel like the bearing was grinding and there wasn't much play in it but I never tested it for volume because I don't have that equipment. It was over the average lifespan, according to a honda tech and I thought I was close to changing it anyway with the timing and balance belt although that's not really true, changing the oil pump on a honda 4 is a whole different animal.

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#3372906 - 05/15/14 10:37 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
gregk24 Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 3059
Loc: FL, USA
I dont think Castrol is the best cleaning oil, but there shouldn't be sludge and varnish with those short intervals. Has the PCV valve been changed? Moving forward, I would use Pennzoil Platinum or Pennzoil Ultra, or the new PPPP or PUP. Those are all great cleaning synthetics that SHOULD clean up the mess in there. I would still check the PCV valve though.
_________________________
2006 Honda Accord LX 2.4 i-vtec 125K
Mobil 1 AFE 0w20
Fram Ultra 7317

2005 Chevy Uplander 3.5 118K
Mobil 1 HM 5w30
Fram Ultra 3387

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#3372910 - 05/15/14 10:43 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: Merkava_4]
clearanceman Offline


Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 66
Loc: WV
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Quote:
I've been changing the oil for several years with Syntec full synthetic every six months, pure one filter.


Quote:
While in there, I noticed a lot of varnish and even a trace of sludge in a couple places. I've owned this car for 7 years and always used synthetic oil never going more than 5000 miles between changes


How'd you manage to get sludge and varnish using Syntec with a 5000 mile/6 month OCI ?


SORRY SUPERTECH, not Syntec... Wally World Brand...

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#3372914 - 05/15/14 10:48 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 6319
Loc: Northern Kentucky
Supertech synthetic is a good oil, my guess is that the varnish was long formed by the previous owner. Pennzoil Platinum has a bit better cleaning ability if you want to step up.

Fighting varnish once it's formed is difficult.
_________________________
1999 Ford Taurus 146k (Vulcan v6) - M1 High Mileage 5w30 | Fram Ultra XG 3600
2002 Buick Century 105k - Peak 5w30 / Fram Ultra XG 3980 / Filter mag

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#3372917 - 05/15/14 10:50 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: 901Memphis]
clearanceman Offline


Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 66
Loc: WV
Just thought the varnish would come out in 7 years of changing the oil. Maybe I need to change more often due to the super short trips. Most trips are 3 miles, it goes weeks without driving more than 5 miles on a trip and it is driven almost every day for super short trips. Maybe every three months which is 1500 miles? I just don't want to groove another cam. I was lucky someone sold me a used cam and rockers for $40. No way I'll get that lucky again.


Edited by clearanceman (05/15/14 10:52 PM)

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#3372918 - 05/15/14 10:53 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
jorton Offline


Registered: 07/04/03
Posts: 2776
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I guess your driving style is really hard on an engine. If the engine is always "warming up" and never reaches normal temp there could be fuel dilution in the oil. Don't know if there is metal to metal contact, or just normal wear for an old car. I don't think you should expect synthetic oil to overcome these harsh conditions and the best plan will be to run conventional oil and change it out every 2 or 3 months.
_________________________
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti



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#3372919 - 05/15/14 10:54 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: jorton]
clearanceman Offline


Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 66
Loc: WV
Originally Posted By: jorton
I guess your driving style is really hard on an engine. If the engine is always "warming up" and never reaches normal temp there could be fuel dilution in the oil. Don't know if there is metal to metal contact, or just normal wear for an old car. I don't think you should expect synthetic oil to overcome these harsh conditions and the best plan will be to run conventional oil and change it out every 2 or 3 months.


OK, I understand. Although Supertech is so cheap in the five quart bottle I might as well just keep buying it and change it more often. It's only $17.50 for 5 quarts.

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#3372936 - 05/15/14 11:21 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
jorton Offline


Registered: 07/04/03
Posts: 2776
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Yes, that's a good price. I know you want to take care of the new parts. A 1500 mile interval sounds like overkill for modern motor oil but Honda's severe service oil change schedule for your model is probably 3000 miles or 3 months, which ever comes first.
_________________________
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."
- Mario Andretti



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#3372938 - 05/15/14 11:22 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
mongo161 Offline


Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 3226
Loc: Coney Island, NY
IMO...Castrol Syntec Blend is some really fine oil. I've used it in a few runs and all I can say is the engine ran smooth. I mixed a blend of 2 Gray Quarts of the Castrol SynBlend 20w50, 5w20 and 2 quarts of Castrol "Full Synthetic" Syntec (Before it became Edge with Syntec)...Kmart Gallon Jug clearance specials....Full Synthetic 5w30. Total of 6 quarts for 3 8K runs in my vehicle as well as neighbor's vehicles. Not a problem. No make up oil in the Summer Heat. All oils were API-SM

All these were clearance oils except for the SynBlend 5w20 Gray quarts.

BTW...there are some very good cleaners you can use for your internal engine clean up. I used 2 long doses of Kreen with very good results. There is also the old time favorite dosing of MMO that can be used as an option.
_________________________
I get by with a little help from my friends....listen with your eyes....it's the ONLY way to believe what you hear...

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#3372961 - 05/15/14 11:54 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 6319
Loc: Northern Kentucky
Step up to Quaker State Ultimate Durability is only a few bucks more with a much better additive pack.
_________________________
1999 Ford Taurus 146k (Vulcan v6) - M1 High Mileage 5w30 | Fram Ultra XG 3600
2002 Buick Century 105k - Peak 5w30 / Fram Ultra XG 3980 / Filter mag

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#3372962 - 05/15/14 11:56 PM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
Quest Offline


Registered: 12/19/04
Posts: 6499
Loc: beaver land EH?
short tripping will cause just as much damage to the engine, more so than one that sees more, if not longer running miles/operating times.

Ever heard of the old lady's automobile story? low miles, frequent short trips (go to the corner store 1 mile away from house and back, sunday church, send a mail or see doctor, etc. even with low miles, the engine still looks varnishy due to (a) condensation, (b) fuel dilution in oil, (c) engine didn't get sufficiently hot enough for some of the additives in oil to "activate" itself and starts doing it's job (keeping engine clean, neutralise acids, coat the cam lobes or plate the bearings, etc.)

Q.
_________________________
"Internet discussion boards act as echo chambers for conspiracy dittoheads" A.Allen

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#3372976 - 05/16/14 01:44 AM Re: Need help with Oil choice [Re: clearanceman]
Merkava_4 Online   content


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 9591
Loc: Clovis, CA
Start running MaxLife blend .... it'll clean all that varnish out if you can get the oil hot enough.

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