$500 beater, Oil suggestions?

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72
Location
Festus, MO
Thread starter
Originally Posted by bullwinkle
As hot as this summer is getting, 15W40 HDEO would even be on my short list.
Funny you mention a 40-wt, I was actually thinking of SuperTech 10w40 as another possibility this summer.
 
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Messages
1,029
Location
Maryland
That is a great deal! If that were my car I would use the 6 quart Havoline High Mileage 10W30 from Walmart and any name brand filter.
 
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4,065
Location
Decatur AL USA
2000 Sunfire SE 2.2L OHV and 4 Spd Auto. 9 year and 180,000 mi on SuperTech Synthetic 5W-30 and SuperTech Filter with 10,000 mi OCI (Sold to New Owner) 2009 Solistice 2.4L Ecotec and 5 Spd Auto. 11 years and 160,000 mi on SuperTech Synthetic 5W-30 with Delco Filter and 10,000 mi OCI. That covers my sister's 20 years of cars. Neither used any oil in her history of ownership. Likely could come up with a worse plan for a 2.2L OHV.
 
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Messages
10
Location
Illinois
Not sure if there's a Walmart near you but Supertech high mileage synthetic 5w30 is $13.97 for a 5 quart jug, at least in my neck of the woods. I bought 5 jugs to have on hand for oil changes.
 
Messages
2,183
Location
Flaherty, KY
I've driven lots of those Cavaliers from that era, always liked them for what they were- cheap vehicles to get from A to B. The 2200 engine was smooth with good torque and tough as nails. I liked the power of the Ecotec that replaced it (first Ecotec I drove was a rented Cavlier and I tested it out thoroughly :), but it didn't seem as refined or torquey as the 2200 OHV. If I was looking for a beater car to commute with that had the cheapest cost of ownership, that'd be somewhere near the top of the list. Good score.
 
Messages
2,183
Location
Flaherty, KY
Originally Posted by skyactiv
When those cars were new, they had VERY cold AC. It uses the AC system designed for a larger GM car.
I rented one back in the early 2000's and thought the same thing. It was so cold I had to keep switching it off. I was jealous when I got home-- the A/C in my '01 Jetta stunk in comparison.
 
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35,780
Location
ME
HDEO 10w30 in the summer, but, realistically, whatever you can get cheap. If I had it I'd run a frankenbrew of the odd leftovers from my garage. See what rockauto has for PF47 type filters. Champs for $1.37 are probably better than the $1.22 pro-tecs. Maybe order when you order something else and save on shipping. The valve cover gasket is silly easy to do on these cars, and cheap. I'd pay attention to the coolant-- maybe swap out with some AMAM. The long coolant pipe that goes around the top of the engine has been known to rot out.
 
Messages
968
Location
Berks County/Pa.
Dated a girl back in the day who bought a 98 Cavalier 5 speed brand new with the 2.2L engine. That little car got great gas mileage and the AC was cold as ever. Agreed -- cheap oil paired with a cheap Super Tech oil filter -- good score!!!
 
Messages
2,183
Location
Flaherty, KY
Originally Posted by eljefino
HDEO 10w30 in the summer, but, realistically, whatever you can get cheap. If I had it I'd run a frankenbrew of the odd leftovers from my garage.
That's pretty much my thought on oil for it to a T.
 
Messages
1,333
Location
Charlotte, NC
I feel pretty qualified to comment on this. I owned a 1998 Cavalier from 1998 up til late 2013 that had the same engine and it still ran great when I sold it. It had 359,833 miles and still ran GREAT!!! As for oil, I went back and forth with Exxon Superflo Synthetic 5w-30 and M1 5w-30 in it for the first 10 years or so then I changed over to PP 5w-30 for the remaining time until I sold it. As for filters, I used Pure One filters by Purolator for the majority of the time I had it and eventually moved over to Wix after joining BITOG. As for suggestions, you can easily run a synthetic up to 6,000 to 7,500 miles. Just make sure your oil filter game is strong. Also, make sure you cover up the exhaust pipe with aluminum foil or a homemade metal shield or something that won't melt when you change the oil so that the oil from the filter doesn't run out on it and get caught up in the braided flexpipe, which would give you that burning oil odor for awhile. Had mine not been just a basic car with no options other than A/C, I would have kept it. As I got older, having no power windows, no power locks, no cruise control, no nothing started to wear on me. Would love to come across one at some point fully equipped so that I actually have an incentive to do repairs on it. As 92saturnsl2 mentioned. Engine is extremely smooth. I miss that (my '03 Focus is no ways as smooth as the '98 Cav). Lastly, at the risk of sounding "crazy" I could tell when the car needed an oil change (if I got lazy). I would feel a little bit of vibration in the steering wheel. Lots of good memories with my ol '98. Anyway, that's my .02 on the matter.
 
Messages
4,832
Location
Southeast Texas
Originally Posted by Normac
Originally Posted by bullwinkle
As hot as this summer is getting, 15W40 HDEO would even be on my short list.
Funny you mention a 40-wt, I was actually thinking of SuperTech 10w40 as another possibility this summer.
Thats a good choice. Cheap and will stand up great for extended driving at highway speeds. 10K interval & mid-to-upper grade filter (Napa Gold), just perfect.
 
Messages
72
Location
Festus, MO
Thread starter
Thanks to all for the tips and suggestions. Eljefino - I'll keep an eye on that coolant hose. Didn't think about 10w30 HDEO, but why not. Thanks! qdeezie - good to know. This one doesn't have any options either, so I can relate. grin
 
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Messages
1,426
Location
MN
I would absolutely love to find one of these for my next winter beater. Unfortunately, up here they're all rotten by the time they get that cheap. That, and finding a manual is neigh impossible, which is what I would want. No options, too, just like yours. Honestly, I'd rather have the Ecotec in mine, though. Nothing against the 2200, but I would rather have a high-revving DOHC engine than a stump-pulling OHV in that type of car. I'm also surprised at all the comments about the 2200 being "smooth". I've heard it called many things, but smooth has never been one of them. Is it an Iron Duke? Certainly not. But the Ecotec is a much smoother engine IMO. Anyways, great purchase! And just to keep it on topic, I would run whatever is on sale for oil. Weight isn't going to matter much in that engine, it just doesn't care. I will say, keep an eye on the subframe especially where the rack mounts are welded on and the passenger side rear control arm mount. They love to rot out at those locations for some reason. However, it's super easy to replace and cheap to get a clean one from the south.
 
Messages
18,085
Location
Michigan
Been running some sort of J body in my fleet for the last 24 years... Those 2.2s will run of ANYTHING you run in there...they are not picky! I just had to retire a 2003 Cavalier with the Ecotec 2.2.... 160k trouble free miles living in any synthetic and a Delco filter. Did just fine... Sadly, down to just the 2004 Cav now.....
 
Messages
8,733
Location
Houston, TX
SuperTech oil and filters? SuperTech oil and cheapest FRAM? House brand on sale with a discount at a local auto parts store? Any of them should be fine if you are looking to save a few dollars.
 
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