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#3957007 - 12/23/15 05:13 PM Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3?
phaphaphooey Offline


Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 69
Loc: USA
Greetings:

I will need to change the oil in my new Alfa Romeo 4C soon and look to the collective knowledge of the board for guidance. The car has a 1.7 litre turbocharged and direct injected petrol engine. I have modified mine with, among other things, an ECU reflash and as a result it puts out approximately 300 WHP/WTQ. I say this as background and also to indicate that, although no one has done an UOA for this car yet, I expect it to be pretty hard on oil.

The manual specs a Chrysler oil spec which essentially translates to an ACEA C3 oil. In ROW cars where the Chrysler brand does not exist the oil specced for the car is any ACEA C3 oil. I am uncomfortable with this and fear that the oil is specced for emissions control devices at the expense of actual engine protection. From my very limited knowledge, it seems odd that a low SAPS oil is specced since the car has neither a DPF nor a three way catalyst. The only thing I could think of was that perhaps it somehow better controlled the formation of intake valve deposits but my other two cars with DI engines (Porsche 911 and VW GTI) both seem to have no trouble in that arena with oils more closely aligned with the ACEA A3 spec (Porsche A40/VW 502/MB229.3/.5). I had intended to use the same oil in the Alfa Romeo as well (either M1 0w-40 or Castrol 0w-40) but though that I should probably check with someone smarter than myself first. So what do we think? Use a low Saps C3 oil or stick to the more tried and true (for high performance applications) A3 oils? All input is appreciated.
_________________________
2009 Porsche Carrera S
2013 Lotus Evora
2015 Volkswagen GTI
2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

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#3957072 - 12/23/15 06:32 PM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
slacktide_bitog Online   content


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6142
Loc: USA
Use C3 during the warranty period at least! There are a few good C3's available in the US. Even WPP makes a Mag 1 syn that meets the C3 standards. Slightly difficult, but not impossible, to source.

Also, since C3 is specified worldwide, it's not necessarily because of CAFE. ACEA standards are written by engineers, not lobbyists; C3 will provide sufficient protection. Your 4C definitely has a catalyst. There's no way in [censored] it'd pass emissions standards without one. Three-way catalysts have been on almost every car sold in the US for at least 20-25 years.

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#3957155 - 12/23/15 08:24 PM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
phaphaphooey Offline


Registered: 08/22/07
Posts: 69
Loc: USA
You are right and I misspoke. It definitely has a cat. However, why do other similar cars, which all have cats as well, specify an A3 and not C3 oil? I guess that is the critical question.
_________________________
2009 Porsche Carrera S
2013 Lotus Evora
2015 Volkswagen GTI
2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

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#3957159 - 12/23/15 08:28 PM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
edyvw Online   content


Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: phaphaphooey
You are right and I misspoke. It definitely has a cat. However, why do other similar cars, which all have cats as well, specify an A3 and not C3 oil? I guess that is the critical question.

C3?
My choice:
1. Mobil1 5W30 ESP
Mobil1 website
If you want thicker oil:
2. Pentosin 5W40
Pentosin website


Edited by edyvw (12/23/15 08:29 PM)
_________________________
13' BMW X5 35d (Mobil1 5W30 ESP+OEM filter)
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)

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#3957215 - 12/23/15 09:34 PM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
slacktide_bitog Online   content


Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 6142
Loc: USA
Mag 1 5w30 C3 is much cheaper than what edywv posted.

Amazon has a 6-qt case for $45, and it comes in clear bottles!!! Grainger also sells it for $7.29/qt.

Valvoline Synpower MST also meets C3 standards. Available in both 5w30 and 5w40. Napa seems to be the only place that carries the 5w30 MST, but the 5w40 MST is more widely available. The part number for MST 5w30 is 787301. Price is $9.49/qt unless there is a sale or promo going on.

Anything that is licensed for dexos2 (blue logo) should also work.

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#3957225 - 12/23/15 09:50 PM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: slacktide_bitog]
edyvw Online   content


Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: slacktide_bitog
Mag 1 5w30 C3 is much cheaper than what edywv posted.

Amazon has a 6-qt case for $45, and it comes in clear bottles!!! Grainger also sells it for $7.29/qt.

Valvoline Synpower MST also meets C3 standards. Available in both 5w30 and 5w40. Napa seems to be the only place that carries the 5w30 MST, but the 5w40 MST is more widely available. The part number for MST 5w30 is 787301. Price is $9.49/qt unless there is a sale or promo going on.

Anything that is licensed for dexos2 (blue logo) should also work.

Much cheaper? 6qt for $45 or 12 liters (12.7qt) for $109. So yeah, a little bit more expensive.
that MAG1 has NOACK of 10%, which is on border of being MB 229.51 acceptable. Has TBN of 8.0, which makes it Mid-SAPS, which means more deposits then M1 ESP. HTHS is bit lower, not much. And MOST importantly, it is NOT APPROVED by Mercedes-Benz, VW, BMW.

I said my choice for a reason, not because it is cheap or expensive, but because it is one of best if not best C3 5W30 oil.
So, he is under warranty he needs approved oil, and not to come to position when something goes wrong and dealership asks: what kind of oil you used, he says? MAG1, and they say: MAG what?


Edited by edyvw (12/23/15 09:56 PM)
_________________________
13' BMW X5 35d (Mobil1 5W30 ESP+OEM filter)
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)

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#3957282 - 12/23/15 10:58 PM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
Garak Offline


Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 24574
Loc: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Has Castrol Edge C3 5w-30 made it into the U.S. yet?
_________________________
Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, NAPA Gold 7356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515

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#3957372 - 12/24/15 02:28 AM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: edyvw]
Kamele0N Online   sick


Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 2038
Loc: Slovenia
C3?
My choice:
1. Mobil1 5W30 ESP
Mobil1 website
If you want thicker oil:
2. Pentosin 5W40
Pentosin website [/quote]

And I personaly would try to find oil in 5W40 grade...
_________________________
2011 Hyundai i30 1.4 CVVT Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
1997 Toyota Landcruiser KZJ95 3.0 TD various 10w40

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#3957386 - 12/24/15 04:56 AM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
SR5 Offline


Registered: 07/07/15
Posts: 4460
Loc: Down Under
To me a C3 oil is a mid-SAPS version of a A3 oil.

Yes C3 should be better for your Cat / DPF if you burn a bit of oil, while the A3 should have a higher TBN and therefore a longer drain interval. Both have a HTHS or 3.5 or more.

Yes you should be able to use the A3 oil in the Alfa, but given that C3 oils are also good oils and commonly available. why not use a C3 since this is recommended ? I don't see any reason not to, and maybe Alfa do have some small issue they are concerned about.

BTW Alfa Romeo, great brand, they have a certain style that has always caught my eye. I loved the GTV 's as a kid. Enjoy your car.
_________________________
Penrite Vantage 10W40 SN & A3/B4 + Wesfil-Cooper Z154

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#3957390 - 12/24/15 05:06 AM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
SR5 Offline


Registered: 07/07/15
Posts: 4460
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: phaphaphooey
You are right and I misspoke. It definitely has a cat. However, why do other similar cars, which all have cats as well, specify an A3 and not C3 oil? I guess that is the critical question.


I would guess the other cars like MB & BMW are going for long drain intervals ( like 2 years and 20,000 miles) while Alfa Romeo is not.

It your not going for long drain intervals, you don't need the high SAPS oils, so why bother to use them. No advantage for a regular OCI.

What OCI does Alfa Romeo say to use ?
_________________________
Penrite Vantage 10W40 SN & A3/B4 + Wesfil-Cooper Z154

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#3957421 - 12/24/15 06:38 AM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
supercity Offline


Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 1156
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: phaphaphooey
You are right and I misspoke. It definitely has a cat. However, why do other similar cars, which all have cats as well, specify an A3 and not C3 oil? I guess that is the critical question.


ACEA C3 rated oils are mainstream in Europe for high performance gasoline engines like SN is in N America. C2 adds fuel efficiency like GF-5 does. C3 will protect your engine just fine. If it makes you feel any better, anything C3 will meet API SN and between 2004 to 2012 A3/B4 could be, and usually has been, formulated C3 low saps for maximum versatility anyway. All the tech is going low saps, A3/B4 has become somewhat redundant in Europe and only typically recommended in countries that do not have ULS fuel.

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#3957459 - 12/24/15 08:12 AM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: phaphaphooey]
Popsy Offline


Registered: 05/10/15
Posts: 893
Loc: Frogland / Brittany
Isn't the recommended oil Selenia star pe or something exotic like that?
In Europe (at least on my country) Fiat/Alfa dealers are using 5W30 C3 oil in almost all vehicles, including engines like 1,2L 8v where A3 oil was recommended before that.
_________________________
96 Barchetta, Motul 300V 5W40 | 98 Barchetta, Quartz 9000 energy 5W40
05 Forfour 95, SHU 0W40 (gf's car) | 10 Colt Ralliart, 300V 0W40

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#3957552 - 12/24/15 10:19 AM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: Garak]
edyvw Online   content


Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: Colorado Springs
Originally Posted By: Garak
Has Castrol Edge C3 5w-30 made it into the U.S. yet?

I do not think so. I have not seen it yet.
_________________________
13' BMW X5 35d (Mobil1 5W30 ESP+OEM filter)
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)

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#3957638 - 12/24/15 11:56 AM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: edyvw]
edyvw Online   content


Registered: 03/08/12
Posts: 5032
Loc: Colorado Springs
Guys API recommendations and Dexos whatever will not work in these cars.
Strictly stick to C3, and look that it meets MB229.51, since MB has very stringent requirements.
C3 could be both Mid-SAPS (like Pentosin 5W40) or Low-SAPS9 like Mobil1 5W30 ESP).
I am not sure why Alfa recommends C3 in the U.S. considering sulphur level in the U.S. gasoline. I can only think that there are issues with carbon deposits on valves, so this is one of the ways to prevent it.
I would definitely do used oil analysis of oil. If you go with low-SAPS oils like M1 5W30 ESP i would change it at 3K send it to blackstone and see where is TBN and whether it can go to 5K.
If TBN is too low after 3K, move to Mid-SAPS oil like Pentosin 5W40. How you know which C3 is Low-SAPS and which is Mid-SAPS?
If it is Low-SAPS it will have VW 504.00/507.00 specification, and BMW LL-04, MB 229.51.
If it is Mid-SAS it will have VW 505.01, 502.00 , and BMW LL04, MB 229.51.
_________________________
13' BMW X5 35d (Mobil1 5W30 ESP+OEM filter)
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)

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#3957683 - 12/24/15 12:47 PM Re: Alfa Romeo 4C: ACEA C3? [Re: SR5]
Jetronic Offline


Registered: 02/27/09
Posts: 3653
Loc: down in the park
Originally Posted By: SR5
Originally Posted By: phaphaphooey
You are right and I misspoke. It definitely has a cat. However, why do other similar cars, which all have cats as well, specify an A3 and not C3 oil? I guess that is the critical question.


I would guess the other cars like MB & BMW are going for long drain intervals ( like 2 years and 20,000 miles) while Alfa Romeo is not.

It your not going for long drain intervals, you don't need the high SAPS oils, so why bother to use them. No advantage for a regular OCI.

What OCI does Alfa Romeo say to use ?


the same engine in europe (and used in the Giulietta) specs 22k and 2 years with ACEA C3 oil with a max noack of 10%. 5w40 viscosity though that is imo of less importance.

the exhaust treatment equipment must be guaranteed to work for 100k miles even with the maximum allowed oil useage (0.5 litres per 1000 km).

22k is too much in reality, I would go to A3 oil aswell, and most likely an MB229.5 spec
_________________________
AR Giulietta 2.0 JTDM-2 -- Total Quartz 9000 Energy 0w30
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