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#4618677 - 12/30/17 10:25 AM Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes
TmanP Offline


Registered: 10/30/15
Posts: 436
Loc: MN
I had the opportunity to talk to the previous owner of my car.
They told me that they owned it for about 85k miles and four years (Carfax confirms).
Out of curiosity, I asked them if it had given them any trouble, they said no.
But my real question was "how often did you change the oil?" I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was done earlier than the OLM dictated (they said around 5,000 miles); of course, like most cars on the road, it got conventional oil. Carfax didn't have much for info in this time; they told me they went to a variety of places "wherever I happened to be when it needed an oil change", which makes me think it was held fairly strictly to the 5,000 mile mark. Looking in the oil fill cap, what I can see of the engine looks clean and non-sludged.

My question is this: knowing that the GM 3800 V6 (Series 3) got conventional from 50-135k miles, changed regularly, and that it burns about a quart in 3000 (on synthetic) - 4000 (on conventional) miles, I am considering possibly going back to using a quality conventional changed on that same schedule?

Of course, there are benefits to running synthetic (as I have done for the most part over the last 2 years) but the engine has seen conventional for most of its life.

I am comfortable with running conventional that long, but definitely not 10,000 miles as suggested by the OLM, with "mostly highway service". Honestly, I don't really like the idea of running synthetic too much longer than that, anyway.

I might use MS5K, Chevron Supreme, Formula Shell, etc. and a decent (OEM) filter. These would be quite cheap OCIs then. And if it's what the car got most of its life...
Thoughts?? What would you do?
_________________________
2006 Buick Lacrosse 3.8 V6 150,000 mi
2015 Chevy Silverado LT Z71 5.3 V8 30,000 mi
2010 Toyota Sienna 3.5 V6 150,000 mi

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#4618687 - 12/30/17 10:35 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
Throt Offline


Registered: 11/15/14
Posts: 905
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
I’d run: https://mobiloil.com/en/motor-oils/mobil-1/mobil-1-high-mileage

With living in MN and those cold temps I personally wouldn’t run a conventional.


Edited by Throt (12/30/17 10:36 AM)
_________________________
'18 Cadillac ATS AWD, 2.0L T-GDI, 3500, Factory Fill/Filter, his (lease)
'17 Elantra, 2.0L, 21,000, QS Ult. 0w20 w/ FU, hers (lease)

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#4618695 - 12/30/17 10:39 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
Alex_V Offline


Registered: 04/10/16
Posts: 1155
Loc: Campbellsville, KY
The 3800 may be one of the most durable passenger car engines of recent times. You shouldn't shorten its lifespan any with conventional changed every 4-5K, but I put Maxlife blend 10w30 in every one I service and they all do well on it.

It's good to have the peace of mind that it's probably never been run 15K or 3 quarts low. Barring any other failures that engine should pass 250K at a minimum.

I inherited my grandpa's '96 LeSabre with 182K on it. It now has 185-ish and runs great.
My BIL has a '98 with 228K, that he beats on pretty hard and has been over 2 quarts low more than once. Still runs fine, tranny may be starting to die.
A friend in college at the moment that brings his auto needs to me has an '04 LeSabre that his parents gave him, currently with over 270K. Runs and drives like it has less than half that mileage.
A recent customer has a '98 Olds 88 with 181K on it - the drain plug area is a little messed up so Wally World wouldn't change the oil, and judging by the grime on the filter it had been a LONG time since it was done last. It also ran with a dead miss on one cylinder for 2 months, pours water out the coolant elbow above the water pump, and after the PS pump bolts broke off he continued driving around town (with no fan belt = no water pump or alternator) until the battery ran dead. That 3800 still sounds generally healthy... from what you can hear over the straight pipe exhaust.

That is to say - have confidence in your purchase. laugh


Edited by Alex_V (12/30/17 10:41 AM)
_________________________
I like Chevy and Valvoline.

'13 Cruze, 1.4T, 112K
'85 GMC C3500, 454, 130K
'82 Mercedes 300CD, OM617 turbo, 167K
'67 Suburban, 350, 331K

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#4618704 - 12/30/17 10:49 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: Throt]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 6148
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Throt

With living in MN and those cold temps I personally wouldn’t run a conventional.


Same here. I'd run conventional in the summer, but keep the ol' girl on Synth for winter.
_________________________
"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."

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#4618709 - 12/30/17 10:52 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
Black_Thunder Offline


Registered: 09/23/06
Posts: 1285
Loc: Wisconsin
Maxlife smile


or just a Synthetic blend year round.
_________________________
I'd buy Callahan autoparts if I could.

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#4618712 - 12/30/17 10:54 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
aquariuscsm Online   content


Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 18159
Loc: Dallas,Tx USA
3800's will run until you get tired of them. They simply don't wear out. I'd keep running synthetic,and change it like clockwork.
_________________________
1996 Nissan 300ZX 5-speed,Arctic Pearl(#175 of 300)
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 10W30
2012 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L 2.4,auto,San Marino Red
Pennzoil Platinum 0W20



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#4618731 - 12/30/17 11:05 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: Black_Thunder]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5230
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
The little bit I've seen of the 3800-driving 3 other people's vehicles-has been positive. Strong sounding, good pull. This was in 2 Buicks and a Camaro.

As mentioned, I like synthetic oils IF ONLY for their cold pumpability (official oil term). Many are quite affordable.

Maybe a High Mileage formula will curtail the leak. 1 qt. per 3,000 mi. is something you can live with.

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#4618732 - 12/30/17 11:06 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: aquariuscsm]
Throt Offline


Registered: 11/15/14
Posts: 905
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Originally Posted By: aquariuscsm
3800's will run until you get tired of them. They simply don't wear out. I'd keep running synthetic,and change it like clockwork.


For sure, incredibly tough engines. Fiancé had one in a Grand Prix, great engine. I vote no against the syn blends. Pony up and give that engine the best you can. You can get QS FS for like $16. That’s better than a blend IMO.
_________________________
'18 Cadillac ATS AWD, 2.0L T-GDI, 3500, Factory Fill/Filter, his (lease)
'17 Elantra, 2.0L, 21,000, QS Ult. 0w20 w/ FU, hers (lease)

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#4618742 - 12/30/17 11:17 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
Marco620 Offline


Registered: 02/25/14
Posts: 2186
Loc: Deplorable Kansan,HK fan!
QSUD. If the high miles scares you go half QSUD and half QS HM synblend. MN too cold for dino. Too much strain on battery and everything else.
_________________________
2015 Civic 162k mi.0w20 Redline/Archoil,HPS SRI,Yokohama/Moog links Borla Exhaust/Vibrant Resonator/Tein Suspension
Go Nashville Predators!

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#4618743 - 12/30/17 11:18 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
ejes Offline


Registered: 01/11/16
Posts: 313
Loc: Kansas
I have a 96 Buick with that engine at 120k that I bought 5 years ago for my kids to drive back and forth to school every day. 2 miles one way, so lots of short tripping with typical teenage driving habits. It has a hard life. I run Valvoline Maxlife (which is a synthetic blend) in it and change ever 3k. It just keeps going. Dollar for dollar, hard to beat that oil in a beater car IMO.

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#4618745 - 12/30/17 11:19 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
Marco620 Offline


Registered: 02/25/14
Posts: 2186
Loc: Deplorable Kansan,HK fan!
You : So, how often did you change the oil?
Him : Your supposed to change it?
_________________________
2015 Civic 162k mi.0w20 Redline/Archoil,HPS SRI,Yokohama/Moog links Borla Exhaust/Vibrant Resonator/Tein Suspension
Go Nashville Predators!

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#4618747 - 12/30/17 11:22 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
macarose Offline


Registered: 01/25/09
Posts: 399
Loc: Georgia
You can run anything with that. What makes a healthier difference is not conventional vs. synthetic, but the additive packages that are used in the oil you buy.

In your case it depends if you're a DIY guy. If that's you, I would do your oil in September and March if you drive 10k miles or less. a high quality conventional or synthetic blend is perfectly fine.

If you want a better context read this...

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a53/1266801/

I believe your vehicle may also have an oil life monitor. Those were designed with conventional in mind.

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#4618774 - 12/30/17 11:50 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
dwendt44 Offline


Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 3968
Loc: Central Wisconsin
Had several of those engine in Grand Prixs and currently take
care of a LaCrosse with one of the last versions.
The rear main seal is leaking and Maxlife hasn't helped much.
Think the valve seals need attention.

Caused by frozen PCV me thinks. Previous owner did
mostly short trips and central Wisconsin get cold.

My 2¢
_________________________
There's no such thing as:
Too big of a battery,
Too large of a gas tank,
or too loud of a horn,
or too bright headlights.

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#4618791 - 12/30/17 11:59 AM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5514
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
There is no proof that "synthetic" is any better at wear prevention than a premium quality dino oil. And all synthetics have some dino oil as the carrier for the add pak. So they are all "blends" to some degree or another...

I'd just go Red Bottle Maxlife syn-blend (at least admit it laugh ) in 5W-30 and cruise on. You are in cold country. the %w will help. The oil consumption should settle to somewhere in between what you have experienced. It'll run a long time.

Biggest issue may be injector seals if they have not been done. Slight vacuum leak and slightly rough idle ... Loose the side post battery if it has one and put a new fresh one in there with honest good sized cables and new clean connections on both ends and it'll fire anytime smile


Edited by BrocLuno (12/30/17 12:00 PM)
_________________________
Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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#4618795 - 12/30/17 12:05 PM Re: Talked to my car's previous owner-oil changes [Re: TmanP]
MNgopher Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 4042
Loc: Lakeville, MN
Use a name brand dino oil of the correct weight and change it every 5000 miles.

Reading the posts in these threads you'd think the only cars running here are running synthetic. Hint: The vast majority of vehicles here run whatever dino oil is allowed and they run fine.

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