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10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation #5119734 05/29/19 08:15 PM
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LowMilesLesabre Offline OP
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I thought I would share my experience with viscosity and synthetic oil brands. I am the second owner of the Lesabre (3.8 Series II) and purchased the car from family friend with only 39k on it. The car has been pampered all its life with the original owner keeping impeccable service records since he is as anal as I am about maintenance. Except for its factory fill, the car has been run on synthetics all its life. GM specifically emphasized in the owners manual that 10w30 was preferred and only indicates trying 5w30 below freezing range of temps. First owner used M 1. I first was using Napa Synthetic (Valvoline essentially) and both of those brands in 10w30 showed virtually no oil consumption over 5k OCIs. When winter came, I thought I would try the 5w30 but that was short lived. On startup, the engine emitted "rattling" sounds and even when warm, the car never sounded quite the same as on the 10w30. Mind you, I have not even heard of BITOG at the time and so I had no built in bias for or against 5w30 oils since my prior car (Honda) thrived on it. This issue with 5w30 happened with Napa Syn and the M1. When I switched over to PP and PPU, I have noted that I even get some oil consumption with that brand's 10w30.

I wonder if part of this issue is due to the relatively "ancient' origins of my engines design. Were tolerances a lot different from engines today? And if so, would that explain why the 3.8 seems to be happier on certain brands of 10w30? I guess I'm wondering if the avg. viscosity of 10w30 oils varies enough to cause what I sense is a lack of oil pressure (from the 5w30 oils) and that even some of my oil loss with 10w30's is due to lower viscosity from some synthetics like the PP? I have decided to try switching over to Castrol 10w30 HM Semi-syn to see how the 3.8 responds to what I hear is higher viscosity range. Has anyone else ever noted oil pressure issues (low) related to viscosity variances amongst oil brands? This car has never been abused and even though I'm not a senior citizen, I drive like one

Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5119740 05/29/19 08:20 PM
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Different formulations can clean rings and other areas which create false seals which can lead to increased consumption which should settle down upon further OCI's.


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5119752 05/29/19 08:34 PM
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Garak Offline
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With respect to oil pressure, at operating temperature, most 10w-30 and 5w-30 ILSAC options will be much the same. The 5w-30 I happen to run is thicker at operating temperatures than any 10w-30 ILSAC PCMO on the market.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, Wix 57356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5119767 05/29/19 08:50 PM
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das_peikko Offline
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I have the same car. It never did like synthetics. It's the happiest with either Chevron Supreme or Mobil Super 5000 10W-30.

Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: das_peikko] #5119778 05/29/19 09:13 PM
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LowMilesLesabre Offline OP
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Thanks for sharing das_peikko. My oil loss cannot be attributed to having made a transition to synthetics since it has always been run on those. What was your car's reaction to synthetics sine you say it did not like them? Did you find more oil loss than normal? I must say that the inside of my engine through the oil filler cap looks almost new with no sludge at all. I don't have access to the Chevron, but I can easily find the Mobil Super. Another thing I wondered was whether my valve seals might just be a bit tired given my car is now 20 years old this year. This is my reason for wanting to try the HM version of the Castrol.

Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: Garak] #5119780 05/29/19 09:16 PM
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LowMilesLesabre Offline OP
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Hi Garak. Yes, I always assumed that the 30 designation would lead both of those weights to function the same at op temps. My concern with the 5w30 was on cold startups as I sensed that perhaps the motor bearings were not getting the lubrication they needed fast enough. GM updated its oil specs somewhat for the 3.8 when it was reworked for the Series III version.

Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5119782 05/29/19 09:17 PM
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das_peikko Offline
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Originally Posted by LowMilesLesabre
What was your car's reaction to synthetics since you say it did not like them?


More oil consumption and engine noise. Conventional oil is totally opposite in those regards.

Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5119864 05/30/19 12:15 AM
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Char Baby Online Content
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My BIL had the same engine in a Olds Delta 88 and ran 15W40 conventional all year long including winter here in Western NY State along the Great Lakes(meaning very cold). Engine still purrrrrrrr'd like a kitten w/200K miles before selling it off.


"Retired"
-----------------------------------

'80 Firebird FORMULA V8/4bbl-purchased "NEW"
'15 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV
'15 Honda Civic 1.8 LX
Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5119902 05/30/19 02:30 AM
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Garak Offline
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Originally Posted by LowMilesLesabre
Hi Garak. Yes, I always assumed that the 30 designation would lead both of those weights to function the same at op temps. My concern with the 5w30 was on cold startups as I sensed that perhaps the motor bearings were not getting the lubrication they needed fast enough. GM updated its oil specs somewhat for the 3.8 when it was reworked for the Series III version.

Of course, I have always used a 5w-XX where possible, given what our winters our like. I'm not sure where your temperature cutoff is for driving said vehicle, but, as per SAE J300, a 10w-XX can be pumped down to -30 C, with cold cranking down to -25 C.


Plain, simple Garak.

2008 Infiniti G37 - Shell ROTELLA T6 Multi-Vehicle 5w-30, Wix 57356
1984 F-150 4.9L - Quaker State GB 10w-30, Wix 51515
Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5119946 05/30/19 04:49 AM
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Mom owned one, it leaked a lot


These products are all new every year?? They are a revolution!!! Razor blades, mens shirts, TVs, wiper blades, gutter guards, hearing aids... according to the ads. But also all new last year
Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5119950 05/30/19 04:57 AM
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dpaldino Offline
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I too seem to have higher consumption with Pennzoil Platinum as compared to either M1 or Castrol Edge. I have a 2008 Honda CR-V with over 200,000 miles in which I use 5W-20 oils. Over the course of a 5000 mile OCI, I'll probably top off with over a quart to 1 1/2 qts. of Pennzoil. With either of the other two, less than 1/2 quart over the same mileage. I have always wondered if the Natural Gas formulation of the Pennzoil Platinum has anything to do with it or is it because it is on the "thinner" side in comparison to M1 and Edge?


2019 Toyota Highlander, dealer oil & filter (wife)
2008 Honda CR-V 220,500 miles, Quaker State Ult. Durability 5W-20, Wix 57356 (me)
2018 Toyota Rav4, dealer oil & filter (daughter)
Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: edwardh1] #5119952 05/30/19 05:04 AM
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Randy_R Offline
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I had a 2001 Impala LS with the 3.8 and it used oil between 3000 mile changes running 10W-30 conventional. I didn’t notice any leakage. I traded it in at about 35000 miles.


2018 Mazda CX-5 6600 miles Zepro advanced moly 0W-20 Mazda filter
08 Saturn VUE AWD 3.5 V6 65,000 miles Schaeffer 9000 5W30 Wix 51522XP
65 Pontiac Tempest 355 Chevy Schaeffer Racing 10W30 K&N
Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5120013 05/30/19 07:06 AM
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kschachn Online Content
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Originally Posted by LowMilesLesabre
Hi Garak. Yes, I always assumed that the 30 designation would lead both of those weights to function the same at op temps. My concern with the 5w30 was on cold startups as I sensed that perhaps the motor bearings were not getting the lubrication they needed fast enough. GM updated its oil specs somewhat for the 3.8 when it was reworked for the Series III version.

On "cold starts" the massively high viscosity will be quite similar between a 5W and a 10W unless you are below 0F. The bearings will get lubrication at the same time assuming the oil can be drawn into the pickup tube.


1994 BMW 530i, 251K
1996 Honda Accord, 280K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 428K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 284K
Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5120019 05/30/19 07:13 AM
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I had a 1990 LeSabre and that recommended 5W-30 year round, they did go to 10W-30 then came back to the typical GM spec of 5W-30 for the period prior to Dexos. I ran both 5W and 10W-30 and noticed no difference, mainly Havoline conventional and MaxLife blend. I'm not sure if the "rattling" was the result of the weight or the synthetic base oil, but M1 5W-30 tends to be thicker at temp than most 10W-30's.....

Re: 10W30 Synthetics & Consumption Variation [Re: LowMilesLesabre] #5120021 05/30/19 07:14 AM
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carviewsonic Offline
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Hmm.. I have owned four 3.8's over the years, all of them run on 5w30 M1 changed at either 7500 or 10000 kms intervals. The only issues I've noticed are a 'dry' sounding start if the car had been sitting for more than a week, and slightly noisy lifters after an oil change. The lifters get quiet again after a few hundred kms or so. Had good service from all of them, the engines were running great while the rest of the car was needing repairs due to high mileage (300000 kms plus).

Edited to add, I bought three of the four with less than 60000 kms, so most of their oil service history was as described above.

Last edited by carviewsonic; 05/30/19 07:18 AM.

'18 Impala
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'03 Park Avenue
'07 Honda Accord
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