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5W20 Short Trip Myth ? #5133940 06/14/19 09:40 AM
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ChrisD46 Offline OP
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Recently there has been talk here that 5W20 base stock may provide better short trip protection due to lack of VII's contained in thicker 5W30 which are heat activated . *It occurs to me that Europeans short trip as well as Americans - yet they are still recommending 5W30 weight oils (or thicker) in most situations ... What gives here ? Does a "grocery getter " with 5W20 printed on the oil cap using say M1 5W30 versus M1 5W20 going to really be any less protected on under 5 mile trips ?


'17 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L GDI 5W30 Valvoline Advanced Syn / Fram Ultra
'10 Hyundai Elantra 2.0L 5W30 QSUD / Fram Ultra
'07 Kia Sedona 3.8L 5W30 M1 EP HM / Fram Ultra
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5133942 06/14/19 09:43 AM
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No. If anything, the 30wt will give you better protection against fuel dilution from the short trips.

But the short, sweet, and unloved answer here is: Use what the manufacturer recommends, and if you're making 5 mile trips change it on the severe service schedule or more frequently if UOA shows a need for it due to viscosity loss out of grade, low TBN, or fuel dilution above 7%.

In all reality, down in Georgia if you're that worried about it, use a 10W30 which should have even less VII than a 5W20, and never cause a problem... your area just doesn't really get cold enough to need a 5W, especially in summer.

Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5133951 06/14/19 09:54 AM
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BMWTurboDzl Offline
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
No. If anything, the 30wt will give you better protection against fuel dilution from the short trips.

But the short, sweet, and unloved answer here is: Use what the manufacturer recommends, and if you're making 5 mile trips change it on the severe service schedule or more frequently if UOA shows a need for it due to viscosity loss out of grade, low TBN, or fuel dilution above 7%.

In all reality, down in Georgia if you're that worried about it, use a 10W30 which should have even less VII than a 5W20, and never cause a problem... your area just doesn't really get cold enough to need a 5W, especially in summer.


Fuel dilution itself isn't the end of the world. Sure there are instances where excessive amount of fuel dilution can cause a problem but that's an engine specific issue.


“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

435i
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5133956 06/14/19 10:04 AM
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BMWTurboDzl Offline
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Originally Posted by ChrisD46
Recently there has been talk here that 5W20 base stock may provide better short trip protection due to lack of VII's contained in thicker 5W30 which are heat activated . *It occurs to me that Europeans short trip as well as Americans - yet they are still recommending 5W30 weight oils (or thicker) in most situations ... What gives here ? Does a "grocery getter " with 5W20 printed on the oil cap using say M1 5W30 versus M1 5W20 going to really be any less protected on under 5 mile trips ?



IIRC Europeans have moved or are moving to lighter weight oils on their gasoline powered cars but not the diesels. Take BMW for example with their 0w20 LL14 FE+ specification. I don't know how long they'll stay there. It's probably a stop gap until the market as fully transitioned to hybrid or BEV. In the next decade we're all going to drive BEV's with a "lawnmower engine" as an onboard generator.

Last edited by BMWTurboDzl; 06/14/19 10:06 AM.

“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

435i
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5133963 06/14/19 10:13 AM
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Patman Offline
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Don't forget the fact that when you're running short trips your engine spends more time with it's oil not up to temperature (and therefore thicker) than it does at full operating temperature. So for all intents and purposes that 20 weight oil really doesn't get all that thin for very long.


2018 Corvette, 14k, M1 ESP Formula 5w30 & NAPA Gold
2006 Civic EX Coupe, 151k, PUP 5w20 & Fram Ultra
2010 BMW 328i X-Drive,117k, GC 0w40 & Fram Ultra

Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5134045 06/14/19 12:54 PM
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My father short trips, or at least doesn't drive much. I put 5W-20 M1 HM, but not because of short tripping, I just clearanced it out of Target. In any case, I take his car out once a month and drive it on the freeway for about 30 mins...

Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5134073 06/14/19 01:42 PM
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atikovi Offline
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The difference between 20 or 30 is minor compared to how often you change it if driving short trips.

Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: BMWTurboDzl] #5134087 06/14/19 01:57 PM
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SubieRubyRoo Offline
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Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Fuel dilution itself isn't the end of the world.


I know it's not an issue; in fact, good looking UOAs on 3.5 EBs with 8-10% fuel dilution tell me it's not as big of an issue as some would like to make it. However, it would be an issue if it causes an oil to drop severely out of grade on the thin side. Then, it should show up as elevated lead or iron... but barring that indicator I think it's essentially a moot point.

Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5134106 06/14/19 02:17 PM
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I did a year, ~6,000 miles, of nothing but 10 mile short trips in my Caliber with M1 EP 5w20 last year. UOA came back great, it’s over in the UOA section if y’all are interested.


2016 Chrysler 300S v6
2018 Dodge Grand Caravan GT

Slight Mopar obsession
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5134136 06/14/19 03:07 PM
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Gokhan Offline
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Originally Posted by ChrisD46
Recently there has been talk here that 5W20 base stock may provide better short trip protection due to lack of VII's contained in thicker 5W30 which are heat activated . *It occurs to me that Europeans short trip as well as Americans - yet they are still recommending 5W30 weight oils (or thicker) in most situations ... What gives here ? Does a "grocery getter " with 5W20 printed on the oil cap using say M1 5W30 versus M1 5W20 going to really be any less protected on under 5 mile trips ?

Virtually all new Audis specify 0W-20 in Europe and elsewhere.


1985 Toyota Corolla LE, 4A-LC engine, ~ 276,000 M
Mobil 1 Extended Performance 0W-20 SN PLUS (PAO-and-AN-based)
Fram Ultra XG3600 filter (full synthetic), 90430-12031 drain gasket (rubber on aluminum)
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5134278 06/14/19 05:55 PM
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ChrisD46 Offline OP
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Good replies !


'17 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L GDI 5W30 Valvoline Advanced Syn / Fram Ultra
'10 Hyundai Elantra 2.0L 5W30 QSUD / Fram Ultra
'07 Kia Sedona 3.8L 5W30 M1 EP HM / Fram Ultra
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5134394 06/14/19 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl
Fuel dilution itself isn't the end of the world.


I know it's not an issue; in fact, good looking UOAs on 3.5 EBs with 8-10% fuel dilution tell me it's not as big of an issue as some would like to make it. However, it would be an issue if it causes an oil to drop severely out of grade on the thin side. Then, it should show up as elevated lead or iron... but barring that indicator I think it's essentially a moot point.



Closer to 3% 8-10 are outliers. 5W30's have dropped into 20 grades and it has not affected engine longevity like you stated.


make the inside of your engine oil cap white.
don't use.
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: ChrisD46] #5134603 06/15/19 04:37 AM
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Todays engines run so well that fuel dilution generally is not an issue. I never had any indicated after repeated analysis on oil used during short trips.


The "thinking" man's friend.
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: Skippy722] #5134821 06/15/19 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Skippy722
I did a year, ~6,000 miles, of nothing but 10 mile short trips in my Caliber with M1 EP 5w20 last year. UOA came back great, it’s over in the UOA section if y’all are interested.

10 miles is not a short trip. I drive 8 miles and my vehicles heat to normal after only about five miles. If you are city driving, your engine is normal temperature long before 10 miles occurs

The average person idles his vehicle for 1-2 minutes before driving away. In the winter, that amount of time spent idling doubles.

Last edited by Triple_Se7en; 06/15/19 11:00 AM.

19 Hyundai SantaFe 2.4GDI Castrol Edge 5w30 / NAPA Mann-Hummel filter / 6oz Liqui-Moly Treatment
04 Colorado 3.5 Castrol Edge 0W40 Euro & K&N filter
03 Malibu 3.1 QS / Valv Syn 5w30 mix Fram EG filter
Re: 5W20 Short Trip Myth ? [Re: Triple_Se7en] #5134958 06/15/19 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Triple_Se7en
Originally Posted by Skippy722
I did a year, ~6,000 miles, of nothing but 10 mile short trips in my Caliber with M1 EP 5w20 last year. UOA came back great, it’s over in the UOA section if y’all are interested.

10 miles is not a short trip. I drive 8 miles and my vehicles heat to normal after only about five miles. If you are city driving, your engine is normal temperature long before 10 miles occurs

The average person idles his vehicle for 1-2 minutes before driving away. In the winter, that amount of time spent idling doubles.


The water might reach op temp, but the oil won't until at least 20 mins...

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