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16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? #5135513 06/16/19 07:13 AM
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Ricky_Samsonia Offline OP
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Got my mom's 2003 buick park ave 3.8 base. It has 98k and always dealer serviced with acdelco 5w30 syn-blend. It has no leaks, no smoke.Would it be ok to switch "cold turkey" to M1 10-30 syn HM or does it have too many miles?Or would it work out better to gradually switch to Full-Syn-HM like first change the oil with 3.5 qts of 10-30 Syn-Blend & 1 qt M1 10-30 Syn HM? The oil capacity is 4.5 qts. This is such a good/nice car, I simply don't want to start any crap with this gd engine but on the other hand I would love to get 300k mi with this nice full-size car. 

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135517 06/16/19 07:16 AM
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eljefino Offline
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Do what you want. You don't have to "train" it on the new oil.

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135525 06/16/19 07:29 AM
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bullwinkle Offline
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If it's not broken, I wouldn't change it! The 3.8 might be one of the toughest engines GM ever made-I would put more effort into maintaining the transaxle/transmission and Dexcool cooling system if it was mine. You're not in the Rust Belt-it might last the rest of your life!


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135535 06/16/19 07:37 AM
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caprice_2nv Offline
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This is an engine that's good with extended oci if there ever was one. I've seen one go 50k miles on a conventional bulk oil, just topped up until the oil filter rusted through. It was a taxi, 05 Impala with 200k in it. I drove it for a bit when I tried taxi driving as a second job for a few months. It ran great. Only issue it had with the engine was a starter and a harmonic balancer. It rusted out in the back because of a water leak and got retired early.

You can use whatever oil you want but if you use a full synthetic you can go longer between oil changes and high mileage isn't a bad idea because leaks are likely at this age.


84 Olds Cutlass - 350 Olds
83 Chevy Caprice - 305 Sbc
79 Honda CX500
Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135545 06/16/19 07:47 AM
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Kira Offline
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Just my 2¢:

As groovy as synthetics are if there's no compelling reason to use a synthetic such as a finicky PCV system or extra hot zones (oil pan near a turbo unit) I'd stick with good mineral based oil at "normal" change intervals.

This is because I'm a fan of "out with the old" regarding engine dirt.

If monitoring your oil is a source of fun then have at IT ALL. Extending oil changes, seeking the best filters etc.

Do remember, switching to synthetics does have that break in period where the car will use some oil. This has been my experience. Someone will be along shortly to state I am nuts....which is completely beside the point.

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135553 06/16/19 07:54 AM
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aquariuscsm Offline
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All the GM 3.8's we had LOVED Pennzoil products. Ran the smoothest on them. If I'd known more about Quaker State back then that's what I would've used. Since it's already had a partial synth oil,I'd go full synth. QSUD 10W30 with an AC Delco filter would be my choice.


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
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 0W20

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135562 06/16/19 08:02 AM
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carviewsonic Offline
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I have an '03 Park Ave with 187000 miles. Ran on M1 5-30 at 6000 mile intervals most of it's life, with a lot of cold weather short tripping. Engine runs great, doesn't use oil. But the trans is not doing so well. So, I could have gone with 10000 mile changes, or cheaper conventional oil, would have made no difference to the life of the car. Buy a trans pan with a drain bolt, and do frequent drain and fills.


'18 Impala
'05 Park Avenue
'03 Park Avenue
'07 Honda Accord
'09 VStar 1300
Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: aquariuscsm] #5135563 06/16/19 08:03 AM
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Ricky_Samsonia Offline OP
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Thank you!

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135567 06/16/19 08:12 AM
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Ihatetochangeoil Offline
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What elefino said. And you can buy a Transmission pan with a drain plug here: https://zzperformance.com/collections/3800/Transmission-&-drivetrain#productOutput I change my Trans. fluid ~30-50K intervals. A shifft kit will abolish the 2nd-3rd gear sluggishness.

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135570 06/16/19 08:17 AM
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MrMoody Offline
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Take my advice from a high mile 3800 owner: if it doesn't leak oil, don't put HM oil in it. Scoffers gonna scoff but don't do it. There's nothing magic about the stuff for high mile engines other than the seal "conditioner." Regular M1 10W30 is perfect.

As said, the trans is the bigger worry. It needs fluid changed every 30K. If it's neglected, it will start being sluggish, banging and slipping. And if it has the plastic coolant elbows at the belt tensioner, they will crack and leak if they haven't already. Replace with metal ones.


2018 Hyundai Kona 1.6T DCT
2006 Pontiac (Holden) GTO AT
2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT 3.8 NA (beater)
2005 Toyota Matrix FWD (ultra beater)
"Fob" and "Noack" are not acronyms.
Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135620 06/16/19 09:37 AM
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Marco620 Offline
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Just go with Quaker Statd HM or Maxlife and be done. The interior and transmission are gonna be your biggest worry.


15' Civic 1.8 i-vtec 292920 mi Redline 0w20 & LG Biotech, BP CVT Fluid,Redline Si-1
Doberman Whisperer!
Doberman,CZ's & SONY Aficionado

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135669 06/16/19 10:40 AM
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Linctex Offline
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Originally Posted by Ricky_Samsonia
Got my mom's 2003 buick park ave 3.8 base. It has 98k and always dealer serviced  


Am I experiencing Deja Vu here?


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135678 06/16/19 10:54 AM
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Warstud Offline
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This should be in the " Passenger Car Motor Oil (PCMO) - Gasoline Vehicles Forum"

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: Ricky_Samsonia] #5135681 06/16/19 10:59 AM
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aquariuscsm Offline
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My dad's 1990 Olds Delta 88 had almost 600,000 miles on it before he gave it away when he got a new vehicle. All on PYB 10W30 every 3000 miles. The exterior looked like an almost 600K car but the interior still was mint. It went to around 450K on the original transmission.

Back when my gf had a 1998 Olds 88,I tried M1 10W30 in it,and it ran rough and noisy,especially at startup. That's the first time I ever in my life heard a GM 3.8 tick upon startup. Went back to PYB and it was smooth and silent again.


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
Quaker State Ultimate Durability 0W20

Re: 16 y/o car w/98k, switch oil? [Re: aquariuscsm] #5135693 06/16/19 11:30 AM
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Malo83 Offline
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If it ain't broke. cheers

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