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'08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX #5303351 12/24/19 01:42 PM
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socratestimeless Offline OP
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160,000 miles mostly 4k OCI w/ 5w30 dino (typically Chevron Supreme, Mobil 5000 or Formula Shell) and FRAM orange can filters.... but last couple years i started to use more synthetic oils with better filters and longer OCI... car runs great on everything... 90% highway miles last few years..

Had a bunch of Castrol GTX semi-syn high mileage 5w20 (green jug) from a previous vehicle i needed to use up.

So last OCI was 6500 miles and 3 months using my own brew of half GTX 5w20 and half whatever 5w30 dino oil i had on my shelf. Oil looked clean enough but i noticed varish around the fill hole i've never seen before. Is varnish a major red flag?

What's the likely culprit? Introducing 5w20, Castrol GTX? both? neither?

(I dumped it and replaced with M1 HM full synthetic with M1 filter)

Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: socratestimeless] #5303361 12/24/19 01:47 PM
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benjy Offline
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with higher miles some deposits are common + conventional as well as almost conventional semi-syn prolly clean less than costlier synthetics, even fake group III as most are!

Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: socratestimeless] #5303408 12/24/19 02:40 PM
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BucDan Offline
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Interesting you posted this OP. There's the thread about the accord that I asked about Castrol and varnish. If this is the case, I'd probably avoid it now.


2013 Audi S4 6MT - 45K miles
- OCI every 5K miles
- Motul X-cess 5w-40
- Mann OEM oil filter
Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: socratestimeless] #5303419 12/24/19 02:51 PM
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BobsArmory Offline
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You might have answered your own question, "using my own brew of half GTX 5w20 and half whatever 5w30 dino oil i had on my shelf."


Keeping the forces of evil at bay
2016 Chevy Malibu LT 1.5 Liter Turbo
2017 Chevy Equinox LT 2.4 Liter
2007 Pontiac Grand Prix 3800 Series III
Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: socratestimeless] #5303428 12/24/19 02:59 PM
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Donald Offline
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Originally Posted by socratestimeless
160,000 miles mostly 4k OCI w/ 5w30 dino (typically Chevron Supreme, Mobil 5000 or Formula Shell) and FRAM orange can filters.... but last couple years i started to use more synthetic oils with better filters and longer OCI... car runs great on everything... 90% highway miles last few years..

Had a bunch of Castrol GTX semi-syn high mileage 5w20 (green jug) from a previous vehicle i needed to use up.

So last OCI was 6500 miles and 3 months using my own brew of half GTX 5w20 and half whatever 5w30 dino oil i had on my shelf. Oil looked clean enough but i noticed varish around the fill hole i've never seen before. Is varnish a major red flag?

What's the likely culprit? Introducing 5w20, Castrol GTX? both? neither?

(I dumped it and replaced with M1 HM full synthetic with M1 filter)


I would not conclude anything until a valve cover is pulled. Fill hole can be deceiving.


2015 Ford F-250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)
Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: BobsArmory] #5303462 12/24/19 03:33 PM
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dogememe Offline
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Originally Posted by BobsArmory
You might have answered your own question, "using my own brew of half GTX 5w20 and half whatever 5w30 dino oil i had on my shelf."


I don't know what's going on but the mixed oil is not the issue here.


2010 Ford Escape 2.5 ~104K Miles: AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-30, Wix Filter.
2001 Chevy Suburban 5.3 ~292K Miles: Valvoline Maxlife 10W-30, ACDelco Filter.
Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: socratestimeless] #5303515 12/24/19 04:40 PM
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Rolla07 Offline
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Meh i wouldnt worry. My last 2 OCIs were superb. Great engine!


2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967
2015 Toyota Venza Parisian Blue Pearl 25k miles
TGMO 0W20 & OEM filter

Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: BobsArmory] #5303516 12/24/19 04:41 PM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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Originally Posted by BobsArmory
You might have answered your own question, "using my own brew of half GTX 5w20 and half whatever 5w30 dino oil i had on my shelf."

Right!

That's akin to playing pharmacist then wondering why your homebrews giving you heart palpitations!😂 Duh..

Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: socratestimeless] #5303874 12/25/19 09:05 AM
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Gebo Offline
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Well, you have the mileage factor to consider. Getting older has varnished me a little.

I don't think mixing oils or the weight of an oil would make any difference.

My guts say if there is varnish it would be due to the oil you were using.


'98 LEX LS400 310K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 75K

Shell Gas and Truck 5w-30
Amsoil OE 10w-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: Gebo] #5303887 12/25/19 09:24 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by Gebo
Well, you have the mileage factor to consider. Getting older has varnished me a little.

I don't think mixing oils or the weight of an oil would make any difference.

My guts say if there is varnish it would be due to the oil you were using.

+1 My experience in a very well maintained Buick my father had given me, which was fed a diet of dino oil changed at 3K intervals had lots of varnish, @ half the miles of the OP's. My bet is the dino oil had a big hand in the varnish, and most synthetic oils will take years and/or tens of thousands of miles to clean it up, if it does any real cleaning at all. Some engines are harder to clean than others, and some engines are more prone to varnish than others. So once again blanket statements should be avoided with an oil's ability to keep an engine clean, or clean a dirty engine. It depends.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: demarpaint] #5303900 12/25/19 09:44 AM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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Originally Posted by demarpaint

+1 My experience in a very well maintained Buick my father had given me, which was fed a diet of dino oil changed at 3K intervals had lots of varnish, @ half the miles of the OP's. My bet is the dino oil had a big hand in the varnish, and most synthetic oils will take years and/or tens of thousands of miles to clean it up, if it does any real cleaning at all. Some engines are harder to clean than others, and some engines are more prone to varnish than others. So once again blanket statements should be avoided with an oil's ability to keep an engine clean, or clean a dirty engine. It depends.

+1.. varnish is just a fact of life. While varnish can shorten the life of some seals by depriving it of proper lubrication, as long as it's not effecting something else like clearances..I say motor on. To me it's just another reason to keep sensible oci's..but to each his own.

Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: Mad_Hatter] #5303911 12/25/19 09:51 AM
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Gebo Offline
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Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter

+1.. varnish is just a fact of life....To me it's just another reason to keep sensible oci's..but to each his own.


I salute you thumbsup


'98 LEX LS400 310K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 75K

Shell Gas and Truck 5w-30
Amsoil OE 10w-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: Mad_Hatter] #5303927 12/25/19 10:13 AM
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demarpaint Offline
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Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
Originally Posted by demarpaint

+1 My experience in a very well maintained Buick my father had given me, which was fed a diet of dino oil changed at 3K intervals had lots of varnish, @ half the miles of the OP's. My bet is the dino oil had a big hand in the varnish, and most synthetic oils will take years and/or tens of thousands of miles to clean it up, if it does any real cleaning at all. Some engines are harder to clean than others, and some engines are more prone to varnish than others. So once again blanket statements should be avoided with an oil's ability to keep an engine clean, or clean a dirty engine. It depends.

+1.. varnish is just a fact of life. While varnish can shorten the life of some seals by depriving it of proper lubrication, as long as it's not effecting something else like clearances..I say motor on. To me it's just another reason to keep sensible oci's..but to each his own.


I agree as well.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: socratestimeless] #5304011 12/25/19 01:04 PM
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earthbound Offline
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you have the 1fgee or whatever series that is and it's bulletproof. varnish don't mean squat in that motor...


19' Honda Crv 1.5T
19' Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
06' Pontiac/yoda Vibe
Re: '08 Corolla noticable varnish after Castrol GTX [Re: socratestimeless] #5304038 12/25/19 02:03 PM
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pschnahc Offline
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Originally Posted by socratestimeless
160,000 miles mostly 4k OCI w/ 5w30 dino (typically Chevron Supreme, Mobil 5000 or Formula Shell) and FRAM orange can filters.... but last couple years i started to use more synthetic oils with better filters and longer OCI... car runs great on everything... 90% highway miles last few years..

Had a bunch of Castrol GTX semi-syn high mileage 5w20 (green jug) from a previous vehicle i needed to use up.

So last OCI was 6500 miles and 3 months using my own brew of half GTX 5w20 and half whatever 5w30 dino oil i had on my shelf. Oil looked clean enough but i noticed varish around the fill hole i've never seen before. Is varnish a major red flag?

What's the likely culprit? Introducing 5w20, Castrol GTX? both? neither?

(I dumped it and replaced with M1 HM full synthetic with M1 filter)


Highway cruising is easy service
The varnish you've never noticed, was it because you haven't really looked for it or have you been keeping track and only this time noticed it?
Also, the fill was Castrol GTX HM 5W20 plus "half whatever" conventional 5W30, meaning you remembered the GTX and it's grade, and also the type and grade of the remaining whatever 5W30, but not what it was branded?

Interesting points: FRAM orange can, GTX in the context of varnish, the 'whatever' 'own brew' mixing oils taboo

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