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#1801610 - 03/03/10 01:02 AM 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended?
10bears Offline

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 223
Loc: S. Colo
Hi from Walsenburg, CO. I'm a newb here, a former certified master mechanic now retired. So expect some old school backwardness...

I'm hoping to obtain some recommendations for synthetic oil for a 1998 Buick LeSabre with 104,000 miles on it in good running condition. I live rurally, yet am retired, so it sits for several days at a time but when driven usually gets fully warmed up on trips of either 25 miles or 70 miles. Temps are usually -20 to 45f in winter, 55 to 100f in summer. Usually not colder than 20+f in Winter when I drive, plus I have a lower radiator hose heater on it for when it's really brutal. Would like to simplify with one oil for year round.

It had the oh-so-typical leaking UIM/LIM (intake manifolds and gaskets) and leaking valve cover and oil pan gaskets. I got the car dirt cheap because of that yet it's a cherry otherwise. I just replaced all of the leaky stuff and the UIM with the APN part. I am reasonably certain it did not have much coolant in the oil yet, if any. I'm cycling it through some accelerated oil changes with Valvo 10w30 and Wix filters I had to make sure it's cleaned out.

It's a good runner with no quirks now. The valve covers had some sludge buildup in them, but the rest of the engine was fairly clean.

Here is what I hope to accomplish. Pretty much the usual.

1.) Extend remaining engine life. Keep it clean inside.
2.) Increase gasoline mileage while not harming engine life.
3.) Extend drain interval.
4.) Good bang for the buck oil. In the price range of M1, PP

I was first leaning towards M1 EP, but after reading BITOG, I'm wondering if Pennzoil Platinum might be a better choice for this car?

I'm old school, so the recommendations for 0w20 weight seems a bit scary, but I'm willing to give it a try if that's really the consensus. Will it really still show oil pressure on the gauge with that?? wink The manufacturer says use 10w30, but that was with dino oil and the car is long out of warranty anyway.

I'm only finding the PP 0w20 in a product for hybrid cars. Is that what I'd be looking for?

I use Wix filters because of their construction. Any reason not to use those with synthetic oil? Or, do ya' hate 'em for another reason?

Anyway, I'd sure appreciate your insight. Looking once again for best synthetic oil and weight. And some filter opinions.

Thank you,

Larry S.

#1801614 - 03/03/10 01:09 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: 10bears]
10bears Offline

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 223
Loc: S. Colo
BTW, engine in these cars is the Gen II 3800 v-6. The little son of a gun will get almost 30. Most driving is highway miles with less than 25% stop and go.


#1801615 - 03/03/10 01:09 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: 10bears]
FusilliJerry82 Offline

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 779
Loc: Richboro, PA
I would stick with 10/5w30, maybe even 0w-30 in winters.

As far as synth/dino, you could go either way. That 3800 should go another 100k easy on either. If you're set on synth, you can't go wrong from the likes of M1, PP, or any other major synth brand. If you want to go nuts; IMO Redline is the king of the hill, but would likely be priced out of the equation for an application like this.

My favorite filter is a Purolator Pure Plus. Relatively cheap with filtration ratings of filters 2-4x as much $. However, cheaper filters like Wix or Purolator's Classic are no slouch either.

You may want to add a bit of MMO in your next several short OCI's for that buildup.

Edited by FusilliJerry82 (03/03/10 01:14 AM)
2000 Protege 1.6 215k - Mopar Max Pro 10w-30/Mopar Oil Filter

#1801619 - 03/03/10 01:19 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: FusilliJerry82]
10bears Offline

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 223
Loc: S. Colo
Thanks very much for the input, Jerry!

#1801627 - 03/03/10 01:46 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: 10bears]
Oregoonian Offline

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 2738
Loc: Bend, Oregon
Since this is a high mileage vehicle, I would reccomend a high mileage oil.

Valvoline MaxLife Full Synthetic or Blend (5w30) would be a perfect oil for your use and climate. I would recommend of 1st oil change of about 2500 to 3000 miles (to rid the engine of sludge). You will be suprised how much sludge synthetics remove. After that, do a 5000 OCI.....if your going to a full Syn, 7000 to 8000 OCI would be OK and safe and prudent.

I also suggest a upper tier oil filter such as a Purolator PureOne (or a Bosch Preminum, a PureOne clone). Both of these have better media than the WIX and cost about the same or even less.

I've also had good results with Redline SL-1 Complete Fuel System Cleaner...Use a whole bottle in a full tank of gas sto start with, and then use about 3 oz. every month or so for continued maintainance. I think you'll notice how much smoother you vehicle will run after the fuel system is cleaned out.
2003 Ford Focus SE Sedan / 82K
Valvoline MaxLife Syn 5w30 / OCI 7000 +/-
Pureolator PureOne 10241
Redline SL-1 Complete Fuel System Cleaner
03' Ford Focus SE(2.3L Duratec PZEV)/ 140K +
Pnz. Ultra 0w20 / Fram 'Ultra'/ OCI: 8000 +/-
ATF: Mercon V w/Lubegard Red

#1801649 - 03/03/10 03:35 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: Oregoonian]
lewdwig Offline

Registered: 10/23/07
Posts: 669
Loc: Southwest Michigan
Mobil 1 0W-40 to clean up the engine. Then maybe M1 0W-30?
1996 Saturn SL2
2001 Subaru Forester L
2003 Buick Park Avenue
2004 Mitsu Endeavor

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#1801650 - 03/03/10 03:41 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: lewdwig]
Andyge Offline

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 232
Loc: MN
Walmart has good prices on oil (Qauker State Ultimate Durability Synthetic) at $18 for 5qt jug I think it is the best bang for your buck.


#1801745 - 03/03/10 07:44 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: Andyge]
hate2work Offline

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 4617
Loc: Western Washington

You don't need a 20 weight oil, stick with a 30 weight. Many diff oils will do what you want, including PP.

Wix filters are good, I use OEM filters myself. Many on this board like the Pure One filters. Again, lots of choices.

Welcome to the board :)

#1801751 - 03/03/10 07:52 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: hate2work]
addyguy Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 14118
Loc: Canada
PP 10W-30 with 7500-mile OCI.
2010 Kia Soul 2U - 2.0L I-4, auto; 109k miles.
5W/10W-30 frankenblend; OEM Kia filter.

#1801761 - 03/03/10 08:06 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: hate2work]
rclint Offline

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 1026
Loc: Georgia
First and foremost out of all the opinions you may get here stick with the manufacture specified oil weight !! You said it calls for 10w-30, I would stick with a 30 weight oil the winter numbers can be fudged with no problems that i have ever seen first hand, nor have I ever heard of any. If you choose synthetic please don't be looking for any longer engine life, nor any gain in gas mileage as it's just not there. Two best reasons for choosing a synthetic at today's prices are cold cranking, and extended drain intervals. I have put 100 of thousands of miles on different cars, trucks etc using synthetic, and also conventional, I have never seen any gain in gas mileage once..sure at times you will see a smudge at happen stance time of oil change, I have also seen the exact same thing from a OCI to conventional from synthetic, it's was pure chance as the mileage fluctuates somewhat. Also careful what you read, just about every time a synthetic is said to be better than conventional is that "it may give extra protection in certain conditions' !! This might be another 10 minutes before the heads warp when overheating etc.

My mother has the 3800 v-6 just like you she loves the engine, she has had 3 now, her first one she got well over 300k on original engine, cat did stop up, you should have heard it when we had the cat removed, a new muffler etc, it would whoomphh when you got on it, and these cars will hurt us Honda drivers feelings when they hit 30 mpg on a regular basis with gobs of power left over. If it were my car I would look at PP, Mobil 1 synthetic, and EP in 5w-30. There are many other choices, however these two/three choices really stand out as some of the best oils produced for the money, and available locally.

#1801873 - 03/03/10 09:23 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: rclint]
Spector Offline

Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 3390
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
I have a 2000 Buick regal 3800 SC and I was running Amsoil 10W30. Due to a slight engine clacking noise I have done a mix of 50-50 5W30 and 10W40 and it has worked great.

I would suggest staying with the 10W30 for this age engine (1998 vintage not mileage) and a 0W30 should work well ( if cold temps are the issue) or a 10W30 too. The 0W can only be found in Amsoil, mobil or GC but the 10W30 is plentiful in all brands for synthetic. Plus even the 10W synthetic has a very low cold flow temp.

#1801958 - 03/03/10 10:28 AM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: Spector]
97 GTP Offline

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 884
Loc: LI, NY
I have a 97 3800 SC (Series II). I have run Mobil1, GC and PP all of the engines life. Currently have 192k will PP being the fill. I agree with sticking to a 5w30 since the car will see low temps in winter. A UOA will make your decision easier the next time around.

#1802124 - 03/03/10 12:37 PM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: 97 GTP]
Benzadmiral Offline

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 4893
Loc: Da Swamp
I have the LeSabre's big brother, the Park Avenue, with the 3.8 N/A Series II engine. In two and a half years I've run 5W-30 in dino (Chevron Supreme, Castrol GTX) and synthetic (NAPA, Pennzoil Platinum), and they all run fine and all lose about a quart in 5000 miles. Of course The Great Dismal Swamp of New Orleans never gets as cold as what you see, so 5W-30 is almost overkill for me.

(You're a lucky man to live in CO, with all the neat places to drive. Been to Great Sand Dunes Monument lately?)
* *
-- Paul W. (The Benzadmiral)
('11 Buick Regal CXL, charcoal/cream, 2.4L NA)

#1802287 - 03/03/10 02:51 PM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: Benzadmiral]
countryboy9799 Offline

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 173
Loc: SW MN
Did the 3800 have the LIM gasket leak? I thought it was just the 3100.
My folks have had a 98 Lesabre for the last 6 years, bought it with 107,000 and now have 209,000 miles on it. There has been minimum work done to this engine and still has plenty of life in it.

I was visiting them last weekend and checked their oil, it was quite dark so I looked at the miles. Only 1800 miles on the oil so I asked my dad who is not a real believer in syn. oil and he said he used M1 since I said it was so good. It must be cleaning all the crud out of the engine and I said he should not run to many miles on the oil, maybe for a few oil changes just to get it cleaned up.
2012 Subaru Outback 45,000 Miles
1999 Dodge Cummins 125,000 Miles
2014 Toyota Corolla 40,000 Miles

#1802300 - 03/03/10 02:57 PM Re: 1998 Buick LeSabre Synthetic Oil Recomended? [Re: 10bears]
levi Offline

Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 616
Loc: Central Indiana
Originally Posted By: 10bears
BTW, engine in these cars is the Gen II 3800 v-6. The little son of a gun will get almost 30. Most driving is highway miles with less than 25% stop and go.


Another great thing about this engine, 10bears - you can run about any oil you want to, and it'll be just fine.

I've got the first gen of that engine in a van. 258k and still strong.

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