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Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? #3076978
07/26/13 01:30 PM
07/26/13 01:30 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 124
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Blue_Angel Offline OP
Blue_Angel  Offline OP

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 124
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Hi all, first post here. I live in Ottawa, Canada, and have a one year old Chevy Cruze Eco manual, with the 1.4L Turbo engine. The car has been great and is averaging 44 MPG for the entire first year of ownership, thanks to my careful driving habits and easy low speed commute.

The car calls for 5W-30 Dexos1 oil. I drained the FF at ~2500 miles (4000kms) and put in M1 5W-30. The OLM had me changing oil around 9950 miles (16000kms) based on my driving. I did so again with M1 5W-30 and a Delco filter. So far so good with roughly 13000 miles (21000kms) now. For the record, I have no loyalty to Mobil1 other than it was the factory fill in my Corvette (so I use there also) and it is cheap and easy to get when on sale at Canadian Tire stores.

I bought this car primarily as a fuel efficient commuter. I read through the "Oil University" posts here and found the information quite interesting WRT start-up viscosity and I'm wondering if I could use a 0W-20 in place of the 5W-30?

My primary driving is very easy, with the engine rarely ever getting above 2000 RPM. Our climate ranges from bloody cold to (relatively) hot and very humid. In the winter months my car barely and sometimes doesn't get to full operating temperature by the time I get to work, even with both upper and lower front grills blocked off and limited use of the heater. Other Cruze owners report oil temps over 250F in hot climates at highway speeds with AC use.

As far as I know WRT engine oil, four key differences that make this engine different from most are:

1. Turbocharger
2. Small displacement
3. Water-to-oil warmer/cooler
4. Variable displacement oil pump

1 & 2 tend to beat up on oil, from what I understand, especially since the Cruze isn't exactly a light car (just over 3000 lbs in Eco trim). 3 seems to indicate that oil temps will rise faster and remain more stable than they would if the engine was not so equipped. Also, I use the OEM oil pan heater in the winter, though it's a low power 200W unit that does little more than keep the oil pan "warm". I do not have the ability to use the oil pan heater at work.

Number 4 is what puzzles me the most in this situation. The variable displacement oil pump operates to maintain a certain pressure to the lower crank case. An oil fed regulator varies the pump displacement and references the oil pressure after the main/rod bearings but before the cylinder head:

http://vauxhall.workshop-manuals.com/astra-j/index.php?id=4646

WRT to engine efficiency: Would the thinner oil require a higher pumping volume from the oil pump to maintain the desired pressure? The way my mind works, this would make sense. If this is the case, would there be any efficiency benefit at all from using a 0W-20 oil over a 5W-30?

WRT engine protection: Would the thinner 5W-20 compromise engine protection at operating temperatures? With my regular driving style being so easy I would assume NO, but I would like to make sure the car is still capable of operating at higher speeds in higher temperatures. With crank case oil pressure regulated precisely by pump displacement, extra flow may be a benefit? Would the lower hot viscosity be an issue for the cylinder head or turbocharger?

Yes, I realise 0W-20 is not Dexos1 labelled… I'm not contemplating the warranty, I'm wondering what's best for my driving with an eye on efficiency and cold start protection. I put about 12000 miles (20000kms) per year on the car and would rather use the same oil year round if possible. Looking for the advice of the experts here. Thanks!


'02 Chev Corvette ZO6: TGMO 0W-20/M1 0W-40, 6:1, HTHSV 2.72, VI 212
'12 Chev Cruze Eco 1.4T MT: M1 0W-30 AFE
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3076995
07/26/13 01:50 PM
07/26/13 01:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 878
Ohio
2oldtommy Offline
2oldtommy  Offline

Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 878
Ohio
With your turbo engine, I would not use anything lower than what is spec'ed in your manual. Dexos 1 does include 5w-20 on their approved list but with the turbo, I would use the viscosity that is speced by GM. FWIW---Oldtommy

Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077003
07/26/13 01:56 PM
07/26/13 01:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 19,395
Sunny Florida
SteveSRT8 Offline
SteveSRT8  Offline

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 19,395
Sunny Florida
Great choice of vehicle, typically well reviewed and a great tight little car.

With the high tech in that very small but high output engine I cannot imagine deviating from the factory spec. Dexos is a very tough oil, and any brand is going to be pretty nice for you.

The turbo is the hard part for the oil. I would also worry about the variable displacement pump working harder to maintain a certain oil pressure with thinner oil.


"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith."
J. William Fulbright
Best ET-12.79 @ 111 mph
4340 pounds, Street tires
Just like we go to Publix
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077007
07/26/13 02:02 PM
07/26/13 02:02 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,645
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
cp3 Offline
cp3  Offline

Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,645
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
First...
welcome

Personally, I don't think a switch to a Xw20 would net much in the way of fuel mileage. What you are doing is probably working very well, that pan heater will likely make more difference than you believe on those cold mornings. I do agree that your use could very likely allow for use of a Xw20 in the winter but I would recommend a pressure and temperature gauge to keep an eye on it. Or a cheap OBDII bluetooth connector and the Torque app on an Android device, not sure what your computer reads and you still might not get oil pressure this way which I would think would be the preferable of the two.

As far as the oil pump and the other points, what you said sounds about right to me but I'm no engineer.

There actually are a couple 5w20s and at least one 0w20 on the dexos1 list I believe.


Dodge Charger|Pennzoil Platinum 5w20|Mopar MO-744
Pontiac G6 GT|Mobil 1 0w40|Mobil 1 M1-101
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077008
07/26/13 02:03 PM
07/26/13 02:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,006
SE Wisconsin
danthaman1980 Offline
danthaman1980  Offline

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,006
SE Wisconsin
Generally speaking, yes I believe in the case of a variable displacement pump, in order to maintain constant pressure, a thinner viscosity oil would result in a higher flow of oil in volume per minute, when compared to a thicker oil.

I'm not sure which would benefit your engine more, but Mobil 1 AFE 0W-20 and several different 5W-20s are now Dexos1 approved.

On an unrelated note - I've visited Ottawa many times on business, it is one of my favorite cities. I make it a point to go drink a Keith's at this little bar below Sparks St whenever I'm there.


2003 Chevy Silverado 1500 5.3 LS Quadrasteer ~236,000 miles; PPHM 5W-30

2014 Mazda6 Sport 2.5 Skyactiv ~50,000 miles; Amsoil SS 0W-20
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077017
07/26/13 02:08 PM
07/26/13 02:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,550
Canuck living in California
KrisZ Offline
KrisZ  Offline

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 8,550
Canuck living in California
Quote:
My primary driving is very easy, with the engine rarely ever getting above 2000 RPM


See that's where the problem lies. While constant low RPMs are nice and easy on oil, accelerating from such low RPM's certainly requires a certain amount of hydrodynamic film strength. And with Cruze's nice low end torque, I would imagine that it can accelerate effortlessly probably even below 2k RPM.
That's where 5w30 and dexos 1 requirement come into play and guarantee that a certain margin of safety was tested for to avoid boundary condition.
If you decide to run anything thinner than that, you're in an uncharted territory.


2015 Grand Caravan 3.6L - 31k miles.
2006 Mazda 3 2.0L - 171k miles
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077021
07/26/13 02:18 PM
07/26/13 02:18 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,211
Fredericksburg, VA
JAG Offline
JAG  Offline

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,211
Fredericksburg, VA
The variable displacement pump causes a more viscous oil to cause less of an efficiency reduction than a less viscous oil than would be the case with a typical oil pump. The pressure will initially be higher with the more viscous oil and then the system responds by reducing the pump's oil flow rate, thereby reducing pressure to some amount. My answer to your question about this is that assuming the scenario is that the engine is started in very cold temperatures, both thinner and thicker oils may require the pump to reduce the oil flow rate and in order for equal oil pressures to be the case, yes, the thinner oil will have a higher flow rate.

The engineers already thought of many ways to improve this car's efficiency and they specified a 5W-30 oil instead of less viscous ones. I would use what they specified. In the winter, you could probably safely use a less viscous oil but I would not expect to see efficiency gains that are worth the mental stress and warranty implications that deviating from the specified oil (in the thinner direction) may cause. In the warm months I certainly would not use an XW-20 oil. 250F oil temp. is quite high and this engine reaches high torque at low RPMs which reduces oil film thickness in the bearings compared to higher RPMs.

Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077023
07/26/13 02:22 PM
07/26/13 02:22 PM
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 32,134
NY
demarpaint Offline
demarpaint  Offline

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 32,134
NY
Originally Posted By: Blue_Angel


The car calls for 5W-30 Dexos1 oil.


That's what I'd use.

Welcome to Bitog.


God Bless Our Troops

Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077026
07/26/13 02:24 PM
07/26/13 02:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,501
Staten Island, NY
michaelluscher Offline
michaelluscher  Offline

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 2,501
Staten Island, NY
Since your in Canada, how about something like PP 0w-30, Flow's better in the cold, yet robust enough for the turbo...
If you don't care about possible warranty issues, that would be my vote.


'06 Toyota Camry SE V6 3MZ-FE 100k
'01 Mercury Villager Estate VG33E 52k
'06 Ford Taurus SE Vulcan 60k
'13 Chrysler 300 3.6 Pentastar 230k
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: michaelluscher] #3077092
07/26/13 03:47 PM
07/26/13 03:47 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 393
ogdensburg new york
ernied Offline
ernied  Offline

Joined: May 2007
Posts: 393
ogdensburg new york
why don't you guys just put in what the manufacture recommends or go to college and become an enginer if you doubt them.


2015 Hyundai sonata.
2015 Hyundai santafe sport
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077116
07/26/13 04:22 PM
07/26/13 04:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,934
USA
oldhp Offline
oldhp  Offline

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,934
USA
With that tiny high tech turbo engine use the best 5W30 Dexos approved fully synthetic you can find. What you are using now is very good, the only step up to me would be Pennzoil Ultra.


2018 RAM 1500 3.6/8 speed.
2019 Dodge Charger SXT 3.6/8 speed.
"When others cut you down, remember where they came from."
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077147
07/26/13 04:51 PM
07/26/13 04:51 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 423
Minneapolis, MN
gpshumway Offline
gpshumway  Offline

Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 423
Minneapolis, MN
I wouldn't use 0w20 in a Cruze turbo. Since you're in Canada though, you might benefit from a 0w30 oil. Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy 0w30 is one such oil. Idemitsu also makes a 0w30 which is on the Dexos approval list, though I have no clue where you'd buy it.


2007 Subaru WRX
2011 Honda Civic EX
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077230
07/26/13 06:32 PM
07/26/13 06:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 670
Ohio
Hyde244 Offline
Hyde244  Offline

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 670
Ohio
There is a reason why GM chose 5w30 for this vehicle application - stick with the OEM spec.


2007 Ford Focus ZX4 SES - 2.0L Duratec | 4F27E Auto | 92,000 miles
PU 5w20 | MC 910 | Castrol Mercon V
Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: Blue_Angel] #3077236
07/26/13 06:39 PM
07/26/13 06:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 43,004
'Stralia
Shannow Offline
Shannow  Offline

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 43,004
'Stralia
Oil pressure is the vehicle through which oil is supplied to the engine, it's not a lubrication paramater in it's own right.

Variable oil pump will deliver the required volume to get the pressure, and the thinner oil will have less resistance, so flow WILL go up most cewrtainly...

But oil pressure doesn't lubricate bearings.

Re: Variable Displacement Oil Pump, 5W-30 to 0W-20? [Re: ernied] #3077237
07/26/13 06:40 PM
07/26/13 06:40 PM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 43,004
'Stralia
Shannow Offline
Shannow  Offline

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 43,004
'Stralia
Originally Posted By: ernied
why don't you guys just put in what the manufacture recommends or go to college and become an enginer if you doubt them.


Tried that, and it holds no sway on BITOG...

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