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Best oil for VERY high mileage TL

Old 05-03-2018, 02:35 PM
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Best oil for VERY high mileage TL

2003 Acura TL 280k miles

I've been changing the oil with Valvoline Maxlife Semi Synth 5w20 for a 3-4 years.
I've sent 2 samples to Blackstone and the only red flag was high lead levels in the oil, which might mean engine wear.
This is our 2nd car and gets very little mileage now - I just changed the oil after 3 months and about 1000 miles were driven.

Question: I've read on a bunch of sites that synthetic is not good for high mileage cars, can lead to engine seal wear - regular 'dino' oil is best

Any opinions??
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:09 PM
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The synthetic/high-mileage question always goes back to the question about seals.

If you have bad seals, then that needs to be fixed no matter what. Continuing to run conventional just to avoid leaks is not how to properly maintain any car, IMO.

I don't have any experience with this personally but the best information that I can find is that synthetic may only be an issue for seals if your car was manufactured prior to 1990.

I personally plan to switch to synthetic eventually but not before I repair some seals and gaskets that I know to be leaking. I don't have any drips on the pavement yet but don't want to have to deal with any developing right now before I do major maintenance first.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:56 PM
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238K here, been using Valvolene 5/20 High Mileage Synthetic Blend for the past 4 years, along with an OEM Honda filter. My engine has no leaks, and consumes approximately 1/2 pint, between 5K change intervals. Really can't offer an opinion, regarding switching to full synthetic, in a high mileage engine, used to Dyno Oil, or synthetic blend. The only reason I don't use full synthetic is I prefer to change my oil every 5K, and full synthetic, in my case, would be a waste. I have heard that switching to full synthetic, in an engine used to conventional oil, seems to cause oil leak issues. No personal experience though.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:28 PM
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Synthetic Motor Oil for Higher Mileage Vehicles Royal Purple

Royal Purple makes a pretty good High Mileage synthetic oil called HMX and it's got the Synerlec additive where as the API Royal Purple that's on the shelf at most part stores doesn't.
It's API rated SL for older vehicles 2004 and older because this oil will contaminate modern cats if the car burns oil it so it's perfect for 2G TL's. I'm gonna try it the next oil change.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BalljointFrank View Post
2003 Acura TL 280k miles

I've been changing the oil with Valvoline Maxlife Semi Synth 5w20 for a 3-4 years.
I've sent 2 samples to Blackstone and the only red flag was high lead levels in the oil, which might mean engine wear.
This is our 2nd car and gets very little mileage now - I just changed the oil after 3 months and about 1000 miles were driven.

Question: I've read on a bunch of sites that synthetic is not good for high mileage cars, can lead to engine seal wear - regular 'dino' oil is best

Any opinions??


My Blackstone Labs Result after switching to Synthetic.

To answer your question about synthetic oil being bad for High mileage cars and causing oil leaks. That is completely false. Group 3 to 5 Synthetic oil is the best thing to put in your car regardless of miles and if it's leaking from the seals, then the seals were bad to begin with.
Here's my first result from blackstone labs when I switched to synthetic on my TL about 2 years ago since it was mainly Dealer serviced (most likely with conventional oil) and the results were very positive after nearly 10,000km and half a year on the oil. The high lead could be the result of a bad bearing hopefully it's nothing too serious, a bad main bearing or rod bearing could mean the end for the engine so I suggest to use the best oil possible to make sure a failure won't happen.
That's why I suggested the royal purple HMX oil because it's a reputable synthetic oil brand and it has their Synerlec additive in it which they say helps leave a stronger oil film behind for maximum bearing and engine life.
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:24 AM
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Thanks for the very helpful advice - I'll make the change to full synthetic next time around

BTW - doesn't burn much oil and no leaks.
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BalljointFrank View Post
Thanks for the very helpful advice - I'll make the change to full synthetic next time around

BTW - doesn't burn much oil and no leaks.
Yeah I'd definitely recommend trying Royal Purple HMX 5W30 oil with a good filter for your next oil change if you can find it on sale.
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:07 AM
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Mobil 1 0w20 full synthetic. Car has 270K miles and engine is doing great.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RONE View Post
Mobil 1 0w20 full synthetic. Car has 270K miles and engine is doing great.
0W20 is too thin for 2nd Gen TL's... If you want thinner oil to get better fuel economy and better flow in the winter then use 0W30 either by Mobil 1 or Amsoil.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
0W20 is too thin for 2nd Gen TL's... If you want thinner oil to get better fuel economy and better flow in the winter then use 0W30 either by Mobil 1 or Amsoil.
I guess I can't directly argue with your statement, other than to point out the oil filler cap has 5w20 on it and my anecdotal evidence of 270,000 miles of running 0w20 Mobil 1 full synthetic without a single motor-related issue.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
0W20 is too thin for 2nd Gen TL's... If you want thinner oil to get better fuel economy and better flow in the winter then use 0W30 either by Mobil 1 or Amsoil.
Ummm, by what metric have you determined 0W-20 is too thin for a 2G TL? The fact is, if 5W-20 is specified for the car (and I believe it is), then 0W-20 by definition, also fits the spec.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by BalljointFrank View Post
2003 Acura TL 280k miles

I've been changing the oil with Valvoline Maxlife Semi Synth 5w20 for a 3-4 years.
I've sent 2 samples to Blackstone and the only red flag was high lead levels in the oil, which might mean engine wear.
This is our 2nd car and gets very little mileage now - I just changed the oil after 3 months and about 1000 miles were driven.

Question: I've read on a bunch of sites that synthetic is not good for high mileage cars, can lead to engine seal wear - regular 'dino' oil is best

Any opinions??
I too, have been using Valvolene Maxlife High Mileage Synth Blend, 5W20, for the past 4 years, and 40K miles. I had considered using Royal Purple, but at more than twice the cost, ($38.27 vs. $17.87), it just didn't make economic sense. Since i don't put many miles on 03 TLS, I prefer to change the oil every 6 months, or 5K miles, whichever comes first.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Ummm, by what metric have you determined 0W-20 is too thin for a 2G TL? The fact is, if 5W-20 is specified for the car (and I believe it is), then 0W-20 by definition, also fits the spec.
Wasn't 5W20 only used so that Honda could meet CAFE standards in 2002? They didn't make any changes to the J32 engines to change what oil it has to use so in theory all 2G TL's could run between 5W20 to 10W30.
But 0W20 oil is even thinner than that and while it would be fine in the winter, it would just run way too thin for these old engines when it gets hot out and you're driving for extended periods, the fuel pump has to work harder to keep the oil pressures correct as thinner oil means less oil pressure so the pump has to work harder.
0W30 is perfect because it keeps the oil at the correct viscosity at operating temps and thin and free flowing at cooler temps so the oil can reach the cams quicker.
I've been using 5W30 the entire life of my TL with no issues and I have been curious to see if 0W30 would make a noticeable difference in fuel economy and wear during the winter but that's months away.
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
But 0W20 oil is even thinner than that and while it would be fine in the winter, it would just run way too thin for these old engines when it gets hot out and you're driving for extended periods, the fuel pump has to work harder to keep the oil pressures correct as thinner oil means less oil pressure so the pump has to work harder.
Incorrect, 0W-20 is NOT thinner than 5W-20 (except when cold which is a good thing); both oils thin out to the exact same viscosity range.

What a lot of folks don't understand is how oil grades work and are applied to engine applications; here are a few examples:
  • If a manufacturer specifies 5W-20, then 0W-20 is both acceptable and superior in performance in every way. A 10W-20 would violate the requirement.
  • If a manufacturer specifies 10W-30, then 0W-30, 5W-30, are also by default recommended and will outperform 10W-30 in every way. A 15W-30 would violate the requirement.
  • Taken to an extreme, if a manufacturer recommends 20W-50 (I had a car back in the late 1970s with that requirement), then 0W-50, 5W-50, 10W-50, and 15W-50 are all better options to stay within the requirement.
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
I've been using 5W30 the entire life of my TL with no issues and I have been curious to see if 0W30 would make a noticeable difference in fuel economy and wear during the winter but that's months away.
Since 0W-30 and 5W-30 are both the same weight when warm, there will be no measurable difference in fuel economy unless you do a lot of 1-mile trips with a long period of time for engine cool-down in between (even then the difference may not be measurable).
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Since 0W-30 and 5W-30 are both the same weight when warm, there will be no measurable difference in fuel economy unless you do a lot of 1-mile trips with a long period of time for engine cool-down in between (even then the difference may not be measurable).
You'll get better fuel economy in the winter because the 0W30 will warm up quicker since it flows better through moving parts. The engine will waste less fuel during warm up.



Oil application guide from Honda.


Found an oil application guide by Honda/Acura and yes while you could use 0W20 on models that call for 5W20 my personal opinion I would only do that during winter and run 5W20 in the summer especially if it goes above 30 Celsius where you live especially since these engines weren't engineered based off of 0W20. My TL is a 2000 and it calls for 5W30 and that's all I use and if I were to go with thinner oil then I would only go down to 0W30 only during the winter.


Generic oil viscosity temperature range chart. Gives a rough Idea on the temperature range these oils should be used on older cars. Otherwise use what the owners manual says.

Last edited by Darksyne; 05-16-2018 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
You'll get better fuel economy in the winter because the 0W30 will warm up quicker since it flows better through moving parts. The engine will waste less fuel during warm up.
I'm not sure where you're coming up with these factoids, but once again, not true. Fact, 0W-20, 5W-20, 0W-30, and 5W-30 will all warm up at virtually the same rate.

Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
Found an oil application guide by Honda/Acura and yes while you could use 0W20 on models that call for 5W20 my personal opinion I would only do that during winter and run 5W20 in the summer especially if it goes above 30 Celsius where you live especially since these engines weren't engineered based off of 0W20. My TL is a 2000 and it calls for 5W30 and that's all I use and if I were to go with thinner oil then I would only go down to 0W30 only during the winter.
Here again, it seems you don't understand oil grading, 0W-30 and 5W-30 achieve the same grade when hot; you're doing your engine a disservice by not using 0W-whatever all year round.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
I'm not sure where you're coming up with these factoids, but once again, not true. Fact, 0W-20, 5W-20, 0W-30, and 5W-30 will all warm up at virtually the same rate.


Here again, it seems you don't understand oil grading, 0W-30 and 5W-30 achieve the same grade when hot; you're doing your engine a disservice by not using 0W-whatever all year round.
No need to use a thinner oil when its already hot out and not all brands make 0W30 so they're not always on sale. You seem to be missing my point entirely. Yes they operate the same when hot but 0W30 performs better in the cold where it matters the most. When you first start your engine especially when it's cold that's when the most wear happens so you want an oil that works best for that temperature. Look up videos where they freeze 0W20 oil and 5W30 oil and you'll see how much better the 0W oil flows when cold. Hell I've even provided you charts from Honda/Acura with all the recommended oils for their vehicles and you're telling me I'm doing my engine a disservice when I also provided a used oil analysis? Lol.
I think I know what I'm talking about thank you very much I'm just simply providing my opinions whilst backing them up with facts.

All I'm saying is I would only use 0W30 In the winter and 5W30 in the summer on my 2000 TL. If you got the 02-03 models that call for 5W20 then that's what you should use but 5W30 will work as well if it's regularly above 30 Degrees Celsius. But I just feel uncomfortable running 0W20 in these cars because they just weren't engineered to run in anything but 5W20-10W30 even Honda themselves aren't recommending it.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
No need to use a thinner oil when its already hot out and not all brands make 0W30 so they're not always on sale. You seem to be missing my point entirely. Yes they operate the same when hot but 0W30 performs better in the cold where it matters the most. When you first start your engine especially when it's cold that's when the most wear happens so you want an oil that works best for that temperature. Look up videos where they freeze 0W20 oil and 5W30 oil and you'll see how much better the 0W oil flows when cold. Hell I've even provided you charts from Honda/Acura with all the recommended oils for their vehicles and you're telling me I'm doing my engine a disservice when I also provided a used oil analysis? Lol.
I think I know what I'm talking about thank you very much I'm just simply providing my opinions whilst backing them up with facts.

All I'm saying is I would only use 0W30 In the winter and 5W30 in the summer on my 2000 TL. If you got the 02-03 models that call for 5W20 then that's what you should use but 5W30 will work as well if it's regularly above 30 Degrees Celsius. But I just feel uncomfortable running 0W20 in these cars because they just weren't engineered to run in anything but 5W20-10W30 even Honda themselves aren't recommending it.
Clearly you do not understand oil and oil grading, so at this point I'll give up.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Clearly you do not understand oil and oil grading, so at this point I'll give up.
Here again, it seems you don't understand oil grading, 0W-30 and 5W-30 achieve the same grade when hot; you're doing your engine a disservice by not using 0W-whatever all year round.[/QUOTE]

More like "you aren't accepting my opinion and I have nothing else to back it up so I'll just give up"

You can't just put a thinner oil and expect it to work miracles on your engine. There's other factors that make manufactures recommend 0W20 oils like in the 2012 TL.
Here's a quote from autoblog that explains the improvements Acura had to make to increase fuel economy in the J35Z6 engine for the 2012 TL.

" Additionally, the pistons in the 3.5-liter V6 now make use of a moly-dot coating to reduce friction. The piston skirts wear a matrix of lithium dots that work in concert with a new block boring process to keep mechanical drag to a minimum.
Those substantial alterations join new dual-fine-electrode spark plugs and low viscosity 0w-20 oil to make the 3.5-liter as fit for fuel economy duty as possible."
https://www.autoblog.com/2011/03/09/...iew-road-test/
You wanted "factoids" buddy well there they are.

Acura had to find a way to reduce friction and tolerances internally to make 0W20 work properly. Our engines don't have a "moly dot coating" or "lithium dot piston skirts" or anything else to reduce engine pumping losses. That's why Honda designed them to run at 5W30 and 5W20 when CAFE standards became stricter. That's why I continue to run 5W30 in my 2000 with Great results. If I put 0W20 or even 5W20 the chance of oil leaking passed gaskets and piston rings is greater and oil consumption will increase and the oil will run much thinner at operating temps, outside of the tolerances that the engineers put in. I will experiment with 0W30 in the winter at some point but long story short, just use what the manufacturer suggests, don't play God with your car's engine oil, lol

But according to you I clearly don't understand and don't know what I'm talking about. Lol

Last edited by Darksyne; 05-16-2018 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:01 AM
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A few points:
  • 0W-20 is only thinner than 5W-20 a normal cold start temperatures (meaning pretty much any temperature found anywhere in North America, regardless of the time of year); this means it flows better than 5W-20 following a cold start. That said, 0W-20 is still too thick for optimal lubrication following a cold start, it is just better/thinner than 5W-20. Once fully thinned out when up to operating temperature, both oils fall within the same viscosity grade. Like I said, you are doing your engine a disservice by not using a 0W- all year round.
  • You keep harping on using a thinner oil, for all intents and purposes, 0W-20 is NOT in any way thinner than 5W-20.
  • As for Acura needing to find ways to make 0W-20 work properly, yikes, what a load of crap; where on earth did you get that?
  • Long story short, yes, you do not understand. If you don't believe me, as a petroleum engineer of your choice, he or she will set you straight.
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
A few points:
  • 0W-20 is only thinner than 5W-20 a normal cold start temperatures (meaning pretty much any temperature found anywhere in North America, regardless of the time of year); this means it flows better than 5W-20 following a cold start. That said, 0W-20 is still too thick for optimal lubrication following a cold start, it is just better/thinner than 5W-20. Once fully thinned out when up to operating temperature, both oils fall within the same viscosity grade. Like I said, you are doing your engine a disservice by not using a 0W- all year round.
  • You keep harping on using a thinner oil, for all intents and purposes, 0W-20 is NOT in any way thinner than 5W-20.
  • As for Acura needing to find ways to make 0W-20 work properly, yikes, what a load of crap; where on earth did you get that?
  • Long story short, yes, you do not understand. If you don't believe me, as a petroleum engineer of your choice, he or she will set you straight.
Just watch this video and tell me if you think 0W20 is still "too thick"
0W20 is a great oil and engineers have done a fantastic job at keeping it's film strength strong whilst being one of the thinnest oils on the market.
But no matter how good a 0W20 oil is it can't escape the fact that it gets much thinner at higher temps compared to 5W30 and that low viscosity is outside the tolerances that our 2G TL's were engineered for.
If I was doing my engine a disservice then why did my UOA posted better than the Average results running on 5W30 synthetic? Our engines were engineered based around 5W30-10W30 oil and 5W20 for 02-03 Like I said before, don't play God with your car's oil, use what it says on the cap. The only reason I say you can use 0W30 in these cars is that it'll flow better when cold and still maintain proper viscosity when up to temp, that and 0W30 wasn't on the market when these cars were made otherwise Acura would've recommended it.

You may be right on what you're saying about oil but I know what I'm talking about when it comes to these cars and I don't want people to be mislead into thinking they can put 0W20 into our 20 year old TL's that weren't designed for it.
I was using examples on the Legitimate changes Acura made to the 2012 TL's J35Z6 motor to allow them to recommend only 0W20 without any ill-effects.
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:41 PM
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You still don't understand the differences between 0W-20 and 5W-20; in no way shape or form is 0W-20 too thin if 5W-20 isn't too thin. Said another way, any car designed for 5W-20 can, by definition run 0W-20. If you don't believe me, ask Honda (not a dealership), or ask literally any oil company.

If you want to educate yourself, spend some time over on BobIsTheOilGuy.com and read some of the literally millions of posts and UOA results on xW-20 oils.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
You still don't understand the differences between 0W-20 and 5W-20; in no way shape or form is 0W-20 too thin if 5W-20 isn't too thin. Said another way, any car designed for 5W-20 can, by definition run 0W-20. If you don't believe me, ask Honda (not a dealership), or ask literally any oil company.

If you want to educate yourself, spend some time over on BobIsTheOilGuy.com and read some of the literally millions of posts and UOA results on xW-20 oils.
I still wouldn't put 0w20 or 5w20 in my TL since it was engineered to run at 5W30.
When I say it's too thin I mean it's too thin at higher temperatures, didn't you watch the video? If you decided to do a road trip or any spirited driving especially during the hot summer days and you used 0W20 in a car that wasn't designed for it, then the oil will run much thinner than intended and oil pressures will drop well below specs. Your oil pump needs to work much harder to push that watery oil after it's been running close to 200F for extended periods of time and that low oil pressure will screw up the operation of the VTEC solenoids since they use oil pressure to work.
You are absolutely right about 0W20 at low temps but you are completely ignoring my points on how 0W20 or even 5W20 works at higher temps. We still get some pretty nasty heat waves here in Ontario Canada and weeks at a time of 30 Celsius weather so that's why I always use 5W30 in my car without any problems. Just because its a 0W oil doesn't make it a magical universal oil that's better than everything else. Use the right oil for the right application.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
Your oil pump needs to work much harder to push that watery oil after it's been running close to 200F for extended periods of time .
Lolno. Whether it's the right oil or not, the oil pump turns at a constant rate and doesn't "work" any harder, regardless of oil pressure. It's not like the fans on your radiator that turn on when the coolant gets too hot, causing your alternator, and thus your engine to essentially work harder when it heats up too much.

Although it's obviously not the right way to go, it would be "easiest" on the oil pump if you put gasoline in your crankcase because it's super thin. The less viscous the liquid, the easier it will be for the oil pump to pump it. Again, not to say it's right or wrong, but the ease at which the oil pump "works" is directly related to how thin the fluid is that it's pumping.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
When I say it's too thin I mean it's too thin at higher temperatures, didn't you watch the video?
Ummm, no, that's all I can say. At the upper temperature range, 0W-20 oil must, by definition, maintain the same viscosity stability as 5W-20; if it cannot, then it cannot qualify for that grade. Here's another little fact, if you look at the specific viscosity specs of various 0W-20 and 5W-20 oils, the 0W-20 often has a higher viscosity than the 5W-20s because the former uses a superior base stock.

Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
If you decided to do a road trip or any spirited driving especially during the hot summer days and you used 0W20 in a car that wasn't designed for it, then the oil will run much thinner than intended and oil pressures will drop well below specs. Your oil pump needs to work much harder to push that watery oil after it's been running close to 200F for extended periods of time and that low oil pressure will screw up the operation of the VTEC solenoids since they use oil pressure to work.
If an engine is designed to run 5W-20 then by definition it is designed to run 0W-20; I've said it many times and it still hasn't sunk in. As for your oil pump working harder, LOLZ, you can't be serious.

Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
You are absolutely right about 0W20 at low temps but you are completely ignoring my points on how 0W20 or even 5W20 works at higher temps. We still get some pretty nasty heat waves here in Ontario Canada and weeks at a time of 30 Celsius weather so that's why I always use 5W30 in my car without any problems. Just because its a 0W oil doesn't make it a magical universal oil that's better than everything else. Use the right oil for the right application.
Sorry, the fact is, a 0W-30 will equal or outperform a 5W-30 in literally every metric; fact of life. You don't have to like it or even have to believe it, that doesn't change the fact 5W-30 is inferior to 0W-30 even in hot summer weather.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by losiglow View Post
Lolno. Whether it's the right oil or not, the oil pump turns at a constant rate and doesn't "work" any harder, regardless of oil pressure. It's not like the fans on your radiator that turn on when the coolant gets too hot, causing your alternator, and thus your engine to essentially work harder when it heats up too much.

Although it's obviously not the right way to go, it would be "easiest" on the oil pump if you put gasoline in your crankcase because it's super thin. The less viscous the liquid, the easier it will be for the oil pump to pump it. Again, not to say it's right or wrong, but the ease at which the oil pump "works" is directly related to how thin the fluid is that it's pumping.
Yeah youíre absolutely right about thinner fluid being easier to flow through the pump but that can be a very bad thing as thatís the result of pressure drop. If the pressure gets too low it could throw the oil or check engine light it could mess up the VTEC solenoids and increase bearing wear. Only put 0W20 if thatís what the manufacturer suggests.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post


Yeah you’re absolutely right about thinner fluid being easier to flow through the pump but that can be a very bad thing as that’s the result of pressure drop. If the pressure gets too low it could throw the oil or check engine light it could mess up the VTEC solenoids and increase bearing wear. Only put 0W20 if that’s what the manufacturer suggests.
Universally bad advice.

Here's the thing, I don't care if you don't believe me, I'm just some schmuck on the internet. That said, I am an engineer and have consulted to three of the world's auto manufacturers over the years; I've worked with the engines and seen the test results; but pay that no nevermind. Please educate yourself and in the interim, please stop making unsubstantiated claims which might cause an uninformed reader to take a course of action which is contrary to their best interests.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post


Yeah you’re absolutely right about thinner fluid being easier to flow through the pump but that can be a very bad thing as that’s the result of pressure drop. If the pressure gets too low it could throw the oil or check engine light it could mess up the VTEC solenoids and increase bearing wear. Only put 0W20 if that’s what the manufacturer suggests.
Not arguing that. Just refuting the "pump working harder" thing. On a somewhat different note, I don't hear of too many oil pumps going belly up due to oil viscosity. I think the main concern with oil viscosity has to do with oil pressure, like you said, but also the oils ability to lubricate and absorb heat from parts. I believe I heard that from Horseshoez in the past as well. A thinner oil is more easily able to get into smaller places allowing better lubrication and heat dissipation. It's funny to hear me saying all of this because I used to be such a proponent of going with a slightly thicker oil because it seems logical that it would provide better protection and "cushion". But then it turns out it can theoretically be detrimental due to taking longer to reach critical parts when cold (and thicker) as well as the lower efficiency in reaching all the nooks and crannies of the engine than a thinner oil.

Having said all of that, I doubt the engine in a Honda is going to go bad before their automatic transmission does, no matter what oil you use. My wife abuses her '09 Pilot by immediately gunning it right after starting it cold (makes me cringe...), and it has 238K on it now and purrs like a kitten. She tortures the transmission as well. I theorize the only reason it hasn't died is that it's has the towing package trim which has a different transmission (presumably more heavy duty?), and we never tow.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:28 PM
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This is an interesting discussion.

Would it be a happy medium to use 0W20 in the summer and 5W20/30 in the winter?

I'm strongly considering making the switch to full synthetic.

Last edited by Chojun; 05-17-2018 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:27 PM
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Given the stellar UOA results for 0W-20, results which easily rival xW-30, why would you bother? Remember, the oil specifications for 2G and 3G TLs were made for the then state of the art conventional oil; conventional oil has since made huge strides, and synthetic oil (something like 90% of all 0W-xx oils are synthetic) have made even more strides. Said another way, a 2018 vintage synthetic 0W-20 will dramatically outperform a 2004 vintage conventional 5W-20, and given that old oil was good enough for literally hundreds of thousands of miles, just imagine how long an engine will last with say, Castrol Edge 0W-20.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:20 AM
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[QUOTE=losiglow;16235161]Not arguing that. Just refuting the "pump working harder" thing. On a somewhat different note, I don't hear of too many oil pumps going belly up due to oil viscosity. I think the main concern with oil viscosity has to do with oil pressure, like you said, but also the oils ability to lubricate and absorb heat from parts. I believe I heard that from Horseshoez in the past as well. A thinner oil is more easily able to get into smaller places allowing better lubrication and heat dissipation. It's funny to hear me saying all of this because I used to be such a proponent of going with a slightly thicker oil because it seems logical that it would provide better protection and "cushion". But then it turns out it can theoretically be detrimental due to taking longer to reach critical parts when cold (and thicker) as well as the lower efficiency in reaching all the nooks and crannies of the engine than a thinner oil.

Yeah my bad I was definitely wrong on the "pump working harder" statement, I was thinking about the modern variable geometry oil pumps that modern cars have where the oil pressure isn't determined by RPM but by a computer that can change oil pressures on the fly to reduce pumping losses by the oil for better fuel economy. Our cars have fixed geometry oil pumps and only flow based on the RPM of our cars, which is why I never recommend thinner oil on 2G TL's because the oil pump can't compensate the reduced oil pressure at higher temps when the oil becomes watery thin in hot scenarios.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:43 AM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Given the stellar UOA results for 0W-20, results which easily rival xW-30, why would you bother? Remember, the oil specifications for 2G and 3G TLs were made for the then state of the art conventional oil; conventional oil has since made huge strides, and synthetic oil (something like 90% of all 0W-xx oils are synthetic) have made even more strides. Said another way, a 2018 vintage synthetic 0W-20 will dramatically outperform a 2004 vintage conventional 5W-20, and given that old oil was good enough for literally hundreds of thousands of miles, just imagine how long an engine will last with say, Castrol Edge 0W-20.


Oils have gotten better because the API have put stricter regulations on oil for emissions purposes. Modern 5W30 API SN oils will greatly outperform the 5W30 SJ that were around when our 2G TL's were made with more advanced additive packs and superior film strength. An engine will last as long as the owner services it regularly with the correct oil that the manufacture suggest it takes. If it calls for 0W20 and it's a good motor then you can get 1million miles no problem as long as you're not putting it in a car that calls for 5W30 or 10W30 or 10W60 like that BMW!
0W20 is acceptable in some cases in a car that calls for 5W20 but it's unnecessary since 5W20 will work fine on it anyways... Unless it gets below -30 Celsius on a regular basis.... That's my opinion.. You aren't harming your engine by putting 5W20 just because you think 0W20 is better, that's Universally Bad advice right there...

Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Universally bad advice.

Here's the thing, I don't care if you don't believe me, I'm just some schmuck on the internet. That said, I am an engineer and have consulted to three of the world's auto manufacturers over the years; I've worked with the engines and seen the test results; but pay that no nevermind. Please educate yourself and in the interim, please stop making unsubstantiated claims which might cause an uninformed reader to take a course of action which is contrary to their best interests.
Just because I don't agree with you doesn't meant that its automatically "bad advice" I take it you didn't watch the video link I sent you, where he demonstrated that he took a Toyota 86 a car that requires 0W20 oil FROM FACTORY and took it to a track. And yes the UOA doesn't detect abnormal wear from the sample "which you won't see from 1 track day anyway without a mechanical failure" he did detect an abnormal drop in oil pressure while tracking the car. Why? Because the oil got THINNER once temperatures elevated from driving on the track, running a car with abnormally low oil pressure is BAD and will contribute to higher wear if it happened on a regular basis...

Honestly I think you're a very arrogant and ignorant person who's really contributed nothing to this thread because you aren't willing to listen to other peoples opinions even when they've backed them up with source material, just because you're an engineer and have talked to different auto manufacturers around the world then we should take your word as gospel even while you don't even show you own sources or research when you state your opinions.
If you're an engineer then where's your research? Where's the links to the sources of the information you're getting? I've provided mine and I'm not an engineer.
You may be an engineer but you didn't design these cars so I'm trusting what Honda/Acura recommends over what you do and if they recommend 5W30 for my car and I haven't had any ill effects from doing so (with proof) then that's what I'll do and what I'll recommend and if you still say that's the wrong advice despite being OEM then maybe it's not the advice that's wrong, it might be you...

Another thing if you think 0WX oils are the only oils that our cars should be using then why hasn't oil manufacturers marketed as such considering our cars are long passed their warranty period? Why hasn't Honda come out with a bulletin that says forget 5WX oils use 0WX oils they're much better for our cars and for fuel economy? 0W30 may have benefits over 5W30 but they'll only show when the weather is cold which is when I would use it, not when it's hot because it won't matter.
Each car is different that's why there isn't one universal fit for oil for every car out there.

I'm not trying to change your mind or convince you otherwise you can think whatever you want they're your opinions, I'm just trying to prevent you from giving bad advice to people who don't know any better because not everyone is an "engineer" like you...
I guess that's all I have to say but hey what do I know since I CLEARLY didn't educate myself, I clearly didn't spend 4 years at a tech school studying automotive tech and truck and coach, clearly my opinions and source material are all meaningless even though some of it came from HONDA themselves. What do I know, I'm not an engineer...

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Old 05-18-2018, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Chojun View Post
This is an interesting discussion.

Would it be a happy medium to use 0W20 in the summer and 5W20/30 in the winter?

I'm strongly considering making the switch to full synthetic.
Full synthetic is great on our cars but DO NOT USE 0W20 in the summer, the oil will get too thin after extended driving in the hot weather and oil pressures won't be correct for that car. Use either synthetic 5W30 for 99-01 models and 5W20 for 02-03 models, that's what Honda/Acura recommends, and hasn't changed.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post

Oils have gotten better because the API have put stricter regulations on oil for emissions purposes. Modern 5W30 API SN oils will greatly outperform the 5W30 SJ that were around when our 2G TL's were made with more advanced additive packs and superior film strength. An engine will last as long as the owner services it regularly with the correct oil that the manufacture suggest it takes. If it calls for 0W20 and it's a good motor then you can get 1million miles no problem as long as you're not putting it in a car that calls for 5W30 or 10W30 or 10W60 like that BMW!
0W20 is acceptable in some cases in a car that calls for 5W20 but it's unnecessary since 5W20 will work fine on it anyways... Unless it gets below -30 Celsius on a regular basis.... That's my opinion.. You aren't harming your engine by putting 5W20 just because you think 0W20 is better, that's Universally Bad advice right there...
While it is true 0W-20 is probably a better all around oil than 10W-30 I don't believe I have ever advocated making that kind of switch. As for bringing up BMW "M" engines which call for 10W-60 in the context of this discussion, now you're just getting silly.

Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
Just because I don't agree with you doesn't meant that its automatically "bad advice" I take it you didn't watch the video link I sent you, where he demonstrated that he took a Toyota 86 a car that requires 0W20 oil FROM FACTORY and took it to a track. And yes the UOA doesn't detect abnormal wear from the sample "which you won't see from 1 track day anyway without a mechanical failure" he did detect an abnormal drop in oil pressure while tracking the car. Why? Because the oil got THINNER once temperatures elevated from driving on the track, running a car with abnormally low oil pressure is BAD and will contribute to higher wear if it happened on a regular basis...
Regarding the Toyota 86 at the track, pressure isn't the issue, it's the flow, as long as the oil flow is acceptable (and it will be because modern oil pumps are positive displacement), everything is good. The point you keep missing is you think 0W-20 is too thin when it gets hot, but the thing is, it is just as thick as 5W-20 and very nearly as thick as xW-30. In fact, take two otherwise identical cars to the track, one with synthetic 0W-20 and one with conventional 5W-30, and after an hour of track time, the 0W-20 will be the thicker of the two oils.

Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
Honestly I think you're a very arrogant and ignorant person who's really contributed nothing to this thread because you aren't willing to listen to other peoples opinions even when they've backed them up with source material, just because you're an engineer and have talked to different auto manufacturers around the world then we should take your word as gospel even while you don't even show you own sources or research when you state your opinions.
If you're an engineer then where's your research? Where's the links to the sources of the information you're getting? I've provided mine and I'm not an engineer.
You may be an engineer but you didn't design these cars so I'm trusting what Honda/Acura recommends over what you do and if they recommend 5W30 for my car and I haven't had any ill effects from doing so (with proof) then that's what I'll do and what I'll recommend and if you still say that's the wrong advice despite being OEM then maybe it's not the advice that's wrong, it might be you...
I'm not asking you or anyone else to believe me, I'm asking you to get educated, nothing of which you've linked as proven a single point you've made.

Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
Another thing if you think 0WX oils are the only oils that our cars should be using then why hasn't oil manufacturers marketed as such considering our cars are long passed their warranty period? Why hasn't Honda come out with a bulletin that says forget 5WX oils use 0WX oils they're much better for our cars and for fuel economy? 0W30 may have benefits over 5W30 but they'll only show when the weather is cold which is when I would use it, not when it's hot because it won't matter.
Even if Honda and other manufacturers did as you suggest, folks like you would just claim conspiracy theory and keep using the original oils.

Originally Posted by Darksyne View Post
Each car is different that's why there isn't one universal fit for oil for every car out there.
Please show me where I've said otherwise.

What I maintain is if a 5W (or greater) -xx oil is specified, then a 0W-xx is the best oil for it, regardless of driving environment.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:45 PM
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While it is true 0W-20 is probably a better all around oil than 10W-30 I don't believe I have ever advocated making that kind of switch. As for bringing up BMW "M" engines which call for 10W-60 in the context of this discussion, now you're just getting silly.


"Regarding the Toyota 86 at the track, pressure isn't the issue, it's the flow, as long as the oil flow is acceptable (and it will be because modern oil pumps are positive displacement), everything is good. The point you keep missing is you think 0W-20 is too thin when it gets hot, but the thing is, it is just as thick as 5W-20 and very nearly as thick as xW-30. In fact, take two otherwise identical cars to the track, one with synthetic 0W-20 and one with conventional 5W-30, and after an hour of track time, the 0W-20 will be the thicker of the two oils."

That is a very in-accurate statement, you're crazy if you think 0W20 is just as thick as 5W20 and 5W30, take a 1L bottle of each oil and shake them and you can easily tell which one feels and sounds thinner... You're right about engines needing the proper oil flow, but you can't have proper oil flow if your oil pressure is too low... Didn't you listen to his statement where he explains that once oil reaches outside of a certain temperature range, viscosity starts to plummet making the oil thin like water.


I'm not asking you or anyone else to believe me, I'm asking you to get educated, nothing of which you've linked as proven a single point you've made."

Clearly I have been educated otherwise I wouldn't have anything to back up my opinion. It only hasn't proven a single point because you refuse to listen and just ignore it despite the fact that some of the sources came from Honda America themselves...

"Even if Honda and other manufacturers did as you suggest, folks like you would just claim conspiracy theory and keep using the original oils."

Not really, I'm adamant in following OEM specs to avoid future problems, when Honda changed their coolant to the Blue "type 2" coolant back in the late 90s and recommended it for all Honda's and Acura's after 1996 despite the fact that they said it's still safe to use Green Type 1 coolant if Blue type 2 is unavailable, guess what I'm still putting the blue stuff in even though Coolant like Prestone will still work.

Or when Honda changed their ATF from Z1 to DW1 because they made improvements to make the new fluid better, yeah we have no choice to use DW1 because Z1 is unavailable but even if it was, I'd still use DW1 because it's better.
There is no conspiracy, if Honda makes changes to their OEM recommendations that's because it's been improved, and so far Honda hasn't made any changes to their oil recommendations, what ever they recommend for each car (which is on the chart that I provided for you btw) is what should be used on that car, end of discussion... Your statements that all 0W oils are better than their 5W or 10W counterpart is completely false and should be taken with a grain of salt. 5W30 is completely fine and has been proven by my UOA, because I know how to maintain my car...

Please show me where I've said otherwise.

What I maintain is if a 5W (or greater) -xx oil is specified, then a 0W-xx is the best oil for it, regardless of driving environment.[/QUOTE]

Completely wrong, why do you think Honda only recommends 10W30 for the S2000 or first gen NSX and not 5W30 or 0W30? According to you it should work right? Wrong, they were engineered to run and perform best with 10W30. Idk why you're arguing against OEM recommendations, it's a losing argument... 0W isn't the best universal solution for all oils otherwise Honda and other OEM manufacturers would've recommended so in a service bulletin, which they haven't...
Use the OEM oil there isn't a safer bet than that.

Last edited by Darksyne; 05-18-2018 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:01 PM
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Clearly you have superior insight to every other engineer in the automotive and petroleum world; I tip my hat to you.
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Old 05-18-2018, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by horseshoez View Post
Clearly you have superior insight to every other engineer in the automotive and petroleum world; I tip my hat to you.
Not me, tip your hat to the Honda/Acura Engineers that made the car. I'm only going by what they've recommend, I'm not making up anything.
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