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Engine Oil question


ComputerGuy
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I've done enough research to discover that my 2006 Buick Allure would run best in this country using 5W30 engine oil. I see that on the shelves of WalMart, the most popular grade is 15W50. I am not terribly clear on the measurements, but I do know that long-distance driving to the coast the other saw me overheating. Since I cannot find any leaks in the system showing antifreeze, I'm guessing the oil might be the culptrit.

My last oil change at the carwash in Riberas could have used the wrong grade. No one asked me; I assumed that if they knew the right filter, they'd also know the right oil.

I also note that 5W30 must not be popular, because it costs 2-3 times what most other grades do.

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i believe that engine calls for 5-30. i bring mine down from the states and use castrol 5-30 high mileage which is a semi synthetic and recommended for my toyota sienna. as for cost in mexico, i bring mine down from walmart in the US and change here. about 18 dollars plus tax for 5 quarts.

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1 hour ago, ComputerGuy said:

...saw me overheating. Since I cannot find any leaks in the system showing antifreeze, I'm guessing the oil might be the culptrit.

1

Have a radiator shop inspect the tubes inside the shell. You describe what happens when they need rodding out.

 

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From my experience, the lower number (ex. 5-30) is for colder regions, the higher number (ex. 15-50) for hotter regions. I would not like to try and start an engine with 15-50 in Chicago during January.  I would check on-line to see if there are different recommends based on regions.

In the same way, this is true with batteries.  The the batteries I bought in Florida sure did last long after I moved to Illinois.

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1 hour ago, ComputerGuy said:

I am not terribly clear on the measurements

From Popular Mechanics web site.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a53/1266801/

Viscosity

Viscosity (a fluid's resistance to flow) is rated at 0° F (represented by the number preceding the "W" [for Winter]) and at 212° F (represented by the second number in the viscosity designation). So 10W-30 oil has less viscosity when cold and hot than does 20W-50. Motor oil thins as it heats and thickens as it cools. So, with the right additives to help it resist thinning too much, an oil can be rated for one viscosity when cold, another when hot. The more resistant it is to thinning, the higher the second number (10W-40 versus 10W-30, for example) and that's good. Within reason, thicker oil generally seals better and maintains a better film of lubrication between moving parts.

 

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16 minutes ago, AngusMactavish said:

Have a radiator shop inspect the tubes inside the shell. You describe what happens when they need rodding out.

 

Good point on the  radiator.  Also concerning the radiator, before rodding, when was the last last time the radiator was flushed and all new anti-freeze put in?  Have the radiator cap tested or replaced.  Sometimes the spring in the cap weakens and release the anti-freeze at a lower temperature.

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All good thoughts. The heating/cooling system was thoroughly redone short months ago, including flushing (although in Mexico that is not saying much). Thermostat is fine; have had no overheating problems when driving around lakeside. Am losing no liquids. So yes, I believe the radiator is worth looking at in and of itself.  (The cap itself is functioning properly, although I plan to order one with a pressure release safety valve, which IMHO they should all have.)

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13 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

All good thoughts. The heating/cooling system was thoroughly redone short months ago, including flushing (although in Mexico that is not saying much). Thermostat is fine; have had no overheating problems when driving around lakeside. Am losing no liquids. So yes, I believe the radiator is worth looking at in and of itself.  (The cap itself is functioning properly, although I plan to order one with a pressure release safety valve, which IMHO they should all have.)

I don't remember for that make and model if the fan is direct drive or some kind of control. 

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I don’t think that there have been in ‘direct drive’ fans for quite a while.... and certainly not a 2006 Buick.

Also, 0- and 5- oils are semi-synthetic, thus the reason for the higher cost, especially in Mexico where these oils are generally not needed (unless specified by the manufacturer). 

The use of ‘lower weight’ oils is also another way for the manufacurer to gain overall better gas mileage figures which helps them meet stringent US mpg fleet requirements.

P.S.  Computerguy.... flushing a radiator is often THE reason why a radiator starts ‘running hot’.... especially if the flush was not a thorough one. A half-a** flush unlodges (is that a word?) junk that wasn’t causing any problems before and clogs up the radiator cores, causing it to run hotter especially at highway speeds in a warm climate. 

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34 minutes ago, RickS said:

P.S.  Computerguy.... flushing a radiator is often THE reason why a radiator starts ‘running hot’.... especially if the flush was not a thorough one. A half-a** flush unlodges (is that a word?) junk that wasn’t causing any problems before and clogs up the radiator cores, causing it to run hotter especially at highway speeds in a warm climate. 

"half-a**" anything will more or likely causes you problem. 

Here a couple comments I found on-line.

"Check your main coolant hoses going into and out of the radiator. Do this by allowing the engine to be fully warm, then while looking at these hoses, rev the engine up to around 2000-2500 RPM (or have someone do it for you while you observe the hoses). What you are looking for is to see if one of them collapses. What happens is, as hoses get old, they weaken and can collapse under higher engine speeds. The water pump has enough of a draw on the fluids it can collapse the weak hose, causing a lack of fluid flow through the engine, and thus overheating. As soon as the engine speed decreases, the hose goes to normal and cooling resumes."

"You could have a cracked head or block on your engine. You may have a faulty water pump. Are all of the hoses fitted correctly? "

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I used to run a car club and would bring in technical experts on various topics, oil was one of them. 

Bottom line is use what is listed in your car manual. I strictly use 5W30, NOTHING ELSE. I could talk about this topic for more time than you'd like... 😜

The engine oil plays a big part in cooling your engine... 

 

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15 minutes ago, Alpha1 said:

I used to run a car club and would bring in technical experts on various topics, oil was one of them. 

Bottom line is use what is listed in your car manual. I strictly use 5W30, NOTHING ELSE. I could talk about this topic for more time than you'd like... 😜

The engine oil plays a big part in cooling your engine... 

 

From Popular Mechanics web site.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a53/1266801/

"Choosing the correct motor oil for your car might seem daunting but the best way to start is by checking your owners manual for your car manufacturers suggested oil weight. Adjust this weight based on the weather"

The key may be "suggested "

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29 minutes ago, Alpha1 said:

The engine oil plays a big part in cooling your engine... 

This is a true statement BUT if the viscosity is too low at high temperature, there is increased wear of parts that causes more heat.

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58 minutes ago, Alpha1 said:

I used to run a car club and would bring in technical experts on various topics, oil was one of them. 

Bottom line is use what is listed in your car manual. I strictly use 5W30, NOTHING ELSE. I could talk about this topic for more time than you'd like... 😜

The engine oil plays a big part in cooling your engine...

And where do you get yours? I haven't checked the local auto stores, but WalMart (which may or may not have the best price) has %W30 starting at $179 a litre.

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If I may interject some comments.

The "W" contained within , is a reference to a WINTER weight viscosity index, viscosity is the ability to pour, warm, or cold, the oil,at the lower index number, SHOULD perform as that lower number, when cold, and when warm, should perform at the higher number, when heated. In YOUR case you stated" 5W30 engine oil, from the provided info, and deciphering the "code", the following is derived: when cold, behaves as 5 weight oil, very easy to pour, designated as for use in "Winter", the "W", and reaching operating temp, behaves as a 30W, oil, from memory, 5W oil is MORE pourable at cold temps, whereas 30W, is veeeeery sllllooooow to pppppppooooouuuurrrrr.5w oil will zip down the pipe, 30w, will be a long time to empty the container.With a "W" in the mix, that designates for "winter use", No "W", normal use, ie... everyday driving. Take your pick.

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58 minutes ago, mexjerry said:

If I may interject some comments.

The "W" contained within , is a reference to a WINTER weight viscosity index, viscosity is the ability to pour, warm, or cold, the oil,at the lower index number, SHOULD perform as that lower number, when cold, and when warm, should perform at the higher number, when heated. In YOUR case you stated" 5W30 engine oil, from the provided info, and deciphering the "code", the following is derived: when cold, behaves as 5 weight oil, very easy to pour, designated as for use in "Winter", the "W", and reaching operating temp, behaves as a 30W, oil, from memory, 5W oil is MORE pourable at cold temps, whereas 30W, is veeeeery sllllooooow to pppppppooooouuuurrrrr.5w oil will zip down the pipe, 30w, will be a long time to empty the container.With a "W" in the mix, that designates for "winter use", No "W", normal use, ie... everyday driving. Take your pick.

Huh. the "W" is, yes, for "Winter" but it means what viscosity is used when starting a cold engine. An engine with 5W30 is easier to start in cold weather than a engine with 15W50.  Once the 5W30 engine warms up, it is using 30 viscosity.  When the 15W50 engine warms up, it uses 50 viscosity.  I wonder which is best for hot weather.

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18 minutes ago, ComputerGuy said:

And isn't it true that the heavier viscosity --that is- the thicker the oil-- the slower it churns through the engine which makes it preferable for hot weather.

Once it warms up it is not so much as it moves slower but it coats the moving parts better  so you have less wear of the parts rubbing together which reduces heat build up.

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