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Let's talk Motor Oil

2910 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Bror Jace
Well, since we don't have many discussions here on motor oil, I thought it'd be a good idea to discuss oil.

I've found a good source of information:

great information about what oils to use and what to avoid.

Amsoil is good, but seems to break down over time.
Redline and Royal Purple are excellent synthetics
Mobil One is a good oil, but not up to par with other synthetics like those listed.
Castrol syntec=crap

I personally use 10w30. I'm using Mobil 1 now, and when the turbo setup goes in, I'll be putting in some Royal Purple full synthetic 10w30.
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"I've found a good source of information:"

Yep. Good site. I've been a member since 2002 ... I'm #20 and they are now well over 5,000 registered members. :D

"Great information about what oils to use and what to avoid. Summary:
Amsoil is good, but seems to break down over time."

Um, I don't think so. Amsoil is one of the most stable of passenger car motor oils ... and seems to be the best suited for extended drains ... but I don't use it personally. ;)

"Red Line and Royal Purple are excellent synthetics"

Both have their issues that bother many of us BITOGers: Red Line's chemisrty seems a bit 'aggressive' for a lot of engines and it appears to chemically scoure the motor and pick up a lot of metal which shows up on UOAs.

Royal Purple's street grades thin out like no other oil I've seen, conventional or synthetic. :eek:

"Mobil One is a good oil, but not up to par with other synthetics like those listed."

Well, their 0W-30 and 0W-40 shear down quickly, and they tend to start off a little on the thin side, but I'd say the current formulation is very good. Past formulations (SJ TriSynthetic, for example) were poor choices.

"Castrol Syntec = crap"

Actually, a decent oil ... but not worth the $4+ per quart retail. It's a Group III oil and not a 'true' synthetic like Mobil 1, Red Line, Amsoil and a few others. A lot of us are pretty miffed at Castrol for starting this whole "Group III mineral oil = synthetic sham" back in 1997. :(

Actually, there are a handful of really good motor oil threads on this forum. I've participated in many. Try searching using brand names of oil like "Pennzoil," "Castrol," "Chevron" or the word "synthetic" to bring them up.
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bror ive been reading your posts now for a few months, and you know oil better than most anyone

so, id like to have your opinion on what motor oil i, and those in my posistion, should use.

im driving a b14 with a highport with around 65k miles on the motor. Ive run Mobil1 5w-30 since ive had it and ive never had a problem. Is this the best for my application?

what do you suggest?
Chimmike, you're right, that is a good thread. A lot of people picking that "article" apart ... on both sides. BITOGers are a cynical bunch and like to point out marketing hype and 'spin' in all its forms. :)

Thanks Radioaktiv.

I do know oil better than most do-it-yourselfers, but I'm not up on mods done to the various Nissan motors and the effects they might have on something like oil. I'm sorta new to Nissan (this 2003 is my first although Mom had a '83 280ZX when it was new) and am getting to the age where I just don't bother hot-rodding so much anymore. :(

So anyway, I'll keep my comments pretty general. Unless you know you have a problem or know your oil's performance is falling short, I recommend 30 weight oils for nearly every street application: 0W-30, 5W-30 and 10W-30. Straight grades are seriously 'old school' and most people have no business using them anymore.

If you do a search on the net, you'll see writings of mine from 3-4+ years ago and I might have had some rotten things to say about Mobil 1 and I might've been speaking of Boy a lot has changed in the past few years. Mobil has improved their product and Valvoline has gone backwards ... and even lied to me personally about their formulations. :p

That was before BITOG.

Now, if you want to see how your current oil is holding up, you should consider doing periodic UOAs ... Used Oil Analyses, a lab test of a used sample. It'll show wear metals, additive levesl, contaminents and if the oil has thinned out ... or thickened.

Mobil 1 5W-30 should be fine for up to 5,000 miles in almost any street engine, easy. But in Texas, I'd switch to 10W-30 and hope that it stays 'in grade' (thickness) longer. That stuff will pump fine in sub zero temps. You aren't benefitting from the ultra cold weather performance offered by a synthetic 0W-30 or a 5W-30 and all things being equal, the wider-spread the oil has, the less stable it is and the more likely it is to thin out some ... even some synthetics, even during modest drain intervals.

Mobil 1 is very good, right now. But their formula from a few years ago (SJ TriSynthetic) left a lot to be desired. :rolleyes: Their racing oil is the same very good Mobil 1 formulation ... but with more additives. Not sure most applications really take advantage of these, however.

Want something really special and not too expensive? I use Schaeffer oils. The BITOG founder is a dealer ... although he's no longer active with the site. There might be a dealer in your area and you can get Schaeffer products on-line:

Look in their technical section for specifics. Their most popular high-performance oils are the Supreme 7000 synthetic blends. You can go 5,000 miles with their 5W-30 and the stuff, amazingly enough, STAYS IN GRADE. Not bad for $3 per quart. Most mass-market 5W-30 oils won't go half that distance before shearing down to a 20 weight. :(

If a good 30 weight oil isn't getting it done in your plant, I recommend stepping up to a 15W-40 HDMO (Heavy Duty Motor Oil). The dual gas/diesel oils are pretty tough and have a much more potent additive package than mass-market PCMOs (Passenger Car Motor Oils). More detergents, dispersants and (most importantly) more anti-wear barrier additives. :thumbup:

My current favorite brand (other than the Schaeffer blend) is the newest version of Chevron Delo400 with molybdenum. :D
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well I prefer to use 10w30....the supreme 7000 on schaeffer, thats a fully sny right?
i was brought up using Mobil1 products, either from the corvettes or porsches we have owned. but i recently started working at my local NAPA autoparts, and found AMSOIL. i love it. i get it at cost, so i only pay like$0.25 more per quart than i would Mobil1 full synthetic. it runs longer, handles better as far as breaking down, and if i can go 6k++ on an oilchange, oh hell yah mang!
thanks a lot bror
still looking for where that Schaeffer's can be bought online tho. keep coming up with some dead links etc.

i'll be filling with 10w-30 Mobil1 in a few hundred miles if i cant find the Schaeffer's

thanks again
my 10w30 Valvoline maxlife doesnt seem that bad. i have no complaints......even though as of lately its been PISSING oil :(
Personally, I believe that using a good conventional oil (Castrol GTX 5W-30 or 10W-30 is my choice) and a quality oil filter (Nissan OEM or Fram Tough-Guard), and changing both every 3,000 miles (or 90 days, whichever comes first) is just as effective at prolonging engine life as all the wiz-bang synthetics, but a whole lot cheaper. Just my own $0.02.

n5xbs said:
Personally, I believe that using a good conventional oil (Castrol GTX 5W-30 or 10W-30 is my choice) and a quality oil filter (Nissan OEM or Fram Tough-Guard), and changing both every 3,000 miles (or 90 days, whichever comes first) is just as effective at prolonging engine life as all the wiz-bang synthetics, but a whole lot cheaper. Just my own $0.02.

I hope you know there is a world of difference between a fram filter and a genuine nissan filter...

In my experience I have run mobil 1 (supersyn) for 5000 miles with the same oil filter (nissan) and had a uoa. My results came out good except for metals- This was due to the fact that some animals had gotten in my airbox and ate a hole in my air filter (I think that's why, I'll know after another test). I am now going to run the same oil and filter for 7000 miles and give it another uoa.

I also enjoyed reading up on the guys with the camaro getting donations for the uoa and giving out the data. That is some great info also....
Does anyone have experience with Motul Oil? I know the brake fluid is HIGHLY Recommended, but what about the motor oil?
You can order Schaeffer from this BITOG sponsor:;f=12;t=000027

When I ordered about 2 years ago, I went in with a buddy and ordered $250+ worth of stuff from BITOG founder Bob Winters but I wouldn't hesitate to order from any of their reps. :)

Yes, you CAN order select products from the schaeffer factory site (their "factory store") but the prices are borderline outrageous. :p Best to find a dealer.

chimmike, nothing wrong with 10W-30 in most applications.

Supreme 7000 (available in many weights) is a highly refined (Group II+ mineral) base oil blended with about 20-25% PAO Group IV synthetic stocks. So, to answer your question, it's a synthetic blend ... but a REAL one unlike so most of the mass market blends which are just a blend of Group II & III mineral oils.

Plus, none of the mass-market oils have Schaeffer's excellent additive package.

n5xbs, I can't disagree with less-expensive oil and 3,000 mile changes. But it is a bit wasteful ... and takes a lot of time when you factor un returning all that oil. Up until recently, I put about 18,000 miles on my car. That'd be about 6 oil changes each year ... or every other month. :eek:

RBI*04, I liked the original version of Valvoline Max-Life because it had a lot of molybdenum in it. The stuff also has some Group V ester in it which made it a decent winter oil choice. But after about a year or so, they took the moly out of it and I prefer Pennzoil and other brands of high mileage oils.

Slayer2003, Amsoil is good stuff and a few years ago, I'd have preferred it over Mobil 1 ... but Al Matuzio is down on molybdenum and I think this stuff is the best. So, while I like it, I think the newest version of Mobil 1 will hold up just about as good, maybe even better in some applications.

bII, Motul has many different oils, last time I checked. Their premium oil is supposedly full of esters ... not unlike Red Line. But Motul is usually MUCH more expensive!

It may be really good stuff ... but I currently choose other brands.
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chimmike said:
Not very helpful. All I can gather from that thread is that we might as well not use oil at all......... :crazy:
So having a lot of esters is good then?
i have heard that once you go synthetic you always have to run synthetic you can never go back to non synthetic oils, is this true?
That question seems to be brought up alot. From the few responses that I have seen the answer is false. You can switch back to dino juice after running synthetic with no problems.
In my own experience I pay less money per miles for an oil change of synthetic versus dino, have fewer oil changes to do (great because oil changes in the winter suck), and its a better oil for my engine. So I would ask myself this- Why would I want to switch back? But I realize that everyones needs are different.
the only reason i ask this is because i have a oil leak and once i was low on oil and there was no synthetic available at a gas station i was at so i was unsure if i could put dino oil in...i ened up going down the street to a mobil gas station and paying $6.50 for a freaking quart of mobil 1!

Thanks for the info
Esters can be a very good thing to have in oil ... but some have a natural detergency that seems to be a bit too harsh in certain applications.

Now, this effect can be "deactivated" using certain compounds ... but I'm no chemist and I can't really describe this with any authority.

It just seems that we see high metals in a lot of UOAs where Red Line motor oils were used. My Red Line results have been disappointing. :(

It's completely false what some have said about being unable to switch back and forth between automotive synthetic lubricants. Heck, 10+ years ago, Mobil 1 used a mineral 'carrier oil' in their PAO-based Mobil 1 as a seal conditioner and additive miscibilty agent (PAO does not like seals and does not mix well with other compounds)

But Mobil got criticism as their formula wasn't '100% synthetic' ... which is a joke seeing how the word "synthetic" is so abused these days. :rolleyes:

Anyway, I and other people on BITOG switch back and forth all the time, sometimes seasonally. This is just an annoying rumor that refuses to die. There are a few of these. 'Pennzoil = waxy oil' is another one. :rolleyes:

There are 'synthetics' known as PAGs - glycol based lubes - and they are NOT compatible with mineral or other automotive synthetic lubricants. But these are rare and are only used in some compressors, refridgerators and other specialty industrial applications.
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