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Old 01-17-2008, 06:44 PM   #1
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Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

The last time I got my oil changed, the fella told me he'd like to put in 10w30 oil. I have a 2000 Saturn with just over 100k miles that's supposed to use 5w30. He said the reason was that the thicker oil was supposed to be better for cars with over 100k miles.

Is this true?

Also, I'm about due for another change, but within the last week or two, my engine has been acting weird. If I push in the clutch for while, for instance, to slow down for a red light, the engine idles dangerously close to shutting off/dying - ~3-500 rpm (Normally idles around 800-1200 rpm). The lights dim, if the heater's on, the fans slow, etc.

Could the thicker oil that my car isn't supposed to be using be causing this?

As a side note, I'm not a total car-tard, I've gapped a few spark plugs in my day, replaced a head gasket, etc.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

That extra oil thickness isn't enough to cause any problems. The reason it's done is the piston rings start to lose their seal with age and wear and using a thicker oil helps to lessen the effects of this, acting as a band aid of sorts.

Your low idling problem could be a few things. When's the last time you've replaced the air filter or fuel filter?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:49 PM   #3
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

guy who changed your oil's a tool, you should be using thinner oil, if anything different, with older cars, to put less stress on the engines. but since every old car has a leaky seal or two, you'll end up having to put oil in it more often when you go to a thinner oil, but as long as you consistently check the oil levels, you'll be better off with a thinner oil.

i drive an 88 camry with 160k miles (still gets 33mpg, holla) so i know my way around beaters
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:50 PM   #4
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

And this is my essential problem. Two people who sound like they know what they're talking about offering completely conflicting ideas.

Tell ya what, I'll do whatever the first person to offer their answer in the form of a lolcat tells me to do.

Also, wouldn't that be awesome if there was like an online Jeopardy game that you had to answer via lolcat?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:57 PM   #5
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

lol, there's a reason that synthetics are used exclusively in racing, and it's because syn can give the same level of protection with a thinner base stock than mineral oil. Thinner oil is easier to pump and lowers the oil pump load losses as well as allows parts to move with less oil drag.

so, unless you're going to let the oil reservoir go dry, go thinner for better performance
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:07 PM   #6
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scotchnrocks View Post
Your low idling problem could be a few things. When's the last time you've replaced the air filter or fuel filter?
The place I get my oil changed checks the air filter every time, and I get it replaced regularly. (I've been going to the for years and trust them pretty well)

As for the fuel filter, I'm not so sure. Sadly, my mechanic recently retired, and I don't have the equipment to do it myself. I guess I'll ask them about it the next time I go in.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:24 PM   #7
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Key View Post
The place I get my oil changed checks the air filter every time, and I get it replaced regularly. (I've been going to the for years and trust them pretty well)

As for the fuel filter, I'm not so sure. Sadly, my mechanic recently retired, and I don't have the equipment to do it myself. I guess I'll ask them about it the next time I go in.
It can be somewhat difficult to diagnose your low idling issue because there are several small things it could be. If you have the time, I would search for an internet forum that is dedicated to your car and do some searching there.

I would not recommend using a thinner oil under any circumstance on an older car. It is easier to pump through the system, but piston ring tolerances, and the tolerance of other lubcricated parts in general get looser with age, a slightly thicker oil will pick up some of this slack. A thinner oil will make the problem worse and result in increased blow by through the rings and burning more oil.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:33 PM   #8
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcountry View Post
guy who changed your oil's a tool, you should be using thinner oil, if anything different, with older cars, to put less stress on the engines. but since every old car has a leaky seal or two, you'll end up having to put oil in it more often when you go to a thinner oil, but as long as you consistently check the oil levels, you'll be better off with a thinner oil.

i drive an 88 camry with 160k miles (still gets 33mpg, holla) so i know my way around beaters
This is the opposite of every mechanic I've ever heard and also every article I can find on the internet.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:50 PM   #9
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?



Sounds like both sides are saying the same thing:
Thicker oil engine runs cleaner but harder.
Thinner oil engine runs easier but bluer.

You just have to pick.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:54 PM   #10
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcountry View Post
guy who changed your oil's a tool, you should be using thinner oil, if anything different, with older cars, to put less stress on the engines. but since every old car has a leaky seal or two, you'll end up having to put oil in it more often when you go to a thinner oil, but as long as you consistently check the oil levels, you'll be better off with a thinner oil.

i drive an 88 camry with 160k miles (still gets 33mpg, holla) so i know my way around beaters


This may sound like a good idea, but I know better. The extra "stress" put on the oil circulation system is negligible. As someone before me said the thicker oil acts like a gasket between the rings and cylinder wall which results in better power. Also my dad is a professional mechanic and has taught me a lot. BTW I've always owned beaters and have done all the work myself. I've never brought a car to a shop.

Oh, and screw your 160k camry. I have a 93 GMC pickup with 267k. That's right, over a quarter million.

And, your a tool for driving a camry.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:45 PM   #11
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Low Key View Post
And this is my essential problem. Two people who sound like they know what they're talking about offering completely conflicting ideas.

Tell ya what, I'll do whatever the first person to offer their answer in the form of a lolcat tells me to do.

Also, wouldn't that be awesome if there was like an online Jeopardy game that you had to answer via lolcat?
all you have to do is ask
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:00 PM   #12
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

Low Key, I roll a 94 4Runner with 164K. I use the high mileage Synthetic Castrol. Its 10W30. You should go with that. Its more expensive, but cheaper then fixing tons of ****.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:11 PM   #13
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkcountry View Post
guy who changed your oil's a tool, you should be using thinner oil,
Wrong.

OP, listen to your mechanic or everyone in this thread except kkcountry.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:19 PM   #14
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

sick
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Old 01-22-2008, 02:57 AM   #15
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Re: Thicker oil for older/high mileage cars?

Low Key-
i have worked on cars since i was a kid...even tho i'm a girl, i learned from my dad then took a couple auto mechanics classes in college. I totally know this and agree w/all but KK. I have the same transport as Saltcracka..use same oil- w/o any problems. FTW.

Re: the way your car is running- sounds like your alternator and/or timing belt needs replaced or just timing adjusted. Your Saturn may have a serpentine belt- which runs it all, so check that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ThaSaltCracka View Post
Low Key, I roll a 94 4Runner with 164K. I use the high mileage Synthetic Castrol. Its 10W30. You should go with that. Its more expensive, but cheaper then fixing tons of ****.
mine is '93 and f-ing rocks. You went up in my book sir.
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