Stupid questions about oil.

Ah, guess it's been a while. Got lazy with my truck, haven't changed the oil since I bought it in 2001 (all my previous vehicles, I *always* changed the oil myself). Now, though, there's no jiffy lube equivalent
here, and the cost of service here is about 4x that in the States. So I've bought filters and a wrench.
Cruising the automotive aisle at the local cheapMart, realized I'm out of touch about things:
1. What the SAE ratings mean (I seem to remember 5W30 for hot weather, 10w40 for cold? Would 5w40 be OK for "winter" where the temps range between freezing and 70f? That's what I saw a lot of there.) 2. What would be a decent brand of synthetic motor oil? 3. Is it sold by the 5 quart/litre container in the States as well? Last time I bought oil, I'd buy 5 one quart containers. Much prefer the Aussie way :) 4. Anything I need to do, switching from regular motor oil to synthetic? Any cleaners or additives? Truck's gone rather long between oil changes this time.
Thanks as always for any advice (and any entertaining flamewars that result <g>)
jmc
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On Tue, 27 Mar 2007 19:23:53 +0930, jmc wrote:

10w30 should be a good oil for you. as far a synthetic I'm not sure that any one is better than the other although i know someone will disagree.
i personally have always used the Dino stuff (its rotella for my trucks now)
i don't think you would need any cleaners (in fact i would recommend avoiding them, don't want to break any char/sludge loose for that oil pickup screen to grab) again I'm sure someone will disagree with me =)
and yes you can buy the 5 quart containers in the U.S.
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jmc
Just from my experiences, depending on how many miles you have on your rig, it wouldn't hurt (much) to run a can of gunk engine cleaner or even a little ATF through it before you change to syn oil. I have 180K on mine and ran engine flush through it last oil change and have no issues. If you are looking at Mobile 1, Gastrol, etc. they are about the same. I use Royal Purple or Mobile 1 all the time. As to the wieght, with a syn oil you can run a 10w40 or higher, even in winter and will have no problem. I run 20W50 all year here in AZ and yes, the temps do drop below freezing in the winter.
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Suddenly, without warning, azwiley1 exclaimed (28-Mar-07 8:46 AM):

Good. I'm told the climate here is similar to Phoenix, so should be good then. Thanks for the help. So far, the truck has just under 50k miles.
jmc
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I run 20W50 in mine year round here in Maryland with no problems. Anything lighter and my oil pressure goes to zilch when at idle.
beekeep
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Higher number is more thick, lower number is more runny.
the W number, like 10W or 5W is rated at 0 degrees F. W for winter. So, a 10 W 30 behaves like a 10 weight when it's cold, and a 30 weight when it's hot.
Lower numbers good for cold weather, higher for hot weather. What's your average temps in your climate?
I may be entertaining, but I don't flamewar.
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You won't go wrong with 10W-30 Mobil 1. Any flushes or additives are unnecessary. Yes, it is sold in 5qt containers here in the US. Use a good quality filter!
Mike
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Suddenly, without warning, Mike Simmons exclaimed (28-Mar-07 10:18 AM):

Got a K&N, but they only had one so had to settle for Bosch for the other two I bought. With Synthetic oil, those three should hopefully last me the rest of this tour.
Man, I missed being in the US. Just got my second care package to myself. Hot chocolate and mini marshmallows for all (it's raining and chilly here in the Outback today).
Didn't really notice at first, but the greatest portion of my 'care packages' - things that I bought while in the US that I can't get here, or brands I can't get here anyway - are all truck things. :)
jmc
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Yup! Dak's are kinda scarce in Oz.
:^)
Mike
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Suddenly, without warning, Mike Simmons exclaimed (28-Mar-07 6:46 PM):

Yea, so are some of the cooler cleaning accessories, like the great big microfiber towels I bought. Mercurs (sp?) is here tho, so not all is lost.
I tell you what though, Dodge is missing out on a good market! I thought the Brits liked my truck, but it's nothing like the lust the Aussie guys evidence when the Dak wanders by :) I've had a couple offers to buy it, and one to steal it.
All they got here for Yank Tanks is Fords, I think.
jmc
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Ferds? No REAL trucks?
;^)
Mike
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Suddenly, without warning, Mike Simmons exclaimed (29-Mar-07 9:38 AM):

AFAIK, the Dragon is the only REAL Ute (pickup) out here :)
Well, there are Holdens (Aussie made but I think they're GM in disguise, Mitsubishi Titans, Nissans (they pronounce it funny tho), and some others, but otherwise it's real REAL trucks:
Toyota Landcruisers, mostly. Big, beefy and very, very tough. Gotta have something serious for the outback roads here.
Pickups (utes) look a bit different here as well. Here's what most look like: http://www.auto-rent.com.au/ute.html . Tho that one's missing a bullbar.
Oh, and of course, Road Trains:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Road_Train_Australia.jpg . See these all the time here. Some of them are Kenworths and Macks, so I guess that counts as a Yank truck too, eh?
jmc
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