5w-20 motor oil

My son just purchased an '05 Focus. The owner's manual calls for 5W-20 motor oil. I have always used 10W-30 motor oil in all my cars.
Is the 5W-20 just for better fuel efficiency?
Tom
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Oiling requirements of newer engines is different from those using older technology.... The people that designed and built these things are recommending a particular motor oil - I see no reason for us to try and second guess this stuff.

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IOW, yes... ;) that and ever closer mfg tolerances

older

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5W-20 is to help Ford meet CAFE (fuel economy) requirements. Use 10W-30 if you feel more comfortable with it.

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If this were the case, 5W20 would have been spec'd for all gasoline engines from first use. It may interest you that the 4.0 still requires 5W30... a motor that I imagine must be mystically exempt from the CAFE regulations.
While I have not seen any warranty claims denied with incorrect viscosity as the reason, modern engines come with a hefty repair price tag after the waranty expires... add in the requirements imposed by variable valve timing mechanisms.... differences in materials, manufacturing processes, internal design.....
Personally, I would have a hard time believing a bunch of initials with an address like snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com over the published manufacturer recommendations. Looks like someone has been reading the Spamsoil drivel...

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On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 02:31:52 GMT, "Jim Warman"

Either that or Ford KNOWS the 4.0 will not survive with 5W20

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Perhaps so... though I have never seen anything to support this claim (other than the knowledge that the 4.0 is a very sturdy little motor and can survive suffering even worse abuse than an inappropriate viscosity of oil).
For my own part, even though I have practiced this trade for nearly 40 years, I find it hard to stray from the recommendations of the engineers (remember, the folks that designed the stuff) on some anecdotal whim... especially from an anonymous source without any credentials.
Some (Amsoil comes to mind but there are others) have a vested interest in persuading consumers to stray from factory recommendations since they do not currently produce a 5W20 motor oil. These are the same sorts of companies that are busy trying to convince us that Mercon and Mercon V are interchangeable (go ahead, if you want... it's not my transmission).
Bottom line.... 5W20 is easy to procure and costs pretty much the same as 5W30, 10W30 and so on.... Is avoiding it's use some subconcious reaction similar to the overwhelming need to touch an object bearing a "wet paint" sign?
I spend a lot of time fixing improperly maintained motor vehicles.... including spendy little critters like VCT actuators and such. I can't help people save much in the way of money... all I can do is try to help them spend it wisely.......
Hmmmm.... don't use 5W20, you might get better gas mileage using it.... has a nice ring, don't it.
<clare at snyder.on.ca> wrote in message

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On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 03:40:04 GMT, "Jim Warman"

Well, Jim - you've been in the industry long enough to remember the camshaft problems on the early 2000 and 2300 OHC Ford engines in the Mustang 2 etc. South of the Mason Dixon, more or less, they had camshaft problems that were not nearly as common in the north. They were one of the first engines specifying 5W30 oil - and it was found that using 10W40 or 20W50 oil eliminated the camshaft problems.
Remember the 2.6 Mitsu engine in the K cars and mini-vans? They had those 6 foot long timing chains? They rattled a lot, and a lot broke? Using 10W40 or 20W50 oil made the chains last a LOT longer, if changed on schedule. That is if the countershafts didn't seize up and SNAP the chains. To be fair, that also happened with the thin oil.(some say it happened more with the thin oil) The recommended oil was 5W30.
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Well, if you're south of the Mason Dixon and wise enough to realize that northern climes didn't have some of the concerns that the southern climes did (and vice-versa, in all honesty), I would say that we shouldn't jump to the conclusion that we can jump to conclusions.....
I don't remember any such concerns with the cams on the 4 cylinder engines.... On these, the owners manuals had a chart (the owners manual... it's that funny little book they sell you when they give you the car... the one that tries to make your car reliable, in spite of you).... offering recommended oil viscosity in different temperature ranges. The battle cry then was "I know better than any #^*&(^$%# book"..... Up here, folks knew that winter was winter and reacted accordingly. The few experiences I had with the 2.6 Jap engine ran hot and cold.... the good ones were very good and the bad ones had continual concerns in our area.... Quality control seems to be a bigger player than oil viscosity (remembering that this motor flourished during the time that Iaccoca was busy dragging Chrysler out of it's own ashes).
Enter 5W20 motor oil.... that goofy little *&%$^& book remains unread and the battle cry is "I know better than any #^*&(^$%# book"..... Everyone always seems to know better than the engineers, and here am I, an old dork that pays attention to what the engineers say..... I don't live in the rust belt but my vehicles biodegrade long before they wear out.
At this point, I can't see myself replying to this thread any more.... common sense doesn't seem to apply sometimes, Motor oil selection seems to be a rather emotional experience.... and I fail to see why....
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I had a '74 Mustang II, the first car and the first year for the 2.3L. I used 10W40 from day 1 but I still had camshaft failure at a little over 60k.
Something folks don't often mention, the Ford spec. 5W20 is a semi-synthetic oil. Everyone who sees the Mobil 1 ads knows synth oil is thinner than dino juice because it doesn't change with temperature.
This is just my 2 cents - but the Ford 5W20 recommendation is retroactive, it's now the spec for my '95 Vic.
PoD
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??? not so... in my case, anyway. I dont see that.
The thing people arent paying enough attention to, is engine mfg specs.... they are built with much more precision now.
Since Ford is the one who has to pay out in case they are wrong, they are the authority.
I used to think engines 'wore' appreciably by 100,000 miles... that certainly is not the case as I saw after tearing down a 1984 2.3L EFI turbo at 185,000. The bearings I checked at random were still in spec and crosshatch still on cyl walls and no carbon ridge.
I had a couple of broken rings... but only the ubiquitous exhaust head crack made me pull the engine in the first place. That after my hit-or- miss maintenance but using Mobil 1
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only the ubiquitous exhaust head

No... I didnt mean to imply that mobil 1 had something to do with head crack
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You are right - I didn't really make a very clear point. I probably shouldn't be typing in the wee hours of the night. I am with you, who should know better than the maker about oil specs. If I remember right, when the 4.6L came out, people used heavier oil than specified and blew up oil filters. I am convinced that cars are built better nowadays.
PoD
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It's not so much that parts and assemblies are inferior in quality (Lord knows that here in the north, we are seeing vehicles - especially motors - last many times over what they used to).... Things these days are "purpose built". There is no over-engineering and exceeding any design limitations will bring failure... Older vehicles could withstand quite a bit of abuse, often with no lasting effects.
Additionally, the new breed of engines leans towards materials and construction techniques once thought of as exotic.... aluminum heads, some with aluminum blocks.... even magnesium is being used more often. With this mix of materials, sealing technology (gaskets, fasteners, etc.) has taken on a new importance.
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On Thu, 23 Mar 2006 02:55:05 GMT, "Jim Warman"

You have not found more problems with things like ball joints not standing up? Things like drive axle u-joints being noisy right out of the box? Things like voltage regulators that are intermittent, right out of the box? And rebuilt alternators coming from Ford with the through-bolts all loose? And things like sway bar ends on Taurus cars being noisy less than 6 months after replacement????? And things like power steering and trans cooler lines leaking where the rubber is crimped to the metal lines?
It's to the point you often wonder if the new parts are going to be any better than the old defective part you are replacing?
Problems may be worse with aftermarket parts, but the dealer parts sure are not immune.
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On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 13:06:47 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

How much have the ACTUAL bearing clearances changed in the last 20 years?? Main bearing clearance on my 95 Pontiac 3.8 is 0.0008 to 0.0022. In 1978, a 3.8 ran .0026 to .0050 on the mains. Rod bearings today are the same as mains - used to be .0014 to .0024. So a good tight engine 1n 1978 ran 2 thou rods and mains. An average engine with a few miles on it today also runs about 2 thou. The BIG difference is in finish quality, which ALLOWS the running of smaller clearances because there are a LOT fewer high spots that need to be burnished off in the breakin.
And as far as wear? Some engines really WERE crap years ago, and it was not out of the ordinary to have a relatively low mileage engine with severe cyl wear. Large amonts of taper etc were caused by over-choking, poor carburetion, and the resultant fuel dilution and washdown problems on the cyls. Acid buildup from lead scavenging agents etc caused more bearing deterioration than did wear.
And I tore down my 1961 Austin 850 Mini at 196,000 miles and there was no measurable taper or out-of round on any cyl walls, and no measurable wear on the crank. And BMC was no shining example of quality even in those days. Bearing clearances on that gem? 0.001 to o.0025" on the mains - the same on the rods.
And on a 1937 Dodge? Rod bearing clearances from 0.0005 to 0.008. Even the old 60HP flathead Ford 8 had rod bearing clearances between 0.0003 and 0.0028"
So the arguement of smaller bearing clearances doesn't wash, guys. Yes, SOME engines were loose enough that they knocked as a matter of course, but the vast majority ran VERY close to the same clearances today's engines run. *** Free account sponsored by SecureIX.com *** *** Encrypt your Internet usage with a free VPN account from http://www.SecureIX.com ***
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mabar wrote:

This is probably the most asked question in the world of automotive lubricants today. You will find opinion all over the map.
The data I have seen posted, mostly in the used oil analysis section of bobistheoilguy.com, all shows that 5W-20 oils which meet Ford specifications and are used in vehicles which call for 5W-20 do an excellent job of minimizing wear and maximizing fuel economy.
Many people are not comfortable with 5W-20 based on long standing personal habits and biases. The data, however, seems to support the use of good quality 5W-20 oils.
John
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mabar wrote:

i'm not sure about the consequences of using 10-w30 but YES this was a move by ford to raise its corporate fuel economy. thinner oil requires less horsepower raising fuel mileage. that being said if you use thicker oil you may have lifter problems and some of the oil lubrication orifices may not spray oil properly ..... you could switch to synthetic like some 0w30 that would meet the requirements
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