Higher viscosity oil OK?

My 2002 Focus (with 2.0 liter SOHC engine) makes clicking/ticking sounds during acceleration. The car has only 20k miles so far. The noise isn't very loud but it is noticable and persistent. It's not as loud when the
engine has warmed up completely. The sound is similar to what you might hear from preignition or worn valve train or piston slap. I've ruled out preignition as the source. I want to try changing to higher viscosity oil, maybe higher viscosity synthetic oil. If piston slap is the problem I figure the thicker oil will quiet the noise. It's an experiment. If it works then I would like to continue to use the thicker oil for the long term. The normal oil for the car is 5W20. Can anybody tell me what thicker viscosity oil would be OK on a long term basis. Maybe you shouldn't use thicker oil in modern small engines like this one. I don't know. The weather here in Seattle, WA is not extremely hot or cold. Just middle of the road weather.
Also I would like to know if anybody has gotten these clicking/ticking noises during acceleration in their Focus, or in a car with a similar engine.
Thanks for your help.
Bill S.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bill Schaible opined in

You're under warranty, right? Dont do that yet.
What are your driving habits? Be specific!
How long is your typical trip once car is started.
What brand oil do you use?
Have you done your oil changes per the manual?
--
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The oil passages are so small & tolerances so tight in these modern engines that a higher viscosity oil (on a cold start) could blow out a seal or two - Ford has issued TSBs on that very thing for several of its engines. I had a 2.0 Pinto many years ago that did that ticking under hard acceleration; it turned out to be a carboned-up engine caused by (I suppose) too much idling & city driving..
Bill Schaible wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The only Ford TSB regarding problems realted to the use of thicker oil was in reference to using 10W40 or thicker in certain 4.6L Modular engines (94-1-17). Becasue of the releif valve design, the thicker viscosity oil could lead to an over pressure condition that could swell up the oil filter can and lead to a leak. The relief vavle design was changed to prevent this condition in 1994. During cold start-up 5W20 and 5W30 oil have similar viscosities, and in all cases the cold start-up viscosity is much higher than the operating temperature viscosity of even 50 weight oil. There were no internal changes to engines when Ford changed the recommendation from 5W30 and/or 10W30 oil to 5W20 oil. Ford has issued a couple of TSB recommending the use of first 5W30 and then 5W20 in older engines, but these did not warn against the use of 5W30 in "newer" engines. Even the language in the operator's guides is wishy washy. Mine says
"SAE 5W-20 engine oil is recommended. Only use oils "Certified For Gasoline Engines" by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Use Motorcraft or an equivalent oil meeting Ford specification WSS-M2C153-H. SAE 5W-20 oil provides optimum fuel economy and durability performance meeting all requirements for your vehicle's engine."
As far as I know, only 5W20 and 0W20 oils meet specification WSS-M2C153-H, but I am not sure of that.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ford does & says interesting things, but I really don't see anything wishy-washy about the statement, "SAE 5W-20 engine oil is recommended". The 4.6L engine is not unique in the filter can bursting & can gasket leaking, but the oil filter adapter plate gasket on the 4.6L is a very weak design and for that reason alone, one shouldn't use anything heavier than 5W30; my '94 Mark VIII's oil filler cap states that 5W30 oil is to be used in the engine, so it isn't as if people aren't being told what weight oil to use, even people that are "too busy" to read the owner's manual. Another consideration about oil viscosity in (all) OHC engines: On a cold start, it takes longer for a heavier (say 20W50) oil to be pushed up to the cam area, and the cam(s) are running the valve train longer "dry" than if the proper weight 5W30 (or 5W20) oil is being used. Mark VIII cars at 100K+ miles are now beginning to lose valves & break valve springs for this very reason; owners that use heavier-than-recommended oil in these engines. Of course, it's all Ford's fault. :>)
"C. E. White" wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

The 2300 Pinto/Mustang engines had problems in the south with accelerated camshaft wear when they first started recommending 5W30 oil. Really serious stuff. Finally, in desparation, Ford took the advice of a dealership mechanic to run 10W40 oil in moderate temperatures and 20W50 in the hot southern summers - and the problem dissapeared.
Perhaps Ford has improved the metalurgy of their cams, or the design of their engines, but I wouldn't hold my breath. I'm running 10W40 in my 2.5 Mystique. It's off warranty, and if it goes bad I pay for it - and I'm betting on the heavier oil. If Ford wants to pay for it I'll use what they ask for.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is a new one on me. We are in North Carolina and had a '79 with the 2.3L Engine. We got a letter from Ford specifically warning against the use of certain 10W40 oils (anything that was rated CC in addition to the spark rating as a I recall). We never got any sort of recommendation for using 20W50. We also never had any problems with our engine. I looked through all the Ford TSBs back as far as I could, and never found one that made these recommendations. Do you have a source for this claim?
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I too doubt there was ever such a recall, TSB, advisory, or whatever. From late 1970 to around 1980, I had FIVE Pintos and never had actual engine trouble with any of them. In any event, comparing engine oils of the 1970s with what's available today is absurd. A tech paper on oil: http://www.lincolnsonline.com/article105.html
"C. E. White" wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The article was an interesting opinion piece, but it includes a number of obvious errors. No engine I have every worked on requires 5 minutes to provide enough pressure to the overhead to lubricate the valves and cam. Castrol Syntec is a highly refined Group III oil, not a Group II oil. I have a very hard time believing that changing from 20W50 oil to Mobil 1 could increase a Mustang's mileage from 10-11 mpg to 17-18 mpg. I might have believed a 3% to 5% increase, but no way will I believe a greater than 50% increase.
I agree with some of what he says and think some of the rest is just an opinion I don't share. I particularly think his break-in recommendations are ridiculous. But then that is my opinion.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd check for an exhaust leak - propably in the area of the manifold to head interface or possible at the flex joint.
Thicker oil is not likely to fix piston slap, and besides your description doesn't sound like piston slap.
If you really want to try thicker oil, I'd go no thicker than 5W30.
Ed
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had a newish Chevy that just absolutely didn't like Pennzoil. Changing to a different brand got rid of some nasty squeaky valve noise.
--
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Thu, 17 Feb 2005 21:53:08 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@XReXXHighe.usenet.us.com wrote:

In my (long) experience, I've found you are just about as far ahead to take a whiz into your crankcase as to put in Penzoil.
Flame away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
opined in news

Gee..i thought it was just me!
I did a long empirical study with Q.S. in the late sixties and swore I would never use another brand with a keystone state reference.
I ALMOST quit using Valvoline a couple years ago, because they were advertising a lot, and I figured they had gone the same direction. as PZ, QS and Fram
--
- Yes, I'm a crusty old geezer curmudgeon.. deal with it! -

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 18 Feb 2005 03:49:28 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

Well, back in the late sixties/early seventies, I thought I would give my car the "best" and used Quaker State Supreme. I had the occaision to open up the engine to do a valve job and found the entire interior of the engine coated in a waxy deposit like cosmoline. When I reassembled the engine I flushed it well with kerosene and refilled with Havoline.(I worked at a Texaco garage at the time) Have not used Quaker state sinse.
About 15 years ago I was on a trip with the company Grand Caravan delivering some computers about 200 miles away. The boss had just had an oil change done (Penzoil). Less than 60 miles from home the oil light started to blink on at speed. Went out at idle. I checked the oil level, and it was fine, but appeared to be the consistency of #2 fuel oil. I took it into a garage and had the oil changed - got rid of the Penzoil and put in Shell Rotella 10W40. No more problems.
I've had other experiences where the Penzoil foamed excessively, and air does not make good oil pressure. Had the same problem with some cheap ESSO 10W30 (green can from a lube shop that I could not buy at the local ESSO station) in customer's cars.
Valvoline still seems to be half decent oil, but I'm back to Havoline again. I was using Castrol but the rep gave my brother too much grief, so he switched his shop to Havoline, and since I do my oil changes at little brother's shop, using the Havoline made sense - and it IS good oil.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@sny.der.on.ca wrote:

I forgot about my '73 Mazda RX-2. Pennzoil smoked like crazy.
I think changing brands would be more effective than changing viscosity.
--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley (Lake County) CA USA 38.8,-122.5
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Interesting thread. I thought the problems my old car had with pennzoil was a fluke. 89 park ave, did a few oil changes with pennzoil and the oil pressure went down like a sonofabitch (the idiot light would come on at idle, or under any light engine load), switched to valvoline (same grade) and the problem went away. drove the car another 40,000 miles after that experience, so I'm sure it wasn't a case of the engine being on the way out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I have the same car with 30K miles on it (oil changed religiously every 3K). When I *floor* it I hear extra vibration that I don't hear during normal operation.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.