Uh Oh - An Oil Thread

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Greetings fellow Netizens.
Long time lurker here, first time posting.
After 120,000 miles, I figured it was time to trade in my 2005 Civic Sedan, 5 speed manual Hybrid.
Served me well, but it was time for a new vehicle. Now I've got a brand spankin' new 2011 Civic Sedan LX-S, 5 speed manual. Sweet car so far, I like the upgrade.
The Hybrid took 0W-20, and I changed it every 5K with Mobil 1 Synthetic. My new Civic owner's manual calls for 5W-20. I have a coupla cases of 0W-20 left. Anyone here use 0W-20 instead of the recommended 5W-20 in their Civics? I recall reading somewhere it would be OK to run it, and may even see an increase in fuel mileage.
Also, there is no mileage based oil service interval on my new Civic. Instead its got the newfangled oil percentage readout. When do you guys change out your oil? Trust the sensors and change at a certain percentage, or change at 5K anyways? Thanks to all for any input/opinions/suggestions/knowledge.
Regards,
KSpy
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Why?
When it says so.
It knows much more about how the engine has treated the oil than you do. Engineers spent a bunch of time figuring out how the various engine and physical parameters affect the oil, then they programmed that knowledge into the computer.
Why would you think NOT to follow their advice?

Why would you think NOT to follow their advice?
BTW, read up on the maintenance minder. It's in that big book written by Manual, probably still shrink wrapped inside your glove box. It comes for FREE with your shiny new $22,000 toy. The MM doesn't use sensors; the MM uses engine temperature, outside temperature, engine stops and starts, revs, and other parameters to know how the engine has treated the oil (based on the oil that the engineers SPECIFIED--you know, 5W-20 at whatever the current minimum grade is).
You are free to be silly and ignore the advice of the people who designed the engine.
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On 12/05/2010 03:35 PM, Korporate Spy wrote:

the 0w-20 will be fine. change it per the maintenance minder. as elmo says, the guys that researched and programmed the thing know a lot more about your engine and its oil usage than the mythologists and witch doctors that still think engine oil stopped development in the 1950's.
--
nomina rutrum rutrum

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On 12/5/10 11:58 PM, jim beam wrote:

Also, the OMs for both my 07 Accord and the missus' 2010 CR-V both clearly state NOT to do the first oil change until the MM calls for it.
It was hard for me not to do my customary first oil change in a new car at 1000 miles...
Wonder why you ain't supposed to change it early--- maybe the factory fills it with break-in oil like in the old days?
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they probably fill the oil with a lot of additives to reduce wear,and it takes some time for the additives to plate the bearing surfaces.(SWAG)
--
Jim Yanik
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On 12/06/2010 02:51 PM, Average Joe wrote:

i don't know for sure. various threads here suggest they just use ordinary oil. however, if i had to guess, i'd say keeping it in for the full duration will help accelerate buildup of the hard carbon films that end up on the cylinder walls. they're wear resistant and to some extent help seal - keeping the oil /too/ clean early on would slow that deposition down.
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it's possible that right at the factory,additives are added to aid in break-in,to plate or condition bearing surfaces.They could fill with standard oil,and then add their additives package. Thus the admonition to leave the oil change until the stated time/mileage has been reached,to allow enough time for the additives to do their work.
just as engine rebuilders use special lubricants when they assemble and first fire up a rebuilt motor.
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Jim Yanik
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On 12/07/2010 05:54 AM, Jim Yanik wrote:

when i was an undergrad, one of my profs used to talk about adding 1/4 micron diamond polishing paste. 1/4 micron is well below the particle filtration threshold of the filter [typically 10 microns or greater], and is what's used when doing the final polish before optical microscopy on metallurgical samples - at 1 micron, you still see scratching, but at 1/4, it all magically "disappears". i haven't used it myself, but i think he was right that it would enhance the smoothness of the engine's running surfaces and therefore add to longevity, without increasing initial wear rate.
all this said though, i've only ever seen conjecture that manufacturers use additives on first fill - never any evidence.

i have a very low opinion of most rebuilders. their standards of "hygiene" are usually such that the abrasives they use are not completely removed, thus things wear at a much accelerated rate after rebuild. [typically <1/3 of a factory engine's life.] yes, they use "special lubricants", but it's like bandaids on a broken arm - the effect is more psychological than practical. if done right, and cleaned sufficiently, the only lubricant needed would be engine oil.
--
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I was told, when I picked up my 2010 Honda Pilot Touring, about how to monitor the oil, and was warned to *not* change the oil before it got to at least 15% usage left. He said that it did have a special oil, up until the first oil change. I waited until I got the warning, on the little screen, and took it in. He even asked if I had the oil changed.
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On 12/07/2010 04:26 PM, billzz wrote:

understood, but that's the dealer. they may even believe it too. but have you ever seen this "special oil" for sale? have you ever seen it referred to in anything authoritative?
for further thought: http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Synthetics/Myths.aspx
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Why would a special "break-in" oil (or additive package) be sold outside the manufacturing area? there's no need for it after the car has been sold at the dealership.
A manufacturer might even want to keep it a secret so competitors would not use it and have better engines.
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Jim Yanik
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On 12/08/2010 08:25 AM, Jim Yanik wrote:

so people can buy it? and why would it /not/?

on the contrary, people rebuild engines all the time. /they/ can't buy it either.

why would an oil manufacturer want to keep it secret from their customers? car companies don't manufacture oil. and people that /do/ manufacture oil say manufacturers use their standard product.
http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/MotorOil/Synthetics/Myths.aspx
bottom line, "myth" seems to be the operative word.
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People don't need to buy something that is only used on the manufacturing line. selling to customers would also allow manufacturing competitors to obtain it for analysis. Lots of companies have proprietary data,practices,internal-use only products and fixtures.

So what? the auto manufacturer is not in business to help engine rebuilders.

from the OEM company's COMPETITORS.
Who says an additive package has to be made by an oil company?
selling to customers would also allow manufacturing competitors to obtain it for analysis. Lots of companies have proprietary data,practices,internal-use only products and fixtures.

that doesn't address separate additive packages.

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Jim Yanik
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On 12/08/2010 01:57 PM, Jim Yanik wrote:

but dude, there are thousands and thousands of independent machine shops all around the country. if this stuff exists outside of usenet mythology, why can't these people buy it?

with respect, that's a ridiculous statement. if people didn't sell for fear of analysis, then /nothing/ would ever make it outside the factory gate. instead, they use patent and copyright to /delay/ copying, and the progress of technology to make information so obtained obsolete.

not a single one of which succeeds in deceiving anyone with a lab and the right analytical equipment. the only people deceived by these practices are the public.

auto manufacturers don't make oil. and they don't make oil additives either. they're not /capable/ of withholding something they don't make.

they're not made by anyone else!

question: do you use shampoo? how does a shampoo manufacturer stop its competition from running that easily available product through the lab to ascertain its contents?
answer: it doesn't and it can't. instead it relies on copyright and patent. and product differentiation through marketing.

/none/ of which are effective in preventing their competition from ascertaining information. all it does is prevent the /public/ from ascertaining information.

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A few years back I read an interesting SAE paper regarding used oil's friction and wear protection. I don't have access to the paper now, but you can read the abstract at http://papers.sae.org/2007-01-4133 .
From the abstract:
"Engine oils are subjected to a series of industry standard engine dynamometer tests to measure their wear protection capability, sludge and varnish formation tendencies, and fuel efficiency among several other performance attributes before they are approved for use in customer engines. However, these performance attributes are measured at the end of tests and therefore, do not provide any information on how the properties have changed during the tests. In one of our previous studies it was observed that engine oil samples collected from fleet vehicles after 12,000 mile drain interval showed 10-15 % lower friction and more importantly, an order of magnitude lower wear rate than those of fresh oils. It was also observed that the composition of the tribochemical films formed was quite different on the surface tested with the drain oils from those formed with fresh oils. The objective of this investigation is to demonstrate how the friction and wear performance changed with oil drain intervals. A fleet of three vehicles was run in Las Vegas and oil samples were collected at various drain intervals from 3000 miles to 15000 miles. As in the previous study, the results showed that the aged engine oils provide lower friction and much improved wear protection capability. These improvements were observed as early as the 3000 mile drain interval and continued to the 15000 mile drain interval. The composition of tribochemical films formed on the surface with the 3000 mile drain interval is similar to that formed with the 12000 mile drain interval as seen before. These findings could be an enabler for achieving longer drain interval although several other factors must to be considered."
There are a couple of other papers I have seen that suport the idea that "fresh" oil actually promotes wear. Seems counterintuitive. I can only speculate that over time the oil leaves (plates out?) friction and wear fighting substances on the wear surfaces of the engine. Initially, fresh oil can (does?) partially dissolves the deposits. The depostis do eventually reform. I also suppose that eventually the depostis build up to a point that they aren't completely disolved by the fresh oil. I am sure that wear experiments like the one described in this SAE paper are run with enignes in good condition, so oil contamination is not a significant factor in the test results. And since they are trying to get results in a short time period, I also believe the engines are run for long stretches of time (no 5 mile trips 4 times a week and then set for days).
Ed
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I'm going to have access to 5 qts of it next week. What's to stop a competitor from obtaining it the same way I'm going to and analyze it?
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Honda says there's no "special oil" at all. The factory uses the same motor oil you can buy over-the-counter at any Honda dealership.
The factory fill does have an odd color, but that's due to assembly lube that washes into the oil and turns it a grayish sort of color.
--
Tegger

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So, basically, the dealer wanted me to return the car back to them, for the first service, which I understand. I probably would have done that anyway. I have a very reliable service which does work on our other cars, but thought that maybe, for the first service, I would take it to the dealer (and get that embossed stamp, in the service folder!) And they checked everything else, so I'm not upset. It's not really a big deal, and the price was not that much more. The dealership, Shingle Springs Honda, in El Dorado, California, is (I am told - I do not know) the smallest Honda dealership in the world, so they really, really seem to be trying hard. So maybe they told me a little white lie, and maybe they do not know. Well, it's okay. No big money spent. I wish them well.
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In article

Um, according to your report, that's not what the dealer said at all. He simply said, don't change the oil until the MM said to.
That being said, of *course* he said "come to me and let me sell you our service". Why wouldn't he? And of course, you're free to ignore any and all sales pitches.
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My first real job was in Smackover, Arkansas. I lived in Eldorado, Ark. At that time I had a Datsun (now Nissan). The Eldorado Datsun dealer operated out of a building that was smaller than my Parent's garage. It was essetnailly a service bay and the walls were lined with parts. As far as I could tell the mechanic was also the sales manger and office staff. But when I needed parts, he got them. Ahhh...the good old days...It was nice working with someone who actually made things happen. No run arounds, no excuses.
Ed
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