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Guest Message by DevFuse
 

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The best engine oil out there


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27 replies to this topic

#1 Ma-fia

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 05:00 PM

Photo2001 started this oil thing, and it got me thinking on this subj.
Since it was proved that I knew very little about oil fileters, I won't even tell what I use, he-he.
(By the way, I do have an old Fram and old Purolator, which I didn't throw away yet; I guess I'll keep them for a hack-saw experiment... Do you think it'll work, even if they were on a new car?)
So... WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK?

The best regular oil is...
The best synthetic oil is...

Thanks!

#2 Rolls Canardly

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 09:27 PM

I don't know if you can say one brand is significantly better than another. I use Mobil 1 in my Outback, Castrol 20W-50 in my RX-7, and whatever is on sale in my truck. The important thing, IMHO, is that you change it regularly.

#3 Snowman

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 09:36 PM

I would agree that Mobil 1 is the best synthetic. They pioneered it and have been developing their oil for a long time. Castrol is probably the best for dino oils.

#4 northguy

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 09:50 PM

The best, in mho, is the kind that you get cheap enough (FREE) to change before you have to, like every 2,000 miles.

#5 99obw

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 11:07 PM

Synthetic oil:

While I think Mobil 1 is good oil, I personally don't like it. It is very thin. If I were to use it again I would go up a viscosity grade. Amsoil is just as good with robust viscosity and a good additive package. Amsoil has a low NOACK volatility, which seems to reduce consumption over Mobil 1. The outback would drink relatively large quantities of Mobil 1, while consumption is perhaps 25% as much with Amsoil on what is now an older engine. German made Castrol synthetic seems to be very popular with the oil geeks right now. I personally don't think the high-end synthetics like Royal Purple and Redline are worth the money, and I wouldn't buy any over the counter synthetic other than Mobil 1. Regular Castrol Syntec is an imposter, really not in the same league with the "real" (group 4 and 5) synthetics.

Mineral Oil:

I have been a long time Pennzoil user, and come to find out on www.bobistheoilguy.com that the used oil analysis (UOA) on Pennzoil tends to be very good. There are certainly some other very good conventional oils but I am not as familiar with those right off hand.

All of this is just opinion. To really determine which oil is best in your car for your driving you need to take a sample and have it analyzed, or preferably monitor the oil over several changes.

#6 Commuter

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Posted 13 December 2003 - 11:14 PM

Before you can answer that question, you have to refine it.

Best for gas mileage?
Best for engine protection? (Least wear?)
Best for long life (oil life that is).
Best for hard running?
Best for least $/mile?

And so on.

I prefer synthetic myself. Stick to a reputable name, follow reasonable change intervals, and you should be fine.

Personally, with what I've learned over the past few years, I think the oil filter is more important than most people realize. Putting a few more $ towards that may mean as much or more than the oil that you use.

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#7 Ma-fia

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 12:11 AM

Good question.

For me -- I'd say "best for the engine protection".
I am not an aggressive driver to begin with, and gladly sacrifice fun of flying through turns and extrafast acceleration for the sake of engine life!

#8 Ma-fia

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 12:16 AM

Another thing: don't you guys think that factory recommended 5w20 (on a new Ford) is a bit too thin for Texas conditions?
I just don't know any more -- it's getting way too confusing.
I know that the narrower the difference between top and bottom number, the better, but other than that I have little clues.

#9 Commuter

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 10:15 AM

This comes back to my point about "best".

Ford is stating this oil on (some?) vehicles.

Honda has switched over to it completely I think.

Your comment about a narrower range as better is generally right. The wider the multi-viscosity oil, the more viscosity modifiers that are needed. It is usually these modifiers that begin to break down first. But... it depends on the nature and quality of the modifiers used. It's not quite that simple.

Apparently, car manufacturers have to submit expected engine life as part of some EPA submissions. I have read that Ford and Honda cut the expected engine life figure substantially (about a third or more) for those engines that now use 5W20 oil. Ford had made absolutely no change at all to (some?) of the engines when this switch was made.

So why you ask?

Gas mileage. CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy). Gas mileage goes up by a couple tenths mpg with 5W20 vs 5W30. What was "best" in this case was in the interest of the manufacturer, not necessarily the consumer or the engine. Manufacturers have to meet certain CAFE numbers by regulation.

A friend of mine bought a Honda Civic (2002). He went through quite a bit of red tape to finally get a letter from Honda saying that it was "ok" for him to use 5W30 oil.

Personally, I use a 5W50 Synthetic oil. It is considered "ok" (well, by some and I agree) to go outside the numbers of the suggested range, just don't go "inside". In Europe, it is not uncommon to see specified oils with a XW40 grade.

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#10 applegump

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 10:48 AM

I also agree that Mobil 1 is the best synthetic, especially for the price.

#11 Dr Farco

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 11:19 AM

I've used Mobil one for quite a few years, especially in engines that I've rebuilt. I have a Chevy Sprint 3-banger as a work
car. This little devil works hard. When I had to pull the head a second time for a ring failure in one cylinder after 15,000 miles, it looked a clean as the day i put it together. The 98 O/B I just tore apart is filthy with varnish and dirt baked onto
every thing. This car was run on dino oil no doubt during it's life. I think the Mobil one runs cleaner and dissipates heat a little better. The only catch with synthetics is that they are prone to find
any weak seal and "weep" or leak. The stuff is slippery. When synthetics were first introduced years ago and packaged in cans, it wasn't uncommon to fine oil
"weeping" from the can's bottom.

#12 forester2002s

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 12:52 PM

I use dyno oil, 5W30 winter, 10W30 summer, and buy the cheapest API-tested brand that I can find, usually a no-name Walmart oil.

Filter: regular Fram.

I change the oil and filter very frequently, every 3000km (2000 miles). I do the work myself, so the cost is minimal.

I have followed this routine on numerous cars over the years, some of which I have kept for a long time, and I have never had any oil-related problems.

I know that this doesn't meet with everyone's approval, but it works for me.

#13 sprintman

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Posted 14 December 2003 - 11:56 PM

Commuter is correct, first refine the question. And oil filters anything but Fram (cardboard end caps, they gotta be kidding). Spend some time on BITOG and you will learn heaps as I have.

#14 Ma-fia

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 02:26 AM

Thanks for your opinions, folks.
I am sure there is no recipe that would work for everybody (then all but one oil manufacturer would go out of business -- how horribly sad).

As a matter of fact, I was reading through the-Oil-guys' page for quite a while and plan on continuing to do so; the only sad thing is that sometimes they're too hi-tech for someone who's only degree is in Biology.

As to the purpose of my questions -- I'm simply trying to form an opinion on how to make the life of my engines long and easy. I beleive that every little bit counts -- oil, filter, grade of gas, etc.
Only I still have to figure out how. :)

I have heard from a coupld of people that when the engine gets older, it's better to use different oil.
I have never tried those high-mileage oils, and so far I am not sure if I should. For my Sub I'm buying 10w30 Castrol (regular). Considering to introduce some seasonal change though. And maybe switch both cars to synthetic.

#15 BlueTrain

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 02:47 AM

most mechanics wil tell you that regular oil changes, a good filter and a high quality dino oil such as valvoline or castrol will keep your engine runnin fine. if you want some real world advice tho, i'd probably ask some of the folks on here with 200,000 plus on their rigs what their oil regimen is. their answers should help you draw a better conclusion. good luck..

#16 Setright

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 06:55 AM

Mobil 1 5W-50 - 0W-40 if we get a really cold winter. I change oil and filter (OE) every 6k miles, which equates to about three months.

Also, I NEVER thrash the engine until it's warm - and then I must admit I do like to cane it :D

Seriously, never more than half-throttle, and 4000rpm before the engine temp is up. This is vital for engine longevity.

#17 99obw

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Posted 15 December 2003 - 07:11 AM

Originally posted by BlueTrain
most mechanics wil tell you that regular oil changes, a good filter and a high quality dino oil such as valvoline or castrol will keep your engine runnin fine. if you want some real world advice tho, i'd probably ask some of the folks on here with 200,000 plus on their rigs what their oil regimen is. their answers should help you draw a better conclusion. good luck..



I have taken my last three cars (buick, nissan, toyota) past 200k with pennzoil and fram filters changed every 3-5k. Currently I use amsoil in the outback with amsoil filters, and pennzoil in my dodge with supertech filters. As much as I drive getting to 200k is easy with almost any car, now 300k is a bit of a challenge. That is what I am hoping to get out of the outback with the Phase I 2.5.

#18 FoxRox

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 09:51 AM

This same topic comes up regulary in every message board I have been on. People take a sample have the oil analysis done and it always comes back the same. *ANY* sythetic oil is better than *ANY* conventional oil. PERIOD! When you get to synth oils (even Castrol Syntec which is a great oil) the differences are hardly worth noting. Yes, the big players are slightly better (Redline, Royal Purple, etc), but not to any great extendt, esp for street use. In racing, any edge you can get is worth it.
Long story and discussion short. Use syth-oils, you can't and won't go wrong no matter who the manufacurer is.
The oil filter is a big player also. Just to throw one filter out- NAPA Gold, they are among the best and easy to locate. FWIW- in ALMOST every case, most all oil filters are manufactured by the same company and like most companies, they produce good and bad stuff, so this is where you have to trust the name brand. Industrial companies have no problem using NAPA gold filter on their very expensive equipment.

#19 Warp3

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 11:05 AM

Originally posted by Snowman
I would agree that Mobil 1 is the best synthetic. They pioneered it and have been developing their oil for a long time.


Mobil makes great oil, but Mobil didn't "pioneer" synthetic oil. Amsoil was the first synthetic (thus "First In Synthetics" as their primary slogan). Of the well-known makers (Mobil, Castrol, Valvoline, etc.), you are correct, though.

It does help Mobil 1's case that they are factory fill in Vettes, Porsches and tons of other exotics.

#20 FoxRox

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 11:32 AM

One thing I should have pointed out in my previous post- while hands down synth-oils are the best thing going, they are terrible for any car/boat/plane that is being stored over 30+ days. Conventional oils don't drain completly off the metal surfaces like synth-oils do. If you need to have prolonged engine protection from moisture for say- over wintering a Corvette in storage, etc, drain the synth out and fill with a heavy conventional oil drive it until it's hot and THEN store it...when bringing it out of storage, drive until it's hot and then drain it over night if possible, then refill with syth-oil.
HTH!

#21 cookie

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 11:56 AM

invented synthetic oils in WW2 because our bombers were keeping them from a supply of dino.
Anyone feel free to correct me if you know more about this.
I use synthetic in my BMW, the special Castol manufactured I believe, unless the dealer is cheating. I add a tiny bit of Mobile 1 just before the oil change as it goes down about a pint.
The Subaru at nearly 100,000 just did its several hundred mile Xmas trip with fresh dino, and I was pleased that it used no oil.
When it has done this trip before on old oil it has used at least a pint if not more.
This probably means that by that time the oil is pretty diluted with fuel.
I have been contemplating running the Subie on Mobil 1, but I think that with an engine that just does not control fuel as well as some others may benefit from the more frequent oil changes that I feel I can afford to do on dino.
Perhaps other folks Subies have better fuel control than mine, but I have heard of more carbon problems, and I am sure mine dilutes the oil at the end of the oil's life.
I would love to see an oil test series on a Subie 2.5.

#22 Commuter

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 12:19 PM

I've seen people question the accuracy of this list, but perhaps it will give you some indication that, like many things, the "roots" go back much further than you'd ever suspect.

Synthetic oil history

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#23 cookie

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 12:43 PM

what I learned in history class.

Contrary to what many may believe, synthetic lubricants are not a recent
development. As early as the 1930s, Standard Oil of Indiana conducted
research into synthetic oil. More serious development and production
was commenced by the Germans during WWII, as their conventional
lubricants congealed and froze on the Eastern front and stalled their
advances into the Soviet Union. As jet engines were developed after the
war, it soon became evident that conventional lubricating oils couldn't
withstand the high temperatures and pressures, and synthetics came to be
used in all military commercial jet aircraft engines.

#24 subiemech85

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 01:30 PM

John Deere plus 50, testing proves it

#25 scoobynuts

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Posted 29 December 2003 - 04:07 PM

I use Mobil 1 and Fram filters in my WRX. No problems. I also stick a very strong magnet to the bottom of the oil filter to attract the metal shavings. I also disagree with synthetic oils being bad to use in vehicles being stored for more than 30 days. I run Mobil 1 in my Camaro and store in for the winter and I've never had a problem yet. The oil leaves a nice film on the cylinder walls.




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