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Now you mentioned before that the main reason you use a 0W-XX oil (0W-20 in the winter) is because of the colder temperatures in Northern Ontario (which is perfectly understandable, it gets pretty cold down here in the Southern Ontario as well ;)).

But if you lived in a much warmer climate, say South Florida for instance, would you still stick with a 0W-XX multigrade or would you consider moving up to a 5W-XX or even a 10W-XX oil (given the lower NOACK numbers of those grades), especially for the hot summer months?

Or is there another reason to stick with a 0W oil?
I would certainly consider it, yes. A 0W motor oil is definitely not needed in a warmer climate like South Florida - especially in summer time. Plus a lower evaporation loss (NOACK Volatility percentage) is certainly desirable (for all the reasons given above).

However, that said, as dubber09 pointed out above, there are many other important factors to consider in a motor oil formulation than just the viscosity and NOACK numbers - such as the base oil composition and the percentage of each base oil used, the additives used in the blend (type, quality, quantity), etc.

The only thing that truly matters however, is the quality and performance of the finished blended product. The point is, a motor oil can’t be judged solely by its base oils – you need to take the entire formulation into account.

Now, as dubber09 noted, a given brand's 0W-xx multi-grade will usually have a higher percentage of lower viscosity Group IV PAOs in the blend than their 5W-xx from the same product line. (Note: PAOs come in different viscosities - some oil formulations use a mix of more than one of them in the blend.) However, that 5W-xx might very well be using a higher percentage of the higher viscosity PAO in its blend. Both could be using the same amount of Group V esters.

(It's important to note that no oil company will voluntarily reveal the exact composition of their oil formulations as that information is proprietary. And no, a simple Oil Analysis will not provide those answers either.)

Now the example I gave above only applies to those Full Synthetic motor oils that actually use PAOs as one of their base oils (a "true" synth oil as dubber called it). But don't assume that all 0W-xx oils use Group IV PAOs as one of their base oils, many don't...

For example, Toyota's branded 0W-20 motor oil (as well as Mazda's and Idemitsu's 0W-20 oils) use only Group III base oils in their blends. Also, the GTL (Gas-to-liquid) base oils that SOPUS (Shell, Pennzoil, Quaker State) uses in most of their high-end products is still classified as a Group III(+) base oil (so again not a "true" synthetic if you go by the original definition of "synthetic") - though I would argue in this case that GTL based oils are very close to Group IV PAOs in actual composition and performance. There are even some 0W-20 oils that are only Synthetic Blends (e.g. Motorcraft 0W-20).

[For more on Base Oil Groups see THIS POST]

Which brings me to another point. In order to pass the "Low-Temperature Cranking" and "Low-Temperature Pumping" tests required to meet the 0W-xx viscosity requirements, a Group II/III based motor oil needs to rely a lot more on Viscosity Modifier polymers (plastics) than an oil based on Group IV (PAOs have naturally high viscosity indexes - although GTL based oils are very close). For instance, Toyota's 0W-20 synthetic oil has a very high viscosity index, but it is loaded with VIIs.

Speaking of VM/VII polymers, a multi-viscosity oil that has a wider viscosity span (the range between the first number and the second number) will need a lot more VII than one with a very narrow viscosity span (and that is true of all brands). For example, a 0W-40 blend will have a lot more VII than a 10W-30 blend (from the same product line). In fact, some 10W-30 oils are basically just straight 30 weights with no VII added at all to the blend.

As to the use of the qualifying words "Full", "True", "Real", "100%", all those words are used pretty much interchangeably today to describe a Synthetic motor oil (as are words like "Ultimate", "Supreme", "Advanced", and the list goes on). They really don't mean much anymore - it's mostly all marketing. Don't count on those labels telling you the type of base oils used in the blend. But as I said above, what really matters in the end is the quality of the finished product.


Richard
 
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I'm on German made 0W-40 Castrol Edge in both my cars right now due to summer heat and will be going back to 5W-30 Penn Plat in the fall-winter season.
I'm confused...

Why would you use a 0W-xx oil in the summer and then switch to a 5W-xx oil for the winter?

Yes I understand that you might not want to use a 40 weight oil in the winter, but then why not go to a 0W-30 (or better yet, a 0W-20) for the winter months?

Or is it because you currently have a stash of 5W-30 PP that you want to use up?

Just wondrin'

Richard
 
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5w-30 is more than suitable in winter where I live and PP in that grade is already 'thinner' than most 5w-30 oils while has a very good add pack in it.
0w-40 A3/B4 I'm running now is the excellent German made true synth Castrol Edge (GC 0w-30 is long gone), copes with hot days and driving car full of passengers well too. I actually record better gas mileage in both cars with that Edge compared to 5w-30 PP, on top of smoother and quieter engines. There is absolutely nothing wrong with running 0w-xx oil in the summer.
 

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with running 0w-xx oil in the summer.
Never said there was.

I run a 0W multi-grade year-round.

I was just curious about the switch to a 5W for the winter is all.

GC 0w-30 is long gone...
I didn't know that they no longer made the GC 0W-30. I thought I saw some at CanTire last time I was there (old stock maybe). Although AMSOIL has an excellent "true synth" 0W-30... ;)

:D

Richard
 
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I'd run GC 0w-30 year around but AFAIK it's no longer made or available in Canada or USA.
I'd try Amsoil too if I could get it off a shelve and at a reasonable price - $30-35 for 5L.
 

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0W-xx oil in most cases has higher content of synth oil in it - up to 70%. The rest is cleaning detergents etc... That's real life numbers and not just marketing.
One very good example is Castrol Edge 0w-40 made in Germany - as it's a true synth oil as opposed to '100% synth' oil. It's still quite available in Canada and is often on sale at Can(not)Tire... lol
There is nothing wrong with running 0w-xx oil in summer months either, as long as the top XX number makes sense.
I'm on German made 0W-40 Castrol Edge in both my cars right now due to summer heat and will be going back to 5W-30 Penn Plat in the fall-winter season.
Thanks, I appreciate the response. :)

I am familiar with the GC 0W-40 (being a long time reader of BITOG). I'm sure it is a very good oil.

However, I would not use it in my Sorento. First of all, I don't want to go that thick of a viscosity. I prefer to use thinner oils, such as a 0W/5W-20. Second, it doesn't meet the specifications in the Owners Manual. I wouldn't want to take the chance on a warranty claim being denied.

The oil I am currently using in my Sorento is Pennzoil Ultra Platinum (got it for 45% off at Canadian Tire last year). It is also a very good oil. Lots of people seem to really like it. I use the Kia OEM oil filter.

In my 2010 Subaru Legacy, the oil I've been using for the last few years is Amsoil Signature Series (with an Amsoil EA oil filter). I think it is an excellent oil. I've had very good results with it and my Subaru really seems to like it. Zero oil consumption and the engine is super quiet and smooth. I think my gas mileage went up a little too after I switched to it. I'm planning to use it in the Sorento as well after the warranty runs out.

Yes I know it is a little more expensive but I think it is well worth the extra cost. Plus I get a 25% discount with my preferred customer membership and free shipping.

-Jacob-
 

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Just wanted to add that I go a long time between drain intervals on my Subaru. The warranty on it expired a long time ago.

But I keep my drain intervals a lot shorter (for now) on the Sorento, given that it is brand new and still under warranty.
 

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You're very Welcome!

:)

Richard
 
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Happen to be looking at the online Owner's Manual for the 2018 model Sorento today and noticed something "strange" (for lack of a better word) regarding the 3.3L engine oil "capacity".

This is for the 2014-2017 Sorento models:



Now this is for the 2018 Sorento:



1- Is this a typo? Does it say the same thing in the printed manual? or

2- Did they increase the size of the Sump for the in the 2018 model? or

3- Did they swap-out the oil dipstick for a shorter one with higher L and F marks?

And if 3 is correct, does this mean we can actually "overfill" the oil sump in the 2014-2017 model years by 0.85 quarts?

Has anyone with a 2018 or 2019 perform an oil change yet? How much oil did you use?

Very curious about this.


Richard
 
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Good video Jacob!

(And Canadian too.)

Thanks for sharing.

:)

Richard
 
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The only true way to know what your change interval should be is to have an oil analysis done. This will give you an accurate picture based on your oil type, driving style, engine wear, etc...

I had one done recently with Blackstone Labs because I wanted to see if I could extend my oil change interval. I was changing my oil every 4,500 to 5,000 miles.

At a 4,600 mile change interval with Mobil 1, I still have plenty of the additive package left in the oil.

I'm going to submit another analysis with a 6,500 change interval to see what that looks like.

I have attached the results and edited out my personal info.
 

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Have you had a second Oil Analysis done on your Sorento yet?
Hey Jacob

Actually no.

I have since "upgraded" my 2014 Sorento to a 2019 SX model (see my signature).

However, I intend to get one done on my new ride in the spring.

So stay tuned...

Richard
 
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Coming back to the subject of "Oil Drain Intervals"...

Here is a quote from an SAE International Technical Paper:

(SAE International is a global association of more than 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial-vehicle industries.)



Long-time BITOG member David E. Newton, who has a collection of more than 12,000 UOAs in his database, has written and posted quite extensively on this subject.



For instance, see his BITOG article:

Used Oil Analysis: How to decide what is normal

His article was also published in Machinery Lubrication under the title:

Surprising Findings from Oil Analysis of Automotive Engines

Here is a direct quote from a UK lubrication expert who worked in the industry for many years formulating motor oils and who regularly posted in the BITOG Forums under the user name "Joe90_guy":



Now again, as previously mentioned in the thread, there are a number of different factors that will impact your drain intervals [see THIS POST]. For instance, if your vehicle has a Turbo Gasoline Direct-injection engine (T-GDi), you will need to change the oil more frequently then you would on a non-GDI or non-Turbo engine (due in part to potentially higher levels of fuel dilution of the motor oil, as well as higher soot loading).

And if your KIA is still under WARRANTY, it is advisable to follow the oil change interval from the appropriate "service schedule" (normal or severe) outlined in your Owner's Manual.


Richard
Man, this is the most confused I have been in a very long time! You're saying "older" and more "used" oil is better for the engine than new oil? We were always told the more frequently the oil was changed the better protection it provided the engine...

My mind is blown, I think I will need a mini-vacation after reading this! ill call in sick tomorrow!
 

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As Promised...

I made a promise earlier in the thread that I would take a sample of my oil at my next oil drain interval and send it to 2 different Labs (Blackstone & OAI/POLARIS) to be analysed.

[For more on Used Oil Analysis (UOA), see THIS POST]

2014 KIA Sorento EX AWD

Engine
: 3.3L V-6 GDI (non-turbo)

Vehicle Mileage: 115,870 km

Mileage on Oil: 13,510 km

Time on Oil: ~7 months

Oil: AMSOIL Signature Series SAE 0W-20 [LINK]

Oil and Air Filters: KIA OEM

Driving Conditions: 30% City / 70% Hwy

Operating Conditions: Severe Service (long winter months with temps down to -40°C/F; lots of idling (warm-up); lots of cold starts; lots of short trips; etc)

So here are the Reports. Enjoy! :)

(Also note the comments at the bottom of the post.)




Now I should also probably point-out that this was AMSOIL’s older formulation (notice the very high Calcium level and low Magnesium level). The oil I currently have in the sump now is the new “SN PLUS/dexos1 Gen2” formulation (with the lower Calcium level and higher Magnesium level for LSPI prevention).

Blackstone’s Comments:

Universal averages in the far right column show average wear levels for this type of engine after ~10,000 km of oil use. This was a longer interval [13,510 km], and most metals are still in the typical range, showing healthy wear.

Silver is a bit high, which is an interesting find. That can show bearing wear, but we aren't sure if that's the case for this 3.3L. We'll watch the trend, but we doubt silver is cause for concern at this point... Follow up on silver in ~13,500 km [see my personal comments below].

Fuel at 0.8% is harmless and likely from normal use [see my personal comments below].

TBN shows plenty of active additive left at 2.9 (1 is low).

OAI’s Comments:

Flagged data does not indicate an immediate need for maintenance action. Continue to observe the trend and monitor equipment and fluid conditions... Lubricant and filter change acknowledged.

Flagged data has been rechecked and confirmed. Sample information has been added or tests have been rerun or additional testing was added and the report has been regenerated.

Silver possibly from solder. [see my personal comments below]

Boron is slightly low for this lubricant. Boron levels may naturally decline with use so this is not a cause for concern. [see my personal comments below]

FUEL DILUTION [2% CG] is at a MINOR LEVEL. [see my personal comments below]

Base Number [TBN] is MODERATELY LOW. As Base Number depletes, the ability to neutralize acids is diminished. [see my personal comments below]

My Personal Comments/Observations:

Considering how long I went on this oil (and on previous drain intervals), and that this was under severe operating conditions, the engine is still very healthy and showing no signs of any damage or “excessive” wear. I did not have to add any top-up oil during this drain interval (or in any previous intervals). Fuel consumption remained unchanged.

All the typical wear metals in this sample were very low and well within the Universal Averages for this type of engine. It’s also important to note that these numbers are given in 'parts-per-million' (ppm) – so we’re talking about very small amounts here.

Iron is one of the few wear metals that tracks precisely (and very accurately) with mileage. 17 ppm (OAI), 18 ppm (Blackstone) for 13,510 km works-out to only 1.26 to 1.33 ppm per 1,000 km – which is very low and lines-up perfectly with the stated Universal Averages, as did all the other typical wear metals.

Silver showing up in this sample is a bit of a head-scratcher which seemed to somewhat confuse both Labs. Reason being: silver isn’t a wear metal that typically shows up in oil samples for these types of engines. Both Labs offered their best “guesses” on where this silver might have potentially come from (e.g. solder), but if I were to venture a guess, I’d say that it might not have actually come from the oil sample itself but rather from the container I used to initially collect the samples before pouring the oil in the supplied containers (or maybe even from the shop towel I used to wipe the container). Who knows?

What is important to remember here, is that we are talking about extremely small amounts (only 4-5 ppm) – which is not very significant or worrisome. Neither Lab was especially concerned about it (they just noted that it was a “curious” or “interesting” find). Neither am I. I will know more the next time I have my oil tested.

Insolubles and Soot: Insolubles are all the “solids” (dirt, soot, carbon) that are suspended in the motor oil. These can be from blow-by past the piston rings, from oxidation of the oil, or from inadequate oil or air filtration. The level of Insolubles detected by Blackstone Labs was 0.3%. OAI Labs reported the Soot content as being less than 0.1%. (Well so much for all the concerns about the “high soot loading” of the motor oil in these GDI engines eh!)

Boron is a popular anti-wear, detergent/dispersant, rust-inhibitor additive found in most modern motor oils. The OAI lab commented that the Boron level (106 ppm in their test) was “slightly low for this lubricant”. However I should point out the Blackstone’s test showed 120 ppm of Boron – which, incidentally, is almost 3 times their stated “Universal Average”. I should also note that every UOA I have seen for this exact same oil have shown much lower Boron levels than the level in my sample (see for example the sample I posted HERE). But for some reason, the OAI lab always makes the exact same comment every single time. What is important to point out however is that, as OAI themselves noted, some additives levels will always naturally decline with use.

Fuel Dilution: Ah... the famous nail in the coffin of GDI engines! I do have to admit that this was indeed my biggest concern – especially given the fact that this drain interval included very cold winter months with lots of idling, short trips, cold starts, etc. These are about the worst possible conditions for fuel dilution of the motor oil. Again, I advise that you extend your drain intervals under these severe operating conditions only if you are planning on getting your oil analysed to determine if it is actually safe to do so. In cases where the fuel dilution is at a “severe” level, you will need to keep your drain intervals fairly short.

So how much fuel did the two Labs find in my oil samples?

Blackstone: “Fuel at 0.8% is harmless and likely from normal use”.

OAI: “Fuel Dilution is at a MINOR LEVEL [2% GC]”.

Why the discrepancy in the two reported percentages of fuel? As I mentioned earlier in the thread, the test Blackstone Labs uses (the "Cleveland Open Cup Flash Point" test - ASTM D92) is an outdated method for testing for fuel in the oil and is not very accurate (as evidenced by the reduced “Flashpoint” of the oil, indicating that probably more than 0.8% of fuel was actually present in the sample). The most accurate analytical method for identifying and quantifying fuel in the oil is called "Gas Chromatography" (GC). That is the method used by Oil Analyzers Inc. I strongly recommend using that Lab if you are concerned about fuel dilution.

Another indication that fuel dilution wasn’t very significant in this run is that the oil’s viscosity @ 100°C (8.1/8.22 cSt) was still well within the range of a 20 weight oil (6.9 cSt to 9.2 cSt). Note: this oil started out with a viscosity of 8.8 cSt. Significant fuel dilution of the motor oil will always result in the oil thinning out-of-range.

TBN (Total Base Number): There seems to be a discrepancy between the comments from Blackstone and OAI about the TBN number – Blackstone says that it’s pretty good while OAI says that it’s “moderately low”. The reason for the different observations is that Blackstone considers a TBN of “1” as the condemning point while OAI says “2” should be the condemning point. However, in a recent email, OAI/Polaris Labs has stated that they are considering changing that number to “1” as well (based on many years of documentation and observations). Personally, I prefer to change the oil before it gets below “2”. A TBN of almost “3” showed that this oil still had plenty of life left in it and could have been ran even longer. For more on TBN, see THIS POST

P.S. I also carefully examined the old Oil Filter (KIA OEM). It looked totally fine and could easily have gone a few thousand more kilometers. I did not see any shiny metal specs in it either. I also took this opportunity to change-out the Air Filter (KIA OEM) as well. I normally change it once a year.

So there you have it...

:)

Richard
This is a very thorough write up. Thank you very much for sharing!
 

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You're very welcome Tim

(y)
 

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Man, this is the most confused I have been in a very long time! You're saying "older" and more "used" oil is better for the engine than new oil? We were always told the more frequently the oil was changed the better protection it provided the engine...

Yes, I agree... it definitely is very confusing.

However, you do have to take these studies with a grain of salt though and not try to read too much into them. Bear in mind that they only tested one parameter here (the effect of tribochemical films on engine wear rates). So these test do not account for all the other factors that need to be monitored to determine oil drain intervals (e.g. fuel dilution, soot loading and other contaminants, TBN levels, additive depletion, and so on).

As noted in that study, the observed reduce wear rates had to do with how the tribochemical films [anti-wear layers] form and coat the internal surfaces as the additives are decomposing with use. These anti-wear and extreme pressure additives (ZDDP, Moly, Boron) need a lot of heat and a certain amount of time to decompose and coat those surfaces. Couple that with the fact that virgin motor oil has much higher levels of detergents and dispersants washing away some of these additives, stripping them off the internal surfaces... well you get the picture.

Richard
 
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