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Asur 02-18-2013 12:08 PM

Recommended 5W-20 oil debate
I would like to start this thread to get input about something that I stumbled across on the internet. I don't what this to turn into a bitching match but think this is something that can be discussed and looked at. I like to keep my vehicles for long long time, and I do all the maintenance on all of them. Just to give you an Idea, my last Jeep Grand Cherokee is 14 years old, and still on the road and running strong. I do oil changes every 5600klm (3500miles) and I am running full synthetic. I know the book says 13000klm (8000 miles) or 6 months, whichever comes first, then the next one is 26000klm (16000 miles) or 1 year whichever comes first. Maybe I am spending more money on oil changes than I should but thats how I am, been doing it for the last 30 years. Sometimes hard to teach this old dog a new trick. That being said.

I Was doing some research on Motor oils and viscosity when I stumbled upon an article at a Amsoil Dealer website.

I thought it was an interesting read so I posted some of the info on another thread for others to comment. So I started looking more into this and found the following.

These where pretty much indicating the same info but the read of the information was very informative.

I then did a google search on "5W-20 oil and Engine Longevity" And wow :SHOCKED: lots of stuff posted up.

I don't usually question engineers on why they put stuff like they do. but I have been in business for a long time and also understand how manufactures work to make things break at a certain time so they keep the receivables coming in, my sunbeam toaster from 1940 still works today and works well, I thought to buy a new one "top of the line" and in 2 years it was toast <---- get it, toast. Still using the 1940 Sunbeam to this day. So yes some of the stuff I am reading makes sense.

So all this being said, I am starting this thread to get opinions and insight on what you all's think. I will also be contacting Amsoil to get there opinion and will let you know what they say. At the end of the day, I can understand that people who will only keep there vehicles for a 3 year lease and return it to the dealer for the next new model don't need to address this topic as it will not affect you in any way, but for those who want to keep there trucks for a long long time, this is something interesting be it that its "do what the book says" or change your oil as per what you want to do with your truck. Hope this will get some interesting insights.

Thanks for taking the time to look and think about this. :smileup:

hemipowerv8 02-18-2013 12:20 PM

I usually run what is recommended, in a full synthetic and change every 5,000 miles on the dot...have done so for years and years on multiple trucks and cars (and motorcycles) and haven't seen a lubrication related issue to date...
I think the lighter oil is mainly needed for the MDS...if you shut it off then I don't see an issue bumping up to 5W-30 personally. I don't normally keep a truck over 6 years (90,000 miles) but I may need to this certainly something to think about. I will keep an eye on this thread.

oldhp 02-18-2013 12:28 PM

Well after reading that confirms what I was thinking anyway.
4qts 5W30+3qts 5W20=5W25. Thats what I was going to try.
I think I'll dump in 7qts 5W30 and see what happens. I don't think anything will happen. We'll see. The oil of choice is NAPA synthetic.

ArmyofOne 02-18-2013 12:30 PM

The oil passages are too small for 5w-30. You will not get proper lubrication to the crank and rod journals, MDS on or off, 5w-30 is a BAD idea.

GrayhemiST 02-18-2013 12:43 PM

I'm one to get the "itch" for a new vehicle every 2-3 years......which is not a good idea when financing. Therefore, I told my Wife I would keep my 2012 for at least 5 years (the duration of the warranty), as long as the issues are kept to a minimum. I'm due to change the oil in about 500, so as far as driving habits (stop/go traffic, 18 miles to work one way, and shorts trips other times during the week), would a 30 weight be more practible for my truck? Never been a fan of the 5w20 other cars, which are all 4 cyls take 5-30. Thanks, Scott

RamTech 02-18-2013 12:48 PM


Originally Posted by oldhp (Post 1015568)
Well after reading that confirms what I was thinking anyway.
4qts 5W30+3qts 5W20=5W25. Thats what I was going to try.
I think I'll dump in 7qts 5W30 and see what happens. I don't think anything will happen. We'll see. The oil of choice is NAPA synthetic.

I don't see any real problems outside of the chance you'll get a code for the wrong grade engine oil or MDS function.

Asur 02-18-2013 12:57 PM


Originally Posted by ArmyofOne (Post 1015569)
The oil passages are too small for 5w-30. You will not get proper lubrication to the crank and rod journals, MDS on or off, 5w-30 is a BAD idea.

Hey Ramtech, what are your thoughts about this? Dino oil and Synthetic molecules are also different, synthetic being a tad smaller and more consistent in size, but the point about the oil passages is interesting.

oldhp 02-18-2013 01:18 PM

What oil passages are you talking about? I've been told many times the blocks on these Hemi's are the same with the exception of the lifters. The lifters have bleed-off valves that let the oil out and not pump up the lifter, hence 4cyl mode.
Why then when you are in Tow/Haul Mode doesn't the motor blow up?

bran101010 02-18-2013 03:08 PM

I have been running 5w30 mobile one full synthetic extended miliage in my truck for 6 months and have had zero issues,I prefer it over the 5w20,Also I specificly run in 4cyc mode going to work and back and I average 18-19 mpg doing 50 mph and having to stop a total of 8 times.Since I have switched from 5w20 to 5w30 my gas miliage has went up when I drove from carthage tx to mcguire afb nj I only spend 267 on gas and thats roughly 1450 miles.I have never gotten a code from using this oil as well.

Huntsvillian 02-18-2013 03:31 PM

I read all three links.....with the exception of Machinery Lubrication the other two links were individual companies trying to sell you THEIR product. Several comments and thoughts came to mind:

1. I moved here from Scotland, and from what I remember cars did seem to last longer over there, engines would not die but the bodies would rust out due to the salt and climate. Even over here I see more older small cars than I do see older large trucks so maybe it has something to do with engine size and what they are used for and what type of person drives those vehicles.

2. The article states that 5W20 is a preferred lube for large vehicles, SUV, trucks, etc......there are no large vehicles in countries or areas that can compare to North America so that might be a reason why it is not readily available.......there is not the same market.

3. The article states that Federal law says you will not invalidate your warranty, how does that apply in Canada? Anyone know?

4. If it ever got out that say Dodge were doing this deliberately to limit vehicle life to buy another one they would be toast, no one would ever buy another product from them. Not saying it is not being done but it seems a huge risk.

5. The warranties vary from US to Canada where in US the RAM warranty is 100,000 miles but only 60,000 in Canada.........I still don't understand that.

6. In addition, the Federally mandated Magnuson - Moss Act states that a manufacturer may not require a specific brand or type of aftermarket product unless it is provided free of charge. If your dealership continues to tell you that you must use 5W-20 motor oil and or/ a specific brand of 5W-20 motor oil, then ask them to put it in writing. Their position is inaccurate, and, in fact violates existing law.*
IMO this statement is to increase competition amongst oil companies and not allowing manufacturers to say you must use Castrol GTX for your warranty.

I think that if you were using 5W30 in a RAM 1500 and you have engine issues during the warranty that if Chrysler asked to see your service book and/or receipts that if they found out you were using a different weight that they would say you invalidated your warranty and that if you are using oil that is not recommended that their position would be that you are causing unnecessary wear and tear.

With all that being said, I only ever change it by what is the minimum for the warranty and to date I have never had an engine die in what I would expect to be prematurely. Right now I am using 5W20 Synthetic, back 10 years or so ago I always dropped in a bottle of SLICK 50 every 40,000 miles. There are lots and lots of vehicles out there that do not get regular oil changes and serviced and still run hundreds of thousands of miles on them.

IMO it is just as much how you drive it and how hard you are being on it that will cause damage as much as ignoring or putting in the wrong oil.

As for the 1500 and 2500 differences in oil weight I always thought it was because of the MDS.

I do always try to look at arguments from both sides, but I can't see using 5W20 over 5W30 reducing your engine life by 30%.........I mean how many old RAMs do you still see, I know I still see lots and they are the ones with plows on the front, and/or towing huge trailers.

Just my two cents.

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