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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know what your saying. "Oh no not another oil question" Well this is not what you think. Please read on.
I work for a really large transportation company. They have some pickup trucks. To be exact.....Ford Rangers with the V6. These pickup's are new enough to require the usual 5W-20 and the oil cap says so. Well one day when doing a walk around and getting ready to go out for the day I asked the service rep what kind of oil the company used in these trucks. He said it was purchased in bulk and they only bought one brand and one weight of oil for all of their trucks.
Here's where it gets interesting........These pickups are filled from the first oil change with a diesel engine oil that is used for all their big trucks. The oil is a 15W-40 and is changed every 8 thousand miles....need it or not. One of these pickup's has 146 thousand on the odometer and the other has 247 thousand showing. Neither truck has ever had any engine work done. The only work is A/C, alternators, tires and other small stuff. At some locations the truck selection is not Ford but Chevy with the 4.3 V6. The same oils is used company wide. These trucks will hit 300 thousand before they are sold. I have mentioned this for the sake of those souls that are wondering if they can go from 5W-20 to 5W-30 or from 10W-30 to 5W-30 and on and on. I guess we all worry too much about oil weight and oil type. Or am I wrong ??
Did I fail to mention these trucks are driven by several different people daily and driven hard. Really hard !!!!!!!!
 

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The 15w40 should protect better (it's thicker), so yeah it should probably technically be "better", but it should also hurt power and economy.
 

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That is the worst idea ever. First off, the money they "save" by not buying different oil weights, they lose in fuel economy. Secondly, this is absolutely horrible for the engines. I do not know how they are not having problems.

If you run 15-40 through an engine designed for 5-20, you will kill it with a quickness. 15-40 is thick as hell. Thats the crap I work with on a daily basis with military Route Clearance vehicles.
 

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Cold startup can't be very good on our hemi's with 15W-40. Heck, I wouldn't use that weight on my 10W-30 recommended vehicles. Things have changed in both oil and engine technology as the years have passed with engines being designed for and having the capacity to run lower weight oils...and much better oils too. Molasses in the crankcase isn't a good thing in a vehicle designed to be used as a daily driver. There are a good many articles floating around about engine wear and cold startup...even warm startup. This is a critical time for an engine.
 

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The biggest problem I would see is the 15w; it would make for bad startups in cold weather but I see you are located in FL so that is less of an issue. I doubt the company would do that if they were located in Wisconsin. Manufacturers spec oil for vehicles based on all conditions and luckily newer multi-viscosity oils are up to that challenge. If you look at the manual on an older car you will see different oils specified based on the outside temperature range. So Florida cars and Wisconsin cars might use the same oil in the summer but not in the winter.

The top end is 40 weight which is thicker at normal operating temps than 20 weight but it may not be a problem. Granted some manufacturers claim certain vehicle systems need 20 weight oil (i.e. the Hemi's MDS) to operate properly. However it is widely understood that thinner oil is more fuel efficient; so it gets specified in order to help the fuel efficiency requirements of a manufacturers fleet. Is the savings great? No, but if you do lots of those little things it adds up and makes the fleet numbers better for the manufacturer.

You won't likely go wrong following the dealers requirements but that doesn't mean it will blow up if you don't. There is also no guarantee you will do better. For instance in the winter I use 0w-20 rather than the 5w-20 because I spend a lot of time in northern NE. Is it better? Technically on paper, yes. Will it make a difference in the life of my truck? The world may never know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I do not dis-agree with any of the reply's to my post. My reason for posting in the first place was to say exactly what hylandchef said. These trucks I mentioned run everyday and the company treats them as tools not trucks. We, you and I, however treat our trucks as something to take care of and we do take care of them.
I would never put oil that heavy in any car or truck I own. I do however fight with myself on what weight to use. I have settled on 0W30 in all my vehicles Summer and Winter. I have 2 Ford Crown Vic's and the wife drives the "baby" Ram. The Vic's are (1 is over 200k and 1 is over 100k) running everyday with no problem.
Thanks for all you feedback.......but don't you find it amazing that these little V6 Fords are holding up so well with that 15W-40 ?
 

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I wonder how miles they would get out of them using 5w-20. I had a 4.6 F-150 that the PO ram for 125,000+ miles on 10w40. That was a motor that specified 5w20 as well. I drove that truck and traded it at 23x,xxx miles. First oil change after I bought it I switched it back to 5w20 and it only burned .5 quart of oil between 5K oil changes.
 

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Being they are in Florida is one of the reasons why they don't have much trouble running that thick of an oil. The other reason is that they are run everyday, long and hard, which heats up the oil and reduces contaminents. In the colder states during winter I'm sure you would have problems with wear at start-up. On really cold days you would even have a hard time starting the engine up at all without an engine block or oil heater running that oil.
 

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The hard driving and the warm climate is probably the saving grace, keeps that heavy oil hot and thin. I do know of guys that had old trucks that burned a little oil, they tried heavier oil to prevent it, and it did. However the engine still popped. The heavier oil didn't seep past the rings but also didn't pump well or lubricate the engine...with the tighter tolerances and heat that newer engines produce I can only imagine that using improper oil (heavier or lighter) would have disasterous results.
 
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