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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Im thinking of running a heavier oil like 15w-50 in my car because Im in Tucson and the car sees very high ambient temps and never sees colder weather where the thinner oil is a benefit.

What say you?
 

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If you're not compensating for track duty, then follow the book. Heavier oils don't dissipate heat as well, don't flow as well and don't protect better in normal driving.

In an older engine? Meh - mattered little. Modern engine? Matters a lot. The 40 is stout for a fine tolerance engine.

(Is this thread really ok? Doubt it! Popcorn time!) :p馃嵖
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ha, I really dont mean for folks to break out the popcorn.
Its just I live in a climate where I would call "extreme."
Hence the question.
Its all good.
 

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You can find lots of good articles by the oil manufactures on the pro's and con's of using thicker or thinner oil. The one thing they all agree on is going by the manufactures guidelines.. To add on to @Philster 's comment, if you are just doing normal driving in hot temperatures you are probably still in the midrange of the viscosity anyway so it won't make much difference from a wear perspective.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever seen your oil temp gauge move above the normal temp range?

My advice, don't worry about it and stick with the manufactures guidelines..
 

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Usually going up or down "a little" isn't a problem. Going too heavy will put a strain on the system and increase oil pressure.

Unless you have a way to validate exactly where you are at from oil temps currently and then with the heavier oil, I wouldn't bother.
 
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Never experiment with different oils viscosity ratings than what the manufacturer recommends WITHOUT checking with the manufacturer. Engines are designed and spec'd with certain oils. Heck... my first ALFA was a 1969 spider that required 20-50 Wt. oil !!
 

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Never experiment with different oils viscosity ratings than what the manufacturer recommends WITHOUT checking with the manufacturer. Engines are designed and spec'd with certain oils. Heck... my first ALFA was a 1969 spider that required 20-50 Wt. oil !!
That said, in around 2001 Alfa were recommending 10W40 weight oil for everyday use for the Twinsparks. A year or two later they were recommending 10W60, I think due to oil scavenging problems from the rings causing a lot of oil consumption. Owners who weren鈥檛 in the habit of regularly checking their oil ran their engines until the oil pressure warning light lit up which was too late to prevent terminal engine damage. I use about a litre every thousand km even with the thicker oil. Not the same issue but they have changed their minds. The 10W60 was previously only recommended only for extreme use. I鈥檝e be using Liqui Moly GTI 10W60 for years (in my Twinspark, 5W40 Amsoil Euro C3 in my 4C and Giulietta). What ever oil you use CHECK YOUR OIL LEVEL REGULARLY.

I鈥檇 like to see more members who use the Selena or Pennzoil have their oil tested鈥.not just for fuel contamination but for particles associated with wear just to see how the recommended oils are faring.

@evomind , why don鈥檛 you have your engine oil tested and eliminate the guesswork. That way you might find you鈥檙 worrying about nothing or if there actually is a reason for concern.
 

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You can also stay within the recomended grade and find a "thicker" oil. Each SAE oil weight has a range of viscosity that is allowed and some oils run on the thinner end while others run on the thicker end for that weight.

I use Redline 5W-40 which is a very stout oil, if you look at the specs it's very close to the upper end of the viscosity range for that weight. I've had other cars that absolutely drank Mobil 1 (in the exact same grade) like water but hardly used any oil when running the Redline.
 

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That said, in around 2001 Alfa were recommending 10W40 weight oil for everyday use for the Twinsparks. A year or two later they were recommending 10W60, I think due to oil scavenging problems from the rings causing a lot of oil consumption. Owners who weren鈥檛 in the habit of regularly checking their oil ran their engines until the oil pressure warning light lit up which was too late to prevent terminal engine damage. I use about a litre every thousand km even with the thicker oil. Not the same issue but they have changed their minds. The 10W60 was previously only recommended only for extreme use. I鈥檝e be using Liqui Moly GTI 10W60 for years (in my Twinspark, 5W40 Amsoil Euro C3 in my 4C and Giulietta). What ever oil you use CHECK YOUR OIL LEVEL REGULARLY.

I鈥檇 like to see more members who use the Selena or Pennzoil have their oil tested鈥.not just for fuel contamination but for particles associated with wear just to see how the recommended oils are faring.

@evomind , why don鈥檛 you have your engine oil tested and eliminate the guesswork. That way you might find you鈥檙 worrying about nothing or if there actually is a reason for concern.
I am using Selenia Quadrifoglio 5W-40, I'll have it tested at the next oil change in Sept/Oct. Unfortunately this kind of analysis don't say much until you have had a couple done on the same engine to create a baseline and can then identify deviations from the standard.
 

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I am using Selenia Quadrifoglio 5W-40, I'll have it tested at the next oil change in Sept/Oct. Unfortunately this kind of analysis don't say much until you have had a couple done on the same engine to create a baseline and can then identify deviations from the standard.
Great to see you start. Have a look at my last three test results here鈥
It鈥檚 also in the oil test and analysis thread鈥
Font Parallel Number Pattern Screenshot
 

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I live in a similar environment (North Scottsdale, AZ) and I use the Alfa dealership for all my maintenance along with their oil recommendations. No issues. Yet. ;)
 

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I really don't know why someone would try to out-guess the engineers who built this engine, by just thinking that perhaps they should use a different oil, additive, etc.
Go by what the manufacturer specified. Period.

If you have concerns about viscosity, then follow @Philster 's advice from earlier threads and increase the frequency of your oil changes. Or take a few litres out of the top and replace that with new oil, halfway through the interval (this is an easier DIY with some simple equipment, than draining the oil from below).

Based on my oil test results (and to a lesser extent on Alfanut's above), fuel dilution is more of a concern. This will essentially thin your oil. Doing either of the above steps (short cycle changes or doing a partial change mid cycle) will help ensure that it remains within specifications.

I'm planning on doing the partial change on both of my cars - even though neither does even 50% of the miles required between recommended oil changes in a year (and I do a full oil and filter change on each of them every spring). The track car maybe 25%, but that's pretty intensive use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I really don't know why someone would try to out-guess the engineers who built this engine, by just thinking that perhaps they should use a different oil, additive, etc.
Go by what the manufacturer specified. Period.

If you have concerns about viscosity, then follow @Philster 's advice from earlier threads and increase the frequency of your oil changes. Or take a few litres out of the top and replace that with new oil, halfway through the interval (this is an easier DIY with some simple equipment, than draining the oil from below).

Based on my oil test results (and to a lesser extent on Alfanut's above), fuel dilution is more of a concern. This will essentially thin your oil. Doing either of the above steps (short cycle changes or doing a partial change mid cycle) will help ensure that it remains within specifications.

I'm planning on doing the partial change on both of my cars - even though neither does even 50% of the miles required between recommended oil changes in a year (and I do a full oil and filter change on each of them every spring). The track car maybe 25%, but that's pretty intensive use.
Im not trying to "outguess" anybody but the manufacturers have to design and spec their machines to accommodate a very wide temperature and use range.
For example, heavier oil in cold climates you would have to say a prayer to get the engine to turn over, hence why vehicles use things like oil to accommodate a wide range of operating conditions.
So I was just posing the question since my car really only sees the upper half of those operating temps.
No harm, no foul, just asking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I live in a similar environment (North Scottsdale, AZ) and I use the Alfa dealership for all my maintenance along with their oil recommendations. No issues. Yet. ;)
You can use 5w30 and not see issues for a long time. :)

Guys, im not questioning whether or not 5w40 is all we need for our cars, just a question if using a heavier weight oil is any benefit in extreme temps.
Just throwing out a question folks.
 

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It's all the manufacturer suggests we need.
If they thought it was not appropriate for some regions or climate zones, they would likely have listed different specs for different zones. After all, they were on the hook for the engine for the first 4 years!

Yes, there are people who will say "Never use what the manufacturer says - always go up (or down)" or "I always add product XYZ to my oil and I've never had a problem". But they didn't design the engine, don't have a clue about how the system works, or how the recommendation was arrived at.

In the case of extreme duty (be it climate, or use), the recommendation is to increase the frequency of oil changes, not go off-label on the product.

I guess that what I am saying is if you want to pose the question, then you probably should be asking the manufacturer or his representative (the dealership, who will reply with what the manufacturer suggests), and not a bunch of armchair experts on the internet.

The only facts that I can bring to the table are that fuel dilution is a problem, and that it will thin your oil. So if your concern is that the viscosity is too low for conditions, changing all or some of the thinned oil for new on a more frequent schedule than recommended would be the logical answer.
 

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You can use 5w30 and not see issues for a long time. :)

Guys, im not questioning whether or not 5w40 is all we need for our cars, just a question if using a heavier weight oil is any benefit in extreme temps.
Just throwing out a question folks.
What extreme temps? Ambient temp is moot. Engine oil and coolant running temp matters. Thicker oil cools less effectively. Engine oil is a key component of engine cooling, not just coolant.

It won't thin out (the reason to add weight) to an unacceptable film thickness in your heat pushing 100f, or someone else's pushing 85f for on road use.
 
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