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    What kind of oil do you use?

    When the time comes to change your vehicle's oil, walk into any major store and you'll find dozens of brands. How do you know which to choose?

    AOL Autos has teamed up with AutoZone to bring you a series of DIY car maintenance tips and tricks, straight from our garage to yours.

    The DIY Garage video series covers common questions like how to change your own oil, or what the source of that pesky puddle on your garage floor might be. Host and AOL Autos Editor-at-Large Rex Roy will explain everything in plain English and is sure to have some fun along the way.

    Look for a new video every week @ http://autos.aol.com/auto-repair.

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    1 - 20 of 87 Comments
    spencem0n Aug 15, 2010 2:46 PM
    CAUTION regarding going long intervals without changing motor oil: Motor oil additives lose effectiveness with time and temperature. This is particularly true with conventional motor oils. Motor oil is cheap, engines are expensive.
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    brighteyes21519 Jul 07, 2010 8:55 AM
    To szukidavis,i had the same problem with my truck,what they found out was the last place i had my oil changed,also my radiator flushed,they said i had a crack in my radiator cover,so they gave me one that fits,What im getting at is make sure you have the right caps,if not a month or so when cap put on,(wrong one)little water will will come out of vents when ac on,will feel like ya car takes harder to gooooooo,ac will work sometimes,then you will hear this offell noise feels like ya engine ganna fall out, then theres the smoke over heating, thats what happened to me all over a wrong radiator cap,cause they also did not no,till the cap, now truck runs great,no problems at all,so if you ever need a cap replaced make sure,supposely pros lol give you the right one,well have a good one ,bye i no my spelling sucked,but oooooooooowell,lol hope this might be your prob with ya car,problem that big,ova a cap,talking for me,well byze
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    dich123 Apr 07, 2010 12:20 AM
    I tend to go too long on oil changes - 7,000 or more. My 92 escort went from 154,000 miles to 315,000 and the engine was still good. My 94 Escort went from 138,000 to 216,000 miles and still going strong - using very little oil. Sometimes I went 19,000 between changes. I used Valvoline 10W-30 for all. I heard that consumer reports did a study and found that 5,000 miles was fine. About Suzukidavis's overheating problem - temporary fixes - turn off the A/C, open the windows, and maybe turn on the heater and fan. The heater is actually another radiator that can help cool your engine. Watch your temperature guage (if you have one) to see how much of that you need to do. If you're stopped in traffic, turn off your engine if it can start reliably. Start it quickly enough to move when you need to. Don't start it too much or you may overheat and kill the starter motor. If you have a stick you can turn off the engine when you're moving and restart it with the starter motor or with the clutch. While driving at speed you can stop the engine, use neutral or clutch to disengage the engine, coast for a while, and restart the engine. I think most automatic transmissions will get damaged moving in neutral, so this is mostly for sticks. This will reduce heat because the engine will be off much of the time. Your speed will be varying up and down, so this is not so good in traffic. This has gotten me home with all my antifreeze gone from a leak.
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    faithjer5 Apr 07, 2010 12:02 AM
    i think your all full of it i got a master manchiec to houses down from me who uses senthic oil another who belives in royal purple at 9 bux a quart. now i use valvaline max life in a brand new car for years hell ill got 10 to 15k miles before i change it and i got over 300k miles on my truck and i drive it everyday stop paying for the over price oil and just take care of your cars or trucks if it feels like it needs some work done then get it done. if the car companys would stop building **** to break none of us would have to worry about any of this crap. its all about money they build stuff to break somtimes you get lucky and it last forever and sometimes you get the brand new peice of ****. no oil will make your car lasat longer . ive been through a few car in my life and use the same oil all the time. its not the oil its the parts them selfs
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    faithjer5 Apr 06, 2010 11:52 PM
    szukidavis Apr 06, 2010 7:51 PM HELP! All you guys seems to know cars and I am having a horrid problem that even my mechanic can't figure out. I have a 93 Volvo wagon and when I am driving in traffic, stop and go or idyling with the A/C on, the car overheats. They checked everything...thermostat, put a new sensor in, the belts, etc. The mechanic says that the only thing left is the radiator but usually when the radiator is the problem, it happens when cruising, not when it is stop and go or idyling...so he can't be sure..to the tune of a lot of MY money he suggests a new radiator. I am hesitating because he said that M.O. isn't that of a bad radiator..so if it's not the radiator, I will be out several hundred dollars and still no solution. I already spent $200 for them to explore options and with no resolution. Does anyone have a clue to share? HELP! tell your guy to make sure your heater core is not cloged it happens trust me. had it happen to my town and country van luckyly i have two master meachanics as neighbors and got it done in one swipe
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    dabbssd Apr 06, 2010 8:18 PM
    szukidavis, I disagree with your Mechanic. When "cruising" (25mph or more) air is being forced through the radiator with enough volume & force to keep things at normal running temp. It's when stoped or in stop & go traffic that can cause heat build-up. You didn't say whether a radiatior flush was done. If not, a pressure check & complete flush would be my first step. Also, is the fan mechanical or electric? If mechanical, check for proper belt tention. If electric, have it checked to be sure it's running at full speed & its thermostat is activating the fan at correct temperature. Lastly, has the water pump been checked? A faulty water pump can be difficult to diagnose.
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    szukidavis Apr 06, 2010 7:51 PM
    HELP! All you guys seems to know cars and I am having a horrid problem that even my mechanic can't figure out. I have a 93 Volvo wagon and when I am driving in traffic, stop and go or idyling with the A/C on, the car overheats. They checked everything...thermostat, put a new sensor in, the belts, etc. The mechanic says that the only thing left is the radiator but usually when the radiator is the problem, it happens when cruising, not when it is stop and go or idyling...so he can't be sure..to the tune of a lot of MY money he suggests a new radiator. I am hesitating because he said that M.O. isn't that of a bad radiator..so if it's not the radiator, I will be out several hundred dollars and still no solution. I already spent $200 for them to explore options and with no resolution. Does anyone have a clue to share? HELP!
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    tribologist57 Apr 06, 2010 6:28 PM
    That video is a perfect example of the ignorance that exists within most of the automotive service and parts industry in the United States. The most stringent API approval (SM, not SL and about to be replaced by SN) fails to meet the minimum requirements of every major auto maker that sells cars in the United States. Even the more stringent ILSAC GF-4 approval fails to meet the requirements of Ford, GM, Chrysler and most European OEMs. GM requires GM 6094M approval which has more stringent low temperature pumping requirements than any API or ILSAC requirement. THis additional requirement reduces shearing damage during start-up and warm-up. Some GM cars require the far more stringent GM 4718M, LL-A-25 or LL-B-25 approvals. The "LL" approvals are extreme long life and high temperature/high shear (HTHS)approvals that can not be met by a product that meets the low HTHS requirements of ILSAC. A GM 6094M or 4718M approved 5W-30 is thinner than the SAE J300 5W-30 approval and other 5W-30 products. The other two GM "LL" approvals are much thicker and are actually required to be thicker at high temperature than an SAE 10W-40 is required to be. Ford has somewhat similar additional requirements. Chrysler has additional deposit control and emulsion retention testing requirements. Most of the Europeans have MUCH stricter requirements than any API or ILSAC approval. Most Autozone stores don't even stock oil that meets the MINIMUM requirements of VW/Audi, BMW, Mini, Mercedes Benz, Saab, etc. VW/Audi vehicles are the most often damaged by this ill advise. Most of the other European cars that require high HTHS oil (Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover are now low HTHS) are serviced at dealerships or specialty shops that won't go near an AutoZone (The video is an example of why). But, VWs often end up in general shops and DIY service. When they use a low HTHS ILSAC & API approved product as the video recomends, they quickly destroy the chigh shear am and plunger in the FSI/GDI high pressure pump and greatly accelerate wear throughout the engine and cause severe coking in the turbocharger. VW and numerous other sources have published bulletins on the issue. Most European cars and flat tappet American cars have similar problems when the video advice is followed. The new ILSAC GF-5 and dexos standards will take all of this to another new level very soon. That video is a joke! AutoZone should spend a little time on www.iatn.net and try to get a handle on reality. Several individuals there are capable of helping Autozone and already do held some of AutoZones competitors.
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    dabbssd Apr 06, 2010 5:26 PM
    spl31166, The term "Full Synthetic" does not mean it's 100% Synthetic. It could still be & usually is a "blend". (And that comes from one of the aol Mechanics on another thread).
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    dabbssd Apr 06, 2010 5:19 PM
    ************** AMSOIL, & it beats Mobil 1 and all the rest of the "Copy-Cat" so-called "Synthetics"! AMSOIL was the first 100% pure Synthetic in the world to meet API criteria. Go to Mobil 1 site, read their specs, then go to www.amsoil.com & read the specs on the same wt./viscosity AMSOIL such as 10W-30 (ATM) or better still 0W-30 (SSO). In the "frozen north" you need the lowest pour point you can get. Compair Mobil 1, Shell, Castrol & all the rest for pour point of the same wt/viscosities AMSOIL & see who has the lowest! (I never have understood WHY an individual will put down a product simply because they are not familiar with it).
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    treece4635 Apr 06, 2010 5:04 PM
    Mobil one is a full syth oil he seemed to miss this little fact
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    spl31166 Apr 06, 2010 4:10 PM
    Hey! Listen to artfish, I love getting engine jobs through my shop!
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    garyrjas Apr 06, 2010 4:10 PM
    You can use a full synthetic oil and change your oil at 10,000 miles, these people that say 5,000 or 3,000 just want you to buy more oil. Most GM cars now have computers that monitor oil life. Most of them will tell you to change the oil around 8,000 to 10,000 miles, depending on your driving habits. Of course if you have a clunker, you may want to change it more often.
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    taxocrat Apr 06, 2010 3:30 PM
    BTW the oil found in Pennsylvania is high in wax content and NOT a particularly good motor oil base without a LOT of refining.
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    taxocrat Apr 06, 2010 3:25 PM
    I'll stick with Mobil One or Shell. The rest of the "never had an engine failure (how do you prove THAT)" stuff made in somebody's garage in 55 gallon drums I'll pass on. Up here in the frozen north, BJ's Club sells Shell syn for a VERY good price. I understand the new Castrol is also a good product but have not tried it. I do have 250 K on a Camry using Mobil One, not Amway Oli or whatever it is called.
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    dabbssd Apr 06, 2010 3:21 PM
    gr8bsn, One of my vehicles is a 2003 Pontiac Vibe. I purchased it used with 30,000 miles, it's now pushing 70,000. When I switched to AMSOIL Motor Oil, AMSOIL Oil Filter & AMSOIL ATF, my miledge went from 28 Cty. to 29+ Cty. & from 30 Hwy. to 34.30 Hwy. I also run two AMSOIL fuel additives, PI (Performance Improver) every 3,500-4,000 miles & Octane Boost.
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    lafm2005 Apr 06, 2010 2:52 PM
    I never use the 5W 20 oil that the manufacture recommends. They use this light weight oil to boost fuel CAFE numbers.................at the sacrifice of engine life. Never use less than a 10w 30.
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    stasmd Apr 06, 2010 2:45 PM
    Sorry, error in my last note. Shoud read "Group III is what many companies CLAIM is synthetic...
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    stasmd Apr 06, 2010 2:42 PM
    Not mentioned is the fact that oil is catagorized in groups. Group II is the standard oil that most people use. Group IV is what many companies CLAIM is synthetic oil. This is incorrect. Group III oils are merely regular mineral oils that have gone through an additional refining step. It took a bit of arm twisting to convince the API to allow them to call these oils "synthetic". There are only two really synthetic oils which are derived from chemically engineered synthetic base stocks. These are Mobil One and Amsoil.
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    artfishtales Apr 06, 2010 2:26 PM
    I am an old timer and have run the ass of av lot new cars and trucks working for service company and from day one we never change oil on these cars and vans rack up 100000 plus miles a year with no engine problems in fact the vehicles were bought by company employees and they ran them for years with no major so this myth is a load of manure just add if you are low and run them for all they are worth use olive oil extra virgin and maybe we can tell the opec to go fly a magic carpet One thing ill tell you that oil was black at 100000 miles but it did the job
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