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Old 01-24-2014, 11:33 PM   #1
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Question Engine Oil, 5w30 year round?

Hi All, I am new to all things Jeep. Now own a '97 Wrangler with the the 4 cal engine and automatic trans. Question is, "Can I run 5w30 oil in the crankcase year round?" The owners manual says 10w30 above 16 F and 5w30 below 16F. It has been below 16 F here off and on for a few weeks here in NE Michigan. I wonder why Jeep has two different specs. Also is synthetic oil worth considering?

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Old 01-24-2014, 11:40 PM   #2
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I use synthetic. It's molecules are spears as opposed to triangles and other shapes of conventional. In Michigan I'd use 5-30 mostly. Summer maybe one oil change or so 10-30. That's what I did in Alaska. Change mine every 5000 with synthetic. Easy to remember and in the middle of manufacture recommendation. Happy jeeping!

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Old 01-25-2014, 12:13 AM   #3
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It's molecules are spears
Spears? Spheres?
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #4
Knows a couple things...

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While synthetic engine oils are superb/better than conventional oils in extremely cold conditions, I personally don't believe they are any better in temperate conditions. I've run nothing but conventional engine oils for 50 years (usually Valvoline) and have never had an engine failure, even though I tend to run my engines near or past 200k miles before getting rid of them.

You can run 5W-30 year-round if you want, no harm in that whatsoever. I used to be wary of that until I had a conversation with a petroleum engineer clued me into one nice benefit of the 5W, that it circulates faster through the engine than 10W will when cold which means less of a dry start.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:32 AM   #5
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I live in michigan and run 5w30 for the most of the year until it gets real warm then I change to 10w30.
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:53 PM   #6
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Spears? Spheres?
Oops. Yes lol!
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:35 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. Enjoying the 4 wheel drive getting through the snowdrifts in my uphill to the road driveway.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:08 AM   #8
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You can use 5w-30 year round but wouldn't recommend it. All about break down in temperature. The hotter it is (outside) the engine gets cuz of where it sits. Ergo the oil viscosity will break down under heat so heavier viscosity can be beneficial or 10w-30 in summer. Vice versa in the winter lower viscosity in colder weather. Allows oil to circulate easier and quicker cuz it's not heavy like syrup
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Old 01-26-2014, 03:07 PM   #9
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I use synth 5w30 year round here in Colorado...
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Old 01-26-2014, 04:00 PM   #10
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I use 10-30 year round here in central NC. If I was in the mountains of NC I would do 5-30 in the winter and 10-30 in the summer.
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Old 01-26-2014, 07:53 PM   #11
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A 10w30 and 5w30 are the same viscosity at operating temperature. They only vary in their cold temp viscosities.

"At cold temperatures, the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up, the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as it normally would. The result is that at 100 degrees C, the oil has thinned only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-vis oils is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more than a 50 weight would when hot."

HowStuffWorks "Measuring Motor Oil Viscosity"
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:20 PM   #12
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I run Amsoil XL 5w30 year around in Michigan.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:26 PM   #13
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A 10w30 and 5w30 are the same viscosity at operating temperature. They only vary in their cold temp viscosities. "At cold temperatures, the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up, the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as it normally would. The result is that at 100 degrees C, the oil has thinned only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-vis oils is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more than a 50 weight would when hot." HowStuffWorks "Measuring Motor Oil Viscosity"
Nice I liked the references. Such as this which basically says use 10W-30 in the summer like the manufacture recommends. . Always use a multi grade with the narrowest span of viscosity that is appropriate for the temperatures you are going to encounter. In the winter base your decision on the lowest temperature you will encounter, in the summer, the highest temperature you expect. The polymers can shear and burn forming deposits that can cause ring sticking and other problems. 10W-40 and 5W-30 require a lot of polymers (synthetics excluded) to achieve that range. This has caused problems in diesel engines, but fewer polymers are better for all engines. The wide viscosity range oils, in general, are more prone to viscosity and thermal breakdown due to the high polymer content. It is the oil that lubricates, not the additives. Oils that can do their job with the fewest additives are the best.

Thanks a ton for the info.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:58 PM   #14
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There were a few years when the oil companies actually quit making 10w40 because it was causing engine failures. The wider the range the more polymers and the less actual oil.

Manufacturers have figured things out a bit since then. Especially with the synthetics. BMW uses some weird weights like 0w40 and even 10w60.

Basically my point was if Jeep says 5w30 is good for anything above 18* and thats your local temp stay with what they tell you.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:10 PM   #15
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There were a few years when the oil companies actually quit making 10w40 because it was causing engine failures. The wider the range the more polymers and the less actual oil. Manufacturers have figured things out a bit since then. Especially with the synthetics. BMW uses some weird weights like 0w40 and even 10w60. Basically my point was if Jeep says 5w30 is good for anything above 18* and thats your local temp stay with what they tell you.
Ya it said synthetics excluded. It appears to apply for conventional oil only.

Mine says 10w30 preferred above 0 degrees so if ya want to follow the book unless your going below 0 in Alaska like I was 10w30 would be preferred in the book. What the heck.

A picture is worth as many words in the picture. (Me)

Your not Canadian and using -18 Celsius maybe?
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:32 PM   #16
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I use 10w-30 here in Arizona year round in all my vehicles.

118 degrees in the summer is no joke. I would assume in more stable climates 5w-30 would be just fine.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:55 AM   #17
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My 03 says 5w30. Neither is going to hurt a 4.0. Now some newer cars you gotta be careful. Ford had to spec 5w20 because the rockers fell out of a few mod motors before the oil pressure would come up. So always best to follow the specs.
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Old 01-27-2014, 01:10 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by chevymad View Post
A 10w30 and 5w30 are the same viscosity at operating temperature. They only vary in their cold temp viscosities. "At cold temperatures, the polymers are coiled up and allow the oil to flow as their low numbers indicate. As the oil warms up, the polymers begin to unwind into long chains that prevent the oil from thinning as much as it normally would. The result is that at 100 degrees C, the oil has thinned only as much as the higher viscosity number indicates. Another way of looking at multi-vis oils is to think of a 20W-50 as a 20 weight oil that will not thin more than a 50 weight would when hot." HowStuffWorks "Measuring Motor Oil Viscosity"
Well said, put me to shame with specifics and I learned a thing we two * tips my hat *
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:04 AM   #19
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I use synthetic. It's molecules are spears as opposed to triangles and other shapes of conventional.
Not so, synthetic molecules are trapezoids, conventional are parallelograms. Why anyone would put parallelograms in their engine when they could have trapezoids for only slightly more money is beyond me. But I'm not trying to start a fight here.
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:50 AM   #20
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Synthetic oils are a complete waste of money, IMO, period! I'd just as soon do 2 oil changes with conventional oil at 3,000+ miles, and KNOW that it is fresh, then waste my money on synthetic THINKING I can go 5-6,000 miles on an oil change.

I live in Michigan also and usually run 10w30 year around but for some reason the quick lube places here never have it anymore.

There is no problem using conventional 5w30 year around in Michigan.

Of course, a lot depends on how you drive and the conditions, such as dusty as heck places, towing, etc.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:49 AM   #21
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Thank you all for the info. I am using F for my temps. My Owners manual has a chart that specs 5w30 below 16*F which is about what we have been living in the last month or 6 weeks here in NE lower peninsula Michigan. I don't plan on towing anything or pulling stumps this summer so I may stay with that weight oil through the warmer months.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:56 AM   #22
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I was enlightened by this thread. The polymer in conventional that makes switching due to temps important as well as why synthetics are better but I took the time to read the posts. And also read the references. I learned a lot here. Many just skim through and jump on the bandwagon. Thanks for starting it OP and actually reading it.

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