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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys and Gals,
I have a 2011 X tech pkg which I bought used off lease. Ive been doing my own oil changes since I got the car almost 2 years ago now. I also change the oil well in advance of the oil life meter reaching zero. I've also switched over to using 0W20 (Moble 1 full synthetic) instead of the 5W20 prolly after the second oil change i've done on it. I know that the 0/20 is being being used now on most new cars and helps with gas mileage is especially good in cold climates which is where i live.

Just out of curiosity can any one give me a good reason as to why I should NOT continue using 0W20 in this car?
 

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Acura engineers know better than you comes to mind.

good luck
 

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Because the 3.7L engine seems to wear oil faster due to its design. That is why Acura didn´t update its oil compatibility with 0W-20 when they introduce it. Also those MDX years love to burn oil so 0W-20 will be more likely to burn/evaporate/need-refill faster.

You should follow Acura advice to keep using 5W-20..
 

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I have used 0W-20 and 5W-20 in my 2008 MDX followed by oil analysis in every oil change. Same oil brand on both cases (AMSOIL Signature full synthetic line for 15K/25K miles applications). Oil filter changed in every case using AMSOIL brand for 15K miles application. This is the car my wife drives and her driving patters is more consistent with short trips. Both oil changes done @ 10K miles mark. Test done between 97K and 117K miles. No significant oil added at 5K mark on every case. Driving climate: TEXAS, USA. Driving pattern mixed of: bumper to bumper Houston's traffic + Toll roads.

The oil analysis results revealed:

1. Aluminum particulates using 0W-20: 9 ppm vs 2 ppm using 5W-20
2. Copper particulates using 0W-20: 2 ppm vs 1 ppm using 5W-20
3. Nickel particulates using 0W-20: 1 ppm vs 0 ppm using 5W-20
4. Antimony particulates using 0W-20: 1 ppm vs 0 ppm using 5W-20
5. Iron particulates using 0W-20: 9 ppm vs 6 ppm using 5W-20
6. Lower base number using 5W-20: 1.76 mg KOH/g vs 2.04 mg KOH/g using 0W-20
7. Final viscosity @ 100 degC = 9.6 cSt for 5W-20; 9.2 cSt for 0W-20
8. Lower oxidation using 5W-20: 56 abs/cm vs 62 abs/cm using 0W-20
9. 5W-20 grade tested before 0W-20 grade

Other metals tested but not present: Chromium, Lead, Tin, Cadmium, Silver, Vanadium.
Other contaminants: No fuel dilution, no water, no soot.

At the end, in my opinion there is no significant difference between the grades. The metal wear per mile is extremely low in each case.

Just for reference: my Nissan engine VG33e has had up to 8 ppm aluminum particulates with oil changes every 15K miles using AMSOIL 5W-30 Signature full synthetic line. A recent compression test at 236K miles showed each cylinder compression was 180 psig. The lowest base number registered using 5W-30 has been 2.05 mg KOH/g. I also tested this engine using 0W-30 grade with 15K miles change. Oil analysis came back with a base number of 1.69 mg KOH/g, aluminum wear increased to 12 ppm.

At the end of the day, I have decided to stay with manufacturer recommended oil grade for each vehicle.
 

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If you're not burning any oil with the 0w20 synthetic, I'd say keep using it.

I started on 0w20 M1 synthetic when I first got my car but my last 4 oil changes have been with M1 0w30 High Efficiency formula as it has better rating. You could also try that.

Being in Toronto, I'd try to stick to the 0 weight if you can. For guys that's never lived or owned a car in 0 degree weather probably can't relate to this. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow thanks for all the replies - I too have done some research since posting and there is a lot of info posted over at acurazine forum.

I have discovered that the 0 and 5 before the W are viscosity rating while the oil is cold during first startup. Basically there is very little difference in the the 2 oils (0W20 & 5W20) once the engine reaches operating temp. The 0W20 can only come in synthetic and will lubricate better during cold start ups like I have to do here in Toronto Canada where our temp today is -10 Celsius/14 Fahrenheit.

The main reason that 0W20 is standard issue now is that theoretically it can offer 2-3% better fuel efficiency and all manufacturer's are doing what ever they can to improve fuel ratings.

I usually change the oil around December just before it gets really cold here and then again in the spring time usually when it starts to warm up and i did notice that I was down a liter of oil - so there is an oil consumption issue which may be worse using the the 0W20 which another poster mentioned in this thread. I do tow about 2500 lbs boat in the summer so the engine works hard and I am also seeing oil consumption at my pre winter oil change as well.

I would feel safe to say that I could just continue using 0W20 all year round or maybe use the 5W20 for my spring oil change and then back to the 0W20 for my winter oil change.

The main reason I became interested in the 0w20 is because my wife's 4 cyl 2012 rav4 takes it - Her Rav calls for 1 oil change per year or 16,000 km's I guess that's 10,000 miles which is what she drives pretty much spot on. Now when I check the oil with dip stick just before her yearly change at the dealer the oil is I kidd you not still nearly golden brown - Yes nearly golden brown after a year and no consumption - Why is the oil black in my X after 6 months? Does Toyota use a superior oil perhaps?
 

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I do yearly changes or 15K which ever comes first on my MDX using 5W-30 Mobil 1 EP and my oil isn´t black at the 6 month mark in fact even after +10K the oil is still golden brown and I do push my MDX a lot:




My current oil change is sitting at the 9K mark and the dipstick still comes out golden... So if 0W-20 is coming out dark in 6 months then the 3.7L is pushing it too far, Go back to the Manufacturer recommended oil which has been Updated to NOT USE 0W-20.

Rav4 puny little 4 cyl is nothing compared to the 300HP behemoth the MDX uses, Honda did push their manufacturing process to create the 3.7L and thus why 0W-20 might be not suitable for it..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When I bought it, it had come with a fresh dealer oil change which I would assume was 5W20 not sure if synthetic or not but when I did the first oil change @ the 40% oil life indicator mark it had come out pretty black.. You've definitely got me curious now and this spring when I change it I'll use 5W20 synthetic and see how it goes....
 

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I never use 5W-20 because its easier to get the 5W-30 EP jug so I am not even using the recommended 5W-20.. Still I get 25MPGs in the hwy with the MDX which is above the sticker 22 it should be getting also My MDX seems to only burn oil at the end of life of the oil change, but I never refilled more than half a quart in the entire oil change interval..

I already have the next oil change ready but I will change it when the final ATF 3x3 is complete..
 

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Took a while to get used to it but, for some reason, the MDX turns oil black in a hurry. Started right away with the FF break-in oil. I doubt if the black color has anything to do with the oil's remaining life. Re oil consumption, mine does not use oil for the first 4K then will burn a quart in less than 1 k.
 

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Yeah color doesn´t actually tell much but give you a rough idea of how well its keeping up if the oil is black by the 6 month mark then is highly unlikely it will reach the year without degrading but I would use Black Stone labs to see how well the oil is holding up. In my experience Mobil 1 EP far exceeds its "15K Warranty" I simply do not drive enough to reach it most of the times..
 

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0W20 should be better than 5W20. Above 100 degrees C (212F) it will be THICKER than 5W20. This sounds counter intuitive, but it is true because 0W20 starts out thinner than 5W20 when cold and ends up the same at 100C. So it's viscosity reduction with temperature rise is LESS. Going above 100C which could happen at the hottest parts of an engine, the 0W20 will be thicker. It also flows better when cold.
 

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I find Impressive that 5W-30 is thicker than 10W-30 at 100°C! In our So Cali heats that is welcomed.. No way in hell I am testing the lighter 0W-20.
 

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In that event, why not AFE 0w30?

It has lower viscosity at low temp and higher viscosity at higher temp. I am thinking using this baby for all my cars.
 

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Sadly AFE 0W-30 is not guaranteed for 15K and it cost more than EP.
 

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Re the comment from carguy07-


Mobil does not show the viscosity above 100C, but at 100C the 5W20 is slightly higher than 0W20 but within the range allowed for SAE 20. So the temperature where Mobil 0W20 will start to be thicker than 5W20 will be slightly higher than 100C.
Castrol and Amsoil are almost the same viscosity at 100C so the crossover will be very near 100C.
 

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Re the comment from carguy07-


Mobil does not show the viscosity above 100C, but at 100C the 5W20 is slightly higher than 0W20 but within the range allowed for SAE 20. So the temperature where Mobil 0W20 will start to be thicker than 5W20 will be slightly higher than 100C.
Castrol and Amsoil are almost the same viscosity at 100C so the crossover will be very near 100C.
I gotcha thanks!
 

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0w20 vs 5w20...

Do you think you know more than the manufacturer?

You may....

Check bobs the oil guy and do an oil analysis through black stone or similar.

The answers are out there.
 
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