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Discussion Starter #1
Curious if anyone has chosen to run an XW-30 in their 3rd gen, and if so have you noticed a decrease in noise, increase in smoothness, etc.? Debating going with a 0W-30...I could care less about CAFE.
 

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Yep i run 5w30. No noticeable difference actually. Never considered the mdx engine noisy either though. I mostly get 5w30 because my stores never seem to stock 0w20 or 5w20

Edit: see my post below for correction. Actually mostly 0w20 and 5w20, with one use it 5w30 in a pinch.

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Yep i run 5w30. No noticeable difference actually. Never considered the mdx engine noisy either though. I mostly get 5w30 because my stores never seem to stock 0w20 or 5w20

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Is there any benefit running a thicker oil?
 

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Single weight oil is so old school.
Acura specifies 0-20. 30W is way outside Acuras specs and I suspect could damage the motor. If tou have a really high milage motor I would suggest 0-30, or maybe 5-30.
 

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Personally, just run 0w20 if you can find it. My problem is it's out of stock sometimes here (something i didn't expect to happen really when i first got this car) when i need to do my oc and so i will pick up either 5w20 or 5w30 depending on what is in stock here. For me, it's more about getting clean oil that works for my climate into the car before the oci expires more than anything.

I usually do have a large batch of 0w20 lying around but then i run out and forget to restock and that's when I'll substitute with what i can find.

Looking at my records, i guess i misspoke earlier and ive only used 5w30 once. Majority is still 0w20, with some 5w20 here and there. My toyota has a larger oil acceptance range, and that's where I've been mostly going between 5w30, 5w20, and 0w20.

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Discussion Starter #8
Running a 30 won't hurt anything, other than fuel economy by a slight margin. Yes, goal would be greater protection against shear and ease of use with my other vehicle that specs a 30. The only reason Honda specs 0W-20 is CAFE standards...trying to eek the greatest MPGs out of it. The engine itself will do just fine on a 30 weight, and in fact everywhere else outside of the US the manuals usually specify other weights. I looked up the Russian manual for the MDX and it says to use 0W-20 for best fuel economy, otherwise use a 0W-30. If those are unavailable, it says to use a 5W-30.

Lastly, to clarify about the comment about straight 30, I'm not going to use a straight 30 but rather a 0 or 5W.
 

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as far as oils vs. OEM "spec" running to thin an oil is probably a bigger issue and more likely to cause wear than a thicker oil. Engines are designed around a certain oil viscosity range. To thin an oil may end up reducing lubrication and may reduce oil pressure. Likewise to thick an oil is likely to increase oil pressure. Anything WAY outside the range would be suspect. Almost all older car oil pumps are a constant displacement pump with a pressure relief valve to limit pressure. and in conjunction with the oil passages determines the typical oil pressure. To thin an oil and pressure likely will drop,. To thick and pressure goes up till it triggers the relief valve. Newer vehicles have gone to a variable displacement pump to minimize some of the issues.

I suspect (with no actual data to back up my statement) that a 5W-30 will cause no problems and may provide slightly better lubrication under heavy loads or high temps.

Interestingly, a few new cars are calling out 0W-16 oils, which has been available in Japan for a decade or more, and there is also a 0W-8 oil available in Japan.


One common occurance with selecting the wrong oil is with early to mid 90's MB V-8 (M119) . It was designed long before CAFE was a big issue and it was designed for 20W-50 as the recomended oil for most climates. Later versions went to the 5w-30 or 5W-20. So, occasionally someone with an older engine see the oil spec for the newer engine and runs a 5w-30 or 5W-20 and complains about way low oil pressure........ especially when temps get in the 90sF. Well, switch to something near the specified oil, problem gone.
 

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First let's talk about what the oil numbers mean.

The W stands for Winter and not Weight, though more correctly in modern terms it would be weight winter grade. Thus if you look at a bottle of oil for the Acura it will say 0w-30, so that first number means the lower the number the better it will flow on startup on cold weather, therefore at this time 0w is the most viscous oil you can buy.

The last number can transform the oil to a level of performance so it doesn't allow the engine to seize as it gets hotter. Thus as the car warms up the protection of the oil is becomes less viscous so it can handle the heat of the engine and not be thin like water. But if you go to a 40 that would make the oil not viscous enough and could damage the engine, and if you go below that it may be thin and cause the engine to seize.

Now that you know that, on the Acura you do not want to change that last number from a 30 to a 20 or to a 40; however you can change the first number from a 0 to a 5 if the outside weather never drops below 40. I think you could also get away with using 10w-30 as long as the temps outside never drops below 70.

Of course if you live in a climate where it never drops below 40 or 70 you should always consult your car dealer first because they live in that climate and know for sure what Acura recommends. Also another reason that car makers recommend 0w oil is so they can meet the CALF standards, and a thinner oil will give you the best MPG that the car maker said it can do.
 

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First let's talk about what the oil numbers mean.

The W stands for Winter and not Weight, though more correctly in modern terms it would be weight winter grade. Thus if you look at a bottle of oil for the Acura it will say 0w-30, so that first number means the lower the number the better it will flow on startup on cold weather, therefore at this time 0w is the most viscous oil you can buy.

The last number can transform the oil to a level of performance so it doesn't allow the engine to seize as it gets hotter. Thus as the car warms up the protection of the oil is becomes less viscous so it can handle the heat of the engine and not be thin like water. But if you go to a 40 that would make the oil not viscous enough and could damage the engine, and if you go below that it may be thin and cause the engine to seize.

Now that you know that, on the Acura you do not want to change that last number from a 30 to a 20 or to a 40; however you can change the first number from a 0 to a 5 if the outside weather never drops below 40. I think you could also get away with using 10w-30 as long as the temps outside never drops below 70.

Of course if you live in a climate where it never drops below 40 or 70 you should always consult your car dealer first because they live in that climate and know for sure what Acura recommends. Also another reason that car makers recommend 0w oil is so they can meet the CALF standards, and a thinner oil will give you the best MPG that the car maker said it can do.
very accurate information on how oils are nomenclated. At least on my 2019, Acura recomends 0w-20 for a temp range from -30F to over 100F. They do not recomend any other oil weight for any temperature range. Given the propensity to recomend light weight oils for CAFE stds I suspect that the spec for oil is biased towards economy while still satisfying longevity. Personally I wouldn't be adverse to using a 5W-30 but nothing beyond that. If I was using a MDX for towing near the 5000lb limit, it might be my choice due to the heavier load on the engine. But my hybrid isn't rated for towing, and for towing I have a 3/4 ton diesel truck anyway.
 
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