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Old 22 Mar 2024, 17:06 (Ref:4202297)   #1
VIVA GT
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Engine Oils

I was going to put this into the Daytime Running Lights thread but decided that is was different enough to have its own thread.
I appreciate that engine oil technology has moved on significantly compared to my youth where the range of choice was to use either (green) Duckhams Q20/50 of Castrol GTX, however...
Today we have had a 4 year old 'ordinary' Vauxhall Corsa in for a service and have discovered that there is no after-market engine oil available. The oil requires can (currently) only be made by Total and it is only available from the dealers at the bargain price of £106.60 + VAT for 4 litres!
I know that a lot of manufacturers have been suffering with degradation of timing belts since some bright spark decided that it would be OK to run them inside the engine, and therefore surrounded by oil, so I am presuming that this magic oil has some special additives to prevent the degradation but at over £25.00 a litre (plus VAT) will I'm encourage people to use cheaper 'normal' engine oil which could lead to a catastrophic (or to put it another way - expensive) engine failure due to what most old school engineers would class as a dumb design to run a (basically) rubber belt in engine oil.
(Ford have experience belt degradation problems with their 1 litre EcoBoost engine and have recently re-designed it removing the belt in oil timing belt, and replaced this with an old-fashioned timing chain, which seems like a good idea. However the oil pump was also (rubber) belt driven and this is apparently still the case following the redesign!)
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Old 22 Mar 2024, 17:25 (Ref:4202301)   #2
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Originally Posted by VIVA GT View Post
I was going to put this into the Daytime Running Lights thread but decided that is was different enough to have its own thread.
I appreciate that engine oil technology has moved on significantly compared to my youth where the range of choice was to use either (green) Duckhams Q20/50 of Castrol GTX, however...
Today we have had a 4 year old 'ordinary' Vauxhall Corsa in for a service and have discovered that there is no after-market engine oil available. The oil requires can (currently) only be made by Total and it is only available from the dealers at the bargain price of £106.60 + VAT for 4 litres!
I know that a lot of manufacturers have been suffering with degradation of timing belts since some bright spark decided that it would be OK to run them inside the engine, and therefore surrounded by oil, so I am presuming that this magic oil has some special additives to prevent the degradation but at over £25.00 a litre (plus VAT) will I'm encourage people to use cheaper 'normal' engine oil which could lead to a catastrophic (or to put it another way - expensive) engine failure due to what most old school engineers would class as a dumb design to run a (basically) rubber belt in engine oil.
(Ford have experience belt degradation problems with their 1 litre EcoBoost engine and have recently re-designed it removing the belt in oil timing belt, and replaced this with an old-fashioned timing chain, which seems like a good idea. However the oil pump was also (rubber) belt driven and this is apparently still the case following the redesign!)
Have you tried Halfords website to see what oil options are given for the car? Most Corsa models have 2-3 options available, even the more exotic engines. (Other oil check sites are available).
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Old 22 Mar 2024, 19:03 (Ref:4202309)   #3
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I think the bright spark you mention are from Peugeot, not Ford. I'm with crm here, if you can find an empty can or a website mentioning this very special Total oil, check the list of homologations and you'll see if its really special. To my knowledge, only VW had a new norm for their engine oils but it was to prevent "mud" appearing.
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Old 22 Mar 2024, 23:55 (Ref:4202331)   #4
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"compared to my youth where the range of choice was to use either (green) Duckhams Q20/50 of Castrol GTX,... "

Surely there was no "choice" to be made for most people. One was either in the Duckhams camp or not.
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 07:01 (Ref:4202371)   #5
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I am so out of touch with modern cars these days . Did you say they run cam belts inside the engines these days .?
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 07:09 (Ref:4202374)   #6
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Did you say they run cam belts inside the engines these days .?
Yes, they can! But seeing the poor results leading to reliability issues starting as soon as 20 K miles, Peugeot went back to the chain driven system. They use the customers as paying dummies… Only one example: https://www.carexpert.com.au/car-new...-2008-recalled
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 09:04 (Ref:4202377)   #7
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I am so out of touch with modern cars these days . Did you say they run cam belts inside the engines these days .?
Iain, they don't have a carburetor or distributor and plug leads either! as I found out when I checked the oil on my wife's VW Polo
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 09:13 (Ref:4202378)   #8
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Originally Posted by grantp View Post
"compared to my youth where the range of choice was to use either (green) Duckhams Q20/50 of Castrol GTX,... "

Surely there was no "choice" to be made for most people. One was either in the Duckhams camp or not.
Not only a million choices ! I serviced a small Tonka Toy last week that held 10lt of oil !
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 11:06 (Ref:4202394)   #9
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Iain, they don't have a carburetor or distributor and plug leads either! as I found out when I checked the oil on my wife's VW Polo
Or dipsticks to check the oil level physically.
When I got my current car I spent half an hour looking for the dipstick to check the oil.... I gave up, looked in the manual and discovered there is no dipstick.... checking the oil level is now a menu thing in the settings of my 'infotainment' centre.
So I have to press a series of links on the touchpad until I get to oil level. Press that. It says level ok or add half a litre etc. (Its never said anything but ok)
I hate it. Im old fashioned. I like to see not only the level, but the colour and texture of the oil on the dipstick.... physically see something rather what some sensor tells me.
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 11:24 (Ref:4202396)   #10
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I'm guessing that you have a BMW like me; it's a real pain in the bum! Especially as my infotainment system is just like a women (helmet on and ducking) and is really temperamental, and so getting a reading is often nigh on impossible.
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 13:00 (Ref:4202402)   #11
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I'm guessing that you have a BMW like me; it's a real pain in the bum! Especially as my infotainment system is just like a women (helmet on and ducking) and is really temperamental, and so getting a reading is often nigh on impossible.
No.... previously had a Beemer but this one is an Audi SQ5. I love it to bits but things like the lack of dipstick give me the irrits.
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 16:26 (Ref:4202420)   #12
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No.... previously had a Beemer but this one is an Audi SQ5. I love it to bits but things like the lack of dipstick give me the irrits.
Sadly my driving days are well behind me, but I always bought second hand (usually 3rd, 4th) and ran them until they died. I was always able to mend most things my self. I hired a couple of new cars in later life, but hated the technology, I prefer to make up my own mind about, driving things not having some nameless female telling me I was doing things wrong.

Oil was something that came in a can and was cheap, hardly worth putting pricey lubricant in a dying car.
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Old 23 Mar 2024, 16:46 (Ref:4202423)   #13
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I hate it. Im old fashioned. I like to see not only the level, but the colour and texture of the oil on the dipstick.... physically see something rather what some sensor tells me.
Ha the good ol'days when you could clean the dipstick on your pants! Don't tell me about.
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Old 24 Mar 2024, 15:06 (Ref:4202549)   #14
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Sadly my driving days are well behind me, but I always bought second hand (usually 3rd, 4th) and ran them until they died. I was always able to mend most things my self. I hired a couple of new cars in later life, but hated the technology, I prefer to make up my own mind about, driving things not having some nameless female telling me I was doing things wrong.

Oil was something that came in a can and was cheap, hardly worth putting pricey lubricant in a dying car.
I'm with you Bob - my Alfa is 16 years old & just fine. No need for any of these modern gizmos.

It's bad enough trying to make sense of Windows 10 on my PC without worrying about it in the car too!
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Old 24 Mar 2024, 15:32 (Ref:4202551)   #15
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I'm with you Bob - my Alfa is 16 years old & just fine. No need for any of these modern gizmos.

It's bad enough trying to make sense of Windows 10 on my PC without worrying about it in the car too!

You mention Windows 10, John. I only found out the Microsoft are going to cease security updates for it in October next year. I really do not understand their marketing because when 10 was introduced, M/S said that it would be the last completely new operating system, and in future, they would just issue updates and upgrades to it.

Then they issued W 11 and reading online, some supposedly in the know people believe that next year M/S will introduce W 12.

This annoys me intensely because a very few years ago I bought my laptop, and now a message has appeared to say that the laptop that I have, which is fine in all other respects, is not able to upgrade to W 11, and I'm guessing will therefore not upgrade to 12. Grrr!
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Old 24 Mar 2024, 16:07 (Ref:4202555)   #16
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I didn't realise there was such a thing as W 11, maybe it is time to give up!
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Old 24 Mar 2024, 16:52 (Ref:4202572)   #17
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As to engine oil I'll stay away of any 0W something, they are way to expensive. Fully synthetic 5W30 if your engine is in good shape, 5W40 or 10W40 if the use is mainly motorways given the use and high temps we now know. And don't believe they can last for 20K miles or more, it doesn't work at all. As to the brand, never had a single issue using either Mobil1 or Yacco and found Castrol good too.
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Old 2 Apr 2024, 22:33 (Ref:4203658)   #18
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I didn't realise there was such a thing as W 11, maybe it is time to give up!
My Win 10 device, now just over 3 years old, has been pestering me about updating to Win 11 for most of those three years and especially recently.

Now it even pesters me to get all the other Microsoft products - for a subscription fee of course. But that would be for a "Home" account - I already have a Business Account subscription for MS Office. It seems not to know.

Or, more likely, it knows but MS are hoping that people will buy both anyway and not realise what they have done.

They seem to have made the 10 to 11 upgrade free again.

Somewhere I saw an article that suggested there were still as many PCs running 10 as there are running 11. Which is interesting.

Apple would never put up with that. They would make sure the majority updated their OS (and therefore all of their Applications) and force the users to update frequently before making the hardware obsolete for new upgrades so one has to buy a new "box" to play with.
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Old 2 Apr 2024, 22:41 (Ref:4203660)   #19
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Back to Oil,

I am often amazed that the USA seems to have so many people who either never change their oil or go to "lube" shops for an oil change about once a week. (I may be exaggerating a little there but you probably get my drift.)

And then they wonder why they seem to have a lot of "oil related" failures.

Taking what may be a hi-tech engine with specific lubrication technology needs to a "lube shop" that may or may not actually change the oil let alone put the right amount of the right product in the car, is bad enough. Doing so every 3000 miles as an "expert" recommended it seems a little silly.

But what do I know?
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Old 2 Apr 2024, 23:06 (Ref:4203662)   #20
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I’ve never been to a Jiffy Lube or similar - I change my own oil because I am amazing and superior to those that go there. I do have a little titter at the name when I drive past.

However it has never crossed my mind that they might not change oil correctly. Is this a known thing?
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Old 3 Apr 2024, 19:40 (Ref:4203769)   #21
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I’ve never been to a Jiffy Lube or similar - I change my own oil because I am amazing and superior to those that go there. I do have a little titter at the name when I drive past.

However it has never crossed my mind that they might not change oil correctly. Is this a known thing?
Well, according to a number of YouTube channels, it sure is.

However, given the number of changes most of the outlets must make every day it would be surprising if a few did not go bad for any number of reasons.

The question is - how many risky changes are there and for what reasons?

As an aside related to "expertise" ...


Some year ago a friend of a friend bought an Historic F1 car to race and asked a well known historic formula car restorer and engine rebuilder rebuild the DFV for him.

The work dragged on somewhat but eventually the car rollsed up to a test session ... and would not start. Back to the workshop.

After some weeks of the season had passed the car was re-presnted for testing and was blowing oil out of the collector tank with in a couple of laps.

Eventually, still with problems, the owner enter a race meeting at which the preparer was unable to attend so a third party was asked to look after the car - a chap with a significant reputation, amongst those that know him, for being a top bloke.

Off went the newly re-delivered car and within a couple of laps there was oil exiting the oil catch tank.

The car's minder for the weekend was greatly concerned about this, had experience with the particular car model (as a rebuilder some year previously) and of the DFV. He quickly concluded that there was twice as much oil in the drysump system as there should be, emptied and refilled it with the correct amount and the problem disappeared for the rest of the weekend.

If oil fills can cause problems for acknowledged experts in a very specific field of specialised knowledge the chances of regular similar problems in a minimum-wage sort of job in the mass market are probably very strong.

IMO.
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