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Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

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Old 30 Oct 2017, 02:23 pm
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Default Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

While I have my PT cruiser jacked up for the timing belt I am going to do the oil.

Local Canadian tire had oil onsale, Sales person said to use 10w30 for a PT cruiser so I bought it.

Checking in the manual it says 5W-30

Will it damage my engine if I use it?

Car is stored in a heated garage in the winter
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Old 30 Oct 2017, 02:36 pm
Fk5 Fk5 is offline
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

I think you will be fine. You will lose a bit of mpg and probably have a bit more wear at start up. Both differences will be miniscule - like beyond anything you could ever hope to notice. I think the owner's manual lists 10W30 as a choice in certain temperatures. Pretty sure that my Dad had used it on mine without any noticeable issues and I have had the car from 86k to 161K. Generally, I'd prefer the thicker in summer and be going to the thinner now for winter.
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Old 30 Oct 2017, 03:39 pm
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

I use 10w30 year round. Mobil 1 synthetic in the Cruiser and in my 2012 Grand Caravan. It seems to last the longest of all the oils I've tried.

I also use 10w30 cheap oil in the little beater 95 Tercel.

I've never had a problem with using 10w30.

I only do that so I never have to worry "what oil did I put into that car?"
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Old 30 Oct 2017, 03:52 pm
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

Short term, you will be fine.

The "10" in the 10W30 just means the oil will have a higher viscosity at startup. Long term, this can shorten engine life. This is especially if you perform cold startups in cold weather. So if me, I'd make sure I change the oil before cold weather hits. It will not do any immediate damage, but over time it can cause engines like ours to wear out prematurely in temperate and colder climates.
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Old 30 Oct 2017, 04:21 pm
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

The real "BUCK" stops here when it comes to posting really good information. When a few of the members have this done it will be an eye opening experience for you about what oil you use and the "TRUE" condition of the engine internals.


Last edited by NitroPT; 30 Oct 2017 at 05:07 pm. Reason: http information for all to read
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Old 30 Oct 2017, 04:43 pm
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

I have used 10W30 on my 2002 and my new 2008. The engine really does not know the difference and all comes down to squeezing every bit of MPG to meet the EPA regulations. I would not suggest anything heavier though. I myself use synthetic.
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Old 30 Oct 2017, 06:04 pm
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

Originally Posted by My02RedRide View Post
I have used 10W30 on my 2002 and my new 2008. The engine really does not know the difference and all comes down to squeezing every bit of MPG to meet the EPA regulations. I would not suggest anything heavier though. I myself use synthetic.
5W30 and 10W30 have the same viscosity at engine operating temperature. So there's no MPG advantage either way.

Think of it like this. Oils are usually rated at 100 degrees C (212 F) and 40 degrees C (107 F). At 212 F, a 30 weight oil has a viscosity band that averages around or near 10 cSt. That's ideal for many US vehicles made in the PT era. And at a normal operating temp of 195 for a PT engine, 30 weight oil also falls in this band. Now hot or cold, 10 cSt is considered ideal, pending some science experiment unique to each individual car to get more specific numbers.

But at 107 F, a 30 weight oil has a band of viscosity that averages near 80 cSt or higher. That's way too viscous to do the engine much good at start up. If we go to a 10W30, the oil will have an average viscosity of near 25 cSt even if the engine is 107 F at cold start up. That's way better than 80 cSt but still no cigar. However, if we use 5W30, the viscosity band at 107 F will have an average near 17. That's going to be better at cold start up.

Of course, our engines are often far colder than 107 F at cold startup. So the viscosity is substantially higher. This means it's hard for the oil pump to move this viscous oil in the volumes required and it's hard for the oil to move as required. So this is when engine wear often occurs the most. Since the 5W30 is going to be closer to ideal viscosity under these conditions, lubrication will be a little better. Now how much is a "little better"? The only way to know that is to run lots of testing on each type of engine. Even Amsoil doesn't usually do that much engine-specific testing. Normally only the manufacturer does. And for our engines, Chrysler will normally default to the 5W30.

As a side note, 0W30 may even be more ideal for cold startups. But you usually have to go synthetic to get it. And Chrysler seemed to shy away from recommending synthetic oils when most our cars were made.

In summary, 10W30, 5W30 and even 0W30 weight oils have approximately the same viscosity at engine operating temperature. There's no MPG advantage to using one or the other. 5W30 will have a more ideal viscosity than 10W30 during cold startup and that may help better prevent premature engine wear. How much better for our specific cars? Only Chrysler likely knows for sure.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 30 Oct 2017 at 06:53 pm.
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Old 30 Oct 2017, 08:41 pm
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

Actually Handy.... they are not exactly the same at operating temperature. There is slight differences. It's close, but not exact. Close enough to not really have a need to worry. 0W-30 is a thinner oil than 10W-30 even at operating temp.

When it doubt, use what the manufacturer recommends. In the case of 10W-30 and 5W-30. If you are in a cold environment, I won't be putting it in my engine. If you are in a garage and don't park outside like I do, It's less of a worry. Will one oil change interval matter, no. Next oil change put in 5W-30.
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Old 30 Oct 2017, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?

The auto manufacturers now recommend thinner oils for their vehicles than in the past. Years ago, SAE 10W-40 was the most commonly recommended viscosity grade, later migrating to SAE 10W-30. SAE 5W-30 is most popular now, but Ford and Honda recommend SAE 5W-20. It is likely that more widespread adoption of SAE 5W-20 and other thin oils may occur to help comply with CAFE requirements.
Because of the change in cold-flow requirements and the fuel economy test pushing formulators toward the bottom of the viscosity grade, today’s SAE 10W-30 oils are more like yesterday’s (GF-1 spec) SAE 5W-30 oils. On top of that, there is a trend toward auto manufacturers recommending thinner grades. This seems ridiculous. SUVs and trucks, with their inherently less-efficient four-wheel drive and brick-wall aerodynamics, need powerful, gas-guzzling engines to move their mass around in a hurry. In response, auto manufacturers recommend using thin oils to save fuel. Incredible!
So, just for fuel economy!

The best protection against wear is probably a product that is a little thicker (such as SAE 10W-30 or 15W-40) and has more antiwear additives than the oils that support the warranty. The best oil for your vehicle depends on your driving habits, the age of your engine and the climate you drive in, but it is not necessarily the type of oil specified in the owner’s manual or stamped on the dipstick.
There you have it.
The whole article is here: Motor Oils - Fuel Economy vs. Wear
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Old 31 Oct 2017, 09:31 am
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Default Re: Safe To Use 10W30 Oil?


Since my first car, a 1959 Dodge Pioneer, to date I've never used anything in my cars except 10w30.

And now, NOW you tell me that I had worn every engine down to spacecraft thin foil and that I was getting no gas mileage to speak of. . . ever!

Thanks for nothing!

I wonder if the Schwinn dealer is open?
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