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    1. #1
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      Oil is sooooo confusing

      South, another oil thread but hopefully it'll be kept simple.

      I decided that is time I really stay paying attention because oil is a lot more complicated than what I'm used to.

      So the owners manual for my 07 3.2 AWD doesn't say enough for me to make a decision due to changes in oil testing.



      Now, after doing some searching, the A1/B1 testing was replaced with a "C class" testing. But I've not found any information which says "This c-class rating replaces this a/b class rating". So I have no reference for oil.

      I've seen a VERY wide range of response of both brand and viscosities. So let me detail my environment.

      I'm in Southern Ontario, Canada. Spring is on the edge of finally poking is head up. Temps are hovering around freezing atm. I don't do any towing at all. Mostly daily driving to work (15-20min each way) and I like to go on long drives around my area.

      I'm quite happy to use only synthetic oil but after all my reading, I'm just more confused than ever in what to buy.

      Best I've come up with is Penzoil Synthetic but still no idea of what viscosity to get. The Volvo manual recommends Castrol brand.

      I don't believe there is any significant oil consumption. (Just checked).

      So....help?


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    3. #2
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      I use Mobil One 10/30 in Ohio. 220k on the clock


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    4. #3
      Junior Member generic_volvo_driver's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by DragonDon View Post
      South, another oil thread but hopefully it'll be kept simple.

      I decided that is time I really stay paying attention because oil is a lot more complicated than what I'm used to.

      So the owners manual for my 07 3.2 AWD doesn't say enough for me to make a decision due to changes in oil testing.



      Now, after doing some searching, the A1/B1 testing was replaced with a "C class" testing. But I've not found any information which says "This c-class rating replaces this a/b class rating". So I have no reference for oil.

      I've seen a VERY wide range of response of both brand and viscosities. So let me detail my environment.

      I'm in Southern Ontario, Canada. Spring is on the edge of finally poking is head up. Temps are hovering around freezing atm. I don't do any towing at all. Mostly daily driving to work (15-20min each way) and I like to go on long drives around my area.

      I'm quite happy to use only synthetic oil but after all my reading, I'm just more confused than ever in what to buy.

      Best I've come up with is Penzoil Synthetic but still no idea of what viscosity to get. The Volvo manual recommends Castrol brand.

      I don't believe there is any significant oil consumption. (Just checked).

      So....help?


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      I've been using Pennzoil Platinum Ultra from Canadian Tire. It goes on sale for ~30$CAD / 5L.
      They also have mail in rebates.

      It meets / exceeds these specs and has great test results.
      I've also moved family members over to Pennzoil Platinum due to the value - no complaints so far.

      I think any modern synthetic oil you buy that meets the specs is going to do you well.
      I used to use M1 across all my vehicles and made the switch about 4 years ago to PP due to the value.
      Last edited by generic_volvo_driver; 03-03-2019 at 04:59 PM.
      Me:
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      2012 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum (Technology package, climate package) 30k km
      1988 Nissan 300ZX Turbo (2+2, T-top, Aztec Red, collector plates) 80k km
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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by generic_volvo_driver View Post
      I've been using Pennzoil Platinum Ultra from Canadian Tire. It goes on sale for ~30$CAD / 5L.
      They also have mail in rebates.

      It meets / exceeds these specs and gets great reviews.
      I tend to stock up for my entire fleet.
      But....what viscosity?! Is yours a 3.2 as well?


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    7. #5
      Junior Member generic_volvo_driver's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by DragonDon View Post
      But....what viscosity?! Is yours a 3.2 as well?


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      Yes, I have my 3.0 Turbo XC60 on PPU and my 3.2 XC90 on PPU post "care free maintenance".

      I run 5W-30 - that's what the NA manuals state for normal conditions.

      In Europe, Volvo states 0W-30 for the same SI6 engine codes under normal conditions.

      The 2013 XC90 3.2 manual has a section on where 0w-30 is advisable over 5W-30.
      Last edited by generic_volvo_driver; 03-03-2019 at 05:21 PM.
      Me:
      2013 Volvo XC90 AWD Platinum (Caspian Blue Metallic, climate package, walnut inlays + wheel, BLIS, active bi-xenon headlights) 150k km
      2012 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum (Technology package, climate package) 30k km
      1988 Nissan 300ZX Turbo (2+2, T-top, Aztec Red, collector plates) 80k km
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    8. #6
      Junior Member generic_volvo_driver's Avatar
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      Me:
      2013 Volvo XC90 AWD Platinum (Caspian Blue Metallic, climate package, walnut inlays + wheel, BLIS, active bi-xenon headlights) 150k km
      2012 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum (Technology package, climate package) 30k km
      1988 Nissan 300ZX Turbo (2+2, T-top, Aztec Red, collector plates) 80k km
      Family members:
      2015 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD Platinum (Technology package) 96k km

    9. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by generic_volvo_driver View Post
      Not sure what happened but the image seemed to not load.


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    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by generic_volvo_driver View Post
      Yes, I have my 3.0 Turbo XC60 on PPU and my 3.2 XC90 on PPU post "care free maintenance".

      I run 5W-30 - that's what the NA manuals state for normal conditions.

      In Europe, Volvo states 0W-30 for the same SI6 engine codes under normal conditions.

      The 2013 XC90 3.2 manual has a section on where 0w-30 is advisable over 5W-30.
      I use Mobil 1 0W-40 and it is close to the Castrol 0W-30 in both cold and hot viscosity. The Castrol 0W-30 is an A3/B3 (higher than A1/B1) oil and so is the Mobil 1 0W-40. This means it is spec'd for more protection in severe operating conditions and for extended drain intervals (which indicates the oil, additives, and multi-grade degrades at a lesser rate over the use interval). Even if you are not towing, severe driving could be driving in traffic, waiting at the kid's school line on idle, to driving on a very hot day.

      The Castrol 0W-30 is quite expensive, so I use the Mobil 1 0W-40 bought at Walmart. It is a great all seasons oil, is approved for Mercedes and Porsche, and has additional anti-wear additives which the 3.2 could benefit from.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 148k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    11. #9
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      I am sharing some of my work researching oils. This does not have all the information/specs available, but it does have the relevant ones. With the 3.2, wear could cause oil consumption over time. To combat this, an oil with a higher shear rating, or HTHS, will help reduce the wear on load, such as accelerating or carrying passengers. The 5W-30 oils have lower shear ratings compared to the 0W-40 oils or Castrol's 0W-30.

      The W[inter] viscosity is the "pumping ability of oil temperatures as low as minus 10 to minus 40 degrees C." Even if a 0W-40 oil has a higher viscosity rating at 40C, it will still pump better at freezing temps than a 5W-30. Better pumping in freezing weather, better protection in hotter weather, and better shear rating, this is why I recommend the 0W-40 oils. The Castrol 0W-30 is a good alternative, but in the States, it is expensive.

      Viscosity Index is how consistent the viscosity maintains, or how much it can keep the multi-grade rating from degrading. Higher Index number is better. Notice how the 0W-40 oils are better at keeping their multigrade viscosities.

      So, my recommendation of Mobil 1 0W-40 for the 3.2 is based on data and personal experience. If your 3.2, or other engine say 2.5t, is consuming oil after the Mobil 1 0W-40, then try the Castrol 0W-40 next oil change since it is a little thicker.

      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 148k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    12. #10
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      Ontario gets pretty cold winters and reasonably hot summers. The question is, what oil was used until this moment on the engine: synthetic or mineral? If you switch to synthetic, expect a high consumption for several months and possible quickly clogged oil filter. I'd verify the level a few days after the oil change, then weekly.

      I'm in Montreal and I like to use the best the Castrol 0W-30 oil (someone else also mentioned this oil) because by -15C the engine is better lubricated and warms up quicker. But it's expensive being sold only by the 1L at $13/piece and never gets discounts at Canadian Tire. Instead, I go the cheaper way with Castrol 0W-40 which sells by 5L for $35 on discount.

      A 0W-30 or 0W-40 oil is ideal for our winters. These grades are only going to be offered in synthetic oil. But even a 5W-30 oil is going to do fine at -15C start up, as long as the battery is in good shape.

      Your engine is non turbo so a mineral oil will do just fine, it's just that it will need replaced at a shorter interval, compared to a synthetic oil.

      I would disregard those A, B or C classes when choosing an oil. Every oil on the market has the right attribute for these engines, even very recent engines (2015 up) can do with most oils, perhaps a more specific situation are the modern engines that require 0W-20 or 5W-20 grade oils (we should never use a -20 grade oil in an engine that wasn't specified for this grade)

    13. #11
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      Don,

      I own two 3.2's (Same engine in both)

      2010 S80 3.2 125,000 miles
      2008 LR2 3.2 117,000 miles

      The LR2 has used Mobil 1 0W-40 or German Castrol 0W-30 since new. (Mostly Mobil 1)

      The S80 was purchased used with 123,000 miles for my Son to drive and it is using Mobil 1 0W-40 now.

      I don't add oil between oil changes

      To be more specific I drive the 7,500 miles or 6 months and then I change the oil and the oil level doesn't drop. (I have never seen a low oil message)

      What you need to decide is if you want to spend $6 per liter or if you want to spend $12 per liter.

      For my money $6 per liter Mobil 1 0W-40 is the way to go.

      One last note the S80 (purchased used) likely didn't have synthetic oil in it since new and because of that the O-rings on the Brake Vacuum pump leaked oil and I needed to repair them and the seals for the intake manifold had a sticky residue and the seals were not very compliant.

      For me the choice is simple Mobil 1 0W-40

      Look at the signature line for ChitownV above "no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot"

      Good Luck

      Paul

    14. #12
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      Thanks everyone. That has helped tremendously!

      I picked up Mobil 1 0W40, happened to be on Sale at CanTire for $46.99($10 off each bottle). (Technically I only paid $40 because I got like $70 of CT money a few weeks ago after buying a battery for the vehicle )

      Whew....need 7.5L of oil.....thought my 02 S40 took a lot at 5L!


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    15. #13
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      I think it takes closer to 8 and that's why I run it out to the full 12000 kms. between oil changes. I started with the Castrol synthetic 5-30, last couple of years mostly use Mobil 1 5-30, maybe I'll switch to 0-40. Last winter I had a collapsed filter in the Fram ultra expensive variety. Something tells me that was with Castrol but not 100% positive. Now I buy the filters at Volvo.
      07 XC90 3.2

    16. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by vince1 View Post
      I think it takes closer to 8 and that's why I run it out to the full 12000 kms. between oil changes. I started with the Castrol synthetic 5-30, last couple of years mostly use Mobil 1 5-30, maybe I'll switch to 0-40. Last winter I had a collapsed filter in the Fram ultra expensive variety. Something tells me that was with Castrol but not 100% positive. Now I buy the filters at Volvo.
      7.4L to be exact

      And it's good to know that I'm not losing any oil. Despite some vacuum pump leak.





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    17. #15
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      Quote Originally Posted by DragonDon View Post
      Thanks everyone. That has helped tremendously!

      I picked up Mobil 1 0W40, happened to be on Sale at CanTire for $46.99($10 off each bottle). (Technically I only paid $40 because I got like $70 of CT money a few weeks ago after buying a battery for the vehicle )

      Whew....need 7.5L of oil.....thought my 02 S40 took a lot at 5L!


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      I would buy three 5L jugs when they have a deal with a filter. One filter for the BMW, one for the Volvo, and one for the 944. Then I would buy racing oil for the 944. since the 944 motor went down in a blaze of smoke I have a dozen quarts of racing oil and a few filters. Good thing a neighbor just bought a 944 to work on with his son. Now I don't know what to do when I buy oil. I will have too many filters.
      Sincerely,
      Tom
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    18. #16
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      Changed engine oil on the RD V8 recently acquired. Thanks to all for the discussion, especially CV and DD for your research, which helped me become comfortable with narrowing to two choices. (Choice 3 was used by previous owner.) Carefully pushing oem filter onto engine within chassis was small surprise. We'll see how it goes. Thanks

    19. #17
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      Rather than starting a new thread, revive this very good one. My 2011 XC90 just reached 90k and we have decided to keep it rather than replace with a 2020 XC90 (decided on a 2020 C63S instead), so I am looking at prolonging life as much as possible. Dealer has been using Valvoline conventional 5W-30 its entire life without issues except a low oil message at 85K miles. I am looking to switch oils since I will be going to non-dealer for services and thinking about which oil. C

      It seems like Mobil 1 0W-40, or Castrol 0W-30 Edge (or Castrol Edge 0W-40 if I run into issues), but at 90K miles I am wondering if it would be better to use the high mileage formulas (Castrol High mile or Mobil 1 High mile 5W-30)?
      2001 Audi S4 Avant
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    20. #18
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      This is probably entirely coincidental, but, immediately upon switching to Castrol High Mileage oil I went from never having to add oil between changes to adding a quart every 1200-2000 miles. Since then I've tried many other types of oil but the consumption persists.
      John C
      ---------------------
      2011 XC90 3.2 173,000 miles and counting...

    21. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
      This is probably entirely coincidental, but, immediately upon switching to Castrol High Mileage oil I went from never having to add oil between changes to adding a quart every 1200-2000 miles. Since then I've tried many other types of oil but the consumption persists.
      One of my hesitations with HM is that it may cause a problem with the additives - perhaps some amount of sludge or grime is plugging the leaks from using dino oil. https://forums.swedespeed.com/showth...ir-xc90s/page2

      I had a great experience with Cataclean additive that I was going to run a Techron in the tank and Seafoam through the intake for an upcoming road trip and then get the oil changed.

      I have a 3.2 also, and I was hoping that they were more resistant to oil leaks (I have two Audi S4s that require a quart between oil changes).
      2001 Audi S4 Avant
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    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Spazdoc View Post
      I have a 3.2 also, and I was hoping that they were more resistant to oil leaks.
      I don't have any leaks. (If I did I'd have a prayer of fixing them.)
      John C
      ---------------------
      2011 XC90 3.2 173,000 miles and counting...

    23. #21
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      I must be pretty fortunate as I’ve never needed to add oil and I stuck with synthetic.


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    24. #22
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      I have an 07 with 235k on it, has always needed a top up if I get close to 7500 miles. Just started to notice a leak as well but haven't dug into into it yet

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    25. #23
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      I am approaching 145k miles and beat the crap out of my 3.2. Never had to add oil.

      In addition to John C's experience with high mileage, I have seen a couple other people on German car forums who have had the same experience with using high mileage oil and then would need to add oil, when it was not needed before. One of the detergents in oil is calcium. It can be in all oil, but in higher amounts with high mileage oils. Calcium is also an abrasive.

      There are still other types of detergents, seal conditioners, etc. in full synthetic fluid. If you go with a Mobil 1 0W-40, you will not starve the engine of additives that it needs for higher mileage.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 148k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
      The better transmission JWS 3309/T-IV fluid for your 5 or 6 speed
      Why it's better to use synthetic oil instead of conventional

    26. #24
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      We're comparatively lucky with the Volvos of this era. They just want standard industry spec oils, and Mobil 1 has all the right flavors. VW has some crazy specific oil requirements... and my wife's Fiat 500X wants an oil that meets a cryptic Mopar material standard.

      -Ryan
      Too many cars...
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    27. #25
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      Yes the VW TDI wants 507.00 spec oil, which I have to pay big bucks for at VW and the old cars I have need the zinc additive in the oil to prevent the flat tappet camshafts from wearing out, so again, big bucks.

      The Volvo is the easiest and I wait for the sales to come on to stock up on a couple of jugs of synthetic Mobile.
      07 XC90 3.2

    28. #26
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      SO I took my 2011 XC90 to the dealer for an oil change (have been using Valvoline 5W-30 conventional for the past 95K miles). I am switching to Synthetic oil, they have Castrol, and I requested 0W-40 for the winter. The tech (not service advisor) actually discouraged 0W-40 in this specific vehicle, and recommended Castrol 5W-30 Synthetic instead of the 0W-40. I decided to go with the 5W-30 for now as the winters in Chicago have not been too bad recently, and figure out what could be the problem would be with the 0W-40. And I did not ask for High Mileage, either.

      I know that many of you in this thread use Mobil or Castrol 0W-40, but what could the Volvo tech be talking about?
      2001 Audi S4 Avant
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    29. #27
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      Ask the tech for specifics why. 0W40 has been just fine in my 07 3.2.


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      Quote Originally Posted by DragonDon View Post
      Ask the tech for specifics why. 0W40 has been just fine in my 07 3.2.
      Agreed. I wonder why. I use 5W-30 Mobil 1 in my 2011, but both grades are equally recommended per the user manual... but the 0W40 has better coverage in the real cold. Is there a TSB?

      -Ryan
      Too many cars...
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    31. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by DragonDon View Post
      Ask the tech for specifics why. 0W40 has been just fine in my 07 3.2.


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      It wasn't a specific risk of damage, but that Volvo recommends only the 5W-30 for the 3.2 XC90 and not recommended to use 0W-40. He gave a general discouragement of 0W-40 because it is not the recommended oil and could potentially cause damage.

      I am fine with going from conventional 5W-30 to synthetic 5W-30, then synthetic 0W-40. I am still on the fence of using High Mileage.
      2001 Audi S4 Avant
      2004 Audi S4
      2011 Volvo XC90 R-Design
      2013 VW GLI
      2020 C63S

    32. #30
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      Well that's an outright lie. Allow me to quote right from Volvo's owners manual.

      https://imgur.com/a/cgL2Qhu



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    33. #31
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      Thanks for that Dragon. I did not think of pulling out the manual, the oil change was already done, and I did not want to be confrontational as I like the dealership (they have taken care of me with issues in the past). I was also not 100% sure what he was talking about and did not want to be 'that customer' who acts like they have a mechanical engineering degree from Google University. I get enough of that at work (I am an ICU physician, and have even had other physicians try to quote me outdated info about problems that have nothing to do with the situation at hand).

      Looks like 0W-40 for me next time...
      2001 Audi S4 Avant
      2004 Audi S4
      2011 Volvo XC90 R-Design
      2013 VW GLI
      2020 C63S

    34. #32
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      This is the only reason I can think of: The wider the viscosity range, the more viscosity enhancing polymers are needed. More enhancers means less actual oil. Also, over time these can break down, especially in shearing applications (gear trains), leaving you with the thin, single weight base oil.
      John C
      ---------------------
      2011 XC90 3.2 173,000 miles and counting...

    35. #33
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      Quote Originally Posted by Spazdoc View Post
      Thanks for that Dragon. I did not think of pulling out the manual, the oil change was already done, and I did not want to be confrontational as I like the dealership (they have taken care of me with issues in the past). I was also not 100% sure what he was talking about and did not want to be 'that customer' who acts like they have a mechanical engineering degree from Google University. I get enough of that at work (I am an ICU physician, and have even had other physicians try to quote me outdated info about problems that have nothing to do with the situation at hand).

      Looks like 0W-40 for me next time...
      I appreciate your take, but it doesn't hurt to ask. Just say you're curious and play stupid, not confrontational. None of us have dealership level knowledge, there well could be a TSB.... or an issue with the weight in that brand of oil.

      -Ryan
      Too many cars...
      1987 Volvo 245
      1989 Volvo 245
      1991 Volvo 745 Dog Waggin' 2.0
      1995 Volvo 945 Turbo
      2011 Volvo XC90 3.2 AWD
      2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 AWD (Wife-mobile)

    36. #34
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      Knowing how dealerships can work, not recommending 0W-40 could be a simple they don't have it. Dealerships can carry less oil weight options than the quickie lube places. I wouldn't be surprised if the dealership (assuming Fields) only carries 5W-30 and 5W-40 (for the older turbo cars). It is as simple as reducing the cost of oil inventory by reducing selection so they carry weights that are more universally accepted by the entire range of models. I have seen these dealerships (franchises) vary in the oil they carry and have seen them also use three different types of weights in the same car.

      Now, if you talk to a tech outside of the dealership, you may get a different answer and that is from personal experience. My assumption is they probably just stated the official dealership position to make the sale.
      2008 XC90 3.2 AWD - 148k miles, Premium, Versatility 7 passenger, Climate, Convenience, retrofit Morimoto D2S HID bi-xenon, iPd swaybars & poly bushing inserts, Powerflex poly control arm bushings, Bilstein Touring Fr struts, Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenza Plus 255/55R18, Fr Infinity tweeters & speakers, hardwired cheap $17 Amazon Bluetooth to center console aux & pwr, CQuartz UK 3.0 ceramic coated, no oil consumption using Mobil 1 0W-40 even w/ my lead foot

      About the XC90 3.2 - The good, the bad, and the ugly
      Strut Recommendations based on your specific XC90
      Upgrade front end rebuild with OEM, aftermarket, and original parts
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    37. #35
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      Quote Originally Posted by ChitownV View Post
      I am sharing some of my work researching oils.

      I mentioned a few months back I was running Castrol High Mileage Synth 5W-30, and you recommended changing to 0W-40.
      The matrix you've put together is a handy quick reference. Thank you for putting it together and sharing it.
      But a question, how is the data to be interpreted? Lowest numbers are best? Highest numbers are best? Something in the middle of all?
      Royal Purple, which I'm familiar with from my M/C track days, delivers numbers that are nearly a full standard deviation higher than anything else in this matrix.
      2009 XC90 3.2 AWD l Oyster Grey / Bi-Xenon / Dynaudio / BLIS / VNS / RSE / THULE Aeroblade

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