Pontiac Solstice Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I assume that the Solstice will be delivered with regular oil in the crankcase. I wonder how many folks plan to change over to synthetic oil and, if so, when. I anticipate switching at about 500 mi.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
500 is a good time to switch to synthetic. For the most part, the motor should be broken in seal wise. This will also allow you to drain out all the particulates and shavings that occur on a new engine when its breaking in. I've broken in 4 new vehicles, and followed the same prescription myself. Then after it hits 3000 miles, I change the oil regardless, to make sure all the particulates are drained out, then I start to follow the prescribed change intervals (I usually do longer term intevals since synthetic is expensive, and easily lasts up to 10,000 miles before its broken down to a point where change is warranted).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
legion said:
I concur. I have always followed the same methodology.

I am a big syn fan. Used synthetic everything in our race cars (maybe should have used a synthetic driver or two). I am not sure but I think some vehicles come with synthetic oil straight form the factory. Double check with your dealer, so called breakin oils may not be used any longer. If not, then after the breakin period is when I would change to full syn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
PAS22 said:
I am a big syn fan. Used synthetic everything in our race cars (maybe should have used a synthetic driver or two). I am not sure but I think some vehicles come with synthetic oil straight form the factory. Double check with your dealer, so called breakin oils may not be used any longer. If not, then after the breakin period is when I would change to full syn.
I do know that Mercedes likes to use Mobil 1 0W-40 on their AMG cars. The funny thing is that certain blends of Mobil 1 are higher quality than that of other blends. And I'm talking Synthetic. I found this site to be interesting <a href="http://www.whnet.com/4x4/oil.html"> MB recommended weights from a third party site </a>. Apparently, <a href="http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php">not all synthetics are blended equally?</a> I also uses the 0W-40 blend in my current Sentra. The service manual recommended a range from 5w-30 to 10w-40. I figured that 0w-40 is in that range. In oil, 0w is actually 5w, it just has a lower flow temparature than standard 5w, but flows the same exact viscosity.

Those two links will give you lots of info to hopefully empower you in your decisions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Most cars these days come with special oils that are to be left in for up to 7500 miles. These oils have additives that help promote proper breakin and mating of the metal surfaces. I would not do the first oil change until at least 3000 miles, or whatever is recommended, since proper break-in can significantly increase power. In addition, most people say to take it easy during break-in. I only go easy for 500 miles to break in the clutch. Then I give the engine a lot of load by running at all different rpms in different gears. The theory is that while the surfaces are mating, the extra metal abrasives in the oil help to "hone" the cylinders and other parts.

After the break-in period I would run Mobil1 or Redline synthetic only.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Unless otherwise informed for the solstice, Id change out at 500 as well. But thats one question Ill ask, if theres some kind of special blend in the car that will last longer and help to properly break it in. My friend got a hatchback civic Si, nice little car, and to break in the clutch etc they recommended 500 miles, and to not take it over 50 I believe, on the other end of the spectrum, my family just bought a new ford expedition(good deal with employee discount) and when we moved we used it to tow a trailer, and the book recommended not taking it over 45 for the first 75 towing miles I believe, so Im a firm believer that those first few miles are important for breaking in the car, would be great if someone could find conclusive info on that, and if not, Ill try to find someone at the dealer who knows what they are talking about and find out from them, definately a question I will ask. Im gonna treat my baby right :yesnod:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Coming from the technician side...the manufacturers are using low tension rings quite a bit now...it takes a LONG time for these engines to break in...up to 10K! I would still change the oil at 1000 then at 3K, then every 3K till 10K. Then switch to synthetic...until that time use a GOOD dino based oil...castrol or mobil...that way the engine gets a good break in. Don't buy into this leave it in for 7500miles crap on dino oil...just a way to make the customer feel that the car is cheaper to maintain...and when the engine wears out...guess what....new engine you purchase from the dealer...I go 6K on Synthetic in my current Vette...at 110K on the odometer...the engine still is as clean as new on the heads...and still going strong.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
bigjon

I have put MOBIL 1 in all my cars at 3000 mi since the 70's I change out at 10K intervals. The last time I had engine problems was a '82 Nissan that blew a head gasket. At tear down the engine looked new and according to the mechanic it was within new engine specs. I will do the same with the Solstice.

My '03 Bravada gets in the mid 20's on the road because of Mobil 1. I swear by it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,691 Posts
Due to the aforementioned breakin oil I would keep it in until the scheduled first change by the book. Then you can use any oil that mets or exceeds the warranty specs. Even if extending intervas with synthetic the mfgmight balk at covering engine problems if their schedule is not followed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
garytucker said:
Coming from the technician side...the manufacturers are using low tension rings quite a bit now...it takes a LONG time for these engines to break in...up to 10K! I would still change the oil at 1000 then at 3K, then every 3K till 10K. Then switch to synthetic...until that time use a GOOD dino based oil...castrol or mobil...that way the engine gets a good break in. Don't buy into this leave it in for 7500miles crap on dino oil...just a way to make the customer feel that the car is cheaper to maintain...and when the engine wears out...guess what....new engine you purchase from the dealer...I go 6K on Synthetic in my current Vette...at 110K on the odometer...the engine still is as clean as new on the heads...and still going strong.
Any suggestions on a good dino oil? which brand specifically? and does anyone know for cetain if pontiac IS using the low tension rings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
I have changed to syn after first oil change on every new veihile I own including my Harley and ATV. In the truck I change every six months which works out to about 6K.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,044 Posts
Uninformed Owner question

OK, I admit it, I know next to nothing about Syn oil. I know the name Mobil 1 and that is about it. From this thread it appears I need to consider using syn in my Sol (that sounds weird).

So, here is my uneducated question: Is there a significant difference between brands / syns? If so, which is best? (Yea, I'm betting that is a new can of worms)

:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Sol Cruisin said:
OK, I admit it, I know next to nothing about Syn oil. I know the name Mobil 1 and that is about it. From this thread it appears I need to consider using syn in my Sol (that sounds weird).

So, here is my uneducated question: Is there a significant difference between brands / syns? If so, which is best? (Yea, I'm betting that is a new can of worms)

:cool:
Oh, there can be a huge difference between the synthetics. Some synthetics use only group III base stock to formulate their synthetic oils (like castrol, this is not as highly refined or re-worked like group IV) while Mobil 1 uses group IV (paoephylenes sp? or just PAO for short) as their base stock, which is much better refined. This is because some companies can get away with using the lower grade stock because of the definition of synthetic. Years ago, Mobil sued Castrol for calling its Synthetic oil line a true Synthetic, but instead they just re-defined the meaning of synthetic. Mobil still uses group IV base stock to refine its oil though. I'm not sure on other brands, but I think Amsoil also uses group IV, and maybe Pennzoil, you may have to check on Pennzoil. I also know Royal Purple is group IV as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,248 Posts
Watch out for fuel wash down

Oil only works when its in the gap between the metal surfaces it's designed to protect.

Be sure to let the engine come all the way up to temperature and stabilize there for a while before you open up the throttles wide. The reason is that when the engine is cold, yeah, it makes more power than later when its fully warmed up, but when you put a heavy dose of fuel into the cylinders and don't have enough heat to keep the fuel vaporized, it can wash the oil off the cylinder walls, and you'll get not only more wear, but more more oil consumption.

The added power is two fold, colder cylinder walls mean smaller diameter, reduced piston clearance, and more sealing. Second, in ECM controlled systems, the timing is adjusted based on coolant temperature to avoid detonation at higher operating temperatures, so the timing can be a few more degrees advanced when the engine is cooler. Then too, in some systems, the fuel charge tends to run a bit richer when the engine is cold (anyone remember the carburetor choke?) and that can mean more power in a WOT condition--but it's really hard on the works.

Race engines are designed to last for the number of runs or the number of laps of the race. Production engines need a bit longer time horizon. Further along the continuum, you find aircraft engines which make substantial power sacrifices for longevity and reliability.

With regard to when to change your oil, that depends on the driving style, load, moisture saturation of the air (weather if you will), and the number of thermal cycles from cold to operating temperature [and beyond?]

If the oil looks dark and black after 1000 miles, it's time to change it no matter what the oil manufacturer says the oil can withstand. What's probably going on if your oil gets dark early is more blow by than normal. That can be due to higher load operating than just cruising down the freeway at the speed limit, or hot dogging it out of the traffic lights before it's all the way warmed up.

Another thing to do is watch the oil consumption (check the dip stick each time you fill up). You'll probably notice that right after the oil is changed, it will drop just a bit, then stay more or less fixed, getting ever so slightly more golden in color with each tank full, then start to drop again after about 1500 to 2000 miles (longer if you don't drive around like a goon--Guilty as charged, I'm a goon!) What's happened is that almost all multi viscosity oils use what are called viscosity stabilizers to broaden the performance characteristics of the the oil, and they break down over time and exposure to heat and thermal cycling.

In a nut shell, the lower number of the multi viscosity oil is a measure of how the oil viscosity behaves when the oil is cold, and the higher number is how the oil behaves when it's at a normal engine operating temperatures. The numbers are for what is called a single weight oil where the fraction of the crude oil extracted to constitute the oil has an average hydrocarbon chain length that places it within a specific boiling point range. Roughly, the longer the chain, the higher the boiling point, and the "thicker" the oil, and the "heavier the weight" (higher the "weight" number. This goes all the way up through gear oil to grease, and beyond into paraffin. By the time you get to paraffin, the molecules are so long, that the melting points are above room temperature, and at that, the melting point is broadened because one end of the molecule is so far from the other that one end can be liquid while the other is still locked up in a more solid matrix... [No, I'm not going to talk about super cooled liquids like glass.]

Toward the center of the scale from goon to the "Flying Dutchman, sun hat just barely visible above the door sill" set (crawling along at 15 in a 25 zone) you can expect a properly broken in engine to have low oil consumption and a honey colored oil at the 3000 to 4000 mile mark.

But, short trips can be worse yet! If you don't get the engine all the way warmed up, because you only need to drive 1 mile to work, or the store, you can get problems with varnished ring groves and get sticky rings, which can cause increased oil consumption, fouled catalytic converters, and other problems. If the engine also doesn't get the oil warmed up, then you don't boil off the dissolved moisture and you can get a different kind of oil breakdown.

It comes down to this: if you really put the machine through it's paces, be sure to watch the oil, and change it often. If you're an average driver, for warrantee reasons, change at the manufacturer's interval. If you're with the wild and crazy bingo set, set aside some time at least twice per week to spin the machine down the highway at a good clip for at least 1/2 an hour to wash/melt down/scrape off that varnish you've built up with your 1 mile trips, and be sure to change the oil at that 3 month mark, even if it looks like it's just fine (it's that little thing called moisture.)

As always, opinions vary just as will your mileage.

-Happy motoring! :thumbs:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
Wow everybody welcome to the first inaugural class of CA's automotive school! :lol: All jokes aside thanks for the wealth of information, youve got a knack for really laying things out on the table. Which is good! that being said. One more question.

Near the end of your post you mentioned taking a car out for a nice cruise to work the varnish off the cylinders that builds up after short one mile trips, if basically all you do is city driving, for me its been work-home-work-home lately, about 10-15 miles of stop and go, do you think the same thing is needed? Not like I wouldnt mind crusing down the highway all the time in this baby, Id love it! but I also want to take really good care of this car, so Im making a good maintenance log to follow
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,312 Posts
DLD84 said:
Wow everybody welcome to the first inaugural class of CA's automotive school! :lol: All jokes aside thanks for the wealth of information, youve got a knack for really laying things out on the table. Which is good! that being said. One more question.

Near the end of your post you mentioned taking a car out for a nice cruise to work the varnish off the cylinders that builds up after short one mile trips, if basically all you do is city driving, for me its been work-home-work-home lately, about 10-15 miles of stop and go, do you think the same thing is needed? Not like I wouldnt mind crusing down the highway all the time in this baby, Id love it! but I also want to take really good care of this car, so Im making a good maintenance log to follow

Just a couple more thoughts on this subject (believe it or not this came to me at 3AM last night, I am spending way too much time on this forum! :lol: )

If you switch to syn you will have a tendancy like most of us to leave your oil in longer than the recommended oil change interval. Afterall that is what a full synthetic was originally designed for, a least from marketing standpoint. If you do, make sure you use a good quality long life oil filter. Cheap paper element filters will clog quickly and syn or not you will soon have a useless filter. K&N and other brands make long life filters, their well worth the extra few bucks.

Another option inspired from my racing experience are remotely mounted oil filters. These allow you to use a cleanable larger capacity high quality filter cartridge. (you will never have to buy a filter again, so they pay for themselves eventually). System One and Oberg are some types and brands. This gives you the added benefit of increased oil capacity and ease of maintenance. And if you really like to wrench you can then add an in line oil cooler at the same time!

Just my two cents worth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
PAS22 said:
Just a couple more thoughts on this subject (believe it or not this came to me at 3AM last night, I am spending way too much time on this forum! :lol: )

If you switch to syn you will have a tendancy like most of us to leave your oil in longer than the recommended oil change interval. Afterall that is what a full synthetic was originally designed for, a least from marketing standpoint. If you do, make sure you use a good quality long life oil filter. Cheap paper element filters will clog quickly and syn or not you will soon have a useless filter. K&N and other brands make long life filters, their well worth the extra few bucks.

Another option inspired from my racing experience are remotely mounted oil filters. These allow you to use a cleanable larger capacity high quality filter cartridge. (you will never have to buy a filter again, so they pay for themselves eventually). System One and Oberg are some types and brands. This gives you the added benefit of increased oil capacity and ease of maintenance. And if you really like to wrench you can then add an in line oil cooler at the same time!

Just my two cents worth.
Sooooo for these remotely mounted oil filters, how do they differ exactly from the normal ones? and it seems the Ecotec I-4 in our cars have an oil jet that continually sprays cool(er) oil onto the bottoms of the cylinders to keep things running coolr, would an in line oil cooler increase the benefit of that? Im going to make mine into one big mod :lol: Going to look up System One and Oberg now :willy:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,901 Posts
Yup, it's a pretty nice feature that was brought down from the 2.0L Supercharged I believe. It'll defintely help since the 2.4L engine has the under piston oil squirters to get more oil into hotter places.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top