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Old 11-14-2003, 09:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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i really need to change my oil, and i have 2 quarts of 10w30, 1 quart of 20w50, and 1 quart of 5w30...my question is...is it okay for me to mix all these together?? do they properly mix??

thanks
trying to get my oil changed today while i can
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Old 11-14-2003, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Buy all of the same wieght oil. IF you have to mix cheaper oil with better oil. Becuase that would always be better then mixing different wieghts. Just save your money and go get all of the same stuff.
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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it really doesn't matter

however that 20-50 may be a little thick (unless you've already used it)

that thick oil could mess up your seals since the honda tolerences are nice and precise

but 5-30 with 10-30 doesn't make a damn difference they are very similar anyways!
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My last room mate in college was a chemistry major. While not a car guy, we had several challenging discussions on the topic. It was interesting to hear what a competent chemistry guy had to say, without their knowledge spoiled by some of those old time automotive myths.

First, I want to make a distinction between standard and synthetic.

Standard:
Technically, it's safe to mix all the API oils. Obviously, it will change viscosity ratings but as long as those viscosity ratings are within the acceptable range, it's not going blow anything up.

When considering the straight up oil, say we mix a SAE 30 and a SAE 50 oil in equal parts. Maybe it will then pass the test for SAE 40 but the standard deviation of the oil molecule size is going to be through the roof. What you have statistically would be called a bi-modal population that when plotted in a histogram would have two humps. One at 30 and one at 50...even though the average was 40.
It would be better to run all SAE 40 weight if there was a need for that standard deviation to be minimized...like precision bearing lubrication.

Now multiweight oils...the less range, the better. Take a 10w-30. To achieve a 10 weight cold rating, they don't mix some 10w with some 30w. They take a 30w and add elastimers, polymers and all sorts of crap to a 30w so that it behaves like a 10w when cold. The larger the range(10w-30 vs 5w-50) the more stuff that has to be added. Meaning for every pindrop of oil, you have more additive and less oil molecules.

Now the real concern we see with mixing oils is not the weights but the additives that all oil companies use. Oil companies go to great lengths to test their additive formulas to assure they are ideal for whatever the oil requirements...temperature range, viscosity, heat index etc etc...all stable as they need the oil to be.
Say Exxon uses Additive Cocktail A for better cold temperature stability. Chevron uses Additive Cocktail B to accomplish the same thing.
Both work fine for each company. Engines run a bajillion miles in their tests.
But no one is testing how Additive A and Additive B are mixing. Combining the two may result in an a slightly acidic byproduct that would be bad for your engine over time. You just don't know.

Synthetic:
I'm not even going to touch on that...there is so much chemistry behind producing a synthetic compound, it makes me dizzy. Consider the possibilities of additive mixing mentioned above with standard oil and that it applies on some level.

In this case, the old automotive myth -Don't mix oil weights- is somewhat true. Even if the average grease monkey couldn't tell you why beyond "uh, it's bad?".
Not that you can't mix, it's just better not to. There's a small German man with a white labcoat somewhere that loses sleep over the fact that some average shmuck is on the side of the road diluting his perfect creation by topping off with some other muck.

My recommendation...if you can:
Stay with one manufacturer, one minimally stretched viscosity.
If you must mix, try to stay with the same manufacturer and as similar a weight as possible. Like a 5w-30 and 10w-30 would be better then mixing a 5w-30 and a 20w-50.
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Old 12-18-2003, 02:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Excellent! I love answers like this. Is there going to be a test on this?
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Old 12-18-2003, 05:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't want to sound rude but DON'T BE SO FREAKIN CHEAP AND BUY SOME GOOD OIL!!! Is not like you gonna buy purple stuff and going to spend all your weekly allowance and have no money for gas!
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Old 12-18-2003, 08:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Davens, I felt like I just took a class in OIL... That was awesome!!!

Great INFO, Thanks!
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