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MOPAR Parts & Service Pro
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:hi2:

My Grandfather has a 2007 Grand Caravan SXT. 55K on the odo, with the 3.8. The cap says to use 5w/20 oil. I looked at Mobil1.com and for some reason they recommend 5w/30. Anyone have any idea why? I did my Focus which also calls for 5w/20 and Mobil also says 5w/20 for it. My 03, they recommend 10w/30. But my question is why would Mobil1.com say to use one thing, but the manufacture says to use another. Once an engine has 50K should it be switched to 5w/30? Is that what Mobil is trying to say?

Any opinions are appreicated as this really confused me... :confused:
 

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The only difference between 5w20 and 5w30 is that 30 works better (from viscosity point of view) on higher (summer) temperatures than 20. I am surprised about the manufacturer recommendations... as far as I know, Chrysler recommends for the 4th generation, both 3.3 and 3.8 engines, 5w30 which is thinner than 10w30.
Mobile or any other oil manufacturer can not recommend some type of oil depending on your mileage... the only exception is the special oil for engines with high mileage but they are still 5w30 or 10w30... I mean the specifications are not changed, only they have more detergents and additives than usual oils. The only one who change the requirements of the oil can be the manufacturer but still without any mileage specified.

The bottom line is: if you don't have any leaks or power loss use safely 5w30 no matter which year they are. If you have extreme temperatures you can even use 0w30 from Mobile.

It;s really confusing if Chrysler recommends different oil for different years from the same generation.
 

Latent car nut
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A few points:
  • The popular consensus is that Chrysler (and other manufacturers as well) are specifying 5W-20 for fuel economy reasons.
  • Your grandfather's engine was originally designed for a 5W-30 oil.
  • There have been many-many Used Oil Analysis reports posted on the BITOG web site that convincingly support the notion that 5W-20 is a fairly robust oil, as is 5W-30.
  • This isn't something to lose any sleep over, the engine in that van should run at least another couple of hundred thousand miles regardless if which oil you use in it.
  • For my part, once the 3.8 liter engines in our two vans crossed the thirty some thousand mile mark, I switched them to 0W-40 oil. Since that point the vans have run a combined 230,000 miles with zero engine/lubrication issues. That said, when I pulled the heads off of our older van at 143,625 miles (in search of an elusive coolant leak that turned out to be a ten cent "O" ring in the timing chain cover), I saw the factory honing marks in the cylinder bores still prominently on display.
  • Personally, I'd recommend you use Mobil 1 0W-40 as well, but hey, that's not the question you asked, so I'll shut up now. :)
 

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[*]Your grandfather's engine was originally designed for a 5W-30 oil.
that is what my 2002 manual recommends :) but hey then, the price of gasoline was much lower and no ethanol was added to kill the MPG :blink:

[*]There have been many-many Used Oil Analysis reports posted on the BITOG web site that convincingly support the notion that 5W-20 is a fairly robust oil, as is 5W-30.
EXCEPT for Florida users? :hi2:

[*]This isn't something to lose any sleep over, the engine in that van should run at least another couple of hundred thousand miles regardless if which oil you use in it.
yup :thumb:

[*]Personally, I'd recommend you use Mobil 1 0W-40 as well, but hey, that's not the question you asked, so I'll shut up now. :)
Did you feel any significant fuel savings? :cool:
 

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:hi2:

My Grandfather has a 2007 Grand Caravan SXT. 55K on the odo, with the 3.8. The cap says to use 5w/20 oil. I looked at Mobil1.com and for some reason they recommend 5w/30. Anyone have any idea why? I did my Focus which also calls for 5w/20 and Mobil also says 5w/20 for it. My 03, they recommend 10w/30. But my question is why would Mobil1.com say to use one thing, but the manufacture says to use another. Once an engine has 50K should it be switched to 5w/30? Is that what Mobil is trying to say?

Any opinions are appreicated as this really confused me... :confused:
This crazy oil question of yours is not so crazy and will likely gets lots of opinions. Another crazy question is why did Chrysler go to a smaller filter in the latter years of the Generation 4. Another one is why is Chrysler recommending 10W-30 for year round use in the 4.0L engine?

If anybody is crazy, it seems to be Chrysler for their inconsistency re oil and filters.

Enough of that craziness. :lol: The Owner Manual, most times, shows two viscosities for oil, one of those will be "preferred", whereas the dip stick shows only one. So you do have some latitude depending on the ambient temperatures the oil will be operated under.

From the 2004 Caravan Owner Manual:
SAE 5W-30 engine oil is "preferred". SAE 5W-30 engine oils improve low temperature starting and helps vehicle fuel economy.
The Owner Manual also shows 10W-30 for use from from 0F upward, but it isn't the "preferred" choice, although it is an acceptable choice.

My Jeep Owner Manual, for the 4.0L in-line engine, says 10W-30 from 0F upward is "preferred" whereas 5W-30 can be used below freezing. Yup, the freezing mark is the cut off point. It does not show the use of 5W-30 above 32F / 0C. Talk about crazy, as temperatures here can fluctuate from well above freezing to well below freezing in 24 hours.

For the 2008 Caravan per the Owner Manual:
Engine Oil Viscosity (SAE Grade) 鈥 3.3L & 3.8L Gasoline Engines
SAE 5W-20 engine oil is recommended for all operating temperatures. This engine oil improves low temperature starting and vehicle fuel economy.

Engine Oil Viscosity (SAE Grade) 鈥 4.0 Liter Engines
SAE 10W-30 engine oil is preferred for all operating temperatures.
It seems that 5W-20 will provide better fuel economy than 5W-30. My preference would be 10W-30 except for real cold temperatures where 5W-30 would help with cold weather start up.

Your question isn't crazy. I would discuss this with "knowledgable" people at your Dealership as to what Chrysler is telling them and the consequences of using 5W-30 where 5W-20 is called for and what viscosity are they using for their oil changes.

PS: Sorry for the crazy answer. :lol:
 

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I've never seen any oil website recommend anything except that "you should use what your owner's manual recommends". Their recommendation for your '07 and '03 are both not in step with Chrysler's recommendation. I'd use what your owner's manual recommends.

Just curious: where on the website does it list viscosity recommendations?
 

Latent car nut
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Did you feel any significant fuel savings? :cool:
Fuel savings? :confused: No, if anything there should be a fuel economy penalty as 0W-40 is thicker than either 5W-20 or 5W-30 (except when things are very cold). That said, there was no measurable change in fuel economy when I made the move to 0W-40.
 

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The owners manual and oil filler cap say use 5w-20. That is the only option from Chrysler for the 3.3/3.8.
Use a quality 5-w20 and don't loose any sleep over it.

I don't know why, but oil and oil filter topics just seem to get tons of responses.
I am not an engineer or a tribologist, and I don't play one on TV nor did I sleep at a Holiday Inn Express.
I will leave that up to the experts and follow their recomendations.

As for the comment of the 3.8 being the same as before, I have never sen any proof of this either way. Do we know there were no internal changes? I would think that since the new Jeep Wrangler uses the "same" 3.8 motor and not recomending 5w-20 gives some credibility, but then again, the Jeep has a 6 qt oil capacity and it is not a transverse mounted engine.
 

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I don't know why, but oil and oil filter topics just seem to get tons of responses.
A theory. An engine oil change is the one maintenance item just about everybody thinks of when the subject of automotive maintenence comes up. Sooo...everyone has something to say on the subject.
 

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I run 10w30 during the summer and 5w30 during the winter in all my cars.

IMO the only reason they switched to 5w30 or 5w20 is so they can get higher fuel mileage for their EPA ratings.
 

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As for the comment of the 3.8 being the same as before, I have never sen any proof of this either way. Do we know there were no internal changes? I would think that since the new Jeep Wrangler uses the "same" 3.8 motor and not recomending 5w-20 gives some credibility, but then again, the Jeep has a 6 qt oil capacity and it is not a transverse mounted engine.
No, it's an assumption that I'm not willing to make (but many do). Why should we assume that the engines are exactly the same? If they are exactly the same, why didn't Chrysler back-spec the 2001-2004 engines to also use 5W-20, as Ford did on a number of its engines? Lack of a retrospecification doesn't prove that the engines are different, but nothing else that we have access to proves that they're the same either.
 

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IMO the only reason they switched to 5w30 or 5w20 is so they can get higher fuel mileage for their EPA ratings.
I'd halfway go along with that, if it weren't for the fact that the EPA ratings didn't change with the change in oil specification. What evidence supports your notion that the change in oil specification was due to fuel economy?

I'm not saying you're wrong; just asking for why you believe it to be.
 

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I run 10w30 during the summer and 5w30 during the winter in all my cars.
Me too, except sometimes 10W-30 takes me into the Winter and beyond.

If I go by the Jeep Owner Manual per Post #5, I would have to change oil every time there was a drastic change in ambient temperature during the Winter. Sure would make for an expensive Winter, oil change wise. :lol:
 

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No, it's an assumption that I'm not willing to make (but many do). Why should we assume that the engines are exactly the same? If they are exactly the same, why didn't Chrysler back-spec the 2001-2004 engines to also use 5W-20, as Ford did on a number of its engines? Lack of a retrospecification doesn't prove that the engines are different, but nothing else that we have access to proves that they're the same either.
That's the point. Why are there differences that don't make sense?
I imagine the Dealerships have "bulletins" on this to simplify their interpretation / oil change routine. Same for the filter size.
 

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I'd halfway go along with that, if it weren't for the fact that the EPA ratings didn't change with the change in oil specification. What evidence supports your notion that the change in oil specification was due to fuel economy?

I'm not saying you're wrong; just asking for why you believe it to be.
Less friction = better economy.
 

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That's the point. Why are there differences that don't make sense?
Things that would matter here are potentially as follows (I'm just coming up with this off the top of my head):

- bearing clearances
- oil pump design
- lifter design

Maybe the oil pump was changed to a slightly more efficient design, and that design is optimized for the slightly thinner 5W-20 oil. Maybe some thicker oil wouldn't make it as quickly through the engine. I don't know. I'm fairly sure that none of us know.

What I am sure of, though, is that few seem to acknowledge (or probably realize) the true performance of modern 20 grade oils. They've shown to be very shear-stable, and generally durable oils. Many folks run them in older vehicles that were NEVER specified for such a thin oil (something random, like an older Cavalier or something) and demonstrate excellent wear levels via UOAs. And since most conventional 30 grade oils will shear down to a 20 grade in a few thousand miles, even those of us who might THINK we're running a "thicker" 5W-30 oil are really just kidding ourselves anyway.

The bottom line is it really doesn't matter WHAT you run in the engine. Pretty much anything will work just fine. But for those who ask what's the best, I've found that "whatever your owner's manual says" is most often the best answer. :thumb:
 

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Less friction = better economy.
But what you said was that the thinner oils are specified for better EPA numbers. But EPA numbers didn't change. So...why the change in oil specification for no gain in fuel economy? :ask_wsign
 

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But what you said was that the thinner oils are specified for better EPA numbers. But EPA numbers didn't change. So...why the change in oil specification for no gain in fuel economy? :ask_wsign
I said IMO, I never stated it as a fact. I never said the EPA would change on these minivans either. I was talking about auto industry as a whole.

I haven't looked at the EPA ratings for the minivans so I won't know for certain. Plus there are other factors at play here. Perhaps they made other changes that lowered the economy and this was their way of balancing things out. I don't work for the auto manufacturers so I don't know.

It could also be due to new CAFE regulations.

I still stick to my opinion that less friction = better economy.
 

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Well, to hear you folks talk, one would think that our vans would get crap mileage what with that 0W-40 glue in the oil pan. The thing is, our vans consistently got/get mileage that ranks right up there with the best reported for these vans (and well above published EPA figures). Go figure.
 

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Well, to hear you folks talk, one would think that our vans would get crap mileage what with that 0W-40 glue in the oil pan. The thing is, our vans consistently got/get mileage that ranks right up there with the best reported for these vans (and well above published EPA figures). Go figure.
I'm actually getting as-good-or-better economy on the 5W-30 conventional in my Corolla compared with the 5W-20 synthetic I once had in there. Another "go figure". Maybe I'd break 40 MPG if I put some 0W-40 in it. :biggrin:
 
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