Help determine wich oil viscosity should use [Archive] - Drive Accord Honda Forums

: Help determine wich oil viscosity should use

12-01-2008, 06:05 PM
Dear Honda Accord community:

My 1999 Honda Accord LX, 4 doors, 2.3 litre, 4 cylinder, with 58100 miles, need oil change. It use Castrol Synthetic, but we have three (03) types of Castrol Synthetic: 5W-50, 10W-30 and 10W-40.

Which type should I use?

In advanced thank you so much to all of you.


12-01-2008, 06:06 PM

12-01-2008, 06:15 PM
What viscosity have you been using? You should stick with 5W-30 unless you live someplace where the temperature is over 40 degrees F all year.

12-01-2008, 08:27 PM
First Read the manual and follow what Honda recommends.
If you live near the equator, get 10W-40
If you live in N.A., get 5W-30 or 10W-30
If you are racer in N.A., get 5W-50

12-02-2008, 03:18 AM
Thank you all for the answer. Kind of a bit confuse now, but answering your questions, the car lives in Caracas, Venezuela. The temperature is all year around about between 80F and 77F. nowadays because is December, the temp is tending to descent to around 73F.
It is a city with heavy traffic all day. You could spend easily 2 to 3 hours in traffic, bumper-to-bumper daily.

Your suggestions are more than welcome, and thanks again

12-02-2008, 10:47 AM
Considering your climate and your limited choices I would recommend the 10W30.

12-02-2008, 01:32 PM
1st choice: 10W40
2nd choice: 10W30

12-02-2008, 03:43 PM
Want 2 thx u all for your valuable help. Thank you guys. wishing you the best

12-03-2008, 04:51 PM
What did you decide on Mendione? Nosotros le perdemos aquí, regresa más a menudo.

12-04-2008, 03:14 AM
Hey RTexasF, how's everything? Hoping that everything with you are great. Thank you for your words. Answering your question, the technician wants 5W-50. What is your opinion?
and regarding your kind comment, you will never going to loose me from this forum. The people here are kind, generous, willing to help, extraordinary. How can somebody in his/her healthy judgment could get lost from here, from this forum?
And I promise to get back more often to this forum.
Your spanish is excellent RTexasF.

12-04-2008, 04:50 AM
I cannot claim the Spanish, it comes from an online translator but the thought is mine. 5W50 is quite heavy for a Honda engine and I see no reason for it at all. To repeat.........from the choices you have available mine would be 10W30.

12-04-2008, 04:33 PM

Sorry to bother you in this issue, but I am quite confuse... again. When you say that an oil is quite heavy like the one we are talking here (5W50) you mean that it is too thin or too thick? Also, I am trying to aim to an oil thin than thick, isn't it? Am I on the right track?

Your spanish sounded very etranslator, but then again, you need to put phrases in order for the translator to work, right? so your thoughts were very kind and I appreciate it. Thank you and if you could help me in this oil issue, thank you and more than welcome

12-04-2008, 04:55 PM
The oil that the mechanic is recommending is far too thick for a VTEC Honda engine. 50 weight oil has no reason to be in any four cylinder engine unless it is making 500 horsepower and is used for racing.

Where I live is also high temperature and high humidity. You could not PAY me to put 50 weight oil in my car! I use 0W20 Mobil 1 synthetic. You can not obtain that oil there so 10W30 would be the closest choice. If you have been running a 50 weight oil you will notice slightly better miles per gallon and better engine response with the 10W30.

Con mucho gusto mi amigo, hasta. (my limited Español :wave:)

12-05-2008, 04:57 AM
Dear Friend RTexasF.
Thank you for your advise. I was laughing with your last sentence (the one in spanish) because you are stating that you have a limited spanish, but you are doing sooo, so well.

Ok, back to our business, what I am understanding here is that the lower the last number is, the thinner the oil is. Right? One question, what about the first digit? what this digit means? (the one that is beside to the left of the W).

BTW, the milage of my beloved Accord is so poor that just because the gasoline here is a gift (now is not even "cheaper") I can afford it, but I had been noticing that the milage performance is decreasing. Test the tires and are ok.

So, According to your kindly comments, I have to aim or I have to look for the thinner oil available in my marketplace and the 10W-30 is it. At least 10W30 is thinner than 5W-50 and thinner than 10W-40. Right?

Waiting for your suggestions, orientations and comments. Thank you

12-05-2008, 04:59 AM
Another question will be, I saw a product from MOTUL, named engine cleaner. Do you recommend the use of this product between oil changes?

12-05-2008, 05:25 AM
Multi viscosity oils like 10W30 act as two different oils. When cold the oil acts as a 10 weight (very light) to distribute throughout the engine quickly. When warm it acts as a 30 weight (slightly heavier) to protect engine parts in higher temperatures. A 50 weight is almost a gear oil and is just too heavy for a Honda VTEC four cylinder or even a V-6!

Engine cleaner is a waste of time and money other than Auto RX which I told you about previously. Most are harsh solvents and not recommended. Using one every other oil change could be harmful to the engine. Why? Some is left in the engine and that in turn contaminates the oil making it less effective and possibly abrasive. Just don't do it!

12-05-2008, 12:17 PM
Great. Let me follow your kindly advises RTexasF. Thank you very much. I am going to do the 10W30 as per your advise, and regard to the engine cleaner, YES, the way you said it ..." just don't do it..." says all. I will not.

Now, - sorry for the bombardment of questions -. Why do you think is happening with such a poor gas consuming performance? I know that from such away distance it is difficult for you to answer this question. But at least you can try.

Thanks a lot

12-05-2008, 12:31 PM
If you have been using a 50 weight oil that alone will reduce gas mileage. The 10W30 will improve it slightly but in the constant heat/traffic/humidity you endure daily with air conditioner constantly's a tough call. If I'm not mistaken the gasoline you have there has a large amount of ethanol in it which again reduces mileage. I know your car is in good running condition, the tires properly inflated, and so on. Once you have done all that you can do to assure it is in top mechanical order there is nothing more than can be done, it is optimized so live with it. The engine in your car is known to use a bit of oil as it ages so keep a close eye on the oil level between changes.

12-05-2008, 12:41 PM
There are a lot of risks when running that heavy of an oil.

The F23 was designed for 10w-30 in your year group. The seals in the engine were not intended for such a thickness in oil (50W). This heavy of a an oil will greatly increase oil pressure, reduce engine power, and reduce mileage. You may also run the risk of starving components of proper oil mass flow which could damage parts (oil ports too small to flow such a thick liquid).

(Think soda through a straw vs molasis through the same straw).

12-06-2008, 05:53 AM
Just to contribute to my fluids dynamics's culture. The multi viscosity is very well explain by my forum's friend RTexasF. Indeed it is. But when I was reading it pops up in my mind that, when an oil gain temperature its behave is totally oppose to what the kind RTexasF explanation is indicating. meaning that when the oil is cold or even ambient temperature t is more thick, in fact it is thicker as it can be and when the temperature is higher or even the engine temperature reach its operation temp, the oil goes thin.

Is this right? how to compare what I am thinking with what RTexasF explained here. BTW, I want to thank you RTexasF again for your kindness, your time invested here trying to help not only me but anybody in this forum. Also thanks in advanced to everybody here.

To StevenCrosbie, thank you for your input. For one second your name here in this forum recall me the excellent and famous band Crosby, Still, Nash & Young. Anyhow, thank you again

12-06-2008, 06:55 AM
The multi-viscosity oil is designed to stay just thin enough in "cold/ambient" temperature (although I refuse to be sympathatic with your "cold/ambient" temperature where you are :) ), and resisit being thinned out too much in elevated temperature once the engine is warmed up.

Mendione, just use a well known brand of 10W30 oil and be done with it, no need to second/third/fouth guess yourself, trust the Honda factory engineers and lubricant company chemists.

12-06-2008, 08:24 AM
Dear Aviography:
Thank you so much for your invaluable input. Just changed the Castrol 5W50 for the 10W30. 100% Synthetic.

Ok, not because I did not understand the loud and clear messages of you guys, but, believe it or not, now I have another doubt.

My Honda Accord 1999, 4 cylinder, 4 doors, LX, with 93500 kilometers or 58100 miles was around 10000 kilometers or 6200 miles using semi-synthetic. The mechanic recommended me to switch and upgrade from semi-synthetic to 100% synthetic. As you can see I want to do oil changes each 3000 / 4000 kilometer or 1860 / 2500 miles. I know that I am wasting my money, my time unnecessarily. But in retribution I have the assurance that my car has all the time almost brand new oil (and oil is practically the "soul" of the engine). Having say all this, my questions are. Did I do the right thing switching from semi-synthetic to synthetic? Doing it, did I damaged the engine?

Thank you all

12-06-2008, 08:32 AM
My last car, an 1996 Integra GSR, which I drove spiritly in hot summer and cold-cold winter weather through the 10 yeas I owned it and racked up over 300,000 KM, had never had a drop of synthetic oil in it, but I do change oil every 3 month religiously regardless of mileage driven.

It did burn a little bit of oil when I sold the car last year, but hey it's 10 years old and 300K km! But the car still ran very strong and felt as strong as when I first got the car.

So you decide if synthetic oil is even necessary. :)

12-06-2008, 11:39 AM
Dear Friend Aviography:

Thank you so much for your inputs. I was trying to seek - kindly - orientation and words of wisdoms regarding is I did wrong or not switching FROM semi-synthetic TO synthetic. Do you think I did wrong migrating from semi-synth to synth?.

There is a plenty of consideration why people like me, here in this latitudes has this kind of behaves. Among others, we DO NOT have the availability and the diversity of different kinds and types of - in this particular case - oils. Other reasons could be - but this time personally - I am a stronger believer that oils manufactured herein are not trustable as the one we can find imported from outside. Another reason could be also that there is a belief or credence that since synthetic is more modern that dino oils, well I assume that technologically talking synthetic is much more better than the dino ones. Again, this is my belief or credence, which in turn could be perfectly wrong. A total wrong point of view.

Thank you for your inputs and for your word of wisdom herein.

12-06-2008, 11:59 AM
You did nothing wrong switching to a full synthetic. I do worry that you are wasting your money though with the frequent oil changes.

To get your money's worth out of that oil, I'd either leave it in there longer or stick with a semi-synthetic oil for the frequent oil changes.

Toyota requires that I do 5k mile oil changes in the Tundra to keep my warranty. Since those are so frequent, I took RTF's advice and switched from a full synthetic to a synthetic blend. Obviously with a truck so new, I won't notice an immediate difference, but the oil analysis by Blackstone labs say I'm doing just fine with the blend.

12-07-2008, 06:46 AM
I know that I am wasting my money, my time unnecessarily. But in retribution I have the assurance that my car has all the time almost brand new oil (and oil is practically the "soul" of the engine). Having say all this, my questions are. Did I do the right thing switching from semi-synthetic to synthetic? Doing it, did I damaged the engine?

No damage to the engine but incredibly wasteful. If you are going to change oil THAT often (TOTALLY unneccesary) use any regular oil. Regular (not synthetic) will easily go 5000 miles in the worst of conditions. Methinks you worry too much about nada. If I were in your position the car would go 5000 miles on either regular or blended synthetic oil, longer with full synthetic.

12-07-2008, 08:52 AM
This is definitively one of a kind community. I feel very proud to belong in some way (virtually?) to this group of honorable people.

Thank you all for your inputs, comments, observations, advises, etc. with all my concerns and interrogations.

I finally bought the Synthetic Castrol 10W30. Changing oil will be made tomorrow. I also understand that migration FROM Semi-Synth TO Synth did not harm the engine in any way. But, just but, I was wondering what could be the procedure to migrate FROM synth TO Semi-Synth? and even FROM Synth TO mineral (dino) oil? Not that I am planning to do it but just to know.

Take care you all and I will post and keep you guys updated with this oil issue. thx

12-07-2008, 12:43 PM
There is no procedure......remove the old & pour in the new. You can go back and forth from full synthetic to regular any time you want but there is no reason to do so. Stick with the Castrol 10W30 synthetic go at least 5,000 miles and continue with the same oil. You may notice a slight increase in MPG.

The mechanic that is telling you to use 50 weight oil is living far far in the past and does not know Honda engines very well. If he did he would know better than to even suggest such a heavy syrup for your 2.3l engine. Look for another one if there are any available.

12-08-2008, 07:50 AM
Dear friend RTexasF:
Thank you for your kind answers. I was almost dead sure that there was a special procedure like AutoRX to clean the engine if there is a download action FROM Synth TO mineral oil.

Got to talk with the mechanic. I printed and taking with me all this thread in a sheet. Actually I doubt that he reads and understand english, but here I am to translate it to him. Wondering what he's gonna tell me.

I will keep all you guys posted and well, detailed informed - you all deserve it -.


12-08-2008, 08:35 AM
You need to pick someone to believe! Go with what your mechanic says or go with opinions from the forum (and Honda)......ALL of which say your mechanic has no clue about oil. Pick one oil and stay with it. You seem to go through this "which oil?" thing every few months. There are only so many times advice will be offered on the same question. After a while it will be ignored.

12-09-2008, 06:08 AM
Dear RTexasF:
Thank you for your post. Following your advise, seems to me logical. What I will try to do will be to stick with one oil brand and as per Honda spec 10W30. The thing is that when you reside and live in a place that everything is unpredictable, you have to get use to solve this unpredictable problems like not finding what you are looking for, or don't find the brand and/or specs of what you're looking for, etc. It is kind of hard at the beginning but then you will get used to it and live with it.

You are right, totally right we you say that I am going through this "which oil" thing every few month. And you are - again - right that after a while, it will be ignored.

Now I know that the basically the only reason of the existence of the synth oil is to extend the life of the oil hence the time lapse between each oil change. Another thing that I learned from this is that I can move from mineral to semi to synth and backwards as per my will with no consequences to the engine but it is senseless.

Thank you all for your help

12-14-2008, 09:14 AM
My car is a '08 EX-LV6. The manual says to use 5W-20. I don't see where anyone recommended that weight in these posts. Did Honda just go to this weight for the 2008 models?

12-14-2008, 10:34 AM
Maybe. I checked my Honda's owner's manual and indeed the recommended weight for my 1999 Accord is 10W30. For your gen, maybe the one you are mentioned.

12-14-2008, 12:05 PM
My car is a '08 EX-LV6. The manual says to use 5W-20. I don't see where anyone recommended that weight in these posts. Did Honda just go to this weight for the 2008 models?

Had you read the first few posts you would have seen he has a 99 Model 2.3l 4 cylinder and 10W30 is the recommended oil. 5W20 started in the 2003 model year for Honda and retros back a few model years. He is also in Venezuela where few oils are available at all.

12-14-2008, 06:27 PM
How's the new oil?

01-12-2009, 12:47 PM
To all of you guys in this dear Honda Accord Community:

Your advices are the only advises thet everybody should follow. I do. I follow this advise and then I am using Castrol Synthetic 10 W 30. So far, so good.