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Although I'm a new user to this site, I noticed some misinformation regarding oil that has been going around this site which I'd like to add my take to:

Synthetics: There are rumors everywhere, that syn protects better than conventionals. That is not true. The only advantage that syn has over a conventional is the ability to sustain higher oil temperatures better, oil temperatures of over >305F. In addition, it generally allows 50% longer service intervals only when verified by oil analysis. Contrary to popular belief, there is not a significant difference in syn compared to conventional in terms of resisting varnish an deposit buildup. Regardless of which oil you use, you'll always have some buildup.

Special Break-In Oil: Honda uses a special break-in oil that is rich in Molybdenum (Mo) as a break-in additive. The oil is definitely safe to use until the recommended service interval suggested by the Oil Life Monitor with no damage done to the car. The oil contains approximately 350-400ppm depending on batch.

Honda doesn't exactly make a high Mo engine oil, most of this Mo is most likely from the assembly lube used in the engine manufacturing process that becomes mixed into the engine oil. GM uses the same approach, but they use an added amount of ZDP (Zinc and Phosphate, old school technology, will eventually be phased out in favor of better additives)

Due to the nature of this engine, that breaks in very dirty, I would change out the oil early with an oil that also has a high Mo content. I've seen very good results with the Havoline 5w-20 in 5w-20 applications, and it just so happens that this oil has a high Mo content:



Again, there is no harm in leaving the factory oil in the engine. If you wish to change it, do so around 3000 miles or sooner and replace it with Havoline 5w-20. Do two short 3000 mile service intervals to flush and clean-up as much of the residue wear metals as possible after changing out the factory fill. The Havoline 5w-20 is avaliable at Walmart for about $7 for a 5-quart jug, about $1.50-$1.75/qt in individual quarts.

Switching to Syn/Ext. Drains: This Honda V6 engines breaks in "quite dirty," and tends to generate high wear metals for the first 10,000 miles. Thus, it is not suggested that you do extended drains until you have more than 10,000 miles since you should always wait until wear metals drop before extending service intervals. Therefore, it is advised that the factory fill be changed out at 3K or sooner, followed by two 3000 mile service intervals with conventional to "flush out" the leftover wear metals from the factory fill.

There wouldn't be a harm to use synthetic during this period of time, but since you'll be doing short drains, it'd simply be a waste of money.

5w-20:

Here is why Honda switched to 5w-20:


Keep in mind that 5w-20 oils are more robust that their 5w-30 counterparts chemically, and have a more stable viscosity. Remember that most 5w-30 conventional oils will instantaneously thin out to a 20wt anyway.

5w-20 oils do have better flow and will cool better in hot engines, and thinner oils do have slightly better solvency.

Mobil 1: Mobil 1 is quite overrated as being called the "ultimate" synthetic oil. As great as it seems, it never does very well with dirt, chemical ingestion, fuel dilution, or high solids. Its flashpoint drops very quickly, and it doesn't seem to protect very well against valvetrain wear as Mobil 1 Oil Analysis results have always shown elevated Iron compared to other lubes.

I've seen much better results with the Group III, Amsoil XL 5w-20 than comparable Mobil 1 products in a Honda 3.2L V-6 engine.

MC Blend:This oil is good, but remember that Havoline 5w-20 has performed just as well if not better than this oil for much less.

Molybdenum (Mo): Having Mo in an oil formula is a plus, but keep in mind that it is the overall chemistry of the oil that matters. For example, why do 15w-40 HDEOs not have Mo and do well? Why does GC 0w-30 or Esso XD3 0w-30 have zero Mo do well? Its the overall chemistry of the oil thats important.

Filters: The type of filter used is unimportant. As long as it doesn't leak and the ADBV does not fail, then its fine. For normal service intervals, the type of filter does not really make much of a difference.

Contrary to popular belief, the Supertech (Walmart) Champion Labs Ecore design oil filter for $2.07 at Walmart is an excellent choice for intervals up to 7K. It has an excellent ADBV and has decent media sufficient for normal service intervals. The Purolator Premium Plus Oil Filter is also a solid choice for about $3 each.

Michael
 

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In 1981 my Honda dealer reccomended Castrol. Been using it ever since in all my Hondas. Never had to add oil at any time. Use it in my '05 Accord, '06 Ridgeline, and even small engines. Works for me! Currently using 5W-20.
 

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I can vouch for what Michael says. Not so much from my own experience as I am new to oil/lubrication issues. But since buying the RL, I have taken an interest in this and so I frequent bobistheoilguy.com (where all the oil geeks hang out). Michael is a respected and frequent poster at that site as well as one of the major Honda Accura forums. He has taken the time and effort to guide me personally on subjects relative to the RL from oil and filters to automatic transmission care. He is always sincere and helpful and every time he contributes I learn from it.

If Michael sees this post, I would ask that perhaps he start another thread and outline, as he did for me, one more important lubrication issue - what the best automatic transmission fluid that is available for our RL (and it ain't Honda!) as well as some tips on drain intervals and how much to drain each time. You may be surprised.

Every one of our Ridges is new and most of us have yet to even change oil so there really has not been that much talk of maintenance here. However, our engine, torque changes notwithstanding, is a time tested Honda product. We need people here who know these engines and how to care for them and who can provide food for thought and debate on how to best care for them when the time comes.

Some will probably take issue with his opinions (as always happens at forums) but I hope Michael becomes a regular here as his knowledge of Honda engines can only be a plus.
 

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Mr. Wan,
My hat is off to you. That was one of the best rundowns on oil I have seen in quite a while. I have been using 5w20 in my Austen-Healey and MGA since their last rebuild for the heat transfer advantage you cited. As you probably know these cars have notoriously marginal cooling systems. Any help getting heat away from the cylinders and head is appreciated. It makes at least a 10 degree difference running 5w20 over the recommended 30w. In my Hondas the situation is not so critical. Since my dealer's service department uses Castrol I think I'll stick with it.
 

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Michael, yes unfortunately there is quite a bit of misinformation regarding motor oil on this forum...most of it in your message. I don't know your qualifications, but I have a strong suspicion of your agenda. I was in the auto design and manufacturing business for nearly 15 years. I know some of the finest automotive engineers in the world and I've been exposed to things over the years that are just amazing (and never published). All auto manufacturers have "test to failure" labs and it's easy to see what works and what doesn't under those circumstances.

Let's get down to business... you said, "There are rumors everywhere, that syn protects better than conventionals. That is not true. The only advantage that syn has over a conventional is the ability to sustain higher oil temperatures better, oil temperatures of over >305F." I have no idea what data you can cite to support such a statement, but I guarantee you it wouldn't be from a reputable source. A true synthetic oil (Group IV or V) is superior to dino (Group III and below) in nearly every way. The uniform molecules and polymers are far superior to dino and give synthetic much greater film strength, much higher shear strength, far better lubricity, better ability to maintain viscosity, and many other benefits beyond flash point. These are not rumors... they are facts backed up by volumes of data and testing. To say otherwise is foolish and wrong.

Then you said, "Honda doesn't exactly make a high Mo engine oil, most of this Mo is most likely from the assembly lube used in the engine manufacturing process that becomes mixed into the engine oil." Honda doesn't make any engine oil. The Ridgeline was EPA Certified with Havoline 5W-20 and that is the factory fill. The Havoline oil is high in molybdenum disulphide which is a friction modifier. Many of the newer Energy Saving oils use moly... there's nothing special about it. There are benefits and determinants of using moly and too much can be a bad thing.

Next you said, "Due to the nature of this engine, that breaks in very dirty, I would change out the oil early with an oil that also has a high Mo content." Where in the world did you come up with that information? In the auto industry we were always amazed at how tight the tolerances were and lack of break-in required on Honda engines. My contact at Blackstone Labs has commented in the past regarding his respect of Honda engines. How many aluminum engines break in dirty? It would be rather hard to do. Did you just make this stuff up?

About oil you said, "Mobil 1: Mobil 1 is quite overrated as being called the "ultimate" synthetic oil. As great as it seems, it never does very well with dirt, chemical ingestion, fuel dilution, or high solids." Mobil 1 is one of the finest oils on the market. Exxon / Mobil is the worlds largest manufacturer of Group IV synthetic base stocks (there are only a couple of other minor players). Most synthetic oil (including Amsoil) are made from Exxon / Mobil base stocks. Only the additive packages are different. Keep in mind that due to the ignorance of some people at the FTC many oils call themselves "synthetic" that are not (Castrol, Pennzoil, Valvoline for example). These are Group III base stocks and are not true synthetic oils... they are modified dino and do not have many of the characteristics of a true Group IV or V synthetic oil.

The most ignorant statement you made was, "Filters: The type of filter used is unimportant. As long as it doesn't leak and the ADBV does not fail, then its fine." I think even you know better and just posted such garbage to be controversial. I could write a book on this, but will try and keep it short. The anti-drainback valve on the Ridgeline is not important. The filter can't drain back due to the mounting position... we don't even need the valve in our engines and a filter without one would be fine. The pressure-relief or bypass valve is much more important on nearly every engine. Junk filters many times are in bypass 100% of the time and fail to filter the oil.

What's the purpose of the oil filter anyway? Dirt enters every engine. A good engine oil is designed to keep unfilterable particles in suspension... the detergent portion of the additive package. A good oil gets dirty... junk oil stays clean. There are two different kinds of dirt that enter the engine. The small particles that remain in suspension of the oil, and the larger particles that should be filtered out. These larger particles are too large to remain in suspension and would cause engine wear even if they were held in suspension. One of two things happen to these particles... they are either filtered out, or if the filter doesn't catch them they precipitate out and form SLUDGE. Those are the facts... no other result is possible. When you use a junk filter that is either not capable of filtering small particles, or is in bypass most of the time you end up with sludge in the engine. I would much rather use a cheap oil and a good oil filter than a good oil and a junk filter.

You danced around the extended drain interval issue so I want to touch on that as well. One manufacturer, a snake oil company that spreads so much BS it makes anyone of knowledge sick, has been pushing this extended drain intervals for many years. Extended drain intervals for a modern automotive engine is total and complete insanity. Extended drain intervals are designed for heavy duty and industrial engines that don't have the tight tolerances of an automotive engine and normally their filtering systems are far superior to ours. They may change the filters many times per fluid change.

Oil has several jobs in our engines. Believe it or not your oil is your primary coolant...not your radiator. Dirt enters your engine and your oil gets dirty. It is supposed to get dirty... a good oil is supposed to keep the dirt that is too small to filter and the contaminants in suspension. It is to your benefit to get that stuff out of your engine on a regular basis. The amount of dirt your engine ingests is fairly constant regardless of brand or type of oil used. The best oil in the world can't hold a significantly higher amount of dirt (in real terms) than others... that snake oil is just as dirty at 7500 miles as the cheap Wal-Mart oil. It needs to be changed. Yes, upon analysis some of the additive package may be active, but on our small engines extended drain intervals offer no benefit of any kind.
 

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Just a couple of points to others reading this thread. Please use your own good common sense. Don't listen to car salesmen, or dealer mechanics, or snake oil salesmen when it comes to oil and filter changes.

The Honda engineers, the people that designed and tested your engine, have given you their best advice in the Owners Manual. They didn't put that info in there for fun... there was a lot of testing that went into developing the maintenance schedules and oil life monitor system.

Regarding oil and filters:

Synthetic oil: No, it's not necessary. Under normal operating conditions any good quality API Certified oil of the proper weight and rating will provide excellent results. I personally use synthetic oil (Mobil 1) because I feel that I sometimes exceed normal operating conditions, and I want the added protection in the event of a failure (belt failure, pump failure, low coolant, etc.). These events may never occur but synthetic oil gives me peace of mind... but yes it costs me more.

Filters: This is the single greatest benefit you can do for your engine. It's very difficult to explain the delicate balance between what is supposed to be filtered out and what is supposed to stay in suspension in the oil. Some snake oil companies that try and convince you that extended drain intervals are a good thing intentionally modify their additive packages to appear good under analysis, but actually fail to maintain certain contaminants and particles in suspension to look that good. They rely greatly on a high quality oil filtering system. It wouldn't be too hard to make an oil that looks GREAT when you do an oil analysis but that same oil would not be very good for your engine (this is how the snake oil companies use smoke and mirrors to brainwash their followers). Throw in a few fake tests that have nothing to do with automotive engine use (like a four ball test that would be good for gear oil, but not engine oil) and you complete the deception.

It's true that many junk oil filters allow bypass 100% of the time. That is very, very bad for your engine. All BS aside the filter is really much more important in the overall scheme than the decision to use dino or synthetic oil.

Use a good oil.. dino or synthetic, but do yourself a favor and use a good filter. Read some of the filter efficiency tests (not the ones where they cut the filters open to see what's inside). Read the particle size captured. Read how the junk filters have no pressure drop, but that's because they're in bypass! You must have pressure drop to do decent filtering and the engine designers knew that when they designed the engine. It's not a bad thing!

Use common sense and listen to the engineers that designed the engine! Ignore the rest.

-Joe
 

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As a prior owner of an air/oil cooled BMW motorcycle and a member of numerous motorcycle forums I can say that the MC owners have done much research on which oil has the best anti-heat and anti-wear properties. This research has included sending different oils to independent labs for testing. Almost without exception when testing both dino oil and syn. oils, Mobil 1 has come out on top with regards to protection against heat and wear. It has done better than the MC specific oils in most cases. From past experience using Mobil 1 in both cars and air/oil cooled motorcycles I can attest to the quality of the product. When trying different oils in my R1100RT, Mobil 1 allowed the bike to run noticably cooler and use less oil between changes than any other oil I tried. And my feeling is that if it works that well in a high performance, air/oil cooled motorcycle then the stress that it has to endure in a RL will be a piece of cake.
 

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I agree that Mobil 1 is a fine product. I wish it had more mainstream competition. The only real competition is from the exotic products.

I was hoping that the new Pennzoil Platinum "synthetic" would be a Group IV or V product, but when I contacted Pennzoil I was informed that "Pennzoil Platinum is made with Group III base oils."

I guess none of the competitors want to purchase base stocks from Exxon Mobil?

-Joe
 

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csimo: What's your take on the Honda oil filter? I notice on this forum that it's said that the new Honda filter is junk because it's made by Fram. The ones made earler are of higer quality.

I've used Honda filters 90% of the time in my 7 Honda's and they seem to work fine. I've never had to add oil in any of them between changes (5,000 miles). Most I've driven from 128,000 to 238,000 miles.

Tiger
 

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Answer to Tiger above (the "Quote" feature seems to be broke...locks up when you post),

I'm glad you've enjoyed such good success... keep in mind that most of those miles were with the older and much better Toyo Roki / Honda oil filters. The new 15400-PLM-A02 junk filter just came out in the last year or so.

I'm on record regarding my opinion of the Honda 15400-PLM-A02 Honda or Fram PH7317 (a) filters. They are junk and are probably in bypass most of the time.

Am I saying that your engine will not last 100,000 miles with a Fram? Nope. I am saying that regardless of mileage your engine will be in better shape with a better oil filter.

The super deal of the century is the Wal-Mart SuperTech filter. Cheap and great quality... not the very best, but more than adequate. The ST7317 (a) is what fits modern Honda's, but keep in mind you can use the ST3593a as well. The St3593a has the same base plate configuration, same pressure relief valve settings, and contains more filter media.

You can use a Purolator, Wix, NAPA Gold, STP, K&N (oil not air filters), Bosch, HAMP, or a bunch of others and get excellent results. You'll feel better too.

-Joe
 

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Thanks for your info Joe. I would like to ask about the new Honda filters...aren't these produced to the specifications of the Honda engineers that you refered to?
 

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My ridgeline has 800 miles on it, and you have convinced my to run to napa and buy a quality filter and change from the original .

Thanks for the lesson on oil, I had no idea!
 

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Keep in mind that the oil filter used by Honda when the build the engine is NOT the Fram filter. They use a Toyo Roki from the factory. I doubt Honda would ever put a Honda filter on from the factory... they're not that stupid.

Regarding the 15400-PLM-A02 filter being different than the Fram PH7317. There may be slight differences, but not much. Same basic components. There's a picture running around that supposedly compares them but I think that picture was "doctored" a bit. The filter material was pushed around the front to make it look like the Honda filter contained more media.

I take apart all my used oil filters. I've got a couple of the Wal-Mart Quick Lube guys interested in the results as well so they save some for me to take a look at. Right now I've got a plastic tub full of a bunch of used filters to take apart when I get motivated. I've dissected many Fram's and the end caps disintegrate very quickly. Many have the filter material collapsed upon itself. Sad.

To take apart brand new filters doesn't provide much info in my opinion.

-Joe
 

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Hey Csimo, thanks for keeping us straight. Your contributions here are very valuable to those of us not in the biz, and those who can be easily swayed one way or the other.

My dealer sold me a couple of the good Honda filters (Filtech), so I was glad to see they had them, and I wouldn't have known without the info here. It's also good to know about the SuperTech brand at WM. I used to use Frams until I read your info.

I can't find the Mobil 1 in 5-20 here, and I think you've said before that 5-30 is fine (maybe you said that's what you were going to get.) I wanted to stick to 5-20 so I used Castrol Syntec (not synthetic blend) when Hal said <10% (about 6,700 miles for me). I hope to find Mobil 1 5-20 next time, but also wonder about Amsoil, which you've mentioned to be pretty good, using the same stock. (Hey, I'm even getting better with the terminology!) My stepdad told me he's a "distributor" for the Amsoil and says it's very good (otherwise he wouldn't sell it). Can you sum up your Amsoil experience again, maybe as compared somewhere between the Castrol Syntec and the Mobile 1 Synthetic? BTW, I don't really exceed "normal" driving conditions. I suppose that means a lot of towing and otherwise hard use on the engine.

Thanks again for your expertise!!!!!!!!!!

One more edit...you won't offend me if you have an opposing opinion on Amsoil. I'm sure my stepdad could be one who has been swayed (he doesn't have your kind of experience!)
 

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CSIMO,
Great post and thanks for having the guts to refute the well received, yet not totally factual, original post. I was going to do the same but some on this board just feel that I'm overboard in my opinions (perhaps true), so I just let it alone.
The statement made about oil filters being insiginificant and that synthetic oil was only valuable if engine temps are sky-high was laughable. The shame was all the board members lining up to believe everything that was said. Folks need to really look into issues that they find important and not leave it up to any single opinion on a message board. As I've often said, sooner or later truth will float to the surface for those that seek it.
 

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basils said:
Folks need to really look into issues that they find important and not leave it up to any single opinion on a message board. As I've often said, sooner or later truth will float to the surface for those that seek it.
Hey basils, guess what...I agree with you! One rule of thumb on this site that I use is the number of posts (or relative experience with the person posting here). To me it represents a commitment level to the real users here that charish the information presented. Please notice CSIMO's "commitment level" as opposed to the other guy.

Another thing is that generally people can tell where there's smoke and where there's actual fire, or where there are just opinions and salesmanship and where there is knowledge and experience.
 

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Thanks Csimo, great posts.

The shame was all the board members lining up to believe everything that was said.

Basils, just for the record, I never believed the part about the oil filter not being important and I was dubious though not certain about the mobil 1 comments.

..................just for the record :D


Maybe Kodiak would like to chime in here as well. That would be greatly appreciated.
 
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