I would guess 10W30 comes standard, though it should say in the owner's manual.
Sythetics are good, but do your research. Some are better than others, and you don't want to put substandard "blood" in your engine. Stick to the major companies; Quakerstate, Mobil, Exxon, etc. Look for details like "better in small, high reving, engines". I use a blend in my Wrangler and it has never let me down.
Your car comes with 5W20 and honda only recommends this weight. The bummer to this is that ther're aren't many companies that weight in convential oil. So far, i have only found it at my local parts store made by Valvoline. Most of the synthetic manufacturers do have this weight, however I think synthetics are a waste of money on most automobile engines. Synthetics were designed for the very harsh conditions of jet aircraft motors. Automobile engines don't even begin to approach the operating temps and pressures of a jet engine (400 -1000 degrees F). Being in the aviation business, it's easy for me to see what products can cross from planes to cars, and in my opinion synthetic oil isn't the way to go for a daily driver.
I'm planning to use NON-synthetic oil this time around.
Had use Mobil Synthetic oil on my '92 Camry (125,000 miles engine purred) from the start. However, other major costs were facing me, so I traded it in for the element. Also, technology has improved the last 10 years and I notice a fair # of non-synthetic CAMRY's still on the road.
Question: My owners manual specifies 5w20 oil. Do I really need to use 5w20 oil and why did my 2000 model year vehicle require a 5w30 oil, while the exact same engine in my 2001 model year vehicle requires 5w20 oil?
Answer: No. You do not need to use a 5w20 oil. The only reason 5w20 was specified for your engine is to increase the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) reported to the Federal Government. CAFE is the combined average fuel economy of all of a vehicle manufacturer's product line. Minimum CAFE levels are specified by the Federal Government. In order for a vehicle manufacturer to continue selling profitable large trucks and SUV's, which typically have poor fuel mileage, and still meet mandated CAFE requirements, they must also sell smaller cars which have much better fuel economy ratings to offset the poor fuel economy ratings of the larger vehicles.
For model year 2001, the change to 5w20 oil will allow a vehicle manufacturer's overall CAFE to decrease by a very small amount, typically in the tenths of a mile per gallon range. 5w20 oil is a lighter viscosity than a 5w30 oil and therefore has less internal engine frictional losses, or less drag on the crankshaft, pistons and valve-train. This decrease in frictional power loss promotes increased fuel economy. This increased fuel economy is virtually undetectable to the average consumer without the use of specialized engine monitoring and testing equipment when compared to a 5w30, 10w30 or a 0w30 viscosity motor oil.
Question: What are the negative aspects of using a 5w20 oil?
Answer: 5w20 oil has less film and shear strength than a 5w30, 10w30 or a 0w30 motor oil. This can lead to increased engine wear under today's demanding heat and high-stress engine performance conditions.
Question: Is the above true of synthetics as well?
Answer: Yes and no. Depends upon what you're comparing. A 5w20 synthetic oil will likely have less film and shear strength than a synthetic 5w30, 10w30 or 0w30. However, if you compare that same synthetic 5w20 motor oil to a petroleum 5w30, or 10w30, it will likely have better film and shear strength.
Obviously, this means it will certainly have better film and shear strength than a petroleum 5w20 oil. So, if you'd feel more comfortable sticking with the manufacturer recommended 5w20, go with a quality synthetic oil.
Question: Don't I have to use a 5w20 oil to maintain my factory warranty if my manual recommends a 5w20 oil?
Answer: Absolutely not. Vehicle manufacturers recommend using motor oils meeting certain viscosity grades and American Petroleum Institute service requirements. Whether the motor oil is a 5w20, 5w30, 10w30 or 0w30 or even a synthetic vs. a petroleum-based oil will not affect warranty coverage. The manufacturer is required to cover all equipment failures it would normally cover as long as the oil meets API service requirements and specifications and was not the cause of the failure.
In addition, the federally mandated Magnuson - Moss Warranty Improvement Act states that a manufacturer may not require a specific brand of aftermarket product unless it is provided free of charge. If your dealership continues to tell you that you need to use 5w20 oil to maintain your warranty, then ask them to put it in writing. If they indicate you must use a particular brand of oil to maintain your warranty, tell them you expect it to be provided free of charge.
Their position is inaccurate and, in fact, violates existing U.S. legislation. Additionally, if there is ever a question of whether or not a particular oil was the cause of an engine failure make sure to get a sample of the used oil in a bottle, typically 6 oz. minimum. That will provide enough fluid to send oil to 2 independent testing labs for analysis. Remember, being a knowledgeable and informed consumer is your best defense against being taken advantage of by a car dealership service center.
Kevsong is absolutely spot on in his explanation of the motor oils. For me, i will be using QS 5W30 at the first oil change for 2 reasons: 1. Here in Oklahoma we've been having very hot summers - sometimes approaching 110. With a high-revving engine that is in our E's it would breakdown the viscosity of 5W20 too quickly. 2. Fuel economy - well lubricated engines wear less and get better economy - this goes back to reason 1 - however I got excellent fuel mileage in my previous car (97 Civic EX coupe) using QS 5W30 sometimes as high as 40 mpg - on a hot summer day yet, A/C on, and doing 85mph. After reading Kevsongs analysis I wish i had majored in Petroleum engineering instead of mechanical engineering.
I just read where Mobil has released a 0w-20 oil, specifically for Honda. The info is not on their website as yet.
I am still confused over the oil change guidelines in the owner manual. I always changed the oil every 5k with Mobil1 synthetics on my other vehicles. The Element is a lease vehicle and I plan on going by the manual. The dealer never did tell about any different service schedule. I can only assume the difference is so that a service dept. can make some $$$.
Don't bother using the synthetics unless you plan to only change your oil every 8-10k miles. Otherwise, it's too darned expensive. Also, if you run it that long, it's best to get it tested at a Tribology facility every ~4k miles. If you are really convinced that you want to spend the $60 per case, get the best: Amsoil. I know that they have a website, try it out. They make the best synthetic everything.
ME- I just use conventional 5W-20 and change the oil every 3k like clockwork.
And DON'T forget to change the oil @ around 2700-3000 miles the first time....the oil in the new Hondas straight from the factory is a special detergent that is designed to put up with the wear particles the engine is expected to shed from the cylinders in the break-in period. DON'T leave the detergent in longer than 3000 miles. BAD things can happen.
hi all,i just logged on. got myself a silver 2wd ex mid feb.already @ 1500mi.about the oil issue,anyone know about amsoil?been using it for nearly 10yrs and nothing i know synthetic or mineral beats it.check it out @amsoil.com.it will be in my e @first oil change.look forward to talking to all,later.
I am familiar with AMS OIL, don't put in AMSOIL until after 10,000 miles...
Many manufacturers and the US ARMY studies show that synthetic impedes normal engine break-in, due to the same excellent properties that keep your engine lubricated so well. It is so "slippery" that the engine doesn't break-in as needed.
Inadequate break-in can lead to oil leaks - rings don't seat as well, etc.
Synthetic's smaller molecules exacerabate an oil leak. So, using AMSOIL before 10,000 miles can acutally be a double whammy - assumming you continue to use synthetic oil.
I've read AMSOIL docs and I've used it in the past. (I have some in my garage). Synthetics work, just don't use it during the break-in period :wink:
bighc2000:: the 0w20 oil youa re refering ot is used in the Honda Insight. Im a Honda tech and I havent done any services on a new Hybrid yet, so Im not sure what they use, but I thinkits 5w20. the insight is just 3 cyl and the Hybrid is 4.
I would like to differ iwth you guys ont he use of 5w30. Honda put out a statement saying not to use 5w30 in a 5w20 engine for many reasons. The main ones I remeber are that it will eventually cause sludge in your engine and it will not flow properly being that its thicker. Just think, Honda invested thousands and thousands of dollars just in the wieght of oil to use while testing there engines. I think they know best on which to use.