Question about 2001 Cadillac DeVille
There are basically two problems with using an oil that is "thicker" than recommnded by the manufacturer--i.e. is a heavier weight oil.
First, there will be increased effort needed to pump the oil, which will result in decreased gas mileage. Not a lot, but nonetheless significant. Second, and more important, with the tight tolerances in today's engines, an oil that is too thick won't lubricate everything properly. You can actually deprive some areas of the motor with enough oil, especially when cold. The result is premature wear.
One thing this owner can do is send a sample of the 20W-50 oil that he drains out to an oil analysis lab, such as Blackstone Laboratories, to get an analysis of the wear particles in the oil. If the report comes back within limits, then no damage has been done and he can go safely to the recommended 5W-30.
Generally speaking, and counterintuitive as it sounds, when it comes to motor oil in today's engines, thinner is better, up to a point. Some engines are being built to use an 0W-30 oil. Who knows how far this trend will go. For qualifying, many NASCAR teams use even thinner oil, and the motors stay together just fine.
Posted on Oct 11, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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