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Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

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CSDentonTX
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Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by CSDentonTX » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:35 pm

1995 960 Sedan

So, I've been looking at this chart from the manual:
2019-11-11 15-02-27-1.jpg


When I take it in to have the oil change, which I do once a year during the safety and emissions inspection (next year only safety as it will be a classic auto and exempt from air emissions check in Texas), they put 5W/30 in there, but by my reading it would seem that 5W/40 or 10W/30 would be more appropriate since my car here in Texas is more likely to be run in that 68-104F range. That 5W/30 in the chart looks good for cold weather below -4F which we're not likely to ever have, and believe me, I won't be driving around in it if we do.

Questions: Any problems with continuing in the 68-104F range with the 5W/30 that they're putting in? I think it's mainly because they don't stock 10W/30 or 5W/40, but I'm just guessing. The oil change place says, "It'll be just fine." Of course, they would say that.

If the last number is the warm weather driving viscosity rating, why do the 5W/40 and 10W/30 both top out at 104F in the Volvo chart?

My thought is to just change it myself with 5W/40 and be good for 104F and below or 10W/30 and be good for all temps we're likely to see around here. But it is so tempting to have them do it as it's almost as cheap and me just buying the oil and filter.
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1995 Volvo 960 Maroon Sedan
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MoVolvos
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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by MoVolvos » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:06 pm

For an older car I would go with a 15W-40 Synthetic or 5W-40 if you can't find a good brand in that viscosity.
Have always use 15W-40 in CA (45 ~ 100 degrees) weather till I purchased the 98 S70 T5 and had an unseasonably below freezing morning weather and the Turbo did not like it for a few blocks.

I currently use the 5W-40 Rotella T6 in NC for all 4 cars except the Atlas.
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https://www.amazon.com/Shell-Rotella-Sy ... 85&sr=8-16
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https://www.amazon.com/Shell-Rotella-Sy ... 8661430101
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https://www.amazon.com/Shell-Rotella-Sy ... 8661430101
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June
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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by June » Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:21 pm

Here in Florida when Volvo Dealer Castrol Synthetic was being used in my S80 they put 10W30 out of bottles in and 5W30 during winters. My T6 is a 2.9 and a sister to your 960's six. Once I switched to Redline oil I use 5W30 year round without issue for several years now. I would not run XW40 unless you are towing with it. So my advice is use 10W30 during hot months. June
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My Volvo cars owned
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CSDentonTX
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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by CSDentonTX » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:22 am

I'm thinking 10W30 should cover most my bases here, especially since I drive so few miles on it and am only changing it once a year.

If I recall, there's a place in the manual that says not to use 15W40 except in towing and and mountain driving.

I appreciate all the input.


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Rattnalle
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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by Rattnalle » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:43 am

An oil with a smaller span between cold and warm viscosity is in theory more stable and thus able to resist heat better long term. In practice I suspect it varies quite a lot.

I would go for 5w40 regardless of conditions since it's easy to get hold of, covers everything temperature wise and provides good protection with it's slightly higher warm viscosity. It's also more likely to be a larger part synthetic than a 10w30 that can be pretty much anything. But either will be fine so whichever is convenient really.

I also don't really see a reason to go for 15w40 since it isn't called for.
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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by MoVolvos » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:30 pm

Texas being warm most of the time 15W40 is heavier for older looser motors with more miles. The engine is quieter besides peppier. That was the weight for many many years till I purchased the 98 S70 T5. Too thick during start up for cooler weathers and the Turbo.


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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by Rattnalle » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:03 am

MoVolvos wrote:
Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:30 pm
Texas being warm most of the time 15W40 is heavier for older looser motors with more miles. The engine is quieter besides peppier. That was the weight for many many years till I purchased the 98 S70 T5. Too thick during start up for cooler weathers and the Turbo.
Mostly a difference when cold though, the same-ish at operating temperature. But sure for an old engine designed for older oil qualities and no turbo it'll be fine. It just doesn't really provide much added benefit either.

I've got a newer car that's barely broken in yet so I stick with 5w40. Happy turbo and no oil consumption.



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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by dm635 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:00 am

Last post didn't take. I found my 960 did not like 15-40 during these cold Kentucky winters. Car would start up rough and run that way until engine was fully warmed up.

Changed over to Castrol 10-30 and starts up smooth below freezing. Don't know the last time I that low a weight of oil.

It's gotta be the tight tolerances in this 960 white block even with 214K on the clock.
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CSDentonTX
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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by CSDentonTX » Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:12 pm

That is my concern, too with switching to the 15w-40, dm635. We don't get cold that often, but we do have several days a year when we're into the teens and twenties, and those are the days I'd like to take the 960 out.

I really do appreciate everyone's feedback on it.

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jimmy57
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Re: Oil viscosity and the owners' manual

Post by jimmy57 » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:18 pm

The white engines are all about tight tolerances and they hold those bearing clearances for a long long time unless the engine is not serviced or run with low oil level or no or low oil pressure. The crankshaft and block bearing recesses are measured and the selective bearings are the ways that is accomplished. Rods are inspected and are discarded if not within tolerance. Rods are cheap but blocks and crankshafts have had a lot of machining before so they are not discarded, the polish steps and thicker bearing shells are the fix to get proper clearance without relaxing the engineering standards. Another fact is that thicker oil is harder to push through the tight clearances and the total oil system flow is reduced by thicker oils. The oil filter is bypassed much more as the oil is thicker and must reach a hotter temp in order to not have oil filter bypass vale open when pressure drop through filter is too great.. Reduced flow is a big contributor to engine sludge. All this points to thinner oil. Synthetic oil has greater viscosity stability and does not gain viscosity with use in engine so that is the recommendation for older engines and a requirement for newer models.
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