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2005 Honda Civic Sdn - Oil

i have been pouring caltex havoline 20w50 api sm.with drain interval of 3200-km. in my car engine for the last almost 4 years, some oil guy told me that this grade of oil is not suitable for my car and i must change it to 10w40 api sn or 5w30 api sn, should i accept his advice or stick to 20w50? car engine is in perfect working condition, no oil leakage or oil level drop, odo reading is 220000 kms.

If it aint broke don’t fix it

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Fifteen years old? Seems like you found the perfect oil!


Come on, you know that oil has the consistency of molasses and probably hasn’t been spec’ed for use in any car in the last 25 years. How about ‘check what your owners manual specifies as to oil viscosity, and use that. If you don’t have an owners manual, one may be downloaded from the Honda website’.;

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3200 KM oil change interval (OCI), that’s every 2000 miles. Haven’t seen an OCI like that since the 50’s.

20w50 will introduce a lot of drag but may not actually hurt the engine. About the only way it could damage the engine is if you do a lot of sustained driving, particularly at highway speeds or you are using this as a delivery vehicle and let it idle for long periods of time. The reason is that this oil will not drain away from the bearings and allow itself to be replenished as often as lighter weight oils.

With the oil spending more time between the bearings, it will get hotter and breakdown faster. It will also make the bearing hotter so some damage could occur there, but you are changing the oil so often that you would be minimizing the problem.

But the oil is creating extra drag on the engine thus reducing your fuel economy. I would not recommend 10w40 either. If you don’t live in a climate that goes below freezing, 10w30 would be a good choice. If you do go below freezing, use 5w30.

You should change your oil every 6 months regardless of KMs but you can go 5000 to 8000 KMs between oil changes if you accumulate that much within 6 months.

What does Honda recommend in the owners or via its dealers? My 1999 Civic used 5W30 when new; a few years ago I was at a Honda dealer and saw a Honda chart calling for 5W20 for current model Honda Civics and going back to 1999 and maybe earlier: a retroactive change in recommended oil.

I doubt that 20W50 has been recommended by Honda, or a 3200km change interval, either. Who suggested that?

I suppose it depends where you live. If it’s hot and dusty, like southern Libya, then the oil and change interval may be appropriate. If you live in Canada, probably not.

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oy, hot conditions?
your cooling system keeps motor at proper temp.
no need to use thicker oil when it is hot out.
only need to use high viscosity oil if you race or get oil temps >250deg
if your motor is worn and has sloppy bearing clearances and have low oil pressure as a result, would i consider using higher viscosity oil

Only after the engine warms up. Most damage occurs at startup before the oil warms up and becomes more fluid. Higher viscosity oils take longer to become thin enough to lubricate as well as oils of the correct viscosity.

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Curious where the original poster is located. Honda may recommend a different oil viscosity in a different country. Most likely not 20w50, though!

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A video from motor week explains why one should use the recommended oil viscosity. Skip ahead to 3:00 or so, and Goss will reiterate what others here correctly said: Heavier is not better.

Judging by the name the OP may be from the Middle East.
In places like there 20W50 is common;
and old-schoolers claim it’s the best protection.
Look for posts by @irlandes in Mexico.
I would run 10W40 in that situation in a 2005 Honda.
However, when I had a 1975 Civic I ran 20W50 on a 3800 mile summer road trip.

While I do agree heavier oil may not be better…Pat Goss is NOT a mechanic I’d ever take a car to. He’s given some extremely bad advice over the years. He’s basically there to push products.

The essential problem with a 10w-40, or 20w-50 or anything with that large a viscosity spread is that the large amount of viscosity improver required does not leave enough room in the mix for sufficient lubricating oil.

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That was more of an issue in the '60s and '70s
Today there are wide spread oils like 0W40 and 5W50, recommended by some (European) car makers and used without problems.
Mind you they’re synthetic.
Modern “conventional” oils have some synthetic base to meet the SN etc. specs.

From what I’m seeing the recommended oil for the US version of the 4-cylinder 1.7 SOHC engine is 5W-20, API: GF-4, Honda P/N 08798-9023.

Whether it would be to your advantage or detriment to switch oil specs now, hard to say. If your car develops a problem with the variable valve timing actuator – probably the most oil-spec sensitive part – that will be a clue the 20w50 SM was the wrong choice. But switching back to the recommended oil spec now may cause problems too.

Higher viscosity oil than spec will result in higher pressures. Which equate to lower flow to bearings. its a fixed displacement gear pump.

Cant imagine running an oil that heavy is great for a little 4 cylinder honda engine . Even new V6’s are using like 0W-20 now . I know back then it was probably like 5W-30 .

I think 10w40 would be on the very edge (high viscosity edge) of what I’d be somewhat comfortable using, even in an always warm climate.