5w20 Engine Oil

I have an Acura MDX and it says 5w20 on oil cap. I am taking to mechanic to get changed/state inspection who has conventional or synthetic oil changes.

I use the service monitor which is at about 6500 miles on the oil with 5% life left.

Is 5w20 one type of oil or another. I noticed an ad for Ford deaer with 5w20 showed semi-synthetic oil change for $30.

5-20 is the viscosity of the oil… Mineral, Semi- synthetic, Synthetic are TYPES of oil which have little to do with the WEIGHT or viscosity of the lubricant…

The come-on at the Ford dealership, does it include vehicles outside the Ford family? Read the fine print…

DO IT YOURSELF!!! grab some high quality oil, I like royal purple, filter, drain pan and do it yourself. you’ll know it done right. can be fun too… your local auto parts place will point you in the right direction. plenty of car basics stuff on the net to learn… I started doing this myself the last 2 years and can’t be happier. car and truck running fantastic.

Don’t go just by the writing on the filler cap. Look up the requirements in your owner’s manual. It is likely that mineral oil will be just fine, and you won’t have to spend the extra for synthetic or semi-synthetic (a mixture of mineral oil and synthetic). What Caddyman did not say but I’m sure he meant is that the Ford dealer wants to attract Ford owner’s into the shop so that they can find other issues with the vehicles and sell those services, too. Since you don’t own a Ford, you are not a prime target. Get it done ASAP. I usually start planning for the oil change when the OLM says there is less than 15% life left.

I agree. Though I’m not a fan of frequent oil changes with expensive oils, I am a fan of using what the manual says and doing Convienient oil changes. If I wait till the service monitor tells me to change the oil, I feel I run the risk scheduling an appointment or doing the change myself when it’s incontinent. If too much so, I fear I would put it off. Scheduling oil changes at say, 5000 miles which usually occurs well before monitors might indicate, I have a margin built into scheduling I feel more comfortable with.

“doing the change myself when it’s incontinent”

I always let my car take a bathroom break before I open the hood. ;o)

That incontinence would certainly explain any leaks. Sorry dag. To the OP . . . 5W20 is the weight of the oil and after you’ve confirmed that weight (from the oil cap) with your owners manual, pick a mechanic recommended by your family/friends/peers who you feel you can trust, and get on a normal schedule of maintenance. You might try to learn a little more about car care and start doing things yourself, like maybe take a car care class at your local vo-tech. As it stands now, if you don’t know what oil weight means you probably shouldn’t try to maintain the expensive Acura yourself (yet). Good luck! Rocketman

Simple, read the owner’s manual and follow the instructions there.

Personally I highly recommend finding a local INDEPENDENT shop and have them change the oil. Dealers are generally fine or at least no worse than average, but they tend to have higher overhead and they tend to charge more. Ask your friends and neighbors for a recommendation.

The one thing you should always avoid is any fast oil change place. Also watch out for those add ons like changing the blinker fluid.

Synthetic is better than standard oil, but for most people and engines (see owner's manual) you don't need it.  If however it is recommended or specified in the owner's manual then you do need synthetic. 

To the best of my knowledge the only down side of synthetic is the price you pay for it.

I would advise that you ignore that maintenance minder percentage gimmick and stick to an oil change regimen based on driving habits and conditions.
Going 6500 miles or more between oil changes can turn into an oil sludging problem. Just as bad is if you’re in the habit of not raising the hood every few weeks to check the oil level. Either one can lead to disaster.

That 30 dollar oil change at the Ford dealer is one of their new promotional gimmicks. It’s called “The Works” and involves an oil change, tire rotation, battery testing and cable end cleaning, inspection of all fluids and belts, etc, etc.

Do the rough math about labor and time involved. Thirty dollars in total, inclusive of parts, and this means one of 2 things.

  1. An experiencd senior mechanic is going to be irritated (polite way of putting it) at having to work for little or nothing on your car and will not care.
  2. Your car is going to be serviced by an oil change novice who also will not care or may botch something if he goes to dinking with battery testing and whatnot.

Typical of car manufacturers though; come out with a plan and have the mechanics pay for it.

Embarrassed to say but I checked the engine oil for first time after 7 months/6500 miles. It is at proper level so this 90k old Acura does not burn engine oil.

The previous owner did 6500-9500 mile oil changes using service indicator based off his statements and also a carfax that has every service done at dealership/service receipts. Not sure if changing more often at his point will buy much.

I asked about synthetic since I noticed some oils like 0w20 on shelf were only synthetic. Was not sure if Xw20 thing.

I think I am likely to just see my Subaru versed mechanic(other car) and see what transpires. He is beyond honest and fair.

Circuitsmith, Rocketman…"incontinent"Is it OK to blame it on the automatic spell check and my pudgy fingers hitting two keys at a time on my IPad ? No such luck. Didn’t think so. Ok, how about, " it’s a new but frequently used automotive term referring to premature fluid leakage. No? I can’t help it if they sold me the medical version of the iPad at the Apple store. Or maybe, it’s just a Fraudian slip. Ooops…there it goes again.

Just me but I wouldn’t have bought a car that had extended oil changes from 6500 to 9500 miles. No way. Max for me is 5000.

Dag, I know it was a typo.
Also an opportunity for hummus, er, humor.

The “works” will be just that. you’ll sit there and have them tell you all the stuff that has to be flushed, scrubbed and deburred… at $100/ hour. a fast change place will do that too.
Try and learn to do stuff yourself. What you can’t, find that small indy place that people trust.
I’ve found that the kids enjoy helping and the small hands help out!
I’ve haven’t been to a dealer/service person in 2 years. I’m very happy.
you’ll get great info here too…
I’ll guess that a full synthetic oil change done yourself, 5W-20, filter, be about $40.00 including tax. maybe little less.
car should run better. that is my experience.

I know Dag . . . still pretty funny tho . . . made me laugh when I read it! Glad I’m not the only one who does stuff like that. :@) Rocketman

Personally, I wouldn’t blink an eye for a vehicle that oil change receipts are provided for anywhere between 6500 and 9500 miles over the life of the vehicle, if the vehicle was a highway cruiser, with a long commute.

My '07 Altima and I typically went between 5k and 9500 miles between oil changes, depending on conditions. If I was doing a long road trip (like from Denver to NYC and back, which I did a couple of times), then the oil changes went longer.

I changed the oil myself every single time, and it was never low when I checked it every 1k miles, and not low when I would change it out. I kept a sample of each oil drain, and sent off a bunch of them for testing, and still have some sitting on my shelf to be tested if I feel like it currently.

I popped the valve cover off at the 50k mile mark, and everything was clean as a whistle inside.

So, trying to say that long oil changes lead to sludge problems is not a guarantee in all cases.
You guys really should change your thinking to allow for reality to come into play.

Now, if I lived in NYC with my Altima, and drove under those conditions, I wouldn’t have run my oil changes that long. More like 4k miles at the most. But, that’s the variability you have to take into consideration.

I traded my car in at 58k miles, and it was running fine, clean as a whistle, and I provided all my receipts and oil analysis reports when I swapped cars. I even went into carfax, and updated their information with all my oil change history as a previous owner of the car, which helped it sell.


I am okay with service receipts and the way service indicator works.

I lived abroad and servicing was one per year or roughly every 9000-10000 miles for me on a used car. No issues and pretty normal.

Rocketman…Circuitsmith… Made me laugh when you guys brought it to my attention too. I suddenly remembered all the times I put my coveralls on, crawled under the car, covered myself with grease and oil then got the “urge” All of a sudden a ten minute oil change turns into an hour and removing a carb. before everything was organized to put it back right turned into an all day job. There are indeed little perks moving from the suburbs to the country, if you know what I mean.