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Oil Change Question

I have a Dodge Grand Caravan 1998 with 92000 miles.
What type of oil should I use?

Currently I’m using 20-50W but a friend of mine told me that oil is too thick
The owner’s manual specifies 5-30W


Try using 5W-30 oil. If the engine starts using/burning oil the rings are worn. So go back to 20W-50 oil.


This is where a 5W50 synthetic might help - it’ll smoke less and might help pass emissions testing if you’re burning oil.

It could depend on your locale and driving habits. The 20/50 might be a bit thick if you live in a northern climate this time of year and not so good if most of your driving is short hop.

Here in OK in the summertime running 20/50 is not unheard of at all due to the wide open spaces and brutal heat but if the locale and driving habits involve a cooler climate and short hops then I’d use something a little thinner.

Always start with the manufacturer's recommendations.  I doubt if 20W50 was recommended by Dodge.  

Why are you using 20W50?

It would help to know a few things. Where does this car reside? Specifically, what is the current temps in the morning when you start the car to go out for the day? Why have you deviated from the recommended 5W-30 to 20W-50? Is the car burning oil, leaking oil, clouds of blue smoke following you wherever you go?

Many motors with 90K miles are still in good shape do fine with the original factory recommendations for oil weight. 20W-50 oil is thick when cold and will not do much lubricating until it warms up and flows more freely. This will cause more wear on cold start up and I wouldn’t use such a thick oil unless I was trying to nurse a very old tired engine along for a few more miles before either trashing it or rebuilding it. If the temp is 50 degrees or lower when you start the motor you are getting more wear on cold start up using the thick oil.

20/50 would be like molasses here in NH when temps drop below 0…Although it doesn’t look like that many happen soon. Going to be near 60 today.

I would stick with what the owners manual says. 5w-30 is what I’ve been using for 20+ years…

I would say use 5w-20, 5w-30, 10w-30, or 10w-40. Those are most common for dodge grand caravans.

Use 5W-30

Why trust the manual ?

@dagosa, is there a “not” missing in that sentence? … as in “Why not trust the manual?”

I would follew the manuel unless it has an appatite for burning oil, if it is leaking it, i would try to repair the leak

Personally, I have always found Jose to be more knowledgeable than Manuel, but you are free to take advice from anyone you choose.


Unless you have a major engine problem, use 5W30 or 10W30. Personally, I’d use the 10W30, but thats my preference.

What the heck ever compelled you to use 20W50?
Enquirng minds want to know.