CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Oil Change

I have a 2005 Chrysler 300 with the 3.5 engine and 107,000 miles. I get my oil changed at a local Chevy dealership because they are close and have the best price for a basic oil change. The last time I was in they told me the recommended oil for my Chrysler is 10w30 and they don’t stock that weight any longer since newer cars all use 5w30. They had me sign a paper that said I knew they were going to use 5w30 instead of 10w30. Is it okay to continue to use the 5w30 or do I need to find a new place to do my oil changes? Most of my driving is around town in Northern Indiana but several times a year we do drive out to Colorado. Should I use the 10w30 when we will be going on a trip or will the 5w30 be okay? really like this car and want to keep it as long as possible and don’t want to screw it up now by using the wrong oil.

Look in the owner’s manual. It should say specifically what types of oil are approved. My Honda for example will take 5w, or 10w-30 but it depends on the temp/season. The thicker stuff is for summer time only.
You’re doing the right thing to trust but verify.

-Accordion

The difference between the 5W-30 oil and the 10W-30 oil is the winter weight. That’s what the 5W &10W mean. So that’s the visocity of the oil when cold. Once the engine gets up to operating temperature both oils are a 30 weight.

On a cold start is where most engine wear occurs. So you want an oil that flows freely when cold.

Think of it like this. Which is easier to suck thru a straw? Chocolate milk? Or a chocolate shake?

Tester

I would check the owner’s manual too. Every car I’ve owned since 1986 has used 5w-30 with no issues.

Ed B

Others may disagree, but personally I’d never switch from what the manufacturer specifies in the owner’s manual.

I think lion9car makes a good point. But, what is the harm in buying your own oil at a department store and taking it to the Chevy dealership ? Personally I would have no problem using 5w-30 under these circumstances but the recommendations by the manufacturer must mean something. Have you called Chrysler and asked them directly ?

I’m stunned that a Chrysler dealership doesn’t carry 10W30, and then would ask you to sign a waiver because they’re putting in other than the prescribed weight. This is a pretty basic product, and I have to assume that Chrysler should be able to service other than brand new vehicles of their make… It appears this dealership is pinching pennies beyond reason.

Honestly, I’d find an independently owned and operated shop and start going there. There’s something hokey with this dealership.

SMB, read the lead post again…

In 2005, 5w-30 was far less common and 10w-30 far more common…But like Tester said, the Chrysler 300 3.5L will never know the difference…

Jobog, it’s not engine failure that will send your 300 to the scrapper… Transmission failure is a far more likely cause.

Having your car serviced at a Chevy dealer is asking for trouble…They seldom if ever see your make of car nor would they normally stock oil filters for it…They are just not familiar with it and that’s asking for trouble…

Caddyman, you’re right…it was a Chevy dealer. Mea Culpa.

Even with that correction, however, I’m stunned that a dealership would not carry 10W30. This is a really, really basic service product, and I can’t believe that any dealership would not carry it to service the legions of older vehicles of all makes still on the road. I could understand if they didn’t carry the filter…but the oil???

At least the dealer is being honest about it…and not selling the guy 10w-30, but actually putting in 5w-30.

I think even a chevy dealer is better then the jiffy-lube places…but an Independent is going to be better.

The filter form a Chevy dealer will probably be AC/Delco. They’re a good filter. And I’ll bet they have the filter for most vehicles.

Nissan dealer here in NH even advertises that they work on ALL makes and manufacturers. So I wouldn’t be surprised if this Chevy dealer does also.

As has already been mentioned the only difference in the two oils is the cold start up weight 5w vs. 10w. I personally wouldn’t have a problem with running the 5w. Within a few minutes of driving both are going to act as a 30 weight My cars all recommend 5w30 or 5w20. I use 10w40 in all of them. 1 has 518K miles, 2 are near 200K miles and uses 1/2 quart-1quart between 5K miles changes, two are between 100-150K miles and use no oil. 1 is near 100K and uses no oil and one is at 32K and uses no oil.

Thanks for all the comments. I checked the owners manual and all it says is 10w30. The Chevy dealer I go to is 40 miles closer than the nearest Chrysler dealer and they have a quick change bay where all they do is oil changes. I’ve seen every type of car on the road go through there since they only charge $14.00 for an oil change. I think I will continue to use them and not worry about the different oil. Again, thanks for the comments.

$14. for an oil change is a very good deal. You couldn’t buy the oil and filter and do it yourself fr that price. Of course the dealership probably buys oil in bulk and gets filters at wholesale, therefore able to afford to do this plus it gives them the chance look for other problem areas and try to up sell other parts/services. If they recommended other work services I’d get a second opinion before letting them do the work.

I would like to point out that weight is not the only factor to look at when choosing oil. Two different oils recommended for two different cars may have different specifications and oil for one car may result in extra wear in another car even if they all are the same weights.

Most if not all modern oils not only spec out the oil weight, but additional specifications which may resist acid forming in the system etc.

5w-30 is fine. Good oil is better than no oil changes. The dealer is the mechanic let them worry about it, they are responsible. Most are really trying to be good regular service folk. That brings in the buisness.