04 honda pilot engine oil

Discussion in 'Pilot' started by mike113, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. mike113

    TeGGer® Guest

    (Gordon McGrew) wrote in

    $30 million is $30 million. Doesn't matter what kind of business you're in,
    $30 million OFF YOUR BOTTOM LINE is VERY significant.

    Considering that in most businesses about 90% of your gross (or more) ends
    up being bills to be paid, you protect the remaining 10% as best you can,
    hence the existence of 5W-20 part-synthetic.

    Who knows how close Honda is to that 27.5 limit?If they slip below, it's an
    instant $30 million tax. Smart businessmen are careful not to let that sort
    of thing happen. It may well be that CAFE is one reason Honda is not
    currently heavily involved in light trucks, and not in V8s. North America,
    primarily the US, is the world's foremost market for large engines with low
    fuel mileage. And the US is the *only* country with any sort of CAFE

    CAFE costs Ford tens of millions every year, again, right off the bottom
    line. Honda does not want to be Ford; Ford loses money. Honda does not.

    It may also be that Honda is planning for further expansion into larger
    vehicles (think Ridgeline), and is banking CAFE credits in preparation for
    that. Honda manufactures most of its large vehicles, like the Odyssey and
    the Ridgeline, in North America, so it has a separate CAFE quota to meet
    for those cars.

    Since there is literally no way to predict or plan for the consequences of
    any sort of governmental action, it makes sense for Honda to grab every
    straw that waves its way, since you never know when it might be needed.
    Hence the 5W-20 part-synthetic.

    There's also the "green" factor. Honda already is run by safety nuts, and
    they've been proponents of the "green" thing since CVCC days. I wouldn't be
    surprised if Honda is trying for that last 0.1mpg on philosophical grounds.
    TeGGer®, Mar 25, 2005
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  2. And is probably not a good choice for a street engine, anyway, very
    different criteria. Are F1 engines torn down after every race?
    Sparky Spartacus, Mar 25, 2005
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  3. mike113

    y_p_w Guest

    What I was getting at wasn't the technology, but that the final
    product isn't going to be the same. The Ferrari team wasn't using
    an off the shelf motor oil in their F1 engines, and its viscosity
    was probably too thick for your average street car driven in sub-
    desert temps. I wouldn't be surprised if the oil was somehow

    I doubt there's any technology going into these 5W-20 oils that
    one can't find in current off the shelf 5W-30.
    I was only thinking it's one of several factors. My understanding is
    that all things being equal, a thicker (operating temp) oil will have
    a higher thin film strength. Of course not all things are equal. The
    API standard for 5W-20 allows for more zinc (compared to 5W-30/10W-30),
    and several of the oils in this weight are reputed to contain rather
    high levels of molybdenum anti-wear additives.

    I wasn't thinking "thicker is better" under all circumstances. A good
    many automakers do have additional recommendations for extreme
    conditions such as towing or desert heat. My latest owner's manual
    says to use straight weight (30 or 40), 20W-40, or 20W-50 in such
    cases, when 5W-30 is the recommended year-round oil for normal driving
    conditions. If I lived in Arizona, I'd probably just junk all that
    and use Mobil 1 10W-30 year round, and throw in a yearly oil analysis
    to make sure it was working OK. I just sent a sample to Blackstone
    Labs this week.
    y_p_w, Mar 25, 2005
  4. mike113

    jim beam Guest

    oil analysis is a /very/ smart thing to do every now & then!
    jim beam, Mar 25, 2005
  5. Nope.
    Steve Bigelow, Mar 25, 2005
  6. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure they don't just throw $30 million away.
    But, when your profit is about $5B, it is less than 1% - not VERY
    significant in my judgement.
    The system could be easily fixed but it would require the political
    will to do so. The big car companies didn't want it to change so it
    hasn't. But the big car companies (you know the two I mean) are
    getting smaller and they may be overruled some day. Or maybe gas will
    go to $6 a gallon and make CAFE irrelevant.
    IMO, the reason Honda makes money is that Honda looks forward beyond
    the next quarter. Saving $5 a car today is not worth pissing off even
    1% of your customers. That's why I wouldn't be worried about running
    5W-20 in a Honda that specified it. Higher price and limited
    availability would piss me off a little though.

    Ford loses money because they are greedy bastards. They will burn you
    to death for $5 a car. Great in the short run but it tends to
    discourage repeat purchases.
    Don't be naive, its much more complex than that. Ody, Pilot,
    Ridgeline are all trucks built in NA. As such they are separate from
    cars. And they may even be separate from each other if some are
    domestic and others are import. But, you say, they are all made in
    North America. They could still be either domestic or import
    depending on whether domestic content exceeds 75%. By manipulating
    the sourcing of a few parts you can flip NA factory output from
    domestic to import and back again to manipulate your numbers. Of
    course the ultimate dodge would be a Honda Suburban which is not even
    covered by CAFE.

    But, 0.1 mpg is still only worth $5 per car.
    Not sure I understand this. What is the part-syhnthetic? Does Honda
    require that in 5W-20? Is that why someone was saying it was "only"
    an extra $1 per quart? It sounds like Honda is just inefficiently
    transferring costs to its customers. Wouldn't you prefer that Honda
    just charge you $5 (or $15) dollars more for the car than get hit for
    a $1 on every quart of oil? (You might recover a third of that $1 on
    fuel savings but you won't notice that.)
    Heh heh, I wonder if it was the safety nuts or the greens that set the
    Accord Hybrid to be the fastest model in the Accord lineup.

    I don't doubt that Honda has more of a soul than most car companies
    but I don't think they are quite as zen as to want their tree to crash
    in the forest if no one hears it. Honda has made great advances in
    safety and environment but they usually don't hide their efforts.
    Gordon McGrew, Mar 25, 2005
  7. This year they have to go two races. Unless they blow up in the first
    Gordon McGrew, Mar 25, 2005
  8. mike113

    y_p_w Guest

    I believe engine rebuilds occurred in the past. I recall reading
    and article in AutoWeek about Ferrari selling several of their
    used F1 cars for a cool $2M each. Apparently each engine had a
    service life of 300 miles, which could be doubled if the rev limiter
    was dropped 1000 RPM. Most F1 races are under 200 miles I believe.

    I seem to recall there are (or it was proposed) rules that an F1
    engine must be able to last an entire race weekend, including
    y_p_w, Mar 25, 2005
  9. Two races this year.
    Steve Bigelow, Mar 25, 2005
  10. mike113

    y_p_w Guest

    Apparently most of the 5W-20 oil (even the ones sold as "conventional")
    contain higher quality base oil. It may be PAO or a higher quality
    hydrocracked petroleum oil (which is sometimes marketed as "synthetic"
    these days). They might also boost certain other antiwear additives
    to compensate for the thinness at operating temps. It might cost more
    to make a properly formulated 5W-20, but I suppose it can be absorbed
    across the entire lineup of oil weights.
    Apparently yes, with the caveat that 5W-30 is OK as an emergency
    backup. However - I don't recall that Honda is recommending 5W-20
    except in North America for the exact same engines.
    Most of the 5W-20 oil I've seen on store shelves recently doesn't
    command a premium over the other offerings in the same "product
    line". OTOH - it's hard to find the 5W-20 in many of the cheaper

    I rented a Mazda 6 last Dec. They actually took it to a quickie
    lube place and the sticker specifically said they used Mobil 5W-20.
    Newer Mazdas come with a 5W-20 recommendation similar to Ford's.
    y_p_w, Mar 25, 2005
  11. mike113

    dold Guest

    I had a little trouble finding 5w-20 for my Mustang in 1996, but I did.
    My 2003 Civic calls for 0w-20, and that's what I use.
    That's even harder to find, but you only have to find the source once.

    My '96 Mustang had 120,000 miles on 5w-20 oil when I sold it.
    My '00 Durango had 91,000 miles on 5w-20 oil when I sold it.
    My '03 Civic has 40,000 miles on 0w-20 oil.

    I change oil at the factory recommended normal service intervals.

    So longevity with 5w-20 doesn't seem to be the issue. I haven't noticed
    the price, but the 5w-20 seemed to be the same as other weights.
    dold, Mar 25, 2005
  12. mike113

    y_p_w Guest

    First of all, your Mustang didn't come with a factory recommendation
    for 5W-20 oil, although I understand that Ford has back-dated their
    recommendation for 5W-20 to some cars as far back as the 1995 model

    Actually - 0W-20 is now near impossible to find. Mobil has
    discontinued Mobil 1 0W-20. They may still be making it for Honda,
    and you might be able to find it at a dealer. Sounds like you've
    got the Civic Hybrid. The Honda labelled 0W-20 was selling for
    $6/quart at one local dealer (I asked).
    It was a problem at first. The first brands of 5W-20 I saw on store
    shelves (Pennzoil and Motorcraft) were selling for slightly more than
    their 5W-30 or 10W-30 equivalents.
    y_p_w, Mar 26, 2005
  13. mike113

    dold Guest

    Right. Mental slip. The Mustang was originally spec'd for 5w-30, which
    was harder to find, but not more expensive. Later the spec was changed to
    5w-20. I think I continued with 5w-30.

    Still, you only have to find the source once. Mine was "Kragen". Not
    exactly hard to locate.
    dold, Mar 26, 2005
  14. The significance varies, of course, depending on the company's bottom
    line. Big companies routinely report earnings of more than $1 billion /
    quarter [*], so $30 mil/$4 billion = 0.0075, which is fairly small. I'm
    not claiming, of course, that any company would take a sack of $30 mil
    and toss it out the window or dump it into the ocean. IIRC some auto
    manufacturers (Ford comes to mind) have accepted fines/legal judgments
    greater than $30 mil because it was cheaper than correcting a problem
    with millions of cars.
    IMHO you're being a little disingenuous here - other countries tax
    gasoline/petrol *much* heavier than the US does - enforcing a tougher
    CAFE without the need to codify one.
    An unfair characterization, IMHO.

    [*] Microsoft's Net income for the fourth quarter was $2.69 billion

    GM's 2004 Net Income in (mil.) $2,805.0

    IBM ARMONK, N.Y., January 18, 2005 . . . IBM today announced ...

    It was IBM's strongest fourth quarter ever, with earnings exceeding $3
    billion for the first time.

    Sparky Spartacus, Mar 26, 2005
  15. Engines for other countries are never *exactly* the same as for the US
    market. Hell, engines for the California market are different from the
    ones offered in the other 49. It's no longer the case (as it was in the
    early years of emission/noise/etc. standards) that the other markets are
    Sparky Spartacus, Mar 26, 2005
  16. I'll bet they aren't run 100,000 miles, plus, either.
    Sparky Spartacus, Mar 26, 2005
  17. There's always a loophole!
    Sparky Spartacus, Mar 26, 2005
  18. mike113

    y_p_w Guest

    In many ways the engines are exactly the same. I think what's
    are the emissions control systems. Sure - Honda isn't going to offer
    exactly the same engines in all markets, but there are a lot of engines
    that are made from the same materials from the same designs. Sure -
    one engine might be cast and assembled in Ohio while another is done
    in India, but it's still essentially the same engine.

    What I'm getting at is that 5W-20 isn't necessarily something that is
    hardwired into the engine's design. I really doubt that using 5W-30
    is going to kill any brand new Honda engine because of oil problems.
    y_p_w, Mar 29, 2005
  19. Which means they are not exactly the same - my point entirely.
    Sparky Spartacus, Mar 30, 2005
  20. mike113

    y_p_w Guest

    However - my point is that there's nothing special about the engine
    design/materials/construction that makes 5W-20 more suitable than
    5W-30. Mandating 5W-20 was a business decision.
    y_p_w, Mar 30, 2005
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