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'14 CTS-V LongRoof; '16 ATS-V Sedan,' 04 Trailblazer 4x4; '10 CTS LongRoof gone but never forgotten
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I used 30 weight on my 5.4 ticking time bomb
 
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97 Eldo ETC,98 STS,04 SRX N*,06 STS N*,14 CTS VSport Premium, 17 CTS Vsport Prem Lux
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I'm not a mechanic or pretend to be. But a wise old neighbor who was a bit of a grease monkey told me one time that you never put fresh oil in an old filter. That's my advice now - change the filter with your new oil.
 

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Black/Black 2013 CTS Sedan 3.0L RWD (102k miles)
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Discussion Starter #63
For "high mileage" oil, is it only really used if there are leaks/burning? My understanding is that the HM oils have like additives that seal leaking gaskets and such. If the car is not losing oil between changes, even if it's over 100k, regular oil is fine?
 

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Yep, stay the course and use regular oil, not HM.
 
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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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No need for "high mileage" engine oils.
 

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2011 CTS Coupe FE3, 2003 Thunderbird, Gone 2013 ATS, 02 Deville
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Yes, High Mileage oil has additive for "Conditioning Older Seals" (their words not mine)
 

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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
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Go ahead, blame me. Everybody does 🙄
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wait. are you saying Andy Granatelli was wrong ?
Sorry, going off memory.
Scientifically Treated Petroleum.
 

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Like I remember an engineer saying about STP in a race engine: "Won't hurt".
The STP-Paxton Turbocar United Aircraft of Canada ST6B-62 gas turbine, mid-mounted was an American racing car, designed by Ken Wallis as the STP entry in the Indianapolis 500. Parnelli Jones drove it in the 1967 event. After leading for much of the race, a transmission failure with only eight miles left ended the run. It crashed during qualification for the 1968 race; the damage was not fixed and the car ended its career.
 

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So now I have gotten into a habit of checking my oil at every gas fill up (now its like once a month fill up).

I heard you can check your brakes by running your hand across the rotor and if you feel a rim at the edge it is time for a change, is there any truth to this?
No. The primary reason to service brakes is pad wear. When replacing pads, rotors should be resurfaced or at least deglazed. Prior to doing so, the rotor thickness must be checked to see if there's adequate material left. Modern rotors Often start out so thin (light and cheap) that they cannot be remachined and must instead be replaced . Frankly, new rotors are so cheap its usually a no brainer to replace vs have them machined.

If your rotor has visible scoring, grooves, etc then either the pads have been run beyond their useful life, something has gotten lodged between the pad and rotor, or your caliper is not floating freely. A lip at the outer edge may be the result of normal wear but generally a set of pads won't last long enough to make a significant ridge, and if there's much ridge, you probably are below minimum thickness.

Monitor pad thickness (usually part of free 27 point inspection while wheels are off for rotation) and expect to replace pads and rotors as sets once pads are down to maybe 3mm. If your rotors look anything but smooth and shiny go get an inspection to look for frozen caliper slide or broken linings.

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Monitor pad thickness (usually part of free 27 point inspection while wheels are off for rotation) and expect to replace pads and rotors as sets once pads are down to maybe 3mm.
The only caveat here is if you go to a garage chain, like Goodyear or some other oil change place. My wife went to Tires Plus with her car. Every time (EVERY TIME) she went there they told her her brakes needed to be changed. After a few times and I told her "no" she thought she was going to die if she drove her car. So I changed her brakes. They had over half the life left in those pads. I showed them to her and she was extremely pissed and never went back to that place. Well, she did go back once more and told that manager what she thought of her. So those free 27 point inspections aren't always the gospel.
 
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I'd have the oil changed 1/yr minimum only because it creates a service history. I'm guilty of running certain equipment a VERY long time between oil changes because I know the duty cycle is not hard on oil and the equipment is not particularly sophisticated. My cars and expensive machinery get service based on calendar as a minimum and more often if the miles/hours require it. Warranty coverage and resale values both benefit from a well documented service history. I also happen to be one of those jerks who believe folks with Cadillac budgets should not fret the minor cost of an oil change. If heavy use results in 2 or 3 changes/year, why think twice about the "waste" of doing 1 change per year vs zero? We're talking 20 cents a day! If that's an issue, your Cadillac had better be your residence....
...

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The only caveat here is if you go to a garage chain, like Goodyear or some other oil change place. My wife went to Tires Plus with her car. Every time (EVERY TIME) she went there they told her her brakes needed to be changed. After a few times and I told her "no" she thought she was going to die if she drove her car. So I changed her brakes. They had over half the life left in those pads. I showed them to her and she was extremely pissed and never went back to that place. Well, she did go back once more and told that manager what she thought of her. So those free 27 point inspections aren't always the gospel.
I agree. Far too many shyster operations preying on the unaware. A mechanic is a car doctor. Folks need to find one they can truly trust, get second opinions when needed, be prepared to pay a fair price for car surgery and avoid the back alley quacks who lure you with cheap work and screw you with bogus upsells. Above all trust but verify. If you are unwilling or unable to become educated enough about cars to understand the differences between brakedust and BS, then you will always be vulnerable to bad advice and malicious cons. Some folks are wealthy enough to abdicate all maintenance to a shop that may or may not be looking out for their best interests. The majority of us would be well served to maintain a certain skepticism. The care and feeding of automobiles is one area where the 1950s model of manly men teaching their wives and offspring about the basics is sorely missing today. Too many folks are just sitting ducks in this respect. Yes cars are complex but owners manuals provide excellent information as to the true maintenance requirements. It is very disheartening to see even OEM dealerships pushing unnecessary profit boosters and upselling questionable maintenance based on scaring customers.

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So are 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30 all interchangeable? I understand that the 20s are a bit more thinner than the 30s. However can you use a 20 weight on a 30 or does it only work the other way around where a 30 can be used in a car designed for 20 weight? It seems you guys think the 30 offers more protection than a 20.
The higher the number, the more viscous the oil. Multi-grade oils have 2 numbers, a cold weight and a hot weight. So for example a 5W30 is rated to perform like a 5 when cold, and a 30 when hot. So what does that mean? Generally speaking, it's ok to use from around -30°C to +35°C (-22°F to 95°F) ambient air temp, but of course when temps get close to either extreme it's not going to perform as well. It's like running an all-season tire year round. It's not going to perform as well as a performance tire in the summer, and it's not going to perform as well as a winter tire in the snow. But it allows you to run one type of oil year round that satisfies the range of expected operating conditions.

Obviously we don't all live where the climate offers the same operating conditions. So like The Flash runs thicker oil because he lives in Vegas, someone like NorthernSRX may well do the opposite and use a thinner grade. Similarly, if you live at the edge of either temperature environment, you could go up or down a grade from what the manufacturer recommends.

Interestingly, my Ducati does not recommend an oil viscosity, the manual calls for AGIP Racing 4T, which is a motorcycle-specific brand of full synthetic. It's available in grades from 5W40 to 20W50 so obviously Ducati is leaving it to the end user to determine what weight is best for their operating environment. It's the equivalent of GM saying, use DEXOS oil. Where I live, in a northern climate, I've been running 15W40 in it, after trying everything from 10W40 to 20W50. I don't race it and it never gets hot enough around here to warrant 20W50, and I'm old and no longer ride year round to use the 10W40. Point being, it's ok to go up or down a grade, from the base manufacturer recommended weight, in order to better suit your environmental conditions.
 

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I would not deviate the upper number based on climate. Liquid cooled engines have thermostats to regulate temperature. Once it achieves operating temp it should stay there whether its 20F or 100F outdoors. If I felt my climate was extreme enough to warrant adjusting the choice of oil, I would consult the owners manual. It almost always provides a chart to show what viscosity grade is acceptable under what environmental condition. If you are having consumption or noise issues you expect to fix with a change in the viscosity then you are probably mechanically worn to a point where the choice of oil is a band-aid at best. Additionally, where it used to be quite true that oil is oil and anything meeting the api service class was good enough, and anything with a newer 2letter class was backwards compatible (i.e. better) neither is the case anymore. Certain additives in older formulations are being removed or cut back in newer oils. Manufacturers now have specific specs they need to protect their particular design and hence Audi oil doesn't satisfy chevy or vice versa. New chevy oil is not necessarily good enough for your classic impala. We have taken a step back from the simplicity of the 2000s when we had tons of choices in great lubricants that were nearly all overkill. Now we are headed back to a confusing world of proprietary specs, bespoke formulations, and a need for legacy type oils for older cars.

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