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Old 08-05-2009, 02:37 PM   #1
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ester oil info

I found this on a 350Z site, linked to another thread, sorry if this is already out there, but in case it's not, here you go.........


For those who might find this stuff interesting, here is a post I made over in the 370Z forum in regard to the special Nissan ester oil:

I tried posting this over at my350z.com, but it would only post the first paragraph or two, even in a second post. So, hopefully you'll see this here. Sorry for somewhat OT guys, but maybe everyone will find this a bit interesting:

The valve clatter issue was present on the G37 as well, which also uses the VQ37VHR engine. The VQ37VHR uses Nissan's patented hydrogen-free DLC. What's being postulated is that an ester-based hydrocarbon is needed to quiet the valve train because of the H-free DLC found on the bucket face of these engines.

Where I get confused is looking at the VQ35HR, which also uses Nissan's patented H-free DLC coating on the bucket faces, but doesn't share the valve clatter complaint with the VQ37VHR. So why is the H-free DLC now the culprit for valve clatter?

Looking at the two engines, and the complaint singularly associated with just one of them, I find it hard to believe that the common DLC coating is the culprit rather than the unique VVEL mechanism found in the VQ37VHR. Further, I find it hard to believe that using an ester base oil is the solution, based simply on an ester's polar affinity, when there are a good number of other hydroxyl compounds used in engine oil with similar hydrophillic properties. This becomes especially curious when examining the patent for Nissan's ester oil, which is not an ester-based product, but does have a unique ingredient I have not seen in an oil formulation before.

Looking at Nissan's patent for this new oil, we can see the use of an ester additive. Quote:

Quote:
"In the present invention, the content of the fatty acid ester-based ashless friction modifier is not particularlyrestricted, in which the content is preferably 0.05 to 3.0 %, more preferably 0.1 to 2.0 % and most preferably 0.5 to 1.4%, based on the total amount of the lubricating oil composition."
Ester additives are often favored for their natural polar affinity, but also for their solvency, high viscosity index, and high-temperature/high-shear stability. They also react with water and are therefore hydrolytically unstable, a natural drawback to their hydroxyl construction. Thus, the use of ester is required to be minimized to a proportion beneficial for its solvency, rather than its lubricity. Quote:

Quote:
"If the above [ester] content is less than 0.05 %, a friction lowering effect tends to become less. If the content exceeds 3.0 %, the friction lowering effect is excellent; however, the solubility of the ashless friction modifier to the lubricating oil and a storage stability of the ashless friction modifier are remarkably deteriorated so that a precipitate tends to be readily formed, which is not preferable."
Also, just to be clear, most ester additives are not the same as the diester and polyolester (POE) base oils used in oils like Motul or Redline. Fatty-acid ester additives are often variants of trimethylol propane C8/C10, known as TMP esters. The base oil used by Nissan in its testing of this new formulation was actually a polyalphaolefin, or PAO. The oil can be synthetic or conventional based, however. Quote:

Quote:
"In the present invention, a mineral oil or a synthetic oil may be used as the base oil, in which the base oil is preferably a main component of the nanoparticle-containing lubricating oil composition. The "main component" means a component occupying not less than 50 % based on the whole amount of the lubricating oil composition."
The key for the base oil is that it not exceed 15% aromatic content, so that oxidative stability is maintained. PAO has excellent oxidation resistance due to its fully-saturated nature. Fully-saturated hydrocarbons like PAO are also very thermolytically stable for this reason, and for the same reason, are very poor solvents. The use of a conventional base oil with a fatty-acid ester additive is described as a potential alternative when a solvent-refined conventional oil additive is also included. Quote:

Quote:
"Additionally, in case of using a highly hydrocracked mineral oil,1-decene oligomer hydride or the like as the base oil, the composition high in friction lowering effect can be obtained even if the total aromatic content of the base oil is not more than 2 % or 0 %.
For example, in case that the content of a fatty acid ester-based ashless friction modifier in the base oil exceeds 1.4 %, the base oil may be inferior in storage stability, and therefore it is preferable to mix a solvent-refined mineral oil, alkyl benzene or the like into the base oil as occasion demands so as to regulate the total aromatic content of the base oil to, for example, not less than 2 %."
Now, whether PAO or conventional based, the whole point of the paper has been centered around the use of several solvent and carrier additive possibilities such as TMP esters which can adequately suspend and diffuse a nanoparticle lubricant. Nanoparticles such as organomolybdenum compounds have been in use for many years as an engine oil aditive. The most common are molybdenum dithiocarbamate (MoDTC) and molybdenum dithiophosphate (MoDTP). Zinc dithiophosphate (ZDDP) is also very well known, although there have been inconclusive studies to suggest phosphorus is detrimental to modern catalytic converter life expectancy, and so it's use is declining. In addition, low SAPS oil restricts ZDDP and Molybdenum Disulfide use in order to reduce ash. AntimonyDTC is another common, albeit expensive, nanoparticle. Nissan's patent addresses a nanoparticle which is ashless, durable, presents no issue to modern catalysts, and exhibits a low friction coefficient- diamonds, or rough chemical equivalents at least. Quote:

Quote:
"Additionally, it is preferable that all or a part of the nanoparticle is formed of a carbon material whose main component is carbon.
Examples of such a carbon material are soot (and carbon black as an aggregated body of soot), DLC (diamond-like carbon), diamond, and the like. Such carbon materials may be suitably mixed. Additionally, the hydrogen content of DLC is preferably as low as possible, and specifically not more than 10 atomic % and more preferably not more than 5 atomic %, and further more preferably not more than 1 atomic %."
H-free DLC is a potential nanoparticle base, and guess who owns the patent on the world's first hydrogen-free diamond like compound? Nissan. I think Nissan has figured out how to make their H-free DLC into an additive which needs a good solvent to help adhere it to surfaces. Quote:

Quote:
"In case that the nanoparticle formed of diamond is of single crystal, amorphous carbon (existing at grain boundary of a polycrystalline body or an aggregated body) does not exist in a surface layer, and therefore the additive having hydroxyl group tends to be further readily adsorbed to the nanoparticle under the action of dangling bond in a surface layer of sp3 structure."
Ester base oils and ester additives are nothing new and not special. They have drawbacks of their own when used as engine oils. H-free DLC is new, is worth a couple of patents, and is expensive. I think this is what we are getting with Nissan's "special" ester oil.

Consider the overall mechanism of the VVEL system, and it becomes clear that while it is a good bit simpler than BMW's Valvetronic design, it is still a rather complex system with unique lubrication needs. The HR uses DLC buckets without the valve clatter, so why would the DLC buckets be the issue on the VHR engines only? The VVEL system, however, is unique to the VHR and would no doubt require special lubrication needs in order to maintain the design specifications. Even BMW's systems don't rev to 7500 rpm and have the overall lift offered by VVEL. This is a well-engineered valvetrain with, arguably, extreme forces present when one considers the amount and array of reciprocating and oscillating masses involved. It makes sense that Nissan would desire a special surface additive to extend the life of this mechanism when other oils may fail to protect these surfaces as the lubricant overheats and moves from elastohydrodynamic lubrication to boundary lubrication. This nanoparticle additive would potentially offer the surface protection needed under such duress.

Just my thoughts.

Will
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:58 PM   #2
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Who ever you were quoting, definitely wears a pocket protector.

So, you are giving the ester product a thumbs-up. What happens if we don't use it, will other types of oil allow the DLC coating to deteriorate, leading to unwanted clatter????
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:13 PM   #3
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I'm very interested to see what kind of comments we get on this thread. I've got just under 2K on my 09' and after reading a number of threads on the subject am pretty much convinced that the ester oil is not necessary and am running Castrol GTX 5W-30. I could, however, be persuaded if an argument is strong because I'm very **** about the car I give to my car and do not want to shortcut anything.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:46 PM   #4
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I have spent considerable time on this issue and am still debating on what oil to use instead of the ester oil. From everything I have read and from having talked to a lot of people, if you want to use a synthetic after break in like I do, you have to make sure that the oil has very low or no Moly or DTTP. I guess these additives attack the coating. I have called Amsoil's techline and talked to a guy who seemed to know his stuff and he said their SSO series oil does not have these additives. I think this is why there are some synthetics out there that will not work well in this engine. I was told to talk to my dealer to get the definitive answer on whether I can use this oil (0w30). Hope this helps.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:47 PM   #5
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When I was last in the shop, the tech recommended that the ester oil be used for the first couple of changes. He said the first at 1500 miles, then a second at 3000 miles. After that I intend to use either amsoil or castrol syntec. According to some exhaustive research on the 350Z site ( I just turned my Z lease in), the VQ motors do best on the castrol syntec, but that was not with the new coating we have. The results were posted from oil analysis from blackstone labs. If Nissan truely has the patent on the ester oil thing, it could be 100.00+ oils changes for life...but in exchange, we get a lifetime warranty on motor and drivetrain.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:51 PM   #6
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I am no expert, and I am in the same boat as you...according to all the "pocket protector" research, it sounds like we SHOULD use the ester oil, but I intend to do more research on the issue



Quote:
Originally Posted by Helo-Tech View Post
Who ever you were quoting, definitely wears a pocket protector.

So, you are giving the ester product a thumbs-up. What happens if we don't use it, will other types of oil allow the DLC coating to deteriorate, leading to unwanted clatter????
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
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Just this paragraph alone is what is making me think that the ester oil is the best oil to use....


Consider the overall mechanism of the VVEL system, and it becomes clear that while it is a good bit simpler than BMW's Valvetronic design, it is still a rather complex system with unique lubrication needs. The HR uses DLC buckets without the valve clatter, so why would the DLC buckets be the issue on the VHR engines only? The VVEL system, however, is unique to the VHR and would no doubt require special lubrication needs in order to maintain the design specifications. Even BMW's systems don't rev to 7500 rpm and have the overall lift offered by VVEL. This is a well-engineered valvetrain with, arguably, extreme forces present when one considers the amount and array of reciprocating and oscillating masses involved. It makes sense that Nissan would desire a special surface additive to extend the life of this mechanism when other oils may fail to protect these surfaces as the lubricant overheats and moves from elastohydrodynamic lubrication to boundary lubrication. This nanoparticle additive would potentially offer the surface protection needed under such duress.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colnajoe View Post
Just this paragraph alone is what is making me think that the ester oil is the best oil to use....


Consider the overall mechanism of the VVEL system, and it becomes clear that while it is a good bit simpler than BMW's Valvetronic design, it is still a rather complex system with unique lubrication needs. The HR uses DLC buckets without the valve clatter, so why would the DLC buckets be the issue on the VHR engines only? The VVEL system, however, is unique to the VHR and would no doubt require special lubrication needs in order to maintain the design specifications. Even BMW's systems don't rev to 7500 rpm and have the overall lift offered by VVEL. This is a well-engineered valvetrain with, arguably, extreme forces present when one considers the amount and array of reciprocating and oscillating masses involved. It makes sense that Nissan would desire a special surface additive to extend the life of this mechanism when other oils may fail to protect these surfaces as the lubricant overheats and moves from elastohydrodynamic lubrication to boundary lubrication. This nanoparticle additive would potentially offer the surface protection needed under such duress.
We don't have the VHR nor HR VVEL valve train.
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxLoverAz View Post
We don't have the VHR nor HR VVEL valve train.
True, but we do have the DLC coating which is why they "recommend" the ester oil additive, right?
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:48 AM   #10
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To cloud the issue the dealer just performed the first oil change on my Max and they used 5-30W Quaker State Synthetic Blend. Maybe since they were paying for it they used the less expensive stuff.
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Old 08-07-2009, 05:35 PM   #11
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Well, crap!!!, I was hoping to have a definitive answer before I did my first oil change this weekend. Oh well, I guess it's ester for now, I hope we can find a suitable substitute soon.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Colnajoe View Post
True, but we do have the DLC coating which is why they "recommend" the ester oil additive, right?
Right.

Did they start the DLC for the 3.5 in 2009?
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:02 PM   #13
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To cloud the issue the dealer just performed the first oil change on my Max and they used 5-30W Quaker State Synthetic Blend. Maybe since they were paying for it they used the less expensive stuff.
My dealer gives me 3 years / 36k miles of free oil changes:

Its "any oil we got laying around at the time and may even be a concoction. It WILL be 5w30 but a blend of whatever we had left over. The filter will be whatever 3rd tier filter we bulk bought."

I upgraded the oil change to their Platinum Oil Change to use genuine nissan ester oil and genuine nissan filter for a $59 upcharge. They credit me $10 toward the $59 for a total of $49. At least I got free labor out of it.

I can't wait till someone has a PAO synthetic with the ester additive.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:49 PM   #14
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The Nissan patent application has more to do with nanoparticles than ester oil.

The local dealer said that the ester oil needed only to be used with certain Infinities with noisy valvetrains. The "requirement" for the oil got into the Maxima manual leading to the confusion we're in.

I have done two oil changes with 5W-30 Dino oil. I don't think I will have a problem.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT Maxima View Post
The Nissan patent application has more to do with nanoparticles than ester oil.

The local dealer said that the ester oil needed only to be used with certain Infinities with noisy valvetrains. The "requirement" for the oil got into the Maxima manual leading to the confusion we're in.

I have done two oil changes with 5W-30 Dino oil. I don't think I will have a problem.
The only problem is you won't know the damage that may or may not have occured until about 60,000 miles
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:03 PM   #16
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All I am concerned about is the DLC coating. Surely, Nissan added it for a reason, and since I plan on owning this car for quite a while, I want the coating to remain intact. I have done my research on which oils and filters perform well on these VQ engines but there's not anything available on whether or not these same oils will protect the DLC coating. From what I gather, as long as the oils formulation contains little to no Moly or DTTP it should be fine to use.
I know several of you have talked to your dealer, but has anyone tried to contact Nissan directly???
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:29 AM   #17
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I recommend the Nissan ester dealer oil for 2010 Maxima

Hi all, I have a 2010 Maxima with 20,000 miles on it. Love it. the engine is so smooth. At my 1st oil change, the dealer recommended special oil and I was suspicious but did it becuase it was free with a coupon when I bought the car new. Did ressearch and for my second oil change went with the nissan dealer ester oil again.

This time, I tried jiffy-lube top of the line synthetic with ester.

Unfortunately, the car when cold at idle now makes a slight engine noise.

Sure it's not a big deal but wanted people to know, guess you get what you pay for.

I paid $70 at Jiffy lube versus I think $90 what the dealer charged.
take care
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainpn View Post
Hi all, I have a 2010 Maxima with 20,000 miles on it. Love it. the engine is so smooth. At my 1st oil change, the dealer recommended special oil and I was suspicious but did it becuase it was free with a coupon when I bought the car new. Did ressearch and for my second oil change went with the nissan dealer ester oil again.

This time, I tried jiffy-lube top of the line synthetic with ester.

Unfortunately, the car when cold at idle now makes a slight engine noise.

Sure it's not a big deal but wanted people to know, guess you get what you pay for.

I paid $70 at Jiffy lube versus I think $90 what the dealer charged.
take care
I'd avoid Jiffy Lube at all costs....

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Old 10-08-2011, 02:57 PM   #19
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Ester Oil

Bought the Nissan maintenance plan with my 2011 Max. Had it for 4 weeks now and hit 1500 miles so took it into my dealership. The maintenance plan doesn't cover ester, but my dealer gives the option....the plan covers oil and filter changes for regular dino, but they also give me the option for ester for an additional $42. Glad I stumbled on this site and read up on all the info! It's ester for me from now on. IMHO, Nissan recommends it for a reason.
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:17 PM   #20
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i have done some reading on this ester oil thing and from what i have found out other than ester oil mobile 1 EXTENDED PERFORMANCE has the most anti wear in 5-30 sinthedic grade weight than any other sinthedic oil in 5-30 weight and moble 1 backs this oil in our car they have been asked.i used the ester oil in the first few oil changes at 1,500 mi and with 12,500 and mobile 1 thear after no noise on start up or anything .i wish there was a can of straight ester u could buy and add to whatever oil u chose.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:02 PM   #21
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First oil change

Smithtown Nissan changed my oil with dino 5w-30. I was told the ester isnt needed until 20,000 miles. And its $18 a quart. I told them i can get ester for $10 online.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:09 PM   #22
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Just a quick question about Ester oil. My last oil change was about 5k miles ago using Ester. Is the Ester oil rated to last beyond that or should look to change the oil now.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:56 AM   #23
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Hopefully this will help everyone who is still trying to figure out what oil to use. Mobil 1 seems to have Ester oil in it. I've included the link below

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...Ester_Oil.aspx
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:14 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndoT800 View Post
Just a quick question about Ester oil. My last oil change was about 5k miles ago using Ester. Is the Ester oil rated to last beyond that or should look to change the oil now.
I believe nissan ester oil is still an dino oil with an ester additive.

You should be changing our oil at 3,750 miles unless you are using a synthetic.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:35 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by dkcheung View Post
Hopefully this will help everyone who is still trying to figure out what oil to use. Mobil 1 seems to have Ester oil in it. I've included the link below

http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...Ester_Oil.aspx
Money. Yea I've been using Mobil1 full synth everything's been great.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:46 PM   #26
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Question Any new info

I see this thread has been quite for some time. I am scheduled to have my 2011 Max serviced tomorrow and was wondering if anyone has had any recent discoveries in the Dino versus Ester oil situation.

Should I go with the regular 5w30 or the Ester additive blend? If the ester blend what type of prices are you all seeing charged? This oil change will be at the 9500 mile mark.

Thank you.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #27
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I used dealer ester oil for the first couple changes, then amsoil full synth, and about a week ago changed to Mobil 1. I've noticed an overall smoothness and quietness since putting in the Mobil 1. I think Im gonna stick with it!!!
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:04 PM   #28
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The ester additives work well BUT they are mostly needed to make a relatively thin oil (5w-30) work in a relatively hot running engine (VQ37).

Why go for a relatively thin ( for a high perf. engine) oil?

Because EPA cycle is biased towards cold fuel economy and thinner oil helps this a bit.

You can how get equal protection for less complicated chemistry than this, in a Mobil 1 0w-40 ,a Valvoline Durablend 10w-40 , a Castrol Syntec 0w-30 (this one almost should read 0w-35 the way its formulated) ,a Valvoline Synpower 5w-40 or a Redline 5w-40.

All of the oils mentioned above are excellent in a VQ, yet all are a lot less expensive than the (admittedly very good) Nissan ester oil.

if you make an oil slighlty thicker, it is a LOT easier to build in oxidation resistance and film break resistance w/o making the chemistry very complicated and therefore increasing the price of the formulation.

Another way to find a strong oil that can handle the loads of a VQ37 (our VQ35's really are not as hard on oil as a VQ37 and normal oils are fine) look for ACEA A3 certification on the back of the bottle.

If it has it , it can stand up to engines that run their oils a bit hot.

A lot of VW engines are the same way, but VW historically went the route of simply recommending thicker oils.
For example previous to the mid 90's EPA attention, the VR6 was recommended for a 15w-40 oil for winter (!), (summer was 20w-50) in Dino oils.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #29
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When I bought my 09 they told me ester oil changes are a must for this engine, so I opted for the oil change package which included ester oil, I moved to GA for school and took my car into a dealer for an oil change and they put whatever the bulk oil the dealer bought in, it seems every dealer views the ester oil differently, but Im not happy about paying upfront for my 100 dollar oil changes and then having the dealer put regular name brand oil in my car that at most is advertised for 29.95

I called Nissan and canceled my service plan, I now use M1 0w40 and the engine sounds better
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:51 PM
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