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Fluids and Lubricants Motor oil, transmission oil, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, blinker fluid... wait, there is no blinker fluid. Technical discussion and analysis of the different lubricants we use in our cars.

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Old 05-13-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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Needing extra oil between oil changes?

Hi guys,

I have a 2003 maxima SE. Recently, more precisely the last 2 oil changes I've noticed that I end up needing to add about a quart of motor oil in between oil changes. This did not happen before.

My car has 122K and has had the 120K tune up service done less than 6 months ago.

This issue is very recent. So what has gone wrong?

So why is my car needing more oil in between oil changes? If any of you have seen this, please suggest what the possible cause may be. Could it be leaking? If so, is that a major problem, cost/repair-wise?

PS: The oil light flickered on start at about 1500miles past oil change this time. I haven't gone for another oil change yet because i'm still under 3K for the period. But I had some Mobil1 5W30 and put in about a quart. The light hasn't flickered since....
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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all cars need oil between changes, well most. Many just never really check and thankfully don't loose too much.

I may start to keep it a little low in case this whole "at full it burns quicker" theory is true.

If you're not changing yourself, are you at least checking the morning after a change? They may not be using enough. The 4.25 quarts is never enough. Maybe I drain more?

I always need 4.5 plus I fill my new filter about another 0.25, last change I needed 0.25 more to get it to the full line = 5 quarts.

That's 3/4 quart (3 cups) past what Nissan says.

I hope you read the stick and saw you needed 1 quart before just adding one to turn off the light. My light has never come on even when 1 quart low. You may have been really low or have other issues.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:07 AM   #3
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Our cars, with the VQ35DE engine, are known for their oil consumption. There is no real quick fix b/c it could be a variety of issues – bad rings, leaky valve covers, etc.

I'm running Castrol 10w40 after experiencing oil loss and haven't noticed the same loss when I was running 5w30. I recently had 5w30 put in b/c the dealership offered a free oil change. Now that the 5w30 is back in I’m experiencing the 2k RPM engine rattle (low oil) that went away when I ran 10w40.

There are numerous threads around that go into greater detail about which oil our engines perform best on.

Check out the Z forums or bob is the oil guy forum.

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Old 06-08-2011, 09:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for your feedback guys.

So, next logical question: Is it safe/ok to add 10W to existing 5W in the system, or do you have to do a complete flush and do a change with 10W?

Will the dealer put in 10W if you request it? I'm due for an oil change this week..

Thanks again.

Any brand preference? Dealer does valvoline...
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTeMax View Post
Thanks for your feedback guys.

So, next logical question: Is it safe/ok to add 10W to existing 5W in the system, or do you have to do a complete flush and do a change with 10W?

Will the dealer put in 10W if you request it? I'm due for an oil change this week..

Thanks again.

Any brand preference? Dealer does valvoline...
Why the dealer ? it's an oil change man.......Have your backyard mechanic do for you (if not done by yourself) .... Never cheap on engine blood(oil) ..... Drain every drop there and put new oil (don't let them fast food it when there is at least a quart and they close the drain plug)...
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Old 07-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
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I use Mobil 1 0w40 with a Mobil 1 filter here in Florida. Autozone has a special every three months or so and sell it as a package (5 qts and M-1 filter for $35--heck of a deal) and I always make sure I have enough on hand for a change. I swap it out every 6 mos or 6k. That time frame works well for a tire rotation too (as the 18 inch ZR rated tires cost me most of a grand after I do an alignment, I need to get every inch of life out of them). I bring in the oil & filter and my tire shop does both for $20. My father had degrees in both petroleum and electrical engineering from Univ of Houston. He taught me that condensation (water) and unburned hydrocarbons are your oil's enemy and would cook off if I drove it 55 or 60 mph for ten minutes once a week, and otherwise not to obsess over it. "if it was that critical they would provide something more accurate than a dipstick to measure level" He told me that in WWII, the military didn't change oil in vehicles, just topped it off.
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Old 07-02-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jvd View Post
My father had degrees in both petroleum and electrical engineering from Univ of Houston. He taught me that condensation (water) and unburned hydrocarbons are your oil's enemy and would cook off if I drove it 55 or 60 mph for ten minutes once a week, and otherwise not to obsess over it..
That was particularly true when gasoline was not refined to remove almost all of the sulfur content that naturally occurrs in most crude oil. The condensed moisture plus the sulfur from combustion would combine to form surfuric acid in your motor oil. Even if you "cook-off" the water and hydrocarbons that are collected in the motor oil, the sulfur remains in the oil. This was the reason for changing motor oil every 3 K miles "back in the day." But this is no longer the problem it used to be. Now the government mandates that all gasoline be refined to be extremely low sulfur. Thus, there is very little sulfur in gasoline sold today in the USA and Canada. I now push my oil changes (using Mobil 1) to 10 K miles because of this fact - with a lab test of the used oil. I have always gotten a test that says there remains life in the used oil even after 10 K miles.

I have also been tracking my VQ's need for make-up motor oil. I am one who believes in running the oil sump 1/2 a quart low to reduce oil consumption. So I add a half quart of oil when the dipsitck says that I am a full quart down. I added my first half quart after driving 4.2 K miles after my last oil change. I have added my second half-quart after driving another 2.3 K miles. (can't explain why the second mileage is about half of the first.) I still have 3.5 K miles before I get to 10 K miles, and expect to exceed 10K on the next oil change because I will be on a long road trip. I will very likely need another half-quart added before I change oil next time.
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Old 07-02-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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you're a victim of the infamous 02-03 vq35 oil burning issue
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTeMax View Post
So, next logical question: Is it safe/ok to add 10W to existing 5W in the system, or do you have to do a complete flush and do a change with 10W? Will the dealer put in 10W if you request it? I'm due for an oil change this week..
Thanks again.
Any brand preference? Dealer does valvoline...
I see that many of your questions have not been answered - so here goes:

- It is safe to blend 10W30 with 5W30 motor oil, not a big deal.
- It is safe to blend two different brands of motor oil, although I personally think it is smarter to not do this (or to minimize this happening) because of minor differences between brands in the additives they each put in their motor oil.
- Not asked, but important - additives tend to settle to the bottom of the motor oil, so it is best to shake well each bottle of motor oil before you put it in your engine.
- I inherently do not trust commercial oil changers (including dealers). Many will put in the oil they have in stock rather than the oil you request. So I change my oil myself and know exactly what I have in the engine.
- If you are not going for long OCIs (Oil Change Intervals) and are changing every 3 K miles or so, the differences between brands of oil are minor. It is only when you push to longer OCIs that you need to worry about the better brands. For conventional motor oil I prefer Castrol GTX and use it in my lawn mower. But I use synthetic in my Max and my truck and am currently using up all of my Mobil 1 in the Max before I then use up the other synthetic motor oil I bought at very good prices. Will have to punt when all existing stocks are used up (probably 5 years away).
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahanddeem View Post
Why the dealer ? it's an oil change man.......Have your backyard mechanic do for you (if not done by yourself) .... Never cheap on engine blood(oil) ..... Drain every drop there and put new oil (don't let them fast food it when there is at least a quart and they close the drain plug)...
Lol I just don't have the space or tools. Mostly just space. Living in a high rise with a reserved parking spot leaves little room for DIY. Although i'd love to do stuff on my ride.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvd View Post
I use Mobil 1 0w40 with a Mobil 1 filter here in Florida. Autozone has a special every three months or so and sell it as a package (5 qts and M-1 filter for $35--heck of a deal) and I always make sure I have enough on hand for a change. I swap it out every 6 mos or 6k. That time frame works well for a tire rotation too (as the 18 inch ZR rated tires cost me most of a grand after I do an alignment, I need to get every inch of life out of them). I bring in the oil & filter and my tire shop does both for $20. My father had degrees in both petroleum and electrical engineering from Univ of Houston. He taught me that condensation (water) and unburned hydrocarbons are your oil's enemy and would cook off if I drove it 55 or 60 mph for ten minutes once a week, and otherwise not to obsess over it. "if it was that critical they would provide something more accurate than a dipstick to measure level" He told me that in WWII, the military didn't change oil in vehicles, just topped it off.
Thank you for background, and detailed reply sir. Much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QT1 5MT AE View Post
you're a victim of the infamous 02-03 vq35 oil burning issue
Any solutions? Discovered or otherwise improvised?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverMax_04 View Post
I see that many of your questions have not been answered - so here goes:

- It is safe to blend 10W30 with 5W30 motor oil, not a big deal.
- It is safe to blend two different brands of motor oil, although I personally think it is smarter to not do this (or to minimize this happening) because of minor differences between brands in the additives they each put in their motor oil.
- Not asked, but important - additives tend to settle to the bottom of the motor oil, so it is best to shake well each bottle of motor oil before you put it in your engine.
- I inherently do not trust commercial oil changers (including dealers). Many will put in the oil they have in stock rather than the oil you request. So I change my oil myself and know exactly what I have in the engine.
- If you are not going for long OCIs (Oil Change Intervals) and are changing every 3 K miles or so, the differences between brands of oil are minor. It is only when you push to longer OCIs that you need to worry about the better brands. For conventional motor oil I prefer Castrol GTX and use it in my lawn mower. But I use synthetic in my Max and my truck and am currently using up all of my Mobil 1 in the Max before I then use up the other synthetic motor oil I bought at very good prices. Will have to punt when all existing stocks are used up (probably 5 years away).
I have a tendency to change my oil every 3K. Since posting this thread, I've gotten one oil change and this time I went to a trusted family mechanic. He said i could go 10W30 or 40. It would not pose any problems for the car.

So I had him put in 10W30. He uses PEAK brand. So, I'm considering taking my own Oil/Filter next time and go fully synthetic from now on or go with Castrol High Mileage. I now have about 122,xxx miles on the motor.

Thanks for your response. It answered the questions I had.

Guys, if you'd be so kind to throw any more advice my way please don't hesitate. I appreciate all your input. Thanks a bunch!
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:30 PM   #12
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Any personal recommendation between the two brands Mobil1 Fully Synth or Castrol High Mileage?

I read the sticky that rates/recommends oils, but would just like another more recent opinion.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTeMax View Post
I have a tendency to change my oil every 3K. Since posting this thread, I've gotten one oil change and this time I went to a trusted family mechanic. He said i could go 10W30 or 40. It would not pose any problems for the car.

So I had him put in 10W30. He uses PEAK brand. So, I'm considering taking my own Oil/Filter next time and go fully synthetic from now on or go with Castrol High Mileage. I now have about 122,xxx miles on the motor.

Thanks for your response. It answered the questions I had.

Guys, if you'd be so kind to throw any more advice my way please don't hesitate. I appreciate all your input. Thanks a bunch!
If you keep the 3 K mile OCI, then synthetic would be a waste of money, stick to conventional. With that mileage (and the liklihood that your engine never saw synthetic oil) you will probably burn more oil if you use synthetic that if you use conventional. In Chicago I would not go with 10W40 weight - unless it is the months of June through August. 10W30 will work fine for you. I've heard of Peak antifreeze, but did not know they also made a motor oil. Suspect they have someone else make the oil for them (Ford and others do the same). I personally like Castrol GTX for conventional motor oil and use it in my lawn mower. I am using Mobil 1 in my Max and Penzoil synthetic in my Dodge pickup truck.

See my post # 634 and # 618 on this thread for more about synthetic being more likely to burn:
http://forums.maxima.org/fluids-lubr...ml#post8105848

See my post # 60 on this thread about what is an appropriate OCI for synthetic:
http://forums.maxima.org/fluids-lubr...ml#post8090808
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:18 AM   #14
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Yeah, I was suprised to see Peak motor oil too. lol

Thanks for the link. All your posts proved very useful.

Update: the oil light flickered briefly on the highway ramp. Going to check oil level. Wow even after 10W30, it would do that...
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:18 AM
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