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What oil and oil filter should I use? Can I switch to synthetic? What viscosity?

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What oil and oil filter should I use? Can I switch to synthetic? What viscosity?

Old 06-26-2003, 09:20 AM
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What oil and oil filter should I use? Can I switch to synthetic? What viscosity?

Recommended oils for all Maxima engines, ranked in order of preference based upon my own observations:
  • Dino and "Blend" oils:

    Castrol GTX 5W/30
    Chevron Supreme 5W/30
    Mobil 1 Drive Clean 5W/30
    Mobil 1 Drive Clean Plus 5W/30
    Pennzoil PureBase 5W/30
    ULX-110 5W/30

    Drain Interval: Up to 5k
  • Synthetic oil:

    Amsoil TSO Series 2000 0W/30 Synthetic
    Mobil 1 SuperSyn 5W/30
    Amsoil ASF 5W/30 Synthetic
    Redline 5W/30

    Drain interval: Up to 10k with oil filter change halfway through chosen interval (i.e. 8k drain interval -> 4k oil filter change)

    NOTE: For hot climates (i.e. south), 10W/30 can be substituted and in colder climates (i.e. north), 0W/30 can be substituted.

Oils to stay away from IF going over 3,000 mile intervals:
  • Any Valvoline Oil (consistent sub-par analysis results, all tend to shear down real quickly; additive packages are inferior to other brands)
  • Castrol Syntec Blend Castrol Syntec Full Synthetic Oil [NOT GTX] (consistent so-so to sup-part analyses results and shady marketing practices)
  • Royal Purple Oil (thins in viscosity relatively quickly and too expensive considering there are other synthetic oils that do not thin as fast that are less expensive)


    NOTE: These oils will protect fine up to 3,000 miles, they just don't represent a good value based upon their additive package and/or their oil analysis reports for Maxima-specific engines. It does not mean they "suck".

Recommended Oil Filters for VQ engines, ranked in order of preference based upon my own observations:
  • Mobil 1 M1-105 (fits VQ35DE only)
  • Nissan OEM 15208-9E000 ONLY (for all VQ30DE and VQ35DE engines)
  • Mobil 1 M1-110 (fits both VQ engines, but bypass valve isn't as good as M1-105 filter)
  • Amsoil SDF-20 (fits both VQ engines)

Oil Filters to avoid:
  • Nissan OEM 15208-65F00 (specified for VQ35DE by Nissan dealer; refuse to purchase this filter as it has cardboard endcaps like low quality Fram filters; insist on the dealer using the 15208-9E000 oil filter as it has a better overall construction quality)
  • STP S6941 (Production change in mid-2003 to Mexico has created inferior quality; Some fitment issues on VQ35DE engines, so only VQ30DE engines should use this one)
  • Bosch 3323 (Production change in mid-2003 to Mexico has created inferior quality; for all VQ30DE and VQ35DE engines)
  • Any SuperTech filter (Due to production change in mid-2003 to Mexico that has resulted in inferior quality)
  • Any filter made by Fram (consistently poor construction quality)
  • Amsoil SDF-13 (pricier than SDF-20 and smaller)
  • Mobil 1 M1-108 (pricier than M1-110 and smaller)
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Old 06-29-2003, 06:19 PM
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I use Mobil 1 10w30 in my maxima. I think as long as it never gets below zero, 10w30 is fine.
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Old 07-28-2003, 05:47 PM
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question

I went to my local Autozone store & ask for the Bosch filter for my car (2002 Maxima SE)

The guy told me that it is supposed to be Bosch 3300.

I compared both 3323 & 3300... The length of the 3323 filter is longer than the 3300 & if I am not wrong, the OEM filter looks like the 3300 one. I suppose the threading is the same for both.

Is there a reason why the 3323 is recommended instead of 3300 ? pardon my ignorance.

By the way, the Bosch filter costs half the Mobil One filter. And the store recommended M1-108 instead of M1-105 too ??
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Old 07-28-2003, 08:27 PM
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The store guy is reading a book instead of knowing what goes on in the real world. He's just following what the book tells him.


Given a set amount of money, buying a M1-108 or a Bosch 3300 is cutting down on effective filter surface area and/or better bypass valve design (as is the case with the M1-105 filter versuse the M1-108 or the M1-110). Recommendations are based on overall performance and price. If you are super **** about filtration, then give your VQ35 engine the M1-105 oil filter. If you want a notch up from the OEM filter, the Bosch 3323 is a good alternative.



This sticky was designed for you to avoid wasting time with the store parts guy and buy your own stuff and get out of there. Nothing in this thread is listed without having been tested on someone's Maxima.
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Old 07-28-2003, 09:58 PM
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Thanks for the helpful info.

I knew it must be something that I am not aware of. Like u said the store guy is just following the computer info, so he has no clue whether it fits the Maxima or not.

It's good that such info is posted on this forum. It might be a good idea to kind of mention this in the post so that newbies like me will not ask these kind of questions again.

Some ranking of the filter would be helpful too. Like

Mobil 1 (if u are super **** abt filtration)
Bosch 3323 (better than OEM filter)
...

Thanks a lot for replying !
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:14 AM
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Rankings are already given, as you'll note they aren't in alphabetical order. So I did clarify a couple of headings to make that more obvious.
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Old 07-30-2003, 09:41 PM
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I just ordered a K&N oil filter for my 2003 Maxima, but after reading this thread I'm wondering if I should just cancel that order and go buy a Mobil 1 filter. Does anyone have an opinion on the K&Ns?

Also, I was planning to use Mobil 1 SuperSyn 5W/30 starting with my first oil change (3750 miles) and I'm curious about opinions on that... should I wait longer before switching to synthetic?

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2003, 09:46 PM
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K&N oil filters share most everything with Mobil 1 filters except the actual filter media. K&Ns have good reputations, so I wouldn't be all that concerned.

They aren't listed due to my personal bias and lack of overall personal experience with them as well as other member's experiences through oil analysis have not really included K&N filters.


Please read the VQ35DE break-in sticky thread for info on properly breaking in your new engine.
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Old 07-31-2003, 09:45 AM
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I started using Mobil 1 at 4000 miles and haven't had any problems. I feel the engine is broken in by then.
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Old 08-01-2003, 04:24 PM
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What you feel and what is reality are two different things. Past analyses have tended to trend higher in overall wear and silicon in VQ engines that switched to synthetics early (less than 10k). The recommendations in here are the result of what happens in the real world, rather than how things "feel" or seem.
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Old 08-01-2003, 11:48 PM
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bill99gxe:

Do you have a list of all the fluids (found under the hood) that are recommended to be used on the Maxima ?

Or is the selection too many to be listed ?
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Old 08-02-2003, 07:53 AM
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bill,

I had a question about Valvoline. This is not a flame, just trying to understand why none of their oils (synthetic and dino) are recommended. In looking at the spreadsheet, only two tests stood out:

One guy was using octane booster. The other guy was right on par with Mobil and other synthetics. The only difference I really noticed was that Valvoline might have had a little less (1 point or 2) additives but sometimes more than competing synthetics. The wear factor was about the same as well. Are these two guys what you base the "don't recommend valvoline"?
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Old 08-02-2003, 08:51 AM
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Not entirely. On another oil-specific forum site, there are more detailed and much more knowledgeable members who have a lot of analyses on Valvoline and a lot of them show poorer results than other oils.


My main issue with Valvoline oils are their "virgin" analysis and the way they shear down after only 1,000 to 2,000 miles, which show their additive packages (especially calcium on the dino formulation) to be significantly lower than other brands. That, combined with the relatively inferior analyses I have seen both here and elsewhere, has yeilded a "don't use it if going over 3,000 miles" recommendation. It doesn't mean it won't protect adequately, it just means you are opening the door for problems way down the road. For the money Castrol's GTX oil is the best bang for the buck. Another interesting dino choice is Chevron Supreme 10W/30, but we have zero analyses on that particular oil on Maximas.


Personally, I wouldn't let Valvoline oils anywhere near my engine until they reformulate and address their additive package / shearing issues rather than simply go cheap (on their dino oil lines especially) and rely on their name. Just a couple of years ago, their "MaxLife" formulation was a good product, especially for a dino blend oil. Their synthetic looks good on paper, but tends to lose its calcium relatively quickly and shears down a good bit faster than most other major brand oils.

Member analyses to look at:

knapp9 (lower copper and silicon in the Mobil 1, and higher viscosity)
VaV6 (calcium depletion)
RussMaxManiac Altima and Town and Country vehicles(High wear and silcon for 3,000 mile intervals, low viscosity, high insolubles)
IceY2K1's Sentra (Another good comparison with Mobil 1; MUCH lower calcium, higher copper even though the analysis was with the better old formulation of MaxLife)

SR20DEN and Matt93SE (used the old MaxLife formulation) have some interesting results as well, and I believe the Valvoline helped attribute to a higher wear. SR20DEN's lead doesn't count due to additives as I stated. Based on other's results, I believe other oils would not have had as high a wear rate.

When you've yet to see consistently acceptable reports, you have to wonder if the problem is with the oil.
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Old 08-02-2003, 10:23 AM
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Bill,

Good reply. I have been using Synpower in my Max with 5k oil and filter change. I have yet to send in a sample, but will definatley do so on the next oil change. Could you point me toward the website with in depth analysis on Synpower? Thanks!
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Old 08-09-2003, 06:16 PM
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I have 76,000 miles on my Max and I was wondering if I coudl switch to synthetic or what would be my best bet. I want better oil in my car because it is getting old and I want it too last.
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Old 08-09-2003, 07:30 PM
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As long as you have no leaks or oil consumption go for it (because both of those get worse if you do). If you do change, I would make sure to do another change in 1000 miles, synthetic will clean all the sludge out of your engine into the filter. Changing oil and filter insures you don't have either floating around.
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:05 AM
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confused...

Ok, I've been using mobil 1 supersyn 5w/30 for a while now, i have 77K on my 98 SE...Is this a good thing? Which filter should I use?
Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:06 AM
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another thing...

Another thing: I don't have any leaks anywhere, and like to drive quick around town, how often should I change the oil/filter?
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:27 AM
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1)Nissan or Mobil seem to be the best. Read the FAQ on oil filters.
2)I do mine every 5k on synthetic but you can go 10k with two filter changes.
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Old 08-13-2003, 07:55 AM
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I've never heard of anyone changing their filter without the oil. its always been the other way around am I missing something?
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Old 08-22-2003, 09:39 PM
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76K miles is not alot of miles. ESP for a Nissan MAX. But if you want to go to a better oil. Switch to Mobil 1 synthetic 10w30. First time though use 3quarts syn and two quarts reg. Then go to complete syn on next oil change. I think the syn is better, even though I change my oil every 3K anyway. I just think it cleans better.

D
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Old 08-23-2003, 08:06 AM
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^^^

You should at least go to 5k with synthetic. You're basically flushing money down the drain...literally. Nissan recommends 7500 mile changes on Schedule 3 with regular oil.
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Old 08-25-2003, 06:29 PM
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I've used Fram Tough Guard filter few times. I just like the grip. Makes changing oil job bit easier.
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:43 PM
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My maxima has 110k. I looked in the book and it says to use 5w 30, I spoke to the dealer who sold me the car, and he advised me that if it's not burning, or if i'm not hearing any strange sounds, to stay with that oil. The guy at strauss told me that with my mileage, I should be using 10w 40. Can anyone give me any advise as to what I should use. I want to put in Mobil 1 full synthetic just not sure what kind. Considering The car has no problems and is driven 100% in the city.

Thanks in advance for anyone's advice

- '97 5spd
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Old 10-20-2003, 06:55 PM
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I have a 97 max 5-speed with 59,650 miles on it. I want to switch to a full synthetic like mobil 1. Considering I live in the philly area, winter is coming. What weight or grade should I use and what filter would be best for my car. What do you guys think about Lucas oil? My friend uses Lucas in his 98 max with synthetic and says it rides smoother than before. Has anyone heard of it and would recommend it?
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Old 10-21-2003, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bill99gxe
What you feel and what is reality are two different things. Past analyses have tended to trend higher in overall wear and silicon in VQ engines that switched to synthetics early (less than 10k). The recommendations in here are the result of what happens in the real world, rather than how things "feel" or seem.
I switched to Mobil1 SS at around 4k miles on my 03 Max. I did this before I read this thread. I'm about to get my second oil change in the Max this week w/ M1 SS. I also order the oil analysis kit from blackstone labs to take a sample of the M1 coming out of my engine. Unfortunately, it'll be a while before i get to see those results.
Couple of questions...

Since past analyses have trended higher wear & silicon, is there anything I should or could do to "rectify" the situation of switching to the synthetic before 10k miles?

Since past results have trended higher wear...is this a significant increase in wear?? How concerned should I be about this??

I'm very interested in seeing the oil analysis in about a month.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 10-21-2003, 08:38 PM
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Does anyone know where to buy the Mobil 1 filters? I checked some local auto parts stores, and they carry Mobile oil, just not the filter.
I was about to buy the K&N filter, but was hoping to find a local store that carries the M1 filter. Also, how much can I expect to pay for it?
The K&N filter was about $10.

I would assume that some larger chains would sell it, right??

Thanks.
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Old 10-22-2003, 07:41 AM
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You should find Mobile1 filters at Pepboys or Autozone for $9.99
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:15 AM
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I worked in a parts store when I was in college. I came to really like the WIX brand filter. Its the same exact filter as the NAPA Gold. For the 3.5Liter the part number is 51356. Take a look at WIX. I think they are the best oil filter on the shelf.
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Old 10-22-2003, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Ammi
You should find Mobile1 filters at Pepboys or Autozone for $9.99
I got 2 Mobil 1 filters at autozone today. I paid $11.99 each...

Thanks.
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Old 10-27-2003, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Cdriven
I switched to Mobil1 SS at around 4k miles on my 03 Max. I did this before I read this thread. I'm about to get my second oil change in the Max this week w/ M1 SS. I also order the oil analysis kit from blackstone labs to take a sample of the M1 coming out of my engine. Unfortunately, it'll be a while before i get to see those results.
Couple of questions...

Since past analyses have trended higher wear & silicon, is there anything I should or could do to "rectify" the situation of switching to the synthetic before 10k miles?

Since past results have trended higher wear...is this a significant increase in wear?? How concerned should I be about this??

I'm very interested in seeing the oil analysis in about a month.
Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Personally, I would switch to Castrol GTX dino oil for the next 3 oil changes. In addition, I would use the STP S6941 oil filter. After 20k, I would go to the Mobil SS oil and filter.


It's not *that* significant. It will only take a longer time for your silicon to fall back to "average" levels. Having higher levels of silicon can cause other wear metals to trend higher, but certainly nothing all that damaging.
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Old 10-28-2003, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by bill99gxe
Personally, I would switch to Castrol GTX dino oil for the next 3 oil changes. In addition, I would use the STP S6941 oil filter. After 20k, I would go to the Mobil SS oil and filter.


It's not *that* significant. It will only take a longer time for your silicon to fall back to "average" levels. Having higher levels of silicon can cause other wear metals to trend higher, but certainly nothing all that damaging.

Thanks Bill!
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:52 PM
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bill99gxe, do you have some reviews on the new Castrol high milleage oil? My car have a high milleage (185 000 km) and eat like a quart of oil between each oil change.

I always use Castrol GTX and OEM oil filter.
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Old 10-29-2003, 05:16 PM
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has anyone tried that Lucas oil...pretty similar to Prolong...but i think been around longer....my boy uses it in his max and says it smoothed his engine out a little bit...what is yall opinions?
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Old 11-02-2003, 05:28 PM
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My '92 max gxe has 135k miles on it and has run castrol synthetic 10w-30 since roughly 60k and has always had fram filters (usually the "middle class" one, tough guard I think)..it uses no oil between 5k miles/6 month changes of both oil and filter...the oil that I drain out is still always just slightly darker than fresh clean oil, but I'm still going to change my oil at 5k/6 month intervals or more often (if I'm extremely bored and already have the oil/filter)..I have a lead foot and always accelerate hard in town..should I continue with the same oil and maybe try a K&N or M1 filter, or should I change both, or just keep doing what I'm doing now? Most of my oil changes are at 6 month intervals rather than 5k miles, but I let it idle for 20 min every morning and then another probably 30 min of idle time through the rest of the day in the winter..I also occasionally pull a cycle trailer..
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Old 01-01-2004, 02:29 PM
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should all STP and Bosch filters be avoided since they're now fabricated in mexico? or just the ones you listed?
thanx
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Old 01-01-2004, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Golden Ice
My '92 max gxe has 135k miles on it and has run castrol synthetic 10w-30 since roughly 60k and has always had fram filters (usually the "middle class" one, tough guard I think)..it uses no oil between 5k miles/6 month changes of both oil and filter...the oil that I drain out is still always just slightly darker than fresh clean oil, but I'm still going to change my oil at 5k/6 month intervals or more often (if I'm extremely bored and already have the oil/filter)..I have a lead foot and always accelerate hard in town..should I continue with the same oil and maybe try a K&N or M1 filter, or should I change both, or just keep doing what I'm doing now? Most of my oil changes are at 6 month intervals rather than 5k miles, but I let it idle for 20 min every morning and then another probably 30 min of idle time through the rest of the day in the winter..I also occasionally pull a cycle trailer..
I say keep using the same oil you are using.
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Linh
should all STP and Bosch filters be avoided since they're now fabricated in mexico? or just the ones you listed?
thanx

I would begin avoiding all of them in the near future.
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Old 01-14-2004, 06:50 PM
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Kudos to Bill for all the work on his oil project.

Did an oil change today, using the Mobil 1 M-105.

If any Joe Schmoe had told me that the 105 would fit, when the 108 is what you find in the book, I would not have believed it.
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Old 02-05-2004, 04:55 PM
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I just changed got my oil changed to Full Snythetic High Mileage oil with a Mobil 1 Filter. The only problem is the oil I have is Walmart's crap SuperTech. Is there any GOOD full synthetic high mileage oil?

I would really like to use synthetic oil, but my car has a 144K on it. If there isn't any good full syn high mileage oil, would oil would you guys recommend using?
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