What's the Best Synthetic Oil for Elise? - Page 9 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
View Poll Results: What's the Best Synthetic Oil for Elise?
MOTUL 8100 X-cess 5W-40 21 5.53%
MOTUL 300 V Power 5W-40 23 6.05%
Red Line 'Street' 5W-40 29 7.63%
AMSOIL 'European Car Formula' 5W-40 40 10.53%
Mobil 1 ‘European Car Formula’ 0W-40 71 18.68%
Mobil 1 ‘Turbo Diesel Truck’ 5W-40 49 12.89%
Mobil Delvac 1 ‘Heavy Duty Diesel Engine Oil’ 5W-40 11 2.89%
Castrol Syntec 5W-40 or 5W-50 54 14.21%
Havoline Synthetic 5W-40 (It's avail. in your area) 32 8.42%
OTHER… 50 13.16%
Voters: 380. You may not vote on this poll

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post #161 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by CalBears92 View Post
AJ, click the link on post 18


BMW dealers seem to be the only ones who carry 10w60
Thanks much.

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post #162 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 10:49 AM
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Elf Excellium DID

THIS Is the choice I eventually settled upon. Reason? It met EXACTLY all Lotus specified requirements precisely. ACEA A3/B3-98 API SJ/CF.

Available on-line in 5Qt pour-friendly jugs.

Elf Lubricants main US Page HERE
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post #163 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 10:53 AM
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Source for Havoline Synthetic 5w40

FYI, I posted in this other thread about a source I found to order and ship the factory recommended Havoline Synthetic 5w40.

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post #164 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 30mpg View Post
...I understand that Zinc and/or ZDDP quantities were reduced in the later specs, is that M only, or L also? ...
Zinc (ZDDP) is reduced in the SL as well.

I asked about the Motul 8100 when Sector 111 first started carrying it, and the second hand reply from Motul that I recall was that they have additional anti-wear additives than typical SL oils. But, they were non-specific about what it was, and gave no wear data.

I use Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Oil. Yes, my catalytic converter may not last as long, but, I would rather have that happen than engine wear problems.
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post #165 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 06:12 AM
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Many years ago I worked for a chem lab that did quantitative and qualitative analysis of metal and oils for outside companies. I'm sure things are much better today, but here is the deal. Additives are added to oil to make it thicker at higher temps not the other way around. So, when the additives break down, which they use to do faster then you'd expect, the critical (operating temp) SAE upper temp value was compromised. That being said living in PA in the winter and starting a car under 32 degrees you really needed a multi wt. Below is an article by Kendal. I believe they state the best case, during summer, or in warm climates, your much better off using a straight weight oil.

Before we get into whether you should be using a multi-grade or single grade motor oil, some definitions are in order.

Viscosity has been defined as that property of a liquid which causes it to show a resistance to flow. The resistance is important because motor oil must adhere very tenaciously to the moving parts of the engine.

As temperatures decrease, lubricating oils become thicker, heavier and show greater resistance to flow — in short, they become more viscous. Conversely, the same oils become thinner, lighter and show less resistance to flow in other words, they become less viscous as temperatures increase. The amount of viscosity can be critical to engine maintenance and performance especially in severe temperatures.

It is the viscosity of the motor oil which determines the temperature below which the engine cannot be started in cold weather. It also is the determining factor in the thickness of the oil film on the engine. If the oil film is so thin that it cannot keep moving parts protected, wear results.

The grades of viscosity in crankcase oils have been classified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (S.A.E.). The system of classifications developed from the use of the Saybolt viscometer which measures the flow of the crankcase oils in seconds through a standard orifice at atmospheric pressure and at a predetermined temperature.

Under these classifications, 5W (for winter), 10W and 20W are determined by the oils’ viscosity at 0° Fahrenheit, while grades 20,30, 40 and 50 are determined by its viscosity at 210° Fahrenheit.

While all lubricating oils become more viscous as temperatures fall, and less viscous when temperatures rise, they do not change in viscosity to the same degree. The rate of change in viscosity with the change in temperature is known as the Viscosity Index (VI).

For example, two oils of the same SAE grade which have roughly the same viscosity at 210° Fahrenheit may have radically different viscosities at higher and/or lower temperatures than 210° F. The oil showing the least change is the most desirable because it results in lower consumption, less engine wear and makes possible the starting of an engine at lower temperatures. Some crankcase oils with high VIs, however, are the result of additive agents, which lose their effectiveness in use.

The oil to look for, therefore, is one which in its crude state and after its refining measures high on the VI scale.

Pennsylvania Grade Crude, from which Kendall Motor Oil is refined, has the highest VI of all oils produced and marketed. In its crude state, its VI is 95-100 and after refining its index averages 100-115. (Some Kendall oils have been refined to a VI as high as 140 without the addition of improving additives).

In comparison with Pennsylvania Grade Crude, Mid-Continent shows a VI of 65-75 before refining and 80100 after refining; East Texas’s comparative VIs are 50-60 and 80-95 and California’s are 0-35 and 40-65.

Kendall now is blending base oils with natural VIs on the 130 range. As a result its crankcase oils are superior in load carrying ability, anti-wear characteristics and sealing. At the same time, these oils require a much smaller quantity of VI improver.

The VI improver additives, like the base oils, vary widely in stability. The more expensive these polymer additives are, the more stability they will provide for the required viscosity of the motor oil. Because Kendall’s crude is so high on the VI scale, it can economically use the more expensive, more stable types of improvers.

Now to the question of whether to use multi-viscosity or single graded oil. The advantages of multi-viscosity oils become less significant in direct relation to the increase in ambient or start-up temperatures. When start-up temperatures exceed 70° Fahrenheit, it is questionable whether a multi-viscosity oil has any advantages over single-grade lubricants of equal quality.

High performance engines when driven as high output engines require special lubricants such as GT-1. The exception is cold weather operation when engine start-up becomes difficult with an SAE 20-20W. During the cold weather period a lubricant such as Superb 10W-30 or 10W-40 should be used. While the engine is lubricated with a multi-viscosity oil, it should not be asked to perform at its highest level. A single graded SAE 10W GT-1 may be used to facilitate cold starting but care must be exercised not to demand excessive performance. Superior over-all protection would be obtained from Superb 10W-30 or 10W 40 as compared to GT-1 SAE 10W.

Generally speaking, we should recommend single viscosity oils for high performance except when low temperature start-ability is a problem.

Author: Thomas T. Ordiway
Kendall Refining Company

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post #166 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 08:26 AM
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Although I cannot get as technical about oil and its specifications; I can tell you which oils have worked the best in my car for ALL weather conditions.

Firstly, I live in GA. The temperatures here range from 12 to 110 degrees. Fluctuations vary greatly during seasonal change. One morning i might be 30 degrees, and the next it will be 68. My car has 40,000 miles.

I have only used a few oils with my car, but all of them varied at least slightly. Some... more than that.

The worst: Valvoline High Performance 5w40 for high revving engines.
This oil was awful. The car started poorly, idled funny, and on several occasions bogged down and stalled on me. It ran the LEAST smooth. I changed it out after a few hundred miles because it was so bad. This was in mild weather as well. 70 degrees. This oil isn't even colored the same as any of the others I have used. It is a dark brown. Not golden honey brown like all the other oils I have used. I recommend staying as far away from this junk as possible. Its cheap for a reason.

Not bad: Penzoil Platinum European Formula 5w40. This oil ran smoothly and had no startup or dipping idle issues. I would recommend it. Somehow it seemed to lack a little power though. Probably placebo effect though. I used this oil over a long period of time. It was pretty good in all weather conditions. Price may vary from $7 to $9 a quart. If it is on the expensive side, in your area (and you can get something comparable), I would go with another brand.

Good: Mobil 1 5w40. (not sure if it was European formula or anything special). My local parts store had some mobil 1, so I thought I would give it a try. It ran well. No complaints. I only used it in the summer. I think it was $8 a quart.

Good, and currently using: Castrol Syntec 5w40. I have been using this oil for over a year now. I love the stuff. It has worked the best and smoothest in all weather conditions. The car seems to breathe a little better with this oil than any of the others. Oil temps have stayed the most consistent with this oil as well. That may be due to other conditions though. $7.50 a quart.

My money goes with the Castrol Syntec for normal and spirited driving. I do not know if it would be the best for the track, but I love this stuff for the street.

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post #167 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JoshS View Post
Many years ago I worked for a chem lab ...
How many years ago? I notice that they didn't mention synthetic oils at all in the write up.

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post #168 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 10:18 AM
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Pentosin 5w40

We use Pentosin 5w40! It comes in 5 liter easy/slow pouring bottles.

Bay Area Group buy. 25% off retail if we sell at least 10 cases (of 3) in the next 2 weeks.


Amazon dot com has it for those not in the Bay Area.

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post #169 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dietsch Werks View Post
We use Pentosin 5w40! It comes in 5 liter easy/slow pouring bottles.
Thanks for mentioning this. I had noticed from the VW recommendations that Pentosin Synthetic was a VW approved oil for my Phaeton and in the 5W-40 weight, but haven't really seen it outside of that context.

I'm not sure how strict the VW approval process is, or whether they're protecting more the engine or the cat, etc. I do know however that not all 5W-40's are approved for this particular VW spec, and in fact some 0W-40's and 10W-30's are approved. So it looks to me like they're looking at more than just the SAE numbers.

I was thinking it would be nice to have to stock only one 5W-40 oil, if I could find one that is (as Tims says) "optimal" for the Lotus and also the Phaeton. But my suspicion based on what I read was that the Lotus would prefer an earlier spec oil (more zinc, protect the engine better), and VW would prefer a later spec oil (since it doesn't have the race cam, to protect the cat more).

But I really don't know...

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post #170 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 10:43 AM
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The Lotus recommended Havoline Synthetic 5W-40 is VW approved and has higher than average levels of zinc and phosphorus. See my post with the spec sheet here.

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post #171 of 176 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 10:38 AM
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I sent Royal Purple an email regarding engine and transmission oil for our cars and told them the oils that lotus was recommending.

this was their reply. thought it might be of interest:

We recommend XPR 10w40 for a road racing car and the XPR series oils contain about 250% more ZDDP than the newer API SM oils that you are referring too. You can also use our RP SAE 10w40 or RP SAE 15w40 motor oils, because they do not follow the API SM – they are API SL. A great choice for your application, if you are comfortable, would be XPR 5w30, but I do understand that it is a step in another direction than the factory, but we have had great results in the field

Mobil 1 10w50 and Castrol 10w60 are too heavy for a race application. Thicker oil will rob you of horsepower, torque, and increase your time on the track.

Now these recommendations are assuming that the clearances and specs of the motor are going to remain in the ballpark of the factory specs. If anything is changed, this could alter our recommendations.

Max Gear 75w90 would be used as a replacement for of Redline’s MT90. In our experience, in race applications that spec a hypoid gear oil, our customer preferred our motor oil, which would give them better times.

A 75W90 is similar in fluid thickness to an SAE 10W40 motor oil. You can start with Max Gear 75w90 if you want or I would recommend going to our XPR 5w30 or XPR 5w20. They have the same oil film strength as the Max Gear 75W90, but are lighter in viscosity, resulting in even more power and better times. We recently were involved in a show called ‘Set-Up’, that used a Pontiac Solstice that also specs a 75w90 and we were using XPR 5w20 with great results.

Keep us posted on how everything works out for you.

Have a great day and thank you for choosing Royal Purple.

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post #172 of 176 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 05:40 AM
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FYI -- I ordered four cases of the factory recommended Havoline Synthetic. They should (finally) arrive Monday. If you're local to the Stamford/Greenwich area and want a case, PM me.

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post #173 of 176 (permalink) Old 05-16-2008, 09:21 AM
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Castrol 10W60. Only time I drive the car seems to be on track these days.

(and not the BMW TWS / Castrol Edge 10W60 stuff -which apparently has BMW specified additives/detergents), but Castrol Edge Sport 10W60, pka Formula RS 10W60.


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post #174 of 176 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:38 PM
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question for TimMullen & or darby#33. You both impressed me with your knowledge and can lose me with the numbers in under 10 words.

What oil is in the crank case of your STREET driven lotus now?

Thanks in advance.

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post #175 of 176 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by doug_porsche View Post
question for TimMullen & or darby#33. You both impressed me with your knowledge and can lose me with the numbers in under 10 words.

What oil is in the crank case of your STREET driven lotus now?

Thanks in advance.

From the poll TimMullen=Castrol Syntec 5W-40, darby#33=Other
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post #176 of 176 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 04:39 PM
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I know I'm resurrecting an old thread, but I'm wondering if I should try running Mobil 1 0w-40 in place of the Castrol Edge 5w-40 that I've been using for the past few years.

Normally I wouldn't be asking but I came across this BITOG post (https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forum...Number=2378215) and Walmart has 5qt jugs for $22 (so final price of $10/5qt jug with the Mobil 1 $12/jug mail in rebate, limit 4 per address).

I did run Mobil 1 5w-40 Euro Formula for a year and noticed that the engine was a bit louder than on the equivalent weight Castrol Edge. I ran a used oil analysis on some 10w-30 in another car and Blackstone thought it was 5w-30, which sort of lines up with my observation (suggesting that M1 is a little thinner than the Castrol).

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