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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Had my Astra K for about 10 days now and I'm not happy with the engine oil Vauxhall / Opel recommend. I'd prefer to put in Mobil 1 0W/40 fully synthetic. Seeing as Vauxhall's 'On Star' monitors just about everything, including engine oil life, I'm wondering, if I change the oil myself after about a 1000 miles / 1600 km, are they likely to find out and invalidate my warranty? Apologies if it seems, superficially, a silly question, but 'On Star's' a bit 'big brother' and seems to know just about everything else about your car unless one can find a way to deactivate it temporarily!

On the same subject, is the sump plug reasonably accessible on the 'K'? It certainly wasn't on my previous 1.7CDTi Astra J!!
 

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I wouldn't go putting oil in that's not recommended by Vauxhall. It's there engine so they should know best and if there is a problem they could use it as a reason not to fix under warranty.
 

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I dont see why u would like 0w40 oil... if you'd be living in the cold climate i would go with 0w30 as in the manual :) opel/vauxhall uses 5w30, which is just fine and theres. O need to go thiner then that if u are not living in northern scandinavia :)

And no, it wont invalidate the warranty, nor onstar will see the oilc change ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your replies!

5W/30 isn't necessarily adequate (I do have some knowledge as I used to be an oils and petroleum chemist).

If you have a '0W/-' rated oil, it simply means that there will be virtually no wear on start up (at any temperature) and so you will prolong the life of your engine even more than when using a '5W/-' oil. A 0W/40 oil isn't thinner than a 5W/30 oil, as such, it simply means it has superior performance over a broader temperature range, plus you'll get even better fuel economy!

Now, does anyone know how accessible the sump plug is, which was the core of my original post?! ;)

Thanks! ;)
 

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Doesn't matter how much better you think your preferred oil is, if you don't use a lubricant of the same spec as that recommended by GM, you are on very dodgy ground should there be any engine related warranty issues.

The warranty does not cover normal wear and tear or tyres and does not apply to: damage due to accidents, misuse or alteration, damage or corrosion caused by the environment, chemical treatments or aftermarket products, lubricants, fluids, third-party repairs, equipment on vehicles not built or supplied by Vauxhall or an affiliated company or to non-Vauxhall accessories. We recommend that the vehicle is maintained in line with Vauxhall published Service Schedules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, I hear what you say, Swiss. However, it would be almost impossible for them to detect chemically (or otherwise) that I was using an oil that wasn't 5W/30, for example. Furthermore, what I intend to put in it (ie, 0W/40) is one of the recommended oils for low temperature, but, as I keep saying, it will give superior performance, reduce wear and afford better fuel consumption.
 

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cooldad said:
Yes, I hear what you say, Swiss. However, it would be almost impossible for them to detect chemically (or otherwise) that I was using an oil that wasn't 5W/30...
Yup, as long as you haven't told anybody... ah, hang on... :roll:

Your knowledge of lubricants is far superior to mine, and obviously it's your call, your car to do with as you see fit (assuming it's not on finance of some sort) but it begs the question; if your preferred oil is so much better, why don't the people who built the engine agree?
 

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SwissTJ said:
why don't the people who built the engine agree?
Could it be a cost thing where the one oil will do the job at the right price? Perhaps the better quality oil just pushes up the costs too much? I don't know much about oil, but that is the first thing that comes to mind!
 

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Usually its the cost which turns off dealerships of using proper oil. For example Lexus recommends the use of only 0w20 oil... And that one is impossible to get in the local dealership as only recently they have started using 5w30 when one client threatened to sue them for that when his engine went :) 0w20 oil is 2x more expensive than 5w30
 

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Hi cooldad welcome to the forum the sump plug will be the same pain as the j series take all the covers of etc etc.. get your self an oil suction pump and suck it out of the dipstick hole, no mess no fuss oil change done in 20 minutes .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
SwissTJ said:
Yup, as long as you haven't told anybody... ah, hang on... :roll:

Your knowledge of lubricants is far superior to mine, and obviously it's your call, your car to do with as you see fit (assuming it's not on finance of some sort) but it begs the question; if your preferred oil is so much better, why don't the people who built the engine agree?
[/quote]

LOL, Swiss, point taken!! However, if someone wants to grass me up to Vauxhall, they're welcome! They're confusing me with someone who gives a sh*t! ;) I have friends both in St Petersburg and in Yakutsk, Siberia, and I'll simply tell the company I'm intending to drive there to justify putting in the oil I want (after all, they do recommend it at those temperatures!!) ;) ;)

On a more serious note, the reason they don't put in such oil is probably because it's too expensive and most motor manufacturers (unless you're talking about 'high end') are 'too mean to spend Christmas' and they'll try and get away with fitting / supplying the minimum quality they can get away with. Otherwise, why don't all the 'extras' we have to pay for come as standard on every car?

To come back to the oil, I suspect (although I haven't checked), that the 5W/30 spec they recommend is a semi-synthetic (ie, part mineral oil), which won't perform as well as a 5W/30 fully synthetic under any conditions. Furthermore, 0W/30 or 0W/40 fully synthetics will give you the best performance and protection overall. I used to have a Subaru Impreza and always put Mobil 1 0W/40 in it without any problems. The Astra K I now have isn't far away from the Subaru's performance, so I guess I believe it deserves the best oil I can put in it. Just saying....

skybluenergy said:
Hi cooldad welcome to the forum the sump plug will be the same pain as the j series take all the covers of etc etc.. get your self an oil suction pump and suck it out of the dipstick hole, no mess no fuss oil change done in 20 minutes .
Thanks, mate, I'd honestly never thought of that ruse! Where did you get your oil suction pump, incidentally? I had an Astra J 1,7CDTi before this one and I agree, removing the covers to get access to the sump plug was tedious, to say the least!!
 

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Cooldad - as an oil and petroleum chemist, what are your thoughts on oil additives and fuel additives? Are the worth the money or are they snake oil? It'll be interesting to hear what you think about them...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
drey_p said:
Cooldad - as an oil and petroleum chemist, what are your thoughts on oil additives and fuel additives? Are the worth the money or are they snake oil? It'll be interesting to hear what you think about them...
Personally, I think oil additives are a waste of money. If you buy a good, branded oil (ie, NOT 'own brand' supermarket, Wilko or Halford's), the additives in them (eg, antioxidants, stabilisers, etc) will be top notch, which is why, funny old thing, they're more expensive!

As for fuel, I've started putting in BP 'Ultimate' - a good alternative is Shell 'V-Power' - I usually buy the former because I collect Nectar Points (sad, aren't I? ;) ). These fuels contain a series of additives that keep your engine clean and should improve economy and performance. It's not just company 'hype' either, they're really supposed to work!

The upshot is, if you're prepared to spend the extra cash on these fuels, I wouldn't bother with additives in your tank either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
drey_p said:
Some interesting advice there. I think I may give those fuels you recommend a whirl!
For everyone claiming these fuels are miraculous, there are probably as many saying they're not! However, I think with cars having a performance spec like ours, they're worthwhile. I certainly used them in my Impreza and they did improve the economy (after all, something needed to in that car!!) Whether that was offset by the increased cost of the fuels, I couldn't say. I fancied the car did accelerate more rapidly too.

Anyway, bet you can't wait to get the new motor, not long now! :)
 

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cooldad said:
Anyway, bet you can't wait to get the new motor, not long now! :)
About 36 hours to go .... not that I am excited or anything!

It'll be interesting to hear what others think of those fuels. I seem to recall using BP Ultimate a couple of times a few years back and it did definitely make the engine run a bit smoother and quieter.
 

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I will also get an Astra with a 1.6T engine.
I want to maintain it as best as possible, so oil is the first thing to settle.
I also think Mobil 1 0W-40 should be the best for this car, as Mobil oil selector highly recommends this one, and they claim it is for Ultimate Performance, and Super 3000 XE 5W-30 for Everyday Protection.
But it is not on sale in Slovenia, so I would have to order it on eBay, which means 47€ + 13€ postage, so 60€, and I can get Motul for 40€ locally.
http://www.ebay.de/itm/Mobil-1-ESP-0W-40-1x5-Liter-Motorol-BMW-LL04-MB-229-51-Opel-/271387655123

So I would like to know how good is Motul 8100 X-Clean 5W-40, which you can get in almost any store.
Should be better than GM Dexos 2 5W-30 and probably second best (of course speaking as a layman), as Shell only has 5W-30 and Castrol 0W-30, and they don't say nothing about ultimate performance.
 

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I feel like everyone is doing oil changes. I had planned to leave mine until it says time to change the oil. Currently sat on nearly 9,000 miles with just under 30% oil life left.

1.6 CDTI.

Shall I change my Oil? :?
 

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All very interesting and I myself ponder on what's the best oil to use.

But how long do you think your car will be in your hands before you swap it? Your interest in this forum probably means you'll have your eye on something newer before long.

I suspect for most people it's 6 or 7 years. And if you do want to run it longer, will it be engine wear that finally sees the car to the scrap yard or a multitude of other mechanicals or electricals that make the car too costly to maintain or too unreliable.

Assuming some half-decentl oil has been used, and changed as recommended, I suspect engine wear due to librication of moving parts is way down the list of reasons for a car's demise.
 
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