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Old 09-26-2014, 12:33 PM   #21
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This can happen with a change in oil weight. Maybe the fresh oil is a different weight than what you drained.
Yep, viscosity drops with miles, valves are quieter with fresh oil.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:57 PM   #22
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Heh... It may run quieter, for certain types of engine construction and wear. I had one vehicle where the camshaft and valve lifters were located low and to one side, almost below the oil fill cap. Hydraulic 'self adjusting' lifters rode on the camshaft, and in turn shoved the valve pushrods. The lifters were in wells, which filled up nicely when oil was added to the engine.

When the lifter is not under pressure, a strong spring causes it to open or lengthen, drawing in oil normally supplied through a channel in the surrounding assembly and a hole in the lifter body. When the camshaft turns to open the valve, it pushes on the lifter, which closes the hole, trapping the oil inside and transferring lifting force to the valve pushrod. If all goes well, your engine runs with 'zero clearance', no gap between the parts in the valve push path, and no clicky noises from valve lash (that gap).

In an older, worn engine the oil supply to the lifter may be marginal from crud in the oil channels, or from wear around the lifter letting more oil dribble out. If the lifter isn't solidly filled with oil, it will allow a little space in the valve push path, which you'll hear when the engine is started as a bit of 'clicky' noise on top of the normal operation. In older engines you'll hear this noise for a little while until the engine warms up and the oil starts to move more freely to the lifters.

When you add oil to the engine, the lifter wells are full of cold, viscous oil before you even start the engine. The lifters fill up right away, and all that oil around them also damps the noise a bit.

Don't worry, though. Your engine will be back to it's old, clicky self the next time you start it up cold. :-)
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:08 PM   #23
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This same question was asked on the 'bob is the oil guy' forum with no clear consensus.
Perhaps an engine rigged with an array of accelerometers could answer the question with more authority?

Explain How Oil Can Make An Engine "Smoother" | Passenger Car Motor Oil (PCMO) - Gasoline Cars/Pickups/Vans/SUVs | Bob Is The Oil Guy
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:51 PM   #24
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I agree most is placebo effect, you think it is so therefore you conclude that.

However there are a couple scenarios that it can be true for temporary effect:
1) Engine is warm, but the new oil is cooler, so it is a bit thicker and therefore may be a little quieter initially
2) Oil does tend to break down and get thinner viscosity when it is used. The base oil in multi-viscosity oil is thinner and then the multi-viscosity elements make it thicker with temps. These thickener additions get used up/wear out over time. Some engine applications have more shearing effect which accelerates the viscosity thickeners getting used up faster. New oil has the full capacity thickeners when new.

While it is true the basic oil does not wear out, what does happen is your oil gets dirty and loses the additives as it is used. Both reasons to change it out. The oil filter does not get all of the contaminants out, the oil is supposed to hold some of the smallest particles in suspension.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:57 PM   #25
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Where are the engineers that can use logic to solve problems. Oil reduces friction and protects your engine from ware. If your engine consumes oil, and the impurities build up and the protective properties in the oil are used up over time, more friction will be created. More friction = noise and less smooth operation. Probably inperceptible if you change your oil as specified in your owners manual and/or if you top up should your engine consume oil, but if not, you are likely to discern a difference. I've seen this happen often when folks do not change their oil regularly or its down a quart or more.
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Old 09-26-2014, 02:41 PM   #26
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I've noticed that it seemed to run better after an oil change but always assumed it was psychological. Same thing happens when freshly washed.

I did notice that when freshly washed the airplane actually did go 5mph faster than when dirty at the same power setting. But north of 120 mph lots of dirt particles will start to produce measurable drag.
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Old 09-26-2014, 04:00 PM   #27
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... Seems, right after the oil change, Auto seems to run smoother and quieter...
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I always thought my vehicles ran smoother right after I washed them!
Back more than 20 years ago when I still cared about my car, driving to work on Monday after spending a good part of the weekend not just changing oil, but also washing and waxing the car, man, oh man, I swore the car ran smoother, accelerated faster.

And I also felt like a million buck, and walked up straight and so confidently across the parking lot going into the work building.

Hmm... Now that I actually have some bucks, I do not feel anything, and trudge all the time with dropped shoulders. No, not like when you were in your late 20s, driving a shiny car.
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Rapping lifters
Old 09-26-2014, 05:40 PM   #28
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Rapping lifters

I had a VW Syncro. Awesome car! I changed the oil every 5000 miles. The lifters would start rapping after about 1000 miles. They would get louder and louder until I changed the oil. Then all was quiet again....Placebo? No way!

None of my other cars have ever savored fresh oil the way the Syncro did.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:07 PM   #29
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Now for an easy one. My car always runs better, quieter, better mpg when I put in synthetic oil vs regular oil.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:48 PM   #30
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Now for an easy one. My car always runs better, quieter, better mpg when I put in synthetic oil vs regular oil.
I can buy into the real impact of synthetic. We don't drive much so I'm not willing to pay for it.

The only time I knew regular oil made a difference was in my '68 Ford F-100. Thing got 20 miles to a quart of oil. When I changed to straight 40 weight and added 4 cans of STP oil treatment it definitely ran better. Hottest plugs with 'non-foulers'. As soon as I had $75 for a used 390 it had a new engine. The choke and exhaust were a challange.

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Old 09-26-2014, 06:51 PM   #31
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I have never changed the oil in my car, and I don't think it will change/improve anything . . . it's electric!
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:24 PM   #32
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My vehicles always ran the same before and after I changed the oil.

But the real satisfaction came immediately after the job. I would trudge down to The Viking Bar in my oil stained work clothes and swap shade tree mechanic tales with my buddy Spike.

Bragging rights- Priceless
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:27 PM   #33
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I can buy into the real impact of synthetic. We don't drive much so I'm not willing to pay for it.

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If your car has a turbocharger, synthetic oil is a must, and it will be clearly specified in the owner's manual. Lots of newer cars are being equipped with turbos to provide added HP and torque in the smaller displacement engines. Smaller displacement, along with other factors, aids in increasing engine efficiency and fuel economy.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:30 PM   #34
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If your car has a turbocharger, synthetic oil is a must, and it will be clearly specified in the owner's manual. Lots of newer cars are being equipped with turbos to provide added HP and torque in the smaller displacement engines. Smaller displacement, along with other factors, aids in increasing engine efficiency and fuel economy.
We had a turbo MR-2. It and my driving privileges were mutually exclusive. It left.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:34 PM   #35
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Now for an easy one. My car always runs better, quieter, better mpg when I put in synthetic oil vs regular oil.
Here in MN, I use synthetic all the time. In the winter, it is mandatory if you want your car to start.
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Old 09-26-2014, 07:42 PM   #36
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Not sure....................

When I wash mine, they run better..............
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:26 AM   #37
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Have always changed all fluids according to the recommendations.

Oil, transmission,brake, power steering, etc. Doing this has saved me a good desk of maintenance issues over the years. But, we keep our vehicles for 15 plus years.
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:28 PM   #38
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If your car has a turbocharger, synthetic oil is a must, and it will be clearly specified in the owner's manual. ...
That's not universal. My 2000 Volvo S40 is a turbo, the manual does not call for synthetic.

Follow the manual, no matter what your configuration.

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Old 09-27-2014, 05:05 PM   #39
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That's not universal. My 2000 Volvo S40 is a turbo, the manual does not call for synthetic.

Follow the manual, no matter what your configuration.

-ERD50
Probably older models with turbos didn't require it, my bad as I am not that knowledgeable on early turbos.

But the newer ones with variable vanes (no wastegate) and spinning at 200,000 RPM, are spec'd for full synthetic oil to minimized shaft wear and coking up from Dino oil failure.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:02 PM   #40
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Not sure....................

When I wash mine, they run better..............
Indeed, one of our local car washes had an ad "a clean car runs better".
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