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I use Amsoil 0W20.... use no oil and we do hit lots of temps below 0F and C.
 

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I'm currently running 10W 30. Not by choice, but because I can't do my own oil changes anymore and that's what the geniuses at the quick lube put in... either on purpose or because they can't read "5W 20" on the oil fill. Either way, I haven't noticed a difference. If I didn't live in such a warm climate I might be more worried.
 

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I'm currently running 10W 30. Not by choice, but because I can't do my own oil changes anymore and that's what the geniuses at the quick lube put in... either on purpose or because they can't read "5W 20" on the oil fill. Either way, I haven't noticed a difference. If I didn't live in such a warm climate I might be more worried.
I don't know that I'd mess w the first # 5 to a 10 20 30 40 sure but 5 to 10 wt
 

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Oil has to be thin enough to slide into the narrow clearances of the engine and thick enough to do something once it gets there. For engines with hydraulic cam followers like the 3.8L, the oil also needs to be thick enough to "pump up" the followers while thin enough that the followers don't "stick".

There's some evidence that 5w20 is too thin for the minivan engine, specifically, too thin for the hydraulic cam followers. The minivan engine was not, after all, originally spec'ed for 5w20, it was originally spec'ed for 10w30 when introduced in 1990 (don't believe me? Go to Mobile's "What oil should I buy?" web site and clickity click to find the 3.3L for the 1990 Dodge Caravan). A lot of people report that the minivan engine's tappets quiet down significantly with a 5w30 oil. My recommendation would be that you stick with a 5w30 synthetic oil if you want to go heavier than the OEM recommendation, 5w30 gives better cold-start performance than 10w30 and has the same viscosity when hot, while synthetic means it doesn't have the large dollop of viscosity improvers needed to make a conventional oil into 5w30. I would *not* go with a heavier oil than 10w30 because the engine was designed with clearances too tight for heavier oils to get into, meaning that you'll have metal-to-metal contact because oil is too thick to get there -- *bad*.

As for any mechanic who recommends an oil thicker than 10w30 for the minivan engine under normal conditions (i.e., not the middle of Death Valley in the summer) -- find a new mechanic. Seriously. You have ignorant bozos like that all throughout the auto repair industry, who "learn" these things from *other* ignorant bozos and then they regurgitate with no understanding of the fundamental principles of lubrication. I wouldn't hire a doctor who lacked a fundamental understanding of the basic operations of blood, and I wouldn't hire a mechanic who lacked a fundamental understanding of the basic operations of oil. Just sayin'.
 

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Oil has to be thin enough to slide into the narrow clearances of the engine and thick enough to do something once it gets there. For engines with hydraulic cam followers like the 3.8L, the oil also needs to be thick enough to "pump up" the followers while thin enough that the followers don't "stick".

There's some evidence that 5w20 is too thin for the minivan engine, specifically, too thin for the hydraulic cam followers. The minivan engine was not, after all, originally spec'ed for 5w20, it was originally spec'ed for 10w30 when introduced in 1990 (don't believe me? Go to Mobile's "What oil should I buy?" web site and clickity click to find the 3.3L for the 1990 Dodge Caravan). A lot of people report that the minivan engine's tappets quiet down significantly with a 5w30 oil. My recommendation would be that you stick with a 5w30 synthetic oil if you want to go heavier than the OEM recommendation, 5w30 gives better cold-start performance than 10w30 and has the same viscosity when hot, while synthetic means it doesn't have the large dollop of viscosity improvers needed to make a conventional oil into 5w30. I would *not* go with a heavier oil than 10w30 because the engine was designed with clearances too tight for heavier oils to get into, meaning that you'll have metal-to-metal contact because oil is too thick to get there -- *bad*.

As for any mechanic who recommends an oil thicker than 10w30 for the minivan engine under normal conditions (i.e., not the middle of Death Valley in the summer) -- find a new mechanic. Seriously. You have ignorant bozos like that all throughout the auto repair industry, who "learn" these things from *other* ignorant bozos and then they regurgitate with no understanding of the fundamental principles of lubrication. I wouldn't hire a doctor who lacked a fundamental understanding of the basic operations of blood, and I wouldn't hire a mechanic who lacked a fundamental understanding of the basic operations of oil. Just sayin'.
You and I speak the same language sir. Very well put.

RC
 

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I've been running 5w30 for awhile now, mainly cause the parts store in town never had 5w20, but I have noticed less oil consumption and the oil isn't as black when I change it. I have been taught by an old school mechanic (my dad) to change oil every 3000 miles. I also clean the air filter and rotate the tires at that time.
 

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Switching from syn. 5W20 to regular 5W20 really helped my engine ticking. It had started to tick to the point I was about to take it to the dealership, but I tried the reg. oil first and it's much more quiet now.

I will run 5W30 syn. next time and see what happens.

Having said that, technically you could have your warranty voided if you use anything other than 5W20. My 2011 owners manual clearly states that 5W20 is the ONLY recommended oil, and it also states clearly that using fluids other than what is recommended may void your warranty. This doesn't mean it WILL, it just means they COULD. With 90,000 miles of powertrain warranty left on this thing, is it worth risking to make the switch to heavier oil? I don't know.
 

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I had heard from a Chrysler Tec that a common cause of oil consumption is the MOPAR PCV valve. They say it gets fowled up easily and will stop working properly which will cause higher pressures in the heads and force oil past the rings. They recommended switching to a NAPA PCV valve rather than the MOPAR valve as the NAPA valve apparently works better which will allow you to run higher weight oils with less of a problem. I cant really say from experience that it has made a difference as I havent had an issue with consumption but it was worth the small price of the NAPA valve and the 10 minutes it took to switch out.

In a sort of related story, After I moved my evap can I kept getting the "Small evap system leak" code. It drove me crazy and I went over the relocation and new hoses again and again. I used RVT on all the hose connections and used hose clamps. When I switched to a NAPA PCV valve I stopped getting the small leak code. I guess (emphasis on guess) that the poorly functioning MOPAR pcv valve was adding pressure to the evap system and forcing vapors out of the system somewhere.
 

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Switching from syn. 5W20 to regular 5W20 really helped my engine ticking. It had started to tick to the point I was about to take it to the dealership, but I tried the reg. oil first and it's much more quiet now.

I will run 5W30 syn. next time and see what happens.

Having said that, technically you could have your warranty voided if you use anything other than 5W20. My 2011 owners manual clearly states that 5W20 is the ONLY recommended oil, and it also states clearly that using fluids other than what is recommended may void your warranty. This doesn't mean it WILL, it just means they COULD. With 90,000 miles of powertrain warranty left on this thing, is it worth risking to make the switch to heavier oil? I don't know.
My 2010 owners manual shows that 5W30 may be used for certain temperature conditions. There is no differance from the 2010 to the 2011 3.8 engine that your owners manual is referencing.... so I am unsure why they posted that in your manual.
 
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