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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’ve been doing a lot of research on the VQ35DD engine from online forums and articles. I have read about sludge issues this engine could have, also people who like putting 5w30 in this engine instead of the 0w20 the manual recommends.

If I change my oil every 4,000 to 5,000 miles (Pennzoil Ultra Platinum). Will it really matter as far as engine longevity? I’m more interested in protecting my engine internals than gas mileage. I’m also assuming any warranty work won’t be covered if I put 5w30 instead of what they recommend. I read one article taking about how you shouldn’t change oil viscosity as it could affect the Variable Valve Timing? Idk

I live in Buffalo, NY. Winters typically around 20’s but can def be colder some days 0-10. Summer typically around 70s - 80s. What’s everyone’s take on using 5w30?
 

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I love a good discussion, but IMO, you're over thinking this..

Buffalo guy here myself and as you know, I've been running synthetic 5w30 in my 2019 pathfinder. Would a Nissan dealer be able to tell I used 5w30 vs 0w20 through used oil analysis? It's possible, but not certain. I'm quite familiar with used oil analysis, both from at work and the innerwebs. All they can do is go by receipts or work orders for oil changes, of which I don't readily have. I sometimes buy my oil in bulk and filters by the 12 pack. I am out of warranty anyway given I'm at ~66K miles. My Pathfinder showed one oil change on the carfax when I bought it as an ex-rental in 2019 w/ 25K miles on it, so they could back out of any oil related engine failure right out of the gate. I've read of Nissan dealers doing exactly that. Of course they gloss right over that little situation at the time of purchase. I questioned them on this and they basically had no response. Not going to commit to anything.

I carry on with my ~3500mi oil changes with lower cost oil / filters just so I know if my engine sludges up for some reason, it wasn't for lack of oil changes.

Another topic all together, but now that I'm approaching 70K miles, I'll be using aftermarket "suitable for NS-3 use" CVT fluid as well. I haven't chosen which one yet. I am also very aggressive on my CVT fluid spill and fills and have run a few cases of Nissan NS-3 through it between ~25-60K miles.
 

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Oil analysis is actually very accurate. My shop uses Blackstone labs as needed. Some warranty companies request them on high dollar repairs. A sample of the fluid is taken and sent to a lab. It's not common but it does happen.
 

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Precision built engines of today are better suited to lower viscosity oil, 0W20 flows quickly through all of those tight clearances, flow is the key, 0W20 SP GF6 oil has plenty of film strength, its not the 1970's where people used 20W50 and 10W40, heck, I remember my father saying that 5W30 was like water, I'm using 10W40 in my car.
 

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Precision built engines of today are better suited to lower viscosity oil, 0W20 flows quickly through all of those tight clearances, flow is the key, 0W20 SP GF6 oil has plenty of film strength, its not the 1970's where people used 20W50 and 10W40, heck, I remember my father saying that 5W30 was like water, I'm using 10W40 in my car.
I'm with you there and I remember the days when 5w30 took the lead and the thoughts/comments associated with it. I also remember when oil came in cardboard quart cans, 24 to a case. LOL Frankfurters were two for a nickle. I'm kidding there..

As far as I know, clearances didn't get any tighter on a VQ35 that recommends 0w20 vs an older VQ35 that recommends 5w30 and likely an array of viscosity ranges. It's done for fuel economy and I get it.

I never suggested to anyone that they make the switch. I only state what I do and kind of regret having done so.
 

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… My Pathfinder showed one oil change on the carfax when I bought it as an ex-rental in 2019 w/ 25K miles on it, so they could back out of any oil related engine failure right out of the gate. I've read of Nissan dealers doing exactly that. Of course they gloss right over that little situation at the time of purchase. I questioned them on this and they basically had no response. Not going to commit to anything.

I carry on with my ~3500mi oil changes with lower cost oil / filters just so I know if my engine sludges up for some reason, it wasn't for lack of oil changes.
If I recall, didn’t you notice signs of engine sludge when you bought your Pathy? Since you have been really scrupulous about changing the oil (and CVT fluid), have you seen an improvement in that? It may well be that the Pathy’s V-6 (if not all Nissan V-6s) is just that sensitive about needing oil changes in the 3,500-5,000-mile range.

If that CARFAX is accurate and there was only one oil change in 25K, the rental company should be charged with auto abuse. Even a 10K interval is inviting trouble no matter what engine or vehicle, IMHO.
 

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If I recall, didn’t you notice signs of engine sludge when you bought your Pathy? Since you have been really scrupulous about changing the oil (and CVT fluid), have you seen an improvement in that? It may well be that the Pathy’s V-6 (if not all Nissan V-6s) is just that sensitive about needing oil changes in the 3,500-5,000-mile range.

If that CARFAX is accurate and there was only one oil change in 25K, the rental company should be charged with auto abuse. Even a 10K interval is inviting trouble no matter what engine or vehicle, IMHO.
I didn't word that right in the above. It did only show the one oil change at around 12K miles on the carfax, but it did get another oil change by the dealer just before I bought it at 25K miles. That one didn't show up yet on the CarFax when I took delivery.

Other than probing inside the oil fill hole, I've never looked inside a valve cover, etc on my 2019. Right after I bought it I noticed the engine oil was darker than I like, even though the dealer said they just changed the oil/filter . I went ahead and changed it again anyway and indeed it did have a new Napa oil filter on it (my 2019 came from a Toyota store). I also wanted to do this knowing it may have gone ~12K miles between OCIs.

The thing with ex-rentals is, some work can be done in house, or in a shop that won't necessarily show up on a CarFax. Minor body work for instance.

Like I say, I've owned port injected VQ35DE's in the past and they never blackened the engine oil like the the VQ35DD's do. Weather not it's related to the DI or not I can't say.

I also am not saying synthetic 5w30 is better than 0w20. You're engine will be happy on either changed at an interval that works for you.
 

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I didn't word that right in the above. It did only show the one oil change at around 12K miles on the carfax, but it did get another oil change by the dealer just before I bought it at 25K miles. That one didn't show up yet on the CarFax when I took delivery.

Other than probing inside the oil fill hole, I've never looked inside a valve cover, etc on my 2019. Right after I bought it I noticed the engine oil was darker than I like, even though the dealer said they just changed the oil/filter . I went ahead and changed it again anyway and indeed it did have a new Napa oil filter on it (my 2019 came from a Toyota store). I also wanted to do this knowing it may have gone ~12K miles between OCIs.

The thing with ex-rentals is, some work can be done in house, or in a shop that won't necessarily show up on a CarFax. Minor body work for instance.

Like I say, I've owned port injected VQ35DE's in the past and they never blackened the engine oil like the the VQ35DD's do. Weather not it's related to the DI or not I can't say.

I also am not saying synthetic 5w30 is better than 0w20. You're engine will be happy on either changed at an interval that works for you.
Thanks for the update. Regarding the last part, you are spot-on. Consumer Reports once said that the brand of oil and even whether it’s standard, synthetic, high mileage, etc. is less important than having the oil changed regularly. Buying the most expensive oil but changing it once a year or so won’t do as much good as using a store brand oil at recommended intervals or sooner.
 
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