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Old 03-05-2012, 02:53 PM
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Default Automotive oil Motor Oil for 4 stroke outboards

Was going to change the oil and filter in my outboard over the weekend and realized I didn't have any 4 stroke outboard oil. I went to an auto parts store and to Walmart but they didn't have any either. (No marine stores nearby). I thought about using regular 4 stroke automobile oil but I decided against it, but I did wonder if it would matter. Cars run day in and day out at highway speeds and in heavy stop and go traffic and seem to do just fine. Outboards run at higher RPMs than cars, but overall car engines seem to take more abuse than outboards. Has anyone used regular automotive oil in their outboard? I mean when I put oil in my tractor or lawn mower I do not get special oil from a farm supply store. What is the benefit of using marine oil in an outboard. For the record, I do not plan to put auto oil in my outboard motor. I am mostly just curious.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:13 PM
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Use the oil specified by your manufacturer as to SAE and API raings. If the spec is for something 'marine-grade', then find something 'marine-grade'. If not, find something with the ratings specified ...
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:29 PM
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Car engines DO NOT take more abuse than outboards. Run your automobile @ 5,000-6000 rpm's for a few hours continuously and see how long it lasts. And that's after it hasn't been run for days, maybe weeks or more, while being totally exposed to the elements. Oh, and fill your radiator full of salt water while you're at it.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Peltz View Post
.......... I am mostly just curious.
"curiousity killed the cat" and it might kill your outboard

why take that chance?
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:41 PM
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Has anyone used regular automotive oil in their outboard? I mean when I put oil in my tractor or lawn mower I do not get special oil from a farm supply store. What is the benefit of using marine oil in an outboard. For the record, I do not plan to put auto oil in my outboard motor. I am mostly just curious.
I use Castrol GTX in my outboard motors, and Castrol GTX in my truck. At around 850 hours per year over the past ten years, that's around 85 oil changes and counting on one outboard (Suzuki), or another.

Assuming both are up to the specs prescribed for your outboard, the only benefit from using an oil that has marine printed on the label is that you get to pay more for it.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:46 PM
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There are two widely separated schools of thought on this issue, so expect disagreement. My personal own opinion is that there is basically no difference. If you wish to have an oil labeled as NMMA approved, you need to send them samples and pay the testing fees. Once they approve the sample, you can label it as NMMA approved marine oil. Those who believe there is a difference buy marine oil. Those of us that don't believe their is a difference, buy good automotive oils in the correct weight. NMMA implies that marine oils do a better job in terms of corrosion resistance, but I have not seen any lab results that show a difference in either high pressure additives, such as ZDDP or corrosion inhibitors.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:47 PM
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mobile one will work just fine.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:06 PM
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NMMA implies that marine oils do a better job in terms of corrosion resistance, but I have not seen any lab results that show a difference in either high pressure additives, such as ZDDP or corrosion inhibitors.
I thought the same thing. My mechanic took me inside his shop one day when I asked him about using Castrol Synthetic in my DF 60 Suzuki. He showed me a DF70 he was tearing down. The owner of that motor was using Mobil 1. The parts inside that motor looked like a farm implement before spring plowing. The amount of corrosion was eye-opening. He doesn't not sell parts or maintenance items, so he had no financial stake in the discussion. Nor do I.

It is completely stunning to me how someone will pay thousands and thousands of dollars on an outboard motor (or anything else of value) and then not follow the manufacturers instructions on maintenance to save nickels and dimes. It's foolish and will give the warranty nazis ammunition to deny a claim. You can roll the dice-I'm not going to.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:13 PM
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Castrol syntec with edge technology have a version of oil with extra zinc and its made for engines that don't have catalytic converters. Would that work?
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:22 PM
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It'll work fine -look for same viscosity spec and get on with boating. I don't believe for a minute that somebody can tear apart an engine and find a name brand oil car oil changed on the interval has made the engine a mess......change often, per the mfr specs and run what brand you like...

this thread will go 5 pages - but we have not had one in a while...popcorn please
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:06 PM
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im using yamaha 5w30 fcw this time in one engine. the oil has a slight green tinge which would be the corrosion inhibitor. at half way thru the change interval my motor starts burning a minute amount of oil and with this yammy stuff it really makes me feel ill. ive always enjoyed the smell of oil but not this stuff.

i have previously always used automotive oil and have never had any corrosion inside an outboard or had premature wear of any parts.

i have seen plenty of rust inside outboard gearboxs even when using marine gearbox oil and that stuff is loaded with anti corrosion additive.

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Old 03-05-2012, 05:40 PM
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i use a high quality olive/vegatable mix oil and have no problems.

You will be fine with a good quality automotive oil
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:50 PM
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Guys use Amsoil >>>>>> only....
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:53 PM
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I changed my F115's over to a diet of Castrol Syntec almost three years ago. Last year at 450 hrs I pulled the valve covers to check valve lash. There was no corrosion visible anywhere. Also, the valve lash was spot on.

I don't believe the poster who said otherwise knew that it was the oil that caused the problem. How would you know? What if it had been dunked??

Sorry, just the way oil works. I don't see where anything is going to make a good synthetic oil any more corrosion proof to a motor being bathed in oil as it is operated.
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:53 PM
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So I guess it would be OK to use the same oil in a 2 stroke outboard that I use in my Stil chainsaw? Have people done it before? Sure. Would I? No.

While you're at Walmart picking up your oil, do you also grab a Fram filter and a blister pack of Champion spark plugs?

Using automotive oil may be just fine for an outboard, but how much money does it really save you? And, if it's not 'just fine', how much will that lesson be?

It's hilarious that some people will tell you Dawn dish washing liquid will destroy your gelcoat, but any automotive grade oil is fine for an expensive outboard motor.

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Old 03-05-2012, 05:53 PM
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SAE 10W-30 Formula 4-StrokeŽ Marine Synthetic Motor Oil (WCT)
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:55 PM
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or 2 stroke

hp Injector Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil (HPI)
Excellent for all outboard motors with a performance emphasis on modern direct fuel injected (DFI) technology. Also recommended for personal watercraft, jet boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATVs. Injector use or 50:1 premix.
NMMA TC-W3, API TC
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:58 PM
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I don't believe the poster who said otherwise knew that it was the oil that caused the problem. How would you know? What if it had been dunked??
Didn't say oil caused the failure at that point. It was determined, by Suzuki reps, that the use of the wrong oil filter caused piston seizure. But, the corrosion evident was caused by the motor oil. Might not have ever been enough to cause failure, but it was enough to convince me that saving $10-$15 each oil change wasn't worth the risk.
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:04 PM
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So I guess it would be OK to use the same oil in a 2 stroke outboard that I use in my Stil chainsaw? Have people done it before? Sure. Would I? No.
.
I do....I use 2 stroke marine oil in my Stihl chainsaw, weed wacker, hedge trimmer and leaf blower.....about 8 years now....no issues
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:04 PM
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My wife's boat uses a Nissan 4 stroke outboard running automotive oil exclusively since 1996. It has about 2100 hrs without a problem. Thatsabout 22 oil changes.. She does change the oil every 9mos or 100hrs whichever comes first.
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