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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know, I know, another post about oil:mad:. I was at Costco last week and saw they had full synthetic oil, 10 quarts for roughly $33. I'm a huge believer in peace of mind so I normally always stick to what is best but this price had me do a double take. Maybe not so much for my Tundra, that's my baby, but maybe for my wife's car who drives close to 30k a year and trades it in every 4/5 years. I also know a lot of the Kirkland brands are made by the brand they are imitating as well so not sure if anyone had heard anything about this particular product. Any thoughts?
 

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I use it ALL the time. I buy it when Costco has the sale price and stock up. I just put 6,000 miles of towing a 5,000 pound camper from Michigan through the mountains and hills of SD, WY, ID and MT before I could get to my normal 5,000 mile oil change. I went from the 170k mile mark to the 176k mile mark on my 2012 Crewmax. Buy it and move on.

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I have seen it. Read and watched reviews on it. It is a great product at an amazing price. It is blended to Kirkland's specific mix by Warren Distribution INC. This company blends and bottles for many brands. The only negative I saw in a video was in extreme cold oil was placed in freezer over night (I do not remember exaxt temps) but simular to (at start up) Then the oil was poured down a ramp. The Kirkland brand did not flow near as well as Mobil - 1 but was much better than the third brand that was in the comparison test. In all other categories I think it tested out to be as good or better than just about everything else available on the market.

With that being said I am not running it yet. My reasoning is oil although a lubricant has wear patters that develop on bearings at a microscopic level. This can be easily explained by different grades of sand paper rough to fine. You can see a pattern of 60 grit sand paper (50 Wt oil) and you can see a pattern from 150 grit sand paper (30 Wt oil) 1000 grit sand paper (0-Wt oil) as an example. So in theory as long as you stick with the same weight oil no matter the brand the wear patterns should be the same. But not all oils are created equal.

This issue never usually shows up as a problem unless someone was running a 30-40-50 wt. oil for many miles (larger bearing space created via higher viscosity oil) which creates the wear patterns (larger gap) and then switches to a lower viscosity oil say 0- wt. The 0- wt. oil is not thick enough to keep that bearing gap filled properly and can result in a loss of oil pressure and motor failure.

I know that is getting picky and I would have no problem running the Kirkland oil on a new vehicle but I do my best to stick with one brand and Wt. for the entire life of the vehicle while in my ownership. My son on a college budget driving a 99 Honda Accord has decided to change to the Kirkland brand due to the cost savings and knowing this is not a forever vehicle for him.
 

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I’m not a Costco fan myself, but have seen the oil of which you speak. I have also seen the testing regime that 310z is referring to. Cold weather flow characteristics of an oil are very important to me so for that reason alone I pass on the Costco synthetic. There are a host of other oil characteristics that are also important to me but it all comes down to two things, IMO : the integrity of the base oil (basically what different oils grades were mixed and viscosity index improvers were used to meet the specified oil grade/weight) and the additive package that includes, among other things, acid and base neutralizers, anti foaming additive, detergents, corrosion inhibitors, demystifying agents, etc.


To make a certain weight oil - especially a multi-viscosity oil like the 0w-20 the tundra calls for - manufacturers can arrive at the same weight in many different ways. It isn’t as simple as, “tap that barrel over there that’s 0 weight that everybody else draws their 0 weight from”. The base oil is engineered to retain as much as the original flow properties as new oil without becoming too thick or too thin over time. How quickly this happens and how drastic the change is depends entirely on how well it was engineered. Cheap or hyped up oils become out of spec much sooner than others; in comparing gear oils, for example, I seem to recall Lucas oil going out of spec almost immediately.

Cheap oils also contain fewer and less-evolved additives. With a decent synthetic oil, the base oil can withstand temperature extremes and swings better than conventional oils which keeps it from breaking down as quickly. This means you can run the oils for longer before changing it out. The problem is now about maintaining proper ph levels in the oil, containing and trapping harmful contaminants, and keeping the engine clean. Because the oil goes longer between changes, so must the additives last longer. Look at Mobil 1’s line of 0w20 oils; the real difference between the 10k oil and the 15k oil is mostly additive package with a few very minor tweaks to viscosity (which is usually via the VI improvers in the additive package).

IME, cheap synthetics yield better results than conventional oils, but don’t last nearly as long as quality synthetics. In order to save a few bucks, the MFG (or as is often the case - the customer requesting a bottling company to meet a certain price point) must cut costs somewhere - either a base oil with a shorter life span or a simpler additive package. If it were me, I’d only run a budget synthetic to between 3k and 5k miles. As is, I run Mobil 1 to about 7k on my truck before draining it (it’s not just a putter around town commuter). So, IMO, the money saved on the oil is negated by the need to change it more frequently. But that’s just me..
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’m not a Costco fan myself, but have seen the oil of which you speak. I have also seen the testing regime that 310z is referring to. Cold weather flow characteristics of an oil are very important to me so for that reason alone I pass on the Costco synthetic. There are a host of other oil characteristics that are also important to me but it all comes down to two things, IMO : the integrity of the base oil (basically what different oils grades were mixed and viscosity index improvers were used to meet the specified oil grade/weight) and the additive package that includes, among other things, acid and base neutralizers, anti foaming additive, detergents, corrosion inhibitors, demystifying agents, etc.


To make a certain weight oil - especially a multi-viscosity oil like the 0w-20 the tundra calls for - manufacturers can arrive at the same weight in many different ways. It isn’t as simple as, “tap that barrel over there that’s 0 weight that everybody else draws their 0 weight from”. The base oil is engineered to retain as much as the original flow properties as new oil without becoming too thick or too thin over time. How quickly this happens and how drastic the change is depends entirely on how well it was engineered. Cheap or hyped up oils become out of spec much sooner than others; in comparing gear oils, for example, I seem to recall Lucas oil going out of spec almost immediately.

Cheap oils also contain fewer and less-evolved additives. With a decent synthetic oil, the base oil can withstand temperature extremes and swings better than conventional oils which keeps it from breaking down as quickly. This means you can run the oils for longer before changing it out. The problem is now about maintaining proper ph levels in the oil, containing and trapping harmful contaminants, and keeping the engine clean. Because the oil goes longer between changes, so must the additives last longer. Look at Mobil 1’s line of 0w20 oils; the real difference between the 10k oil and the 15k oil is mostly additive package with a few very minor tweaks to viscosity (which is usually via the VI improvers in the additive package).

IME, cheap synthetics yield better results than conventional oils, but don’t last nearly as long as quality synthetics. In order to save a few bucks, the MFG (or as is often the case - the customer requesting a bottling company to meet a certain price point) must cut costs somewhere - either a base oil with a shorter life span or a simpler additive package. If it were me, I’d only run a budget synthetic to between 3k and 5k miles. As is, I run Mobil 1 to about 7k on my truck before draining it (it’s not just a putter around town commuter). So, IMO, the money saved on the oil is negated by the need to change it more frequently. But that’s just me..
Thanks Blenton, well said. As I stated in my initial post I am going to continue with Mobil 1 for my Tundra because that's what I feel most comfortable with. I also would never run "cheap" oil in any of my vehicles, no matter how cheap. I found this situation more interesting because it is Costco and regardless of whether someone does or doesn't care for them I think we can all agree they are able to offer quality items at cheaper prices, many times identical to the original manufacturer. While it may be inexpensive, I wouldn't necessarily lump it in with other known "cheap" oils that have proven to be sub standard. Maybe the price point is where it's at because they don't have all the marketing and loyalty that Mobil 1 has and it's not simply leaving out certain ingredients that make an oil superior. Who knows, maybe it is crap, just wondered as most (not all) Kirkland brands I've tried have seemed to be pretty good quality so I found this to be a unique situation.
 

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You must have better experiences with Kirkland brand than I do :) I wouldn’t necessarily call them quality, but maybe “mostly adequate”. But that’s just my opinion. Not trying to knock Costco or Kirkland, that’s just been my experiences with them. As for oil, Mobil 1 has treated me well for years. It has the science and the testing to inform buyers to make their decision. And they make Toyota’a 0w-20 so that helps :) But again, those are my needs and my choices.
 
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Look at the API revision level on the bottle. From what I remember, Mobil 1 has a revision level of SL and the Kirkland Signature oil has a revision level of SN. The higher the revision level, the newer are the standards are for the oil, which usually means more stringent requirements. I am using the Kirkland Signature in my 2007 Crewmax without any issue.
 

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I've been using the Kirkland oil for the last two years in all my vehicles. Before that, I was using Mobil 1. I should add that I don't tow but do off-road while hunting. My Tundra just hit 95K miles.

I did an oil analysis with Blackstone Labs two weeks ago. On my current oil I had 4,600 miles on it at the time. The report came back with these comments:

"This Kirkland product is working well, so we have no qualms about running it longer. The wear
levels are excellent. Note iron, which is down to 5 ppm - that's a new low for the engine, and also a little
better than average, so steel parts (e.g. cylinders, shafts) are really getting along well. The viscosity was
within the expected range and we didn't find any contamination that might slow the engine's roll. Go another 3,000 miles on this oil before checking back."


I have been normally changing my oil at about 7K. Looks like I'll keep doing that with the Kirkland oil too.
 

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@RW100 - that’s good info; better than the random blatherings of some random member who gets really really really bad tasting burps from Costco hot dogs…
 
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I've read it is supplied by Warren Distribution who also supplies Walmart SuperTech oil.
 

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I've been using it in 3 rigs- a 2019 4Runner, a 2015 Tundra, and a 2018 Crosstrek for about a year. No problems so far, even at Fairbanks winter temps.

I will say, I think the Toyota 10,000 mile oil change interval is complete baloney... I change mine every 5k like my life depends on it. Oil is cheap (especially this stuff)...engines are expensive.

The Crosstrek is my son's, I change that one twice a year since he doesn't put 3k on it a year- so DI motor, lots of short trip, cold temps, etc. In short- every reason to change oil early and often.
 

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I can't say I run "cheaper" synthetic oil in my truck, but my beater 2009 Cobalt with 115k or so I run cheap synthetic. My buddies wife had no idea that it called for synthetic oil, so it's whole life it's had conventional. Who would think a car that cost 12-14k brand new in 2009 needs synthetic oil hahaha. So I started using Meijer brand full synthetic, $19 for 5 quarts. Might try the Sams club brand next change.
 

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That wouldn’t happen to be one of them little Cobalt SS numbers, would it? Found an interesting write up a while back on the development of that little four banger at GM. Basically, they set up a NOx system in the test cell and sprayed the tar out of the motor like they were in high school until it blew up. Then they made some adjustments here and there on a new motor, sprayed it until it blew up, more adjustments, etc, until they reached their target output on NOx without grenading anything. Then they slapped a supercharger on the SS at the same power level and sent it on its way. Supposedly, the base mode has basically the same internals and block and can support that HP out of the box. Never got to test that theory, though, as the local teenagers did away with most of the cobalts in my area as they were significantly less than a civic and had a propensity for smashing in to things in the winter or sending rods to the moon… Reminded me of a friend that didn’t realize the redline on the tach of her little Neo was the MAX rpm, not the shift RPM.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've been using it in 3 rigs- a 2019 4Runner, a 2015 Tundra, and a 2018 Crosstrek for about a year. No problems so far, even at Fairbanks winter temps.

I will say, I think the Toyota 10,000 mile oil change interval is complete baloney... I change mine every 5k like my life depends on it. Oil is cheap (especially this stuff)...engines are expensive.

The Crosstrek is my son's, I change that one twice a year since he doesn't put 3k on it a year- so DI motor, lots of short trip, cold temps, etc. In short- every reason to change oil early and often.
I agree as well, I don’t go over 5k myself. all of these oil threads always seem to have one common denominator, regular oil changes. I still can’t for the life of me figure out why Mobil would release an extended oil interval of 1 year/20,000 miles.
 

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That wouldn’t happen to be one of them little Cobalt SS numbers, would it? Found an interesting write up a while back on the development of that little four banger at GM. Basically, they set up a NOx system in the test cell and sprayed the tar out of the motor like they were in high school until it blew up. Then they made some adjustments here and there on a new motor, sprayed it until it blew up, more adjustments, etc, until they reached their target output on NOx without grenading anything. Then they slapped a supercharger on the SS at the same power level and sent it on its way. Supposedly, the base mode has basically the same internals and block and can support that HP out of the box. Never got to test that theory, though, as the local teenagers did away with most of the cobalts in my area as they were significantly less than a civic and had a propensity for smashing in to things in the winter or sending rods to the moon… Reminded me of a friend that didn’t realize the redline on the tach of her little Neo was the MAX rpm, not the shift RPM.
Nope, it is the cheapest version of the LT trim. It doesn't even have abs brakes, and only 4 lug wheels lol. I thought abs was standard in 2009!
 

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ABS? Standard in 2009? Not for GM it ain’t! I once had a Grand Prix circa 2006 or so, base model. I about died laughing when it started snowing and my brakes locked up. Reminded me of the good ol’ days (that I got to experience through owning crummy vehicles in the past) when people had to actually drive their vehicles instead of letting the vehicle nanny them around. Granted, I think ABS brakes are great and should be standard. Some of the other systems, though… just make people lazier.

Now, after totally derailing this thread, here is an interesting link to all the brands Warren Oil distributes…. And what do you know? Kirkland is listed on page 6.

Warren Oil Brands
 
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