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Help Regarding Oil

Hello everybody I'm new to alfa's but old too cars in general, I have a question about which oil to use. I have bought a 147 1.6 T-spark and the chap I bought it off has been using 10w60 and told me that's the best and only grade off oil to use in an alfa???? my understanding is it should have 10w40. My question is, Is this an old "alfa" trick to keep a semi knackered engine running or is this bloke taking his motor to a "bodganic" who's been flogging him thick the thick stuff coz it's more expensive? she's done 122k and to be honest she does sound more like a diesel than a nice smooth petrol engine and one of the variators is tapping like mad for 10/15 seconds then quiets down and it does seem to be low on power but not being used to a small engine (nothing less than 2.0 for at least 20 years) it might just be me or is this treacle of an oil choking the little engine struggling to push it round?
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If it was me I would run it on a decent 5W-40 fully synthetic.

Twin spark engines run very well on it.

However a 10w-40 semi will be fine, and if the engine uses an excessive amount of oil (Many TS engines do) then switching to something like a 10W-50 or 10W-60 can help lower oil consumption.

Back when the 147 was new Alfa had a marketing tie-up with Selenia (Not sure if they still do).
And back then Selenia's top oil was the 10W-60, hence why the manual will likely recommend it for extreme conditions or hard driving.

It does sound like the cam variator needs changing as well, and that is where your diesel noise is coming from.

The cam belt needs to come off to change it, so get that and the tensioners replaced at the same time. The interval is only every 36k or 3 years as they have a nasty habit of snapping.
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Thanks just need to decide now wether to put 10w40 back in or keep with the treacle. I presume the rocker cover gasket is a very obvious leaking point but are there more common areas I should be looking at for oil leaks on these?
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They are not too leak prone, but as you say check the rocker gasket.

It goes hard with age. Often it will allow the oil to leak onto the exhaust and you end up with burned oil smells through the heater.
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Last edited by symon; 29-08-16 at 12:16.
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Originally Posted by boringoldgituk View Post
Thanks just need to decide now wether to put 10w40 back in or keep with the treacle. I presume the rocker cover gasket is a very obvious leaking point but are there more common areas I should be looking at for oil leaks on these?
Try Valvoline Maxlife 10W40 Semi .. been running my 2.0 TS on that since it was about 120K and it's now done 210K although the last oil change was back to good old Selenia!

The variator tick is because the oil is low or simply old and getting thin (even if it is 10W60 it doesn't last forever and many owners think it does!!)
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Thanks everybody still can't decide 100% wether to change back to 40 or stick with the 60 but after reading I'm thinking the 40. Is it recommended to use a sealent on the rocker cover gasket or not on these??
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No sealant, just buy a new gasket.

It takes about 15 mins to fit and should cost under 20
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Different engine but my 3.0 V6 used oil when it ran on 10w 60 Selenia (the oil recommended for the 3.2 GTA)....previously I used Selenia 20K which I believe is 10w40....it didn't burn oil then.


I switched to millers fully synthetic....both 5w50 and 10w50 it hasn't used a drop since...though the 5w50 seemed very thin...hence I went to 10w50 next change.

I think the 10w60 is very thick when cold...someone said it can be caught up in the breather system and consumed that way..?
Anyway, it takes slightly longer for 10w60 to get to the top end on start up which may account for your cold top end noise?

I realise the twin spark is a different engine to the V6...I believe the Selenia Racing 10w60 is only recommended for the GTA??
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10W-60 and 10W-50 should have very similar viscosity when cold. When hot, 10W-60 is more viscous than 10W-50. W implies winter
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10w60 and 10w50 only have a similar viscosity around -25C, once you get above +- -10C the cold start viscosity doesn't play any part anymore, and you're looking at the hot viscosity and the viscosity index of the oil to determine the thickness.

What can happen with more viscous oils is that the oil control and compression rings can't expand to form an effective seal with the cylinder wall, and especially on the intake stroke let oil get above the piston. That oil will get consumed.
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It's simple really, get all oil leaks sorted first.
Then gauge how much oil a Twin spark is using over a 1000 miles. If it uses less than a litre of oil during this period, you can use 10w40.
If the engine burns over 1ltr/ 1000 miles then consider 10w60 to reduce the burn off vapour loss through the breather system (90% of all oil used is vapour loss). It may be more expensive at first but greatly reduces the burn off so you end up topping up very little indeed so you end up buying less oil.

It's not a magical cure, just common sense.
Ever notice different oils that your wife cooks with in the kitchen smoke at different temperatures? Same basic principle, it doesn't need to be rocket science.
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It's simple really, get all oil leaks sorted first.
Then gauge how much oil a Twin spark is using over a 1000 miles. If it uses less than a litre of oil during this period, you can use 10w40.
If the engine burns over 1ltr/ 1000 miles then consider 10w60 to reduce the burn off vapour loss through the breather system (90% of all oil used is vapour loss). It may be more expensive at first but greatly reduces the burn off so you end up topping up very little indeed so you end up buying less oil.

It's not a magical cure, just common sense.
Ever notice different oils that your wife cooks with in the kitchen smoke at different temperatures? Same basic principle, it doesn't need to be rocket science.
Also, not all 10W40 are created equally.
Sadly though, if oil usage is high the temptation will often be to use a cheaper oil... which will usually make the problem worse. But a high quality (more expensive) oil will often workout cheaper in the long run as it may not disappear through the breather as quickly even with the same viscosity.
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