Why I don't rate Selenia oil. - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Why I don't rate Selenia oil.

Here are 2 pictures of twinspark engines. One of which has covered 72000 miles on Selenia 20k. The other has done 114k and has been run on Magnatec, Mobil Super S, and Shell Helix during its life.

The First one is the one that has been run on Selenia. The inside of the cam cover was coated in an Anthracite coloured varnish like deposit (see exhaust cam far right cap). The other is my latest 156 and looks pretty much spotless in comparison.

My last 156 was also run on Selenia, and the inside of the cam cover was even worse than the one pictured, and the grooves inside the cam bearing caps were full of a carbon type deposit.

My therory is that Selenia contains a higher number of Viscosity modifiers (These break down in use) It needs more Viscosity modifiers to make it last 12,000 miles. VI modifiers create deposits.

Giulietta 2.0JTDm (170)

Last edited by symon; 06-05-11 at 19:07.
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good to see it in practice, but nothing new to me.....

Only full synthetic oil for my engines, thank you.... I quite like the cleaning properties of shell helix ultra 5w-40. after a couple of oil changes this reduced the oil consumption on my to nothing...
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Have you had both cars from new ? I noticed a significant consumption difference in using Selenia Racing but have not used 20k
 
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Bit worrying
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 348azeus View Post
Have you had both cars from new ? I noticed a significant consumption difference in using Selenia Racing but have not used 20k
Unfortunately not, but both cars have a prety comprehensive service history.
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When i mentioned selenia oil to EB spares . He said he would never recommend this oil.
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It just looks bad. It doesn't do any damage though. Plenty of 100K plus engines run only on Selenia.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch166 View Post
It just looks bad. It doesn't do any damage though. Plenty of 100K plus engines run only on Selenia.
The thing is, if those deposits are there, then they are likely to be elsewhere in the engine as well.

My last 156 had carbon build up in the cam bearing cap oil grooves, if carbon was to build up in the crank oilways it could be pretty terminal.

I have not heard of that happening though, but a clean engine has to be better than one full of deposits.
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Why I don't rate Selenia oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 348azeus View Post
I noticed a significant consumption difference in using Selenia Racing but have not used 20k
Significant consumption use in what way? More or less and in comparison to what?

I ran a 2000 156 2.0 TS from 2001 - 2008 (when I sold the car) exclusively on Selenia 20k. I've just purchased a 2000 2.0 TS 166 and contacted my local Alfa dealer to get some Selenia oil and was told that they recommended Selenia Racing (actually they have 2 different locations and both recommending Racing).

I confirmed in the manual that 20k is the recommended for regular conditions with 2% better economy (over what I don't know) and that Selenia Racing is recommended for particularly harsh conditions.

Any ideas as to why Racing is now recommended over 20k (this is the same garage that use to recommend 20k to me for my 156)? Has anyone else been advised similiarly?
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Racing is recommended over 20K for a couple of reasons.

It generally burns less because it is thicker.
The old chestnut about the marketing tie up between Selenis and Alfa, at the time Selania racing was Selenia's top oil.

I would stick with a 10w-40 semi or a 5w-40 fully synthetic of a decent brand. A 10w-60 may be recommended for particularly harsh conditions, but I don't think general road driving in the UK equates to particularly harsh conditions myself.

A track day or 2 in a hot country might though.
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Why I don't rate Selenia Oil

The topic of oil is a frequent and much debated one, here is a thread that ran last year, with a lengthy discussion covering a range of brands, tests etc.

https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/alfa-...formation.html
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I use selina 20k in all my alfas except the 220k mile 155 which has castrol high milage in it. Can't say I've had any problems but the inside of my engines do look like the first picture. Maybe I'll change?
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I had this issue after a first service on my new GT JTS - my local dealer put selenia semi synth in it!

This was a direct contradiction to the handbook - which they told me to ignore, so I spoke to alfa uk who said that semi was ok - still not satisfied I emailed alfa in Italy directly and got two responses - one telling me i should only use fully synthetic selenia racing ( i cant recall the rating) then about 10 mins later a phone call from my local dealer apologising for the bad advice and offering to collect my car and change the oil & filter immediately to Selenia racing, if it was convenient. I have to say I was very impressed with the speed of response but applaud that Alfa UK and their dealer network are clearly buying oil in bulk that is fine for most of the Fiat range and sticking it in everything!

In short it should be a fully synthetic oil - IIRC Selenia Racing is something like 10/60 and this is the crucial bit cos 20K is 10/40
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I still think the only reason why they recommend 10w-60 is not for engine life or performance, but because it doesn't burn as quickly.

The JTS does run a higher compression ratio than the TS, but the temperature of the combustion chamber should affect the oil temperature too much. It will get hotter in their under compression but there is a water cooling passage between the combustion chamber and the oil.


The JTS also seems a bit more prone to cam wear than TS engines, I think that is down to the reduced oil circulation associated with using a thicker oil.


If I had to use a 10w-60 I wouldn't be using Selenia racing either. It is too expensive, and it doesn't meet API or ACEA specs.
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Been using Castrol Edge 10w60 (the non BMW one) for the last few changes. Still need to top up quarter of a litre every weekend. Will be switching to Total as a friend gets it for free. Total Quartz Racing 10w50. Anyone tried it?
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have had a 156 twin spark and used selenia with no problems ie:millage before a cup full to top up,,but i would say thankyou for your article as i think you would recommend MAGNATEC
10w 40 engine nearly 60,000 miles and will have cam belt ,plugs,and oil change very soon,
are the plugs NGK 0060810689 £9.48 EACH THANKS
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I do like oil debates...

Oilman did a list that showed that more or less whatever engine you have, if you put semi-synthetic 10W40 in it, then it'll run fine.

Most semi-synthetic oil is API S/L rated (and ACEA A3). The T/Spark and the v6 only need S/G or S/H rated... so essentially you can't even buy a semi-synthetic oil that's not good enough for your car.

My advice is just change the oil at 10,000 miles or once a year. "Once a year" is more important than every 10,000 miles. If you want the inside to stay cleaner (or if you just do a few short journies... during winter... with a knackered thermostat) then change the oil at 6,000 miles. You can also use a "for diesel" semi-synthetic or an ACEA A4 rated oil like Motul 6100... since these have additional detergents compared to regular "petrol" or A3 oil.

Synthetic oil has a higher level of detergents already.. hence there is not usually a distinction between "for petrol" and "for diesel" synthetic oil. Whether a synthetic oil is way better (for the cost) than a semi-synthetic over 6-10,000 miles... <discuss away! >

The black crud in the Selenia.. I dunno.. but I used Selenia for years and didn't notice any difference between that and Castrol, Shell Helix or even Halfords own-brand frankly. Selenia has an ACEA A3 rating from memory so I can't see that it shouldn't be as clean and shiny in a Selenia engine than in anything else, if they were used in the same way.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob3rto View Post
Been using Castrol Edge 10w60 (the non BMW one) for the last few changes. Still need to top up quarter of a litre every weekend. Will be switching to Total as a friend gets it for free. Total Quartz Racing 10w50. Anyone tried it?
I only use Castrol Edge in all my Alfa's.

Had selenia in my 155 2.5 and a 156 2.0 in the late 90's and both motor's were noisy with the crap in them.
Never again wasted my money on it.
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I have Fuchs Titan XTR 10w-40 in my Golf as I had a bottle kicking about from when I had my 156. Seems to be a very good oil although it is only Semi synthetic.

Just noticed on Euro car parts that they are selling 5 litres of Carlube 5w-40 fully synthetic for around £12 all in when you use the discount code MIDMONTH31

I know it isn't the best oil in the world, but it is good enough for most road applications.

They also Sell Shell Helix HX7 for around £16 all in for 5 litres, which is a 10w-40 semi.


The original pictures of the black engine seem to have disapeared for some reason.
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I noticed the lack of a pick but know what it tends to look like.
The worst I have seen was a motor that was overdosed with oil treatments. One of the stop smoke products.
It actually made a jelly in the sump.
The so-called High mileage oils also tend to deposit a load of crap in motors.

Oil is expensive on this side. Edge sell for R300+ that is about £ 21.00
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