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O/T Synthetic oil usage

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by almost unemployed, Jan 23, 2008.

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  1. almost unemployed

    almost unemployed TS Member

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    What is the advantage to using synthetic oil vs pure petroleum oil? I bought some syn oil on sale cheaper than regular oil, but don't know how I should use it.


    CAR A: 4-cyl 125,000 miles, used by teen driver. Maybe 6-7,000 miles/year. Short trips, not much highway, rarely used for prolonged driving.


    CAR B: 6-cyl 132,000 miles, daily highway commute. Oil change every 3,000 miles, which is about 30 days exactly.

    CAR C: 6-cyl, 12,000 miles, typical around town driving. Oil change every 3000 miles, about 5 times/year. Which car is a good candidate to switch to synthetic? Oil is Quaker State.
     
  2. argus tuft

    argus tuft Member

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    There is not a simple answer to your question. generally "synthetic" (it is still a byproduct of oil refining)is most valuable in new late model cars with fine tolerances and extended oil drain periods. First you should check your owners manual and check what the manufacturer recommends, find a synthetic that fits the viscosity ratings use a good quality oil filter and double your drain periods in the high milage car, this will give you a scale of economey. if you are uncomfortable leaving the oil in that long, then stay with what you are doing. I run mobil 1 in a Peugeot 406 and run it 10,000 kilometers, about 6000 miles, the later 407 peugeot have a recommended 20000 kilometer drain period.

    I guess what I am saying is that unless you are getting the oil for the same price as you standard mineral oil, you are looking for longer drain periods you would be just piddling money up against a wall.

    Brand and type of vehicle would help

    Argus
     
  3. Capt. Morgan

    Capt. Morgan TS Member

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    Synthetic oils were developed to deal with the extreme temperatures produced by jet and turbine engines. Petro oils oxidized from the heat and became useless. Then someone got the bright idea to market them to consumers using the "high-tech" argument as a hook. But for the average auto/truck engine, they simply aren't necessary.

    About the only thing that's been proved conclusively about synthetic oils is that they are ultimately a bit better for the environment than petro oils. Since they cost about 3 times as much as petro oils, they need to stay in service 3 times as long to justify their expense simply on the basis of change intervals. Several real-world tests have found no significant difference in protection offered.

    Morgan
     
  4. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    I used to use Mobil 1 and then switched to the WalMart brand of synthetic ....it's about 1/3 the price.

    In very cold weather, synthetic cranks easily when dino is thick as mud. In very hot weather, synthetic still lubes long after regular oil has burnt to toast. I use it in all of my vehicles, one is a Murano with a 6 cyl engine. This car gets 400 stop and go traffic miles on it a week. I change every 6500 miles. The other is my 6cyl Ranger truck. It get changed every 6 mo but get driven only ablut 200 miles a month now. Two yearts ago it was being driven 400 miles a week. Both vehicles have 70K on the clock.

    I typically get in excess of 150K on my cars before I sell them. I credit this to good purchasing, good maintence and good oil in that order. IIWY, I'd put the synthetic in the last vehicle on the list. The others are at this point, what they are and unless you live in the arctic or out in the high desert where I do using synthetic in these may just be a waste of $$$$.
     
  5. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Many automakers, particularly imported, have thrown their arms around synthetic oil and longer oil change intervals in an effort to offer lower-maintance vehicles. Synthetic oil is "tougher" and retains its lubricating ability longer than mineral-based oil but the same filters are used and the oil gets dirtier due to longer use. As a result of that and our quest to lessen our driving due to high fuel prices (read: short trips), those same automakers are dealing with enormous sludge concerns.

    Where I work, we see a sludged engine about three times a month and since they are the ones who told the vehicle owners they could go 5,000 and even 10,000 miles between changes, the vehicle manufacturers are paying for those costly repairs well beyond the warranty period (up to 120,000 miles for some) if the client can produce at least decent maintenance records. We've actually repaired two vehicles TWICE for this condition and both repairs were paid for by the automaker. When a client calls to report that their low oil pressure warning light comes on but the oil level is normal, we can pretty much count on finding an oil pump screen that's clogged with moss and goop.

    I use synthetic in my vehicles but change it at 3,000 to 3,500-mile intervals. From seeing sludged engines up close and personal on a frequent basis, I years ago became one of those oil-crazy people who believe that oil really is cheap when you consider what lubrication-related failures cost to repair.

    One drawback I've noticed with synthetic oil is the potential to leak in older vehicles. It's more slippery that mineral-based oil and will leak from places that mineral-based oil will not.

    Ed
     
  6. Buster 25

    Buster 25 Member

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    I think Capt. Morgan is right on tract Syn Oil's were developed for turbine Eng.
    I use Rotella-T Syn. in my Truck as it is a Ford, 7.3L Turbo Diesel.
    I do get longer oil change intervals, I use a High capasity bypass filter made by Fleetguard.
    I have my Oil examined every 5k by a company named "Blackstone" they tell me when to change oil. My last report was 1-17-08 it was good to go another 3k.
    Currently I have 9600 mi on this oil change.
    Each Eng. is different you may not get the same result as I.
    IMHO I like Syn. Oil's, they are cost effective for me.
    Hope this helps.
     
  7. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Morgan and Ed, yes.

    My knowledge is that the reason you change oil is that the combustion process creates certain acid compounds. These acids have an etching effect on cylinder walls. thus the need to change oil, and remove the acids which remove material and ultimately hinder performance.

    Oil does not wear out, it simply acquires particles of unwanted material (dirt & sludge, also acid ) and loses its ability to protect and lubricate. The US Air Force used re-refined oil for many years in its piston engined aircraft.

    We used to see re-refined oil for sale at the economy brand service stations.

    I had a friend yearsa ago who bought a new Corvair Monza Spyder convertible. He got the idea no oil change was necessary, becuase htere was always oil when he checked it.

    The engine was junk at 60 thousand miles.

    So I just use regular oil and change every 3 thousand. I know of no better method. I know nothing of the peculiarities of diesel engines, that may be another matter.


    HM
     
  8. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    If you don't use your car in extreme conditions, or drive it in an extreme manner, use synthetic and change oil once a year.

    Use a GOOD oil filter like WIX, not Fram.

    You'll be fine.
     
  9. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I see the benefit of synthetic being extended change intervals. I drive about 7000 mines a year. I change my own oil (Mobil 1)every fall.

    If you have a brand new vehicle I would run it on non-synthetic oil for the first 10,000 miles (change every 3500-4000 miles) to give the rings time to seat properly.

    Jim Skeel
     
  10. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Some auto manufacturers recommend a synthetic "Blend". Most of the Motorcraft oil from Ford is exactly that. The newest is a 5W-20 Synthetic Blend. The 5W-30 Synthetic Blend works well for "slightly" older vehicles. Change it at regular recommended intervals and you'll be just fine. There's not too much of an advantage to using a fully synthetic oil unless you have a vehicle that sees extremely severe usage. It's still best to change a synthetic at regular intervals as well.

    One note about Quaker State. I remember that we replaced MANY engines back around 1980 because of a misformulation with that oil. I don't use or recommend Quaker State since then. Not because of the error, but because of their lack of concern with the issue. They weren't forthcoming with any information and weren't about to admit they had a problem. You'd have to sue them before you were paid for your repair expenses. Lot's of unhappy customers and broken engines.
     
  11. N. J. BOB

    N. J. BOB Active Member

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    I have used mobil 1 for a number of years. I change both the oil and filter every 3000 miles. I just sold my 1990 F-150 4X4 with 456,000 miles on it.I would have driven that vehicle from coast to coast with out fear any day of the week...

    I bought a 2003 Expedition because I wanted a four door vehicle, and changed the oil the day I bought it to 5w 30 mobil 1...

    It's good STUFF...
     
  12. Hauxfan

    Hauxfan Well-Known Member

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    Count me in as a user of synthetic oil.

    Last 4 cars I've used it and ran all of them to over 170,000 without ever having the engine touched.

    I run the oil 15,000 between changes, but I do change the filter's every 7500. Works for me.

    I'm with OMBG.........put it in Car C, as it is to late to be of real value to the first two cars.

    Hauxfan!
     
  13. pdq

    pdq Member

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    I'm active in the Mercedes Benz Club of America and on a forum like this, the topic of synthetic oil comes up often. When you strip away all the old wives tales, some of which date back to the early 1970s when Mobil1 was first sold, there are a few basics.

    First is that while there are some more expensive fully synthetic oils around, Mobil1 is about as good as they get; partially synthetic oils don't perform as well based on test results I've seen. Second is that if you change your oil at 3k miles versus 9k miles, you're using up 3X as much oil. Third is that if you change your oil & filter frequently and do maintenance when needed, engines of today are usually in great shape when a car is 10 - 15 years old -- it's the rest of the car that's starting to get worn out.

    About 10 years ago I started buying 1983 - 1985 Benzes with 5 cylinder turbodiesel engines & fixed them up - sold some to friends, kept a few in the family. Most had 175 - 200k miles on them when I bought them. I switched all to Mobil1 immediately after buying them. All had very slight oil leaks when I bought them and after 6 months to a year on Mobil1 they dried up. That plus much easier to crank in the dead of winter. I changed the oil every 10k miles and the filter every 5k, using Benz filters.

    Oil analysis is the only way to tells what's happening - everything else is just someone's opinion. A number of people on the Benz forum get oil analysis done regularly, and at 10k miles, the oils' properties are still very, very good. Like others on this list, I tend to drive cars until they have 200k miles on them, and I'm a fanatic about maintaining my cars. I get oil analysis done periodically just to check, but not all that often, as the results are always the same.

    And, by using 1/3rd as much oil, and then re-cycling what I change out - better for the environment.

    Pete
     
  14. Bocephas

    Bocephas Well-Known Member

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    I use Castrol 5/30 synthetic in my Ford F-150.
    Change every 5,000.
    Although I have been told Mobil 1 is the best.

    Bo
     
  15. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    I use Amsoil. I have a friend who sells it. Good stuff.
     
  16. 12Gagejon

    12Gagejon Member

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    I use it who wants to go wait and have oil changed every month when you can every 3 months! got 110,000 on my van no problems Jon
     
  17. M-16

    M-16 TS Member

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    cold weather cranks easy, but most do not have the shear strength for diesels.Basiclly regular oil does not go bad it gets dirty and the additives wear out. You can just change your filter and the new oil added will replense the additive's. We get our oil anlyzed at work and all we do is change the filter and top off the oil every 3k and over 25 of our trucks have at least 150k on them with out showing any extra wear from the oil samples.
     
  18. Dr.Longshot

    Dr.Longshot Banned Banned

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    Who doews the oil testing? and how is it done, the procedure that is? I use Mobil 1 in every car I buy, Corvettes use mobil 1, Mercedes uses Mobil 1 they must know something!!

    Gary Bryant
    Dr.longshot
     
  19. perazzitms

    perazzitms TS Member

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    Been done forever in airplanes. Most people use metal check. $13 for a kit, postage paid box, and return report.


    One thing - Mobil 1 is the only 'true' synthetic oil. The other 'cheaper' oils are not exactly synthetic. They have the parafin (wax) in conventional oil changed on a molecular level to break it down, and called it synthetic. Mobil sued and lost.

    Anybody remember the old Mobil 1 commercial with the guy in the fire suit who cooks the two frying pans with the oil in it? Or the one in the freezer where he freezes the 2 oils? Enough said.
     
  20. Steve-CT

    Steve-CT TS Member

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    I've been using synthetic for the past five years now on two different cars.
    My intervals are still about 3,000 miles. I don't let the oil get dirty.

    Yes, I am paying more, but the cold weather starts are a fact and a reality in
    winter here in the northeastern US. Synthetic has the advantage there.

    Also with certain troublesome engines, like the early 2000s era Mitsubishi built Dodge 2.7 liter V-6 used in Dodge Intrepids, it was a known fact that
    the oil channels were insufficient and ONLY synthetics poured through enough to provide proper lube. Other oils would allow sludge build up and 1998-2002 Dodge Intrepid engines would regularly blow at 50,000 to 75,000 miles and Dodge would not honor any warranties due to "sludge" even if the customer provided timelined, mileage accounted oil change receipts.

    Only in engines with immediate synthetic oil and changed at normal intervals was this problem averted.

    The internet abounds with horror stories of that particular engine series.
    I had one that started blowing blue smoke at under 50,000 miles due to the same thing! Traded it in before it blew up.
     
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