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Posted: 1/14/2006 7:01:16 AM EDT
Is the extra protection provided by synthetic oil commensurate with its benefits? With regular oil I change at 3,333 miles; with synthetic could you push that to 5K?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:01:54 AM EDT
short answer being:


yes.


and dont use those craptacular fram oil filters either.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:03:47 AM EDT
Short answers are good. Thanks!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:05:15 AM EDT
Regular oil/filter changes are the key to long engine life, regardless of oil type.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:06:02 AM EDT
I change my oil every 5K, so I use Mobil 1.
I use the 5K increment as a reminder to rotate the tires.

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:06:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SWS:
Regular oil/filter changes are the key to long engine life, regardless of oil type.



indeed. just because you're using some uber synthetic like amsoil that you can just change your oil every 7500-10,000 miles, you can go a bit longer on synthetic but you still need to change it.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:08:58 AM EDT
I use Mobile 1 5W/30 in my 2003 Tacoma and change the oil every 5000 miles and use Toyota OEM oil filters. Worth the piece of mind for me and supposedly you'll get an extra 1 mpg or so of gas out of it.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 7:27:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:
Is the extra protection provided by synthetic oil commensurate with its benefits? With regular oil I change at 3,333 miles; with synthetic could you push that to 5K?


Depending on your driving habits, you can increase the time before changes. If you do a lot of stop and go driving in city traffic, then you will want to change around 3K to 4K miles. If you do a lot of highway driving, you can change every 5K miles. This is all with regular oil.

My personal opinion is that if you aren't driving an expensive vehicle, you do not need to use synthetic oil as the benefits do not outweight the costs.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:55:34 AM EDT
I use mobil 5-30 w synthetic oil in all my vehicles plus use oem filters to it is worth the extra money!!!
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 10:58:27 AM EDT
for the most part it evens out. you spend more but you dont change as often
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:03:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
and dont use those craptacular fram oil filters either.



Why?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:09:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 11:13:00 AM EDT by TacticalStrat]
A bunch of guys in my BMW club have their oil tested regularly. We all use Castrol TWS (100% synthetic). BMW recommendeds the oil/filter change intervals at 15,000 miles. The E46 M3 holds 7 quarts. Nearly all of the oil tests from a dozen or more people show that the oil has a life of about 7000 miles where is offers full protection. After 7000 miles, the oil begins to break down and offers lesser protection as the miles built. As a note: Most of us drive our cars pretty hard. This causes the oil to break down faster.

How much oil your car holds has a lot to do with it. If your car only holds only 5 quarts, I would say about 5000 miles would be max life of the oil for 100% protection if you drive your car hard. If you drive it like a grandma, 7000 is probably OK.

If you want to maximize cost efficiency of your oil changes, you have to factor in how long you're going to own the car. Using the M3 as an example, you could change the oil every 15,000 and you're not going to see any issues with wear until you get to 125,000 miles plus. If you sell a car when it gets 75,000 miles on it, it's a total waste of money to change your oil at 7000 miles. Changing your oil every few thousand miles only pays off if you plan on driving your car for 150,000+ miles.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:09:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 11:19:48 AM EDT by K2QB3]
Synthetic oil is essentially good as long as you keep it clean.

Its big advantage is that it's stable, doesn't break down due to heat and so on like organic does at normal operating temps.

So whether synthetic is worthwhile depends largely on how clean your engine is, if you've got good filters, meaning an oil filter with large capacity that filters out the fine stuff, and a good air filter, then you can run synthetic for many thousands of miles without problems. A magnetic drain plug helps a great deal with metal particles too.

The fire engines at my local station don't get oil changes unless oil analysis reveals the need, and it usually takes 30K mi. for that to happen, they have dual-bypass oil filtration.

At 5K (and even at 10K) with synthetic and good (amsoil) filters, my oil looks as clean as it did when I put it in, and I've verified it via oil analysis.

Doing 3K changes with synthetic is a complete waste of time.

K&N will let in so much dirt you'll never have clean oil.

Bottom line, change your oil when it gets dirty. The important thing is never to let your oil filters bypass valve open up, that'll happen in as little as 1000mi. with a fram, but with an oversize amsoil or Bosch platinum/mobile1 filter it will go a LOOONG time if the air filter is doing its job and the engine isn't worn out.

If you've got small oil capacity or a drive your rig really hard you can get even synthetic to break down, but it shouldn't happen within 10-15K with a commuter car or truck, your oil filter will run out of capacity before it happens.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:10:42 AM EDT
Absolutely yes..

I also use it during the winter for all my equipment for ease in cold weather starts..
Snowblower.
Generator.
Tractor.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:11:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:14:44 AM EDT
I use Castrol GTX 20-50 in my Mercedes Diesel w/ 184k or 199k. I changed it before I left Pcola to come home, 2000 miles later I'm changing the oil again. I am picky about my car!

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:24:13 AM EDT
Synthetic oil is awesome if you live in a cold climate.

I use it every winter, makes turning over a small Toyota engine much easier below 0, as it stays fluid when regular oil starts getting real thick.

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:25:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tReznr:

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
and dont use those craptacular fram oil filters either.



Why?



they have less filter media, and tend to be more prone to trouble than other filters.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:27:21 AM EDT
No.

I have been driving for 35 years. I have used regular oil and off the shelf filters at 3000 miles. the results?

Chrysler engine that had 300,000 on it and still running fine when I sold the minivan. The heads were never off it.

Ford V6 in a Taurus. Was over 200,000 when the defective head gasket blew. Prior to that, almost zero oil consumption.

'77 Toyota. I drove it hard out and then gave it away when it had 135,000 miles on it. Then my nephew drove it to college for four years. It was a rust bucket when he sold it at 200,000+, but it ran fine and had no oil consumption problems. Again, never even had the head off it.

'99 Miata...my current drive has 150,000 on it. No oil burning. No oil consumption. Runs like a charm.

I guess that synthetic oil is good for people who abuse their equipment, but then they will destroy their ride somehow before the engine will crap out.

The purpose of synthetic oils is to increase your consumption of dollars at the auto supply joint.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:28:27 AM EDT
Yes.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:30:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
The purpose of synthetic oils is to increase your consumption of dollars at the auto supply joint.



have you seen under the valve cover of an engine that has been running synthetic? it looks new, no buildup, none of the crap left behind by dino oil. you can toss synthetic into an engine that has all that buildup in it and the synthetic will dissolve all the buildup and make the thing look new(your first oil change will be so black it will scare you though) and I kind of like to keep that crap out of the engine.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:40:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 11:42:26 AM EDT by AcidGambit]
If you lease the auto, no. If you keep your car for 3-4 years, yes but probably not worth the cost to you. If your like me and drive them until they become too much $$$$ to keep running, yes it is.
Most people who run synth run further intervals before changing the oil, so the cost is really off-set. I change my oil about ever 7k or so.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:41:17 AM EDT
"have you seen under the valve cover of an engine that has been running synthetic? it looks new, no buildup, none of the crap left behind by dino oil. you can toss synthetic into an engine that has all that buildup in it and the synthetic will dissolve all the buildup and make the thing look new(your first oil change will be so black it will scare you though) and I kind of like to keep that crap out of the engine."

The above statement is a classic post hoc fallacy.

Can you prove that there is any corrrelation between this film and engine wear?

The clean surfaces are indicative of high detergent capabilities and only that.

What is the composition of this film?

Since wear only happens where surfaces contact each other, how does this lightly-held film that will not survive on load bearing surfaces come into play?

What is the correlation between high detergent properties and high lubrication capabilities?

In other words, there is no reason to believe that the film you dislike has anything to do with engine life.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:42:51 AM EDT
not just the film but also sludge which tends to do stupid stuff like clog oil gallerys.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:46:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
"have you seen under the valve cover of an engine that has been running synthetic? it looks new, no buildup, none of the crap left behind by dino oil. you can toss synthetic into an engine that has all that buildup in it and the synthetic will dissolve all the buildup and make the thing look new(your first oil change will be so black it will scare you though) and I kind of like to keep that crap out of the engine."

The above statement is a classic post hoc fallacy.

Can you prove that there is any corrrelation between this film and engine wear?

The clean surfaces are indicative of high detergent capabilities and only that.

What is the composition of this film?

Since wear only happens where surfaces contact each other, how does this lightly-held film that will not survive on load bearing surfaces come into play?

What is the correlation between high detergent properties and high lubrication capabilities?

In other words, there is no reason to believe that the film you dislike has anything to do with engine life.



I'm very sorry, but you are mistaken.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:47:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 11:49:25 AM EDT by KS_Physicist]

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:

Originally Posted By SWS:
Regular oil/filter changes are the key to long engine life, regardless of oil type.



indeed. just because you're using some uber synthetic like amsoil that you can just change your oil every 7500-10,000 miles, you can go a bit longer on synthetic but you still need to change it.



I'm up to 10,000 mile intervals using Mobil 1 ETA: Filter change and top-off at 5000 too..

The engine oil analyses I've had done show that at 10,000 miles, the oil is not significantly contaminated, it is still within viscosity tolerances, and the additive package is not depleted. During my warranty period, I changed at 3,000 to 7,000 miles, depending on the kind of driving I was doing.

I now have 100,000 miles on my car, and the engine is in perfect mechanical shape. I had a head gasket fail at 30,000 miles, and when they took the head off the dealership remarked on how it looked "as clean as a new replacement head," and how there was no noteable wear /at all/ on the cylinder walls. The mechanic said it looked like he tore down a brand new engine. When I took the valve cover off to replace a spark plug tube seal at about 75,000 miles, I found the head and camshafts to look exactly as they had at 30,000 miles--almost as clean as new.

A guy I knew from a car enthusiasts group had accumulated 300000 miles on his car (in four years of heavy business travel) at last count with no rebuilds, and he changes his oil at 20000-25000 miles. I think he uses the second-from-the-highest level of the Amsoil system, with the bypass filter. Last I knew (around the 300k mark) the car still burned no oil and passed the compression and leakdown tests just fine.

I will always use synthetic lubricants in any car I intend to keep for a decent length of time. I consider it to be good insurance.

Jim
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:48:30 AM EDT
Digdug,

Unless you can back up your statement, your declaration is invalid.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:55:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
Digdug,

Unless you can back up your statement, your declaration is invalid.



Start a vehicle in -20 F weather with conventional oil. Then start it at the same temp with Synthetic.

Synthetic oil is a proven technology that works. Talk to some over the road truck drivers and truck fleet managers sometime. Most use synthetic lubricants almost exclusively.

Look up what the high end exotic cars come with from the factory. It ain't dino...

Link Posted: 1/14/2006 11:55:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
Digdug,

Unless you can back up your statement, your declaration is invalid.



I'm afraid the same stands for yours
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:10:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 12:10:55 PM EDT by Will-Rogers]
For the average Joe, synthetics are a waste of money.

I backed up my points with years and years of experience not a bunch of advertisement poop.

People buy on emotion and then defend with rationale.

Synthetics are pointless for 95% of everyday drivers. Studies have shown that once a person buys an expensive product, they turn to advertisements and unrelated anectdotal evidence for justification, i.e. "Truckers use synthetics so it much be good in my Honda."

Regular motor oil and regular filters changed on a regular basis perform just as well as high mileage synthetics for less money.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:12:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 12:13:14 PM EDT by TheRedHorseman]
you are correct in stating that for most of all drivers, standard oil will suffice. however the rest of us who demand more out of our engines or just plain like to abuse the crap out of them can use the higher lubricity and detergent capability of synthetic.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:17:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
For the average Joe, synthetics are a waste of money.

I backed up my points with years and years of experience not a bunch of advertisement poop.

People buy on emotion and then defend with rationale.

Synthetics are pointless for 95% of everyday drivers. Studies have shown that once a person buys an expensive product, they turn to advertisements and unrelated anectdotal evidence for justification, i.e. "Truckers use synthetics so it much be good in my Honda."

Regular motor oil and regular filters changed on a regular basis perform just as well as high mileage synthetics for less money.



I am speaking from years and years of experience. I take it you can't address the points I made so are now going to go into attack mode.

This is exactly why I didn't post any reasons in my 1st response to you. I knew you would reject them out of hand based on your "experience" and be completely closed minded about the topic at hand.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:17:40 PM EDT
If you are going to abuse your equipment, why would it matter what oil you use? I mean, you're just going to fuck it up anyway. Right?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:20:32 PM EDT
DigDug,

I am sorry I hurt your feelings.

I didn't know that asking technical questions about a product touted because it is supposedly technically superior was somehow "the attack mode."
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:20:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
If you are going to abuse your equipment, why would it matter what oil you use? I mean, you're just going to fuck it up anyway. Right?



I consider autocross racing to be "abuse" so yes I would like to drive my car home at the end of the day without spinning a bearing.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:21:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
If you are going to abuse your equipment, why would it matter what oil you use? I mean, you're just going to fuck it up anyway. Right?



I drive a vehicle that the manufacturer recommends synthetic for. Do their engineers not know WTF they are talking about?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:21:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DigDug:

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
If you are going to abuse your equipment, why would it matter what oil you use? I mean, you're just going to fuck it up anyway. Right?



I drive a vehicle that the manufacturer recommends synthetic for. Do their engineers not know WTF they are talking about?



obviously not, you're just a "regular" driver
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:24:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Will-Rogers:
DigDug,

I am sorry I hurt your feelings.

I didn't know that asking technical questions about a product touted because it is supposedly technically superior was somehow "the attack mode."



You asked technical questions? I don't think so.

So conventional oil starts the same as synthetic in cold weather temps? No, it does not.

Synthetic maintains it's viscosity under a much wider range of temps and for a much longer period of time.

I guess you driving back and forth to the grocery store for your mom doesn't require synthetic oil. Good for you.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:43:57 PM EDT
Wow, some of you guys really push your oil...20K between changes is a lot.

I like to keep my changes at easily remembered odometer readings, sos I don't forget. From this discussion it sounds like a 5K interval would be good; synthetic is only $20 more per change, and this is a newer car I plan on keeping. They also reccomend synthetic in the owner's manuel.

I have a VW new Bettle; it's a Turbo, handles very well, and I drive it hard. But mostly I like it because of it's safe. This is the second one I bought; I had the first one less than a year when some guy in a pick-up truck ran staight into me at high speed:





Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:45:56 PM EDT
for the 1.8 turbo you need synthetic, it will not break down in the turbo like conventional oil will. also, get a turbo timer to keep that turbo happy.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:59:29 PM EDT
Oil it self does not 'breakdown'. What breaks down is the synthetic viscosity improver used to thicken it. VI improvers are a rubber compound. Single grade oils do not have this problem.

This is what your multigrade oils are made of; thin oil thickened by rubber compounds.

All gasoline & diesel engines generate acid.
The antacid compound in all oils is finite, when it is used up, it is used up.

All engine oils get contaminated, some of the contaminates are not filterable.

I have asked several company reps for oil companies that sell synthetic oils how they can have these extra long times between changes how they deal with the antacid being used up and the oil becoming contaminated. Their explanations were like listening to Bill Clinton.

I used to be in the oil business; never been tempted by synthetic oils.

CC
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:12:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 1:13:57 PM EDT by ScrubJ]

Originally Posted By CC_Ryder:
Oil it self does not 'breakdown'. What breaks down is the synthetic viscosity improver used to thicken it. VI improvers are a rubber compound. Single grade oils do not have this problem.

This is what your multigrade oils are made of; thin oil thickened by rubber compounds.

All gasoline & diesel engines generate acid.
The antacid compound in all oils is finite, when it is used up, it is used up.

All engine oils get contaminated, some of the contaminates are not filterable.

I have asked several company reps for oil companies that sell synthetic oils how they can have these extra long times between changes how they deal with the antacid being used up and the oil becoming contaminated. Their explanations were like listening to Bill Clinton.

I used to be in the oil business; never been tempted by synthetic oils.

CC



The only thing I would change (other than I don't work in the oil business) is the "rubber" compound. Although similar is some ways, the long chain polymers really can't be called rubber.

I've seen the insides of more engines than most of this board, dino oil works just fine if filtered and changed regularly. Synthetics do handle greater temprature extremes, but I've never seen an engine worn out due to dino oil.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:15:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
for the 1.8 turbo you need synthetic, it will not break down in the turbo like conventional oil will. also, get a turbo timer to keep that turbo happy.



What's a "turbo timer"?
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:16:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
for the 1.8 turbo you need synthetic, it will not break down in the turbo like conventional oil will. also, get a turbo timer to keep that turbo happy.



What's a "turbo timer"?



Just idle your car for a few minutes when you are done driving it hard before shutting it off. Synthetic oil really helps oil from crapping up your turbo.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:17:02 PM EDT
it is a device that runs the engine for a few minutes after you shut the ignition off in order to cool the turbochargers bearings down, keeping oil from "coking" on the shaft, which will kill your turbo.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:37:06 PM EDT
I have a '95 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo ( 4.0 litre 6cyl ) that I have owned for 10 years ( original owner )

I have used standard motor oil ( Valvoline 10W-40 ) and changed the oil & oil filter ( I use factory Mopar filters - buy the case of 12 ) approx every 5K miles. I personally change it myself & lube the chassis also.

My rig has 200,000 + miles on it and still runs like a scared rabbit ( no engine probs at all )

I have never put synthetic oil in any engine I have ever owned.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:58:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 2:00:47 PM EDT by ChairborneRanger]
Whether to use synthetic or crude-based oil is an individual choice and that is all I am going to say on it.

I've spent over 30 years in the petroleum industry and what people should realize is that all lubricants----and synthetic lubricants in particular----are the single highest profit margin items sold by the petroleum industry. In comparison, gasoline is almost a loss-leader, where "the margin" is made up, though, is in lubricants.

Something else the vast majority of people do not realize: It is significantly----yes, significantly----- less expensive to manufacture a synthetic oil than it is to refine a crude feedstock into a "regular" multi-grade lubricant. But, you ask, why does it sell for such a higher price? That, my friends, is an example of highly effective marketing-----and is a closely guarded "trade/pricing secret" within the industry.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:58:59 PM EDT
Here us a lab report for a dino oil that I ran for 5100 miles which is just as good as any synthetic.

theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=002388;p=1#000000
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:59:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ChairborneRanger:
Something else the vast majority of people do not realize: It is significantly----yes, significantly----- less expensive to manufacture a synthetic oil than it is to refine a crude feedstock into a "regular" multi-grade lubricant. But, you ask, why does it sell for such a higher price? That is an example of highly effective marketing/




interesting
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 2:37:15 PM EDT
I use synthetic, and change my oil every 6k to 7k miles. To those who really know what they're talking about: Does it really make a big difference which synthetic one uses???? If so, school me please, because I just take my car to the dealership and tell them "synthetic", and let them do the rest.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 2:42:36 PM EDT
Hey, apparently you guys who do not worship synthetic oil just don't get it. It is just better because they say so. Do not question synthetic oil. If you question synthetic oil you are a bad person.

By the way, what is synthetic oil made from? Ooops, sorry....that's a question, isn't it?

In my years in the grocery products industry, I spoke with many oil company reps (who also sold synthetics). When I would ask them about synthetics vs regular, they were unanimous in their belief that synthetics were overhyped and overpriced.
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