: Synthetic oil!



kcnewell
03-03-03, 12:05 PM
Having read a lot of stuff on other forums I'm a little curious about how people here feel about synthetic oil. If you like/use it. Why? If you don't like/use it. Why?

I've used both, I'm now using mineral oil in everything I own. Though synthetics have superior lubricating qualitys my personal experience has not been all that great. They tend to not want to stay inside the engine. When I ran It in my Cadillac I seemed to have oil showing up in places I've never had it show up before! It didn't leak so much as sweat out of the engine. I didn't like that!
The other thing that didn't impress me was the oil life thing. The claim is that synthetic oils are longer lasting and that you can go 10,000 miles between oil changes, sometimes more! OK, But I don't think leaving oil in an engine for 10,000 miles is a plus under any circumstances! I usually go about 2,000 miles between oil changes. Overkill? Maybe..Is that a bad thing?

The point is this..OIL is the lifes blood of our engines and we don't talk about it too much! There are many points of view concerning this and I just wanted to open up the topic to discussion.

Devil_concours
03-03-03, 12:20 PM
i'm about to swith to mobile 1 synth oil on my low mileage north*(engine was replaced at little bit less than 70000mi(under warranty of course). When i use to own the gtp, i use nothing but mobile 1 synth oil. It's a very good oil and you will be able to notice the difference. I don't know how long synthetic oil will last since i get my oil change done every 3000mi.
PS don't use synthetic oil on high mileage engine.

kcnewell
03-03-03, 12:59 PM
You might want to do a little research before you use Mobil1 in your Northstar. Bill bobyinsky over on Caddyinfo.com says that it's not a good idea to run it in a North.

If you're not familiar with Bill, read some of his posts over there. He's "THE" guy when it comes to Cadillac tech. info! I.M.O.

jadcock
03-03-03, 03:16 PM
I personally feel that synthetics are only worth the money if you live in very very cold weather and need to start the car in below zero weather. Other than that, I think they're not worth the money. I know you didn't ask for brands, KC, but I always run Valvoline in my cars. The only reason is because I'm a Mark Martin fan and back in my impressionable years, he was racing for Valvoline.

I don't know if synthetic oils' lubricity is better or worse. I think you can find about five Internet sites out there on both sides of the fence. I'm from the camp that as long as you change out your mineral oil on a regular basis, you'll be fine. I have 174k miles on my Nissan truck and 113k miles on my Cadillac Seville and both are using Valvoline. I haven't owned the Nissan long, but my previous vehicle, an '84 Cutlass, I got it at 52k miles. Drove it until about 120k miles and used Valvoline the whole time.

I'm ignorant to the claimed advantages of synthetic (meaning I've never had the need to run it), but sold on regular change intervals with any type of oil (mineral and synth).

BTW, I do subscribe to the theory that any sliver of an oil leak, or possibility of one...that slippery synthetic will find it! :) There are way too many stories of Northstars leaking after they switched to synthetic. 'Bill' says it's because the seals weren't validated for synthetic oil. Some say it's because they're cheap seals, some say there's just no need for synthetic, whatever. It is what it is. :)

In the end, I agree with ya...mineral oil for me.

elwesso
03-03-03, 03:36 PM
Is it a bad idea to alternate? I was thinking about doing about every third change synthetic, or would that not do any good?

Personally, if i were to change someones oil and it was all black and sludgy (like more than normal) i would give them synthetic, because chances are they neglect changing the oil. I think that they can last long, maybe not to 10k miles, but i think they could last longer than regular oil. But if you change your oil regularly, then what is the use of spending more??

jadcock
03-03-03, 03:45 PM
I agree. Actually, oil change intervals on the 2000+ Northstar engines are 10,000 miles, on mineral oil, or as indicated by the oil life monitor. I very closely "monitor" this monitor! It knows best the exact conditions the engine has been subjected to, and how much use the oil has had. Blanket 3000 mile change intervals are a thing of the past! In the summertime, you can see 6000-7000 change intervals (as indicated by the monitor), and during the winter, it might tell you to change after 2000 miles or less.

AKPsiMC03
03-03-03, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by jadcock
I personally feel that synthetics are only worth the money if you live in very very cold weather and need to start the car in below zero weather. Other than that, I think they're not worth the money. I know you didn't ask for brands, KC, but I always run Valvoline in my cars. The only reason is because I'm a Mark Martin fan and back in my impressionable years, he was racing for Valvoline.




Does that mean you use Viagra now? :banana:

elwesso
03-03-03, 03:58 PM
I wish my Q had a oil life monitor. Now i have to **Gasp** check the oil to see how dirty it is!!!!!!

jadcock
03-03-03, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by AKPsiMC03
Does that mean you use Viagra now? :banana:

Ha! Maybe when I need it 50 years from now, I'll give it a try. :eek:

elwesso
03-03-03, 04:13 PM
I think we should leave this one alone, it could get gruesome!!!

ckucia
03-06-03, 09:53 AM
I've heard this about synthetic vs mineral oil...

Crude oil contains every possible oil byproduct. To get gasoline, or motor oil, or whatever, it is refined so that the molecules of a certain size range are filtered out.

This isn't an exact science, so although motor oil may contain 95% of the same size molecules, 5% will be a little bit bigger or a little bit smaller.

Synthetic oils are not refined, but engineered. The molecules are all the same size.

The analogy is to put some ball bearings on the floor and put a board over them. In one case, all 100 ball bearings are exactly the same. In the other, 95 are exactly the same and 2 or 3 are too big, 3 or 2 are too small. Which is the better condition from the perspective of the two surfaces separated by the bearings? This is (supposedly) the difference between mineral and synthetics.

FWIW...

elwesso
03-06-03, 04:28 PM
Good post. But when the oil is being used, it gets broken down somewhat anyway. So then wouldnt all the molecules become discombabulated (sp?) and therefore not matter?

Besides, I like to go with what the MFG calls for. If it calls for mineral oil, then that is what im going to put in. They built the dang thing, i would hope they know best.

Brett
03-06-03, 04:45 PM
i always thought it was funny that my 99 vette REQUIRED Mobil 1...and my buddys 99 Camaro SS did not...same basic engine as you all know...the oil cap on the vette even has the mobil 1 logo on it....sounds like synthetic magic might be a good bit of marketing as well

BeelzeBob
03-06-03, 04:52 PM
Not to change the subject - but wasn't 'Slick 50' all the craze once too?

Devil_concours
03-07-03, 12:51 AM
Originally posted by Sal Collaziano
Not to change the subject - but wasn't 'Slick 50' all the craze once too?

most of the additives are ordered by the government to stop their false advertisement. That's why you don't see most of them anymore. In fact in most independent testings, these additives did more damages than actually help out the engine. Best result these tests received from these additives was "no difference".

ljklaiber
03-09-03, 11:36 AM
KC
I am in agreement with your post. Since this is always an involved subject, I will add one thing for thought. Mineral oil is superior in it's ability to 'cling' to parts. Valvesprings retain their gain rates as heat is removed better. Since the NS also has the 4 Cams located up top, lubricant that clings to cambearing surfaces is preferable. Synthetics tend to drainback rapidly with less oil retained on surfaces. Just a thought . Cost remains a factor. Frequent changes are most important. 'Life blood of the engine'.......for sure

kcnewell
03-11-03, 04:37 AM
My point! Made even more clear! Whaddyaknow??

elwesso
03-11-03, 05:27 PM
Since my purchase of the Q, i have spent a lot of time researching it. They seem to think that synthetic is better, for some reason. It makes sense why mineral oil is as good, if not better than synthetic, but i dont get it why they seem to think its better.

kcnewell
03-12-03, 11:03 AM
Can You say.....Marketing? If I was selling oil for $4 to $6 bucks a qt. I'd be telling everyone it's better too! Wouldn't you?

ckucia
03-12-03, 01:19 PM
Had some correspondence with a GM Powertrain engineer over on the Allante board. He seems to think synthetics have 0 value unless you're operating with high temperature extremes (like in a racing situation).

FWIW...

elwesso
03-12-03, 03:39 PM
But still, these are a lot of impartial people, unless they have fallen for it also!!!!

kcnewell
03-13-03, 10:16 AM
Impartiality is not the issue here....You can be impartial and incorrect/mistaken/duped at the same time...Really. Synthetics lubricate, So do minerals without question. I'm questioning the value of synthetic in the real world as compared to minerals at less than half the price without the leakage problems and all. The longevity issue is moot I.M.H.O. 'cause I won't under any circumstances leave oil in longer than my regular oil change interval. As far as some car company saying you MUST run synthetic in their engine.....Give me a break! Marketing, Marketing, Marketing I.E. "Our engine is so high tech. it has to have $6 a quart oil that you can only get from our parts dept." Never mind that they're buying it from the same oil refiners/mfgs. That you can find at Auto Zone for half the price or less. Make the customer think that they're getting something special and then relieve them of their money while at the same time giving some guy with short pecker syndrome something to brag about!

jadcock
03-13-03, 10:28 AM
Synthetics are marketed to be cheaper overall because you can leave them in longer. IMHO, not so. The synthetic oil gets just as dirty as mineral oils, and like you KC, I don't leave the oil in the engine long enough for the synthetic's claimed benefits of long life. Sorta like the thing about silicates in tire dressing -- they're supposed to damage the tire over time. I've come to the realisation that I don't keep tires on the car long enough to see that damage occur anyway, so I just keep on shinin'. :)

I do, however, step back a bit when considering over-the-road diesels. My dad drives a Ford F-650 with a Cat 3026-B engine. He's got Amsoil in there with a bypass filter. They run about 25,000 miles between changes (at about 22 qts/change). Almost all those guys run synthetics I think. My parents are full-time RVers and all their RV buddies have Amsoil in the diesel engines. Dunno...

All I know is that with the frequency that I change the oil, I would never see the benefit of synthetic oil. I think sometimes people put synthetic in just so they can say they have synthetic. How many times have you seen cars advertised or on a website that claim they have "full synthetics"? I wonder if they changed all their fluids to synthetic just so they could say that. :)

kcnewell
03-13-03, 10:36 AM
My point exactly! Big Diesel engines are a whole other matter, I agree having driven trucks and owned trucks for many years They have little in common with automotive engines. G.M. learned that the hard way in the late '70s when they tried to make a car engine into a diesel with somewhat limited results....

jadcock
03-13-03, 10:39 AM
I'd like to know what functionally makes a diesel oiling system different from gasoline cars. Diesels can have a very good reputation as small engines (current small car diesels come to mind). I wonder why we think synthetic is okay in those, but a waste of money in our gasoline engines? What's the difference? It's still an oil pump and bearings. The fuel injection system is vastly different, but I think the oiling is very similar.

Not arguing...just trying to find out. :thumbsup:

kcnewell
03-13-03, 12:27 PM
I always used minerals in mine....I was not too interested in getting into diesels and just sort of used the off handed comment to extract myself from the subject! The differences I was actually referring to were structural more than oil related.....Cheap trick! Didn't work!

jadcock
03-13-03, 12:49 PM
Heh. :)

When GM introduced the 350 diesel in the late 1970s, it had increased many of the structural items, and I think in general, the block was good. They started with an Oldsmobile 350. The Oldsmobile blocks had high nickel content (which is the reason they never got a "4 bolt main block", they didn't need the extra strength). They were strong. The crankshaft main journals went from 2.50" to a full 3". The crank material was nodular iron.

The big problem they had with the diesels in the early 1980s was head gasket failure. This was a direct result of improper cooling system maintenance (do we see a pattern here). People were not used to changing coolant every 24k miles and just neglected to do so, which caused the resulting failures. Add to that mechanics that reused the head bolts (on a 22.5:1 engine!) and you get lots of repeat failures. Another problem was the block dowell pins -- some were supplied with the dowell pins sticking up out of the block too high, making gasket sealing difficult.

Other than that, the oiling system was pretty much the same -- same PN on the oil pump I think. 1980 and later blocks had roller camshafts (never had roller rockers, though).

elwesso
03-13-03, 03:27 PM
I dont think there is any advantage to using syn. oil, like KC and jason said. But I do think that synthetics are better in other things, namely ATF. In some instances, the AT works better when it under synthetic lubrication. I can name one off hand. The lincoln mark VIII tranny: There are some problems with it, but some of these clear up when using synthetic ATF. There is even a TSB about it. I cant tell you specifically why it makes a difference, but apparently it does.

eehoepp
03-14-03, 05:04 PM
Regarding the touted extended oil change interval with synthetic vs. mineral oil. Yes, synthetic oil is supposed to last longer than mineral before it breaks down. But combustion byproducts get into the oil at exactly the same rate. I believe that the OIL change intervals for synthetics are longer, but the FILTER change intervals are typically the same as for mineral oils.

Combustion byproduct buildup is the reason for having shorter oil change intervals for vehicles that see "severe service". Most cars (gasoline engines) see a lot of stop & go driving and short trips where the engine doesn't get fully up to temperature, so the crud accumulates faster. Changing the filter helps, but the only way to truly get the contaminants out is to change the oil. Leave the oil in longer & you're just swilling the crud through the engine longer.

The typical vehicle that runs a diesel engine is a whole different matter. They are more likely to see long-haul operation & maintain a constant running temperature. If memory serves me right, I think the combustion byproducts of diesel (at least the ones that get into the oil) are more innocuous than those of gasoline. Hence a slower buildup of contaminants and longer oil change intervals. So synthetics make more sense in a diesel.

At least, in my opinion...

elwesso
03-15-03, 12:12 AM
Good post!!! I dont have anything to add.

jonrodman
09-28-03, 04:42 PM
Not to change the subject - but wasn't 'Slick 50' all the craze once too?

Slick 50 was a sure way to ruin any engine. I know because I ruined three engines in one summer with that stuff. Those were the only three engines I have ever had go bad in over 20 years of driving. I don't think it is a conicidence.

botboy
09-28-03, 07:19 PM
I dont think there is any advantage to using syn. oil, like KC and jason said. But I do think that synthetics are better in other things, namely ATF. In some instances, the AT works better when it under synthetic lubrication. I can name one off hand. The lincoln mark VIII tranny: There are some problems with it, but some of these clear up when using synthetic ATF. There is even a TSB about it. I cant tell you specifically why it makes a difference, but apparently it does.

I can't remember what mag it was in, but one of the rod magazines had a comparison of using synthetic vs mineral oils in a car, and their test vehicle was a vintage camaro with a 4 speed and 350 (I beleive), using synthetics cleared up something like 9-10 HP, which isn't that great of an increase but is definitely something to consider. I had some shifting problems in my chevelle (1970 Chevelle Malibu, 350/TH350) where it would shift from 1-2 just fine and stay in 2, not go to three (quite a damper on my mileage, to say the least). I replaced the DexronIII ATF with Mobil1 synthetic ATF, new gasket and new filter and it made a world of difference. I get about 1/2 MPG better mileage over what I was getting before it started having shifting problems (which is considerable with my idiot-teenager driving style), and noticed (because occasionally its fun to do stupid things like this) that on the same dirt road I broke the rearend loose on (all the time), I could break it loose 10 miles/hr higher than I could before. This also cured my 2-3 shifting problems and it shifts smoother through all the gears at WOT. I haven't done the rear end yet (car is being sold right now) but the next car will definitely get synthetic in the backend and transmission, manual or automatic.

I still use mineral oil in the engine (always have probably always will) because I tried that for an oil change and saw no benefit to it, not to mention I religiously change oil at 3000 miles and never neglect that sort of thing, so having a higher-mileage oil did nothing for me but cost me money.

jonrodman
09-28-03, 10:45 PM
Having read a lot of stuff on other forums I'm a little curious about how people here feel about synthetic oil. If you like/use it. Why? If you don't like/use it. Why?

I've used both, I'm now using mineral oil in everything I own. Though synthetics have superior lubricating qualitys my personal experience has not been all that great. They tend to not want to stay inside the engine. When I ran It in my Cadillac I seemed to have oil showing up in places I've never had it show up before! It didn't leak so much as sweat out of the engine. I didn't like that!
The other thing that didn't impress me was the oil life thing. The claim is that synthetic oils are longer lasting and that you can go 10,000 miles between oil changes, sometimes more! OK, But I don't think leaving oil in an engine for 10,000 miles is a plus under any circumstances! I usually go about 2,000 miles between oil changes. Overkill? Maybe..Is that a bad thing?

The point is this..OIL is the lifes blood of our engines and we don't talk about it too much! There are many points of view concerning this and I just wanted to open up the topic to discussion.

I have been using Mobil 1 Synthetic in all my cars for almost 10 years. I started using it when I was a salesperson driving around 1500 miles per week. I am fairly good about maintaining vehicles. At the time I had a 1990 Mercury Sable. I started using Mobil 1 so I could stretch out the amount of miles between changes. I used to run it until the oil started becoming dark. That was around 10000 or 12000 miles. I did have to add a couple quarts between changes, but the engine was still running great when I gave it away with more than 260,000 miles. It was the original engine and it still ran very well. After that I drove a 1992 Chevy Lumina Euro up to 200,000 miles. I still have it. The engine runs great. I am averaging only 25000 miles per year now. I have changed to changing the oil only spring and fall. That is over 10000 miles between changes. I purchased newer cars not because of any mechancial problems, but because the bodies began to rust.

I recently purchased a 96 STS to replace the Lumina. It has 130,000 miles and will be enjoying some nice clean Mobil 1 oil and a Mobil 1 filter whenever the oil becomes dark looking. I hope to put at least 100,000 more miles on the STS.

I don't know specifically why Mobil 1 is better than the regular motor oils, but I know that the Mobil 1 stays clean looking much longer than conventional motor oil. I think it lubercates better resulting in less metal being circulated in the oil.

It works for me.

Jon

elwesso
09-29-03, 05:28 PM
Remember, oil change interval is much more important than the oil itself...... Just because you use synthetic doesnt mean you can change the oil later......!!!!

After a while, its not the oil thats bad (in fact, the oil is probably just fine after 3000 miles).... its the combustion by-products that get saturated in the oil that wear engine parts..... This is why you change the filter at every oil change.......!!!!

PLEASE DONT SKIMP OUT ON MAINTENACE...... CHANGE YOUR OIL EVERY 3000-4000 MILES...... OIL IS CHEAP, JUST DO IT.......

BTW, by the time the oil is black, its about as effective as running water instead of oil........!!

jonrodman
09-29-03, 10:39 PM
i always thought it was funny that my 99 vette REQUIRED Mobil 1...and my buddys 99 Camaro SS did not...same basic engine as you all know...the oil cap on the vette even has the mobil 1 logo on it....sounds like synthetic magic might be a good bit of marketing as well

I think your Vette was built with more of a racing application in mind. You could put that on a race track just as it is and run it flat out for days. It was built for that. I am sure the Mobil 1 oil will hold up better than conventional oil. The Camaro cost half of what the Corvette did. People have higher expectations for the Corvette. The Mobil 1 oil may help it hold together longer under tougher conditions. I don't think it is a money grab. If you already own the Vette, then GM already has your money.

Jon
96STS

Ralph
09-30-03, 01:19 AM
Remember, oil change interval is much more important than the oil itself...... Just because you use synthetic doesnt mean you can change the oil later......!!!!

After a while, its not the oil thats bad (in fact, the oil is probably just fine after 3000 miles).... its the combustion by-products that get saturated in the oil that wear engine parts..... This is why you change the filter at every oil change.......!!!!

PLEASE DONT SKIMP OUT ON MAINTENACE...... CHANGE YOUR OIL EVERY 3000-4000 MILES...... OIL IS CHEAP, JUST DO IT.......

BTW, by the time the oil is black, its about as effective as running water instead of oil........!!

I agree! Change your oil a little more often. I remember in the 80's when it was advertized on tv that if you used synthetic oil, that you could go up to 50,000 MILES before a change!!! I think if it is black, it is waaaay past acidic and it is time to get some clean stuff in there. I don't think oil itself goes bad, but it picks up a lot of contaminants along the way. All the more reason to change it and the filter because it may be full of minute metal fragments from your engine.

CBOYLE
10-02-03, 03:47 PM
we have a 1999 sls (wifes car) and a 2001 dts (my car)
we drive each car about 3000 miles per year.
i use mobil 1 10w 30 in each car and change once a year OR by oil life indicator. BUT
i change the oil filter on both cars every 3 months and top off with one half quart of mobil 1.
purchased a couple cases of acdelco pf 58 filters on e bay.
any comments welcome!
thanks
charlie

elwesso
10-05-03, 02:34 PM
Id recommend a MINIMUM oil change interval of at least every 6mo...... Regardless of mileage........

I take it when you drive, they are very short trips..... Very bad on oil.......

I think changing the FILTER and not the oil is kinda stupid...... No offense, but you might as well drain it and refill........ Really, you only need to change the oil 4 times a year (every 3mo), and at $20 at jiffy lube, thats pretty cheap.......

Aurora5000
11-04-03, 11:05 AM
1. Synthetics reduce wear of an engine.
2. A drop in engine operating temperatures.
3. Exceptional viscosity flow.
4. Better circulation and cooling in an engine.
5. Film strength over 2,000 psi.
6. Thermal Stability at high temperatures.
7. A cleaner engine.

I think it is one of the greatest engineering developments of the century. You all can bash syns all you want to, but I will continue to use it in all of my vechicles and mowers.

elwesso
11-06-03, 03:51 PM
I dug up this thread, cuz I wanted to add something.....

Synthetics do not break down as fast, and because of this, there is less blowby going into the system.... Which is good, espeically if your a neat freak about this kind of stuff...... When i clean my plenum and valve covers, im gonna switch to keep everything nice and clean.....

smc51
11-11-03, 11:03 PM
I too have just done the switch from mineral oil to synthethic on a high mileage northstar engine,the main bearings knock like hell on a cold start up with mineral oil in it,switched to mobil 1 and what a difference on cold deals...but changes soon afterwards....now,it seems worse in the mornings and I live on the gulf coast,not a hard enviremont...this engine only has a 135000 miles on it.....thoughts?

Night Wolf
11-11-03, 11:13 PM
What was the whole thing with Slick 50? I know it was bad and stuff, but I see it at Advance auto all the time on the little kiosk thing...... could someone help me out?

DaveSmed
11-11-03, 11:16 PM
Any thoughts on changing my Cad to Mobil 1? I expect a few leaks to appear, but if it is better for it in the long run I can easily overlook it for the cost of a new gasket kit. What makes me want to switch suddenly is tearing into a friend of mines SBC. Varnish and sludge everywhere and a dead lifter caused a cam lobe to be rounded off and the bottom of the lifter to be mushroomed. No doubt in my mind this came from some supermarket generic oil left in for god--knows how long.

Ralph
11-12-03, 01:36 AM
I just put in Mobil 1 for the first time in my Caddy. We are getting a cold climate here now, and I notice "ticking" at idle. With conventional oil I never had this. It is not leaking at all.

elwesso
11-12-03, 03:40 PM
A little ticking is normal..... I see it sometimes on even perfect runnning engines!!

Dave- I dont know if its worth it or not.... Do you know how clean your engine is??? Easiest way to find out would be take off the valve cover and post a picture here..... Synthetic wont do much to clean a dirty engine, but will keep a clean engine cleaner (in comparison with dino)

wake
11-18-03, 05:26 AM
What makes me want to switch suddenly is tearing into a friend of mines SBC. Varnish and sludge everywhere and a dead lifter caused a cam lobe to be rounded off and the bottom of the lifter to be mushroomed. No doubt in my mind this came from some supermarket generic oil left in for god--knows how long.

I've been using synthetic oil (Mobil 1) for over 10 years now and I swear by it... It's not a matter of magic, increased HP, or leaving the oil in for a long time...

For me it's a simple matter of superior high temperature protection... As the post above mentions, pulling a motor apart that was run on conventional oil is a very messy, dirty project due to sludge...

I ran synthetic oil in my old IROC and had to do some engine work on it due to age and overheating after a failed thermostat... When I pulled the intake and heads off the engine there was ZERO sludge in there after 125K miles and a sever overheat... I've had several cars in my lifetime and haven't seen one yet that didn't have sludge in it up to that point...

Our vehicles run hotter now than they did in the past due to emissions requirements... IMO this alone is enough reason to run synthetics...

My Corvette is factory filled with synthetic oil and reqires it for warranty protection... From Corvette history, this wasn't a marketing ploy by GM but a money saver for them... Corvettes started reqiring synthetic oil in 92 with the LT1 debut... With the LT1 debut GM also decided to get ride of the external engine oil cooler in the Corvette and synthetic was used for it's extended temperature range for severe driving... I know that my 96 that just turned 70K miles is still as clean as new under the valve covers...

I'll be switching my Eldorado over on the next oil change now that I've determined that I don't have any major leak issues with it (synthetics tend to seep more), Mobil claims to have changed the additive package to correct this... As we all know, our Northstar motors run very HOT compared to other vehicles, 30 degF more than than my Vette in the summer... I would think the higher temperature protection would be important enough to consider the use of synthetics...

I'm not a professional mechanic (yet) but I have had my hands inside plenty of engines to see the big difference synthetics provide in engine cleanliness... It might cost more, but with a $50K car, why skimp on the oil???

As usual, YMMV...

Jim

Night Wolf
11-18-03, 06:56 PM
I run Mobil 1 in my car too, but if the LT1 in the 'Vette NEEDS Mobil 1, then how come the Camaro, Firebird, Caprice, Fleetwood, Road Master and Impala SS along with any other car that used the LT1 just call for regular oil?

wake
11-19-03, 05:55 AM
I run Mobil 1 in my car too, but if the LT1 in the 'Vette NEEDS Mobil 1, then how come the Camaro, Firebird, Caprice, Fleetwood, Road Master and Impala SS along with any other car that used the LT1 just call for regular oil?

Different cars for different purposes...

Corvettes have always been touted as sports cars that were just as comfortable at the track as they were on the street, although GM will void your warranty if they catch you racing your car at the track... :rolleyes2

GM for the most part has gone a little farther in the Vette than the F-Body... As an example, the LT1 in the Corvette is a 4 bolt block where the F and B body cars were the standard 2 bolt blocks... B Bodies also got iron heads rather than aluminum ones... Why two separate processes??? I doubt the Caprice or the Roadmaster was going to see probable sustained high speed operation... That would be my reasoning, to get a 100% answer you're going to have to talk to a GM engineer... I may have an article about the Corvette and synthetic oil at home, if so I'll post it here...

In my previous post I mentioned that I've used synthetic in my other vehicles... I've never been one to drive them conservatively though, :histeric: so it's always going to be synthetic for me...

Jesda
11-19-03, 11:16 AM
The ticking you hear is nothing to worry about. It is sometimes caused by sludge, and sometimes caused by a weak oil pump.

You may just be hearing hydraulic lifters doing their thing at startup until they become fully lubricated.
The HLA noise is common in BMWs, Mazdas, and even my Infiniti. Typically it goes away after warming up.

On the early 90s Ford Explorer and early-mid-90s Mazda 626 its a weak/bad oil pump.

-Jesda

tgs2101
11-23-03, 11:38 AM
I have had great experience with my ford truck and pontiac grand am, using Mobil 1 synthetic oil. The engines never used any oil, and I got over 200,000 miles on each engine.

So, when I put Mobil 1 in my 1996 SLS I expected the same great results. I changed the plugs to Bosch Platinum plugs at the same time.

However, with the Northstar this didn't appear to be the case. After 1500 miles of driving, it used 1.5 quarts of oil. I also had to change the plugs because oil was getting by the rings and the engine developed some drips of oil.

So, I changed the oil and started using cheap walmart Supertech 0.79 cents dino oil with with SL rating (Valoline really, I think).

I pulled out the Bosch platinum plugs and put in OE AC Delco plugs. The Bosch plugs where dirty and gummed up only after 1500 miles. I can't emphasize enough the need to use the AC Delco plugs. They are worth the 3X price of Bosch Platinum plugs.

Anyway, my results are working out very well now. After 500 miles I pulled the plugs to see if they are dirty. They looked really good, so I feel better about the dino oil and AC Delco plugs. And no more drips of oil yet.

I know this all sound pretty weird and doesn't make sense, but I think it's just the design of the N.S. engine.

Tommy

zonie77
11-23-03, 05:47 PM
My 2 cents:
synthetic is superior to dino, but costs substantially more and tends to leak more.
I use premium dino (Quaker State, Castrol, Pennzoil ) and change every 2500 miles and always change the filter.
The engines I've torn down that I owned have been sludge free and clean. Engines I've torn down that are sludged have not had oil changes.

I've used STP and don't feel there is anything wrong with it. I especially like it in vehicles that are only driven ocassionally because it stays on the cyl walls and moving parts. It does raise the viscosity though.

When I worked in garages and gas stations people would add STP and never change the oil. They'd say (with a straight face) that since it leaked they didn't have to change it. I'd balme them for STP's poor reputation.

I use Slick50 occasionally. I've read the articles and web sites saying it doesn't do anything and disagree with them. I check my mileage almost every tank and would see a consistent but small improvement with Slick50 and never had a problem with the engines I used it in. The reason I don't use it more is the cost. At $15-20 a bottle I can't justify it. When I find it cheap I buy some and use it.
I havn't seen any evidence of clogging. The engines I've used it in went high miles without an engine problem. I can't give Slick50 the credit as I did frequent oil changes but I can't fault it either.

tgs2101
11-24-03, 11:21 AM
zonie77,

Have you had any experience with the Lucas Oil Engine Treatment? It's about $8 a bottle. It seems similar to the STP. I have put Lucas oil treatment in my ford truck, which has 180,000 miles on it, and it quieted down some bearing knock and raised the oil pressure. (If I use straight 10W-30 I get a slight engine knock. So, I use a quart of Lucas too; or just put in 15W-50 Mobil 1)

But since Lucas adds resistence to the oil, I can't see how this is a good thing. After running the truck hard on a 900 mile trip, I developed an oil leak. I'm disappointed about that.

Can you comment on this, since you have knowledge of tearing down engines. People might want to know if they should stay away from putting the Lucas Oil treatment in a N.S. engine.

Thanks,

Tommy

zonie77
11-24-03, 12:31 PM
I never tried Lucas Oil Treatment. Is it the one that has a little gear display on the parts counter?
I don't think something like Lucas caused a leak. Anytime you get over 100K the chances of a leak get high and you just have to feel it's coincidence. I don't think Lucas has any solvents as it's thick.
I think a lot of the additives offer some benefit but if the oil your using has a good additive package (which is why I stick to premium oils, another story) I question the cost effectiveness except in situations I mentioned. Like cars that only get driven occasionally or getting Slick50 at a great price.
I didn't see any evidence of residue left from Slick50 so I think if you keep changing oil it's not going to hurt anything.

elwesso
11-24-03, 03:28 PM
If you just change the oil every 90 days you wont have to add additives!!!

I also wonder why the MFG doesnt recommend using ANY type of additive!!!

Vesicant
11-24-03, 06:16 PM
Synthetic oil, being thicker than regular petroleum based oil; has just as good and most of the time even better quallities than petroleum based. You can use synthetic all year round, and especially in winter. BUT The only real downside to synthetic is that you cant use it on a new engine, never ever put it in a newly re-assembled, rebuilt or an engine that has less than 1,000 miles + on it. Im wondering how old your cadillac was when you put synthetic in it, that would have caused that "sweat" as you called it, because of its sheer weight slipping through seals when its running. For previous posts, it is reccomended for performance engines AND hard running engines, which means if you do a lot of hard driving in traffic etc, synthetic can really help your engine survive. Fact is, nothin beats high quallity petroleum based oil, and nothin beats synthetic! :D

elwesso
11-24-03, 06:30 PM
If your engine is clean then Id use it, otherwise its not really gonna help.....

Im switching to synthetic after I clean my valve covers.......

Ralph
11-24-03, 09:38 PM
Synthetic oil, being thicker than regular petroleum based oil; has just as good and most of the time even better quallities than petroleum based. You can use synthetic all year round, and especially in winter. BUT The only real downside to synthetic is that you cant use it on a new engine, never ever put it in a newly re-assembled, rebuilt or an engine that has less than 1,000 miles + on it. Im wondering how old your cadillac was when you put synthetic in it, that would have caused that "sweat" as you called it, because of its sheer weight slipping through seals when its running. For previous posts, it is reccomended for performance engines AND hard running engines, which means if you do a lot of hard driving in traffic etc, synthetic can really help your engine survive. Fact is, nothin beats high quallity petroleum based oil, and nothin beats synthetic! :D

I thought syn. was actually thinner than dino, due to the molecular construction of it and the better flow characteristics at low temps?? Also, I understand why new cars or engines should not use syn. (due to break-in period) but new Corvettes and some Mercedes use it right off the showroom floor.

elwesso
11-24-03, 09:55 PM
You should always wait a little longer for the first oil change..... IE no sooner than what the MFG recommends...... Almost all the wear that occurs for the first 50k miles happens in the first 1000 miles of driving!!! Thus, there are LOTS of metal particles getting ciculated around.... No sense in taking half out of there, change the oil, and then still have another half to go!!!!

I would use the dealer recommended oil at the first and second oil change.... Then synthetic from there on out!!!!

jim knox
11-24-03, 10:51 PM
In regard to synthetic oil I,ve run Mobil 1 in my 96 Fleetwood Brougham, Lt1 engine since day 1, and Amsoil 10-40 in a dedicated drag strip vehicle that I own which see's redline several times a day when running time trials and eliminations. The synthetics don't break down as quickly as mineral oils when engines are subjected to to extreme running. When you have to perform maintenance internally you shouldn't find sludge (engine killer).
I haven't had engine oil leaks and also run synthetic in the differentals. Most high priced high end performance cars now come with synthetic in them from the factory.
I change the synthetic oil and filters every three months as a 5 or 6 quart container of Mobil 1 is not expensive anymore. Walmart, Canadian Tire.

As a side note I've worked with synthetic oil in high temp jet engines for 35 years. I taxi and due engine runs on 747, Dc-9 , Airbus aircraft.
The engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce and General Electric recomend aircraft spec Mobile Synthetic for their engines.

A Warning - DON'T PUT SYNTHETIC in an old automatic transmission- IT WILL LEAK!

Jim Knox : 96 Flt BR. LT1 , 91 dragstrip vehicle . :-)

swimmster
02-04-04, 08:58 PM
This is kind of like religion. It's all a matter of what you believe. And in this day and age of marketing.. and maybe religion based on the news these days, you can't always trust the ones selling their products. Independent studies and tests are about the only way to get real answers or to do your own tests. The old wheel and bearing tests used by dura-lube, etc are all farses. I did MUCH similar tests with duralube over slick 50 and they both sucked. I just do this.. use the multi blend oils.. the half synthetic/ half mineral. Only thing I've ever liked about the syntetic is how CLEAN the inside of my engine was. and with the mineral oil, how it clung to the parts and my cylinder walls. so today, I just run the multi-blend oils. best of both worlds.

Jamie

njgeno
02-07-04, 01:22 PM
When I bought my 00 STS last april w/36000 miles I debated this same question. I decided to switch to the Mobil 1 Synthetic from dinosaur oil. Reasons being:

1)I live in the Midwest, we see very cold winters and very hot summers.
2)I only drive my car about 250-500 miles a month right now as I work out of town every week with a rental car. It sits more than I'd like it to (in a garage) but what can you do? The synthetic has better longevity and may protect better during extended periods of inactivity.
3)I plan on driving this vehicle well over 100,000 miles if it will permit me to.

Ive put about 8000 miles on it since Ive changed to synthetic and never noticed a leak. I may not need it, it may be a waste of money but Im going to stick with it. It runs like a greased turd :devil:

NJGENO

njgeno
02-07-04, 01:30 PM
Sorry, one more thing. I have been running Lucas oil stabilizer in my 91 Town Car (For Sale) and my 81 GMC 3500. I like it. I cant exactly explain why but on older motors it seems to have a rejuvenating effect. My Town Car has always ran cooler and smoother than others I have seen. My old 81 pickup's idle seemed to smooth up a little when I started running it. It may be in my head but I dont think it is. :cookoo: Thoughts?

swimmster
02-07-04, 04:48 PM
I talked to an oil guy today and he told me that Mobile 1 is a parafin based oil.. (wax based).. was also told that if you decide to switch from mineral oil to Mobile 1 that you can't go back due to the wax film fromthe parafin.. That's why the corvettes, etc state that you can use ONLY mobile 1 in them since they are factory filled with these oils. Anyone else hear the same thing? kind of made me nervous.. but then again, in my old 85 Monte carlo SS, I switched to Mobile 1 the day I bouht it. Used it religously for years.. I sold the car to a guy and it only had 74,000 miles on it.. ran like a swiss watch.. he changed the oil a few months later and in 2 weeks, the motor was toasted. Soooo.. i dunno.. that came into my mind the day I heard this about the Mobile 1.. He also said it's the ONLY oil on the market that is parafin based.. I dunno.. just what he told me.. anyone else hear this as well?

Jamie

Eldobroken
02-07-04, 04:54 PM
Sorry, one more thing. I have been running Lucas oil stabilizer in my 91 Town Car (For Sale) and my 81 GMC 3500. I like it. I cant exactly explain why but on older motors it seems to have a rejuvenating effect. My Town Car has always ran cooler and smoother than others I have seen. My old 81 pickup's idle seemed to smooth up a little when I started running it. It may be in my head but I dont think it is. :cookoo: Thoughts?
Ok here is my experience with synthetic. I run it in my 1994 eldo with almost 170,000 i have been running it since 70K so far so good it does leak in this car though but the gaskets suck and gm proves this by changing them on new n*s. Also i have a 99 F250 Super DUTY Dual cab with a International Turbo diesel. After 3000 miles i bought this truck new. I put the Amsoil bypass oil pilter system in which consists of a seperate 2 big filters that in addition to the regular filters filter the oil every 9 passes or something like that. Truck Takes 19 Quarts of oil. You do not have to change the oil until 25,000 miles or yearly. for me its every 8 months since i have about 45,000 miles i dont want to go the full 25,000. What i noticed after changing tranny and Diesel to synthetic. I am now getting about 20 MPG highway i was getting 17 also truck runs absolutely flawless. How do you explain the 3 mpg i gained also this is not the first vehicle i have had these results on. I am no Physist but this is my experience and was closley documented. A freind of mine has a 80s surburban with a 350 and has 380,000 miles on 3 yes 3 oil changes with this system he changes filters on spec but keeps oil in. So far no major problems with block or head. Seems like oil does not break down quickly as long as it is kept clean. Also i had a 88 mustang all amsoil pushing about 285 rear wheel Hp Dynoed. Ran the living crap out of it for over 200k and i mean beat the crap out of it on a daily basis went through trannys and rear ends but never heads or anything on lower end. Sold it running perfect. This has just been my experience with synthetics could be luck but i do not think so. Hope this post is helpfull to you guys.

thu
10-19-05, 04:28 PM
I use Mobil 1. I've used it in my 1985 Deville (238k miles) and my 1993 Deville (298K miles). Most important qualities to me are:

- Pour point (-50*F - or was it -35*F?). Regular Dino oil has pour point something like +5*f to -5*F - not good enough for Cold Wyoming.

- Better lubrication, lower friction resulting in lower underhood temps.

- Longer oil change intervals. I don't extend them, I just change the oil whenever the Caddy computer tells me to. I find that at 3000 miles, the oil is still the golden honey color.

- Better detergents.

The Hydrocracked Syn oils have the same pour point as the Dino oils, so no advantage for me there.

I just bought a 2003 Seville STS last Friday. I think former owner used Dino oil. Will I switch to Mobil 1? Prolly, but I'll make a transition by mixing the two over a couple oil changes to make sure that the new, superior oil doesn't dislodge a hunk of sludge all in one shot and possibly clog an oil passage.

mcowden
10-19-05, 05:03 PM
I use Mobil 1. I've used it in my 1985 Deville (238k miles) and my 1993 Deville (298K miles). Most important qualities to me are:
- Pour point (-50*F - or was it -35*F?). Regular Dino oil has pour point something like +5*f to -5*F - not good enough for Cold Wyoming.
- Better lubrication, lower friction resulting in lower underhood temps.
- Longer oil change intervals. I don't extend them, I just change the oil whenever the Caddy computer tells me to. I find that at 3000 miles, the oil is still the golden honey color.
- Better detergents.
The Hydrocracked Syn oils have the same pour point as the Dino oils, so no advantage for me there.
I just bought a 2003 Seville STS last Friday. I think former owner used Dino oil. Will I switch to Mobil 1? Prolly, but I'll make a transition by mixing the two over a couple oil changes to make sure that the new, superior oil doesn't dislodge a hunk of sludge all in one shot and possibly clog an oil passage.


It sounds like you're going to a lot of worry and expense for no reason, thu. Before you go to all the trouble and expense of mixing and switching to Mobil1, why don't you get a used oil analysis done on your dino oil? It's cheaper than a synthetic oil change, and it might save you lots of money. My guess is the numbers will come back such that you'll realize there is zero benefit to synthetics. Are they technically superior? No question about it. Does that provide any benefits to you? Probably not. Is it worth the extra cost? In my opinion, no way. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and do it. I am quite sure you will see no difference in mileage or underhood temperatures. Synthetics don't necessarily lubricate better than conventional oils. If I was you, I'd use a good quality conventional like Havoline or Pennzoil and the best thing you can do you for your engine, cost-effectively, is to use a high quality oil filter like a Mobil1, Purolator PremiumPlus or PureONE, Wix, or AC Delco. If you really want your head to explode from an overload of information, go read up at www.bobistheoilguy.com forums. Those guys apparently have nothing better to do than argue about the esoteric and sometimes irrelevant properties of motor oil. When I've seen Northstar questions asked there, the answer always came back to use Rotella Synthetic 5W-40. Our Fairbanks users here have no problems with conventional, so my advice would seriously be to just use good quality conventional and good quality filter and don't worry about it. Synthetics are not miracle fluids, they're just more expensive oil that Cadillac does not require not recommend for your car. My 2 cents worth. Others will likely disagree.

Ranger
10-19-05, 05:54 PM
I just bought a 2003 Seville STS last Friday. I think former owner used Dino oil. Will I switch to Mobil 1? Prolly, but I'll make a transition by mixing the two over a couple oil changes to make sure that the new, superior oil doesn't dislodge a hunk of sludge all in one shot and possibly clog an oil passage.
Good Lord, what do you think the inside of an '03 engine looks like? Just for reference, I recently purchased a bore scope. I stuck it down in the valve cover of my now previous '97 Deville and saw nothing more than oil. No sludge. It had about 100K at the time and gets oil changes per the OLM and that amounts to about every 7K.
I recently dropped the oil pan on my wifes '96 Bonneville to replace a leaky gasket. The car had 120K on it. The pan was clean. No sludge. Both cars use 10w30 dino oil (no brand allegiance here). While I whole heartedly agree with Mcowden, I am not trying to sway your decission. Just add some credance to what has been said. To each his own.

lry99eldo
10-19-05, 07:32 PM
Synthetic oil is NOT a parrifin base oil, I don't know how anyone could get that one wrong. I first learned of synthetic oil while working at the Garrtet Turbine Engine Company. They're the engines, TFE 731, that is used on the Lear jet. Also, they make a Turbo Prop engine used on many airframes. I asked an engineer what oil was used in these engines because of their heat and RPM's. Turbines of course are not internal combustion engines and they are not subject to the carbon contaminates we see in our automobile engines. What I got was a very good explanation as to the benifits of synthetic as a general motor oil also.
First off, syn. does not use any additive such as a parrifin which was used as a binder and viscous additive. Almost all oils today have eliminated parrifin because they have found better less volitile additives that do not leave behind all the crud that parrifin is famous for, mainly sludge. It was also volitile in that it would actually burn off and evaporate as well as catch fire if it got hot and concentrated enough. Which brings us to another concern, heat.
Initial lubricity of mineral/fossul base oils at a highly refined state is pretty much the same as syn., but that's where the simularity stops. Syn. does not break down as conventional oils do, refered to as platelets, that are part of the oil that prevents metal to metal contact and the ability to carry reasonable sized contaminents to the filter and to leave them there. These platelets remain pretty much the same size for the life of syn. oils. There is very little volitility to syn. oils in which they see in conventional engines therefore little to no burn off while staying out of the combustion chamber. Of course syn' will burn off if it gets where it shouldn't be, and when it does it doesn't leave the same type of solids behind as reg. oils do. Syn. oils will run cooler because they do lubricate very well which equals less running friction that results in less heat. Syn.'s abitilty to maintain heat and it's ability to dissipate heat as well is again due to it's consistancy of it's initial viscous rating due to it not being broken down by both pressure and heat. If all is well with any engine that is running well and all systems doing their respective jobs the difference in overall engine heat with or w/o syn. will be almost undetectable. The one thing that will be seen is the increase of breakdown over time, that is to say that syn. will absolutely last longer in an engine and still do it's job pretty much the same as when it was installed. All this is not the same for std. oils though. Std. oils will NOT last as long as syn. although modern formulas are increasing their ability to last longer more than ever before. Our automobile engines are nasty little buggers yet the manufacturing techniques used today leave any oils used a much better environment in which to operate and do their job. So the original argument is pretty much a moot point for us N* lovers that maintain them well. Syn. is for those people who feel that it is better, and yes, it is better. Just not so much in the respect that everyone maintains their engines as recommended. Simple huh?
Ask any NASCAR engine builder what oil they are running, it will be a synthetic. Ask any Top Fuel racer what oil they use, it will be a synthetic. Not because it is better at initial use, it's because it is more reliable. But are you running 8500 plus RPM as an average for 4 hrs? No. Are you producing 8000 HP, no. Is your engine's combustion chamber seeing 1400 deg. C, no.
So, For me, in my N*, I use conventional oils. It's because I do maintain it as recommended knowing full well that syn. IS a better oil, just not needed in THIS application.
lry99eldo

thu
10-20-05, 02:02 AM
Hay, thanks for the replies, I appreciate hearing about your experiences with Dino oil, etc.
One reason to use M1 is this: During the middle of a cold Wyoming winter (e.g. -30*F), using Dino oil, starting my 93 caddy is kinda painful event. Whirr...whirr..whirr, rumble rumble rumble. Then the engine takes quite a bit of time to labor up to the normal idle speed and the whole car shakes. Using M1, that just doesn't happen, it spins right up.
Have you ever seen Dino oil pour when it's -20*F? I have, it doesn't. I tried to add a quart to my airplane before a trip. Took 15 minutes to get the 1qt of dino oil in the crankcase. Have to really squeeze the bottle and it comes out like molasses and just slogs into the filler tube.
Would my 93 Deville have made it to 300k and my 85 Deville to 238k without M1? Dunno, but the 93 Deville engine is the thing that has given me the last, nay zero, problems (85 engine blew a head gasket going full throttle up a hill in the middle of summer. The water pump seal went. The coolant left the building, like Elvis. Then the engine simply overheated).
Would it be a good idea to use M1 in the cold part of winter and switch back to Dino in the good weather (of which we have so little)? Maybe. Dunno.

mcowden
10-20-05, 04:19 PM
Hay, thanks for the replies, I appreciate hearing about your experiences with Dino oil, etc.
One reason to use M1 is this: During the middle of a cold Wyoming winter (e.g. -30*F), using Dino oil, starting my 93 caddy is kinda painful event. Whirr...whirr..whirr, rumble rumble rumble. Then the engine takes quite a bit of time to labor up to the normal idle speed and the whole car shakes. Using M1, that just doesn't happen, it spins right up.
Have you ever seen Dino oil pour when it's -20*F? I have, it doesn't. I tried to add a quart to my airplane before a trip. Took 15 minutes to get the 1qt of dino oil in the crankcase. Have to really squeeze the bottle and it comes out like molasses and just slogs into the filler tube.
Would my 93 Deville have made it to 300k and my 85 Deville to 238k without M1? Dunno, but the 93 Deville engine is the thing that has given me the last, nay zero, problems (85 engine blew a head gasket going full throttle up a hill in the middle of summer. The water pump seal went. The coolant left the building, like Elvis. Then the engine simply overheated).
Would it be a good idea to use M1 in the cold part of winter and switch back to Dino in the good weather (of which we have so little)? Maybe. Dunno.


I agree with you that synthetic flows better at extreme low temperatures. In the case of Chicago, that happens so infrequently that it's hard to justify spending 3x the cost or more per oil change. Yep, it cranks slowly and yep, it doesn't sound so good for the first few seconds, but I can't justify the additional $20+ per oil change to protect against a handful of extreme cold starts per year. The head gasket failure on your 85 probably had nothing to do with the oil you used, but I'm sure you already know that. One of our friends in Fairbanks, AK experiences colder temps than Cheyenne. If dkozloski chimes in here, I'll be interested to hear if the uses syn or dino and whether or not he's experienced any engine problems related to lubrication failure at cold temperatures. My guess is no. Besides, global warming is going to heat us up so we won't have any more cold winters anymore anyway, right? :D

thu
10-20-05, 09:22 PM
:D :D

I just did a calculation of how many extra $$ I spent using M1 instead of regular Dino on my 93 Deville. It's about $660 over 12 years (40 oil changes or so) or about $55/yr. Old habits die hard, and this N* takes two more quarts of oil than the 4.9, so that means en extra $6 per oil change. I assume Dino at $1/qt and M1 at $4/qt at Wally World. I know the price for M1 is accurate, but what about Dino? Is it $1/qt?

Oh yeah...I shouldn't worry about sludge in my two-year old STS. Ain't that many miles on it yet.

BTW, how do I upload a custom Avatar? Do I gotta be a supporting member? I think it's turned off for security reasons or something.

Oh yeah...one reason for using Syn in the first place starting with my '85 all those years ago was that 'cause I'm so busy at times that I forget to change the oil. Wasn't that rare to let my oil changes go to 12,000 miles or more. I don't think it happened with my '93 as that change oil light wouldn't let me forget. :)

I won't be racing at Indy, so maybe time to kick the habit. It's been soooo long since I used Dino oil, I don't know which brands are good and which suck. I remember using Pennzoil in my 4x4 (which I still have) and quit using it because it got dirty real fast. Switch to Quaker and it stayed clean. After that, I switched to M1 in that, too as I put about 100 miles a month on it and as a result change the oil yearly or biennially. Never had a problem with the engine as a result.

As for the fellow up in Fairbanks, I bet they plug their block heaters when they're not using it. That's what I heard anyways.

Cheers,
T

dkozloski
10-20-05, 10:07 PM
Block heaters are recommended below 20 deg. to reduce emmisions during warmup by local EPA. I use Mobil 1 5W-30. Never had a lubrication failure in cold weather(to -66F) in over fifty years of driving with any kind of oil. I have the block heater on a timer that turns it on about 1 1/2 hr. before my wife leaves for work. At night the car is parked in an unheated garage that is a little warmer than outside. The car is parked in an outdoor parking lot all day and never fails to start with a remote start. The keep warm feature of the remote start is never used. The big advantage to synthetic oil is the viscosity stability at extreme temperatures. Most dino oils, you can't drive a nail in them at -50F. The engine with synthetic cranks up nicely. There is no plausible argument for using dino oil in extreme cold. The only down side to synthetic is the cost which doesn't amount to a hill of beans. The down side to dino is that you are going to be walking because the car won't crank after you cold soak it at extreme temps. There is nothing to argue about here.

Ranger
10-20-05, 11:01 PM
$1/qt for dino oil is a bit below average but often found on sale for that price. I think Supertech at WallyWorld is about that price.

I don't know which brands are good and which suck. :hide: Oil wars have been started over that question.

lry99eldo
10-21-05, 08:13 AM
This is turning into a pretty good forum subject and fits well with the tech tips concept. Bottom line is of course, taking into consideration all the replies, that it's an owner's choice.
In my reply I mentioned, "consistancy" of syn. viscosity. I didn't think it needed to be qualified by hi or low ambient temps. I thought it to be well understood that syn. viscosity is very stable through a very wide range of temps. That would be the main qualifier for those people that live in colder regions.
The one thing we are forgeting here is the contaminents that build up in any oil and that's really the main reason for changing it in the first place. It's not really so much the mileage as it is time. At 3K to 5K miles, the amount of miles that are an indication of time, or hours, that an engine sees. During this time there is no way to determine the exact driving conditions and it has been found that at the 3K suggested change interval that the oil is beginning to absorb acids and water that are bad bad bad for the oil to continue to provide protection. These acids also very much contribute to the oil's platelets, i.e., there molecular chains, being broken down into various sizes reducing the effective protectorant. Syn. is not as subject to this breakdown, yet syn. will still absorb, or contain, these contaminants.
Also, I mentioned today's manufacturing methods of the engines we use. For not only performance reasons, but also ecomomical reasons, manufactures methods are faster, more reliable, and prevent many assembly problems in that less "kitting" is needed to bulid engines. The parts consistancy allow taking any part in a specific build parts list and it will assemble and work well.
This in the end also reduces the amount of these contaminants that get to the oil forcing the change.
Now, take the improvements in todays dino oil production as well as syn. and put all the factors together, we get longer change intervals due to less contamination.
If you are running natural gas, hydrogen, or almost anything "cleaner" than gasoline, then your change intervals will be much longer. Alcohol is not included in these cleaner fuels. Alcohol is cleaner on the environment, not so on oil, but that's another subject.
As I said, syn. is a better oil for lubricity, and I believe many manufactures recommend it or even install it new. Mineral oils today also are very good, so it's a choice, just change it and filter it, as well as syn., according to mfg. rec's and everybody is happy.
Oh, and this XX-XX viscosity thing is; 5 is the viscosity, 30 is the protection factor. It pours like a 5 but protects like a 30. Sort of old school thinking but it is a way to explain it to us lay people.
lry99eldo

thu
10-22-05, 12:02 AM
I'm just thinkin' what it will cost to use Dino vs M1 in the STS. If dino costs $1.30/qt (I think that price is close) and M1 costs $4/qt and I drive 25,000 miles per year and change the oil every 7,000 miles, then that's 3.5 oil changes per year. At 7.5 quarts per change, that's about 26 quarts used per year. For Dino, that's about $33.80 per year. For M1, that's $104. The difference is about $70.

Compare this to the fuel burned for the same 25,000 miles. At $2.70 per gallon and 23 MPG, that amounts to $2934.00 per year.

However, $70 is $70.

JohnnyO
10-22-05, 08:36 AM
The only way syn will save money is if you extend the OCI, but with the OLM on a Caddy, most people probably won't. Me, I run syn in most of my other vehicles, changed every 5k. I know the oil can live longer but I still want to get the dirt out. Compared to changing dino oil every 3k, eventually I'll save money. My decrepit Astro work van might explode if I used syn, so it gets Havoline or Max Life every 3k. Needs all the help it can get. :histeric:
Mom's car, we're down to only changing the oil once a year with Mobil 1 and the OLM is usually in the 30's.
The OLM is calibrated for dino oil, and syn is not necessary in N* except in the ones that come with M1 from the factory.

JohnnyO
10-22-05, 08:44 AM
I'm just thinkin' what it will cost to use Dino vs M1 in the STS. If dino costs $1.30/qt (I think that price is close) and M1 costs $4/qt

Name-brand dino is close to $2 unless you get it on sale, M1 is $5 or more except at Wally-World where a 5 qt jug was $20 last I looked.

thu
10-22-05, 06:23 PM
Yes, JohnnyO, that's right. A 5qt jug at Wally-World is like $20.50.
Thanks for the pricing info of Dino. That will save me a trip.
I'm still debating, in my mind, whether I should switch to M1 or just leave it. I'm inclined to just keep using Dino.

mcowden
10-22-05, 09:26 PM
This is turning into a pretty good forum subject and fits well with the tech tips concept. Bottom line is of course, taking into consideration all the replies, that it's an owner's choice.
In my reply I mentioned, "consistancy" of syn. viscosity. I didn't think it needed to be qualified by hi or low ambient temps. I thought it to be well understood that syn. viscosity is very stable through a very wide range of temps. That would be the main qualifier for those people that live in colder regions.
The one thing we are forgeting here is the contaminents that build up in any oil and that's really the main reason for changing it in the first place. It's not really so much the mileage as it is time. At 3K to 5K miles, the amount of miles that are an indication of time, or hours, that an engine sees. During this time there is no way to determine the exact driving conditions and it has been found that at the 3K suggested change interval that the oil is beginning to absorb acids and water that are bad bad bad for the oil to continue to provide protection. These acids also very much contribute to the oil's platelets, i.e., there molecular chains, being broken down into various sizes reducing the effective protectorant. Syn. is not as subject to this breakdown, yet syn. will still absorb, or contain, these contaminants.
Also, I mentioned today's manufacturing methods of the engines we use. For not only performance reasons, but also ecomomical reasons, manufactures methods are faster, more reliable, and prevent many assembly problems in that less "kitting" is needed to bulid engines. The parts consistancy allow taking any part in a specific build parts list and it will assemble and work well.
This in the end also reduces the amount of these contaminants that get to the oil forcing the change.
Now, take the improvements in todays dino oil production as well as syn. and put all the factors together, we get longer change intervals due to less contamination.
If you are running natural gas, hydrogen, or almost anything "cleaner" than gasoline, then your change intervals will be much longer. Alcohol is not included in these cleaner fuels. Alcohol is cleaner on the environment, not so on oil, but that's another subject.
As I said, syn. is a better oil for lubricity, and I believe many manufactures recommend it or even install it new. Mineral oils today also are very good, so it's a choice, just change it and filter it, as well as syn., according to mfg. rec's and everybody is happy.
Oh, and this XX-XX viscosity thing is; 5 is the viscosity, 30 is the protection factor. It pours like a 5 but protects like a 30. Sort of old school thinking but it is a way to explain it to us lay people.
lry99eldo


lry99eldo, I think the xW-y oil viscosity rating, on a 5W-30 oil for example, means that at cold temperatures, the leftmost number (W is for Winter) indicates that it will be the same viscosity as a 5 weight oil would be, and at high temperatures, the rightmost number indicates it will be the same viscosity as a 30 weight would be. Oils labeled with xW-y numbers are multi-viscosity oils, as opposed to single-number oils like SAE 30, which has the viscosity of a 30 weight oil at both hot and cold temperatures. That's fine for high-temperature operation, but when it's cold, a 30 weight oil will make it harder to crank and start, and the oil won't flow well until it heats up and thins out.

The other point I wanted to make is that there is a rating on oil called the Total Base Number or TBN. The TBN indicates the oil's ability to neutralize acids that form from combustion byproducts, water, etc. The higher the TBN, the longer the oil can protect the engine from damage caused by acids. Diesel engines are more prone to acidic oil, so you'll find that oils forumulated for diesel engines have a higher TBN than oils for gas engines. TBN is only one factor to take into consideration, though, and the other additives might be depleted before the TBN is consumed, so don't buy an oil based strictly on the TBN. Other factors include detergents, Viscosity Index Improvers, anti-foamants, friction modifiers, and Pour Point Depressors. Conventional and synthetic oils both use these additives. TBNs for diesel oils might be in the 10-15 range, while they might be in the 4-8 range for normal gas engine oil.

Oil is not just a petroleum product or a synthetic product, it's a complex mix of lots of stuff that's carefully balanced to provide the right lubrication and protection characteristics under the right conditions. That's why additives are not good: They throw off the balance and you might wind up with something that doesn't protect or lubricate as well as the original product did.

Ranger
10-22-05, 10:13 PM
To add more confusion to this debate, I seem to recall "Rob" once said that even todays dino oils are actually semi synthetic due to the additives. I think it may be the viscosity improvers, though I am not positive.

mcowden
10-22-05, 10:45 PM
To add more confusion to this debate, I seem to recall "Rob" once said that even todays dino oils are actually semi synthetic due to the additives. I think it may be the viscosity improvers, though I am not positive.

That could be right, Ranger. The factor he may have been referring to is the Group number. Full synthetic oils are either Group IV (4) or V (5). Some oils labeled "synthetic" are actually highly-refined petroleum oils, and they are called Group III (you guessed it...3). Mobil1 is a Group IV oil. Conventional oils are Group I or II. Some of the "fake synthetics" include Rotella 5W-40 synthetic from Shell, though their price is a little lower because it is a Group III oil, but they still call it "synthetic," even though it's really not. Because oil is a blend of base oil stocks and all these additives, it's possible that the additives can be "synthetic" while the base stock is still petroleum. It is confusing, no doubt about it. Semi-synthetic oils may blend Group II and Group III or IV base stocks but use a crappy additive package. So, they might sound good because they're "semi-synthetic," but might still be crap because of the additive package. There is no way to know from the labeling. You'd have to send it in for a Virgin Oil Analysis and let the lab tell you whether it's good or not. If you really want to blow your mind studying this stuff and deciding what is best (even though there really is very little appreciable difference in the end), you can read up on the list of Virgin Oil Analyses and Used Oil Analyses they have posted over at www.bobistheoilguy.com forums. So yes, you're right, some of them are part-synthetic anyway. To boil it down, the BITOG crew basically lists Havoline, Pennzoil, Motorcraft, Trop Artic, and Supertech conventional oils as good ones to use based on the VOAs and UOAs that have been submitted for them.

Ranger
10-23-05, 12:56 PM
To boil it down, the BITOG crew basically lists Havoline, Pennzoil, Motorcraft, Trop Artic, and Supertech conventional oils as good ones to use based on the VOAs and UOAs that have been submitted for them.
That's good to hear as I have been using Supertech. It is about $1/qt at Wallyworld.

JohnnyO
10-23-05, 06:31 PM
I'm a BITOG'er too. There is a lot of good info there from UOA's, not just "feel good" marketing and "because my daddy used it". BTW, Max Life shows up very well too.

My opinion, whether or not to use synthetics boils down to three questions:
1. Is it necessary? Not for most people.
2. Is it better? Yup, no doubt. Me, I like "better".
3. Is it worth it? That's between each individual and their wallet.:cool2:

davesdeville
10-24-05, 02:16 AM
It's OIL. Just stick in what the owners manual says or synthetic if you damn well please, and go for a drive.

thu
10-24-05, 04:00 PM
:) :rolleyes: :bigroll: :cool: :duck: :cool2: :sneaky:

cl1986
03-07-06, 09:09 PM
I thought 300k miles would be enough, christ i dont want it to last any longer, ill be bored of the car by then for sure!!!

Tailfin
03-09-06, 08:14 AM
One thing I'm not clear on. Apparently, synthetic has a more stable viscosity over both low and high temperatures. Sure, this sounds good...but wouldn't this mean the viscosity XX-XX rating should be different? Also, the "leaking" issue...sounds like it's less viscous. If the viscosity is different, and more stable, how come it's rated just the same as typical mineral oil? Shouldn't it be something like 15w-20 or something? :hmm:

JohnnyO
03-10-06, 08:58 AM
The viscosity rating is how the oil ranks when new, or at least after a little testing, and not over several thousand miles. Most oils in most engines thin out over time, but I've seen a few actually get thicker. Truth is a lot of 5w-30 dino oils are functioning as a 5w-20 in about 3000 miles or less. A synthetic will hold that 30 ranking a lot longer. Also there are viscosity ranges within the ratings. For example, Mobil 1 is a "thin" 5w-30 while Max Life is a "thick" 5w-30. You will see that the Energy Conserving label is missing on bottle of Max Life.