Are synthetics really worth the extra bucks?

Messages
107
Location
DC
I've read many uoa's of dino and blend favorites that rank up there with synthetics...I have a nagging feeling that unless a car is driven aggressively or in extreme weather, buying synthetic oil does more for the oil companies than for our cars....am i right?
 
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
The answer to your question depends totally upon what is (and is not) important to the individual who is answering the question. Not that I personally mind you asking now, but if you do some digging (search...), you'll see that this question has been beaten mercilessly hundreds of times here on BITOG. The result is almost always the same -- one member after another posting their cherished opinions as if they are carved-in-stone facts, and adding varying degrees of disdain for others who see things differently. My answer: it totally depends upon how you use your car, your car's natural tendencies (is it an oil killer?), what you like, and of course, your budget.
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
ekpolk, You're so diplomatic, you should be a lawyer or a politican...;) Hope you got in your beach run already?...I'd hate to think the Marines were slacking off. TS
 
Messages
2,724
Location
Herndon, Virginia
Man's a Lawyer with a JAG in the Marines, you kidding me? He's 1/3 diplomat, 1/3 Law-Pro, and 1/3 Head Banger to the mutts that get in the way. Sometimes, he gets to lawyer, I mean, LOWER, the boom!
 
Messages
19,479
Location
Chicago Area
daman - Pretty accurate observation, in general. If you have a turbo, need extreme temperature starting or protection benefits, or simply want to double your oil change intervals, synthetics are indicated.
 
Maybe then the question comes down to: For an average car - take a Chevy Cavalier - driving 90% highway and does maybe 50 miles to and from work. (100 miles a day). Would synthetics have any advantage over a good dino in this situation? (Advantage in engine life, MPG, and OCI intervals). My personal opinion: Synthetics are better because they seem to me to keep engines much cleaner, increase MPG slightly, and allow you to run an extended OCI that ends up saving you money over dino. Lets see what other members have to say about that:
 
Here in Australia Mobil 1 is 3x as expensive as Havoline dino for the same grade. I am coming around to thinking it may be better to change more frequently with dino and save money at the same time, given that modern engines usually outlast the cars they propel. Roger
 
Messages
340
Location
E. Texas
I agree, depends on engine and driving conditions mostly. Side considerations would be how long an OCI you want to have and how much money you want to spend. I have a 2006 Honda with the VTEC 3.5L motor. You could run this thing on herbal tea. It has an OLM so I go by that and it takes the guess work out of the whole equation as to when to change oil. And the OLMs are calibrated for dino. Havoline 5w20 dino is all I need for this engine and my driving conditions. I use FP60 in my gas and LC20 as well to get a little extra life out of the oil. So far, the monitor says to change oil about every 6000 miles or so (which takes me about 9 months to reach). Havoline, with the LC20, will easily handle that in this motor. However, I plan on getting a UOA just to be sure the monitor is not lying to me and to fine tune the additive doses. Even with the LC20, it much cheaper this way than going synthetic.
 
Messages
9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
Quote:
Man's a Lawyer with a JAG in the Marines, you kidding me? He's 1/3 diplomat, 1/3 Law-Pro, and 1/3 Head Banger to the mutts that get in the way. Sometimes, he gets to lawyer, I mean, LOWER, the boom!
Oh man . . . I was needing a good laugh this morning -- need quenched!
 
Messages
855
Location
India
Here in India, Synthetics are 5x the price of regular oils including HDEO group-II like Delo 400 and considering that the Delo 400 UOAs look pretty good even after extended runs in extreme conditions, it makes sense to stick to them and is good for your pocket in long run, also one can afford to change them frequently as compared to synthetics. I am sure synthetics offer excellent protection and characteristics, but then do we really need them unless we are in the north or south pole or near the Himalayas.
 
Messages
6,171
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
What about when synthetic costs the same as dino? I have a stash of M1/M1EP, PP, & ML Syn, that averaged less than a $1.50/qt. Rebates are the cost equalizer. When cost is no longer a factor, synthetic wins (IMO).
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
Messages
12,849
Location
UT
I've run Synthetics and conventional oils in the same engines and done the UOAs. Everytime, the UOAs with same OCI the conventional shows lower wear numbers. As far as MPG (which I keep track of better than anyone else) NO difference in a V6, I4 or V8 engine driven by the same person over the same routes. As far as keeping a clean motor, NO difference IF you change out your oil per mfg manual. As far as long life of engines, I've gotten almost 300k out of my 1985 Jetta (it's around 295k right now) and it's running great! My 1996 Chev truck just went over 200k with ease and is running great. My 2000 chev truck had a leak on it's valve cover and was spotless inside. My 1999 Ford Taurus at 61k and 108k had to have head gaskets and was spotless inside. All they have seen except a few test OCI of syn was Pennzoil, Castrol or Halvoline/Chevron all under $1 a quart.
Quote:
What about when synthetic costs the same as dino? I have a stash of M1/M1EP, PP, & ML Syn, that averaged less than a $1.50/qt. Rebates are the cost equalizer. When cost is no longer a factor, synthetic wins (IMO).
I've got hundreds of quarts of oil that I bought @ 49 cents a quart. You oil is 3 times the cost of mine. Cost is always a factor... Plus, the UOAs don't lie.. Lower wear with Conventional oil over Mobil 1 in my Chev truck and Toyota corolla. Plus, it's a lot harder to find Syn around $1.50 than conventional around $1.50 a quart. Take care, Bill
 
Messages
3,833
Location
NEPA
Quote:
Two oil changes a year verses 4 or 5 a year, synthetics are worth it.
Simply to save time. Not everyone minds changing oil and imo, shorter ocis on dino leave the engine cleaner with less wear.
 
Messages
2,620
Location
in the shop
Quote:
Quote:
Two oil changes a year verses 4 or 5 a year, synthetics are worth it.
Simply to save time. Not everyone minds changing oil and imo, shorter ocis on dino leave the engine cleaner with less wear.
I agree! It drives me nuts waiting till 5000 miles for my oil changes. I guess you could say i'm an addict.
 
Top