Beginning to have my doubts

Status
Not open for further replies.
Messages
190
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I have been reading and lurking around this site for some time. I was hoping to see some compelling evidence to suggest that synthetic oil will protect your engine better than conventional motor oil. I hate to admit this, but I think I am swinging the other way. I have been a devoted user of Mobil 1 for years, but now I have come to the conclusion that todays new conventional oils will offer excellent protection for those who stay within recommended OCI's. It would be interesting to see some comparisons of the same car/engine with synthetic versus dino oil. In the long run, I think that a good maintenance schedule is all that really matters. I have seen posts of cars going over 400,000 miles on just dino oil and consistent maintenance. I feel like a traitor...but I cannot dismiss the information I have soaked up here. Thanks everyone. This is a great site.
 
Messages
480
Location
Taxachusettstan
Your conclusion is logical to me. I run my turbo on synth (M1), but the SO's NA engine gets dino. Both are non-sludgers and this approach works. Unless there is a compelling reason to use synth, it seems a waste of money to me given regular maintenance.
 
Messages
331
Location
New Hanover, PA
I agree with many of the things you say, but remember that synthetic oils like Mobil 1 can provide significantly longer drain intervals and add a measure of protection/cleanliness that even the group II oils of today cannot... If you use the syn oils the right way, they can be a good deal as well... [Cheers!]
 
Messages
2,285
Location
Cincinnati
Dagwood, You gotta do what you feel is best for your vehicle(s). I'm happy to have learned here of the measurable quality increases in dino oils over the past few years. Nonetheless, I wouldn't take one past 4k miles on an OCI if I can help it. With respect to dave1251's link above, different engines, drivers, and their driving habits all cause the same brand/weight oil to give different results at the same OCI, most of the time. Thus, the importance of a UOA to determine if that oil and OCI is right for your engine and driving habits. If you find one that works for you, dino or full syn, have at it. I believe the UOA is even more important if you're trying to take a dino past a 5k oil change. I've used full synthetic for the past 20 years and I've been quite happy with the results. While we don't have Minnesota or Alaskan winters here in the Tri-State, knowing I have a really good 0w30 full syn in my crankcase makes me sleep better during those winter nights. Regardless of which way you go, dino or full syn, at least use a high quality oil filter. Watching people at Pep Boys in Kenwood hunt for that $1.79 oil filter for their newer Acura or Nissan is somewhat painful.
 
Messages
187
Location
Central Texas
Why are you dissappointed ? I do not believe it was ever the intent of this forum to prove that synthetic oil protects better than conventional oil although most of us would like to believe that is so. A lot of the fun is in the "hunt" to find conventional oils that come close to the advantages of sythetics and also to kiddingly brag about "my oil is better than your oil". Heck, there is a entire forum on this site devoted to the search,purchase and use of some majic concoction in green bottles made by pixies in a foreign country ! This may sound strange, but a medical condition(can't stay under cars like I used to) forced me to consider synthetics(longer OCIs) and this forum provided the info necessary to logically choose the one best for me. I agree with you...there is no "majic bullet" when it comes to oil. But there are specific advantages to sythetics, that, when used properly, are better for the consumer and the environment and I consider that a win/win !! [Cheers!]
 

Mud

Messages
701
Location
Texas
I don't know why you would feel like a traitor to M1 - it's just another tool in the BITO arsenal! I have found that this site has given me fantastic info to make informed choices regarding the oil selections for our vehicles. We use M1 in one of them (turbo equipped) and dino in the rest with excellent results, based upon the individual vehicle's requirements, OCI's, etc. This extends to everything we own, which includes a tractor, atvs's, mowers, etc. So bottom line is that I rest easy knowing that I've used oils that are suited to actual needs and driving conditions.
 
Messages
350
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Yea…I have made the similar revelation. I started using M1 back in the mid-80’s when conventional SG was the standard. Most conventional oils of that era were proverbial junk, when compared to M1. I tried M1 and liked the low consumption rate and extended drains…I did 6 month OCIs which consisted of 10k or 15k miles! Kept my 80’s era VWs running like a top! Then hydro cracking went mainstream. Yes, M1 has its place in HP engines, like air-cooled Porsches, turbo & super-charged engines, but the typical grocery-getting sedan, SUV or minivan doesn’t need fancy synthetic. IMHO, $1.50/qt hydro cracked oils are just fine for most cars, now-a-days. Today, the key is to CHANGE the oil/filter as required, not so much on using the most expensive oil anymore.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,121
Location
New Jersey
I kind of wish that I had some older UOAs to compare... but what I do know is that my mother has quite the short trip/severe service use profile, and we can still extend OCIs on M1 5w-30 in her 97 plymouth breeze, because it protects super well and the results are great. 5000 miles on 5-block commutes is nothing for standard M1. Thats pretty darn good. JMH
 
Messages
1,347
Location
wytheville, va
Much like the assumption lingered on that syns would provide lower wear metal counts, we continue to labor under the assumption that syns offer longer drain intervals. We've seen several outstanding UOA's here on dinos with over 7,000 miles on them. And yes, the link in dave1251's post shows nearly 13,000 miles on a dino oil--with excellent results. We've also seen some pretty lame examples of Mobil 1, Amsoil, and most certainly Redline. Excuses abound, but verifiable data continues to ellude. When a dino does well, it is credited to the "engine design and driving style" by the syn gurus. When a syn does poorly, it is blamed on the engine design and driving style--or the mythical "cleaning effect"--by the syn gurus. The emperor has no clothes! [Big Grin] Syns have lost nearly if not all advantages over the new generation dino oils. I'll take the Havoline at a buck fifty a quart any day. (And like you, the information gleaned from this site turned me away from synthetic oils, toward the much more economical and just as capable Group II and III dino oils). Dan
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Houston
Dan, that's rational, logical thinking and we'll have none of that!! but in the same vein, there is also a tendency to think that some oil (take your pick) can somehow make a crapily designed engine run like a swiss watch for a million miles. No oil can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear.
 
Messages
1,910
Location
Vista, CA
Oil is just one piece in the maintenance schhedule. It's a difficult one to screw up. Just follow the manufacturer's recomendations. If you do more, or use better oil you'll probably see a benefit. The question is, how much, and is it worth it. That's that part that many here work at. That's the interesting part of bitog.
 
Messages
340
Location
E. Texas
I knew very little about auto lubrication until I started reading this forum. I still know very little compared to some of these guys. But in asking questions and reading lots of threads I have come to some conclusions. Use Havoline dino or other top brand and OCI by the manual for normal or severe conditions, depending on your situation. If you have an OLM, use that along with the manufacturer's suggested weight oil. Don't mix oils or make your own brew unless you really know what you are doing (and very few people do). Even if the manual or OLM suggests a filter change every other OCI, you might as well change it each time since you are down there anyway, or if you have it done, it is still cheap insurance - just be sure it is a quality filter. Use synthetics if you really want to go with a longer OCI. From everything I have read, with very few exceptions, this is the only real reason to go with synthetic. However, even then, you might be better overall using LC20 with your quality dino and get nearly the same extended OCI as synthetics with equal or greater protection. Every so often get a UOA to see if you are on target (best $40 you'll ever spend). If not on target, adjust accordingly. This seems to me to be a common sense (and less complicated) approach to doing things and should serve your engine well for many miles.
 
Messages
17,330
Location
Silicon Valley
I feel the same way too, starting with 4k OCI in the mid 90s on 2 cars and now switched one to dino. To me, a 49 cent dino (Chevron) will always win in the cost department against a group 4/5 syn. The only thing that kept me in using syn is the extended OCI. But now, SM dino improved and SM M1 is crippled (with lower ZDDP), so I am not even sure if the benefit is there anymore, other than the saved labor.
 
Messages
4,478
Location
Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by fuel tanker man: ...When a dino does well, it is credited to the "engine design and driving style" by the syn gurus. When a syn does poorly, it is blamed on the engine design and driving style--or the mythical "cleaning effect"--by the syn gurus...
Well said, Dan! [bowdown]
 
Messages
1,407
Location
Vail, Colorado
I think Dagwood's correct, newer 'conventional' oils are much improved. But the newer oils are really not conventional, the have better basestocks and they have to pass more rigorous tests. Most are, or are close to being, 'semi-synthetic blends' for lack of a better term. In terms of price [ or value /performance ] the newer oils do undermine the advantage that Mobil 1, Redline, Amsoil, and GC enjoyed. Unless your engine needs the better synthetic oils, or you drive really hard, or you want a longer drain interval. This is especially true when a manufacturer requires a 'target spec' oil or a factory approved oil rating. The new conventional oils have lower evaporation, but not as low as the 6% NOACK number for Redline. In a fleet for a large family or a business, ultra low evaporation means fewer problems if drivers don't check dipsticks. The newer oils do have much wider temperature ranges, but not as good as PAO/ Ester synthetics. Group II and III might do better with keeping some deposits and additives in solution than Group IV and V...but this is probably not a big advantage with modern unleaded gas engines. I agree that for many vehicles a new conventional oil could do nearly as well as a true 100% synthetic...if shorter OCI's and ~perhaps~ a winter weight and summer weight, or a normal weight and a severe service weight are used. Shorter OCI's have advantages, especially if glycol or dirt get into the engine. This is true if one has the time to do more oil changes and the control over the vehicles. So I think the premium full synthetic oils no longer have a clear advantage over conventional oils. When the gas to liquid basestocks like Group III+ become more common the situation will become even more interesting. I could imagine Group III+ with a little Ester and/or some PAO or newer 'PAO like' or 'ester like' alternative like EOP or Supersyn or some yet to be released product might offer even better performave and value. For now, I'll stick with mostly Redline, Mobil 1, Delvac 1, Amsoil, Pennzoil Platinum, and GC for synthetics, and in certain vehicles: Delo 400, Motorcraft, and Havoline for conventional. And I'll ARX. and keep adding LC20 and FP60, and a little VSOT, or SX-UP
 
Messages
1,904
Location
Bay Area, CA
As noted you can't see everything in a UOA, or a VOA. So, to say that syns are not better than dino's based on UOA's is not a fully defensible statement. On the other hand, from reading this site you are able to more accurately predict an OCI for whatever oil you choose to use. Syn, Dino, M1, M1 EP, Redline, etc. They all have different optimum OCI's. The other issue is the "insurance" benefit. Sometimes you don't know if you have a sludger until it is too late.
 

Jay

Messages
1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
quote:
Originally posted by Dagwood: ...I have been a devoted user of Mobil 1 for years, but now I have come to the conclusion that todays new conventional oils will offer excellent protection for those who stay within recommended OCI's. It would be interesting to see some comparisons of the same car/engine with synthetic versus dino oil...
As a long-time Mobil1 fan, I was forced to conclude that the inexpensive dinos are better all around than the expensive full synthetics. If you want evidence, do a search on my Acura RSX in the UOA forum. There's plenty of evidence there. I found that I got lower overall wear metals and longer service life with cheap dino or "synthetic" blend oils. I believe that full synthetics still offer better low-temp properties, and would use them if I lived in arctic climates.
 
Messages
216
Location
Douglasville,GA
quote:
Originally posted by Dagwood: I have been reading and lurking around this site for some time. I was hoping to see some compelling evidence to suggest that synthetic oil will protect your engine better than conventional motor oil. I hate to admit this, but I think I am swinging the other way. I have been a devoted user of Mobil 1 for years, but now I have come to the conclusion that todays new conventional oils will offer excellent protection for those who stay within recommended OCI's. It would be interesting to see some comparisons of the same car/engine with synthetic versus dino oil. In the long run, I think that a good maintenance schedule is all that really matters. I have seen posts of cars going over 400,000 miles on just dino oil and consistent maintenance. I feel like a traitor...but I cannot dismiss the information I have soaked up here. Thanks everyone. This is a great site.
You are not alone as I too have come to the conclusion that synthetic oil is a waste of money for my use. Over the years,I have witnessed my Dad's vehicles achieve 200,000 miles and still perform well with Motorcraft or Havoline oil and Motorcraft filters at 5000 mile intervals.These were all Ford V8 vehicles from 1969 thru 2000. I have used Mobil1 in my Ford Trucks and Honda Accord and were not impressed enough to justify the cost. I now use Motorcraft or Kendall GT1 (Connoco Phillips) and Motorcraft or Wix Filters in my vehicles with 5000 mile oci.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top