Dino v. Synth - 5w30 - Specs

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Sep 17, 2003
After following the site and having a few members help me initially, I've focused on 5w30 as my "engine oil of choice" for my '97 Explorer 5.0L V8. The truck has nearly 100K miles on it and has been well maintained, but I'm looking to choose the "best" oil, be it dino or synth to maximize its life. The specs below are of two dino and two synthetic brands that have received praise here (data was pulled from their websites). Cost is NOT a factor IF the higher priced oil(s) can provide extended life expectancy over their less-expensive counterparts. Chevron Supreme: 159 VI, -36c P.pt, 232 F.pt, 10.8 VK Pennzoil Multigrade: 160 VI, -42c P.pt, 216 F.pt, 10.5 VK Amsoil ASL: 182 VI, -51c P.pt, 230 F.pt, 11.7 VK Mobil-1: 167 VI, -45c P.pt, 224 F.pt, 10.0 VK I've been under the impression that a higher Viscosity Index and Flash Point are better, along with a lower Pour Point. Will either of those two full synthetics above help my new(old) Explorer live a longer life? What would you choose?
If it were me, I'd choose the Amsoil 5w30, as it's a very thick 30wt oil, which is probably better suited to your 5.0L engine with it's looser clearances and higher mileage. I wouldn't even consider a dino 5w30, as it'll just thin out into a 20wt oil far too quickly.
I've been debating the same question with myself for awhile. It's a little extra money for synthetic, but not much relative to the car's value. But is it even worth the little bit extra? So many people get high mileage from conventional oils, and the modern conventionals are better than they were 10 years ago. Most engine failures I know of are due to breakage (often a connecting rod) or overheating. You'd be pretty choked if you did 3K oil changes with M1, only to have a connecting rod failure at 120,000 miles! My buddy's Cummins holds 12 litres, so we put conventional in for the summer and synthetic in during the winter. So why do I think it makes sense to use dino oil for his truck, yet I spend the extra money on synthetic for mine when his engine is probably worth 10 times what my entire car is worth? For the winter coming up I'll be using a 0W-30 synthetic. I wouldn't even consider a conventional for our winters. But next summer: I don't know.
IMHO, @ 100K & with warranty considerations out of the picture, more & frequent oil & filter changes using Chevron Supreme dino 5W-30 (now selling here @ $0.69 per quart after rebate) would be more easily conductive to maximizing the life of your engine than, perhaps, going to extended change intervals with a much higher priced 100% synthetic... You get to see what is coming out of your engine & what is in the oil filter on a regular basis. If you are so inclined. One could even pencil-in a series of UOA's after a couple of changes to monitor oil/engine condition. Using M1 or Amsoil and changing, say, every 5K surely should not exascerbate engine wear nor reduce the life of your engine. It will just co$t you more. Obviously there is (oughta' be!) a difference between oils that cost under a buck and those that cost 5, 6, 7, +? times that. But, do you want to get away from 3-5K oil & filter changes? Only you know what you want. [I dont know] Just my $0.02's worth.
First of all-unless you are going to extend your drain intervals then synthetic will buy you nothing except perhaps if you loose your cooling system. You may avoid a new head or worse. So that part of it you will need to hone in on. Second of all pour point, flash point and viscosity index are pretty much useless as a practical matter. Once you have decided on dino or synthetic you can go from there. As patman said I would avoid the 5W dino-although in winertime in MI you won't be able to avoid that. The Amsoil is a bit thicker than the Mobil, but no-one has yet to prove that Amsoil will protect better than Mobil 1 or vice versa. If you want a little thicker 30 wt you can always pour in a 25% or so M-1 15W-30. You can also go with the Delvac 5W-40. It's probably a better oil than the M-1or Amsoil.
I use the cheapest SL oil I can get, the notorious Wally World ST 10W30. My UOA showed a weak additive package and almost no wear in a Hyundai Elantra engine with 48,000 miles. This is with 4K oil changes. http://theoildrop.server101.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=3;t=000823 So at present my theory continues to be: 1. Most SL oils do just fine with most engines if you don't spread the oil change interval past 4K. 2. The way this engine is wearing the engine might very well last 250,000 miles. 3. Given the complexity of modern automobiles, the rest of the car will probably have a major disaster sometime before that 250K that will make me unload the car. Of approximately 25 cars that I've owned 2 have had dead engines because of overheating--would have happened with any oil, and one was the infamous Mitsubishi 3 liter piece of crap in a Dodge Caravan-- oil seals leaking but the transmission went out at the same time. Having said that, I'm still tinkering with the idea of moving up to Pennzoil dino, or trying a synthetic and moving the change intervals out to 6K. [ September 23, 2003, 03:01 PM: Message edited by: csandste ]
Al, 5w40 year-round? Someone else recommended to use Mobil-1 0w40 year-round to me earlier. MI winters = [Bang Head] [ September 23, 2003, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: TippsTheFoo ]
I can't say how well the two dino 5W-30's will hold up long term, but both have fared excently (as I recall) in regular 3-4K UOA's. The two "mid priced" 5W-30 synthetics also have shown good results for longer OCI's. Bottom line: How much waste oil do you want to generate and how often do you want to change your oil?
Waste is important, so extending the interval would be nice for me and the environment (+1 to synthetics). My main concern, however, is protection. If Amsoil/Mobil-1 give me a <i>better</i> chance of extending the life of my 100K mi. vehicle, I'll pay the extra $3-4/qt.
when you say syn is so expensive, heck, if your the person that takes your car to jiffy lube(you know, like 25 bucks for an dino oil change, when a syn change would cost you about 24), then your paying more than you would for a syn change. Besides, at least with a synthetic, you don't have to worry about it thinning out like a conventional will, and it has better cold starts in winter and you can extend your drain intervals a little bit. Just a lil info to think about.
Originally posted by TippsTheFoo: Al, 5w40 year-round? Someone else recommended to use Mobil-1 0w40 year-round to me earlier. MI winters = [Bang Head]
Well its a synthetic and a 5W-40 starts as well as a 5W-30 [Smile]
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