First synthetic fill. What do you recommend for first interval?

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Jan 1, 2003
Ford V6 4.2, automatic. Oiling history as follows: * Factory fill drained at 500 miles, replaced with Motorcraft 5w-20 (Group III syn blend) and Motorcraft filter. * Next oil change at 900 miles, with Motorcraft 5w-20 and Mobil1 filter. * Next oil change at 2600 miles, with a PAO/ester full synthetic 5w-30, and a K&N filter (leaning more now toward flow rather than efficiency). Now, I am aware of the apparent consensus here to shorten the first synthetic interval because of the cleaning and conditioning effect of that oil. However, I really didn't leave any of the three mineral oil-based lubricant charges in the crankcase for very long. So, what do you think? My inclination is to drain and test at 4000. Suspense is killing me and I'm approaching 2000 miles now on the last change. Thanks and regards to all. [ February 17, 2003, 11:49 PM: Message edited by: YZF150 ]
I say to drain and test. Since the engine is still fresh, there are probably more wear metals in there right now. I wouldn't start doing any extended changes until the engine reaches over 10k. Despite my hatred for 3k synthetic intervals, I'd recommend sticking at this level until the 10k mark (unless the first analysis shows very low wear metals that is)
You have already done 2 changes on a new engine, not much could be left in there. test and see what it says. this is on the fringe of overkill.
I'm kinda with Spector. You could pull a sample at 4K but that requires either a partial drain or a pump down thru the dipstick tube (Oil Analysts Inc -unfortunately not a sponsor here has a squeeze bottle and a tube for that job. ). But since you havbe a K&N filter I would just go the first drain at 6 to 7 K miles. That's plenty conservative-because if you have one of those oil change idiot lights on some vehicles-they habitually go off at around 6500 miles. You could even go a little further and if the report is not good you just need to scale back a bit. You got one of the best oils going and a great filter. Even Mobil says you can go the full interval which is probably 7.5K. Sleep well [Smile]
Hey Gopher, what a coincidence that you would write that. I just completed a trip of about 1200 miles, which was mostly a very flat run with only several mountains to cross, at 2500 and 4400 feet. And what I noticed was that my gas mileage was inching up with each fill. I saw a couple at 16 plus, then 18.2, then 19.6. Needless to say, I'm delighted with that. I drove on cruise at 70 nearly the entire way on the interstate. So, maybe this truck is loosening up, as you suggest. At this stage in its service life, I don't mind tending toward the overkill side of things for this engine. I don't think that I will sample without draining on this first interval with synthetic. I am still seeking opinions/experience with how much cleansing this oil will have accomplished after following three fills of dino oil. Thanks to all thus far. Edit: 2003, by the way, and I'm not concerned about flaunting the warranty. I'm using lubrication components that are much better than what it shipped with, I believe. [ February 18, 2003, 01:14 PM: Message edited by: YZF150 ]
YZF150, Do you normally drive at those altitudes (2,500 to 4,400 ft)? At these altitudes the fuel mixture is leaned and fuel mileage goes up correspondingly. If you normally drive at a lower altitude, your fuel mileage would be less. If that is indeed the case, you may want to take that into consideration when analyzing your MPG numbers. DEWFPO (7,200 ft)
I'd take a couple of tanks with a grain of salt before I started to assume that that was happening. If long term records are kept across the 10,000 miles, that is generally the trend that comes across. I had 6 years worth of data on my '97 F150 until a hard drive crash wiped it out. [Frown] It showed the slow trend upwards then a nice leveling off, with a slight fluctuation depending on the season. The worst year mileage wise was the 1st - came out at about 15.5mpg. Every year after that was somewhere between 16.7 and 17.5 mpg. I put on about 25,000 miles a year when i got the truck, and that has since slowed down. I used to live in Colorado and noted some of best mileage numbers ever on my car in Wyoming on I-80 - generally all above 4,000 feet or so cruising at 70 mph. Mountain pass driving always tended to kill my mileage otherwise!
DEWFPO, no. Those altitudes were passes that I crossed on the trip that I described. Gopher, I'm not jumping to conclusions. But--these mpg numbers are the best I've seen yet. I only have 4400 miles on the truck. I do figure the mileage with each fill. Back on topic: three fills of dino oil, with the longest interval of those three = 1700 miles. How will those oil fills affect the quality/lubricity/longevity of the current fill of synthetic oil.
What year is your F150? I assume it is still relatively new and under factory warranty. I would not exceed Ford's maximum change interval of 5000 miles until your warranty expires. -Joe [ February 18, 2003, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: joee12 ]
The Service interval on Ford Trucks is 3,000 miles severe duty, 5,000 miles on the regular service schedule. 5,000 mile changes until the warranty goes out, then think about extending from there. These engines are pretty well known to be "tight" from the factory - Ford truck owners note that fuel mileage tends to increase nicely and then level off somewhere around 10,000 miles or so. The Lightning guys start to see the best performance numbers after about the same number of miles. I wouldn't be surprised to see some numbers still pretty high in an early sample.
When I got my new car, I switched to a full synthetic at 688 miles. I won't need to change it again for several years. Modern car engines don't require the break-in period they once did. Ford doesn't even have a break-in oil in their cars when they roll off the line. They have the oil that the factory recommends for the life of the car. Modern emissions requirements have made it necessary to build engines to closer tolerances than before. They don't have the asperities that had to be worn away before the rings started to seal properly. Going to a full synthetic (SynLube in my case) early merely protects those close tolerances that were part of the cost of the vehicle. On my previous car, a Ford Focus, I changed rather late, at 1271 miles. Over the next 18,000+ miles at which point I traded it in on a car with a more powerful engine, it had used just 9.5 ounces of lubricant. This was a approximately 62K miles per quart. I got nearly full trade-in value for the car because they were impressed with how well the car ran. [ May 14, 2003, 11:15 AM: Message edited by: BOBISTHEOILGUY ]
Houckster, Toyota's official policy about synthetics, as is currently stated on the Toyota website is: "If you decide to use synthetic oil for the engine, it is best not to switch until the first scheduled oil change [5000 -7500 miles]." Also, Toyota's break in instructions are the same today as they were 16 years ago; i.e. limit speed to 55 mph, moderate engine speeds only, vary speeds, no full throttle starts, no trailering etc. for the first 1000 miles. So the old rules (1000 mile break in schedule plus no synthetic oil until after breakin) still applies to some makes of cars with good reputations for reliability and durability.
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