Going synthetic, Opinoins on my game plan?

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57
Location
Leesburg, IN
Heya, first post here. I've been lurking for a while and I think its time for me to make a change (hopefully for the better) on how I care for my vehicles. But I am still very new this aspsect of automobile care, I'm just a guy who has been hands off for my whole life untill now, when I've decided I want to have a more hands on approch to my vehicle care, Here is my game plan. I live in a temperate climate, Northern Indiana. we have HOT summers and COLD winters. (100F summertime, 0F wintertime for every bit of two months each) I have two vehicles: 93'Toyota Pickup (31" tires, 2" susp lift) 3.0 V6 4WD. 5 speed, 100K miles (recently purchased. I dont know its history, oil was a little "worn" though when purchased,Has been changed 2X now in less then 1000Mi and seems to have cleared up a bit) 98'Saturn SC2 Coupe 1.9 4cyl DOHC Automatic 70k Miles (purchased 3 years ago used, I've maintianed nearly text book change intervals at local oil change places) I'm not certain if the Toyota is burning any oil. the saturn Is burning none (at least not a measureable amount) This tells me that it should be running fairly smoothly without too much wear correct? I should also note that both vehicles see a fair amount of stop and go driving, the truck being the worst by far. Both vehicles have been running on Dino there entire life (that I can tell) I know this isnt a bad thing if kept up on maintience. But I want to take this to the next step and start with a clean slate. My objective is to change the oil+filter Again on both vehicles in the next 2 weeks or so. I will use cheap supertech dino, with a suptertech filter. At this time I want to use 1 treatment of Auto-RX in each vehical. I'm not sure what interval I should drive for. I'm considering doing a filter change on both around 500Mi then leaving the autoRX in for another 500mi. At this point after both vehicles have gone the 1000mi distance on autoRX I want to switch them to a synthetic oil. (wich one? I havent decided yet. I seem to be able to get Castrol Syntec for a fairly affordable price locally, but I havent done enough research as to wich one suits my needs best, perhaps you can help?) After the switch over I want to closely monitor MPG and keep an eye out for irregular engine sounds/vibrations and leaks. to insure the switch over was good. I also want to document the process by removing my valve covers and taking some pictures befor the AutoRX and after to see if I notice any improvment. Trying to keep this thread from getting too long, does this sound like a decent game plan? I love my vehicles and I want to keep them around for as long as possible! [ March 25, 2003, 11:54 AM: Message edited by: joe4324 ]
 

joe4324

Thread starter
Messages
57
Location
Leesburg, IN
I've notice the Syntec isnt a true synthetic, I'm not 100% set on a synthetic oil. Instead of saying synthetic I should have said "GOOD-long drain" interval oil. I would like to go 6k between drains. that would be once a year on the truck and twice a year on the saturn. This shaffers oil sounds great but I've never seen it forsale locally! doh!
 
Messages
51
Location
Illinois
Long time Saturn owner here. Put 135,000 miles on my base model SL before selling it to my sister. Did all my own maintenance. Still runs, but now uses 1 quart of oil per 1,200 miles. I just can't recommend extended oil drain intervals for Saturns. I liked mine a lot and I don't bash them. But that 1.9 liter engine is just tough on oil. I changed mine at 3,000 miles (+/- 500 mi) its whole life. never did analyses, but that stuff came out BLACK every time. Speculation here and many places is that the cavity between the compression rings and oil control rings does not make adequte provision for oil drain back to the crank case. Thus, this oil is trapped in one of the hottest places in the engine, unable to circulate to a cooler place. Eventually, this area can coke up and make the rings stick. If money is no object, sure use M1 5w30 or 10w30 and change it every 3k miles. If it's my money, I say use a decent dino oil (Penzoil for me, 10w30 after I hit 100k miles) and a good basic filter (Walmart Supertech) and change at 3,000 miles. Regardless of oil type, I wouldn't extend the drain interval on a 1.9l Saturn. The new 2.2 Ecotec yes. 1.9, no.
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
I'd say your Auto-RX plan is perfect, exactly what I'm doing with my new 94 Corolla with 70K. First treatment with fresh oil and filter for 500 miles, then change only the filter, and go another 500 miles. Then oil and filter change to whatever your going to use for regular oil change intervals. With higher milege cars that don't get all that much use, I just don't see the advantage of coughing up and extra $2.50 for synthetic/quart when a good dino will do the job just as well at 3,000 mile drains. If your set on synthetic, for sure go with mobil 1 10w-30, which will safely go 4,000-5,000 mile intervals. [ March 25, 2003, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: Drew99GT ]
 

Al

Messages
19,154
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by joe4324: I should have said "GOOD-long drain" interval oil. I would like to go 6k between drains.
In the reports we have seen and over at the Maxima.org board- Syntech goes no longer than the GTX or Chevron Supreme. Its just not worth $3 more than the Chevron Supreme.
 

Al

Messages
19,154
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Welcome to the b oards. [Welcome!] I have not used the AutoRx but others could help you here. After you make the switch and if you decide to go with synthetic-I would suggest either Mobil 1 or Amsoil. Both of these oils are "true" synthetic oils unlike Syntec which is not. Mobil 1 is the really only "true" over the counter synthetic. If you go with the Mobil 1 you could just go with the 10W-30 Mobil 1 that will work well for both Summer and Winter in your climate. the 10W Mobil appears to hold up better than the 0W or 5W oil. Although this could spawn an argument. [Smile]
 

joe4324

Thread starter
Messages
57
Location
Leesburg, IN
quote:
Originally posted by manualman: Long time Saturn owner here. Put 135,000 miles on my base model SL before selling it to my sister. Did all my own maintenance. Still runs, but now uses 1 quart of oil per 1,200 miles. I just can't recommend extended oil drain intervals for Saturns. I liked mine a lot and I don't bash them. But that 1.9 liter engine is just tough on oil. I changed mine at 3,000 miles (+/- 500 mi) its whole life. never did analyses, but that stuff came out BLACK every time. Speculation here and many places is that the cavity between the compression rings and oil control rings does not make adequte provision for oil drain back to the crank case. Thus, this oil is trapped in one of the hottest places in the engine, unable to circulate to a cooler place. Eventually, this area can coke up and make the rings stick. If money is no object, sure use M1 5w30 or 10w30 and change it every 3k miles. If it's my money, I say use a decent dino oil (Penzoil for me, 10w30 after I hit 100k miles) and a good basic filter (Walmart Supertech) and change at 3,000 miles. Regardless of oil type, I wouldn't extend the drain interval on a 1.9l Saturn. The new 2.2 Ecotec yes. 1.9, no.
Heya, On your SL, at what point was it burning oil? or turning it black I should say? I'm right around 70k now and I was around 3300 miles since my last drain and my oil looked "almost" brandnew. just a HINT (and I mean hint) of cloudiness. At 70,000 was your engine doing this as well? if so I'm scared!
 
Messages
51
Location
Illinois
First off, don't be scared. This type of oil usage is pretty benign. It doesn't affect compression, doesn't measurably hurt emissions or cat life. In short, it's a $12 / year problem. Many folks at Saturnfans.com report exceeding 200,000 miles on original engine components. As for me, my oil has always seemd pretty foul by 3,000 miles or so. Oil usage was about 0.5 quart / 3,000 miles for most of its life. Between about 100k and 115k it moved up to its current rate and then stabilized. Seems consistant with the reported ring problem I have heard from several sources. I can check and top off oil about as fast as the gas pump can fill my tank. No biggie.
 

joe4324

Thread starter
Messages
57
Location
Leesburg, IN
Its for me though, I always assume a large amount of oil being burned as a sign of a dying engine, or at least one that has severe problems. But I understand that burning oil is just simply part of the process and some engines do it more then others. I dont have a track record for the toyota yet. I checked it when it was hot yesterday and it looked like it might be a bit low. I wont really know though untill I let it sit over night and check it again. I'm scared to see it being a "bit" low. the saturn I know burns VERY, little if its even measureable. I've tried to take good care of her for the last 50,000 miles ive owned it I'm going to to shatter that 200,000k mark with this car. so I'm interesting in taking as good of care of it as I can. (hence the autorx)
 
Messages
51
Location
Illinois
Wow, that's ambitious for any car. Before you go extended drain, I'd do some analyses at 3,000 to see what shape the oil is in. But you'll have to watch more than oil to get that kind of mileage. If it's an automatic (blech), change the fluid and filter every 30,000 miles. Bleed your brake fluid clean every two years max. Drain and flush your coolant every 36,000 miles (even if it's DexCool. I don't believe DexCool lasts as long as they say) Inspect your power steering pump occasionally to see if it is dripping on the alternator beneath (bad). Replace the fuel filter about every 30,000 miles. Regular spark plugs about 36k (Don't forget to blow the junk out of the well before pulling the plug). Finally, check out 6thplanetusedparts.com Online saturn only junkyard. You'll surely need new seats before you hit 200k miles! Great tech help and advice at Saturnfans.com. Pay particular attention to advice from ssicarman and wolfman.
 
Messages
51
Location
Illinois
Oh yeah, PCV. OEM works better than the knock offs and is really cheap. I too have heard good things about techron, but have also heard that it might be best to do it on the last tank before your oil change. Yeah, do the trans fluid ASAP. You'll love it. On a Saturn, it's just like an oil change; drain plug and spin-off filter. Neglected ones develop bad valve bodies. $$$
 

joe4324

Thread starter
Messages
57
Location
Leesburg, IN
new seats? ha! I didnt even think of that! [Razz] yeah, 200k is a fair off there goal, especially since it will take me quite some time to get that far, although with my wife taking the car back and forth to school its been adding up the last 2 years. and wont be slowing for another 2 possibly 3. I never thought about bleeding the brake fluid, I had my rad flushed/filled in the fall. tranny has not been serviced yet. (fluid looks good, but thats not an excuse!) Its been on the agenda for quite some time but it NEEDS done soon. (this spring!) I did the plugs around 55k. I do need to redo the fuel filter as well but I hope its still in OK shape as I have done a few treatments of Cheveron with Techron, (I hear this is one of the few fuel additives that works well? what do you say?) PCV looks good took still clicks with you shake it! seats.... thats hilarious I never thought of that! [Razz]
 
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