have SN dino oils closed the gap with synthetics?

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The thread about whether there is still a place for boutique oils like Amsoil got me to thinking about whether the performance standards of SN have in effect substantially closed the gap between dino oils and high end synthetics such as Amsoil and Redline. I'm thinking the top synthetics are probably still better than any dino oil but that the performance difference may not be near as large as it used to be when the synthetics were worlds better. However, I'm really interested in what BITOGers think about that. Opinions anyone?
 
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There is no gap, there is a continuum and there is at least some overlap in performance. The best dinos probably perform better overall than the weakest syns. I might not want to bet a demanding engine on some house brand syn while I'd feel comfortable with M1. SOPUS also makes some very good syns but their specs seem to be in a constant state of flux. Back in the day, brave guys like tig used M1 for what would have been considered ridiculous drain intervals and had good results. Most of the rest of us used dino, which could then easily be found on sale for fifty cents a quart or less. We also had good results, but we were religious about doing 3K drains. The more time I spend here, the less convinced I become that synthetics offer any real advantage over convetionals for most engines as most of us use them. OTOH, someone is always offering a killer deal on synthetics which often makes them the lowest cost option.
 
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Originally Posted By: Jasper8146
The thread about whether there is still a place for boutique oils like Amsoil got me to thinking about whether the performance standards of SN have in effect substantially closed the gap between dino oils and high end synthetics such as Amsoil and Redline. I'm thinking the top synthetics are probably still better than any dino oil but that the performance difference may not be near as large as it used to be when the synthetics were worlds better. However, I'm really interested in what BITOGers think about that. Opinions anyone?
Why do you need opinions? Why not do some research yourself and get back to us on the differences between SN and a Euro spec requirements. I mean its not like the specs are secret - a link to a doc with all the requirements of the certs have been posted on here many times. Of course this means you have to make the assumption that the oil only meets the spec and doesnt exceed but hey, you have to start somewhere. There are very clear performance differnces between the various levels of specs. I doubt the manufactures invented the specs for no reason. How important these specs are to your particular car is another question.
 
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Short answer, yes they are closing in. Not even based on SN rating, but just in general. Conventional oils overall have made great strides over the years. Although synthetics will usually be better than dino oil, the dino stuff is pretty decent. Good enough to run for 5-7k in many applications, and longer still if you know what you're doing. Flow rates are different. A 5W30 conventional and synthetic flow differently at cold temperatures. Longevity depends on the car. Some cars can actually go 10k on conventional while others would need synthetic. All comes down to application and use. I would say if you can get good prices on synthetic ($4 or less per quart for stuff like Mobil 1), it's worth getting over conventional. You're usually doubling or tripling your interval length, and the labor/time you save alone could be worth it. No way I'd pay full price for either though.
 
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Originally Posted By: loyd
I doubt that SN dino oils are as good as the latest synthetics!
From my very basic understanding the API spec is a very low spec, The manufacturer specifications for example the LL-XX, VW, and MB is the ones that require much from the oil manufacturers. Personally i see no use for the API certifications at all anymore here in Europe since most modern cars requires a manufacturer certified oil and the API certification is more or less obsolete.
 
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Originally Posted By: Turk
popcorn Another one of these threads. popcorn
X2. This comes up every other month. Do some research and you'll find the threads.
 
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It all depends on which synthetic and how in tune you are with your car. Some guys can't notice a difference when switching to synthetic. Those guys should just run dino. When I switched to synthetic, there was a very noticeable difference, but I'm highly in tune with my car.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
There is no gap, there is a continuum and there is at least some overlap in performance. The best dinos probably perform better overall than the weakest syns. I might not want to bet a demanding engine on some house brand syn while I'd feel comfortable with M1. SOPUS also makes some very good syns but their specs seem to be in a constant state of flux. Back in the day, brave guys like tig used M1 for what would have been considered ridiculous drain intervals and had good results. Most of the rest of us used dino, which could then easily be found on sale for fifty cents a quart or less. We also had good results, but we were religious about doing 3K drains. The more time I spend here, the less convinced I become that synthetics offer any real advantage over convetionals for most engines as most of us use them. OTOH, someone is always offering a killer deal on synthetics which often makes them the lowest cost option.
50 cents or less per quart of oil is ridiculously cheap. Never seen oil for that cheap, unless it's free because of a promo or something
 
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I run synthetic mainly for the longer OCI's. Also for the winter conditions since I don't change the oil out seasonally. We've owned all our vehicles from new and have maintained them well. Looking in the oil fill tube show the valve train to look almost new, even with 100,000+ miles on them. The OCI's are determined by the type of driving each vehicle does. Whimsey
 
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The fact is the companies are putting the better additive packages in the synthetics with more potent doses of detergents and AW additives so you are paying for good , better, best marketing not just the base oil. Sopus has more than 3 tiers of oil now with the PYB, Pennzoil Gold, PP, and PU. If a company wanted to put the best additive package together with a Group II base they could have a pretty nice oil on their hands, but would still require the proper amount of other base oils to achieve the total pacakge, it would just be primary Group II.
 
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From what I'm learning here I would say SN Dino oils are very good for most applications, and in terms of overall quality, they have improved greatly over the last. decade. My wife's SUV currently is running Conventional, but I'll change it to Synthetic this Fall as we don't have a garage, all the cars stay outside year round, and Winter gets very cold here. My other two vehicles don't get driven a lot, and I run Synthetics in both. I typically do an OCI on both once a year, which I know is a bit OCD, but it gives me better piece of mind. I'm new to this board and Synthetics. Before coming here I was of the Conventional oil, changed every 3 months or 3000 miles Club. Honestly, in 35+ years of owning many cars I've never had an oil related failure. I've always payed close attention to vehicle maintenance and frequent (-probably too frequent) oil changes over all those years.
 
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GTMaster303, how old are you? My memory takes in 6 gallons of regular gas for $1 in TN and oil in the $0.50 per quart price range. I remember good antifreeze on sale for about $1/gallon, all in the late 1960's and early 1970's.
 
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Originally Posted By: fdcg27
There is no gap, there is a continuum and there is at least some overlap in performance.
Too true...there are really no pure dinos anymore, and very few "true" synthetics (the way it was meant 20 years ago) available these days...as you say a continuum. And no-one can really tell just how far either end is "better" than the SN/specs. Which is why I agree that looking at OEM specs in addition makes sense if you want the most robust oil that meets SN...e.g. M10W40
 
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Fact One: Most SN Dinos are primarily made of Group II base Oils Fact Two: Most SN Synthetics are primarily made of Group III base Oils Fact Three: The ONLY difference between a Group II and a Group III base oils is the VI minimum for Group III is 120. Conclusion:The ONLY difference between today's typical dino and typical synthetics has to do with keeping the viscosity in the right grade as the temperature changes, and it's inherently better stability due to the improved viscosity performance.
 

JAG

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Originally Posted By: Solarent
Fact One: Most SN Dinos are primarily made of Group II base Oils Fact Two: Most SN Synthetics are primarily made of Group III base Oils Fact Three: The ONLY difference between a Group II and a Group III base oils is the VI minimum for Group III is 120. Conclusion:The ONLY difference between today's typical dino and typical synthetics has to do with keeping the viscosity in the right grade as the temperature changes, and it's inherently better stability due to the improved viscosity performance.
I agree with facts 1 and 2. I agree somewhat with fact 3, except that it does not give credit to the chemical and physical differences between Groups II and III. By that I mean oxidative stability, volatility, and solubility behaviors. Another important thing are the additive differences between oils. Those are very significant. For example, better or more antioxidants and ashless dispersants can help an oil's long drain capability.
 
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Originally Posted By: Boomer
GTMaster303, how old are you? My memory takes in 6 gallons of regular gas for $1 in TN and oil in the $0.50 per quart price range. I remember good antifreeze on sale for about $1/gallon, all in the late 1960's and early 1970's.
Thanks! I'm thinking of the late 'seventies and early 'eighties. Gas was around fifty cents a gallon after the first oil embargo and stayed there until the Shah was kicked out, after which gas went to a buck or so and stayed there for more than a decade, with a brief drop to eighty cents in the late 'nineties, when the Saudis decided to punish all of the OPEC quota cheaters by dumping 15 million barrels a day into the market. I recall oil as low as twenty nine cents in the late 'seventies when Kmart had Citgo on sale. When you bought a case then, you got twenty four fiber can quarts of oil. The last fiber quarts I had were from a case of Shell Fire & Ice 10W-40, which I'd bought from a now defunct discount retailer and which came with an MIR that made the oil dirt cheap. I recall finally using this oil on 3K drains in our newly bought '86 Civic Wagon. That car rarely got anything thinner than a ten forty and was run on dino for the first 90K of its life with us. It spent the next 110K on syns.
 
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Originally Posted By: Dak27
From what I'm learning here I would say SN Dino oils are very good for most applications, and in terms of overall quality, they have improved greatly over the last. decade. My wife's SUV currently is running Conventional, but I'll change it to Synthetic this Fall as we don't have a garage, all the cars stay outside year round, and Winter gets very cold here. My other two vehicles don't get driven a lot, and I run Synthetics in both. I typically do an OCI on both once a year, which I know is a bit OCD, but it gives me better piece of mind. I'm new to this board and Synthetics. Before coming here I was of the Conventional oil, changed every 3 months or 3000 miles Club. Honestly, in 35+ years of owning many cars I've never had an oil related failure. I've always payed close attention to vehicle maintenance and frequent (-probably too frequent) oil changes over all those years.
I'm with you Dak. I've learned through this web site, my own UOAs and hard experience that engine immortality is overrated. Instead of obsessively changing high dollar oil a third of the way through its service life, maybe I should take better care of the cosmetics of the car instead of puzzling over oil brands and types. After all, a well-maintained car receiving very hard use can still last twelve years or so. A more average use would imply 15 years service life. The question is, do you still want to drive something that looks as bad as the average twelve to fifteen year old car? Besides, what is most likely to strand you? Obviously electrical, starting with the battery. Next comes hoses and belts. "Engine blowing up" is way down on the list. The percentage play is to very conscientious with the oil changes but to really stay on top of those other things that are so easy to neglect. So I took the Ford down to have its oil changed this year, at about the 7K mark instead of the 5K mark. I had them change out the differential oil. OK, so I'm 130,000 miles early. Next year I'll get the transmission done.
 
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