is synthetic really worth it in my case?

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556
Location
Michigan
ok guys, ive got a honda civic ex 2002 5 speed that calls for 5w20. From hearing the discussions on this board btw dino and synthetic, i have to wonder is it really worth it? I mean, in my manual, it states severe changes at 5000 mi/6 months and normal changes at 10000 or 1 year. Being that im changing the oil out in 2 weeks when i have about 5200 mi on it, im going to be either using the 5w20 drive clean or castrol gtx 5w20 and using a bosch oil filter. I calculated it out, and i can change the oil and filter three times and it would still be lower than getting synthetic oil and changing that twice in a year.(its like 39 for 3 dino changes and filter and 44 for synthetic and filter changes). I just want an honest opinion on synthetics and if they are really worth it. 60% of my driving is highway, and im not in stop and go that much, but i do want the best protection possible, best gas mileage, and no engine sludge.
 
Messages
3,693
Location
Chattanooga, TN
I don't think from a cost perspective you will get the scale to be in favor of synthetic, however, with 60% highway and the hassle of getting an oil change done (yourself or the time to bring it in) the use of synthetic should be able to get you 10,000 miles between changes and free up your time. So what is more important to you, free time or one aditional oil change. Let's face it, changing the oil yourself or having someone else do it is a hassle, it is time consuming. If you feel compelled to change every 5000 stay with the petroleum.
 

HOndaGuy

Thread starter
Messages
556
Location
Michigan
is it safe to run synthetic to 10,000 mi? ill be using 0w20 mobil 1 for a synthetic, im just wondering if it can actually hold up that long?
 
Messages
403
Location
California
I agree cost is hard to justify comparing synthetic to dino. If changing is no hassle to you, then go with dino and more frequent changes. The Schaeffers oil has shown some good extended drain numbers and costs about 40% less than Mobil 1. I wouldn't run 0w20 for extended drains without testing. Even 5w30 (M1) is questionable for these drains (10,000 miles).
 
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951
Location
Loveland, Colorado
My opinion (based on what I've learned): It's not just a cost thing, it's a protection thing. I feel I get better protection from M1 syn after 10k miles than I could get from any OTC dino oil after 1k-2k miles, & WAY more protection than dino after 5k. The $5 more a year would be more than offset by the fact that you're saving the time, hassle & waste of the extra oil changes. I'm using 10k mile intervals on M1 in two cars, & one of them's a turbo. [ January 03, 2003, 05:22 PM: Message edited by: Greg Netzner ]
 

Al

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19,200
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
I won't beat this drum any harder. But I have little confidence in the 5W-20 especially with a dino oil. If it thins out like dino's can do you could be running a 10 wt oil. I would definitely go with syn and I wouldn't go over 6K (with syn) without an analysis. If I had to use dino-3K oil changes. Strictly an opinion. I certainly could be wrong. For me it doesn't matter-I will not drive a vehicle that requires 20 wt. nor will I use 20 wt.
 

Jay

Messages
1,607
Location
Idaho Falls, ID
I have Honda's K20A3 engine in my 2002 Acura RSX. I did analysis of the factory-fill 5w-20 at 5,000 mi and M1 0w-30 at 7250 mi. They are posted here. The factory-fill oil is good oil and will easily go 5,000mi. The M1 held up well also at 7250 mi. I eventually changed it at about 9400 mi. This was 75% around-town driving. I agree that synthetics don't make much sense if you are determined to change oil at 5,000 mi intervals. But synthetics will pump and crank easier in cold weather which can be a big advantage.
 
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34,044
Location
Southern NJ
Jay, I agree, but Synthetics will keep your engine cleaner and protect better under extreme conditions. What oil is Honda using as there 5w-20?
 
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922
Location
Ontario , Canada
If you decide to use conventional 5w-20 oil I would definitely go with the Castrol 5w-20, they have increased the level of moly in that weight significantly, a good feature when running a thin viscosity such as 5w-20. Personally I think Castrol 5w-20 every 4000 miles if you choose conventional, or Mobil1's new xw-20 weight oil every 7000 miles if you chose synthetic, both would be effective routes to take IMO. The Mobil1 xw-20 weight isn't available up here yet, not sure if is in your area, but worth trying if it is. BTW, I would stick with Honda oil filters where possible. Honda oil is made by several manufacturers depending on where you live, I have heard Penzoil, Mobil, and Petro Canada. The honda refill oil isn't as good as the initial factory oil though in terms of additives. Also many Honda dealers just by bulk oil from any number of local suppliers usually based on lowest cost.
 
Messages
143
Location
San Antonio
HOndaGuy, Here's my vote for synthetic and here's why: Factory drain intervals are much shorter in the States than Europe or the Far East. Your recomended drain intervals are well proven and still conservative. Looking at the price of oil is only the beginning. Look at the protection, the cleanliness, less down-time wanting for the quickielube guys to stop arguing about whether Valvoline or Havoline is a better oil, higher fuel mileage, extended life of the engine, and better performance can be factored in. The synthetic will win every time. And knowing it will allow you to extend the change interval will put even more money in your pocket. I'm using AMSOIL in both of my cars. My wife's Saturn get's an oil change once a year, and has picked up 3mpg since switching from the same weight Mobil 1. My VW diesel has running between 6K and 9K changes. My oil change expenses have been cut in half. And since I'm a dealer, I can deduct the oil and filter changes - saving another 20%. There's no way to beat oil value like that! Andy
 
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