New Car Oil Question

Messages
12
Location
WV
I just bought an 09 Jeep Liberty with the 3.7L V6. The oil it calls for is 5w-20. The car has 1030 miles on it and I am going to change out the oil. My question is what should I change the oil to? I want to change to synthetic but didn't know if I should wait a little longer or not. My oil choices for synthetic are Pennzoil Platinum or Valvoline Syntec. I don't know which oil would be best for our driving. A mix between frequent short trips (very short trips in stop and go traffic) and longer drives. What are you guys suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 

outsiderwv

Thread starter
Messages
12
Location
WV
Also what type of oil filter should be used in conjunction with this oil? I have heard K&N or Mobil 1 filters are good. Not sure what else.
 
Messages
75
Location
Tennessee
Funny I just purchased a 09 Liberty 3.7L also. Plan on going 3,000 before changing to Napa Synthetic 5W-20. The oil filters are not as plentiful. No Pure One available. Frams and SuperTech at Wal-Mart and Purolator at AA. There is a Wix available but the nearest was in Louisiana.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Messages
8,459
Location
Indianapolis, IN
A more important question than "when" to switch to synthetic, is "why" to switch to synthetic. You're newly registered here; have you lurked for long? You will find many opinions differing on the usefulness of synthetic fluids in "moderate" applications. I'll present mine. I am not a fan of using "synthetic" for the sake of the name of the fluid. Synthetic fluids are awesome, but they do have limitations, if you can accept a broad definition of what is "better" or "best". Synthetic fluids do protect your engine at extreme temperatures, but they really, truly have to be "extreme". Your location in WV probably does not call for such capabilities. Synthetics also have an advantage of providing longer drain intervals. This is a distinct advantage over "dino" fluids. You can often get 2x or more distance out of a synthetic fluid, as compared to a conventional oil. However, if you are not able (or willing) to extend your drain intervals, then synthetics make little sense in many applications. People often want to do the "best" for their vehicle, but some amount of common sense has to presented. If a synthetic fluid costs 2x as much money, do you get 2x the value out of the fluid? Do you get 2x the "advantage" with the synthetic? In your area, there is no need for synthetics temperature wise. So if you can't significantly extend your drain interval, then there is not much logic in spending the extra money for the priviledge of using a "better" fluid. Check out the UOA section forums. Try to find (roughly) comparable examples of dino and synthetic fluids in similar applications. Synthetics run for the same moderate exposure (say 5k miles for an OCI) surely don't show 2x or 3x the wear metal reduction, overall. Where's the sense in paying 2x or 3x the money for a quart of oil if you're still going to change it out at 3k, 5k, 6k miles? Today's conventional oils have some great capabilities. Most of the major brands can easily do 5k mile OCIs. You can really get your money's worth, and still protect your brand new vehicle very well, by choosing a quality conventional fluid. The same concept can be said for filtration. 5k mile OCIs don't call for "super premium" filtration. All the major brands offer good quality filtration for moderate exposure. Many people (including myself) steer away from the orange can (Fram) due to constrution issues; but to be fair, the fear of failure is likely greater than the actual incidence of failure. Still, for such a low investment, there are better constructed filters available from other sources. Premium Plus, Wix, Napa, Motorcraft, etc, all offer good filters for moderate investments for 5k mile OCIs; many can go even further. If you wanted to pair up synthetic fluids with a Pure One, a Mobil 1, (or other top-end filter) to greatly extend your OCI, then that plan would make sense. But many people simply cannot resist the "call of the wrench", and end up changing out premium products long before their time is due. If you negate the advantage of longer drain intervals, then there is little rationale to running a synthetic fluid with a high end filter. Many people would also argue that they want the "best" for their vehicle, regardless of cost. OK, as long as you can acknowledge the inherent waste in that scenario, then fine. But another thing to consider is just how long will you own this vehicle? It is HIGHLY likely you'll either sell, trade, or crash the vehicle long before it would be worn out. Today's vehicles are so well made that even "normal" maintenance can make them go 200+K miles, and often more. Seriously, are you going to own it long enough to make that "best at all costs" approach worthwhile? Be honest with yourself; it likely won't happen. If anything, your use of synthetics is helping the 2nd or 3rd owner down the road; not you. And if you trade the vehicle in, precious few dealers could not give a rat's *** if you used synthetic this and super-filter that. They will base your trade value on mileage and appearance. It will either be a newer trade-in, and the use of synthetics will have no obvious advantage, or it will be very old, and the mileage/appearance will overwhelm any perceived internal engine cleanliness or "smooth running" comments you might make. It really comes down to the issue of "wants" and "needs". If you want to run synthetic fluids, then do it by all means. But your vehicle does not "need" it for safe, proper, long-lived operation. Synthetic fluids are great, when "used as directed". They offer greater drain intervals, thereby making this a fiscal choice. So, will this be a logical or emotional choice for you? It's OK to be emotional because after all, a new vehicle is a joy to own; just recognize and admit it, if so. Too many people on this site try to convince others that synthetics are the salvation to an otherwise condemned lubricant world; nothing could be further from the truth. Proper maintenance methodology preserves the life of equipment, not wonder-fluids.
 
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Messages
6,917
Location
NH
 Originally Posted By: outsiderwv
I just bought an 09 Jeep Liberty with the 3.7L V6. The oil it calls for is 5w-20. The car has 1030 miles on it and I am going to change out the oil. My question is what should I change the oil to? I want to change to synthetic but didn't know if I should wait a little longer or not. My oil choices for synthetic are Pennzoil Platinum or Valvoline Syntec. I don't know which oil would be best for our driving. A mix between frequent short trips (very short trips in stop and go traffic) and longer drives. What are you guys suggestions? Thanks in advance.
1 - You can change to synthetic any time you want. There is no break in period needed. Engines will break in on synthetic just fine if it is used from day one at engine assembly. So use it whenever you wish to. 2 - Stick with the mfg's oil spec of 5W-20. Also, keep your OCI's to the max allowed in the owner's manual( page 414 )which is 6 months/6,000 miles. Make sure the oil has the API Starburst and meets exceeds Chrysler MS6395( both PP and VVL Synpower are good to go in that regard ). I would not follow your Oil Life Monitor( OLM )unless it goes longer than 2500 miles before tripping. The OLM in my 08 Ram trips every 2500 so far and it is way too early even for cheap dino oil and I run premium synthetic. I do my OC's every 5K to split the difference between the OLM and the max mileage allowed in the manual. You can go up to 6/6000 and be just fine warranty and oil life wise so just reset that OLM( proceedure is in the manual )if it trips early on you. You want to preserve that Lifetime Powertrain Warranty so stick to the manual guidelines and you are good. 3 - Penzoil Platinum or Valvoline Synpower are a couple of very good choices. \:\! 2 others to consider, that meet all of your oil requirements from Chrysler/Jeep, would be Quaker State Ultimate Durability( renamed Horsepower oil )and Kendall GT1 full synthetic( or 76 Lubricants full synthetic - same stuff in a different bottle ). Both are affordable and available most places nationally. NOTE: FYI - Castrol makes Syntec. Did you mean Castrol? It too is a good oil if you did but I like the others you mention and I mention better. 4 - For a filter I would suggest you go with something along the lines of a Purolator/Bosch, Wix/Napa Gold, Baldwin, or even a MOPAR filter would be ok. I would avoid cheap filters like Fram like I would avoid the plague! If you want a premium filter to use with synthetic oil I suggest the new Royal Purple filters if you have a PepBoys near you( and if there is one for your application )or a K&N or Mobil 1. The RP will set you back $15 though and the K&N and M1 will set you back anywhere from $10-$13. That may be more than you want to spend. I tend to use the best I can find, so I use the RP filters now( used to use K&N ), because the cost of oil and filters vs what I paid for my vehicles( $40K+/- usually )is just peanuts. NOTE: A few OC's a year worth of premium synthetic oil & filters for me is not a ton of money. A lot by some folks standards but not to me( I don't mean I am wealthy - the exact opposite actually ). What I mean is I drive a $40K vehicle( doubles as my work vehicle and my DD )so a little extra $$$ spent on maintenance to keep it in top running condition is worth it. On an old beater it would be different. I would still run a synthetic but the more affordable brands like PP and the others mentioned here vs the premium synthetics and I would grab a medium grade filter like Bosch or Wix. You will get a lot of replies here( you got a doozy already - no offense meant - ^^^ )stating synthetic is a waste of money period or is a waste for your application. While they are entitled to that view I completely disagree. There are countless benefits to synthetic oil vs conventional oil. When you buy synthetic oils on sale, or at places like Wal-Mart in bulk jugs, you can usually get it for just a few dollars more p/qt than premium conventional oil yet the benefits are tremendous over conventional. For example, you can get 5qts of Kendall GT1 full synthetic plus a filter at PeBoys for $19.99 on sale. That is a great deal. 5qt jugs of PP, QS, VVL, etc... at Wal-Mart run $20 or less. Just not that expensive. I run syntheitc oils a good 97%+ of the time since about 1988 or so. To me the extra benefits far outweigh the cost difference. Good luck with your new ride. Hope it serves you well.
 
Messages
408
Location
Ind
NHHEMI, Couldn't have agreed more. Last time I went to the dealer and I brought my own oil. The service guy says, "Why you use synthetic" And I said "For the price you charge for regular oil 5w20 bottles, "Special oil" according to toyota dealer, I went to walmart and bought that full synthetic for the same price. He said, "Good point"
 
Messages
1,714
Location
CA.
 Originally Posted By: NHHEMI
 Originally Posted By: outsiderwv
I just bought an 09 Jeep Liberty with the 3.7L V6. The oil it calls for is 5w-20. The car has 1030 miles on it and I am going to change out the oil. My question is what should I change the oil to? I want to change to synthetic but didn't know if I should wait a little longer or not. My oil choices for synthetic are Pennzoil Platinum or Valvoline Syntec. I don't know which oil would be best for our driving. A mix between frequent short trips (very short trips in stop and go traffic) and longer drives. What are you guys suggestions? Thanks in advance.
1 - You can change to synthetic any time you want. There is no break in period needed. Engines will break in on synthetic just fine if it is used from day one at engine assembly. So use it whenever you wish to. 2 - Stick with the mfg's oil spec of 5W-20. Also, keep your OCI's to the max allowed in the owner's manual( page 414 )which is 6 months/6,000 miles. Make sure the oil has the API Starburst and meets exceeds Chrysler MS6395( both PP and VVL Synpower are good to go in that regard ). I would not follow your Oil Life Monitor( OLM )unless it goes longer than 2500 miles before tripping. The OLM in my 08 Ram trips every 2500 so far and it is way too early even for cheap dino oil and I run premium synthetic. I do my OC's every 5K to split the difference between the OLM and the max mileage allowed in the manual. You can go up to 6/6000 and be just fine warranty and oil life wise so just reset that OLM( proceedure is in the manual )if it trips early on you. You want to preserve that Lifetime Powertrain Warranty so stick to the manual guidelines and you are good. 3 - Penzoil Platinum or Valvoline Synpower are a couple of very good choices. \:\! 2 others to consider, that meet all of your oil requirements from Chrysler/Jeep, would be Quaker State Ultimate Durability( renamed Horsepower oil )and Kendall GT1 full synthetic( or 76 Lubricants full synthetic - same stuff in a different bottle ). Both are affordable and available most places nationally. NOTE: FYI - Castrol makes Syntec. Did you mean Castrol? It too is a good oil if you did but I like the others you mention and I mention better. 4 - For a filter I would suggest you go with something along the lines of a Purolator/Bosch, Wix/Napa Gold, Baldwin, or even a MOPAR filter would be ok. I would avoid cheap filters like Fram like I would avoid the plague! If you want a premium filter to use with synthetic oil I suggest the new Royal Purple filters if you have a PepBoys near you( and if there is one for your application )or a K&N or Mobil 1. The RP will set you back $15 though and the K&N and M1 will set you back anywhere from $10-$13. That may be more than you want to spend. I tend to use the best I can find, so I use the RP filters now( used to use K&N ), because the cost of oil and filters vs what I paid for my vehicles( $40K+/- usually )is just peanuts. NOTE: A few OC's a year worth of premium synthetic oil & filters for me is not a ton of money. A lot by some folks standards but not to me( I don't mean I am wealthy - the exact opposite actually ). What I mean is I drive a $40K vehicle( doubles as my work vehicle and my DD )so a little extra $$$ spent on maintenance to keep it in top running condition is worth it. On an old beater it would be different. I would still run a synthetic but the more affordable brands like PP and the others mentioned here vs the premium synthetics and I would grab a medium grade filter like Bosch or Wix. You will get a lot of replies here( you got a doozy already - no offense meant - ^^^ )stating synthetic is a waste of money period or is a waste for your application. While they are entitled to that view I completely disagree. There are countless benefits to synthetic oil vs conventional oil. When you buy synthetic oils on sale, or at places like Wal-Mart in bulk jugs, you can usually get it for just a few dollars more p/qt than premium conventional oil yet the benefits are tremendous over conventional. For example, you can get 5qts of Kendall GT1 full synthetic plus a filter at PeBoys for $19.99 on sale. That is a great deal. 5qt jugs of PP, QS, VVL, etc... at Wal-Mart run $20 or less. Just not that expensive. I run syntheitc oils a good 97%+ of the time since about 1988 or so. To me the extra benefits far outweigh the cost difference. Good luck with your new ride. Hope it serves you well.
Nice! \:\! With Walmart selling 5 qt jugs of PP for just over $20 how could you go wrong running synthetic oil?
 
Messages
408
Location
Ind
or Mobil 1 for $22 a jug. Or synpower for $21 a jug. and so on and so on. Yep, not worth it to save 6 or 7 dollers buying a dino.
 

outsiderwv

Thread starter
Messages
12
Location
WV
Thanks for the many replies. I do live in WV so the extreme conditions will not be much of a factor at all. I also change the oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months regardless of use or type of oil (sythetic or dyno) - sometimes it may run to 4,000 (but this is rare). Hopefully this information will help with other suggestions. I also read a couple of questions from informed users asking why I would want to use synthetic over dino. I just assumed (being a new user and reading some posts for a few days) that synthetic is superiorior if you want your engine to last longer, run cleaner and run smoother. I also wanted to switch to synthetic due to our frequent very short trip stop and go traffic situations. I don't know for sure, but I think this is considered extreme driving conditions (frequent short trip driving - less than 4 miles). Is sythetic oil the best for this type of driving or is dino oil ok? I appreciate all of the input guys. Thanks so much and keep em coming.
 
Messages
15,056
Location
Canada
If you plan aon never going over 4k on drains, synthetic is a COMPLETE waste of money. Dino oil, at those intervals (or even a bit longer, up to 5k) will keep your engine clean, and running perfect, for as long as you want. Modern 'dino's', honestly, are so close to synthetics these days that the line is very blurry, and in fact, a 'quality dino' may be better than a 'cheap synthetic' - many here would take the dino!
 
Messages
11,150
Location
Florida, Cape Coral
I think Synthetic is a waste of time & money if you do 3K oil changes. A good quality dino like Pennzoil yellow bottle will show just as good in a UOA as Syn when using such short oil changes. A good dino will easly go 5,000 or even 7,000 miles. JMO Ed
 
Messages
1,611
Location
Pennsylvania
I agree -- sticking with a dino oil for such short OCI would be fine. I change my oil once every 6 months and usually put only 4k or so on the engine in that time period. A dino oil would be fine for me but when I see a 5qt jug of Pennzoil Platinum for $18 and their dino oil for $13, I just don't think twice and pay the 5 extra dollars. I would buy a cheaper syntetic like PP, change your oil once every 6 months (you would be at around 6k right?) and be done with it.
 

dnewton3

Staff member
Messages
8,459
Location
Indianapolis, IN
I'll add to my already long post, by stating this: Those of you who tout synthetics are "better" for all applications, show me the UOA proof, please. The OP is living in a moderate environmnet, and by his own admission he's going to OCI every 3mo/3k miles. So, I challenge anyone to show me statistical proof that a synthetic costing 2x or 3x the money, will glean 2x or 3x less wear metals; 2x or 3x more cleanliness; 2x or 3x "smoother running"; over those 3k miles ... No rhetoric, please. Actual hard data in UOAs using statistical process controls and anaylsis. Not a "once in a lifetime unforseen event"; rather, true daily operation with multiple examples spread over many applications. We're looking to show if spending 2x or 3x the money will result in some tangible improvement (near) equal to the investment. I say it's not probable.
 
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Messages
151
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Synthetics are better because you dont have to worry about it. Yes it costs more but you dont have to worry about it. Look at this scenario..a guy puts in conventional oil in his car and at 5k miles he thinks to himself, "hey, im at 5k miles on my current oil. my oil might have lost some of its life already. gosh, should i change it? hmmmm....well, i think i have had alot of cold and short runs lately cuz i work only 2 miles away. so maybe i should change it." synthetic gives u added peace of mind because it covers all different driving situations because you put the best oil in there. Follow the OLM and that's it. No thinking required. Think about it....why do turbo cars and high performance cars REQUIRE synthetic. Because it protects the engine better under extreme situations. So in your everyday car...for sure it's better...even if the car wont be run under an extreme situation...because it gives u that added "peace of mind" Ask yourself this...what is the #1 reason people wont use synthetic? COST. Eliminate Cost and im about 99.9% sure everyone will use it.
 
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5,466
Location
Buckley, Wa.
If you really insist on changing your synthetic oil at 3k intervals then I would suggest buying the least expensive synthetic like the Walmart brand. But.....and this is only my opinion....I would use a higher quality synthetic like Pennzoil Platinum or similar and go to 5k miles with confidence (and less oil changes). Use a really good filter too like a Purolator or similar.
 

outsiderwv

Thread starter
Messages
12
Location
WV
Thanks for all the input guys. I may decide to go Pennzoil Platinum and go about 5k as people here have mentioned with a good oil filter (Purolator from Autozone? or K&N/Mobil 1). I am just not sure, I have never let a car go 3,000 without an oil change, then again I have never really used synthetic either. Pennzoil Platinum is cheaper than Valvoline Synpower at Wally World here so I may use that. At 3,000 - 5,000 change intervals is there really a better oil for short trip driving conditions?
 
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