Oil and Engine Life

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I've been on this forum for a few months now and of course ALL THE RAGE is about oil, especially synthetics. Now I know that the claims are you can go further OCI's on synthetics and they protect better and cool better, etc... you get the point. Here's my question, has there been any documented case where an engine seized, blew up, fell apart, or was completely destroyed by using an "inferior" oil? Is there just one case out there where the oil itself can be clearly linked as the major, if not the only, cause for premature engine failure? There's just so much hype about which oils are best, but shouldn't any well made car or engine last long with regular oil changes on conventional oil?
 
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Yeah when the EPA starting putting on EGR and stuff.. Engines turned the oil into a black tarry grease which locked up the motor. Known as the black death. [Mad]
 
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I'm sure that you could buy the cheapest SL rated oil (supertech), change it every 4 months or 4,000 miles and the engine would look and operate fine for as long as you owned the vehicle. I believe that it's the cooling system (or lack there of) that destroy's more engines than oil.
 

Patman

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I don't think too many engines just totally die all at once, unless of course you throw a rod or something, but that usually only happens on high horsepower engines. Most engines die a slow death, they'll just start burning more oil as time goes on. So if you use an oil that isn't protecting as well, this slow death just happens at a lower mileage. But to be honest, most people don't keep their cars long enough to see this happening.
 
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Protection is improtant because it takes FOREVER to pay off a new car or truck. Especially when my truck has 90,000 miles and I still have 2 1/2 years to go on the loan. I want the motor to be good as new when it's paid off at 152,000 so i'm looking for the best protection and the best value. That info is here at BITOG.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Blue636: There's just so much hype about which oils are best, but shouldn't any well made car or engine last long with regular oil changes on conventional oil?
Engines do last fine on conventional oil. Oil failures are usually due to overstretching the oil change interval or a motor design flaws that are hard on an oil. There was a post a few months back on OCI and oil used and mileage. Most of the high mileage cars ie >250k-400k got there on conventional oil. Another major repair (auto trans) typically sends a vehicle to junkyard before an engine related one in my opinion.
 
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I think you've missing one major point about this board, Blue. This is more than just a source of information. Oil is at least a hobby to most here, an obsession to some. The root of most of the discussions you see taking place here (notice I said most, not all) isn't "what oil makes the most logical sense and will give me the best value for my money," it's "what will give me the absolute best protection for my baby" or "I wonder how this new oil will perform" or "I've heard this is good, let's give it a shot." That being said, I totally agree with the others. Most failures are not oil related. Those that are, happen over a long time due to the engine slowly wearing down. A lot of oil burning is actually caused by seals deteriorating, not metal-to-metal wear. I think that if people simply changed their oil on schedule (which is a BIG if), oil-related problems would be rare. If they also maintained their cooling systems properly (which is a MUCH BIGGER if), engine failures as a whole would be very rare. I do believe, however, that having a top-quality oil in your engine (I'm a big Mobil 1 fan) will minimize any deterioration and keep the engine in top form for the car's entire life, even though it might peform acceptably well on a typical oil.
 
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There was recently a 2.3L I4 Mazda 6i engine failure that was directly oil related. If synthetic would have helped...I have no idea. But it couldn't have hurt. They basically ran the stock factory fill for 28,000 miles.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by crossbow: There was recently a 2.3L I4 Mazda 6i engine failure that was directly oil related. If synthetic would have helped...I have no idea. But it couldn't have hurt. They basically ran the stock factory fill for 28,000 miles.
Ah Ha! They were right! That 5W-20 is no good. It just doesn't hold up! [LOL!] [Big Grin] Whimsey
 
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quote:
I worked in a KMart garage going through school. I pulled in a LOF ( a late 80's Dodge IIRC ), put it up, pulled the plug..... [Freak] The vehicle had 23K miles. The girl bought it new, and this was her first oil change. [Bang Head]
You make that sound like such a bad thing. [Big Grin]
 
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Hi Blue, I am surprised none of the people who have posted here have brought this up, I know some of you who posted above are 'Corvette' lovers, anyway... A few years ago (early 90's), the Corvette was filled with Mobil 1 at the factory (made in Kentucky) because there were problems(s) with the camshafts lobes (?) wearing prematurely when the cars were started on cold mornings? Blue asked for actual cases of problems where a synthetic was used in place of a petroleum oil to eliminate engine oil deficiencies. I know the Corvette engines did not blow up but a synthetic oil was put in the engine and I believe an oil spec was required by GM to use the oil in the Corvettes, Mobil 1 fullfilled this spec and I think some (very few) petroleum oils were able to meet the spec GM requested. Someone else may have more details on this incident by in the 90's, and they can elaborate more for us.
 
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Yeah, I'm not so sure about the "lasts a long time" thing with common-sense maintenance. My BMW run on recommended BMW synthetic for the recommended 9-10k mi. intervals definately shows signs of oil-related neglect that I can attest to. [crushedcar] This was before knowing about BITOG... [Cheers!]
 

Kestas

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quote:
Originally posted by Bill: ...A few years ago (early 90's), the Corvette was filled with Mobil 1 at the factory (made in Kentucky) because there were problems(s) with the camshafts lobes (?) wearing prematurely when the cars were started on cold mornings? Blue asked for actual cases of problems where a synthetic was used in place of a petroleum oil to eliminate engine oil deficiencies...
I'd be very suspicious of an engine designed in such a way as to be THAT SENSITIVE to the type of oil that's put in! It reminds me of my days at Chrysler in the early 80's where - for a while - a huge chunk of our work was devoted to the 2.2L camshaft wear problem. The overhead design of the engine made the valvetrain the last part of the engine to get oil after startup, and made the camshaft prone to premature wear. In one worst case testing it took 7 mins for oil to get pressurized for the valvetrain! Warranty data showed this to be essentially a problems with cars in northern climates. One warranty car was from Florida. We figured it must've been a snowbird. I forget what was the final result. I think it was a check valve somewhere between the head and block to keep oil up there for startup.
 

Patman

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With regards to the Corvettes, from what I recall, the problem was with the ZR-1 version introduced for the 1990 model year. That car used the LT5 motor, which had four cams and was a Lotus and GM designed motor, built by Mercury Marine. Under extremely cold conditions they had some camshaft failures in early testing. The regular Corvettes did not get synthetic oil until 1992. This was the first year for the LT1 engine, and GM decided not to use an oil cooler, so that is why they came factory filled with synthetic oil.
 
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I have personally seen many engines that were worn due to inadequate lubrication. But the key here is not that the lubricant failed,, but rather that the drain interval was too long. I bought a 1984 Toyota Supra with the 5MGE engine which was their DOHC in-line 6 cylinder that had the tall cam towers. The cam lobes were AWOL on this thing. The previous owner had receipts for every oil change and she did it per the owners manual but at 100,000 miles it just had too much wear. The manual recommended 10,000 mile drain intervals on 10W-40 oil at the time. She had taken it to a private garage in her neighborhood. There is no doubt in my mind that if Amsoil had been run in this engine at 10,000 mile drain intervals the lobes would still be on the camshafts. The same would hold true for Mobil-1 if they made a 10W-40 viscosity. So I am going to say that yes, the oil was the cause of the failures, regardless of whether it was in service too long or not.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Blue636: I've been on this forum for a few months now and of course ALL THE RAGE is about oil, especially synthetics. Now I know that the claims are you can go further OCI's on synthetics and they protect better and cool better, etc... you get the point. Here's my question, has there been any documented case where an engine seized, blew up, fell apart, or was completely destroyed by using an "inferior" oil? Is there just one case out there where the oil itself can be clearly linked as the major, if not the only, cause for premature engine failure? There's just so much hype about which oils are best, but shouldn't any well made car or engine last long with regular oil changes on conventional oil?
Yep, ask Toyota!!!! Can you sludge. Cary
 

Patman

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quote:
Originally posted by crossbow: There was recently a 2.3L I4 Mazda 6i engine failure that was directly oil related. If synthetic would have helped...I have no idea. But it couldn't have hurt. They basically ran the stock factory fill for 28,000 miles.
Even though it's an oil related failure, it's more like an idiot related failure than anything else, because for anyone to go 28,000 miles on their factory fill of oil has to be missing a few brain cells. The quality of that factory fill oil is not the problem, it's simply that the oil was pushed way beyond it's limits.
 
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I worked in a KMart garage going through school. I pulled in a LOF ( a late 80's Dodge IIRC ), put it up, pulled the plug..... [Freak] The vehicle had 23K miles. The girl bought it new, and this was her first oil change. [Bang Head] Dave
 
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