Pennzoil synthetics...

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May 9, 2003
Fayetteville, NC
I've started using synthetic oil for the 1st time in my 1997 T-bird(4.6L v8) at 80,000 miles. I've chosen Pennzoil full synthetic 10w-30. some say this is a bad oil? is this true? if it is, why is it bad? Is Castrol syntec better? doesn't it have higher ash content? Pls. help me with this. Thanks.
Neither Pennzoil or Syntec are true synthetics. They are referred to as Group III. Mobil 1 is really the only over the counter "Synthetic" It is referred to as Group IV. With the Pennzoil et. all you are paying for synthetic and gettting hosed. IMHO. Don't worry about "ash" its really a meaningless number. [ May 30, 2003, 09:40 PM: Message edited by: Al ]
I agree with Al. With the Pennzoil you are probably paying about the same as you would for Mobil 1 but you are not getting the same quality. Mobil 1 is the most easily available true synthetic motor oil. This does not mean that Pennzoil Synthetic oil is bad but you are not getting what you paid for. The Pennzoil Synthetic oil may well be a little better then your typical "dino" oil but for four of five dollars a quart why not get the real thing? The specs for the different grades of Pennzoil Synthetic oil look good on paper. I called the Pennzoil tech line a while back and asked if the Pennzoil 5w-50 had the ACEA A3/B3 rating and they said that it was not listed on the tech sheet. Any true Synthetic motor oil should in my opinion be able to meet the much stricter European stay in grade specs of ACEA A3/B3 for high viscosity motor oils or ACEA A5/B5 for stay in grade low viscosity motor oils. The "A" is for gasoline engines and the "B" is for diesels. Even the Castrol Syntec that everyone seems to love to hate manages to meet the ACEA specs of A3/B3-98 for the 5w-50. Since the definition of synthetic oil has been changed I would have to say that the gruop III Pennzoil is a synthetic oil but it is clearly not the best synthetic motor oil that you can buy. If you are a fan of Pennzoil and want to purchase their products you might consider the Pennzoil European formulation 5w-40. It is made up of about 30% PAO (gruop IV) and the rest goup III. It also meets the tough European specs of ACEA A3/B3 and B4. This should be a very robust motor oil but it is very hard to find. I have only seen it in one auto parts store and that was in Jacksonville, FL. [ May 30, 2003, 11:14 PM: Message edited by: Sin City ]
'bird, Back to your question, no, those are not bad oils; they're good oils. As already said, not good enough to justify their price. If you're willing to mail-order, contact Mills Outdoor at the phone number at the top of this page and get Schaeffer synthetic blend oil. It's better oil for less money. Ken
The only true synthetic that you can be at retail stores is Mobil 1. THe other Pennzoil,Castrol,Shell, Havoline,Texaco.... are all group III conventional oil. They are useing a market trick to call the oil synthetic. THey claim that becasue they have to refine or synthetise the oil from it's crude form that they can call it synthetic. You are paying $4.79 a quart for conventional oil that has been refined a little more then regular refinde crude oil. They are a good product compared to regular refined group II and group I base stocks but they are stealing from you. If you want to be able to buy your oil retail then stick to Mobil-1 you can buy it at Walmart and Kmart in addition to any parts store. By law any crude oil that has been refined can be called synthetic (to mean synthesised) even if it is not a truley man made product with group IV and V base stocks. You end up paying double what a group III oil is worth and only get 75% of the benifits of a true synthetic and the oil companys make huge profits. Sorry for the ranting. Good luck!
From memory only--- but I thought Chevron's Havoline (and I assume Chevron) was a Group IV, and for sale at Advance Auto Parts at a lower price than M1. This is from perusing oils on the shelf, and I'm walking out the door and don't have time to check it out right now, but remember being surprised by what I saw (or misinterpreted) on the label. [Confused]
Chevron synthetic MSDS says it can be made of Group IV -OR- Group III (or a mixture thereof). Care to guess which one is really in there? I know what my guess would be! Can't comment on the Texaco Havoline product - don't know! As stated before, the oil is good, just not worth the price being charged for it. If it were priced around the $2-$3 a quart price, then I would consider them to be a decent by. Some of the syn blends fall into this category, based on the data on the MSDS sheets. Many of them are group I or II and group III blends instead of being mixed with PAO.
Marketting trick or otherwise, they are all Synthetics. Why? Because the API says they are, not becuase we don't think so. That said, I will again state that I don't think Mobil 1 is the best. If it was so good, why did they need to change it? What is SuperSyn? Why was it needed? Mobil 1 was already the best, no? What I'm trying to say, is Mobil 1 is only as good as it needs to be. It is a PAO, but this isn't everything. As Bob has taught us, the addative package is as important, if not more important than simply looking at the base oil.
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