Proof "Oil is Oil" - we can rest now

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Jan 18, 2009
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"The testers placed freshly rebuilt engines in 75 New York taxis and then ran them for nearly two years, with each cab racking up 60,000 miles, placing different brands and weights in different cars and changing the oil at 3,000 miles in half the cars and 6,000 in the other half. At the conclusion of the test period, the engines were torn down, measured and inspected. The conclusions: Regardless of brand of oil or weight, no measurable differences could be observed in engine wear. Furthermore, there was no difference among cars which had oil changed at the shorter or longer interval." I was not aware Consumer Reports ever tested motor oil; many of you probably already were, but to me this is a strong case for cheap dino in the average vehicle. I know this will help me some knowing this report exists even though it is older; but hey, oil formulations have even gotten better since '96. I guess the one thing to not would be that the weight did not matter but they were not testing in DOHC 5w20 FF motors, they were Taxis which in '96 would have "probably" been Chevy V8's (which would run on Crisco) ALSO, I might add that in extreme conditions I might argue (such as sub-zero temps, desert towing), but generally speaking, if Taxis were used as test subjects, that is some pretty good evidence... And the other though I had is that 60k might not be near enough miles to show anything. Whereas maybe a plain old dino motor would go 200k & a full-syn motor would go 300k?? maybe that is one point to be considered, but I am still happy to see this report. Valvoline obviously thinks it matters more in the long-term since they step-up their guarantee based on the kind of oil you are choosing in their line up. Wal-Mart SUPER-TECH anyone??? MMMMM LOL
 
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May 30, 2009
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Los Angeles
Does anybody argue that synthetic will have significant wear differences at 3k-6k OCI? Test dino vs synth at 10k OCI with modern product.
 
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Nov 18, 2005
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Burlington, Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: DeeAgeaux
Does anybody argue that synthetic will have significant wear differences at 3k-6k OCI? Test dino vs synth at 10k OCI with modern product.
I agree and dino formulations are getting better all the time. It's only at temperature extremes where the advantages of syn' oils come into play and when you're pushing some lubrication envelope of one sort or another,(i.e.racing).
 
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Apr 5, 2004
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Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
 Originally Posted By: IntegraVT
Ah, but is a thirteen year old comparison report on SH oils still relevant?
NO!!! It's not. I think I'll be asking the UBB folks if there's some sort of "auto-ban" feature we can impose upon anyone who brings up this ultra-stale, and largely meaningless "study" again. . .
 
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ON, Canada eh?
The thread shouldn't say that "oil is oil" IMO, because it isn't there are some that are of superior quality than others. Just because they all meet the same standard SM/GF-4 or ACEA etc. doesn't mean that some of them far exceed the standard(s) and/or do a better job than other oils that just "meet" the standard. Oil companies would have you believe that their oil is "unmatched" compared to the others but from my real world experience tearing down engines for rebuilds or repairs Oil choice can make a huge difference in the total life cycle of that engine! ;\)
 
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Aug 7, 2008
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We can only conclude that there is no discernable difference between BRANDS of equally rated oils. Wow, killer info there, CR!! They sidestep any real conclusions like differences in performance between syth and mineral, esp. in sludge tests which given the conditions, were inadequately tested. Seriously, what bothers me about these kind of tests is that the testers, despite setting-up the study to appear fair, in-depth and well observed, come to such simple "oh that settles it" conclusions. They've already predigested the raw data (and not even disclosed it) and interpreted the results for us, so that the results only appear as a simple unfounded suggestion.
 Quote:
Variations in the buildup of varnish may have been due to differences in operating temperature and not to the oils
Yeah, because NYC's climate varies WILDLY from Manhattan to Queens.......
 Quote:
Some varnish deposits were heavy enough to lead to problems eventually, but no brand consistently produced more varnish than any other.
Brand??? Who cares about brand! What about Synthetics vs minerals - did both varnish "enough to lead to problems eventually"? Let alone, thats OKAY? "Hey CR, how about not deciding what MY standards are, provide me the raw data and let ME conclude whether is temp variation, oil type or the relationship between the two."
 Quote:
All the oils proved excellent at preventing sludge. At least part of the reason may be that sludge is more apt to form during cold startups and short trips, and the cabs were rarely out of service long enough for their engine to get cold.
So your sludge test doesnt represent the average consumer vehicle and can tell them NOTHING about the differences in performance between oil formulations. Not like I think they even cared about the diff. in formulations as they constantly focus on "brand" which is a worthless distinction of a standardized product. Yeah, great... find me one brand of whitebread that nourishes considerably better than the other brand, when I'm looking for a reason why I should spring up the extra coins for Rye baked with natural spring water over the commercial white. I mean, it's not all bad. The "study" serves the purpose it originally set out to do: offer basic guidance to those who are completely ignorant of motor oils. It certainly won't impress us BITOGers.
 
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 Originally Posted By: element_42
. . . So your sludge test doesnt represent the average consumer vehicle and can tell them NOTHING about the differences in performance between oil formulations. Not like I think they even cared about the diff. in formulations as they constantly focus on "brand" which is a worthless distinction of a standardized product. Yeah, great... find me one brand of whitebread that nourishes considerably better than the other brand, when I'm looking for a reason why I should spring up the extra coins for Rye baked with natural spring water over the commercial white. . . . (emphasis added)
I agree that the CR "study" is pretty low on the intellectual nutrition scale. That said, I think you put too much faith in the idea that motor oils are a "standardized product". Sure, they have to meet the standards set, but they do so through notably variable means. First, just look at our VOA database here on BITOG. You will see major differences in the "chemical strategy" of oils that meet the same standards. Second, listen to our member-experts. One example leaps to mind: our retired Pennzoil employee has pointed out how, while both M1 and PP will do the same job well, they use very different add packs to accomplish the same end.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2009
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tennnessee
Have you guys seen the mobil 1 taxi test video? It cracks me up. They pull the mobil 1 motor apart at 16000 miles (or something like that) OCI and it is clean and shiny. Then they pull the dino motor apart all sludged up and nasty. Notice down at the bottom they changed the dino oil at 18000 miles (plus or minus). Huh?, wonder why the dino is like that. Would be a different story at 4 or 5k intervals.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
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Pickering
 Originally Posted By: ekpolk
 Originally Posted By: element_42
. . . So your sludge test doesnt represent the average consumer vehicle and can tell them NOTHING about the differences in performance between oil formulations. Not like I think they even cared about the diff. in formulations as they constantly focus on "brand" which is a worthless distinction of a standardized product. Yeah, great... find me one brand of whitebread that nourishes considerably better than the other brand, when I'm looking for a reason why I should spring up the extra coins for Rye baked with natural spring water over the commercial white. . . . (emphasis added)
I agree that the CR "study" is pretty low on the intellectual nutrition scale. That said, I think you put too much faith in the idea that motor oils are a "standardized product". Sure, they have to meet the standards set, but they do so through notably variable means. First, just look at our VOA database here on BITOG. You will see major differences in the "chemical strategy" of oils that meet the same standards. Second, listen to our member-experts. One example leaps to mind: our retired Pennzoil employee has pointed out how, while both M1 and PP will do the same job well, they use very different add packs to accomplish the same end.
yes Mr Polk, I totally agree with your sentiments. By 'standardized' I just meant "must perform to these minimum standards" which all API oils should theoretically do. I believe that's only as far as CR wants to take it. You and I both know that there is a wide world of varience and each oil has it's own margin of error, some razor thin and some robust enough to almost double an OCI or deal with an overheat.
 
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