Question For BillGXE Regarding Oil Analysis Spredsheet Data....

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Aug 4, 2002
Ontario , Canada
This question goes out to BillGXE regarding his Oil Analysis Spreadsheet, but anyone familiar with his spreadsheet feel welcome to joing in. I just want to ask if BillGXE (or anyone else) has come to any firm conclusions from the data that has been collected on his spreadsheet. I find the information very informative, and thank BillGXE for making it available. Personally I think the data indicates that most brand name conventional oils perform as good as any of the more expensive synthetic oils during normal 3000 mile intervals. I've been one of these guys using Castrol GTX and Castrol Syntec Blend in recent years, and I have read a lot of the negative posts on Castrol oils. But looking at your data, Castrol holds up as well and even better than some of the more "ultra expensive" synthetic oils. I know people will say you can't compare different vehicles under different driving conditions , etc, etc......, but it looks to me like your data is pretty conclusive. I welcome any opinions that you may wish to share. Thanks again. [Cheers!]
I agree, that most of the "dino" oils are looking good and with the SL rating they have to be pretty good anyway. I think if you want to nit-pick Havoline, Castrol, Pennzoil, and Chevron have slightly better numbers than QS, Mobil etc. but we're splitting hairs here. I believe if you follow a reasonable change interval, and use decent filters, "dino" oil is more than adequate, and is more cost effective than synthetic. So far, from what I see most synthetic is either, a) overkill or b) marketing hype for higher profits. I'm not saying it's not good, or in some cases better, but I'm beginning to believe it's more than what's needed in most circumstances. My 2 cents.
Yes I am of the same opinion. I'm not trying to spark a debate on synthetic vs. non-synthetic, as it is clear that synthetic oils are superior in the way they are designed/manufactured. I am just trying to verify a gut feeling that I've had for a long time which is that some of the non-synthetic oils really do perform well. I've also felt that Castrol motor oils are actually pretty good performers despite people not liking their marketing approach. Ive read many comments stating that Castrol doesn't produce their own oil (no plants in US ?), and that Castrol is just a big marketing machine. From what I can see they must employ someone that knows something about motor oil because their oil does perform well in most samples I've seen. I guess there has been some criticism of their Syntec synthetic oil, but I think their conventional oils work quite well.
JSIR, IMO, I have watched this and the gtx appears to be a better oil than their syntec. I myself, find that in most cases, a good blend or dino will provide more than enough protection than a full synth, but there are exceptions. What you'll notice in a lot of cases, a vast amount of full synth's wear #'s don't appear to be much better if any than some favorite dino or blends. where you normally see the difference the base oil for the synth is designed to last longer, therfore giving a longer drain interval as an option. This is the primary thing I have noticed, but many insist that the synth base oil is protecting better but look and see how the numbers show it. This is why we have the oil analysis, to demonstrate how each work, many may not be valid due to added additives, or a car may not have a good ignition system or poor rings therefore causing higher NOX and putting more strain on the oil, but in general, you'll see the trend to show, good and acceptable wear numbers for general drains, but where the syn's are suppose to shine is in extending oil drains. Funny thing though, the newer gII's are holding their own quite well against a full synth in extending the drains.
Thanks Bob for the explaination. I read everything in this forum and you seem to have an objective voice in all this stuff. I do read the analyses too and agree with your conclusions. I also feel that JSIR is correct about the hoopla surrounding Castrol's oils. Their "dino" oil is probably one of the best. I'm not upset at the advertising of Syntec as being a full syn, as they did in the beginning. I work for GE, remember the light bulb advertising debacle, a couple of years ago. The lights are very good, it's the advertising department that had some dim bulbs (and no I don't work in lighting). Companies get carried away with advertising, evidently they think we're pretty gullable. Everyone who reads this forum should take into consideration the intended use of their car and the climate. If I lived in, for instance, Arizona, I'd probably use syn for it's better handling of hidh temps. In a more moderate climate, "dino" is fine. And, everyone should read the oil analysis section and get some idea of what the oil you choose is doing for others, and have your own analysed. It's your car and your money. Choose wisely grasshopper.
I beleive Castrol in the US has good product, just no standards outside the U.S. And I agree with Bob on this. There are excellent oils without going the full synthetic route. We use analysis to try to understand this, but analysis really is most helpful once you use the same oil consistently and can begin to modify your maintenance based on analysis. I have customers that started out a year ago playing with different brands to get away from the cheap stuff they were using and changing at 200 hours. Once we got them to a good SJ/CH-4 Group I, we were able to eliminate oil problems and go after the injectors, cooling systems, oil change procedures, oil handling procedures, etc. After about 100 samples, we have an excellent maintenance program and the batch of samples that came back yesterday were all excellent results at over 400 hours. Fixed shear problems in 4 engines and oxidation problems in 4 engines with Delo 400 (group II+). The rest (174 engines) are happy with Group I SJ/CH-4 (now SL/CI-4, although that brand is changing over to Group II now.
On the SL Dino oil below group III it appears Pennzoil and Castrol has the edge in that they have moly in the formula for that reason alone. Is it enough to make a difference? I don't know but they only start out with approximatley 1/3 of what the Schaeffers does in amounts of Moly. A couple of oils available are group I + @ 88percent saturation when a group II starts a@ 90 percent I would think a "good" group I formulation would do a fine job still at moderate intervals,,the NOAK and rest to meet the GF3/SL might be a different story
Originally posted by BC: I work for GE, remember the light bulb advertising debacle, a couple of years ago.
I don't remember it. Can you provide a refresher? Thanks...
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