Syntec VS. GC Syntec

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1,304
Location
Kankakee, IL
So besides all of the crap about not being a "TRUE" synthetic by your or anyones elses definition, is there any evidence that GroupIII Syntec does not do as well at protecting an engine as the Group IV German stuff or just ill will. The way I see it if you can make a product that is just as good in another form cheaper and sell it for the same price as a competitor and bank the difference then welcome to the american way. I just want proof that is does not. And so far I have not seen much other than a lot of screaming.
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
quote:
Originally posted by ewetho: (...snip...)The way I see it if you can make a product that is just as good in another form cheaper and sell it for the same price as a competitor and bank the difference then welcome to the american way. I just want proof that is does not. And so far I have not seen much other than a lot of screaming.
The "American way" leaves me equally free to decide that I do not appreciate being offered a cheaper-to-produce product for the same price as the costlier-to-make product. For this, and other reasons, my choice is simply to say "pass" (except to GC, of course). The proof you seek is right here, and you can find it using the well-known "SEARCH" button. G-III Syntec does not generally perform poorly, but particularly as to long duration use, it's not up to the standard of the finest G-IV and V oils. Note, for example, how 0w-30 GC is the only Syntec in the line that meets the full range of long life standards (caveat, the Belgian Castrol 5w-40, thought to be a G-III does meet some of them). The "mainstream" Syntec products don't. Here, I'll do a tad of your homework for you: click here. How important this is, of course, is up to the individual user.
 

JAG

Messages
5,320
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
It's good to hear someone questioning the drama. First, it's a myth that non-GC Syntec is all Group 3. Second, it's a myth that non-GC Syntec is all Group 3! The various grades use a varying combination of different basestocks from Groups 3, 4, and 5. The other aspect of oil just as important as basestocks are the additives. Oil companies decide what specs each viscosity grade are going to meet, and then they make a "recipe" such that the grade meets those specs. What makes GC unique is that the specs are some of the most difficult to meet in the industry so they have to come up with a very high quality recipe for GC to meet those specs. That takes top notch basestocks and additives. I believe UOAs have shown that GC has better TBN retention than most or all other Syntecs. It surely should...some of the specs it meets are very long drain specs. UOAs are great for measuring TBN, the life left in the oil. UOAs are not accurate measures of engine wear. The test can only identify wear particles within a certain size range (on the small end of the spectrum). Oil filters will catch the large particles and never end up in the oil sample. Plus there is a lot of variability in the test. There are better suited tests on used oil to detect true wear levels but those are different than the typical UOAs. So be cautious of using typical UOAs to absolutely conclude that oil A reduced wear over oil B. Particle counts add additional information to a typical UOA so that's a step in the right direction but you must have particle counts on the virgin oil to do any kind of analysis on the results.
 
Messages
1,407
Location
Vail, Colorado
Castrol is a frustrating company for me with my enthusiasm for cars and picking the best oil. There seems to be ample evidence that Castrol has people working for them who really know how to make good oils, like GC. Castrol seems to be on top of the manufacturer's specs and makes oil that meets VW's and BMW's approvals , or that is labeled and sold by the manufacturer's dealer network. But the marketing side of Castrol seems even stronger, with all kinds of nonsense ads and claims and buzzwords. Castrol, IMHO, has a heavy reliance on using additives really well to make a cheaper oil perform almost as well as a more expensive oil and selling at the higher price. I would rather know that I'm getting the full benefit of Castrol's ability to work with manufacturers and use the best additives and basestocks to create the best oil for a given engine and pricepoint. Most Castrol Syntec is, IMHO, a mid level oil that performs almost as well as a top level oil but sells at top prices. And that is the problem. When I buy GC I think ' Thanks Castrol for making such a good oil at a reasonable price. GC is good value '. When I look at other Castrol products like GTX, High Mileage, or other Syntec grades... I think: 'I wonder how much I'm overpaying', and that I'd be better served by buying Motorcraft, Troparctic, Valvoline Maxlife, Pennzoil Platinum, Shell Rotella 5W-40 synthetic, Mobil 1, or Redline. When I see Castrol Syntec on the shelf, I think that I can get the same level of oil performace for less, or better oil for the same price or slightly higher..from companies that didn't pull a synthetic switcheroo. GC shows that Castrol can make a cutting edge oil. I presume the same is true of the Transynd synthetic ATF for Allison transmissions, and the European 5W-40 for VW's. With Castrol you really have to be an enthusiast to know which bottle, which label, which date code to buy, because few oil blenders seem to change their oil blends as quickly as Castrol. Mobil 1 has had many versions of Mobil 1 in the last decade, but each change has had a label and name change. And good 'ol Redline was so far ahead of the pack that I suspect that Redline is the same formula now as it was 7 years ago...and it is only now that other brands are beginning to catch up. The fact that Castrol may have good UOA's means little to me, if the oil is overpriced and constantly being reformulated. I can't count on the Castrol brand name alone to give me the best oil and fair value. [ June 15, 2006, 10:32 AM: Message edited by: Thatwouldbegreat ]
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
JAG: I don't think that anyone has represented that Syntec is an all G-III product. It certainly contains other components, but good luck getting Castrol to tell you what. ewetho: As I'm sure you appreciate, our UOA collection contains so many uncontrolled variables that all one can do is draw cautious, tentative conclusions. It had been a while since I looked, but I just did a quick review. Most of the non-GC Syntec use appears to be in the range of 4-7k OCIs, roughly. There are a few shorter and a few longer. Not enough data to draw solid conclusions, but I did note two cases in which G-III Syntec performed relatively poorly when pushed to or over 10k. Notwithstanding how you framed the question, consider this: if you owned a new BMW or Mercedes, and your manual called for one of your brand's Long Life spec oils, would you ignore that and use one of the G-III non-LongLife oils just because you could not discern a pattern in our UOAs? What if you further determined that your car maker had sought a waiver from the FTC so that despite the Moss-Magnuson Act, they can make a warranty claim denial stick if you don't use a specified Long Life oil? My point? I think the lack of Long Life quals in the predominantly G-III Syntec products speaks volumes. Are you listening? [Wink] [Cheers!]
 

JSR

Messages
3
Location
Virginia
Thatwouldbegreat wrote: GC shows that Castrol can make a cutting edge oil. I presume the same is true of the Transynd synthetic ATF for Allison transmissions, and the European 5W-40 for VW's. I visited my local Autozone today. It used to carry GC but now doesn't, or there was none there today anyway. I was interested in the "new" 5W-40 "European" that meets the Volks standard, along with BMW, Porsche, and Mercedes, but it says made in U.S. of American and European stuff. Since I have a turbo (Subaru Forester XT), I'm thinking about giving it a try.
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
j I found zero instances of use of Castrol Syntec 0w-30, pre-GC formula. But that's with only one search on the word "syntec". This generated 12 pages of results, the last five of which were, for unknown reasons, inaccessible. Roughly 60-75% of the results were actual UOAs on non-GC Castrol Syntec, in a smattering of grades. My comments above were based upon this perusal. It seems pretty clear that at least at short-to-moderate OCIs, the G-III Syntec works just fine. With that said, I heartily agree with your ST comparison. If one wants a G-III oil, why pay the premium price when you can get a very similar oil (in formulation snd performance) for half the price right at Wal-Mart?
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
vad: If you're comfortable with a G-III oil, and willing to use one, why not just go with Supertech, or one of the other brands that prices somewhere in between ST and the high-priced options? The only place I'd really take issue with what you said is in the long OCI situation. We've seen plenty of GC and M-1 UOAs in which the oil has done fine, even well above 10k miles. "Regular" Syntec might hold up in some engines, but in any case, we're not seeing it being used that way.
 

vad

Messages
1,856
Location
So Cal
For 10-12K intervals I would rather use Syntec than Supertech. That's the OCI's I usually run. But if ever wanted/needed to go with 5-7K intervals I would choose Supertech or similar, no questions.
 
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3,593
Location
Outside smalltown, IL
I'm not stuck on buying oil because of the group it's made from. But it seems silly to buy a group III oil for $5.50 a quart when you can get good short interval results from Trop Artic or MC blends that only contain some group III and cost around $2 a quart. Heck, I'd rather use those than the Supertech "full synthetic" even if the price was the same. Another example is Rotella T 5W-40. All group III and priced accordingly. A good oil from what we've seen here, but how many would still buy it if it were sitting on the shelf at the same price as Delvac 1? My guess is not many. I don't agree with vad that he M1 base oils are inferior to the group III's or that the additive packs are skimpy either. I might have missed that too, but I don't think we've seen either thing here. EM has an internal cost advantage vs. a company that's just a blender. They make basestocks too so it's quite possible they can build a superior product cheaper than someone who has to buy their raws on the open market. I'm not saying they do, just that it's possible...
 
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1,116
Location
Huntsville, AL
quote:
Originally posted by JAG: First, it's a myth that non-GC Syntec is all Group 3. Second, it's a myth that non-GC Syntec is all Group 3!
Are you Yogi Berra? [Wink]
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
Stepping back for a moment, while this is a valid discussion, IMO, from the perspective of many, it would be hoplessly silly. Just as a contrasting perspective, I spent my late childhood and early teen years believing that the thick, shiny, black stuff inside the oil filler of my parents' Dodge Dart was some sort of grease that naturally belonged there. [Eek!] Both of their Darts (a 68 and a 73) lived long, productive lives despite having sludge packed engines for most of the time. Even the smallest sip of the cheapest G-III would have been like a drink of heavenly manna for either of those engines. I'm afraid that there are plenty of cars on the road today that receive no better care than our Darts did. Owners who use Syntec, M1, or other similar products, and stick to a good, sensible program, for their application, can probably drive their cars pretty nearly forever. All that said, I'm still sticking with GC, thanks. [Cheers!]
 
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1,904
Location
Bay Area, CA
I don't see where anyone has addressed the question of whether Group IV oils are actually better or maybe worse than Group III. I remember some talk that GIII might be better in some respects.
 

JAG

Messages
5,320
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
Here ya go Winston: http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=013369;p=1 It's not that Group 3 is better than PAO in some regards, it's that they are so close in overall performance that it is the additive package that determines the final outcome. That is, a motor oil with slightly weaker basestocks but better additives can be superior in many ways to a motor oil with better basestocks and lesser additives. Here's another good link posted many times on Group 2, 3, and 4 performance. http://www.chevron.com/products/prodserv/BaseOils/docs/npra_paper.pdf I'm not promoting Group 3 love here. [Big Grin] I'm promoting the understanding that you have to consider the basestocks and the additives, not just the basestocks that are often overly focused on. Of course I use only the finest oils myself: GC in the VQ35 engine and Lubromoly 5W-40 along with 500 ml. of Liquimoly "Motor Protect" EP additive in the VW 1.8T engine. [Smile]
 
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9,427
Location
Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
quote:
Originally posted by Winston: I don't see where anyone has addressed the question of whether Group IV oils are actually better or maybe worse than Group III. I remember some talk that GIII might be better in some respects.
Before you can even meaningfully tear into that question, you have to define what you mean by "better" and "worse". Personally, I would hypothesize that for short or medium duration OCIs, under normal street car conditions, almost any SM oils (G-III and even II/II+) will perform almost indistinguishably from the more expensive G-IV and V oils. Taking it a step further, when you increase the "stress" on the oil (defined as you like -- temp, load, rpms, etc), or extend the OCI substantially, then I think you'll see G-IV and V oils separate themselves from their "lesser" siblings.
 
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1,116
Location
Huntsville, AL
If you want to see the price diff. between true syn and grp 3, look at this UK website that sells different brands of oil. Interestingly, Amsoil is same price or cheaper than the rest and it's an import over there. GC on sale for $4.50 is a good deal. Prices in pounds. Castrol SLX 10.17 Castrol 0w-40 10.17 Amsoil 3000 5w-30 9.24 Mobil-1 0w-40 9.24 Motul VW 5w-40 6.66 http://www.opieoils.co.uk/performance_lubricants/
 

JAG

Messages
5,320
Location
Fredericksburg, VA
The Motul LL-01 5W-30 oil is ester-based oil and is the same price as the Motul VW 5W-40 which does indeed have some Group 3. So that only tells us that Motul is well priced at that U.K. store compared to the Castrol, Amsoil, and Mobil.
 
Messages
1,904
Location
Bay Area, CA
quote:
It's not that Group 3 is better than PAO in some regards, it's that they are so close in overall performance that it is the additive package that determines the final outcome.
This statement makes a lot of sense to me, and leads to the following question. Which oil has a better additive package, Castrol or Mobil 1? My vehicle liked the Castrol much better then Mobil 1. Castrol 10W30 UOA
 
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1,407
Location
Vail, Colorado
"Another example is Rotella T 5W-40. All group III and priced accordingly. A good oil from what we've seen here, but how many would still buy it if it were sitting on the shelf at the same price as Delvac 1?" I think that sums it up! If Delvac 1 cost the same as Rotella T 5W-40 I would only use Delvac 1. Rotella group III 'synthetic' 5W-40 is a lot cheaper so I'll use it for some applications. GC costs the same as Mobil 1, so I use GC when appropriate. If Castro Syntec was priced a lot less than PP or M1 then I'd use it. But for the money, Pennzoil Platinum and Mobil 1 offer better value, IMHO.
 
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