Synthetic For Engine Cleaning

Joined
Dec 10, 2014
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MB - Manitoba
I have ran synthetic since 1998. Synthetic does run cleaner but engines still get dirty and get carbon on the rings. I dump in a can of sea foam in my truck whenever i get a bit of piston slap on start up. The sea foam cleans it up and i change the oil. I do this once every two years or so. Engine uses no oil. 210,000 kms on the LS 4.8 now.

Synthetic will clean to some extent but its not going to clean up a dirty or sludged up motor.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
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Iowa
If OP has maintained the specified OCI then in 30k miles I find it hard to believe it’s got any sludge. I’d continue to use to conventional oil as you have been if that’s what’s working.

Just my $0.02
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
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Massachusetts
I have ran synthetic since 1998. Synthetic does run cleaner but engines still get dirty and get carbon on the rings. I dump in a can of sea foam in my truck whenever i get a bit of piston slap on start up. The sea foam cleans it up and i change the oil. I do this once every two years or so. Engine uses no oil. 210,000 kms on the LS 4.8 now.

Synthetic will clean to some extent but its not going to clean up a dirty or sludged up motor.
Seafoam is good stuff. It's a gentle cleaner that won't clog stuff.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
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With one OCI? You agree that Mobil 1 will clean a 'dirty' engine by using it once?
Common sense tells it depends on the amount and type of deposits, I cant see it cleaning a sludge monster in one go but I can tell you the 5w30 ESP cleaned up minor deposits and varnish under the valve cover in one OCI that lasted a year and 5K.
This is what mobil 1 0w40 cleaned in 1 year and one OCI, the piston in the middle is covered by the pickup tube and gets less splash oil than the others but you can see some cleaning going on. Look at the one on the bottom right, the rest all look like this.
The drained oil looked more like ATF than engine oil, dissolved varnish.

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It's not much of a cleaner. A bit of naptha and alcohol. Once the oil gets over 170 f it all flashes off and you are left with the additive free pale oil diluting your oils ad-pack,not unlike Lucas.
Well, my results and the results of countless others show it gets the job done. Not concerned with additive dilution because I only run it right before an oil change.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
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Dallas,Tx USA
Common sense tells it depends on the amount and type of deposits, I cant see it cleaning a sludge monster in one go but I can tell you the 5w30 ESP cleaned up minor deposits and varnish under the valve cover in one OCI that lasted a year and 5K.
This is what mobil 1 0w40 cleaned in 1 year and one OCI, the piston in the middle is covered by the pickup tube and gets less splash oil than the others but you can see some cleaning going on. Look at the one on the bottom right, the rest all look like this.
The drained oil looked more like ATF than engine oil, dissolved varnish.

View attachment 64878
Interesting you mention the color of the drained oil Trav, I experienced the same exact thing on my Accord. Top end was varnished up when I bought it. When I first started using PPHM it would always drain with that red hued atf type color and I always wondered why👍
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2012
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Kendall, FL
I've seen very clean engines that have run nothing but Conventional too. Lot's of variables to consider before blanket statements should be made.

The only bad motor oil is the one that doesn't meet or exceed your cars recommended specs that's consistently run longer than the manuals oci intervals and/or longer than your driving conditions require (severe service).
 

FordMan59

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Feb 6, 2010
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KY, USA
I know there's no sludge in the engine. The main reason for the question was whether it would keep varnish better controlled and possibly help prevent sludge from forming later in life if I did a synthetic OC every 5th or 6th OC. Since every 30K is when I'll be draining/filling and changing the transmission filters I thought if I was going to do anything different for the engine I'd also do it about every 30K. Probably the worst engine I've had for sludge was in my '88 Escort that was driven on dusty construction sites daily for the first 12 years 400K miles of it's life. It ingested lots of dust. Even with the sludge the only problem I ever had was having to pull the oil pan off one time to clean the oil pump pick up screen because my oil pressure gauge was showing low pressure and high consumption (burning and leaking) the last 100K or so miles. After cleaning the pick up screen oil pressure returned to normal and the engine had 518K miles when I retired the car. I'm not going to run an oil flush/cleaner every oil change. I just wondered if there were more/stronger detergents in synthetic than in conventional. At my age and the amount of driving I do now the engine will probably outlast me regardless of what I do. I've got an '02 Ford with about 211K that's always had conventional oil. When looking into the engine from the oil fill cap all I see is a little varnish.
 
Joined
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PA
I'm running approximately 15 year old conventional Citgo Supergard 10w40 in my '16 Versa. It just hit 30K miles and I did a transmission fluid drain/fill/filters. It will be due for an OC in about 1K miles and was wondering if since I have a few jugs of 15 year old 10w30 Pennzoil Platinum in the garage whether the members of the forum thought it would be beneficial to run synthetic oil for one OCI to help clean the engine then go back to the conventional or would you just continue to run the conventional? I know synthetic is supposed to be better oil but I've got probably around 8-10 cases of conventional that needs to be used up so I can't afford to just let it sit and switch to synthetic full time. I've ran conventional 10w40 for 45 years without any issues. Will the synthetic actually do any more cleaning than the conventional? I don't know much about oil technology thus the reason for the question.

How much oil is in 10 cases? Is that 6 qts per case, so 60 qts? So, about 10-15 oil changes worth? Quarterly oil changes would amount to 3-5 years worth of oil changes. Making it ~20 years old when using up the last of it.

I'd ensure it's stored in climate safe environment, and I'd probably test pour every container into a clear jug before adding it to the crank case. Visually inspect for separation and contamination. It should be good for your needs IMO.

I would run short OCIs to use it up within 3-5 years, quarterly or bi-annually or 3k miles or something like that. You might do a synthetic oil change every 3rd change, since the synthetics have such better cleaning power and detergents.
 

FordMan59

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How much oil is in 10 cases? Is that 6 qts per case, so 60 qts? So, about 10-15 oil changes worth? Quarterly oil changes would amount to 3-5 years worth of oil changes. Making it ~20 years old when using up the last of it.
This oil was bought back when a normal case was 12 quarts instead of 6 like lots of oil is sold today. The Versa only takes about 3 qts. 6 oz. per oil change so a case lasts a long while when the car only gets about 12-15K miles annually. I'm still using conventional 10w40 Exxon Superflo in my '97 Ford that I had the in the garage when I bought the car new in Feb. 1998 so it's probably at least 25 years old and still looks and does fine even on 5K mile OCI's. I've never seen any of the older oil that appears to have any type contamination.
 
Joined
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GA.
One ounce of Sea Foam per qrt. of oil capacity in the crank case for last 150 ~ 300 miles before next scheduled oil change . Checking the dip stick before and after the Sa Foam application does show some darkening of the oil on the dip stick using Sea Foam this way .
 
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