The $10,000 question

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175
Location
CA
If you're not going to extend your oil change intervals, what benefit is there in using a name brand sythetic vs a name brand dino oil? Now the specifics (for those of you who will give a "that depends" answer... The OCI's on my cars hover between 5K and 6K based on the maintenance minders I'll be honest and say that with the prices at Walmart I don't see much of a reason to NOT use a synthetic. However, that is assuming it is superior in some appreciable way for my applications. My applications are: 1) Driving in California 2) Lots of stop and go 3) Four and six cylinder engines 4) Multiple starts per day. Thanks
 

mozart

Thread starter
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175
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: chevrofreak
No benefit. Should I give you my PayPal address, or will you send a cashiers check?
Consider it part of the economic stimulus plan
 
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4,942
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Billings, MT
Truthfully though, if you don't mind spending the extra money for synthetic, there really is no other down side. With the current rebate from Quaker State on their Horsepower oil it's actually less expensive than conventional.
 
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1,856
Location
PA
Synthetic's upside is that it stays in grade longer, often has more anti-wear additives, and offers better cold flow properties. Changing oil every 5000 miles for 120K of a vehicle's lifespan: You're looking at 24 oil changes total. $25 Synthetic change = $600 $15 Dino change = $360 Conventional oil savings: $240 over ~8 years. I don't consider motor oil prices a big deal :)
 
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1,365
Location
orwellian sheep land?
5-6K , in California, I wouldnt sweat the synthetic.. benefits other than longer drains would be better cold start economy (marginal, not relevant in CA) and maybe a bigger margin of error, for when your cooling system fails or you take another 200km trip on the autobahn at top speed......
 
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1,084
Location
Florida, USA
There are a lot of people on this forum who have beaters, and it doesn't matter much what oil they put in them, so you will always get some people who say synthetic is not worth it. If you have a newer car that you plan on keeping for 5-6 years or more, there definitely are benefits to using synthetics. Even the Walmart house brand synthetic called SuperTech is quite good, and far superior to any conventional oil. There are also some very good synthetics for a just few dollars more (per 5 quart jug). The price of oil in 5 quart jugs is substantially cheaper than buying 1 quart bottles.
 

mozart

Thread starter
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175
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CA
 Originally Posted By: Mark888
There are a lot of people on this forum who have beaters, and it doesn't matter much what oil they put in them, so you will always get some people who say synthetic is not worth it. If you have a newer car that you plan on keeping for 5-6 years or more, there definitely are benefits to using synthetics.
I definitely plan on running my new cars into the ground and getting as many miles as possible out of it. Could you explain what are the benefits for using synthetics for this scenario? I'm honestly curious and not trying to start a flame war or a fight Thanks
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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12,849
Location
UT
 Quote:
I definitely plan on running my new cars into the ground and getting as many miles as possible out of it.
Lets see.. 23 year old Jetta 340k miles. 1978 F250 with over 200k 1993 Caravan with 220k 1996 Chevy 1500 250k and many more all on conventional oil in states (MT, UT and ID) that have WEATHER (unlike Florida, CA and such states). Never an issue, never a starting problem (well below zero and WELL above 100 degrees), engines still run fine and pass smog with ease. And yesterdays oils were WORST than today's. Really, unless your engine REQUIRES syn oil, you do not NEED it. If you want it fine, but you do not NEED it. Also, some people here expect their motors to last longer than 120k miles in 8 years. My 3 year old Corolla just passed 130k and is running like new. 44.14 MPG on the last tank (using Pennzoil 5w-30 YB) I expect 400k out of this car and will get it. I have no concerns about hopping in the 23 year old Jetta and driving it across the US any time of the year. (esp now that the clutch cable has been replaced. (the ONLY time the car has been towed)) Take care, Bill
 
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682
Location
ontario canada
synthetic oil molecules are group 3 - oil is treated with more heat and more pressure, to obtain more uniform molecules of higher quality, need less additives to perform in any given multiviscosity range, so less additives to break down, and usually more shear stable. "dino" oil of 5w30 weight is group 2, and dino 5w20 is group 2+ : oil has been treated with heat and pressure, but not as much as group 3. still a very superior oil, and this was not done even 15 years ago, so this oil is superior to any previous, like SH, maybe SJ. So the choice is between superior and highly superior. I personally take the middle road, and blend 50% synthetic with 50% "dino". I believe at that point HOW you drive will determine the life of the engine much more than anything oil related - for instance when cold only run low throttle, try to drive gently, and keep to a limit of about 70mph. if you're able to tolerate driving that slow. Many people will get HUGE miles out of simple regular oil, so mixing 50% synthetic is probably overkill, except where I live it gets pretty danged cold, so the cold flow properties of a synthetic are extremely important here. I also always plug in the engine heater in cold weather, which around here is 6 months of the year-only needs to be plugged in 2-3 hours on a timer at 6a.m. this tiny amount of electricity pays huge dividends in gas mileage and ultimate engine life.
 
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Messages
1,084
Location
Florida, USA
 Originally Posted By: mozart
I definitely plan on running my new cars into the ground and getting as many miles as possible out of it. Could you explain what are the benefits for using synthetics for this scenario? I'm honestly curious and not trying to start a flame war or a fight Thanks
Less engine wear, much cleaner engine, slightly better fuel mileage. Engine revved more freely from the first time I switched to synthetic. Synthetics can actually remove sludge and varnish from inside our engine. The above claims will start a flame war, but I am absolutely convinced it is accurate if you have a fairly new car without significant existing engine wear. My previous car was a 1998 Toyota Camry V6 which I sold a few months ago. I used synthetic from the first oil change. This engine is notorious for sludge problems (there was a successful class action lawsuit against Toyota relating to this engine) and it is also known to have moderate valve problems as a result of deposit buildup. The engine on my car when I sold it was clean as a whistle and worked as good as it did when brand new. The only engine maintenance I did was new plugs at 60K miles (scheduled) and a new EGR value at about 75K miles (check engine light came on). Charcoal canister was replaced under emissions warranty. I had no intention (or financial need) to keep the car 11 years, but I could not find an excuse to buy a new one since mine was in such excellent condition (but I finally realized it might run perfectly for another 10 years, so I sold it). If you are concerned about the cost of synthetics, just get the Walmart SuperTech.
 
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9,365
Location
USA
since I drive cars to the junkyard, I'm going to start recommending syn for all applications. so maybe I can get me one of those sweet engines with syn use only. makes my used vehicle purchases last longer. everyone wins! \:\!
 

PT1

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5,746
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near the mistake
The benefit is this: 1. I only buy syn oil at Bogo or Closeout sales so right now my 200+ quart stash has an average cost of $2.14/qt. I get factory filters for $4. So a syn oil change for me is $15-20 tops. 2. Have 3 female drivers who will start a new engine when it is -10F and wait 3 seconds and hit the gas an go. SO cold start is my number 1 motivation. 3. The same 3 perpetrators will only mention the oil reminder came on sometime last month maybe...if they are in the mood. SO I am covered for accidental long OCI's. 4. One will take the car for months to college and I know the oil will never get checked or changed. I will over fill 1/2 qt and keep my fingers crossed. Syn oil will cover me if she goes well beyond the 5000 mile range. 5. I have 3 Toyotas and don't want sludge 6. Oh yeah...its April and its's snowing right now. \:\( need more?
 
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Messages
6,359
Location
New Braunfels
I run new and newer cars and plan on running my 2006 v8 exploder and 2008 Jeep Jk to their death.. and I run mostly conventional.. I will run synthetic from time to time when I can get it for the same as conventional. Other than extreme cold or extended drains you will see no gain in the engine. In the drivetrain however it may be worthwhile.
 
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979
Location
Colorado
 Originally Posted By: mozart
My applications are: 1) Driving in California 2) Lots of stop and go 3) Four and six cylinder engines 4) Multiple starts per day.
Applications #2 and #4 are good reason to run a synthetic.
 
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47,527
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Considering how much cleaning up of the engine goes on when switching from conventional to synthetic oil, it's clear to me that conventional is not quite as clean running as some folks think. Sure synthetic is more expensive, but at 6K and beyond OCI's, your engine will be much cleaner. To make it a bit more economical you can take the oil to 10-12K oci, but the extra money shouldn't kill you.
 
Messages
233
Location
Pittsburgh,Pa.
 Originally Posted By: PT1
The benefit is this: 1. I only buy syn oil at Bogo or Closeout sales so right now my 200+ quart stash has an average cost of $2.14/qt. I get factory filters for $4. So a syn oil change for me is $15-20 tops. 2. Have 3 female drivers who will start a new engine when it is -10F and wait 3 seconds and hit the gas an go. SO cold start is my number 1 motivation. 3. The same 3 perpetrators will only mention the oil reminder came on sometime last month maybe...if they are in the mood. SO I am covered for accidental long OCI's. 4. One will take the car for months to college and I know the oil will never get checked or changed. I will over fill 1/2 qt and keep my fingers crossed. Syn oil will cover me if she goes well beyond the 5000 mile range. 5. I have 3 Toyotas and don't want sludge 6. Oh yeah...its April and its's snowing right now. \:\( need more?
Where is rubber city?
 
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