The big question: Does synthetic oil increase the life of your engine?

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85
Location
Grand Forks, ND
There is a ton of advertising out there that states synthetic oil will result in less engine wear. Mobil and Amsoil clearly state on their websites that use of their products will prolong the life of your engine. There are always stories circulating around of how Joe Blow got 800,000 miles out of an engine that shouldn't have lasted past 200K. What is your opinion on this debate? Who truly believes synthetic oil will make your engine last longer? [ August 23, 2003, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: MinnesotaNole ]
 
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43,652
Location
'Stralia
I think that the answer is a bit of yes, and a bit of no. I think that about sums it up. I've seen one engine in the family go 360,000km on dino, (with a little bit of smoke blowing past 270,000). There's a Mobil 1 car with 280,000km that hasn't started blowing any smoke as yet.
 
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3,216
Location
BC, Canada
If you believe that most engine wear occures at start-up, then there is some merit to those claims of longer engine life when synthetic oils are used. I read an article in a trucker' magazine that summed it up something like this: Long haul truckers have not found any fuel savings in over the road applications when synthetics are tested over conventionals. That indicates that engine friction or viscous drag has not been reduced. Truck companies that tested synthetic engine oils in short haul urban delivery applications where cold start cycles were a factor, found about a 3% fuel saving. The possibility of extended service life when using a synthetic engine oil is as much dependent on the additive package as the base oil's group classification. Truck owners and fleet managers should choose a lubricant based on it's performance. (whether it is a synthetic or not) Extending service intervals when testing any lubricant should be supported by UOAs, and not from testimonials or claims by oil companys.
 
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5,112
Location
Airlie Beach Australia
Hi, the comments posted about fuel economy and short and long distance trucking need some answers! I have been in trucking since 1975 and as an owner and user of synthetics for over a decade 1 - In on highway use it is virtually impossible to quantify a fuel economy saving on oil type. It would be very small and hard to quantify. Winds ( side, head, tail), load weights, weather road surface and etc. - and the DRIVER - play a much greater role - believe me! The only way it could be qualtified would be by absolutely accurate trip/load replication - impossible! 2 - In city use the same applies except the other factor being idling time I have used Mobil Delvac 1 for a long time and we can justify the savings by our extended drain cycles ( less down time - labour costs ), less wear and a cleaner engine. Valve accuation adjustmenst are less too - we believe this to be due too less wear in the high pressure "wiping" area My highway trucks do 150000 miles each per annum Regards
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I believe for those living in cold climates, synthetics will definitely increase your engine life, but in moderate climates, probably not. If you drive your car very hard though, synthetics should protect better.
 
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34,034
Location
Southern NJ
Ahhhh, we love circular debates on this forum. [Big Grin] The best way to make your engine last is to pick an oil that works best for you backed up by UOA's. It's that simple. Could be Pennzoil, M1, Amsoil or Schaeffer's. Which ever gives you the best results for the conditions you are putting the car through is what you should stick with.
 
Messages
236
Location
Oceanside NY
I think the proper answer is topic is " It depends " The synthetics will extend the life of engines that are under heavy load. Extreme heat, extreme cold, racing, towing, police, ambulances, taxis, boats, YES I bet synthetics will prolong the lives of these engines. But for the average person who does 3k mile oil changes & puts 10k miles on his car a year in a normal climate without abusing the motor, then I'd say NO !! [ August 23, 2003, 09:43 AM: Message edited by: Scali62 ]
 
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47,691
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
Buster busted it. Through UOA's find the oil that suits your needs the best. If your needs change constantly then well use synthetic oil... [Cool] by needs I mean: how much time you have for oil changes to a hard requirement to never spending more than a $1 qt for oil or you drive a Ferrari or you only drive north of the Artic circle to you want the best oil or you want your seals to last....you get the picture.
 
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9,448
Location
USA
I think that it would be safest to say that synthetics could extend the lifeof your engine. The most important thing about a good synthetic is reduced deposits. If you can keep ring pack, Emission system, and pickup screen clear an engine will normaly last until forever. You get a significant reduction in piston ring wear, and cylinder bore wore with synthetics. Valve train wear though is a constant and is not effected by the lubricateing oil be used. THe only exception to the above is ash content. Higher ash oil will kill valvetrains faster then a simalar oil low in ash content. In non-race/extreme conditions main bearings and conection rod bearings do not realy seem to be influenced by base stock just viscosity and load.
 
Messages
453
Location
Galveston, TX
quote:
Originally posted by MinnesotaNole: ........ Mobil and Amsoil clearly state on their websites that use of their products will prolong the life of your engine. There are always stories circulating around of how Joe Blow got 800,000 miles out of an engine that shouldn't have lasted past 200K. What is your opinion on this debate? Who truly believes synthetic oil will make your engine last longer?
Depends which brand of synthetic. Those synthetics that have been built down to a bottom line, like $4/quart, maybe no. But those synthetics that have been built up to a performance standard, that sell for $10/quart and up, possibly yes.....these "genuine" synthetics may just extend the life of your engine. The big question is....will even the "genuine" synthetics extend engine life more than dino oil changed on a regular basis? Like I said in this Forum once, my buddy has the contract for a bunch of limo' taxicab businesses that use Lincoln Town Cars. 250,000 miles is normal for a LTC with any dino mineral oil changed on a regular basis....like 3,000 to 4,000 miles. Even if some synthetics manage to live up to their claims of 1,000,000 miles engine life (which I doubt!!!!!!), who cares anyway? By the time 1/4 that mileage is racked up, most of us would have traded up for the latest whizz-bang kart.
 
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3,216
Location
BC, Canada
Pablo; No I still don't get the picture. Perhaps I'm daft, or like someone once told me, I should read more and write less. Are you saying that the only people that need synthetics are the ones that live above the Arctic circle, drive $500,000 cars, or people who never want to change their oil. I think from reading the testamonials on this discussion board is that synthetic lubricants are not needed in over 80% of the applications, 10% are oil salesmen and the other 10% don't care. The following is not intended to be aimed at any one person, but... Salesmen tag-teaming is quite common on discussion boards. One guy will ask the same question reguarding synthetics that the other salesman asked a day before, on and on it goes. When I see the same old synthetic question comming up day after day, I already know ahead of reading the thread how is going to post and who is going to say what about certian brands. The reason I like Bob's board so much is that he allows people to question blank statments, but does not tollerate personal attacks. When some one posts comments like "don't you see the picture?" or "fifteen years to save for a truck?" Those are personal attacks and the posts should be removed. This is not a "Don't you get it man?" Type of forum. If you post blanket statments be prepared to qualify them. There is a lot of members on this forum that will hold you to doing just that.
 
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1,533
Location
Ephraim
quote:
Originally posted by Doug Hillary: Hi, the comments posted about fuel economy and short and long distance trucking need some answers! I have been in trucking since 1975 and as an owner and user of synthetics for over a decade 1 ------------------Snip---------------
How much oil do your trucks burn per K or 3K or whatever level you look at?
 
Messages
114
Location
Colorado Springs
I like Mobil's candor. Quite refreshing from a company.
quote:
From Mobil1 website----In other words, if your driving is mostly on the highway and you change your oil religiously on the manufacturer's schedule every time, you may not need Mobil 1. But if your driving is anything but "normal," Mobil 1 with SuperSyn™ can make a big difference for your vehicle's engine.
 
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425
400,000 miles on this p.o.s Audi, do you think this crap-box EVER saw one drop of synth? I bet it could go to one million miles not because of good oil, but because of good design. My mechanic agrees, his customers get 300k on 15w-40 dino. If you have a turbo, of course synth will make it last longer though. I have a V6 n/a, but use the best synth possible: Syntec. 8000-9000 mile changes. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2429145475&category=6055 ...The Soul of Audi [ August 24, 2003, 02:25 AM: Message edited by: TSoA ]
 
Messages
57
Location
Leesburg, IN
I understand some peoples outlook that it doesnt matter because after X miles you'll have a new car anyway. Unfortunately this is often true, but there are some people. (myself included) that dont want to produce another rusting heap at the local junk yard. That kind of senseless waste isnt good for the planet you know. The way I see it the longer I can keep the same vehicles the better. The more I think about it the more I find myself growing to strongly dislike our "disposable" socieity. 90% of the planets population cant afford or use Cars. We have so many we destroy them for fun at the local circle track... something seems a little off here sometimes. No ones fault. just the way have come to pass.
 
Messages
114
Location
Colorado Springs
Joe, I feel the same way and now keep my cars quite a long time. I travel and rent a lot of cars. It is amazing how fast the new car looks are gone in as litte as 25k miles(usually the upper limit for Hertz)- small dings, dirty carpets,seats and doors, rattles, damaged fake wood or cracks in real wood and leather, etc. Unless you stay on the trade treadmill every few years, you might as well as keep it for awhile. They do seem to last, if you take care of them. Currently cars are 270k, 238k(new Nissan engine at 228k) and 70k miles. The 70k is my 'good car'. [Big Grin] Living in a dry climate does help. None of the cars have any rust. So the body can keep up with the engine,if you care to keep the car. This is probably not true for a lot of areas of the country, however.
 
Messages
254
Location
Denver
quote:
Originally posted by joe4324: I understand some peoples outlook that it doesnt matter because after X miles you'll have a new car anyway.
Joe and Fillherup, We've been conditioned to buy a new car every 5-6 years, so that's what we do. In England, you will see cars still on the road and looking great from the 40's and 50's (even the thirties, in some cases!) I think they set a great example in this regard about making the most of your automotive investment. We could all make our cars last 20-30 years if we wanted. I agree, a dry climate goes a long ways in making the rest of the car last as long as the engine. [ August 24, 2003, 08:23 PM: Message edited by: Rexman ]
 
Messages
254
Location
Denver
quote:
Originally posted by JohnBrowning: I think that it would be safest to say that synthetics could extend the lifeof your engine. The most important thing about a good synthetic is reduced deposits. If you can keep ring pack, Emission system, and pickup screen clear an engine will normaly last until forever.
I agree 100% and my personal feeling is synthetic will make your engine last about twice as long as dino driving a 60/40 mix of city/hwy driving. [Cheers!] When I was breaking in our cars using dino, it took about 10,000 miles for the engine to reach the peak of its break-in in terms of fuel economy and horsepower. Since changing to Mobil 1 about 10 years ago, I'd say it takes about 30,000 miles to reach the same stage of "complete" break-in with synthetic. That's a wear ratio of 3:1 in favor of synthetic. Dinos have gotten better recently, so that's why my feeling is your engine lasts roughly twice (instead of three times) as long with syn. Just my subjective, seat-of-the-pants 2 cents on this. [Smile] [ August 24, 2003, 08:17 PM: Message edited by: Rexman ]
 
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