Wal-Mart brand Synthetic-HELP!

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Oct 7, 2002
Mountain Home AFB, ID
Ok, I've done the searches and read everything I can find on Wal-Mart's house brand of motor oil. In the US it's called Super-Tech. In Canada I think it's called Tech2000.

What I've read is that their full synthetic is actually a hydrocracked GroupIII if I remember correctly. This is just a dino oil that has been turned into a synthetic by changing it's properties. Correct?

Well, here's where I am confused. I checked out a bottle of the 10W-30 full synthetic the other day and it stated on the back that it was a blend of 100% synthetic base stock and a petroleum additive package. To me that's saying it's a real synthetic.

Now, when I read other synthetic oil labels some said nothing about what they were made of and others (Motorcraft specifically comes to mind) said that it was made from a base stock of hydrocracked dino oil. It actually stated this on the label on the backside.

So, is this Wal-Mart brand stuff real or cracked? Is there a way to actually end this debate? The threads I saw went back over a year on this stuff but because no one could say with 100% certainty who made it for Wallyworld no one knew what it was really made of.

So, who has the real poop?

The U.S. stuff is a GIII. I don't know about the canadien stuff. You have to remember that the GIII's are called synthetic oils. The petroleum adds that the label refers to, are probably GI or II, that are added for additive solubility.
Almost certainly it is a group III, hydrocracked "synthetic". It is distributed by Warren Distributing and when asked for spec sheets a rep from Warren said to just use the spec sheets from their Mag 1 brand of oils. To me that means Super-Tech oils are in fact Mag 1 private labeled for Wally World. Not sure how anyone would know for sure if it's a GIII or GIV? Would a VOA even tell us that?

THe Havoline Synthetic I picked up the other day also says that it is made from 100% synthetic base stocks which I take to mean it's a hydrocracked, GIII oil. I'm fine with that too if it works to my expectations. I guess we have Castrol to thank for the play on words and the legal mumbo jumbo of it all.

That's a great new oilhead's motto: "Is it real, or hydro-cracked?"
Hmmmm.....So if it is GIII how bad is that compared to a real synthetic? I'm curious because originally I had started out doing extended drains with full synth but lately am in financial narrows until the new year. So, I'm looking for slightly cheaper alternatives to Amsoil or Schaeffers. I'm only using this stuff to top off every once in a while-have a leak. Will it screw everything up or be ok?

Also, just got the verbage from a bottle verbatim. "Super Tech Full Synthetic Higher Mileage Vehicle Formula is a premium formulation utilizing 100% synthetic base oils and a high performance additive system providing increased protection...." blah blah.

Says it meets or exceeds API SL/CF, ILSAC GF-3, ACEA A1-98 and of course previous API SG, H, J.

The caution states "Contains petroleum and synthetic lubricant. Repeated skin contact can cause skin disorders."

And "ATTENTION: Used motor oil is a possible skin cancer hazard based on animal data."

To me it sounds real and not "Memorex". If it really is a GIII isn't there some sort of statement they should be making since it's not REALLY a true synth?

Is there anything we can do about it? I like to know what I'm buying without having to do enormous amounts of research.

The oil companies are allowed to call GIII synthetic. The only OTC "true" synthetics that I know of, are Mobil 1 and QS synthetic. There are others (RP, redline, schaeffers, amsoil,etc), but they aren't as readily available.
Mobil and the small guys would like you to think they are the only PAO synthetic players.
What about Esso/Exxon, Chevron, and likely about 50 others that formulate PAO synthetic fluids and lubricants from base stocks purchased from various sources?
Case in point. Petro Canada has industrial lubricants that cost $2,000.00 per drum direct.
PAO, Ester, or group III?
The same company has a synthetic engine oil that retails for $3.50 CDN a litre, and costs the dealer about $1.80 in US dollars.
Pao? Ester? I doubt it.
If the price looks too good to be true, it likely isn't.
UF, I can't comment on canadien oils, as they are not available to me. I have never seen chevron synthetic for sale anywhere. I have no doubt that there are many players in the game, but they don't feel that it is necessary to market their product in my area.
Can someone who is good at reading MSDS datasheets tell whether it's PAO? My assumption is that SuperTech is a group III since Warren isn't exactly a big player. I'm sure they blend what they get a good price on and that's probably Group III. In the case of their dino oil, the 5w30 has a fair amount of moly (if the single VOA is to be believed)-- that's not the case with their 10w30. This isn't the sign of a major player who carefully controls their own base stocks.

I'm shifting to 5w30 in the winter and will have another ST UOA on my Elantra in a couple of months.

Group III sales have really leveled PAO production.

I've never gotten as apoplectic as others about Group III mascarading as synthetic.
And you are surprised by this after reading all the posts?

Lets face it if a North American OTC retail bottle of anything says "Synthetic" chances are its a bright shining lie. (Group III hydrocracked pertroleum)

Of course, there are exceptions, such as Mobil 1, and German Castrol.

Still the Chevron Supreme is an Enigma. Some grades of it such as Arctic OW30 are said to be your Group 4 & 5 in composition. Some here say that some 5W30 are also 4 & 5 while others are Group III too.

walmart synthetic gwahahaaha.

Side Note:

Chevron seems to be the most honest...thier product is Group III...but the price is fair and you do not see them putting "synthetic" in big letters on the front...with a whole lot of questionable claims on the back.

Hmmmm.....So if it is GIII how bad is that compared to a real synthetic? I'm curious because originally I had started out doing extended drains with full synth but lately am in financial narrows until the new year.

A Group III oil is not as good as a Group IV/V in cold weather and it gets pretty cold where you are. Even Chevron admits this much. If you have an oil leak how much are you using? It may not make sense to buy synthetic if it is vanishing before it can do any good. I believe Castrol GTX is known to flow well at cold temps but you do get that Castrol varnish to deal with.

You may want to try a Costco if you have one near by. I buy Mobil 1 10w-30 for less than 4 dollars a quart (when you buy the case of 6).


Originally posted by csandste:
I've never gotten as apoplectic as others about Group III mascarading as synthetic.

Same here. The first time I found out about the Mobil/Castrol thing and use of the term "synthetic", it did upset me that Castrol got away with it. Since then it has become a non-issue for me. If something performs up to a standard set by an individual consumer and the price is in line with what the comsumer expects is fair then it's a win/win for everyone. I really don't care if company x or company y claims to be the only real synthetic or the first synthetic. There is always a price/performance ratio. Now when G III motor oils push the price envelope of the group IV/V formulations then that is where I start to get ticked off.

Back to using a true synth here. Am I the only thinking that if he's got a "leak" using a pure synth could very well exacerbate the situation?

BTW...."hockey sucks"? Give me a hockey game any day of the week and keep football. You could say the Blue Jackets suck (and they do) but then again I'm a NY Rangers fan and we all know how good they are

[ November 04, 2003, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
I don't know if the US Walmarts sell their own house brand 0w30 synthetic like Canadian stores do, but if they do, I'm sure that would have to contain some PAO in order to get 0w status. I doubt group 3 alone could do it. And you know that a 0w30 oil, even if it's got group 3 in it, is still going to outflow a 5w30 PAO/ester oil in the cold.

PS-I don't like hockey or football!
Coupl'a comments--
1) Group III base oil is a lot cheaper that PAO (Group IV). Wal*Mart is always lowest of low bid suppliers, so you can be sure that it's most likely GR-III with the legal right to call itself "full synthetic."

2) ChevronPhillips Chemical Company makes PAO, but Chevron and their Havoline brand choose to make syn oil from Group III. ConocoPhillips, the other partner in ChevronPhillips Chemical Co. also chooses to make their synthetics (76, Kendall, Conoco, & Phillips) from Gr-III.

3) Chevron ISOSYN® base oil is Group II or Group II+. This same process has been licensed to many refineries and each company uses their own trade name on in...Chevron won't let them use the name "ISOSYN." ISOSYN is not Group III base oil. "... all Chevron Supreme non-synthetic multigrade products are formulated with ISOSYN™." http://www.chevron.com/prodserv/nafl/auto/content/promotions.shtm

4) Group III oils can be very good oil, but not quite as good as PAO and shouldn't be priced the same...but as long as folks see the word "synthetic" and pay the price, that's where they'll be priced.

My leak doesn't come from any seals or gaskets. I installed a bypass filter back in October and one of the fittings just doesn't seem to want to seal right. I'm gonna try a liquid teflon the next time instead of the teflon tape.

As for how much do I leak...probably a drop or two a day at most. VERY small.

Originally posted by Ken2:
...but Chevron and their Havoline brand choose to make syn oil from Group III. ... ISOSYN is not Group III base oil. ...

Not sure what your source is on this, but ChevronTexaco's MSDSs for Chevron Supreme 100% Synthetic motor oils in the 5W-30, 5W-40, 10W-30, and 15W-50 viscosity ranges state by name in the components section that the base stocks are 1-decene homopolymer, hydrogenated (PAOs) or ISOSYN (Group IIIs). Apparantly "ISOSYN" is a term applied to any of ChevronTexaco's moderately and severely hydroprocessed base stocks from Group II through Group III+.

[ November 04, 2003, 03:27 PM: Message edited by: Ray H ]
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