What Regular and Semi-Synth. Blend Oil Brand Do You Guys Most Recommend ?

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Firstly would like to say this is such a cool site, great information, keep up the great work. I have read through all the posts that I could get my hands on over the last few days. I have been using Castrol GTX and their semi-synthetic blend over the past couple years. I've felt comfortable using Castrol GTX and their semi-syn blend so far. My oil consumption has always been good when using Castrol. I used to use Mobil 1 synthetic religously on my previous car, but after tearing the motor apart on it I was dissappointed with the amount of wear on some of the vital parts, I expected Mobil 1 to protect better than it did based on their famous million mile commercials. I know this is very unscientific annectodal evidence, but its just the way I felt at the time. So needless to say I switched to Castrol and have been using for a couple years. Cost of oil means nothing to me, I see it as relatively low cost maintenance, and I change my oil every 3000 miles religously. My cars are generally in the high revving hot runnig category and I just want to protect them as best as I can as long as they are in my possession. I am running the regular Castrol GTX now as my engine is just finishing break-in period, I will go to a semi-synthetic blend for permanent use as I think regular oil and synthetic oil both have good traits, perhaps semi-synthetic blends can offer the best of both worlds, dunno just my opinion. The reputation of Castrol seems to be pretty poor around here, dunno if that is based on the oil product itself or their marketing efforts. I've read a few posts where guys suspect that Castrol leaves some varnish and otherwise dirty deposits in engines and of course guys are pissed off at Castrol's Syntec synthetic oil claims (despite using cheaper base oil, etc....). Personally I don't care about Syntec and its reputation. But I would like to have some opinions on the most recommended regular oil and semi-synthetic blend of oils available in the general market today ?. I read a post or two about Havoline having the highest quality base oil among regular oil producers, don't know much about their additive package though. So what do you guys think is best ?. I have read about Schaeffers oil, but I want to stick with one of the oil brands that you can find at any supply store/outlet. Do you guys think Castrol oil is a cheap quality oil or decent quality ?. Any opinions would be great, I know this sounds like a typical newbie question, but I have searched through quite a bit of posts. thanks for any replies. [ August 05, 2002, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: JSIR ]
 
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Great to have you on board. You may want to run some oil trend analysis on your Castrol GTX. If the numbers show good ratings, then I find that there is no reason to switch. I switch to something more upscale since I'm just that anal...and I'm sure there are more anal-retentive people than I. [Big Grin] Oz
 
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I use Valvoline All Climate and Durablend in my cars. I have always had good luck with Valvoline products and they are available everywhere.
 
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If you really want to know what's going on in your engine, get the oil analyzed. You may be able to extend drain interval to 5k or 6K if analysis shows it is ok.
 

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I'm not just saying this because of Bob, but honestly, there is not a single semi synthetic sold in the stores that even comes close to Schaeffers blends. The store bought blends are 10% synthetic at best (and group 3 "synthetic" too!) so they are not much different than the conventional oils sold for $1. I originally had hoped that Maxlife was going to be a good oil for me, since it's so easy to find, but honestly, if you want a very good long drain interval oil, you really won't find it at Kmart, so for me, I ended up ordering the Schaeffers. [ August 05, 2002, 08:08 PM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 
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JSIR: OK, here is the opinion from the Pennzoil guy. If you have been using Castrol for several years, and you are happy with what it is doing for you, don't switch. As for as the GTX and their blend, don't waste your money on the blend. The only synthetic in their blend is the Group III base stock, and as Patman said, it's at 10%. If you don't want to run the GTX, run the Syntec. WELCOME TO THE BOARD [Cheers!]
 
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My opinion is that Havoline, Chevron Supreme, and Pennzoil seem to be the best over the counter oils. I have used Castrol GTX and blend, and always found metal shavings on my dipstick. When i switched to Valvoline all climate, it worked very good. No more metal shvings. But i read that it is not that good in cold weather. It gets to -40f where i am at.
 
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Quote: "It gets to -40f where i am at." Man thats cold! I have changed oil here before in the low 20's and the stored at the same temp 5/30 came out of the bottle like STP does in the Summer,well almost but you get the meaning. I could see where a Synthetic would or might be popular in your area.
 
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For an OTC conventional oil IMO Chevron Supreme is an excellent choice. The spec sheet for Chevron lubes is impressive to say the least, and at just over $1/quart it's a real bargain.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by dragboat: Quote: "It gets to -40f where i am at." Man thats cold! I have changed oil here before in the low 20's and the stored at the same temp 5/30 came out of the bottle like STP does in the Summer,well almost but you get the meaning. I could see where a Synthetic would or might be popular in your area.
I'm sure its been done before but... I would love to see a pouring demo of different oils (viscosity, synth, dino) in sub 0F conditions. It may make me think twice about using a 15w40 in the cold. Patman--are you listening???? I'll share the cost of stock if you like.
 
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Don't you guys use oil/engine heaters when it's -40 outside? I've heard of them but have never seen one.
 
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I use a heater if there is an outlet available. Which usally there isn't. I just stay in if it gets colder than -20f. It seems that other things fail when it gets colder than -20f, like the battery, anti-freeze, also, plastic knobs and switches break very easy at this temp. (also the gear oils and transmission fluids change at this temp)
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Patman: A few of you remember I told you about the cold weather testing I did a few years ago and I think I'll try it again. I've got a bit of oil lying around the house that I haven't used that I can try out as well, so I don't even have to buy that much new stuff. I've got a few quarts of Valvoline SJ 5w30 that I never used, some Castrol GTX SL 10w30, Maxlife SJ 10w30, and Mobil 1 SJ 5w30. I know it's not super scientific but I'll put them out on a very cold night this winter (below 0F) and see how they pour. I'll put some Schaeffers out there as well of course! It'll be easy to spot the oils that don't pour well, but the ones that do pour easily should all look pretty similar so it will be hard to determine a real clear cut winner. But at least I can seperate the terrible ones from the good ones.
Thanks Carl97ss and icruse! Didn't even think about the freezer but it only gets to about 25F right? Patman -- That sounds perfect. Also, with oils getting syrupy and almost solid at API approved temps, how can we trust those API tests? Maybe I should stick to the 5w-X and 0w-X oils. Even the Europeans require those weights.
 
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[LOL!] stick oil of your choice, in the freezer at home....it gives you a prety good idea of how clean oil pours in the cold! [Cheers!]
 
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jjbula, I did that when I first moved up here from northern Virginia. A refrigerator will not get as cold as it does up here. At that time (1/89) I took Amsoil, Mobil 1, and I think it was a 10W30 Valvoline and left them outside overnight in -40 below weather. In the morning the regular oil was pretty much just like the old King Syrup. Both the Amsoil and the Mobil 1 were still pourable, though still thickend up some. but MUCH BETTER than the mineral oil. Maybe it is time to do that again when the temps go down again. I can make a brief digital film file of pouring the oils. Steven
 

Patman

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A few of you remember I told you about the cold weather testing I did a few years ago and I think I'll try it again. I've got a bit of oil lying around the house that I haven't used that I can try out as well, so I don't even have to buy that much new stuff. I've got a few quarts of Valvoline SJ 5w30 that I never used, some Castrol GTX SL 10w30, Maxlife SJ 10w30, and Mobil 1 SJ 5w30. I know it's not super scientific but I'll put them out on a very cold night this winter (below 0F) and see how they pour. I'll put some Schaeffers out there as well of course! It'll be easy to spot the oils that don't pour well, but the ones that do pour easily should all look pretty similar so it will be hard to determine a real clear cut winner. But at least I can seperate the terrible ones from the good ones.
 
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I hear from Alaskans that they must run their engines 24/7 to prevent freeze-up. Do you ever do that? Troy[/QB][/QUOTE] Troy, I believe that they do that in Alaska when it gets down to around -55 or colder, and then that will only be that cold for a while. When starts getting around -30 to -40 or colder up here you know it is coming so you plan ahead for it. Engine block heaters are very popular up here but a garage is also an asset in the colder stuff. When it does get that cold, as Jon said, you just hope you don't have to go out very far (especially at night), because the rest of the car does not appreciate that kind of cold either (i.e. tires, other engine parts). So back to the oil equation, the cold pour point and pumpability is of importance to me, especially from latter October to late April. Good Day, Steven
 
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quote:
Originally posted by JonS: It gets to -40f where i am at.
I hear from Alaskans that they must run their engines 24/7 to prevent freeze-up. Do you ever do that? Troy
 
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jjbula Didn't even think about the freezer but it only gets to about 25F right? Most home refrigerators will have temps down to 0 degrees and possibly below on the freezer side depending on the make/model. Also pour point to me is where it can pour out of the bottle, but a good pumping point seems to be about 20 degrees higher.
 
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