Why do Car Makers not specify Synthetic to boost CAFE MPGs?

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Using synthetic oil seems like a quick and easy way to boost a car's MPG and overall CAFE. Why do car makers not do it? EDIT: I meant for the EPA TESTS, not for actual consumer usage. [ January 20, 2004, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: batterycar ]
 
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Because most people who operate cars are dumbdumbs who think that spending $35 for an engineoil change is about $20 too much. But maybe I'm just too cynical.
 
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Assuming you're not going to specify extended drains, using full synthetic probably adds add least $3 per quart to your oil costs. I figure that at 3,000 mile maintenance intervals, with a 4 qt sump and a 200,000 mile life expectancy you have just told the potential purchasers of your vehicle that your car costs $800 more to operate than that of the competitors. That being said, I'm playing Devil's Advocate here. In real life, I think speccing synthetic would be a kinda' nice idea, given the kind of intervals a lot of consumers run.
 
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Over the years I have used synthetic oil in many different cars, I have never noticed an change in fuel mileage, I have noted a decrease in oil comsumption. The answer to the querstion is, because OEM specs can be meet without going to synthetics. I feel we will see an increased use of blended oils in the future. As some one posted here before all the OEM's have to do is make it last for the warranty period, so cheap thin oil works. For all we know they could be using 10w for the EPA testing.
 
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The EPA will test with the oils you (a car maker) specify in the owner's manual, and your dealer network is instructed to use during routine oil changes on the vehicle. You can't say "test the car with 0W10 RedLine" unless you spec that your drivers must all use "0w10 Redline" and all your dealers service the vehicle with "0w10 Redline". You (a car maker) don't do the EPA tests... the EPA does.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by TomJones76: You (a car maker) don't do the EPA tests... the EPA does.
I believe the automakers are the ones that actually due the tests. The EPA witnesses and/or Val/Ver's the tests.
 

batterycar

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So the bottom line is: (a) Carmakers could use synthetic to increase their CAFE ...but... (b) They don't want their customers complaining about spending twice as much for oil ...so... (c) The carmakers stick with natural oils. I suppose that makes sense, although I've noticed the new 0W-20 natural oils specified by Honda cost about the same as a synthetic. So I, the consumer, am not really saving much money.
 
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I'd say the 5W20 dyno oils we're seeing specced for Ford and Honda products cost about 50 cents more a quart than an equivalent 5W30 or 10W30 dyno oil. A local example at my Wal-Mart might be $1.24/qt for the 5W30 and $1.74/qt for the 5W20. If anything, I'd say that the 5W20s cost slightly less than a name-brand synthetic blend, which tends to run between $2-$3/qt around here. Also at WalMart or Autozone locally it seems like full synthetics (at least the oils that advertise they're synthetic) run between $4-6/qt. Part of me argues the higher prices for the 5W20 might just be due to lower volume. Another part of me argues it could be that the 5W20 spec Ford put out is more rigorous than API SL, causing oilmakers to work harder on the oil or use more expensive additive/basestock combinations. I think both reasons may be at play.
 
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Correct. 5w20 is as good with dino they can get without having to go to a fully synthetic. Delaers around here say they charge 25.99 and still cant make money in an oil change so fully synthetic is out of the question.
 
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You guys, it has nothing to do with price. As the 5W-20 oil is almost the same price as synthetic. It has to do with ruining your engine faster so you buy a new car every 5 years. Notice how Honda lowered their warrenty to 70,000 miles when they switched to the thinner 5W-20 oil...
 
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quote:
Originally posted by therion: You guys, it has nothing to do with price. As the 5W-20 oil is almost the same price as synthetic. It has to do with ruining your engine faster so you buy a new car every 5 years. Notice how Honda lowered their warrenty to 70,000 miles when they switched to the thinner 5W-20 oil...
Such untempered words for Honda. Now count me wrong, but i only remember Honda having 3 yr/36,000 mile warranties. That going back to.. oh.. '97? Anyone have an older civic they want to confirm that? ferb!
 
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some one has gotten honda mixed up with hundyi. honda still has a 36000 mile/3year warrenty and has for years. as far as using syn for cafe/epa testing, it is being done on one car, the corvette using mobil 1. It's rated from something like 18 to almost 30mpg hiwy which is fantastice for a hipo car. to be able do this they have to recommend the use of the particular oil which they do.
 
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I have never seen a jap car wear out faster than an american one. 1 gallon of 5w20 = 4.00 where as a quart of good synthetic =$4.00
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Ferb:
quote:
Originally posted by therion: You guys, it has nothing to do with price. As the 5W-20 oil is almost the same price as synthetic. It has to do with ruining your engine faster so you buy a new car every 5 years. Notice how Honda lowered their warrenty to 70,000 miles when they switched to the thinner 5W-20 oil...
Such untempered words for Honda. Now count me wrong, but i only remember Honda having 3 yr/36,000 mile warranties. That going back to.. oh.. '97? Anyone have an older civic they want to confirm that? ferb!

My bad it is 36,000 miles, someone else told me of this. Im surprised.
 

cvl

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TCO. Total Cost of Ownership. Automakers save pennies and fractions of pennies everywhere that they can. Recommending dino over synthetic is a no-brainer.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeffrey Behr: Because most people who operate cars are dumbdumbs who think that spending $35 for an engineoil change is about $20 too much. But maybe I'm just too cynical.
[Big Grin] HAHA! Naw, you're not cynical at all. Like you, I've noticed folks who happily plunk down +$30,000 for a car and figure anything more than $15 for an oil change is "too much." Sort of like building an exotic custom $380,000 vacation home and then nickle-n-diming to find the cheapest Low Bidder stain possible. YEESH! One of the few cases where Darwin was right! FWIW: bought a new 1992 Honda Prelude, which recommended regular 5W-30 for the first 5,000km. Did the initial oil change at 1,500km to regular 5W-30, again at 2,500km 5W-30, then to Mobil 1 at 5,000km. Ran Mobil 1 5W-30 until the 0W-30 came out, then used that all year round. Also ran Mobil 1 10W-30 in the 5 speed trans. I used to get 26 MPG running the regular Dino oil. It went up to 29 MPG. I think changing the factory 10W-30 in the transaxle to Mobil 1 10W-30 also helped too.
 
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Well, it seems we now quasi-officially have two classes of forumners on this site - the effete elitist oil snobs who believe it's beneath their contempt to so much as cast a glance at conventional mineral oils on the aisles, and terminal, cheap "dumbdumbs" too stupid to find their butts in the dark with both hands. Has it ever occurred to you braniacs that the U.S. refinery infrastructure is physically incapable of supplying enough synthetic base lube oil stock (and I'm including both Group III and Group IV production) in the volume necessary to meet an entire year's new car consumer demand in the U.S.? (And, again parenthetically, I'm not even talking about the economics involved in the cumulative increase yearly of future new car purchasers or past model year "I've-seen-the-light!" converts, either.) On the "eve" of implementation of the new API/ILSAC "SM"/"GF-4" standard, there's ongoing debate within the industry about whether sufficient Group-II base lube stock supply will be available, long term, to meet it. But, enjoy your delusions gentlemen - it's less than three more months before the Easter Bunny arrives.
 
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