Why don't synths talk about extended drain intervals anymore?

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263
Location
tx
Take M1 for example - once upon a time I generally heard them to be something that could extend the drain interval. And of course you remember the days when manufacturers swore off synth, said it would void warranties etc. Fastforward. Now it seems to be factory fill in a variety of engines. Corvettes are a well known example for factory fills. I've even seen it as factory fill for premium commercial lawn care equipment. Since some synths like M1 are 'in' with the manufacturers - could that be part of the 'deal'. It simplifies things for consumers and reduces potential liability by having consumers simply change the oil per a schedule and not have the confusion of different schedules for oil changes based on synth or dino? I know - just a bit of the conspiracy theory but - just a thought - I could be wrong.
 
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3,693
Location
Chattanooga, TN
When M1 first came out it was marketed as 25,000 miles between changes I believe. However, after a while I also feel that they came up against their own dino people and their marketing and decided that they were competing against their own interest rather then go together and agree that the manufacturers recommendations should be adhered to. Plus, back then there was still a huge mental block on extended drains. Thus, dino and synthetic win or rather Mobil wins. My other theory is that they gave in to the big oil interests and manufacturers and decided to ride the boat in lieu of rocking it. I am sure that there are other reasons as well
 
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605
Location
Mississauga, Ontario
I think it's $$$. Imo Mobil1 and other "full" synthetics can go easily 6K miles or 10K Km's on most engines. But why recommend that if people will buy it and change at 3-4K miles? They make more money that way right?
 
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263
Location
DFW, TX
In the new (C5) Corvettes, the owner's manual recommends 15k oil change intervals under "normal" conditions. Under "sever" conditions the interval is less, but I'm not sure what it is (6k?).
 
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2,077
Location
Cordelia, CA
I think 3000 is still the severe duty interval for Corvettes. Remember, the oil life index does not take contamination into account. So if you live at the end of a dirt road, your recommended interval is 3k. Of course, I lived at the end of a dirt road for several years, and ran a K&N, but at 11k with Mobil 5W30, analysis did not flag for contamination on my 93 Olds Ciera V6.
 
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1,412
Location
Falls Church VA
Back in the dark ages, Mobil 1 was test marketed as a 5W-20. Later appeared as a 5W30, with drain recommendation of (as I recall) 12,500 miles, later changed to 15,000 and then to 25,000. When Mobil got the factory fill contract from GM, any recommendation for extended drain disappeared (although the oil was still capable of doing it). Coincidence? Or related to the GM opposition to synthetic??? Since most of the public has been brainwashed by the 3,000 mile publicity and wouldn't accept extended drain, and since formulating an additive package for extended drain requires more expensive components--there isn't much economic interest in making such claims. Of course, when folks ask me why the oil companies don't recommend extended drain, my reply is that they must know the quality of their product.
 

pgtr

Thread starter
Messages
263
Location
tx
Dick! - That's what I'm talking about! - thanks! It just seemed awfully coincidental. The rest of the reasoning falls in place logically as well but that all just seemed to be the key event in the timeline of synth co's getting away from broadcasting about extended drain intervals. Mostly the boutique brands are all that still mention extended drain intervals these days. For normal usage - I agree, 3K is excessive and usually go about 5 or 6K w/ dino. Don't Corvettes have an oil change indicator based on some algorithm or other? Our Bimmer does and we avg 9K to 11K mi between changes. It won't take into account dusty environments but then most sports sedans typically are pavement driven. It also provides you with 5 green bar lights, 2 yellows and a red. Using synth I take it right up to the red. Using dino I'll change in the yellow zone. There's plenty of fudge space with a 'bar graph' indicator like this. "Remember, the oil life index does not take contamination into account. So if you live at the end of a dirt road, your recommended interval is 3k." Actually I think they do just that. If you look at the definition of severe duty in most car owners manual, "dusty" operating conditions put you in the severe category and thus the 3000 (or whatever) drain interval.
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
Yes, the Corvette has an oil life monitor, and as such the GM dealers will tell you to change the oil in that car at 15k/1yr or when the oil life hits 0%, whichever comes first. Since hard driving causes the oil life monitor to countdown to zero faster, most Vette owners won't hit 15k between changes. For that matter, most Vette owners don't do 15k a year either, a good portion of them might only drive 1-2k per year.
 
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39,806
Location
Pottstown, PA
How does that GM oil life monitor work? I just today heard two older guys (retired) compare the extended "depleation" time with synth oil as opposed to dino. Does it read Ph or what? It's obviously not mileage dependant. [Confused]
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
GM's oil change monitor uses RPM, number of cold starts, and a couple other parameters to determine the oil life. If you drive short distances the light comes on sooner, and if you drive at full throttle a lot more it comes on sooner. It does not test the oil condition in any way, it merely estimates it. [ October 01, 2002, 06:18 AM: Message edited by: Patman ]
 
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3,693
Location
Chattanooga, TN
To some degree it is mileage dependent. Mine will not go beyond 7500 miles so when I change my filter at 6000 I reset it. It may also very be year of car. Mine is a 2000 GM
 
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3,327
Location
Bolivia
Patman - There was an article (don't have it with me here) in June or July, maybe in Lubes N Greases Magazine or one of the others I get that I think said it also uses a dielectric strengh analisis to determine the level of degradation, so when you set it you are telling it that there is new oil there and it will compare agaist that value to monitor condition and then add the other values you mention.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,698
Location
Iowegia - USA
IMHO, making a blanket statement that you can go 25,000 miles on any car or truck without a Used Oil Analysis is ignorant. Take Amsoil. They say you can run their oil 25,000 miles as long as you change the filter at 12,500 miles and top-off. First, without an oil analysis, this is risky at best, and secondly, topping-off always replenishes the additives. Never have I seen either Mobil 1 or Amsoil go 25,000 miles with the same 5 quarts of oil. Now Mobil and Amsoil synths are good products, but a blanket 25,000 mile statement is inviting disaster or lawsuits or both. An maybe that one reason why they seem to be backing off - our freakin' litigous society - hang the dang trial lawyers. With the proper base oils, additive packages, and sufficient filtering, most cars could go 25k+ miles. It would be costly, but doable.
 
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5,785
Location
Dixie
Actually, it's 25k or 1 year, whichever comes first, with a filter change and topoff halfway through, using their filter. I believe the rationale behind this is that if you are running 25k miles in that short a period of time, you are doing primarily highway driving. Based on the oil analysis testing I've done over the last 8 years on a variety of engines, I think an interval of 15k/1 year is more reasonable with the regular 5w-30/10w-30/10w-40. The Series 2000, 0w-30 stuff does hold up better, so for normal driving an interval of 20k/1 years seems reasonable. Again, I'd change the filter halfway through and top off the crankcase. If you want to change the oil and filter at the same time, then you are limited by how long you feel comfortable running the same oil filter. With one of these high capacity filters, I think that 8k-12k is reasonable as a filter change interval. I recently cut open a SDF-96 filter I'd run for 12,000 miles and it looked fine. I believe Redline is recommending filter changes every 5k-6k miles, so you are adding quite a bit of fresh oil under those conditions....
 
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354
Location
Chicago
Liability is the first thing I thought of to the question in the original post. If an oil company makes a claim how long its oil is good for they are just asking for lawsuits. Despite how good and robust an oil is, a defective, broken or worn engine/electronics, super short trips all the time especially in cold weather, excessive dusty conditions can trash a good oil fast. But with a blank longevity statement made by an oil company, the consumer is going to want whoever they got their oil from to stand by their claim. Generally speaking I know I would because if a company is going to make a claim they better be able to live by the words of that claim. When it comes to this subject it seems Amsoil [No no] would be the worst offender of this type of marketing.
 
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903
Location
CA
This is off the Redline website. I'm not posting another good thing about Redline until I get a free hat. "Because of the robust polyester base stock and high-performance anticorrosive additive package in Red Line oils, they are ideal for use in street-driven vehicles at extended drain intervals. Red Line recommends oil changes for engines that are in good condition and do not see frequent starts without warm-ups or short-trips at between 10,000 and 18,000 miles for gasoline engines, 10,000 and 12,000 miles for diesel engines, or every 12 months, whichever is shorter."
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
One thing about extended intervals is that none of the oil companies tell you how to properly do it. None of them mention that you should do a couple of normal to slightly extended intervals first when you first switch to a new oil, before you go all out to their higher intervals. For example, do the first interval at 4-5k, then go 7-8k, both with oil analysis, and then go from there. They also don't mention Auto-rx (obviously, since they don't sell it) but I for one highly recommend this (or Neutra 131) before switching to a new oil and using extended intervals.
 
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3,346
Location
Clarksville, Tennessee
quote:
Originally posted by Patman: One thing about extended intervals is that none of the oil companies tell you how to properly do it. None of them mention that you should do a couple of normal to slightly extended intervals first when you first switch to a new oil, before you go all out to their higher intervals. For example, do the first interval at 4-5k, then go 7-8k, both with oil analysis, and then go from there. They also don't mention Auto-rx (obviously, since they don't sell it) but I for one highly recommend this (or Neutra 131) before switching to a new oil and using extended intervals.
MR Patman, Your right most, I repeat most don't. Except for some companies that sell through independant dealers, that have personal experience with extended drains, oil analysis and their product knowledge. I am refering Schaffers, Amsoil, and other smaller companies, If you are looking for guidance from companies like Mobil/Exxon, Chevron, and the other large companies, forget it. Even the techlines don't know squat about their own products. They are practically useless.
 
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5,785
Location
Dixie
Patman, When you buy a fleet of 200 "Class 8" trucks and decide to run Delvac 1, I am sure you will find ExxonMobil VERY willing to give you advice about extending drains. [Wink] Keep in mind that oil companies are in business to sell as much gas/diesel fuel/lubricants as possible. Why would they want to promote the use of fuel efficient, extended drain synthetic oils? This idea runs counter to all their business interests.
 
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