Why is Castrol Syntec so bad......

Messages
33
Location
Mi
Hello.....Have watched this site with great interest and have learned MUCH. I thought I knew oil 'till I came here. I have been using Shell Rotella T 15-40 conventional in all my vehicles over the last several years with no problems. I tend to have high milers, as I am a decent mechanic, and like to save $$ for my other interests, as opposed to big car payments. I recently was able to buy out a bunch of Castrol Syntec 5-50 for 5 bucks a gallon. I put it in my high mileage Ford Truck, and also in my 550 hp 440 mopar street/strip car. Since buying the Syntec, I have read some unsavory stuff about it on this site. I got it so cheap, and I have about 20 gallons of it, should I be concerned. I don't mind changing my oil often, and I have WIX master installer filter status, so I get my filters for about $3 each, so my cost for an oil change is about $9 in my truck, $8 in my minivan, and still only $15 in my 10 quart holding 63 Dodge. Should I use the stuff up, or is this stuff so bad should I get rid of it?? The Old Dodge is a Michigan Summer car that sees 90% street-10% strip duty, that I shift at 6200 RPM. I change the oil in the 63 every 300 miles, or after a really hard day at the strip. Is Syntec really poor oil, or is it a poor oil for the $$, or just not as good a synthetic compared to Mobil 1, Amsoil, Schaeffers, etc.., but still a fair oil compared to most conventionals, etc.. HOW BAD IS THIS STUFF????? [Freak] At $5 per gallon, would you use it?? [Confused]
 
Messages
8,937
Location
SC
My main complaint with Castrol Syntec is when they switched from being a PAO based synthetic (like Mobil 1 and Amsoil) to a Group III based synthetic, they didn't lower their prices to the consumer at all, even though Group III hydrocracked base oil is roughly half the cost of PAO. My other complaint with Castrol is that they don't publish the specs on their oils like every other company does, which would allow quick and easy comparison between Syntec and other synthetics. That being said, I'd be comfortable using Syntec for normal drain intervals--say no more than 5000 to 6000 miles. But I wouldn't pay the PAO price they want for their Group III based oil. I'm currently using Rotella Synthetic, which is a Group III synthetic made with Shell's XHVI base oil, and its price point at Wal-Mart (~$3.25/qt) is where any Group III synthetic should be.
 
Messages
421
Location
LUBBOCK, TX
From what I read on this and other forums, some people got down on Castrol Syntec because they advertised their oil as a full 100% synthetic when actually it wasn't. They were using some dino oil base oils. Mobil sued them and lost because the dino oil had been refined enough that it could be considered a synthetic. I think that people were mad because of the price that Castrol was charging was a full synthetic price. They thought that the price should be lower because of the dino oil being used. I would go ahead and use it. Castrol is still good oil. IMHO
 
Messages
47,644
Location
Duvall WA - Pacific NW USA
I have not studied the Castrol 5W-50 to speak wear numbers. I will say in theory the issues I have with this oil and Castrol. Well first let me say I'm not a hater of any oil company etc - but the Castrol petroleum 20W-50 "marketing" was responsible for more engine wear than they will ever know - and Castrol again pushed the "window" with Syntec....so here's the rub: The base oil is called "synthetic" but is not really a true synthetic organic compound (or blend thereof) as I/we learned in college sophomore organic chemistry. I won't lay all the details out - but basically it's a more highly refined petroleum oil base. Nothing automatically wrong with this. There are some good links out there that give really nice details on how (via marketing) Castrol and many others, now including Amsoil (two lower cost products) are allowed to do this (use the synthetic name for group III base oils AND how petroleum oil is hydrotreated/cracked) - and like many things in life some do it better than others. Sounds like Shell has some really good group III's for example. OK now to the point: 5W-50 is a large viscosity spread, even for the best true synthetic base oils with large viscosity indexes (group IV and V) - so Castrol, et al must use pour point agents and viscosity improvers to make a 45 point spread - chemicals that don't do a whole lot for lubricating your engines. These solvents and thickeners evaporate/breakdown (some nerds ;)here talk about volatility, viscosity "deltas" (my word), or other words to talk about your oil not staying like it went as virgin oil into your engine. So should you only use this oil for chain oil your chain saw? [Big Grin] No - again I'm not saying it's garbage - USE THE OIL, just make sure you stay your course - 3K max intervals - and heck get the oil analyzed so we can see how the oil does! [Cheers!]
 
Messages
1,933
Location
Oklahoma
You have already bought the oil but Quote: "At $5 per gallon, would you use it??" Nope. If at Walmart if I had a choice of the 10/30-10/40- Castrol GTX in the 5 quart jugs or that 5/50 I would buy the GTX at the same price for reasons Pablo posted. I think the newer VII's are a whole lot better but that 5/50 is not a newer breed oil is it ? At those intervals you posted I say use it up though,waste not,,want not [Smile] If those group III oils were far less money I would think about it but the Syntech is more than Mobil real Synthetic per quart and I have a friend that has been getting screaming good deals on Amsoil. I like a good blend with PAO more than the Syntech imo
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
I'd use it and change it every 3000-5000 miles ...it's not bad oil, just a bit overpriced. I should add in defense of Castrol that they have to buy their Group III basestocks from one of the majors, as they don't own any oil refineries. So they can't sell Group III oils as cheaply as say Shell or Chevron or Petro Canada are able to do ....
 

driven2services

Administrator
Messages
0
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: I'd use it and change it every 3000-5000 miles ...it's not bad oil, just a bit overpriced. I should add in defense of Castrol that they have to buy their Group III basestocks from one of the majors, as they don't own any oil refineries. So they can't sell Group III oils as cheaply as say Shell or Chevron or Petro Canada are able to do ....
Castrol is one of BP's brands. Castrol sold to Burmah Oil in 1966, and Burmah Oil was bought by BP in 1975. BP's main lubricant focus is in Europe, their products are available worldwide, but I don't know what their North American lubricant business involves--could be just buying base stocks and blending for their brands. Ken
 

11secondoldmopar

Thread starter
Messages
33
Location
Mi
Much to consider......Will use it, and keep the intervals conservative, but won't buy it again.......Thanks......I feel justified in using it based on the cost, but, won't likely buy it again.
 
Messages
3,202
Location
Far North East Texas
If it was me, I'd use it, but change it every 3,000 to 4,000 miles, & not worry about it. When it was all gone, I wouldn't buy any more of it, *Unless* I found more for $5/gal! Cheap? Me? [Wink]
 
Messages
5,069
Location
Saratoga, NY
11secondmopar, I'm with most of the people here. Use it but keep the oil intervals short. Stretching this stuff out might cause sludge. There is a lot of VII in that oil and after 4,000-5,000 miles, a lot of it is sheared down and just itchin' to form sludge inside your motor. Also, Castrol's formulas seem to be a little light on detergents/dispersants so don't count on the oil to be able to clean that stuff up. So, don't go past 4,000 miles with that stuff and you'll be fine. [Smile] Pablo had the most complete answer as to why we love to hate Castrol. There's a lot of companies now pawning off Group III crude oil as synthetic ... but it was Castrol that pioneered that sleazy pratice. [Mad] Oh, my brother had a 1968 Dodge Charger with a nicely built 440: 10:1 pistons, aluminum intake 3/4 race cam, Holly 750CFM carb, etc ... Was a nice machine until the unibody rotted out. [Freak] --- Bror Jace
 

Patman

Staff member
Messages
21,989
Location
Oakville, Ontario
I saw an oil analysis on one of the f-body boards on 10w30 Syntec and it had sheared back to a 20wt oil in just 3k! That's crazy! If their 10w30 shears back so easily, imagine their 5w50. It probably turns into 5w30. No thanks. Their GTX is a better oil, for a fraction of the price.
 
Messages
951
Location
Loveland, Colorado
Everybody ready? Here I go again: Blend! Blend! Blend! I had a bunch of Castrol's 10W-30 Syntec which I bought for about twice what you paid for 5W-50, & I was happily using it up at 10k mile drain intervals. Then I started hearing the wailing & gnashing of teeth. I panicked. I took the whole lot back to the store & bought M1 instead. Then I learned about oils like Delvac 1 & Rotella Synthetic. I've used the 5W-50 Syntec once, & it did thin out a lot. So here's what I'd do: mix in some D1 or Rotella Syn. Better stability, better AW/EP, less gunk. I'd decide what ratio made me comfortable, but probably something between 20%-40% PAO-syn. It doesn't sound like you want to make this oil go for 10k mi anyway, so I think it's going to do what you're looking for. And at $5/gal, it's hard to pass up a grp3 oil.
 

Al

Messages
19,167
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by Greg Netzner: Everybody ready? Here I go again: Blend! Blend! Blend! I had a bunch of Castrol's 10W-30 Syntec which I bought for about twice what you paid for 5W-50, & I was happily using it up at 10k mile drain intervals. Then I started hearing the wailing & gnashing of teeth. I panicked. I took the whole lot back to the store & bought M1 instead. Then I learned about oils like Delvac 1 & Rotella Synthetic. I've used the 5W-50 Syntec once, & it did thin out a lot. So here's what I'd do: mix in some D1 or Rotella Syn. Better stability, better AW/EP, less gunk. I'd decide what ratio made me comfortable, but probably something between 20%-40% PAO-syn. It doesn't sound like you want to make this oil go for 10k mi anyway, so I think it's going to do what you're looking for. And at $5/gal, it's hard to pass up a grp3 oil.
Well I really wouldn't do that because you really can't be sure what the additive packages will do to each other. Also The Rotella Syn is a group III as was mentioned. As far as my views on the origional post in this thread- I wouldn't use it because like others I don't feel its up to extended drain intervals. And that's what I do. Id I were into the 4K oil change mode I'd use it.
 

Ron

Messages
113
Location
Santa Fe,N.M.
posted August 03, 2002 05:37 PM -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi,Here are the Blackstone numbers on Castrol Syntec 5W-50 with 5,600 miles.This was on a '99 Ford Econoline 150 with 4.2L Six at 24,300 miles.The driving conditions were seven weeks of mostly freeway and hot weather.One half quart of make-up oil was added.Universal Averages are in (#). Alum 2 (5) Chrom 0 (1) Iron 8 (40) Copper 6 (16) Lead 8 (9) Tin 0 (1) Moly 38 (37) Nickel 1 (1) Manganese 1 (1) Silver 0 (0) Titanium 0 (0) Potassium 0 (6) Boron 28 (37) Silicon 16 (28) Sodium 2 (50) Calcium 3023 (1575) Magnesium 6 (382) Phosphorus 717 (843) Zinc 904 (996) Barium 4 (2) Sus [email protected] 88.5 (77-88) Flashpoint in F 445 (>385) Insolubles 0.3 (<0.6) Comments:Nothing too unusual showed up in this sample. All wear read at or below averages for this type of engine, which is a very good indication of normal wearing parts and careful operation. The lead did read slightly high compared to iron,though at this low of a level,we don't suspect it is coming from a problem. The universal averages show normal wear after about 3,700 miles on the oil. Feel free to run the next oil 8,000 miles. If wear and insolubles still read low,you should be able to go even longer. No fuel dilution or anti-freeze was found. Maybe this will shed some light on this sticky issue?I'm switching anyway. Ron [Roll Eyes]
 

Al

Messages
19,167
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Those are certainly good numbers IMHO. It would be nice to seeTBN. If I were getting those #'s I probably continue to use it-although not at a price greater than Mobil 1.
 
Messages
349
Location
Quebec, Canada
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: So they can't sell Group III oils as cheaply as say Shell or Chevron or Petro Canada are able to do ....
TooSlick, I don't know about you, but Petro Canada motor oils are freaking expensive up here! And quite rare (specifically Petro Canada Duron). Regards, Oz
 
Messages
5,785
Location
Dixie
The Oz, Well maybe if you weren't using that funny money up there in Canada ... [Wink] The PC, 5w-40 runs about $12.75/gallon in a case of four, 1 gallon containers in the northern US. At that price it is an excellent value for light duty diesel engines and I've been recommending it a lot. If it costs you as much as Delvac 1, I'd go with Delvac 1 ....
 
Messages
349
Location
Quebec, Canada
quote:
Originally posted by TooSlick: The Oz, Well maybe if you weren't using that funny money up there in Canada ... [Wink] The PC, 5w-40 runs about $12.75/gallon in a case of four, 1 gallon containers in the northern US. At that price it is an excellent value for light duty diesel engines and I've been recommending it a lot. If it costs you as much as Delvac 1, I'd go with Delvac 1 ....
Problem is, I can't find Duron 5W40 around here! [Frown] Their 5W30 Full Synthetic (API SL/CD) product is already at $7.99/litre at any Petro Canada gas station, so I reckon the Duron line will be much more. In comparison, the Delvac 1 5W40 sells for approx. $36/4 litre jug. And readily available at any Walmart here. And you bet it's what I'll be using next [Smile] Regards, Oz
 
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