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synthetic oil

Old 10-12-09, 12:41 PM
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HardyWeinberg
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synthetic oil

Does anybody running synthetic oil in a car get the full lifespan out of it? Drain it every 5k miles, replace the filter, pour it back in? Or is that just a fleet level kind of thing?
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Old 10-12-09, 12:46 PM
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I've been using it in the Miata for a while. Until the last oil change I've been treating it as normal oil (change the oil and filter every 5k miles) but my mechanic says that the last stuff that was put in it is good for 25k miles. I'll change it out in 10k just to be safe.
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Old 10-12-09, 01:31 PM
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Easier to just use the ordinary stuff and change per schedule or a bit more often if you're paranoid
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Old 10-12-09, 01:39 PM
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My Jeep's had synthetic in it since it had 600 miles.I change it every 8-10K with a new filter.144K and it runs as well as new.
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Old 10-12-09, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
I've been using it in the Miata for a while. Until the last oil change I've been treating it as normal oil (change the oil and filter every 5k miles) but my mechanic says that the last stuff that was put in it is good for 25k miles. I'll change it out in 10k just to be safe.
I can't put it any better than that

Synthetic is the best, interesting to note that only 3 Co.s actually make it and sell it to everyone else, even under disimilar specs. You all can guess the Co.s
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Old 10-12-09, 02:02 PM
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i go 10,000 miles in my miata (strange coincidence) on M1 5w-30 (0w-30 in winter) and a Wix oil filter.
if i was going to go any longer, i would probably throw in an oil filter change at half of whatever i was going to go on the oil.
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Old 10-12-09, 02:26 PM
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I use Shell Rotella T Synthetic, 5W-40, in everything I own. Wife's Cadillac, my pickup, motorcycle, lawnmowers, snowblowers, etc.

With the exception of my motorcycle, which gets changed every 10-12 thou, they all get a fresh oil filter, and oil, every winter. I've never found a plugged filter, so why change it?

I've never had to add oil between changes.

Wonderful stuff.
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Old 10-12-09, 02:39 PM
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I've been going 6000 miles on my Civic. I personally wouldn't go any more than 10,000 miles, but I haven't seen detailed info on oil quality at that point, so I can't conclusively say 25K is to long. I'm just not going to risk shortening the life of $15,000 investment over $100 lifetime savings in oil.

Since my girlfriend's car is now close to 200,000 miles (I'm utterly amazed to see a Ford with an automatic tranny last that long!), I've told her not to bother with synthetic.

Wanderer - you use synthetic in your lawnmower? Mower engines are pretty simple and robust, and I don't think I've ever seen one fail due to engine wear as long as it had oil of any kind.
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Old 10-12-09, 02:43 PM
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I use fully synthetic and change oil whenever the gadget thingie tells me to. I used to change every year but now just save time/effort at manufacturer's intervals. This is the 2nd car I've been dong that in. I just have too many other things going on in my life to worry about an oil change.
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Old 10-12-09, 02:59 PM
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Personally I would not go any longer than double the recommended interval for conventional oil for full synthetic (which is probably 10k miles or so). 25k is a loooong time for a single oil change. It would make me nervous.

My own car is 15 years old with 155k miles so I don't have full synthetic in it. Right now I'm using a formulation for "high mileage" engines from Castrol, which I think is partially synthetic. So far it's done its advertised job of reducing a slight oil burn I've got going on.
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Old 10-12-09, 03:28 PM
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The OP is on the right track for getting the most out of your synthetic oils.

Unless you put really hard demands on your engine oil such as extreme heat, extreme cold or extreme loads AND do your own oil changes, I'm not sure synthetic is buying you anything over dino in terms of improved engine life or cost savings. If you do happen to fall into one of those categories, then synthetic may make sense... but, again: you need to adopt an oil change schedule that is based on when your oil actually needs changing vs. some assumed interval. To do that, you need to have your engine oil analyzed at a regular interval until you establish when it really does need to be changed IF you want to get your money's worth out of the synthetic oils.

If you have decided to use synthetic under normal driving conditions then, similar to the guy who really can benefit from it, you owe it to yourself to have your engine oil analyzed before you decide if you need it changed, i.e., pay the $20 or so to send off a sample to a lab at 10k miles and see if you're good for another 10k miles. Do the same at 20k miles and so on. Once you have your engine oil's life baselined you'll know how often YOU should change YOUR oil in YOUR car and will have YOUR OWN oil maintenance schedule. Hint, hint.... if you're not going to own the vehicle for years and years or put 100's of thousands of miles on it why are you using synthetic anyway?

IMHO: Simply switching to synthetics to replace dino oil and sticking to the same oil replacement schedule on a vehicle that sees normal use in normal operating temperatures is simply a waste of time and money.... which is also true of putting oil additives into a car that's been serviced with new dino oil on a regular basis.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 10-12-09 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 10-12-09, 03:35 PM
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Yep, I do use it in my mowers. That way I only have one oil in the garage.

And, my purpose for using synthetic (besides optimal lubricating properties) is extended changes (only changing once a year. )

Joints still get a shot of grease at 6 months, and the motorcycle gets changed more often because of the shared gearbox and wet clutch. I do it all myself, so my changes are always less than getting it done commercially, with a much higher quality product. Then ---- I only do it once a year.
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Old 10-12-09, 04:37 PM
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The type of oil you use and the oil-change interval really depends upon the type of engine you have, its mileage, the environmental conditions and the type of driving you do. Porsche recommends 7500 miles between oil-changes with more or less frequent changes depending upon all those factors mentioned. The higher the stress level on the engine, the more frequent the changes. On the street car, I go 10000 miles between changes. The track car gets an oil-change before every track session or 5000 miles, whichever comes first.

Being full-throttle 100% for up to 24-hours will stress an engine way more than an entire year's worth of street driving. When rebuilding my track Turbo's engine this last time around at 100k-miles, there was no unusual wear, the bores didn't even needed to be honed and the pistons were fine. Only needed new rings and rod-bearings. The street car with 300k-miles at its rebuild was in similar condition. We just threw in new rings and rod-bearings and that was it. The main-bearings were in such good condition that they didn't even need replacing as the clearances was on the tight end of the tolerance-range.

You'll want to do your own testing with sending in your oil for analysis. I assure you that the commonly accepted oil-change intervals are purely a marketing ploy by the oil-companies to increase profits.
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Old 10-12-09, 04:58 PM
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I have been using a 15,000 mile synthetic for several years now, but I don't go past 10,000 miles on a change. With modern engines, using modern gasoline, the oil looks better at 10k than it did in the old days at 1k.
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Old 10-12-09, 05:29 PM
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Wife's Passat has 12ok miles and requires synthetic and I just change it and the filter per the factory schedule which is every 7500 miles. Dino in my old Infiniti with over 200k miles as well as my Land Rover but I change the oil in both every 3k.
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Old 10-12-09, 05:49 PM
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The one thing many miss is the synthetics conserve petroleum.And every little bit does help.That and they are far superior to mineral based oils.
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Old 10-12-09, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
The one thing many miss is the synthetics conserve petroleum.And every little bit does help.That and they are far superior to mineral based oils.
Incorrect!

Couch
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Old 10-12-09, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
Does anybody running synthetic oil in a car get the full lifespan out of it? Drain it every 5k miles, replace the filter, pour it back in? Or is that just a fleet level kind of thing?
Check out Blackstone's website.

There have been many studies that demonstrate the clear superiority of synthetic oil over conventional oil. Engine break-in requirements are the same (a couple of early changes - 2500 and 5000mi perhaps), but synthetic oil definitely lasts longer if you still change your filter frequently. Anyway, you can send them an oil sample and since they have such a huge database of samples they've collected, they can tell you exactly what condition your engine is in, what is going to fail next, and how many miles you can expect to get out of it.

Also check out bypass oil filtration. These remove particles 1 micron and larger and will practically eliminate engine wear altogether.
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Old 10-12-09, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by XR2 View Post
The one thing many miss is the synthetics conserve petroleum.And every little bit does help.That and they are far superior to mineral based oils.
I haven't seen any numbers on it, and I'm not sure if that's actually true since they take more energy to make.

But if your vehicle lasts longer and performs better during it's life, that's a major environmental bonus there.
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Old 10-12-09, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by couch_incident View Post
Incorrect!

Couch
Just curious,where did you study tribology?
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Old 10-12-09, 07:55 PM
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My car gets a synthetic blend, and since the engine was broken-in, my Harley has had nothing but synthetic.
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Old 10-13-09, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by JF1 View Post
Wife's Passat has 12ok miles and requires synthetic and I just change it and the filter per the factory schedule which is every 7500 miles. Dino in my old Infiniti with over 200k miles as well as my Land Rover but I change the oil in both every 3k.
No joke on the passat. If it has the 1.8T and you use anything other than VW502.00 oil, just put a stick of dynamite in the engine now and call it a day.

I recently sold my passat b/c I only put 800 miles on it last year after I started bike commuting. Bought a V8 F150 with 120k miles on it to replace it.

I do my own oil changes and plan on changing out Pennzoil yellow once a year when it goes on sale for $10 a jug.
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