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Synthetic motor oil

Upon delivery of my new Honda Oddesey I was
informed of the need to go 7,500 miles before an
oil change to let the break-in oil do it's job.
I usually change my oil every 3K since I do a lot
of short trip driving, rarely over 15 miles in
duration. I am considering Amesoil to preserve
engine and add better friction protection. What
has been your experience with synthetic oil? What
oil filter do you recommend? I have been using
Fram and Delco. Thanks for your input.
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Comments

  • There is a LENGTHY topic entitled "Engine Oil; A Slippery Subject" at the beginning of this Maintenance and Repair topic list...check it out. It will answer all of your questions. But FYI, this issue has been covered - - there is no value to what some dealers refer to as "break-in" oil. As you will see in the Engine Oil postings, it is best to change at the first 3,000, as you indicate.
  • Some experts told me that Delco filter was much better than Fram. (They did cut the oil filter, and did some testing.)

    Fang
  • I've had good luck with synthetic, and if you're going to use it, it's best to start with a new-ish engine (after you've put on a few thousand miles) rather than an old one.

    The benefits I've noticed after extensive testing are faster warmup from cold, and perhaps slightly better revs from the engine. I believe that all stories of better fuel mileage, greater engine life etc., are not well-founded.

    What I've come to believe after lots of reading and my own experience is that synthetic is good for EXTREMES of heat, cold and racing, and if none of those things matter to you, regular engine oil will work just as well and give you just as long an engine life. But for frigid temperatures, burning desert, or the race track, synthetic has definite advantages over regular oil.

    Also, you can extend your oil changes to 5,000 miles with synthetic if you wish.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    Well said.

    I have decided to run Delco in my new Silverado. Also ran a PureOne from Purolater. The new upgraded filters from Fram are probably comparable. I forget what Fram calls their newest models.... think they have a band of gritty matl on the outside for wrench friction. Only avail in a few models.

    Hopefully, non of the filters are having to do much in the normal 3,000 to 5,000 oil change interval.
  • Yes, the biggest difference you will notice with syn vs dead dino oil is how quickly and effortlessly your car starts in fridgid weather...while everyone else cranks and cranks. Also, engine life/wear over the long haul should be improved, as syn's don't contain negligible amounts of wax (parrafin), unlike conventional oils. I agree with the extended interval change, and if you drive mainly highway miles, you could push it to 7,000.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I have been told that if you run synthetics, your gaskets, and most anything else other than metal the oil touches will swell, and then shrink back if you go back to dinosaur oil, opening pinhole leaks. (Never been brave enough to put syn in my car). Is this true? Synthetic makers swear up and down its not, but I learned long ago not to take a manufacturer's word at face value.
  • that if you switch back to petroleum based oil from snthetic, you may notice some leaks and even possibly some burning of oil. As long as you stick with synthetic, you will have much more benefits over the petroleum based oils.

    Same is true switching between different brands of petroleum based oils too though. Different oils have higher or lower concentrations of detergents in them. Swithching often can result in leaks and burning of oil.
  • I hate to break the news to you...but switching viscosities, brands, and dino to synth and back WILL NOT cause leaks. Maybe burning of oil if you go back to dino, but leaks....not. Where do you come up with that conclusion? Please tell us.
    Use common sense. The reason people say that going to synthetic will cause leaks is because it creates larger leaks in older engines that are leaking to begin with. It just (because of polymer size) makes the leaks seem to appear as new leaks only because these slow caked on dino leaks become really heavy and are therefore considered "new" and "caused" by synth. The only way a synth oil will leak, is if it has a way out of the engine. Simple as that. If the gaskets are good, then synth wont leak out. I dont care how many miles an engine has on it.
    I bought a 1982 Nissan 720 PU for a beater with 125K on it. It was leak free but the oil was black as night and the truck obviously was not maintained well. I went with Mobil 1 and voila! still no leaks after 175K! Tell me synth causes leaks again. Its entertaining. And if anything, the engine burned LESS oil than before. I asked the guy that sold it to me and he said Id have to put a quart in it per 1k miles. I went 3.5K per change and only put in an extra quart. The guy wasnt too bright. Obviously when you let an engine with over 100K go for 5K+ miles between changes it will start to burn thin, dirty, gas filled oil .
  • I have heard this too, and I can tell you its just not true. I have used Mobil 1 since 1988. I have used it in beaters and newer cars (foreign and domestic) and NEVER have I seen it swell gaskets. And I have gone back to regular when I didnt have the extra cash.....no leaks! I used it in my girlfriends 1993 Honda Civic. The car had 25K on it (dino oil) when I put in Mobil1. We collectively put 150K on the car in 3 years and we took the car to Carmax when she bought a new car.
    The tech that checked the car out said he had never seen a car with that high of mileage so well maintained. Zero valve train noise, clean engine, and near factory compression and leak down. I was beaming. I think the bottom line is.....no matter what you use......just change your oil every 3500 miles. Your engine will love you.
  • For new engines it's best to break them in using conventional oil. With my new engines I change the oil and filter after about the first 500 miles! This'll help drain out the metal/dirt/fibers that are inside the engine. With the 2nd change I go about 2000 miles, then after that I change the oil and filter about every 3500 miles whether it's syn or not! Let's face it, oil can only suspend contaminates for only so long. Oil, even syn is much cheaper than a new engine.
    One helpful hint for those of you who have a car that uses 10/40 motor oil in the tranny, (Honda's and Acuras come to mind). Before I converted to syn oil I used ARCO's 10/40 graphite oil in our Honda/Acura trannies. It's amazing how much better the car shifted! Almost felt like brand new synchros!
  • dmkdmk Posts: 22
    Does anyone know where I can find Valvoline SynPower 5W40. This weight is specified by VW and other European makes but is difficult to find.
  • jbadamsjbadams Posts: 63
    I just put Mobil 1 5w-30 oil in my 00 Maxima GLE. One thing I noticed was the color of the oil out of the can. I have used several different brands over the years, primarily Mobil and Texaco Havoline. Mobil oil is generally champagne in color while Havoline is generally darker. I noticed that Mobil 1 looks more like Havoline oil with a darker color.

    I used PepBoys brand synthetic in my last car. It was Proline Gold, and it was very clear, Champagne color. I guess the additives change the color of the oil.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I was doing a little research on those 1980's model seires III Jag XJ6's, and among other things I learned they take nine quarts of oil and leak about a quart of that out every thousand miles, regaurdless of how well the engine has been maintained (this IS a British car we're talking about here). Then I read where an owner was told to try synthetics in his car, and th leaks stopped. Any science behind this? Would it work with other makes?
  • butch11butch11 Posts: 153
    If you are having oil leaks using dino oil, synthetic will compound the problem-one of the properties of syn oil is to get into tight places-this also makes it more leak at a faster rate. Used to help change oil on an old XK-120-always marveled at how much oil that thing took-does the crankcase oil still circulate in the tranny?
  • I own a caravan that used to burn a quart of oil every 600 miles. After the oil was switched to mobil 1 it gradually improved (2 changes) to a less than a quart per 1500 miles. I've heard two theories. 1. Synthetics contain less volative compounds(additives) that evaporate due to engine heat. 2. Syn oil generally carries a high detergent package for extended oil changes. This could free up "sticky" rings and stop oil loss. I believe two is most likely. #13 I would give it a fair trial in your Jaguar and see what happens.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Well, Its not I car I own, but will most likely be the next one I buy (hey, used british cars are CHEAP, not to mention good looking.) One expert on those old XK inline 6 engines said (tounge in cheek) that the front oil seals on the crankshaft were designed to leak so that the front of the car would be covered in oil, and won't rust. Me? I'd prefer the krylon method of rust prevention and keep all nine quarts *inside* the engine where it belongs.
  • this is from an observation..not somthing i read.. would a synthetic, due to its properties, stay up on the cylinder walls as well when the car is not running. I had thought of this, and I have a friend who runs synthetic in his ranger. He was out of town for about 3 weeks and when he got back and started up the truck, there was a huge clatter and smoke. Our conclusion was that the synthetic had not stayed up in the cylinder walls.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    One of the big oil companies rebuilt a bunch of airplane motors a few years back because of the exact question you posed. Since most airplane motors do not get regular use, the oil was draining off the cylinder walls leading to increased wear and eventual siezures.....


    PS Headed to Montana, put M1 0W-30 in. Will report on experience in my Silverado....
  • I now have 3100 miles on my 00 Outback. Is this too early to change to synthetic oil?
  • Most folks say that you want to wait until the piston rings have seated before you go to synthetics. But how do you know? Some are saying wait until 6k to 9k miles.

    I go by how much oil usage I have. If the engine stops using oil, then I feel the rings have seated. So if you have not noticed any oil usage, or oil usage has stopped, I think you can switch.

    I do believe that most new car engines are pretty well broken in when you drive them off the lot. Engines are manufactured under tight tolerances and very clean conditions. Some cars come from the factory with Mobil 1.
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