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Slick 50 and Synthetics



  • The larger the number (viscosity) difference, the more unstable the molecules in the oil. For example 5w-30 is less stable than 10w-30 and 0w-30 is even less stable than both. All this unstablitiy means is that the additives in the oil that protect your engine have a shorter life span. Don't just take my word for it (and all auto manufacturers), go to a lab and see for yourself. You should try to stick to as little a number (viscosity) spread as possible. Just my $.02.
  • arkie6arkie6 Posts: 198

    your reasoning applies to conventional motor oils; however, synthetics require fewer viscosity improvers than conventional oils to achieve the wider viscosity profile. It's the viscosity improvers (VI) that screw things up since they do not provide any significant lubrication qualities. The synthetics remain free flowing at lower temperatures than conventional oils and can thus start out with a higher base viscosity than conventionals. This allows them to achieve a wider effective viscosity profile while actually having fewer VIs than the organic stuff.

    Just my $.02
  • Benchmark tests and specifications reviewed to date prove synthetics beat petroleum-based lubricants every time, every test (4 Ball Wear, Volatility, Pour Point, Boundary Layer Surface Psi, V-Block Wear, etc.). Viscosity stability over time is superior in synthetics (regardless of "W" spread) plus synthetics are superior in countering negative effects of combustion byproducts. Synthetic molecular make up is natural Gas and hydrocarbon based. BIG NAME additives are often unstable and rarely sold in clear bottles since contents settle into glue-like masses (same effect at bottom of crankcase) which can often result in hydrochrloric compound formation (either Ph# acidic or can block oil screen pump pick up point). We are prmoting only 3 brands of additives, one approved by the FAA for aircraft engines. The key is to eliminate or reduce dry start wear and also protect metal with high psi boundary layer protection. We only believe in 4 on the market. Some treat the oil and some treat the metal. We believe in treating the oil and the metal for superior results, as manifested by dyno records and customer testimonials (including Marine, aircraft and other applications).
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    How about cost? Most folks that take care of their vehicles and change oil frequently have the vehicle wear out for other problems other than engine wear.

    I'm gonna go 150 to 200K running Walmart tech2000 synth blend at $1.25 per quart. If synthetic was so superior, I would bet that the OTR diesels would be running it.

    I do run synthetics in my race bikes for the reasons your list, but just don't see the value for my 10yr around town vehicles.
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Posts: 4,162
    Heck...even with Reg.Oil...the manual says every 7500. 3000 is overrated big time.

    - Tim
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I doubt I have sludge build up after 3K miles. You are right about one thing I have not seen the inside of any engine I have bought new. Never had the need to open them up. The information I read in several car mags concluded that synthetics are slightly better in some conditions - But also went on to say the miles/months per change for synthetic and regular oils is the same... I am not saying "I want to save $20 so I use the cheap oil" I just think you are better off using regular oil and changing it more often. I only drive my truck about 800 miles a month (mostly city stop and go) it only gets changed about 3 times per year. I alternate between doing it myself and taking it to the dealer so I have a record of it being serviced - for warranty reasons.

    I can not understand why anyone would go to the trouble of changing the oil filter and not changing the oil. I saw one post where a guy actually said he dumped the oil from the old filter into the new filter. If you really "treat your engine the best regardless of what I may get by with" as you say why not change the oil when you change your filter? Sound to me like you need to take your own advise.
  • ww00650ww00650 Posts: 48
    I think the I can explain what is intended here. Having a vested interest in maintaining my own vehicles, I've tried to keep myself up to date on the latest beliefs and hype.

    The reason behind the synthetic oils is the Purity of oil molecules. Few or no additives to breakdown. If there isn't a breakdown of the oil, then why change it? Even GM says the recommended period between changes is 7500 miles, without regard to it being conventional or otherwise.

    One would still want to change the filter more often than the oil. Why? While the synthetic oil will last much longer, the engine is still wearing away and creating it's own contaminants of metal, combustion byproducts, etc.. These Should get trapped in the filter. Too many particals in the filter and it will stop doing it's job.

    How many miles do you get between oil and/or filter changes? It depends on what you believe and who you listen to.

    Conventional Oil / Filter companies say : 3000
    Why do you think they say that? Hmmm. You don't have to be a brain surgen to figure this one out.

    GM says : 7500 miles
    It's their warranty on your 5.3. You think they would put unneccessary risks on their bottom line.

    Synthetic Oil companies will claim whatever they have to, to win your business.

    Again, it depends on what you believe, and who you listen to. In my car I use conventional oil every 3K. I never planed on having it this long. In my 93 Honda VFR crouch rocket I have used slick 50. Soon after, I noticed a slight tap from the heads, and no other positive or negative results. No change in performance or oil cleanliness. I'll never use it again.

    When I get MY new LT I'll be using a synthetic at the first oil change. Most likely mobil1. A friend has been using it for years on his Mustang, changes his oil and filter every 5K, and I've seen the inside of his valve covers(he's a performance freak). Spotless. He swears by it, and that is the best recommendation I can make.
    Word of mouth is by far the best way to go.
  • markcordmarkcord Posts: 113
    I just picked up my 2000 V10 Ram. Dodge must agree with GM. The dealer says "your first scheduled checkup and oil change is at 7500 miles." I looked thru the maintenance schedules and the heavy duty schedules for the 8.0L also recommend oil changes at 7500 miles. The manufacturers must know what they're talking about. I personally plan to change for the first time at 3000 then switch to Mobil 1 and change at 5000. Anybody out there see any problems with this? I would think the valves should be seated by then. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
  • pchengpcheng Posts: 165
    The color of your oil is not dirt. The change in the oil color is mostly due to blow by gasses (essentially exhaust) that blow by the piston rings during compression. The gas reacts with the chemicals (and heat) in the oil changing the color of the oil.

    The color of the oil (that is caused by blow by gasses) does not directly correlate with its ability to lubericate and dissapate heat.

    Oil that comes out of a race car after it has been driven 300 miles comes out almost black. The oil from a car that drives under 55mph every Sunday to the market, after 1000 miles, and 8 months, has very light oil. The oil from the regular car is much more along in its lifecycle than the 300 mile race car. Break down of oil has a lot to do with the oil being heated and cooled over and over again. The more heat cycles you put on a oil the more it aborbs moisture and starts to break down.

    If the color of the oil were dirt, then the person who changes the filter all the time would have the right idea, and the oil would always be amber colored and never go bad.
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Posts: 4,162
    That shower theory is killin' me boss!

    I changed at 980 with regular Mobil and a GM filter

    Going to change at 3000 with Mobil 1 5-30

    After that every 5000...and have not yet decided on GM filter or Mobil 1. perhaps GM to keep a warranty record..kinda..

    - Tim
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I will admit I am not a mechanic, have not done an engine rebuild for 20 years. But at one time I could fix anything - rebuilt the engine in my 69 Chevelle 396 when I was 18. Helped friends with valve and ring jobs, carb rebuilds replace clutches - what ever needed fixing.
    The way engines are today - all the computer stuff- I will admit it is above my capabilities..and I really don't have the time or the right tools. I guess the good news is engines are more reliable and don't have as many internal problems.

    You may be taking this oil stuff to personal. I had no intention upsetting you or anyone. I have not seen anyone get so upset since I told someone in a Toyota topic that I thought the Tunda back seat was to small. Change your filter if it makes you happy - it still seems like a waste to me. Hell maybe we should start a topic about tire rotation - that would really get everyone excited.

    Pcheng- I understand you race car VS 1,000 miles in 8 month example. It is not just miles but time.
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    I'm with Z71bill on most of this issue. I don't rebuild car and truck motors anymore, but did in the old days. Also did a science fair project on comparison of mobil 1 vs conv way back then on B&S lawnmowers. I work as a Mechanical Engineer, and my passions include having some knowledge and understanding of internal combusion engines.

    I run synthetics in my street and dirt motorcycles. Run relatively cheap oil in my tow vehicles, pressure washers, lawnmowers, ....
    My tow vehicles never overheat, and I don't think it's possible to measure the difference in engine temps related to oil type (my opinion)

    ZBad71, feel free to keep offering your opinion, but please allow the other readers to draw their own conclusions.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I know the Silverado has Synthetic gear oil in the rear differential. But no change interval is specified in the owners manual. Does this mean you don't have to change it?? The 98 Tahoe my wife drives has the locker and it uses regular gear oil. It needed to be changed at 3,000 miles and then every 15,000 miles or 2 years.

    My Silverado has 5,000 miles - is it time for a differential oil change??

    Anyone also know what GM charges for a quart of synthetic gear oil. (I say quart but the regular gear oil they sell comes in 22 ounce bottles) The Mobile 1 75W90 synthetic gear oil I saw at AutoZone said " not approved for limited slip differentials" Whats up with this - if mobile 1 is so good why is it not approved for limited slip differentials.

    The strange thing is the Silverado has a drain plug in the rear differential but no change recommended in owners manual. The Tahoe has no drain plug, you have to take the cover off and replace the gasket when you change the fluid. To me this seems [non-permissible content removed] backwards.

    I would like some information on this before next weekend. The Tahoe is due for a change and as long as I plan on getting dirty and oily I might as well do both of them.
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Posts: 4,162
    My Local Trans shop told me every 10K for a Limited slip....does that mean locker too?


    - Tim
  • zbad71zbad71 Posts: 226
    Thanks for your post. I think its cool to get real life experiences like this, especially 25 years worth.

    My Dad, although he for some reason felt the need to buy his wife a Ford V10, has always been a loyal Chevy owner. He is still the original owner of a 78 K10 Reg Cab 4X4. I think it was the first year for the manual locking hubs.
    He is on the second engine. The first had over 200k miles on it before replacing. The one in it now has a little more than that. SAME TRANSMISSION and going strong!

    He has always used synthetics in his trucks and continues to do so today. He swears its the only thing that kept oil blow by past the rings. The truck lost some compression upon reaching the high mileage and eventually leaked oil, but never burned a drop and to my knowledge doesn't on the second engine either.

    I will always use a good synthetic, no matter what the cost. I feel it pays for itself in the long run
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Ok so you go 10,000 miles between changes - how long does it take you to put that many miles on your car? If you have 300,000 miles on a 96 you must drive at least 75,000 miles per year. Unless you are a cab driver or deliver pizza they must be mostly hi-way miles. I could see going more miles between changes but it takes me a year to put 10,000 miles on my truck. You drive that much 6 weeks. If I drove that much I would have to change my oil every other weekend - If that was the case I would be switching to synthetic oil tomorrow!!!
  • mckainmckain Posts: 20
    I agree with you, If I drove it 10K per year I'd be changing oil&filter twice a year anyway. Like I said you need to do what makes sense for you (people sometimes forget about just using common sense for the situation you're in, most everyone has a different situation, not putting you down or anything) ALSO you need to do what you feel comfortable with.

    By the way my post said that my 96 Saab had 95,000 now and I wanted to drive it for 300,000. Sometimes it does 200 miles a day sometimes its just around town. My wife is a contractor (no pizza's) and her assignments vary, I still do my 5K/10K thing. But it might be every month or every three, it depends. If it was six+ months I'd probably change it then regardless of miles. For many years we have averaged 25K-35K on each of 2 vehicles and 10K-15K on the third (usually a truck or van). We spend alot of time in vehicles communiting to work and shuttling our seven kids around.

    One last quick story, in 67 my dad gave me his 62 Impala, little 283 V8. I ran that car through high school and college and put another 100K on top of my dads 90K (no doubt the second 100K was a lot rougher on that car, the 5 trannies I put in it prove that). I changed the oil every 3K (no synthetic then). That was the recommended interval back then. When I took it off the road the motor was using oil and it was noisy (lifters) and it had sludge built up real thick. I was comfortable with that and really thought I accomplished something putting that many miles on it.

    Then I started using synthetics and it is a night and day difference. If you live in a cold climate you will hear the difference. If you don't you will have to measure the difference over time. But like I said every situation is different, some guys lease and just use a good oil and its done.

    Good luck, I'm sure everyone is doing what they think is right. As I said before I just wanted to let people know what has happened to me using synthetics.

  • artpartp Posts: 156
    I'm not a mechanic but I change my own oil sometimes. Whether it's a brand new truck or an older truck I've always notice a fuel smell to the old oil. I realize gasoline and engine oil are both petroleum based, but doesn't it make sense to change the oil with the filter to get rid of fuel residue? Won't the fuel residue break down the oil?

    regarding manufacturer 7500 mi. interval recommendation:

    I asked my mechanic, who is a friend I trust. He says, they want the engines to last for 100k (well past the powertrain warranty), then want you to buy a new vehicle. There is also a statistic called "maintenance cost" for every vehicle. Obviously a 7500 interval will have lower "maint. cost", thus creating a lower "total cost of ownership". Looks good on paper and to the JD Power people.

    To support the theory, there are some fluids that should obviously be changed, such as power steering fluid and brake fluid. some owners manuals ignore changing these fluids completely.

    FYI: Saw a study which proved the most popular brand of oil filter, was complete junk. Can't remember the WEB site to back it up. The brand was Fram.
  • artpartp Posts: 156
    Every engine has a small amount of blow by. The last oil change I did was on a new truck with 3700 miles. Do you think this is because the engine isn't finished breaking in?
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I don't know about fuel in your oil but if you live where it gets cold (below 0) and you only drive a few miles and don't ever fully warm up your engine you will get condensation (water) in your oil.
  • artpartp Posts: 156
    and generally make long trips.
  • artpartp Posts: 156
    I would agree that there is very minimal wear, if any, for oil between 3k and 7k miles. I prefer to change mine sooner because of the sludge factor.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    If blow by gas was a good thing Mobile 1 would print "Extra blow by gas in every quart" on the container. The only thing you want in your oil is oil.. Use synthetics or regular oil - what ever you think is the best but I will never run any of my engines for 7,500 miles or more before I change the oil. (4 months or 3K is normal for me) Call me a money wasting fool if you want but the $11 it costs me to change the oil in my $28,000 truck seems like money well spent. It also makes me feel good when I check the oil and it is so clean it is hard to see it on the dip stick...
  • arkie6arkie6 Posts: 198
    Every engine has some blowby, no matter how good the rings are seated. This is due to the ring end gap. Also, blowby will be more with a cold engine since the rings are cold and the gap is larger. As the engine and rings heat up, the ring gap closes due to thermal expansion.

    However, you should not visually see any blowby if the crankcase ventilation system is working properly (the intake sucks the gases through the PCV). While the gases are in the engine, they will intermingle the oil and cause some degradation.

    Again, a cold engine has more blowby. This is why the engine manufactures frequently recommend shorter oil change intervals for vehicles that see frequent short trips.
  • My experience with synthetic has always been the best. 25 years in the construction business, many diesels, two of the important items I did not see in the above post.
    Use the best filters you can buy to clean the oil,(regular oil or syn).
    Synthetic at cold temps will turn over like summer, saving on the battery and starter.
    Regular oil, as it is used, will evaporate the 'thinner' molecules, and in cold weather it thickens, causing hard starting and poor lubricating.
    One of the best points is, it is a super lubricating oil, staying on the bearings, thus cutting wear when starting cold.
    Out of 10 engines I used it in, never lost one to mechanical breakage. Use it only after around 5k miles to allow for breakin, I changed oil at 8K or 150 hours of use.
    I realize some of the above is for cold weather, but seems to me it should improve warm weather considerations also.
    Catapillar synthetic
    Mobil 1 Delvac
  • rrichfrrichf Posts: 212
    Where do you factor in the disallowed waranty claims when the manufacturer says, "You didn't follow the required maintenance schedule. Tough do-do, you're paying for the repairs."?
  • artpartp Posts: 156
    Was that an infomercial? Just kidding. A very knowlegable post.
  • Yeah, if AMSOIL was available at Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, etc. for a little closer price to Mobil 1, I just might be anal enough about my truck to go with it, but it's just too easy to pick up a jug of Mobil 1 while I'm getting groceries (we have a Wal-Mart SuperCenter near us--love that store!).
    I doubt either of us will have anything to worry about using Mobil 1 with 5000 mi intervals, though. The motors in our Z71's will be like new
    for probably 200,000 miles (maybe longer). I don't know about you, but I hope to keep mine for a long time, so we'll see...
    Do you use 5W-30 or 10W-30? I use the 5W-30 because the climate in northern NM at high altitude is never hot (85 in summer is usual) and it gets down in the 20's regularly in the winter.

  • I appreciate all the responses to my post. I apoligize for it being so long. I just thought that any discussion about synthetics should include AMSOIL. POWERISFUN I agree with your post, I got the numbers from AMSOIL's catalog, so I apoligize. I own a diesel, so the quantities (12 quarts) and the oil filter prices ($8.50) are different for my truck. RRICHF, if you were to have a problem with your warranty, you can carry copies of the lab reports showing your oil to still be within parameters and your warranty will still be intact. (I say this because I had the same question.) Also, do any of you own Ford or Dodge diesels? I own both and if you are not happy with the amount of horsepower and torque in your truck, I can hook you up with a system that will give dramatic increases in both. (e. g. On a 160 h.p. stock Dodge Cummins horsepower gains of up to +130 h.p.) And they will NOT void your warranty. These systems even have CARB #'s so the are legal everywhere.
  • Oh, yeah and just for the record, even though its not available at Wally World, AMSOIL did beat Mobil 1 in the 4 ball wear test, although Mobil 1 came closer than any other oil. I'm not trying to put Mobil 1 down, I think it is a good oil.
This discussion has been closed.