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Synthetic motor oil

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
i've heard mixed opinions on these from "it's no better" to "it's better but only for older cars." btw, as i write this brazil is playing uruguay in the semi-finals of the copa america. look for it on your local univision affiliate. argentina won the other semi-final and looked tremendous doing it.
post #2 of 15
OLE OLE OLE OLE, OLE, OLE. Jon
post #3 of 15
Seriously though, Porsche, Ferrari, MB, and others use synthetic Motor Oil in their cars, both in performance racecars and street models, there has to be a reason why. Jon.
post #4 of 15
I found this on some webpage about motor oils: "The synthetics offer the only truly significant differences, due to their superior high temperature oxidation resistance, high film strength, very low tendency to form deposits, stable viscosity base, and low temperature flow characteristics. Synthetics are superior lubricants compared to traditional petroleum oils. You will have to decide if their high cost is justified in your application." I have a Nissan Maxima, and according to my dealer (unbiased since I don't get my oil changed there), for high performance engines it is best to use 93 octane gasoline and synthetic oil. This ensures the most protection against residue in the engine, which can hurt engines, especially higher performing engines. I pay like $25 more when I get my oil changed for synthetic, and I think its completely worth it. I have 80K miles on my car and she still hauls ass.
post #5 of 15
In extreme applications, synthetic oils are a better lubricant, and will remain "clean" and functional longer. Racing teams, commercial airlines, and other applications where performance and dependability matter use synthetic oils exclusively. That said, in the average car, a greater frequency of oil changes with regular old "dino" oil (say every 3 - 4K miles) will have the same results as synthetic changes every 5 to 7K miles. If you have a new 911, and your dealer is charging you $240 for an oil change, the extra $20 for synthetic oil to eek out a few more miles may make financial sense. Another caveat, blended oils offer too little improvement over standard oils to justify the price increase (IMHO), also, test results show that sometimes lower quality synthetics aren't that much better than standard oil either (considering the price increase). I'm not a member of the cult of Amsoil, so for my Audi A6, I stop in either an auto parts place or Costco, and buy a case of Mobil 1 on the way to my mechanic's, and then change it every 5 to 6K miles.
post #6 of 15
Synthetic oil is worth it to me. Take a look at your oil when you change it. Look at the regular oil. Look at synthetic oil. The synthetic oil will be much cleaner, more clear, less "broken down" than regular oil which has been in your car the same amount of time. I use Mobile 1 in my cars. Almost all high-performance car manufacturers recommend sythetic oil for their cars. Kai
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replies. i wasn't asking about synthetics for any high performance use though. i just acquired an old jeep cherokee with over 200k miles on it (it's my other car) and i'm just hoping to make sure the engine lasts me another year or so, at which point i'll likely give it away. it sounds like mobil 1 synthetic will be a good idea.
post #8 of 15
Mobil 1 baby, that's all my car gets. It will last longer than fossil oil, so it ends up being cheaper especially when you factor in the savings of not rebuilding an engine. One other thing you can do is change the filter more frequently than recommended, say every 2000 miles and then oil every 4 or so depending on how you drive it. The reason is that most filters have a bypass valve and when they fill up with gunk they just shut off and do nothing until they are changed so all the stuff stays in your engine. Even if they don't (mine doesnt) it's cheap insurance and you can probably do it yourself. However, on an old car I was trying to just keep running, I would just use cheap dino oil. At that point the damage is mostly done and it's not worth the investment (sorry, I know it doesn't pay dividends and someone will scold me) of paying for expensive oil, since the engine will be shot soon anyway. Just use the usual recommended weight and keep it changed. The oil's probably one of the least of your problems with an engine of 200k miles.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
i just acquired an old jeep cherokee with over 200k miles on it (it's my other car) and i'm just hoping to make sure the engine lasts me another year or so, at which point i'll likely give it away.
Whoa, is that my jeep? I drove an '87 cherokee to 250+k miles on it, sold it to a Mexican, and still see him driving it around today. Those things are tanks. And feel free to use regular "higher-mileage engine" oil in it. A beast like that has no use for yuppy-chemist oil.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Quote:
(matadorpoeta @ 23 July 2004, 09:58) i just acquired an old jeep cherokee with over 200k miles on it (it's my other car) and i'm just hoping to make sure the engine lasts me another year or so, at which point i'll likely give it away.
Whoa, is that my jeep? I drove an '87 cherokee to 250+k miles on it, sold it to a Mexican, and still see him driving it around today. Those things are tanks. And feel free to use regular "higher-mileage engine" oil in it. A beast like that has no use for yuppy-chemist oil.
"yuppie chemist oil" I love it.
post #11 of 15
Synthetic Oil is a total joke. It is sold to get gullible rich people to spend more money. My Logic: Oil companies have more money than God. Oil companies spend BILLIONS of dollars developing the best automotive oil possible. Therefore, small companies that can not afford to spend BILLIONS of dollars on R&D cannot have a product that is nearly as good as standard motor oil. Same thing for additives. Don't waste your money. And do you really think that your oil turning dark is a sign that it is not working? Have any research to back that one up? -Tom
post #12 of 15
I don't know about that. I am no car expert, I am just going from what my dealer suggests. I don't get my gas from the dealer, and I don't get my oil changed there, so the dealer really has no motivation to lie to me. I simply asked their advice, and they said that an engine runs best when it is clean, and using high octane gasoline and synthetic oil gives you the products with the least chance of polluting your engine.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
I don't know about that. I am no car expert, I am just going from what my dealer suggests. I don't get my gas from the dealer, and I don't get my oil changed there, so the dealer really has no motivation to lie to me. I simply asked their advice, and they said that an engine runs best when it is clean, and using high octane gasoline and synthetic oil gives you the products with the least chance of polluting your engine.
Higher octane is not necessarily good for your car. An engine is designed to function optimally (specifically, "when things that are supposed to go bang, do actually go bang" ) based on the appropriate mixture of gas (of a certain octane level) and air. If your car is designed to use 91 octane as many European cars are, then it will run better with that. If your car is designed to run on 87, using something higher than 87 doesn't do anything beneficial. If you use something lower, the timing of the aforementioned bangs may be a bit off, and you'll experience "knocking". I have been told that most modern cars will electronically adjust for a steady diet of whatever the new mixture is, but I figure why chance it.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Synthetic Oil is a total joke.  It is sold to get gullible rich people to spend more money. My Logic: Oil companies have more money than God.  Oil companies spend BILLIONS of dollars developing the best automotive oil possible.  Therefore, small companies that can not afford to spend BILLIONS of dollars on R&D cannot have a product that is nearly as good as standard motor oil.  Same thing for additives.  Don't waste your money. And do you really think that your oil turning dark is a sign that it is not working?  Have any research to back that one up? -Tom
I have to disagree a bit on this. While I'm sure our "need" for synthetic oil is part Madison Ave., I think numerous tests exist which show that synthetics provide greater protection than dino oils. Engine/metal wear and breakdown is often a culprit for dirty oil. If a synthetic causes less breakdown, the oil will stay cleaner, and in turn continue to protect better and for a longer duration. Now the question is, does Joe Average driver really need this level of protection . . . probably not, as long as the oil is changed when needed. Change the application to say an F1 engine, that is literally engineered to obtain such an extreme level of performance, that it is designed to breakdown after one complete use, then small things like this certainly matter.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Synthetic Oil is a total joke.  It is sold to get gullible rich people to spend more money. My Logic: Oil companies have more money than God.  Oil companies spend BILLIONS of dollars developing the best automotive oil possible.  Therefore, small companies that can not afford to spend BILLIONS of dollars on R&D cannot have a product that is nearly as good as standard motor oil.  Same thing for additives.  Don't waste your money. And do you really think that your oil turning dark is a sign that it is not working?  Have any research to back that one up? -Tom
Small companies? Mobil makes my oil, I don't know which company you're talking about. It sounds like you mean all those additives like Slick-50 and Bardahl (sp), which are all a bunch of crap, I agree. Some will even damage your engine (Slick 50 will). However synthetics don't break down as quickly, hold up to much higher temperatures, etc. They do work better, and in some cases their lubricating properties are such that one can safely use a lighter weight of oil thus reducing drag on the engine and getting a bit more horsepower out of the car. If you are just driving it around as a commuter, this doesn't matter much. However if you are working from an already semi tricked out M3 engine for example, changing all the fluids to Redline performance synthetic stuff has been shown to get 8-10% (I think, don't have the articles in front of me) increase in wheel horsepower. Granted, it's expensive, and therefore really only for performance use. But it's not a joke at all, otherwise why would race teams use it?
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