Standard oil vs. synthetic?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by davo8411, May 22, 2019.

  1. davo8411

    davo8411 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I bought my first new car ever and I'm due for my first oil change. I've never used synthetic oil. So what is the big deal with synthetic? Is it better for my car, etc? The price for a standard oil change is $19.99 vs $39.99 for synthetic. I don't mind paying extra, if it's worth it, as I want to take care of my car.
     
  2. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Not worth it necessarily unless the car requires it.

    If the car requires it, use what they say.

    Not worth it if you're going to change the oil on the schedule of non synthetic oil.

    There seems to be a lot of snake oil from dealerships and such trying to get people to buy up to more frequent oil changes & more expensive oil changes. The car company spent a lot of time to make sure the car is OK at 7500-10000 mile change intervals with synthetic. Then the dealer tries to convince people to it every 3,000 miles... resulting in wasted money and extra waste oil to deal with.

    I have never seen a modern car that wasn't crystal clear about what oil it was designed for. They usually specify the weight + SAE grade spec. The weight is usually right on the cap.
     
  3. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

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    What @beninma said.

    Turbo engines often require synthetic, because it is much more resistant to heat stress. My turbo VWs require 5W-40 full synthetic, which is hard(er) to find.

    Check what the car manual recommends. I think our Mazda requires 0W-20, which is synthetic only.

    Any time you have temperature extremes - Florida heat is a good example - synthetic will last longer than normal.

    Check your manual to see what it recommends and use that. Synthetic will not hurt if not recommended, but is more expensive as you found.
     
  4. GGardner

    GGardner Tele-Holic

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    Depends. What model and year?
     
  5. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Afflicted

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    Better cold-start protection, longer time/distance between changes, less varnish build-up. It's "better," but do you intend to run this car until it's dead, or change up in a few years? You probably won't reap the benefits unless you keep it a loooong time.

    FWIW, We're running synthetic in our car and following the maker's maintenance schedule, which is a lot of miles between changes. Runs agin my nature, but times do change. OTOH, I ran synthetic in my bikes for a while, but went back to dino when I had some seeping issues. Not really a synthetic issue, but Rotella T-6 synthetic is a 5W40 oil, and 5 is pretty thin.
     
  6. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    If you change your oil as per the manufacturer's schedule you can use whatever the manufacturer specifies, which is usually standard (non-synthetic) oil.
    RTFM.
     
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  7. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

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    As beninma notes, there should be explicit instructions on what type and weight of oil to use. Synthetic oil is typically good for about twice the mileage of dino oil, so the extra money of it should really be a wash if you're doing oil changes half as often.
     
  8. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    My car even states the oil brand name on the filler cap.
     
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  9. Texicaster

    Texicaster Tele-Meister

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    Don't ask guitar guys... ask oil guys!

    https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/

    Home page there will tell you more than you want to know!

    If you want to learn more head to the forums!

    TONS of knowledge there! You can even send in samples of your oil for analysis and learn much about your engines performance or lack thereof.

    THE most professional forums on the web! No BDC and I've yet to see an argument on any level. Some great discussions if opposing viewpoints.



    TEX
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    There seem to be a lot of things for synthetic being best. I have not used it, but have friends who are into it. My thought process though is that oil gets contaminated, synthetic or not, and I would like fresh oil in there. Seems what might be better is a multiple filter as opposed to better oil...
     
  11. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Just got a new Toyota Tacoma, synthetic oil, they told me one yearly oil change
     
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  12. jackinjax

    jackinjax Friend of Leo's

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    Better check what type the factory put in it. My 2014 Honda CRV came new from the factory with synthetic oil.
     
  13. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes it's better, yes you should use it.
     
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  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If your car doesn't require full synthetic oil, you bought the wrong car.

    As Denny says, the main thing keeping you from lowering that first value (the Five in 5W30) is seepage. Some vehicles' motors are just not tight enough to handle something like 0W16 and you'll get oil on the garage floor. Some people say it is unwise to push the envelope in this regard because once seepage starts, the next grade thicker oil may be more likely to seep also. I don't know. I do know if I think something like the oil pressure sending unit is suspect, I'll put some 0W20 in there and "challenge" it to fail - so it doesn't go out in Wyoming or something.

    All the cars have an Owners Manual and it will give you some weight recommendation. I would just use the Synthetic form of whatever 5W20 or 10W30 or whatever they suggest. Dino Oil is IMO for keeping shovels and axe handles looking fresh and clean; maybe for a old lawnmower.

    I've got a number of these old Saab 9-5s. The two most used thus far have 224,000 and 211,000 miles on them and both get 5W20 unless I have some 5W30 around. Neither leaks; neither "uses". Napa full synthetic (made by Ashland Oil Company; essentially Valvoline Full Synth) which goes on sale over July 4th weekend in a lot of markets for $ 2.99 a quart. This is better than the Mobil One we bought in 2000 for $ 6-8 per quart. Modern synthetic engine oils are insanely high quality.

    I'll run this synthetic for as many as 12,000 miles, but if I've got 18 months' use out of it I tend to change sooner. I will change premium oil filters at half that life. Capture the dirt with the filter and the oil stays pretty fresh. A magnet on your oil drain plug is a great idea.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2019
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  15. joealso

    joealso Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I agree with Texicaster. That's a good link.

    I've always used synthetic and I change my own oil (with K&N filters) every 7-8,000 miles. I also only use top tier gas (Google a list of stations that sell it - most major names except Sunoco, I think). All my vehicles have lasted well over 200,000 miles.

    THE most important things you can do is change your oil on schedule and use good gas.

    Congrats on the new car!
     
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  16. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    +1 on using good quality gas, but I would also recommend using Fresh gasoline and that means buying where a lot of fuel comes and goes - posted price is not a reliable way of establishing whose gasoline is better.

    Much better if people change the oil a little too often, since the #1 bad thing about these new elongated change intervals is, people fall out of the routine of changing that crankcase oil. They forget all about it and that's NOT GOOD.

    I recommend people use a product like Lucas Fuel Treatment on a regular basis, as this ethanol laced fuel we get is IMO very harsh on the moving parts of the electric fuel pump. Especially if you cannot get fresh, fairly priced Ethanol Free fuel, using this Lucas Fuel Treatment fairly regularly may extend the life of that fuel pump and IMO there's few jobs as yucky as changing fuel pumps.
     
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  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The Briggs & Stratton motor on my pressure washer shut down on its own, the other day. In New Orleans. It was just so hot, there's a sensor in there and it decided, no more washing this day. Even though I was working in full shade and the motor was getting some mist.

    Pensacola is a high heat/high humidity market. Tough on all motors. Maybe in Monterey, CA you'd be fine with Dino Oil, but in Pensacola I would absolutely recommend using synthetic and you can extend the change interval a little bit over the Dino and the net expense shouldn't be too bad at all. But then, the next question is, how far down the ladder dare you go towards Economy oil filters? Not very far, I would say. I guess that can be our next thread.
     
  18. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Holic

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    I'm no mechanic, but my car and marine engines have lasted me plenty. My basic maintenance philosophy has been simple: change the oil and filter when you should. That's been true whether using synthetic oil or dino.

    My 12 year old, 5500 watt Coleman generator - a must here in hurricane country - gets a fresh quart of traditional dino oil once a year. It still cranks up on the first crank, but I have found that it breaks down lesser oils.

    My 2017 Ford F150 has a 5.0 litre V8. The recommended oil is synthetic blend. From the first oil change - which I typically do at 1000 miles to get the break-in oil and debris out - I've gone with full synthetic.

    We've had three different Hondas. Each called for 0W-20 synthetic. Each got it and oil and filter changes religiously per Honda's recommended schedule. Neither of the three ever leaked a drop of oil.

    Whatever you do, stick to one. Do not use synthetic once and then dino oil or even synthetic blend and then dino or synthethic.
     
  19. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Mine gets changed by the dealership. I noticed my 05 Kia doesn't use as much between changes as it used to. And it's a longer interval now
     
  20. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    What all these guys said....

    I even use synthetic in my 12 year old Yukon now. It’s clearly better, especially in high temp conditions. The good cars come from the factory with synthetic.

    The magnetic drain plug tip is also a cheap piece of insurance. Any significant attached debris is a sure sign of trouble; it’s a very simple early warning system.
     
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