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Old 10-24-2000, 06:25 AM   #1
cdanders
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Is synthetic oil worth the $???

I would be putting it in my 93 Touring Wagon with 93k miles on it.

I used it when it first came out in the 70s when it was sold as a 25 thousand mile oil change. I thought at the time I noticed a performance improvement in the old Nova 350 but it burned oil and I went back to the "normal" stuff.

What is the consensus here? How many performance type guys are using it?

Thanks,
Carl
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Old 10-24-2000, 06:29 AM   #2
DLC
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Synthetic is definitely better but the consensus is that it can actually cause leaks on engines with over, say, 50k miles.

You might just try a blend.

(93 Touring Wagon owner too!)
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Old 10-24-2000, 08:32 AM   #3
Subie Gal
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what type/brand of synth are you guys running???

i am switching out soon...

j.
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Old 10-24-2000, 08:48 AM   #4
Jay_UK
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Never mix oils.. thats a no-no

I swear by Mobil 1 Motorsport..

A few guys are starting to use Redline, which is meant to be quite good..

I hate Castrol RS..

J.

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Old 10-24-2000, 09:06 AM   #5
richeich
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Thumbs up

Amsoil 0W-30 in my Legacy GT, Amsoil 5W-30 in all our other cars.

How long did you run synthetic in your Nova? Sometimes when you switch on a higher mileage car, it will burn oil for a while because it is cleaning the engine. It carries the particles in the oil and allows blow-by to get past the rings. Amsoil suggests on a higher mileage engine to flush it first. If you don't do a flush, and then it uses oil, they say to keep changing your oil filters until it slows down. I guess as it's cleaning the engine, it's loading up your oil filter rapidly. After the engine is cleaned out, the amount of oil used will slow down.

I changed my Legacy GT over to synthetic at just under 20,000 miles, and after 8,000 miles of use, it hasn't used any or leaked any. I had the oil analyzed just recently, and posted the results in the Misc. Technical Forum.

Rich
(And yes, I sell Amsoil- just so there is a disclaimer here. But I'm trying to learn as much as I can about lubrication, so I'm not just a regular idiot. I want to be an educated idiot! ).

edited for spelling

[This message has been edited by richeich (edited October 24, 2000).]
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Old 10-24-2000, 09:12 AM   #6
gumball
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I'm using the Amsoil Series 2000 0W30 as well, great stuff! Unfortunately, I now have leaky seals- crankshaft/oil pump. So maybe there's some truth to the synthetic-leakage argument, I dunno.
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Old 10-24-2000, 09:49 AM   #7
bluesubie
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Jay, I believe DLC is referring to using a blend of synth and conventional (already blended by the manufacturer). There are quite a few available in the U.S. Mobil came out with a blend earlier this year.

I tried Mobil1 5w30 in my 97 OB Sport and my wife's 99 OB. There were leaks around both filters and leaks around the OB's oil pan.
Read more in my reply to this post: http://www.i-club.com/ubb-files/Foru...ML/000074.html
Dennis
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Old 10-24-2000, 10:43 AM   #8
DLC
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Yes.

Valvoline, QS, Penzoil and most oil manufacturers have a % blended synthetic available on the shelf. It's cheaper of course but should help out a little.
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Old 10-24-2000, 11:11 AM   #9
Shik
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Mobil 1 10w-30 in my Legacy Turbo for the last 30,000 miles( car now has 124,000 ). No leaks at the moment. It uses a bit inbetween changes, but I'm not blaming that on synthetic. Personally I think it's worth every dime, especially for a turbo car.

As far as the blends go, I thought someone mentioned before that they are actually like 97 percent conventional oil? Do any of the blends say what percentage of what actually makes up the oil?

FWIW, I use synthetic in the tranny, rear diff, and power steering as well. Couldn't be happier.
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Old 10-24-2000, 11:24 AM   #10
bluesubie
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Shik - From what I've read, the blends are 10-15% synthetic. I'm leasing so I don't think it's worth it to keep using full synthetic. The blends have a lower pump temp than conventional.
Dennis
edit: This is what I've read from people contacting oil companies. I don't think any of them have the percentage listed.

[This message has been edited by bluesubie (edited October 24, 2000).]
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Old 10-24-2000, 03:18 PM   #11
GTBGUY
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Well depends on the situation, I will either use Motul's 6100 Synergie Synthese 5w40 for normal summer driving, Motul 300V 10w40 for race use, and Motul E-tech 8100 0w40 Synthese for winter. All of these are synthetic... I also used Mobil 1 before, and after switching to Motul I doubt I'd ever go back. Redline I've tried in my Hybrid Civic, it's on par with the Motul stuff
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Old 10-24-2000, 10:34 PM   #12
Ben
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I using Agip Sint 2000 10W-40 for almost 100000km and the oil seems ok for the tubro and I also go rally with it!!
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Old 10-25-2000, 12:50 AM   #13
richeich
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Hey Gumball- what year is your car and how many miles? Over the years I've gotten the impression that a leaky cam and/or oil pump seal was a common thing for Subarus.

Rich
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Old 10-25-2000, 12:58 AM   #14
cdanders
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The Nova I only had for a year or so because the Mobil 1 couldn't make up for the fact I really hated the car.....

I told my wife it was burning too much oil...

2 vehicles "Ford Vans" later I got my first Subaru. I am on number 5 now.... and unless they stub their toe bad I will probably always own one.
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Old 10-25-2000, 09:22 PM   #15
BG5
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Redline Motor 5W-30. Mainly because it's easy to find somewhat affordably around here and has given me consistently excellent results in all conditions. I'd probably use Motul regularly if there was a place that carried the stuff locally. Note that it doesn't have as many noise-deadening additives as normal consumer-oriented oils.

Mobil 1 10W-30 Tri-Synthetic is OK but it's priorities are different than a top-grade synthetic.

If you want to try blends, do it yourself and stick to the same brand for the dino/syn.
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Old 10-26-2000, 08:23 AM   #16
gumball
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Rich- its a '97 GT, Phase I 2.5 motor. Yeah, I've been hearing about those seals, why does Subaru use crappy seals? But I've also heard that synthetic exacerbates the problem. Can your Amsoil experts shed any insights on that?
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Old 10-26-2000, 08:10 PM   #17
richeich
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Well, Amsoil states that synthetic fluids actually have better seal swell characteristics. Go figure! They also say that if your seals are in good condition, without any damage, synthetic fluids won't cause them to leak. I'm not sure if it's the general design of the flat four that causes the problem with the seals or what, but it is a Subaru characteristic that's been around for a while now.

One explanation I've heard (or read) is that when using petroleum oil, over time, it builds up sludge in the engine. This sludge coats all the seals, and actually causes them to dry up (beyond the sludge coating). When you switch to synthetics, the sludge gets cleaned up, and exposes the dried seal to oil, which then seeps through it. Now, perhaps, with the better 'seal swell characteristics' of synthetics, over time, the seepage may stop. I don't know for sure which stories to believe.

I have a book on order from http://www.oilanalysis.com , "The Practical Handbook of Lubrication", for $70. Hopefully that will give me a more thorough understanding of what Amsoil tells me, and the experiences/concerns that people have with synthetic fluids.

I've got Amsoil in all my cars (three Subies and a Taurus- don't ask!), and none of them leak. Admittedly, I don't have any more than 10,000 miles on any of them with synthetics, so I've just got to give it time and see what happens. The '90 Legacy and '90 Taurus were both over 100,000 miles when switched over. The '96 Outback had about 30k, and my '98 Legacy GT had about 19k on it. I used the Amsoil Engine Flush on the older cars, and just switched the newer cars directly to synthetics without the flush.

Sorry if some of this sounds lame, I admit I'm still learning. If someone that has something to add or correct, just jump in. Any additional info or opinions are welcome!

Rich
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Old 10-27-2000, 07:36 AM   #18
gumball
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hey Rich, that's good info. I got the car used w/ 53K miles on it and started out w/ Mobil One, then switched to Amsoil (I guess the Mobil One was my "flush". Then the leaking started. So maybe the sludge from 53K miles of dino oil is the problem? I'm going to put a fresh batch of Series 2000 in for the winter, even though I've only got about 4K on it. The new camshaft seal will like that!
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