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Old 04-16-2001, 01:55 PM   #1
Star*Child
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Post Synthetic Oil

Heyas All...

Just a quick question regarding oil. What does everyone think of synthetic? I know that once you switch, you can't change back. Is there a recommended mileage to wait for before switching? Is it recommended at all? Any brands to recommend?

I just hit a 1k miles and I'd like to do a change here pretty quick and I thought that I'd ask here. Thanks in advance everyone!
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Old 04-16-2001, 01:57 PM   #2
subarurabbit
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Wait 'til 3k

Roger
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Old 04-16-2001, 02:03 PM   #3
Pete Holt
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Synthetic rules. You get better performance and mileage and you only have to change your oil twice a year. And yes, you can switch from regular to synthetic to regular again.
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Old 04-16-2001, 02:12 PM   #4
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Synthetic is a better way to reduce friction, but it costs 3x more than regular oil.

I don't use synthetic oil because a) it costs too much, b) you have to change oil every 3k even with synthetic, c) I always change my oil at 3k, so it doesn't matter if I use regular or synthetic, and d) I don't drive my car hard all the time.

Someone said that you only need to change 2 times a year w/ synthetic, but that's not true. Synthetic oil still accumulates water, dirt and other junk, just like regular oil. You still have to change at 3k miles if you want to last longer lasting engine. Using dirty synthetic oil is no better than using dirty regular oil.

My old Accord used regular oil for 160k miles before I traded it in. I still got 40mpg, no power loss, and the engine was still as quiet as a sleeping baby.
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Old 04-16-2001, 02:17 PM   #5
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You don't have to change synthetic oil every 3k, it usually lasts 2 or 3 times longer then regular oil, but you'll also need a beter filter that would last longer than 3k.
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Old 04-16-2001, 02:26 PM   #6
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That's not true, Tmat. I've known people who ran Amsoil for 15k miles. You just have to be diligent about getting the oil tested at regular intervals to make sure that the contaminant level is low. The single biggest hit to oil life is thermal breakdown, which is significantly reduced by synthetics.

Also, you can replace your filter between changes pretty easily. Just let your car sit for a while so that most of the oil is in the pan.

I usually change the oil every 7-8k, but do a filter change at the regular 3-4k interval.

[This message has been edited by gavin (edited April 16, 2001).]
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Old 04-16-2001, 03:38 PM   #7
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Cost more? Its just the price of a fill up for my WRX (premium @1.79)! Actually its cheaper, I buy Mobil 1 5W-30 at $3.99/qt. 5x$4= $20. That's not that much.
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Old 04-16-2001, 03:44 PM   #8
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I don't know. I wrote that because every service manual I read says that even with synthetics, you have to change oil every 3k-5k. The reason : any oil can accumulate water and dirt (maybe not as fast on synthetics). I've always used regular oil, and I haven't had a single problem w/ it, so I'm happy using regular oil. You know what I mean?

It costs more in a sense that a quart of regular oil costs around $1.40 and a quart of synthetic costs around $4.

I think I would also worry about what kind of oil filter you're using, too besides the oil. Some filters trap more dirt and junk than others.
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Old 04-16-2001, 03:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the great responses so far, guys! Keep 'em comin'

Since we're on the topic, any recommendations as far as filters go?
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Old 04-16-2001, 03:53 PM   #10
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I think that people use synthetics not becuase it doesn't trap dirt or water, its because it doesn't break down, even in higher temperatures, meaning its still protecting your engine, even on the hottest days. Also regular oil, when it does break down, will turn into sludge that is hard to get rid of. Again, cheap insurance compared to a new engine. And I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I don't have time to change the oil at the proper intervals and having Mobil 1 makes me feel better about putting it off for say,1000 miles.
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Old 04-16-2001, 03:56 PM   #11
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Purolator seems to be the #1 choice for Subaru owners because Purolator makes the oil filters for Subaru.

People like me go against it and use a Bosch Premium filter sold at Autozone. Bosch is a German company and makes good stuff, so I figured it's good stuff. I've been using Bosch filters for 3 years now.

BTW, I'm not trying to start any war or anything. I'm just passing on what I read from vairous service manuals. So, I hope no one is mad at me or nothing.

Only time you shouldn't use synthetic is during the break-in period or when the engine is leaking oil. Synthetic is thinner than regular oil, so synthetic oil tend to leak out more if there is a leak in gaskets.

[This message has been edited by tmat3 (edited April 16, 2001).]
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Old 04-16-2001, 03:56 PM   #12
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If there is no reason to switch from dino to synth... then why even buy name brand dino oil? It's all the same right... keeps a nice cushy pad between all the bearings, thorws some to the cylinder walls and top end of the motor and carries away some heat while it's there. There is a difference and there are very good reasons to switch. Some find these these reasons are not enough to offset the cost... I completely understand that. But saying synth oil is a waste is nonsense.
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Old 04-16-2001, 03:59 PM   #13
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got any chemical engineers that work at mobil or shell?
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Old 04-16-2001, 04:02 PM   #14
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Had to start a fight didn't ya?!

There was a major go-around on this topic about a month ago. After I did the math, if you go 5,000-6,000 miles on synthetic, it will actually be $3 cheaper per year to use synthetic. (based on 24,000miles a year) And on top of that, that is less time you have to spend under your car or scehedualling(sp? I suck at spelling) oil changes (if you do not do it yourself). And if you do pay to have it done, you will save tons more using synthetic.

Best brands? AMSoil, amd Mobil1 are standbys. But the AMS is VERY expensive, but if you act quick, you can get it at a decent price through the private classifieds. A guy there is selling not only the oil but the high end AMS oil filter as well. And you save on shipping if you buy both. Pretty good deal if you have the money.
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Old 04-16-2001, 04:19 PM   #15
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MrHorspwer,
hehehehe, I agree completely. I plan on running this car untill the wheels fall off....and then some.

BTW, I have done extensive research on the subject and most of the peanut gallery agrees on 10,000 miles before switching, because if you go to synthetic too early you will not give the rings (?) a chance to set properly and will therefore end up with leaks latter on. I am comming up on 10K now and am going with mobil1 and a wix filter.
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Old 04-16-2001, 04:46 PM   #16
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Porsche (boxer-engine), AMG Mercedes-Benzes (and the rest of the line soon), and some BMWs come from the factory with Mobil 1. I doubt it causes leaks because the rings didn't seat. That's just an old wives tale, same with synths causing leaks. Man its the 21st Century, lets get with it.
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Old 04-16-2001, 04:56 PM   #17
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Norb,
Yes some of those cars come with it. But they are also not only designed for it, but also broken in at the factory. Ours are not, hence the precautions. No leaks eh? Try and do a search for "leaks" or "oil leaks" and see how many people are having leaks now, due to not preparing well enough.

Oh, and feel free to check the attitude at the door newbie, it is not that kind of club.
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Old 04-16-2001, 05:06 PM   #18
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You've got a $20K car and people complain about spending $20 vs. $5 every 3 months for DIY? How many drink Starbucks vs. cheapo? Oil is a very complex chemical vs. a simple thing like which headlight bulb shines better.

Of course wait a while for break in. While dino done every 3K is adequate, synth provides much more protection and may go to 5K or more. I'm not going to quote all the references, take a look at Mobil's million mile study to start. Engines on dino never looked that clean.

Gary

[This message has been edited by 2WDrift (edited April 16, 2001).]
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Old 04-16-2001, 05:14 PM   #19
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I just hit 15k and swithced to Mobil 1. Haven't noticed a big difference yet. The thing I did notice, and maybe my contacts were acting up or something, but it seemed that when I checked my oil after changing to make sure everything was full, and then checked it after about 1000 miles, it looked cleaner the 2nd time. I have heard from previous posts that synth oil cleans the engine, breaking down the "sludge" that regular oil creates or leaves behind over time. Maybe I just wanted it to look cleaner to help me rationalize the price. No, I don't think so. Besides, I feel my Scoob is worth every expense
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Old 04-16-2001, 05:40 PM   #20
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Ok, I'm gonna throw my 2 cents in. (I need to up my posts #'s). Extending drain intervals for synthetics is not harmful to your engine provided you use a quality filter and change the filter at its recommended time. Now for leaks caused by using synthetics. I have seen leaks appear after synthetics were used in an engine normally ran on dino oil. Now here is why. The synthetics do such a better job at removing dirt and grime that it opened up existing leaks that had been clogged with crud the dino oil had left. The leaks were already there just plugged up. Now when to switch. In our cars I would suggest waiting till the engine is truly broken in at least 6k before I switched. Those high dollar cars that come w/M1 in the crankcase are designed for that, they have close tolerances built in. (hence the cost)
Now for the filters. I found a neat website that goes through most of them. Its very informative. Read the site and then make your decision.
http://members.nbci.com/minimopar/oilfilterstudy.html

Disclaimer: The objects you see are closer than the appear. I am not a proffesional race car driver, but I play one on sunday
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Old 04-16-2001, 05:52 PM   #21
ChosenWon
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Midnight Racer,
Thanks for the verification. I am glad that you posted that link. I lost it ina crash!

BTW, I love your disclaimer. <IMG SRC="http://www.i-club.com/ubb-files/icons/icon14.gif" border=0>
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Old 04-16-2001, 06:03 PM   #22
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Quote:
got any chemical engineers that work at shell or mobil?
I work as a chemical engineer for a large refiner other than Shell or Mobil. The disadvantage to regular oil is its coking tendency (tendency to form that evil black sludge). Over the life of your engine, regular oil will tend to deposit coke, because it is not as thermally stable as synthetics. Synthetics are thermally stable up to much much higher temperatures. Also they supposedly will be less viscous (easier flowing) at extremely colder temperatures. The disadvantage to synthetics is that they do not contain metals. Petroleum based oils naturally contain vanadium, nickel, sodium and other metals that apparently help seals and gaskets to seat. As I understand it, the metals react with the seal material, causing it to expand and "fill up its position" sort of. This process is what people are referring to when they talk of using regular oil to help the engine "break in." Opponents of synthetics say that this reaction between the metals and seals is crucial to maximizing engine life. I've never seen any unbiased data on engine life vs. oil used, so I cannot say unequivocally that one oil is better than the other. I personally plan to put petroleum based oil in at 3k miles, and then switch to Mobil 1 at the 7.5k interval, and continue to use synthetics after that, but that is not based on any scientific formula. For our turbo engines, I suspect that synthetic could possibly be better since oil coking up the turbo in the minutes after turning off the engine is an issue, but of course that all depends on what kinds of temperatures we are talking about. I am not promoting synthetics for selfish reasons, because the oil company I work for does not, to my knowledge, make any synthetics.
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Old 04-16-2001, 06:18 PM   #23
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I wrote a letter to Subaru Canada regarding the use of synthetic oil, and here's a couple quick notes from their response to me:

"Service intervals must be maintained, even with synthetic and it is important that once synthetic oil is used, regular motor oil should not be used again."


Also some info about 0w30 --

"The recommended oil grade is 5w30. Our parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, does not recommend using 0w30, however, there is no problem with synthetic 5w30."


So there ya go, a bit of info straight from the top !!

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Old 04-16-2001, 06:37 PM   #24
Verano
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Anyone knows what would happen if I change it from regular oil to synthetic and then synthetic to regular ? Will it hurt the engine???
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Old 04-16-2001, 08:09 PM   #25
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someone asked what people are using,,,,i use castrol synthetic blend(went middle of the road on that one) 10w40(gas mileage is not as much a concern as thermal protection) and K&N oil filters part no. hp1004. they filter like mad, are crazy strong(seing as how exposed the filter is) and have this sweet 1 inch nut on the bottom(no filter wrench necessary). cost me about $11 a piece at a local speed shop, they order them. i change the stuff every 2500 miles, this engine will go 200,000 miles or else.
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