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SYNTHETIC TEST


autoluke
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17 hours ago, plymouthcranbrook said:

Bring your own oil and watch them put it in

A local quickie style oil change place (now out of business) would not install a customer's own oil and would not change the oil in my Pontiac because they did not have a filter to fit and not changing the filter would not allow them to guarantee the oil change.  "NO EXCEPTIONS  TAKE YOUR CAR AND LEAVE" I was told.

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On 2/6/2020 at 1:50 PM, autoluke said:

Any way to bench test synthetic motor oil in comparison to the  conventional product ?

 

Regular oil tastes like old dinosaurs.

Synthetic oil tastes like new dinosaurs...............Bob

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Changing my own oil is not the problem in BC.  The problem is getting rid of the old oil.  It is simpler just to let the shops do it.  In my case on either my or my wife's car the only thing I let them touch is oil, oil filter and grease fittings. I specifically tell them to leave the tires, radiator, battery, transmission and differential alone.

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Guess I'm fortunate to have my local transmission shop handy, in that they have a waste oil heater, and are always looking for used oil or Tx fluid to burn.

They don't pay for mine but if I ever need a "favor" they are there for me.

Rebuilt the Tx on both the '40 Buick and the '31 Chrysler for free last year, though I did have to bring them in myself.

 

Mike in Colorado

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1 hour ago, Tinindian said:

Changing my own oil is not the problem in BC.  The problem is getting rid of the old oil.  It is simpler just to let the shops do it.  In my case on either my or my wife's car the only thing I let them touch is oil, oil filter and grease fittings. I specifically tell them to leave the tires, radiator, battery, transmission and differential alone.

No waste oil heating systems up there ?

 

Down here some auto repair garages have waste oil heating systems. A buddy of mine takes all my waste engine oil, gear oil  and brake fluid to heat his engine rebuilding shop. Our country recycling center takes all waste oil and uses it to heat the recycling center building.

 

Paul 

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Tinindian said:

Changing my own oil is not the problem in BC.  The problem is getting rid of the old oil.  It is simpler just to let the shops do it.  In my case on either my or my wife's car the only thing I let them touch is oil, oil filter and grease fittings. I specifically tell them to leave the tires, radiator, battery, transmission and differential alone.

A few years ago I bought an abandoned house that had 40 or 50 plastic gallon jugs of used oil in the garage. I'm glad the old owner didn't dump it on the ground, although it was a headache to get rid of it. The local Canadian Tire store has a big tank for used oil, they charge a small fee for dumping your used oil, it was 10 cents a gallon or something, not very much. I took the old oil down 3 or 4 jugs at a time till it was all gone. There must be some recycling place in your area if you ask around. The town has a special disposal day twice a year where you can dispose of old paint, oil, solvents, pesticides and hazardous materials. I should think there is something similar where you are.

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In NY any auto store or garage that sells oil has to accept old oil for recycling whether you bought it there or not. They will accept up to five gallons at a time at no charge.Some places will accept more. They have to have a sign outside saying so. The same goes for batteries in NY.

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Same as Bhigdog and Mercer here. 👍

 

Whoever sells oil needs to take the used oil. Now, I have not tried that at Walmart yet, but all the other parts stores (and the county dump) do!😉

 

BTW, and not really related comment,  sorry, Pennzoil synthetic oil was $2.50 a quart cheaper at Sheetz convenience store than Advance Auto parts by the quart......😯

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8 hours ago, Tinindian said:

A local quickie style oil change place (now out of business) would not install a customer's own oil and would not change the oil in my Pontiac because they did not have a filter to fit and not changing the filter would not allow them to guarantee the oil change.  "NO EXCEPTIONS  TAKE YOUR CAR AND LEAVE" I was told.

I don’t believe I have ever heard of a company making it so easy to decide if I would want to be a customer or not

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On 2/6/2020 at 12:50 PM, autoluke said:

Any way to bench test synthetic motor oil in comparison to the  conventional product ?

 

I am hearing that certain stations are charging for synthetic product while filling with standard  offering.

Another thought is to not patronize those stations unless of course the are all doing it

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4 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

There must be some recycling place in your area if you ask around.

Our local commercial recycler will take old gasoline or old oil but it must be in approved containers, like one, two or five gallon gas cans and then it is $5.00 per gallon.

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Let me clarify my question...

 

Not asking for the best way to dispose of the old oil, but to test the chemistry of THE NEW OIL.

Many "quick lube style" operations are suspected of charging top dollar for synthetic, while filling the crankcase with standard oil .  Good for profits, but bad for engine life.

 

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I think that's one of those rumors that sure sounds like a great scam but in practice is probably not happening on any widespread scale. If they get caught doing that, it's fraud so it's not only a civil issue, it's criminal. People would lose their jobs, mostly the guys at the service level, and I'm not sure sure the extra few bucks (which they can't lay their hands on anyway) is worth it. Doing that and getting caught would be really bad at so many levels for a quick lube company. The rewards don't justify the risks. Has it happened? I'm sure it has. Is it widespread to the point where you have to worry about it? I doubt it.

 

It used to be if you wanted synthetic oil, they poured it out of bottles--only the conventional stuff was in the big barrels and coming out of the pumps. With so many cars specifying synthetic today, I'm not sure that's still true, but you could certainly watch and see what oil they're putting in there, either from a bottle or from one of the labeled spouts. I doubt they'd go to the trouble of re-labeling the spouts just to trick the rubes.

 

Thirdly, even if they are putting regular oil in there, you'll never notice the difference. It won't hurt your engine and it's unlikely you're driving anywhere near hard enough or in extreme enough conditions that the synthetic oil will make a significant difference in overall engine life. If the engine lasts 196,000 miles instead of 200,000 miles, is that something you can blame on oil? I use synthetic because I like the peace of mind, but I'm also not going to fret over it because the machinery will outlast us all anyway.

 

If you're really convinced you're being rooked, there are labs to which you can send an oil sample and they'll tell you exactly what's going on, including whether it's synthetic or conventional oil. It costs about as much as the difference between synthetic and regular oil for a standard oil change. Then you'll know, you can take it back to the offenders, and you can sue them for what would probably amount to a pretty substantial pile of cash and turn the attorney general loose on them to boot.

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19 hours ago, FLYER15015 said:

Geeze, everybody on this old car forum who does not change their own oil is dismissed from class !!!!!

 

Mike in Colorado

 

I could easily change my own oil, I have a lift and one of those barrels with the telescoping funnel.

But for twenty bucks at the local Meineke it pencils out.

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3 hours ago, JACK M said:

 

I could easily change my own oil, I have a lift and one of those barrels with the telescoping funnel.

But for twenty bucks at the local Meineke it pencils out.

Except you don't know how much old oil they leave in, what kind of filter they REALLY use (if any), What kind of oil they REALLY use, and just how attentive to detail those minimum wage oil changers are and, BTW, just what ARE they vaping between those twenty buck oil changes. Just sayin..............Bob

Edited by Bhigdog (see edit history)
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Not looking to sue anyone, but want to know if the shop is honest.

 

When I have a strong day, I will borrow a small sample  to place in a freezer, and see if the oil has a significant change in the flow rate.

 

If the flow rate proves to be faster than conventional oil, it is indeed synthetic.

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That likely won't tell you much. If the viscosity rating of the synthetic is the same as the conventional oil, they should both flow the same at the same cold temp.

 

Read it somewhere, but can't find it, now. The home test is, heat both types. The synthetic supposedly won't  burn and smoke until reaching a noticably higher temp than conventional motor oils ????    I seem to remember that Mobil One used that method in one of their early TV advertisements.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, autoluke said:

Not looking to sue anyone, but want to know if the shop is honest.

 

When I have a strong day, I will borrow a small sample  to place in a freezer, and see if the oil has a significant change in the flow rate.

 

If the flow rate proves to be faster than conventional oil, it is indeed synthetic.

 

If you do that you need to have a control sample for comparison. And various viscositys. I bet the differences will be too small to see with your eye.

 

Maybe you should get a different shop if you think the current one is so dishonest that you're willing to do all this extra work on a very slight possibility of cheating. And if you do find something, then what? Show the shop manager a cup of frozen oil? Find another shop you won't trust?

 

I think others are right that the chances of this happening are very very small. Why are you so worried? Does this kind of cheating sound like a good idea to you?

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@Tinindianand @Rusty_OToole it sounds like you guys may share borders with me up in Canada. Here in BC the Govt has agreements in place with certain companies so they are obliged to take back used oil. Mr Lube is one fo them. There is no charge for taking used oil there. If I recall you pay a small enviro fee up front when you buy new oil. That is a tax to help fund the oil recycling program in BC. You can find a place near you, (in BC) by searching here: https://bcusedoil.com/

 

I use synthetic oil in my Cummins diesel truck only. Why? For a couple of reasons. The truck only sees about 5,000 miles per year of use. I change the oil once per year. Right before winter in about late October. The diesel engine will be harder to start in cold weather due to reciprocating weight and high compression ratio. Cold batteries too. Synthetic oil maintains a thinner viscosity at lower temps. Synthetic oil helps to allow the starter to turn the engine over faster. Also, synthetic oil maintains a thicker viscosity at higher temps. We see -25C some times here in the interior of BC. We also see +40C here in the summer. A good 5W40 synthetic oil gives me good wide viscosity coverage, all year through that wide range of temperatures. Conventional oil would not. I'd need a 15W40 in the summer and a 5W20 in the winter for example. In my opinion it would be a waste to be changing the oil 2X a year with such low milage on it.

 

Not all synthetic oils are of the same quality. My understanding is Poly Alpha Olefin is the base oil that is used when synthetic oil is manufactured. The actual amount of PAO used varies, and partially determines how good the synthetic oil actually is. Synthetic oil benefits over conventional oil in extreme environments. Like arctic weather cold starts, and Sahara desert type environments. Let's say for example your engine was in an environment where every day it ran up a long steep hill in Death Valley type summer temperatures. Synthetic oil will hold together longer and measure less oxidation when tested in a lab. Synthetic oil would also really help an air cooled engine. Imagine a 1976 VW Westphalia loaded up to go camping. Climbing a mountain pass in the summer. I'd definitely be running synthetic oil!

 

Old engines are built to lower tolerances than modern engines. Exhaust gas emissions were not even a consideration. Direct vent crankcase engines could be considered sloppy and loose compared to today's engine standards. Most of our cars are driven during cruising season only in mild, comfortable temperatures. I'd surmise that 98% of our cars would not benefit from using synthetic oil in our vintage car engines. I change my vintage car oil 1x per year also. It too sees low milage. Spring, summer, fall only. So I run a conventional detergent summer oil. 15W40 maybe. I' have rounded up two 20L pails with lids that I hold used oil in. The buckets have spouts and vent holes in the lids.  I wait until they are both full and take them to the oil recycling facility. I do not leave my buckets with them. I drain and then take them back home. I've been reusing the same 2 buckets for at least 10 years so far. Works well for me.

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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