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motor oil - thought synthetic was over kill and really protected you mainly against extreme conditions any opinions or comments?


broker-len
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For quite a while I have  used penns oil    both in my antiques, early 30s mopar and 2008 Rav   I used 5 w 20 in rav    I am now driving a 2009 camry     v6   great  car---- calls for 5w 30  thought I would change the oil and filter   first thing I notice is the filter requires two  different torque specs ?????    not just the can you turned 3/4 after bottom out      went around to get oil and can not get conventional oil    synthetic blend   or full  synthetic     did a google  search  and it  seems it is better for both type  cars  Am I missing something ?????   I guess I always thought synthetic was over kill and really protected you mainly against extreme conditions    any opinions or comments ??--------------thank you  bobnroman@yahoo.com

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to motor oil - thought synthetic was over kill and really protected you mainly against extreme conditions any opinions or comments?

Newer cars are using synthetic for its extra protection quality and extended time or mileage between oil changes.  The lower use and stress an antique sees, the old traditional oil should work just fine.

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We use synthetic oil (Shell Rotella) in our collection's vehicles. We do not consider it overkill but it is expensive when one oil change takes 5 gallons of the stuff. (big engines). Our building is unheated and during early and late winter we can have very wide temperature fluctuations which causes issues with condensation. Synthetic is less likely to be affected by moisture. In addition (if the claims are to believed) less friction and wear on the old beasts and of course keeping any sludge, etc. moving rather than settling is always good. We also, from time to time, operate these vehicles in the winter with temps hovering in the low 20's. Synthetic's over a bit of an advantage there as well.  Others may have a differing view but we feel its worth it.

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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Dinosaur oil worked fine back then and it does today.  If not better. My daily drivers get regular oil every 5000 miles.  All run fine. Two out of 4 are 100k plus miles and still cranking along. I see no reason to purchase synthetic oil unless I'm driving a formula 1 or for some ungodly reason do not change the oil for 10k miles.  My two Buicks(54 and 60)get dinosaur oil and a bit of zinc. I'll be honest...I run them like I stole them. Both running fine. Very little oil consumption.  Save your money on synthetic oils. It's not worth the expense  IMO. 

Edited by avgwarhawk (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, broker-len said:

what do you consider a   NEWER   car ??   my point is I can not find the conventional in South Jersey     maybe because crude is getting expensive  the new oil is  cheaper to make

My wife’s 2018 Subaru recommends synthetic.  The local ACE hardware store in our town still had, as of last week, regular oil on the shelf in quart bottles.

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I have used nothing but synthetics in everything for over 20 years.  My Dodge 12 valve (now gone) is still running strong at over 500K and my Honda daily driver is sitting at 235K.  Oil analysis shows no unusual wear.  I have no way of knowing if synthetics helped or not.  You can frequently buy synthetics  on sale for little more than conventional oil

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I’ve always thought that the engineers who designed the apparatus have the best take on the question of which lubricant to use.  If the engine was designed for 10W-30 mineral oil, then use 10W-30 mineral oil. If the engine was designed for 5W-20 synthetic, then use that.  Why do differently?  Unless you have more knowledge of the engine than the designer.

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5 minutes ago, Akstraw said:

I’ve always thought that the engineers who designed the apparatus have the best take on the question of which lubricant to use.  If the engine was designed for 10W-30 mineral oil, then use 10W-30 mineral oil. If the engine was designed for 5W-20 synthetic, then use that.  Why do differently?  Unless you have more knowledge of the engine than the designer.

I would venture a guess the oil was designed for the engine. 

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1 hour ago, Akstraw said:

I’ve always thought that the engineers who designed the apparatus have the best take on the question of which lubricant to use.  If the engine was designed for 10W-30 mineral oil, then use 10W-30 mineral oil

But Synthetic oil was not available when pre 70 engines were built. You think the engineers would NOT have chosen it if it was available? The engineers could only choose from what was available. Think Henry would not recommend a multi-vis oil if it was available in the 20s? OK, Maybe Walter P. Chrysler would be a better example.;)

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I only run synthetic oil in my daily drivers. I buy it at Walmart and it is just a dollar or two more then conventional oil per 5 quart jug. Walmart beats most any parts store oil prices.

 

2 hours ago, avgwarhawk said:

I would venture a guess the oil was designed for the engine. 

 

I would guess the petrochemical engineers were inventing the best oil they could make at the time. They have continually improved oil over the years! Our engines last wwwaaaayyyyyy longer than they used to because of it. Remember the engines were worn out by the time the clock turned over at 100K, and that's why there was no need for 6 digit odometers. No reason not to use the best oil one can if the price is not out of line. My last daily driver was retired at 270K, and just for emissions, not engine issues! I'm up to 160K on the present one. The 94 Caprice is still going at 280K on the LT1, no internal engines issues. I had to remove a head to fix a broken exhaust bolt at around 250K, and the head and valley were CLEAN! Cleaner than any 100 K mile engine I worked on in the 70s. 

 

 

Mobil 1 came out to the masses about 1975. Not like synthetic oil is a new idea here in 2022.

 

I will also say the conventional oil available today is way better than the conventional oil of 1965.

Valley.JPG

Edited by Frank DuVal (see edit history)
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14 hours ago, Frank DuVal said:

I only run synthetic oil in my daily drivers. I buy it at Walmart and it is just a dollar or two more then conventional oil per 5 quart jug. Walmart beats most any parts store oil prices.

I also use synthetic in my daily drivers (2012 = 0W20 & 2022 = 0W16).

 

In case you or others here are not aware Mobil-1 is running a Rebate for some of their products purchased between 07/01/22 & 09/30/22. I just picked up 2,  5qt jugs at Walmart and my rebate is $10 for each. The amount of the rebate varies by product. Limit 2 per customer.

 

More info here.... 2022 Mobil-1 Rebate

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I agree that it is overkill in antique engines and, depending on viscosity, may be more prone to leaking out.  As for extreme conditions, yes, that is where synthetics have a clear advantage.  If you use your car in cold temps, the viscosity of synthetics at low temps mean a lot less strain on the starting system and the oil will more readily flow to lubricate things when engine is cold.  At the other extreme, it takes higher temp to start oxidizing synthetic motor oils and so may provide more of a cushion against engine seizure if engine is overheated.  Is it worth it?  We have to decide for ourselves on that.

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Read a study 4/5 years ago about choice of motor oil for cars of the 30's, the 60'/70's and newer cars. A long time well respected commercial rebuilder of engines gave our club a short presentation on the subject. There are many things to consider, price is not one of them. 

 

Modern cars are built to very close tolerance levels, are generally higher revving, have neweer materials (including seals/gaskets) and manufacturers recommend lubricants that will withstaND THE DURESS THE ENGINES FACE AND MANITAIN GOOD OIL PRESSURE, MINIMUMUL PARTS WEAR AND not cause engine failure. (I'm sure there are other reasons, let's not belabor this category).

 

The study recognized that V8's of the 60's and 70's needed some zinc (or other similar product) in the oil to act as a mechanism for coating/protecting internals, particularly cam lobes and some other typically high wear parts. Also was noted that synthetics tend to drain off parts while sitting for a long period and can result in "dry starts".

 

For really old cars, the manufacturer tolerances were bigger, and the heavier oils acted like a film/cushion between adjoining parts. It also noted that older style oils stuck to parts better, important t when cars are left sitting for extended periods. Many older cars are also non-pressurized, relying on a variety of circulation systems. 

 

So the conclusion of the study seemed to be much as someone above said, use the type of motor oil that was being used when the car was built, and don't get conned into thinking "newer must be better". I'm sure the study could be googled, I think it appeared in an automotive journal.

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Yes, but the original poster was buying oil for their daily driver, which is built since 2000.

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My engine was built over a 100 years ago and and the specification was for a straight 30w non-detergent. I am not using that now as I want the contaminants suspended in the oil and not in the bottom of the pan. I think it's important to use an oil that is of the same viscosity as the manufacture called for and I agree with the folks that say to use a multi weight over a straight weight even on the older cars. 

 

As far as dino vs. synthetic (really just highly refined dino oil) we are just looking at part of what we put in the engine. We should also consider the additive package that is in the oil; wear inhibitors, anti-corrosion additives, friction modifiers, anti-foaming additives, etc. Depending on the engine and your uses some of these are more important than the others for your particular application.

 

Now that I have dealt with major leaks and mechanical issues I plan to switch to an oil that will stay in my engine for the entire year (just a few hundred miles). Remember I am running a 1914 engine with no oil filter here. I want a motor oil that will protect my engine to the highest standard so it can last another 100 years.

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Dino vs synthetic?  Mine is a 1938 engine with 89,000 + miles on it. It used an oil that was refined in the 30’s with scientific knowledge of the day. As more knowledge was gained in how better refinement processes could improve engine life, I would assume these would apply to most internal combustion engines. Now that synthetic oil is around wouldn’t the same logic apply to the advancement in benefits? It gets one to thinking. My 38 is 84 years old but wait, I rebuilt it with new harden valves, rings, pistons, rods, bearings, had the crank checked, rebuilt the carburetor, new points, plugs, wires in other words do I have an 84 year old engine or a six year old engine?  Gets one to thinking doesn’t it?  I’ll go with synthetic and put up with the leaks, cardboard boxes are easy to put on the floor of the garage and trash every few months. I put about 3-4,000 miles on it in non-pandemic years so far. I change the oil twice a year the extra $20 bucks just means I skip a few Starbucks coffees a year, oh wait I don’t drink coffee!  I guess I’ll just have to send Ed some of that Canadian stuff he drinks instead of the good Woodford or Barkleys. 
dave s 

Edited by SC38dls (see edit history)
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I remember when people argued that Multi-viscosity oil was just a fad.   Today we' re still talking about the synthetic oils the same way.

I use the thicker viscosity oils in the older higher mileage cars and lower viscosity oils in newer higher compression cars.  I see that most companies are now offering blended oils.   I tried them in my last oil change and think the MPG improved.

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Frank wrote "Yes, but the original poster was buying oil for their daily driver, which is built since 2000." That outlines one of the problem posting non-antique car questions on AACA. Eventually the topic drifts into application to antique cars (as per several of above replies), and the discussion shifts to antique cars generally, which is why I posted about the study. Prior to my comment I think one response implied synthetic was fine for all engines. From what I've read, not sure that is true.

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Modern synthetic oils are becoming very common place along with synthetic blends...

   There is nothing to be afraid of.

 As old time straight weights are getting harder to get instantly,

 you can mix synthectic oils  with straight oils without worry ,you only loose the benefits like extended oil changes /better long turn lubrication (  for the higher price paid per qt or gal. )compaired to what basic oils offer.

 Synthetic oils still start out as real  oil. Just modified and added to a degree...it isn't plastic...LOL.

  By the second oil change switch..you good as all synthetic.

  They are not so good for breaking in new engines (rings) in my opinion.

  But after that go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

  

  

 

   

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On 8/21/2022 at 7:11 AM, 29 Chandler said:

My engine was built over a 100 years ago and and the specification was for a straight 30w non-detergent. I am not using that now as I want the contaminants suspended in the oil and not in the bottom of the pan. I think it's important to use an oil that is of the same viscosity as the manufacture called for and I agree with the folks that say to use a multi weight over a straight weight even on the older cars. 

I have two cars that have total waste oiling systems.  My 08 Model F Buick continuously drains used oil onto the road or the garage floor when running.  And, my 13 Model 31 Buick dumps used oil into the pan which is manually drained every 2-300 miles.   Synthetic oil would definately be a waste of $$ for these cars.

13 Buick Oil Drain Valves.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Mark Shaw said:

I have two cars that have total waste oiling systems.  My 08 Model F Buick continuously drains used oil onto the road or the garage floor when running.  And, my 13 Model 31 Buick dumps used oil into the pan which is manually drained every 2-300 miles.   Synthetic oil would definately be a waste of $$ for these cars.

13 Buick Oil Drain Valves.jpeg

Agreed. This is the exact reason why I used a cheap 30 wt oil wen I first started sorting my car. I knew the oil would not be in there long enough make much of a difference either way.

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I use Shell Rotella Diesel oil in all my Corvairs and my son's Subaru WRX STi.  The daily driver fleet gets full synthetic.  Most everything gets purchased at Walmart.  I'm not married to any particular brand of synthetic.  Our 2005 Suburban, which we bought new, has 146,000 miles and runs great!  I always pay up for a quality filter, either K&N, Mobil1, etc.  I'm sure it's overkill, but I like knowing the vehicles have quality blood running thru their veins!  One issue I do have with synthetic oils are variations within a single brand!  Next time you are in the oil aisle of your favorite FLAPS or Walmart, look at how many different 10W-30 variations there are of Mobil1!  Which would you choose for your daily driver from the list below:

 

Mobil1 Full Synthetic

Mobil1 Full Synthetic High Mileage

Mobil1 Advanced Full Synthetic

Mobil1 Advanced Fuel Economy

Mobil1 Extended Performance

Mobil1 Extended Performance High Mileage

 

There are at least five more variations for Racing, Trucks/SUVs, and motorcycles!

 

It's all a little bewildering!  Drive on...  Greg

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