Switch to Synthetic Oil?

I own a 1987 Chevy Caprice Classic Brougham with 75K. It has a 5.0 L 305 CID V8 TYPE “H” engine. Runs great. Starts easily. Burns little oil. I drive it around 5,500 miles a year. Owners manual has the oil changes at 7,500k or 12 months for normal driving which I do. Is it worth switching?

I doubt it. One single dino oil change per year, assuming your average mileage holds up, is fine. Today’s conventional oils are far superior to what they had in 1987, so your engine will be happy. You could switch to a high mileage conventional oil, but I can’t say that would improve anything, either.

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[i] Is it worth switching? [/i]  What do you hope to gain by switching?  As noted the standard oil using the recommended changes should be fine under normal conditions.

I don’t think it’s worth switching.

I continue to use regular motor oil in my cars. If you’re only driving 5-6K miles a year, I suggest you change oil once a year or every 5K, rather than waiting until 7,500 miles. It’s been working well for me.

Save your money.

I don’t care or know about switching to synthetic oil as much as I would recommend shortening the oil change cycle to at most 5,000 miles. Even for a big engine such as yours, 7,500 miles between oil changes is too long for the age and mileage of your car.
My problem with the presumption that synthetic oils last longer than regular motor oils has less to do with the oil itself in terms of viscosity and protection than the fact that you are ignoring that your oil filter needs to be clean enough to filter out impurities created by the engine, not the oil you use.

There is an old argument that ONLY the filter needs to be changed every 3,000 miles, and that only the oil lost while changing the filter (I would guess that you’d have to be very quick, changing the filter) needs to be replaced. I wonder why this is such a hot subject. There is plenty of evidence that replacing the oil and filter every 3,000 - 5,000 miles lengthens the life of any car. It is probably the least expensive thing you can do to ensure the engine will continue to be healthy aside from keeping the oil level full.
Cheap out somewhere else is the point. Go ahead and use synthetic oil. Just don’t justify changing the oil every 8,000 miles or so because you are spending more on the oil. You need clean fresh oil. You need a new oil filter every 5,000 miles maximum. However you get there is up to you.

Changing the oil once yearly is perect for you.

For this negine there would be absolutely no benefit to switching to synthetic. Synthetic’s main advantage is that it stands up to temperature extremes better, which makes it good for turbocharged engines. Turbos are spun at very high RPMs by the hot exhaust, and that subjects the oil to high temperature stresses, but your engien isn’t turbocharged. You have no need of synthetic.

Keep changing the oil and filters once a year, do other maintenance as per the owner’s manual, repair thing spromptly when they break, and the Chevy should last you many more miles.

“I would recommend shortening the oil change cycle to at most 5,000 miles. Even for a big engine such as yours, 7,500 miles between oil changes is too long for the age and mileage of your car.”

I change my oil at about 7500 miles on 3 cars. We have 140,000 on one, 110,000 on another, and 78,000 on the 3rd. All last several months before needing oil. This interval works for me, and I’m not inclined to change it.

I have never seen a synthetic product equal the performance of the REAL product it is trying to imitate…

Synthetic lubricants excel in certain situations, mainly temperature extremes…But are they naturally a better lubricant? NOT!!

I can’t justify the price difference to use synthetic oil. Synthetic will not bring back your engine wear. you will still burn oil, thats okay as long as it is not much. But the only way to reallt get rid of an oil leak is to replace or rebuild the motor which does not seem like it is needed. I do not recommend oil additives. I would use lucas cylinder lubricant that you put in your gas tank if you are looking for some thing extra to help.

Since most synthetic oils have a higher flashpoint than dino oil, they will often cure a smoking engine. It’s a fairly recent used car dealer trick. It won’t keep the car from using oil. It just won’t show when they sell it to you.

Thanks for the info. Standard oil it shall remain.

I had older GM cars. Both were big Pontiac wagons. One was late 70’s. One was around 86.

In both cases, I tried synthetics and the oil sender started leaking oil.

It may have been coincidence, but my opinion was it was not.

Your engine does not have any expensive internal parts. Stay with classic oil like Castrol GTX, Valvoline or Havoline.