Synthetic Blend OK?


#1

I am usually a “do it your selfer” when it comes to regular and minor maintenance such as oil changes, filter/brake pad replacements and other miscellanea that I can’t do major harm in doing. That said, I am finding more specials for local oil changes with prices cheaper than I can buy oil and filter for. The only catch is that some shops use a synthetic blend oil. I have always followed my owner’s manual recommendation which so far has called for either a SAE 5w or 10w type and have never used either a synthetic or synthetic blend oil. Is there any chance that I could cause engine damage by using a synthetic or synthetic blend oil on those occasions when it is cheaper than my standard SAE oil? In this particular instance the shop uses Kendall and I have been using either Penzoil or Quaker State.


#2

No problem using blend or 100% synthetic that is the exact oil viscosity specified by your owners manual. However, there can be a BIG problem with using ‘quicky lube’ places. First, they will 99% of the time push unneeded work on you. That’s why the oil change is so cheap, they want your car in the shop so they can try and sell you all manner of flushes and overpriced parts replacements. Second, they can be incompetent, these typically aren’t mechanics.

p.s. - I speak from experience, the last (and final) time I used one they tried to sell me a brake fluid ‘flush’. It wasn’t needed and I said no thanks. Luckily I checked under the hood when I got home, they had left the cap off the brake fluid reservoir. Had I not found out, I could have had, at a minimum, contaminated brake fluid and the resulting corrosion, and worst case, brake failure.


#3

I find it very hard to believe to that you can get an oil change with Synthetic or Synthetic blend cheaper then if you do it yourself with regular dyno oil. They’d be loosing money if they did.

But IF they did…Synthetic or synthetic blend oil offers BETTER protection then regular dino oil. The question becomes - is it really necessary? In most cases it’s NOT necessary.

As for Kendal oil…Kendal makes an EXCELLENT oil. There’s no need to worry about Kendal oil. In fact as long as it meets the vehicles oil SAE rating (which 99.999% of all oil companies do)…and it’s the right weight…then you’ll be fine.


#4

FYI right now the 5 qt jugs of Castrol syn blend are on sale at Wal-Mart: they are the same price as regular Castrol.


#5

I live in the Sacramento,CA area and right now my local Firestone Auto Care Center has a special for $30 which includes 3 oil changes, 2 tire rotations and ac/check engine light diagnostics. I would be buying the special primarily for the oil changes although the tire rotations could be useful as well. No need for the check engine light or ac diagnostics. I can’t buy Quaker State oil and filters for three vehicles at my local Wal-Mart or elsewhere right now for anywhere near $30.Normally a 5 qt. container of oil and either a Fram, AC Delco or Bosch filter runs close to $20. My question is can I take advantage of this special and then use the standard SAE non synthetic oil I have been using at future oil changes without causing any damage?


#6

Using synthetic of blend or mixing (which is what a blend is anyways)…or going back and forth is fine…will not do any harm. You engine has no idea what type of oil is in there…just as long as it lubricates properly.


#7

@wpollock since the oil changes are at a chain shop (Firestone)…I would spend a little more money and do the oil change myself. As @texases and @MikeInNH have already alluded to…I just don’t trust the type of oil they are using. It may be fine and it may not be any good either. We had a couple of local “quickie” oil change places that went out of business when their bulk oil was found to be of inferior quality. The drums they were using were green, from Mexico and had no markings to indicate the weight or quality of the oil inside. Saving a few bucks and getting a ruined engine in the process is not worth the gamble to me.


#8

Don’t do it. Not that there’s a problem with using a synth-blend oil. There isn’t. But the only reason they are offering the deal is to get the car in for the inspection that goes along with the oil change/rotate service.

I had a guy here for a while that worked at “BurningRock.” He explained to me that from the time he was handed the repair order he had 6 minutes to do the 27 point inspection and hand it in to the front desk so the service writer could begin working on upsells. Before the actual work on the ticket began. That’s the mentality at a lot of these big stores.

Save yourself the grief of being handed a list of things your car needs at every visit. Pay a decent price for oil change services from a local independent garage that you know and trust. The few bucks you save on the discount oil change will be worth it.

BTW, I can buy name-brand synthetic blend 5W30 in a 55 gallon drum for less per quart than I can buy conventional 5W30 in quart bottles. Assuming it’s a loss leader it’s entirely reasonable that you can find an oil change special for less than you can buy oil and filter for yourself.


#9

I like what @‌asemaster said

The special price is the equivalent of the “loss leader” . . . it’s to get your foot in the door, and then they’ll try to sell you stuff you hadn’t planned on buying

If you’re intent on taking advantage of this special pricing, you must have nerves of steel and refuse all the upsells. You can take the laundry list and peruse it at your convenience, when you’re not under pressure

Unfortunately, not everybody has nerves of steel


#10

I wonder what the time limit is on this deal…


#11

One year from date of purchase. The nice feature,since it is a punch card, is I can use the three oil changes and tire rotations on three different vehicles.


#12

Think about this. They are offering you $10 oil changes and some other extras for free as well. Does this really sound like a good deal for anyone? If something sounds too good to be true it is.

Are you really going to be happy with the quality of service that comes with a $10 oil change?


#13

If you have an aluminum oil pan, a ham-fisted ape can easily strip the oil drain plug threads and your $10 oil change could turn into a $700 oil pan.


#14

U get free coffee at most shops. Sometimes donuts. Very easy to say no thanks on up-sell stuff. U do have a backbone?


#15

So for the free coffee and donuts, you’re willing to give your car to a shop that you know is going try to upsell you to no end? You’re willing to have a mechanic go through all he has to do to be a part of this, then service your car after doing all these inspections, and when you don’t buy anything and he realizes that he’s just spent 40 minutes on your car to make maybe $6, you hope he won’t cross-thread your drain plug or leave something loose because “this cheap customer isn’t buying anything?”

It’s not right that this happens, I’m not saying it’s right and I’m not saying it should happen, but it does. It’s human nature to not put your best effort into a job you’re not getting paid for.

Why get involved with a program like this at all? Too many risks as far as I’m concerned.


#16

What was OP question?


#17

While having my tires balanced at a local tire store, I noticed they had four or five 250 gallon “Totes” stacked up with different grades of motor oil…I have seen Jiffy-Lube having bulk oil delivered by a tanker truck! I thought they were picking up waste oil, but NO, they were delivering new motor oil…Their cost per gallon is but a fraction of what consumers pay by the quart…

If you respond to these $19.95 oil change come-ons, I guarantee that you will NEVER get out the door for $19.95…These places live off Bait & Switch marketing…