Synthetic oil

You beat me to that one. Busy today, was going to post exactly that comment. My first thought was he ran 6 Baja 500’s in that 3,000 miles. Or, 3,000 miles in mud on his way to the national mud championships. but, then I noticed he said conventional oil would have worked fine, which is preposterous.

Hercules Poirot, fictional detective, would ask, “Why did he put in synthetic at that time?” The answer is either he bought a sludged used car, or neglected it, and when he realized he had messed it up, decided to use the magic elixir, and when it didn’t instantly solve the result of his neglect, decided Mobil-1 was no good.

As someone just posted, those who pooh-pooh synthetics nearly always admit they have never used the stuff. Hee, hee.

In October I had my Mobil-1 EP tested after 8800 miles. Still good, and had enough additives left to run maybe 10,000 miles total. I notice the same pooh-pooheers also pooh-pooh the lab tests, which I am guessing they also have never had done. Blackstone tells you a lot of stuff, including bearing wear and other information, as well as the condition of the oil.

I would say these unfounded comments that synthetic is a waste of time and money do not reflect well on those who make those statements, with no real foundation or knowledge. Just personal opinion.

I do agree that if you do somewhat normal driving, and want to over-change regular oil every 3,000 miles, your car will last a very long time. But, it is also true one can go a lot longer if you use a good synthetic. That is, once warrenty is up, you can indeed extend the change cycle. I now have personal knowledge of this, and this tin hat stuff wears thin.

I have listened to this nonsense on this URL for years, and really did not know what was correct. Having had my oil tested at 8800 miles, now I know. I tire of these insults. So, my lab test which showed at least 2000 more miles of safe use was a placebo effect? Nonsense. That is much like the smart alecks who insist Toyota owners really have as many repairs as GM et al, and are just lying to themselves.

Ditto my comment just above.

I agree during warranty, unless you want your warranty revoked, but that recommended change on many cars is a lot longer than 3,000 miles, isn’t it?

Have you ever had conventional oil tested at 8,800? My take on it is that even modern conventional oil can usually survive into the very long change intervals, but we change them sooner because of the contaminants that naturally build up in the engine oil over time. The whole notion of “oil life” is sort of obsolete-- viscosity breakdown simply due to age is a thing of the past. What you’re really looking at is the build up of contaminates-- if you notice on the oil analysis slip, there’s nothing that really indicates how soon until the oil breaks down, but the 2,000 mile figure is how much further you can go before the levels of whatever contaminate will be too high.

Also, the “placebo effect” here doesn’t refer to the change interval, but to people who claim their engine runs smoother or gets better mileage with synthetic-- while perhaps they might do so on scales measurable in a laboratory, there’s no way you could tell in everyday usage.

I think it’s fair to say that synthetic oil is clearly superior in many ways, but it is really not clear that it’s any “better” for a car who’s lubrication needs are already met and exceeded with conventional oil.

EDIT: Also in the OP’s case, he’s definitely not getting the benefit of the synthetic oil because it’s burning up before it gets to the long change interval!

Again GreasyJack’s reply says it well. I was not trying to insult you nor anyone. The OP asked what is our take on synthetic-vs-conventional oil.

Synthetic has many advantages. Sometimes synthetic is required or provides a clear benefit. For many cars there is no added benefit the owner will ever experience.

The placebo effect is all about the car owners who pay extra for a product solely because the marketing and advertising made them feel they needed it. Then, after spending that extra money, those owners “believe” they’re getting the added benefits - not because they understand why, but because of self-pride (after spending all that extra money) and because they want to believe they’re getting all those benefits they paid for.

For a car designed to run on conventional oil and properly maintained, I have no problem telling car owners: “Unless there’s a problem you know synthetic will solve, then using it over conventional is wasting your money.”

Best response of all, irlandes! And, I agree with you on changing the oil at manuf recommended intervals just for warranty’s sake. Then, in case something happens under warranty, the dealer can’t blame the driver for not changing the oil at the “right” times. BUT, as for MY personal practice, after 1000 miles I change to Mobil 1 and Mobil 1’s filter (media is synthetic and does not break down as does paper media in a standard filter) and I follow Mobil’s recommended change intervals with great performance and no problems. And, I don’t use it simply for the high mileage aspect, but, also, for the other benefits of using Mobil 1 synthetic lubricants - no varnish, higher boiling point, etc. As I always say, “Can’t argue with success”. And, the funniest comment is Mobil 1 turning to sludge! Bet after they stop laughing themselves silly the engineers at ExxonMobil would like to talk with DodgeRam98 on that one.

“my cars have always loved it”

How so?

Apples and oranges: 12k off the computer is not the same as 3k from habit. The GM owners I know that have the oil change reminder and regular oil typically have it go off at 7,500 miles or so. So the $ are not much different.

If you want the answers to all your questions about synthetic motor lubricants from ExxonMobil, go to You can also post your question to them and view questions and answers from others who use synthetic oil. They also have FAQs and their answers, as well.

I have to wonder: anyone know what % of motor vehciles are retired from service due to engine wear? More to the point, of the sub-sgement of (passenger) motor vehicles that receive regular oil changes, and aren’t driven low on oil…what % are retired due to engine wear?

If the % is as low as I suspect, it really explains why I’ve never gone for synthetic: if dino is “good enough” to let the engine last until the rest of the car fails around it, what is the advantage to synthetic being “better than good enough?”

I’ve Never Been A “Good Enough” Or “Close Enough” Kind Of A Guy. It’s Not Catastrophic Engine Failure I Fear, But Rather An Engine Becoming An “Oil Burner”.

My situation might be a little unique because of our cold winter temperatures, but when we crank our cars up to go home from work when it’s 15 or 20 below zero, I feel better knowing that I’m running fully synthetic oil (Those piston rings and cylinder walls must be giggling in there.). That’s when it’s recommended by GM, for very cold starts.

By the way, some people say that modern synthetic costs twice as much as fossil oil. I find the difference to be a little less than 50% more, not 100% more. I think you will see the difference continue to decline and the use of synthetic continue to climb.


csa; with the kind of temperatures you have to contend with, synthetic oil is just what you need. It flows extremely well at very low temperatures, while retaining film strength at high temperatures.

My son is an avid skier,and the mountain areas he visits have brutal overnight temperatures., He uses 0W30 full synthetic in his Mazda 3.

P.S. You are also an ideal candidate to use a block heater to further reduce engine wear and enjoy quick warmup on those frosty mornings.

Why is it some service people state once you go to synthetic oil you can not go back to regular oil again, especially a GM vehilce? Can someone tell me?

My cars have always loved it and so I love it.

What does that mean? How does an inanimate object love something?

I think the service people want you to keep using expensive synthetic which is very profitable for them.

Those same service people are often really stupid and know nothing about tribology, the science of lubrication. They go by hearsay or something that was true in the late 60s when synthetics were first introduced.

You can switch back to synthetic anytime you want and back again to dino oil. Since the stuff is so incredibly slippery, I would not use a very light grade in an older engine, or for trailer towing.

Many service types who know their stuff recommend against using synthetic in a very high mileage engine, since excessive wear has increased the tolerances to where the car will use oil with synthetic, since it is so slippery. That gets expensive.

His cars sent him flowers and a thank you card… :slight_smile:

Yall, have been using synthetic since 1975; using Mobil-1 . Big mistake. Got word of Amsoil; great stuff. YES !! Better mpg’s and better performance. '95 Avalon and I use hi-test petrol… 35-38 mpg’s @ 70-75 mph !! The odometer just turned 176k and I change it out @ 13 months. I usuallly do 15k miles/yr. I’m going for the synthetic tranny oil next. Maybe the body will rust from around the engine. I have plenty of pickup power and smooth sailing… But i do my own changes; I let it drain for two days min… With Michelin tires, I’m setting my sights on 300k total miles. I’d like to get a new Toyota; but the ecomomy is too whacko…

There are a few points on the subject that I think we can all agree on:

  1. if your owner’s manual says synthetic is required, then it’s to be followed
  2. disagreement will continue for the foreseeable future on whether it’s beneficial for vehicles that do not require it. Neither camp is likely to convince the other anytime soon.
  3. for those vehicles not requiring it, if it makes the owner feel better then perhaps the sense of added security is worth the extra few bucks. Sleepng with a clear mind at night is priceless.

For vehicles not requiring it, using it anyway is harmless. The part that I would still not recommend is using it to extend the miles between oil changes substantially beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation. At best that could defeat the purpose of using it to better protect the engine, and at worst it could add wear that would not have occurred had the recommended change schedule been followed. I remain unconvinced that changing oil every 10,000 miles with synthetic protects the engine better than (or even as well as) changing oil every 5,000 miles with dino. My reasons were stated earlier, blowby and particulate contamination do not change by using synthetic.

I respect the right of every man to choose his own path with his own car. Without a credible study corrolating differences in oil with actual wear and/or engine longevity, I personally remain unconvinced.

Good post; oil is 25-30% ADDITIVES. Those additives get wholly or partially used up in about 10,000+ miles of highway driving and in as little as 3000-4000 miles of stop and go, short trip city drivng in colds climates.

No matter how good the oil’s base stock (what makes synthetic different)it’s additive depletion that drives the oil change interval. Special oils such as the European spec for Volkswagen and the US Mobil 1 LONG DRAIN oils have more additives, and can go longer between drains. However, as you point out, for most normal driving in normal cars, the cost advantage of dino oil is such that when changing it every 3000 miles you are assured of long engine life at the lowest cost.

If Royal Purple makes you sleep better, go for it. Just don’t drain is less often than normal “cheap” oil!