Synthetic vs reg oil


#1

is there any difference?

I do have to say that for me, I do knowtice a difference= its not buring as much as it used to and i don’t here the short/quick few metal ticks when first starting the car…

EdK


#2

Yes there is a difference and it is not just the price.

Synthetic tends to be more stable (does not break down as easily) which means it last longer and can handle more heat longer without changing. It also is “stronger”. that is it protects better under high pressure.

Most modern cars need this kind of protection since their engines and maintenance recommendations are written with this in mind. If your owner’s manual specifies synthetic, you would be a fool to use anything less.

If you have an older car and it does not call for synthetic you do not need to use it, but doing so will mean a little less wear, slight mileage gain, easier starting in winter and the option to extend the change interval a little.


#3

IMHO, the only disadvantage to using synthetic is the cost. The lack of noise after startup indicated you are getting oil pressure the you hydraulic lifters more quickly. One advantage of synthetic is improved cold lubrication at startup. You just have to decide if the advantages are worth the cost difference to you.

I agree, that you should use synthetic if it is required for your car; otherwise it a cost/benifit decision.


#4

Check out www.blackstone-labs.com. They are an independent laboratory whose business is oil analysis. It is interesting to see what experts with no financial interest in the answers have to say about oil. The following caught my eye.

They advise using the type and weight of oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Unless the manufacturer specifies synthetic, regular mineral oil is entirely adequate.

Brand doesn’t matter. House brand oil at a discount store is just name brand oil in a different container at a lower price.


#5

www.carbibles.com has a good primer on oils.


#6

I do use blackstone labs for my oil analysis, if you really want to see the difference, try running different brands for a set amount of miles and send samples into blackstone for a TBN analysis. When you get the results let us know if you still think that all oil is the same. You might be surprised by the results.

I agree that house oil is some “name brand” oil repackage and sold a little cheaper, but be aware it is probably the cheapest “name brand” oil available. If you are buying the lowest price “name brand” oil, you might as well buy the house brand, it’s likely to be the same oil.

This is sorta like comparing McDonalds to Burger King and claiming all steak is the same.


#7

THANX EVERYONE FOR YOUR IMPUT…


#8

All I know about oil is that you don’t want to run out or go too long between changes. The conclusions I cited are Blackstone’s.

On their web site, see Technical - Articles - What Oil to Use? for their opinion about the difference between name brands and discount store brands. The only thing they seem to worry about is additives that can mask developing engine problems.

Also, see Technical - FAQ - Gas/Diesel - What’s the best oil to use? and - Come on, you’re holding out on me. I should use synthetic, right? for their opinion about synthetic versus mineral.

One thing they don’t explicitly rule out is that you might be able to go longer between changes with synthetic than with mineral or with one brand instead of another. Then, it’s just a question of whether you can stretch the interval enough to offset the cost of the more expensive oil.

Since I am about to buy a new Infiniti, which I plan to keep for many years, it is important for me to choose the best type of oil and determine when to change it. According to the owner’s manual, the recommended oil is mineral. Given Blackstone’s conclusions, I see no benefit in switching to synthetic. Also, according to the owner’s manual, the appropriate oil change interval for my driving habits (much highway, little stop and go, few short trips) is 7,500 miles. The dealer recommends 2,500 to 3,000 miles. To see what the car really needs, I am tempted to try increasingly long intervals from 3,000 up to 7,500 miles, relying on Blackstone’s Standard Analysis plus TBN to warn me before I go too long. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that, unless I change my driving habits, any oil that meets Infiniti’s specifications will last for at least 7,500 miles.


#9

To see what the car really needs, I am tempted to try increasingly long intervals from 3,000 up to 7,500 miles, relying on Blackstone’s Standard Analysis plus TBN to warn me before I go too long. It wouldn’t surprise me to find that, unless I change my driving habits, any oil that meets Infiniti’s specifications will last for at least 7,500 miles.

I would strongly encourage you to do that, I trust the test results for my specific engine and driving conditions more than the generic recommendation in the manual. Personally, I don’t bother with conventional oil because the cost difference is negligible and there are no disadvantages to using synthetic.

One advantage of synthetic that will not show up in the test results is its wider viscosity range. Under very cold conditions, synthetic (of the same weight) will start lubricating the engine more quickly, this should reduce start-up wear. Refer to this (and many similar articles):

http://63.240.161.99/motoroil/103.html

You need to decide on the cost/benifit yourself. I’m a little cynical about the manufacturer’s recommendations because they are very interested in reducing their scheduled maintenance costs (to keep the “consumer reports people” happy), and less concerned about maximizing the life of the engine (long after the warranty expires). Just my $.02.