Mobil 1 and other Synthetic Oils

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by General Schvantzkoph, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. Do synthetic oils make any difference or have regular oils gotten so much
    better over the last 30 years that synthetics no longer offer a benefit?
    General Schvantzkoph, Aug 25, 2004
  2. General Schvantzkoph

    fbloogyudsr Guest

    The main benefit of synthetics is a longer oil-change interval. For
    BMW and Porsche specify synthetic and ~15K mile oil change intervals;
    about double the dino-oil intervals. They also come in very lightweight
    formulations, like 0W20, etc., that help high performance engines pass
    the cold-start emission tests yet protect at high RPM.

    However, if you're a 3K oil-change aficionado, you might just as well
    stay with dino.

    fbloogyudsr, Aug 25, 2004
  3. General Schvantzkoph

    jdoe Guest

    Synth oils CAN make a difference but ususally in very extreme conditions.
    Very cold, very hot with sustained high speeds (very high speeds like over
    90 mph). If you want your warranty intact you must change at prescribed
    intervals synth or not though. Some sight some lofty brands specifying synth
    oils like Porsche, some Benz etc for their 15k change intervals. It's not
    just because of synth and it's NOT the only reason they're spec'd. Think of
    how a Porsche is used (especially in Germany) very high sustained speeds in
    varying weather. Also another reason the oil changes can be extended is the
    large amounts of oil they hold. Some as many as 10 or 12 qts.
    jdoe, Aug 25, 2004
  4. General Schvantzkoph

    Richard Guest

    Note the full story: A good synthetic will not coke when used under very hot
    conditions (non-water cooled turbo). It will also tend to pump faster when
    cold. (This characteristic is because of the uniform structure of the base
    synthetic oil).

    But yes, conventional oil has been significantly improved over the years.
    Many people tend to change the oil too frequently today. But if you take
    short drives in cold weather the oil change period should be kept to 3,000
    miles or so.

    Richard, Aug 25, 2004
  5. What defines very cold?. Mobil 1 was developed for use on the Alaska
    pipeline where temperatures can be 20, 30 or 40 degrees below 0. What
    about ordinary cold weather, 0F or maybe -5F which is about as cold as it
    ever gets where I live in Massachusetts? Do those of you who regularly
    take engines apart notice any difference in wear between engines that use
    Mobil 1 vs those that use regular oil?
    General Schvantzkoph, Aug 25, 2004
  6. Synthetic oils are much more heat stable, as already mentioned by an earlier

    BTW, don't entirely agree with jdoe's comment about Autobahns in that cars
    have trip computers on which one may rely. I suggest same applie to
    frequent short cold-weather journeys. Oil-change intervals are likely to go
    down but I would still rely on the advice of a modern trip computer. With
    older cars it's different, of course.

    Dori A Schmetterling, Aug 25, 2004
  7. General Schvantzkoph

    Threeducks Guest

    I had a car that would not start at temperatures less than 15F if I
    didn't plug the block heater in first. I never had that trouble after
    switching to synthetic oil.
    Threeducks, Aug 25, 2004
  8. General Schvantzkoph

    jdoe Guest

    What does a trip computer have to do with how an engine is used? Those
    vehicled are regularly held at or near redline for very extended periods. I
    fail to see the significance of a trip computer other than a convenience.
    Hell my T&C has a trip computer but I still do my oil & filt at 3000-3500
    jdoe, Aug 25, 2004
  9. I'd really like to hear from mechanics who have seen the insides of
    hundreds of engines. I've used Mobil 1 for 30 years and I've never had
    cold weather starting problems but I have know way of knowing if the Mobil
    1 was actually responsible. I also don't know if it's prolonged the life
    of any of my engines, no individual driver can know that. A mechanic who
    sees the insides of lots of engines is in a better position to tell. Does
    anyone know if any of the auto or oil companies ever published any studies?
    General Schvantzkoph, Aug 25, 2004
  10. Forty years or so ago, Molybdenum Disulphide additives were all the
    rage; do they still exist? I haven't looked, but I notice that the
    manuals for both our DC vehicles advise against using additives.

    *Perhaps* synthetic oils are just another fad -- a money-maker for the
    purveyors, but of little or no practical value.

    Minnie Bannister, Aug 25, 2004
  11. General Schvantzkoph

    fbloogyudsr Guest

    I can only relate what mechanics have said to me when discussing oil
    change intervals with synthetic: "I've seen engines that have followed
    15K manufacturer intervals with very heavy sludge buildup at 75K miles."

    FWIW, I change (synthetic) oil at 7500 miles.

    fbloogyudsr, Aug 25, 2004
  12. General Schvantzkoph

    Richard Guest

    Well, I have used Mobil 1 since it came out. I change oil twice a year.
    Several times I have sent a sample to a testing lab and the used oil came
    back still in spec. I have never had a oil consumption problem or sludge
    buildup. I do not travel short cold trips in the winter; which would mandate
    more frequent changes.

    Richard, Aug 25, 2004
  13. Why?

    Trip computers are supposed to give you an indication of oil-change
    intervals that approx reflect the type of use an engine gets.

    The US (or at least this newsgroup) seems full of people who insist on
    3000-mile oil change whatever a manufacturer suggests. Still, it's cheaper
    than going to see a shrink because of the worry, even if it's
    environmentally less friendly.

    For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling

    Dori A Schmetterling, Aug 25, 2004
  14. No. Synthetic oils are much more heat-stable etc.

    For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling

    Dori A Schmetterling, Aug 25, 2004
  15. General Schvantzkoph

    Matt Whiting Guest

    Synthetics definitely make a difference, but the real question is are
    they worth the cost? I use synthetic because the cold weather cranking
    ability they give is worth it to me. However, from a wear standpoint,
    most modern engines with modern oils will last so long that synthetic
    probably doesn't add a real advantage.

    Matt Whiting, Aug 25, 2004
  16. In addition to a 2001 T&C we have a 2000 VW 1.8 Turbo Passat. Just got a
    note from VW regarding a sludge problem with that engine. They provide a
    list of recommended brands and weights - all synthetic.

    Wayne Van Kirk, Aug 26, 2004
  17. General Schvantzkoph

    Guest Guest

    What oil were you using before switching?
    I never used anything lighter than 10W40 in any of my cars, and have
    only had cold starting problems on 2 or 3 occaisions - one was -46F in
    Winnipeg with 20W50 oil in a '69 Dart 6, and the other was a sustained
    -20F with the old 1989 Aerostar 3 liter sitting in a blizzard with
    substandard spark plugs and wires. It flooded on the first start, then
    would not start, no matter how fast it cranked, untill the plugs were

    I have had block heaters in a few of my cars, but have only used them
    on the VERY odd occaision.

    Southwestern Ontario snow belt since 1969.
    Guest, Aug 26, 2004
  18. General Schvantzkoph

    Guest Guest

    In over 25 years as an active mechanic I have rebuilt and maintained a
    LOT of engines - and on vehicles serviced by the shops I worked in,
    with oil changes at 5000 mile or 3 month intervals, using quality
    10w40 and 20w50 oils, I have NEVER seen a lubrication related failure.

    On neglected vehicles, vehicles where oil change intervals have been
    unduly extended, or where cheap or too light oil was used, I've seen
    more than my share.

    5W30 oil in early Ford 2.3 engines destryed camshafts in warm weather
    - 10W40 or 20W50 totally eliminated the problem.
    307 Chevy engines run on 5W30 routinely destroyed camshafts as well.
    Again, heavier oil virtually eliminated the problem. Yes, the
    camshafts were "soft" and eventually did go "flat" even with excellent
    maintenance, but not usually before the car had a LOT of miles on it,
    and up here in Ontario, the bodies had suffered a significant amount
    of rust damage.

    If those engines had been run on Synthetic oils, the improvements
    would have been similar.

    As for my own vehicles, I've only gotten rid of ONE with less than
    100,000 miles (160,000km) on it, and have not scrapped any with less
    than 230,000Km.
    The only engine problems I have EVER had on my own cars were problems
    that existed when I bought them - a 1985 Chrysler Lebaron 2.6 with a
    spun bearing that required a rebuild before it could be driven,
    (Mitsoshitty engine) and and an Austin Mini 850 with 196,000 miles on
    it (burned a quart in 150 miles or so when I got it) and an old
    Rambler 230 with plugged oil galleries that had noisy valves until I
    added an external oiler, or manufacturer's defects (dropped and worn
    guides on 1988 New Yorker 3.0 (Mitsoshitty engine again) where I
    replaced the cyl heads at 189,000KM.
    Thats out of some 32 cars.
    Longest I owned any of them was 10 years
    Guest, Aug 26, 2004
  19. General Schvantzkoph

    Bill Putney Guest

    Oh yes - the G.M. nitrided camshafts. The nitrided layer was hard, but
    thin - once it wore thru, they wore like butter.

    Bill Putney
    (to reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with "x")
    Bill Putney, Aug 26, 2004
  20. General Schvantzkoph

    Threeducks Guest

    Always 5W30. Usually Valvoline.
    This car was a problem child, even when new. It's the only vehicle I've
    ever had trouble with. Switching to synthetic solved the problem.
    Threeducks, Aug 26, 2004
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