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Auto Manufacturers pushing synthetic oil? (I’m a bit long winded today)


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I have a 2018 F-150 and I just use the dealer since it’s as cheap as anyone else and close by. I also like the added things they do with “The Works” package and they use ford oil which I think is a sythetic blend and if anything happens, it’s on them. I’ve assumed that might be because of the twin turbos the 2.7L has. The wife drives a 2017 GMC Terrain with a 4 banger. She usually does the oil changes herself at a place she’s used for years and they use Havoline SAE 5W30. Today I was going to get it done locally at a Valvoline quick change. They, including the manager, told me I need to be using full synthetic like GMC specifies in all their engines since 2012 or risk severe engine damage. The difference in price is $39 vs $89 +tax for a 5 qt oil change. I asked “so what you’re telling me is your conventional oil sucks and doesn’t meet manufacturers specs...right?” He backtracked and said “oh no....our conventional oil exceeds manufacturers specs...blah blah blah...” I said, “That’s not at all what your telling me. You said if I don’t use full synthetic, I’m going to ruin my engine...”. Anyway, I took it to the other place and all is good. $50 bucks more  for an oil change with the only difference being synthetic over conventional is rape in my opinion. What do y’all think?  

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Looks like an escape hatch for a connecting rod

Advance Auto has a sale going on right now: 5 quart jug of Mobil 1 synthetic oil and a Mobil 1 filter for $34.99. That ain’t bad.

To this comic I would say no, the best way to tighten an oil filter is to not remove it.  That's what most of the former jiffy lube employees I know have told me.... 

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The local Honda dealer has started trying to pull that scam.  My wife went in for an oil change and even though her’s is an older model Accord, it doesn’t have nearly the number of miles where they USED to start saying to go synthetic.  I told them to use regular oil and quit screwing around.  

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I’m cheap and would probably change it myself before I paid a quick change place $90.

But, from a materials science perspective, the modern synthetics do perform  better by every measurable standard.

If you’ve got a car that calls for 5W-30, I’d probably stick with whatever I’ve been using. For a lot of new cars, they’re engineered to use synthetics - and that’s literally your only choice.  I bought a Toyota truck not too long ago that uses 0w-20.  It’s literally about the consistency of a bottle of water. There’s not a conventional equivalent for that stuff. 

 

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1 hour ago, Randall53 said:

What do y’all think?  

I think they tried to B.S you and you called them out on it as you should have. I would just use whatever the manual states. 

 

 

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Many vehicles in the last two decades were built to use synthetic oil. I have a 98 Trans Am and an 18 Buick Regal TourX and both spec synthetic oil and premium fuel. Synthetic is great, it does not break down as quickly and additives don't burn off. Also, you can get 0W synthetic, not possible with mineral oils. Another benefit is they clean better and leave the dirt in the filter better. The molecules are smaller and get into smaller imperfections in the metals. Syn also cools better because of this. BUT, if you have been using conventional oil for more than 30K miles I would recommend not changing. conventional will leave a build up around seals and gaskets pushing the seal out. introducing syn will clean the gunk out and the smaller molecules will make their way onto you garage floor, driveway, street, and everywhere else outside of your engine that you don't want your $6+ per quart oil to go. LASTLY, synthetic is better for our environment.

Randall53 thought HE was long winded. LMAO

 

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Oh well....we’ll all be driving electric everything in a couple of years with no oil changes needed. Of course we’ll still need gas for the truck and generator that will rescue the electric vehicle that forgets to charge it up the night before...😇

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Bought an 06 ram, started  using synthetic from day one. Got 325000+ on it right now. I’d take it anywhere. 
 

just bought a 13 Ford e350 (well nov a year ago), started it off right and switched it to full synthetic first chance I got.   Just had the oil changed (at 14,000+), and it was still as slick as could be. 

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Synthetics are good if you're in the habit of going way over the regular oil change intervals. I'm talking double or triple the recommended miles. Synthetics do hold up longer. in fact, longer oil change intervals is one of the synthetics biggest selling points. However, if you keep even close to the recommended mileage, plain old cheap petroleum oils work fine. 

The truth is that its not the oil that breaks down. Its the detergents and additives that don't last and require changing regularly. 

I worked in fleets my whole career. We specified the oil weights, 5W30 for gas burners and 15W40 for diesels, but that was all. Otherwise we bought the cheapest bulk oil the distributor had at the time. Used the same oil in everything from lawn mowers to fire and garbage trucks to large earth movers. We also went 4000 miles between changes rather than the recommended 3000 most makers suggest. Never had a single oil related problem. And that was with some drivers who often didn't pay attention and sometimes let services slip for 8000 to 12000 miles. 

BTW: your local quick change place uses the same cheap bulk oil we did. They may have a specific brand that's on the sign outside. But its all pretty much the same. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Its good oil. Its just the cheapest stuff the distributor sells. They push the synthetic stuff for two reasons. One: its more expensive and makes them more money. Two: they realize that much of their clientele aren't real good at making regular scheduled oil changes. Some go years between oil changes. 🙄

Another point you need to understand is that the quick change places don't make much profit on oil changes. That's just the hook to get you in the door. The real money is in all the extra services they can talk you in to buying. These guys aren't mechanics, they're salesmen. 

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7 hours ago, Grayfox54 said:

Synthetics are good if you're in the habit of going way over the regular oil change intervals. I'm talking double or triple the recommended miles. Synthetics do hold up longer. in fact, longer oil change intervals is one of the synthetics biggest selling points. However, if you keep even close to the recommended mileage, plain old cheap petroleum oils work fine. 

The truth is that its not the oil that breaks down. Its the detergents and additives that don't last and require changing regularly. 

I worked in fleets my whole career. We specified the oil weights, 5W30 for gas burners and 15W40 for diesels, but that was all. Otherwise we bought the cheapest bulk oil the distributor had at the time. Used the same oil in everything from lawn mowers to fire and garbage trucks to large earth movers. We also went 4000 miles between changes rather than the recommended 3000 most makers suggest. Never had a single oil related problem. And that was with some drivers who often didn't pay attention and sometimes let services slip for 8000 to 12000 miles. 

BTW: your local quick change place uses the same cheap bulk oil we did. They may have a specific brand that's on the sign outside. But its all pretty much the same. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Its good oil. Its just the cheapest stuff the distributor sells. They push the synthetic stuff for two reasons. One: its more expensive and makes them more money. Two: they realize that much of their clientele aren't real good at making regular scheduled oil changes. Some go years between oil changes. 🙄

Another point you need to understand is that the quick change places don't make much profit on oil changes. That's just the hook to get you in the door. The real money is in all the extra services they can talk you in to buying. These guys aren't mechanics, they're salesmen. 

My last change was over 14,000 miles. 

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Well this is my experience:  I switched over to full synthetic Mobil 1 years ago in my diesel truck, my daily car and my wifes mini van.  I also went from oil changes at 4-5K miles to oil changes at 10K+ miles, any less from my research you are throwing money away, full synthetics are designed to go longer, maybe 20K miles.  In addition to proven properties of full synthetic over conventional oil, I have documented that all my vehicles get an average of 2-3 mpg fuel improvement of using full synthetics over conventional.  If I hadn't proved it to myself multiple times, then I would not have mentioned it.  So when it comes to just $$$, not to mention the properties of full synthetic over conventional, to me it is a no brainer to use full synthetic.   Now with that said, I just have not changed over the lawn mowers, side x sides, and other small engine purposes, but may have to, walmart seems to have switched to stocking nothing but synthetics with only their own brand super tech being the only conventional oils on the shelf at 3 local walmarts in my area.  BTW, I am still reluctant to use someone to change my oil, I still do it myself 35+ years straight, as I get older, I mean walker older, I may change.  So my 2021 oil change cost is the cost of the oil and OEM filter from walmart, $35 car & minivan, and $90 for my diesel truck.   And I take my old oil to a local city oil recycle center.

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2 hours ago, dralarms said:

My last change was over 14,000 miles. 

This and what @MacGyver said are why you should use synthetic if you're letting the vehicle's computer tell you when to change the oil.  The computer algorithm is based on the performance of the OEM oil, which is likely synthetic. 

If you're changing oil on the traditional fixed mileage number, 5000 or less, then conventional oil is fine assuming the car isn't turbocharged. Turbo cars are MUCH harder on oil.  They need full synthetic and/or frequent oil changes. 

And like @runco, I DIY oil changes. Its not hard and it's a good opportunity to inspect the underside of the car. Ive found several minor issues that way that could have become bigger problems later on.  

I also know a few guys who've worked at quick oil change places and what they tell me makes me avoid them whenever possible. 

Edited by peejman
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Ditto on changing my own oil. I have always done it myself. Always full synthetic. There are usually good deals at autozone or O’Reily’s on oil and a filter. I switch between Mobil 1, Castrol, etc depending upon the deal. I can typically change the oil in about 20 min once I get back from the auto parts store. 
I do use conventional oil with a zinc additive in the FJ40. It has flat a tappet cam. 

I did finally take all my used oil to Autozone for recycling. 
 

5467B00A-76F1-44D2-8D10-5C4C024807FC.jpeg.f6b8dfd80e633cb9072ef3c4d5bf64b3.jpeg

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I’ve changed my own oil since the 90s after a dealership left my oil filler cap on top of the engine.  I change approximately every 5k and have used nothing but synthetic on my 06 Tacoma and the wife’s 13 4runner.  Maybe overkill, but boy the oil is blacker after 5k than after 2k.  I guess I’m just too old school to let it go 10k.  The Taco is a joy to change the oil; the filter on the 4runner is a royal PITA.  
 

$89 for a 5 qt oil change sounds like robbery.  The local Toyota dealership wants $72 for a 6.5 qt synthetic oil change on the 4runner, and even that sounds expensive to me.  

Edited by deerslayer
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4 hours ago, expendable said:

Most of the late model vehicles are specifying 0w20 oils, do they even make that weight in conventional oil?

no. 0W oils are pure synthetics

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12 hours ago, Grayfox54 said:

Synthetics are good if you're in the habit of going way over the regular oil change intervals. I'm talking double or triple the recommended miles. Synthetics do hold up longer. in fact, longer oil change intervals is one of the synthetics biggest selling points. However, if you keep even close to the recommended mileage, plain old cheap petroleum oils work fine. 

The truth is that its not the oil that breaks down. Its the detergents and additives that don't last and require changing regularly. 

I worked in fleets my whole career. We specified the oil weights, 5W30 for gas burners and 15W40 for diesels, but that was all. Otherwise we bought the cheapest bulk oil the distributor had at the time. Used the same oil in everything from lawn mowers to fire and garbage trucks to large earth movers. We also went 4000 miles between changes rather than the recommended 3000 most makers suggest. Never had a single oil related problem. And that was with some drivers who often didn't pay attention and sometimes let services slip for 8000 to 12000 miles. 

BTW: your local quick change place uses the same cheap bulk oil we did. They may have a specific brand that's on the sign outside. But its all pretty much the same. Absolutely nothing wrong with it. Its good oil. Its just the cheapest stuff the distributor sells. They push the synthetic stuff for two reasons. One: its more expensive and makes them more money. Two: they realize that much of their clientele aren't real good at making regular scheduled oil changes. Some go years between oil changes. 🙄

Another point you need to understand is that the quick change places don't make much profit on oil changes. That's just the hook to get you in the door. The real money is in all the extra services they can talk you in to buying. These guys aren't mechanics, they're salesmen. 

This is true. I do believe synthetic is superior over he long haul. Less wear on critical surfaces due to the smaller molecules. You also get the benefit of running lighter weight oil that increases fuel economy.

I had an instructor who was running his wife's minivan without complete oil changes. he changed filter and topped off every 5000 miles. She had over 300K miles last I heard. Synthetic just does not hold the dirt like conventional.

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2 hours ago, deerslayer said:

I’ve changed my own oil since the 90s after a dealership left my oil filler cap on top of the engine.  I change approximately every 5k and have used nothing but synthetic on my 06 Tacoma and the wife’s 13 4runner.  Maybe overkill, but boy the oil is blacker after 5k than after 2k.  I guess I’m just too old school to let it go 10k.  The Taco is a joy to change the oil; the filter on the 4runner is a royal PITA.  
 

$89 for a 5 qt oil change sounds like robbery.  The local Toyota dealership wants $72 for a 6.5 qt synthetic oil change on the 4runner, and even that sounds expensive to me.  

Dark oil doesn't necessarily mean its ability to lubricate the engine has been degraded. It means its doing its job and picking up contaminants. 

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7 minutes ago, peejman said:

Dark oil doesn't necessarily mean its ability to lubricate the engine has been degraded. It means its doing its job and picking up contaminants. 

I don’t doubt it, but sometimes it sure looks like it has picked up a LOT of contaminants.  

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I recently got the dealership to show me the 0w-20 after they did my oil change.  Whatever kind of filter they're using must be doing it's job - because after 10k miles the oil didn't really look any different than it did when they put it in.

 

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My wife's cousin had a truck several years ago that had 325K on it when a another truck rearended him and totaled it. he always used Mobil 1 in it. And he has never been one to change his oil frequently. 🙄

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I’m sold on synthetic oil. I believe it gets you slightly better gas mileage, and the extended oil change intervals offsets the increase in cost.

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I started using 100% synthetic back in 1980, before it came in style. The old mechanics made fun of it, out of ignorance . The Air Force in Alaska had been using it for years due to the extreme temps.

I've used it ever since in everything,  car, truck, riding mower, push mower, boat, whatever.

As others have said, manufacturers have finally caught up with technology,  and are using it as well.

I do change my own oil, always have.

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