Clearing Up Synthetic Oil Confussion - Fuelly Forums

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Old 04-10-2010, 03:16 PM   #1
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Clearing Up Synthetic Oil Confussion

i ran across some info that defines the nature of true synthetics vs "advertised" synthetics. in short, non-POA based synthetics are actually conventional oils given a synthetic process. here's an explanation...http://www.lubeassist.com.au/?page_id=67

as usual, opinions vary, but here's a long discussion about what is what, in regard to quality of POA and hydrocracked synthetics...http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/forums...=950368&page=2

what did i learn? the bottom line...nothing(besides how each are derived). it seems that hyrocracked(fake synthetic) is better than conventional, and POA is better than hydrocracked. this is what i suspected all along. it's interesting tho. so, i'll keep on using my brand of POA based synthetic and simply change it annually--nice, simple, economical, and time wise! oh, and better for the environment!
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Old 04-10-2010, 06:19 PM   #2
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Uh... As nice as it is that you've discovered that most synthetic oils aren't PAOs or have them, what you don't know is that the performance of todays "synthetics" (tier 3+ oils) is quite good and is pretty close to that of PAOs. Back in the 70s when synthetics first came out, companies like Amsoil were using PAOs. But then in the 90s, they found out they could make highly refined oils that had similar properties to that of PAOs, making them superior to conventional oils. Today though, the "synthetic" oils from like quakerstate or Mobil are very close in performance to the original PAOs that were used in the first synthetic oils..

The main benefit to using the fake synthetics over the true synthetics, especially the "fake" synthetics you can get today is that you can get very very similar performance at a fraction of the cost..

The "synthetics" are very very good today so I wouldn't lose sleep over the fact that they don't use PAOs like the true synthetics do.. In racing applications, despite the close performance of non PAOs and PAOs, they still use PAOs because they have a bit better performance, though at a much much higher cost.
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:32 AM   #3
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maybe one of us is missing something...true, 3/4 of the price is a fraction, but i'll pay the extra 1/4 to get the best. if you read my links fully, you'll find that the non-POA synthetics have also had sludge issues(like conventional), tho at higher mileage intervals(changes).

i've not heard any issues of the sort w/ true synthetics. one fact remains: POA based oils are the only ones used in jet engines. auto engines don't come close in rpm, heat, nor friction, but hey, for a couple bucks more per qt...that's cheap insurance.

it really surprises me the disinterest of some in regard to synthetics, especially here at GS. they really can save time and money, as well as be a great conservation tool. oh well...
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:58 AM   #4
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I'm going to ask the same question here that I ask in every thread where someone is seeking oil nirvana:
How many engine failures have you experienced that could have been prevented by using better oil?
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:59 AM   #5
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I now recommend "synthetic" oil, in fact if you get any of the oils with a 0W rating like 0W-20, it's guaranteed to be "synthetic". "Synthetic" oil is also really good for turbo charged vehicles like my sister's Volvo. But I can't recommend the PAO oils (true synthetics) because they're usually significantly more expensive and unnecessary in our application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
I'm going to ask the same question here that I ask in every thread where someone is seeking oil nirvana:
How many engine failures have you experienced that could have been prevented by using better oil?
Well, is it better oil or better oil service interval?
Cause pretty much all the corollas that burn oil get sticky piston rings and to prevent that from happening, I'd imagine changing the oil religiously or using a better oil would've prevented the problems they so commonly experience. Great oil 5-8K miles, crappy oil at 3-4K miles. I think it's pretty rare to find a non oil burning Corolla made between '93-'06.
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Old 04-11-2010, 06:10 AM   #6
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That's getting closer to the kind of data I look for with that question. I am looking to find out what problem people are trying to solve by throwing more money at the oil industry. Usually they do not know, they've just heard that it's better to use better oil and/or change it more often. Usually they have never had an engine failure at all.

I'm surprised about the oil burning Corollas. I am a skeptic about Toyota's overcooked reliability reputation, but I assume that those older Corollas should have the bulletproof 4 cylinder that built that reputation...I would not expect them to be just as bad as old Saturns.

What did Toyota specify for oil and interval on those cars?
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:43 AM   #7
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HC, you know how i feel about "scientific" data. my experience(i'm not a mechanic-but i've observed my vehicles and others at shops) has shown that not only do POA oils prevent sludge(and eventual engine failure), they keep the interior motor cleaner. scientific data is at the mercy of individuals, applications, vehicles, etc.

look at the endless variable applications...

manufacturers recommend x mile interval under y conditions, and z mile interval under zz conditions.
some manufacturers recommend synthetics, some don't
what about climate? not only does florida(my home) have higher temps, it also has higher humidity than most. but it cannot compare to the low temps of the north.
what about towing, not towing, driving hard, driving easy, all short trips, mostly long trips, etc?

i'm suggesting, for my app, my driving style, and my experience, POA based synthetics are the best. and i would recommend them for the "just in case" scenario. when my wife had some over heating issues, i rest assured that the oil part of that equation was fine. we know synthetics outperform in cold conditions as well anyway.

i'm still not following *************'s view of pricing, it has me lost. if one were to shop around, it becomes clear that hydrocracked oils aren't that much cheaper. i'm weary of Mobile1, because they sell inferior base stocks(as well as POA) to attract customers wanting to pay less. but, walmart sells their true synthetic(gallon size) for very close to what the other guys sell their fake stuff for.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:58 AM   #8
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I can say that synthetics are awesome. When I started running Rusty on Mobil 1 the vehicle was already about 14 or 15 years old, and had about 150,000 miles. When I took the timing cover and oil pan off to replace the timing chain 2 years ago (at almost 189,000 miles) everything was so clean inside it looked like a new engine that had barely been run. I regret that I had not switched to synthetic sooner. Soon, I will have to replace the valve cover gaskets on my Buick. That car has been run on nothing but Mobil 1 since the break in of the new engine was complete, about 14 years ago. I am eager to see what that engine looks like inside.

All of my vehicles still have clear oil when I change it. My oil never turns black.
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtieguy View Post
HC, you know how i feel about "scientific" data. my experience(i'm not a mechanic-but i've observed my vehicles and others at shops) has shown that not only do POA oils prevent sludge(and eventual engine failure), they keep the interior motor cleaner. scientific data is at the mercy of individuals, applications, vehicles, etc.

look at the endless variable applications...

manufacturers recommend x mile interval under y conditions, and z mile interval under zz conditions.
some manufacturers recommend synthetics, some don't
what about climate? not only does florida(my home) have higher temps, it also has higher humidity than most. but it cannot compare to the low temps of the north.
what about towing, not towing, driving hard, driving easy, all short trips, mostly long trips, etc?

i'm suggesting, for my app, my driving style, and my experience, POA based synthetics are the best. and i would recommend them for the "just in case" scenario. when my wife had some over heating issues, i rest assured that the oil part of that equation was fine. we know synthetics outperform in cold conditions as well anyway.

i'm still not following *************'s view of pricing, it has me lost. if one were to shop around, it becomes clear that hydrocracked oils aren't that much cheaper. i'm weary of Mobile1, because they sell inferior base stocks(as well as POA) to attract customers wanting to pay less. but, walmart sells their true synthetic(gallon size) for very close to what the other guys sell their fake stuff for.
mobil 1 has an odd color to it that pennzoil does not have like a lime green color, and while this may make it better for cars with non oil burning engines(possibly) not sure about about my engine, and I plan on sticking with the oil that has served me no problems at all pennzoil, I have had problems with castrol gtx, but that could have also been because of oil additivies/old engine/ cold temps, this is all negligible tho,

Scientifically speaking I did notice more mobil 1 was burnt or "lost" while using it than pennzoil platinum

and my one engine failure was because of a loose spark plug in -7 degree weather. while running pennzoil high mileage dyno at 210k+ I then drove that bad cylinder around for another 700 miles..

im seriously considering getting 0w-30
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:01 AM   #10
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even engine failure is open to interpretation...

my neighbor's nephew had a subaru(?) which engine has seized due to sludge. he and a friend torn the motor down, took endless bottles of cleaner to desludge it, and put it back together. it does now run!

would synthetic have prevented this? i think so. what about the guy that is religious in his oil change intervals, but constantly drives the car extremely hard?

obviously there are recalls by all manufacturers. what of engine design flaws that could go unreported like toyota's(sludge issue)?

in regard to non-POA synthetics, i don't have any experience in them. but, i would not trust them to go an entire year w/out changing(10-12k miles)like w/ POA.
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