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Old 07-08-2010, 11:59 AM   #1
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Synthetic or High mileage oil

I know this question has been asked but I can't seem to find a comparison between these two.

I have never owned a vehicle with this many miles on it, 142k. The previous owner only had it for a month (didn't like the auto tranny and wanted a manual) and he didn't ask what the owner before him used.

Thanks for any help,

Chris

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Old 07-08-2010, 12:22 PM   #2
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I use Castrol HM or Regular Valvoline.

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Old 07-08-2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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I use Royal Purple 5w-30. It has worked for 60K+ hard miles for me so far.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:28 PM   #4
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Engine oil? If so, I'd just run a good quality conventional oil like Valvoline (what I run), Castrol, Havoline, etc. Synthetics are great for extreme winter conditions like occur in Buffalo NY or North Dakota but for temperate conditions like you and I live in, a conventional oil is fine. In 45 years of driving with nothing but conventional motor oils, I've yet to have an engine failure and all I do is change the oil and filter every 5K miles. Today's major brand conventional multi-weight engine oils are superb and in most conditions, I personally don't believe synthetics have any real advantage.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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Conventional motor oils are naturally occurring petroleum products that are simply pumped out of the earth and refined for use in autos, or other applications. They have absolutely no manipulation of their molecular structure whatsoever, so their molecular structure is quite chaotic. You have molecules of all different sizes and shapes which makes the oil more unstable and susceptible to breakdown, shear, and increased engine wear.

Synthetic motor oils are far superior in the respect that they are made literally by scientists in a laboratory. There is nothing natural about them and that makes them better. Their molecular structure is uniform, and tight which makes it literally work like liquid ball bearings (like Mobil 1 claimed oh so long ago). Synthetics with their superior molecular construction essentially eliminate things like oil shear, sludge, and breakdown while decreasing engine wear anywhere between 50% to 75% and in some cases more.

Are synthetics better? Yes. Are they right for every engine? NO!

Contrary to popular belief, the best time to start using synthetics is at around 5000 miles. By then the engine has had enough time to seat itself properly and get everything in the five by five as far as seals and valves. Engines that have more then 45 - 50 thousand miles on them that have not been using synthetic oil have just barely enough space between the piston ring and the cylinder wall. That space is sufficient for the tiny, uniform molecules of the synthetics to blow right past them. No oil can stand up to the heat generated by a spark plug and combustion of gasoline. This is why people with higher mileage cars that use synthetics have bad experiences with it.

Use synthetics early, or don't use them at all. Period.

That is all.
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Old 07-08-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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Jiffeydarren - good info. My Jeep just hit 129,000 miles and I had been considering switching to synthetic. Not going to now, but I think I will switch to Royal Purple.
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:11 PM   #7
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I bought my jeep with 38k on it and I have no idea what PO used. I have always used synthetics in my vehicles just I guess fom always being told that growing up. I have had no problems using synthetics from 38k to 65k which I have on it now. Maybe the PO use synthetic maybe not.
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Old 07-08-2010, 01:18 PM   #8
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Contrary to some believing synthetic motor oils are some kind of miracle lubricant, here's a guy who's engine blew up at 111K miles after it having seen nothing but synthetic engine oil. JeepsUnlimited.com Forums - View Single Post - I need to vent a little

Synthetic oils are fine but they don't perform miracles as some think. Heck my engine had 181,000 trouble-free miles on it when my TJ was stolen back in March and that was on a diet of 100% non-synthetic Valvoline.

I swear, the way some talk they must have an altar in their bedroom with candles lit in praise of synthetic oils.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:28 PM   #9
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Talking

Got nothin' to do with the oil, my friend... Connector rods and other major mechanical components can fail regardless of the oil used in the engine. It's called defective workmanship in parts.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:28 PM   #10
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That's funny. If an engine fails in multiple ways while running synthetic oil, it's due to defective parts. If an engine runs for nine million miles, it's due to the synthetic oil. You have been drinking the synthetic kool-aid too long.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:32 PM   #11
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The negative on the synthetics isn't lubrication qualities. There's no doubt it's as good as, or maybe even better than dino oil.

It's the fact that the hucksters promote extended oil changes - 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 miles or more. They do it to justify the higher cost of the syn's.

No matter what KIND of oil you use, it still gets dirty and acidic. Raw Hydrocarbons (from the gasoline) slide down past the rings into the oil, creating acids that eat the engine from the inside, and carbon particles from combustion still get in the oil - those wear critical parts.

The build-up of acids and carbon is the same whether dino or syn oil. Extending the interval only lets it cumulatively collect more and causes more wear. The only ways to eliminate the acids and carbon from the crankcase is dumping it out and replacing with fresh oil, or of course, stop all combustion - don't start it.

Sure, syns may withstand higher temperatures, but if your engine is creating that much heat you already have major problems.

The advertisers aren't going to tell you the truth.

Things like transmissions and diffs don't have combustion (hopefully) so the changing interval is longer.

Adding food coloring - whether green, yellow, or purple does nothing to improve lubrication qualities. It's as effective as doing a chant on a moonless night.

Use the correct viscosity new oil, change it often with a new quality filter, and make sure the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PVC) system is free and clear. (Not just the PCV Valve that TJ's don't have, but the small vacuum tube and orifice and the fresh air inlet to the crankcase.) Let it breathe!


Sorry, there is no magic in a can no matter what kind of alter you have.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
That's funny. If an engine fails in multiple ways while running synthetic oil, it's due to defective parts. If an engine runs for nine million miles, it's due to the synthetic oil. You have been drinking the synthetic kool-aid too long.
1. I don't drink any kool aid. That stuff has too much sugar in it.

2. Please re read my post. I said that failures can occur regardless oil type used.

Also, I did note in my first post in this thread that synthetics are not right for all engines.
I use Castrol GTX 10w 30 in my engine and that is not a synthetic. I would use synthetic if it was right for my engine, but I got it at 70,000 miles and was not certain of the prior oil type used. Therefore using full synthetic would not be the best choice.

Jeez, man....
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:25 PM   #13
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rrich really knows what he is talking about. Could not have said it any better.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:24 PM   #14
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Synthetics are fine but seem to go hand in hand with longer oil change intervals (about two times longer but that varies) so the contaminants in the oil, including the particles too small for your oil filter to catch, remain in circulation twice as long. The two quantative advantages of synthetics are the longer oil change intervals and better flowability at cold (-20F say) temperatures.
Synthetics in North America aren't the same as synthetics in Europe. Synthetics in North America are mostly from Group 111 base stocks whereas synthetics in Europe are from Group 1V base stocks. From Synthetic oil - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Quote:
Hydrocracked/Hydroisomerized = API Group III base oils. Chevron, Shell, and other petrochemical companies developed processes involving catalytic conversion of feed stocks under pressure in the presence of hydrogen into high quality mineral lubricating oil. In 2005 production of GTL (Gas-to-liquid) Group III base stocks began. Even though they are considered a synthetic product they are still mineral base stocks and counted as the mineral part of all semi-synthetic lubricants. Group III base stocks [with certain amount of mixture of PAOs and esters and Group V] are considered synthetic motor oil ONLY in the United States. Group III based lubricants are not allowed to be marketed as "synthetic" in any market outside of the USA. Within the US, there are no official specifications, or standards as to which oils can be marketed as "synthetic".
I use 10W-30 conventional oil in my engines and I expect those engines to outlast my ownership by thousands of miles. I may use some 5W-something for the cold months of January & February.
Whatever is on sale and contains the Starburst symbol is my purchasing strategy. Hence Valvoline, Quaker State, Castrol, Pennzoil, etc find their way into my engines and mostly as 10W-30 grade.

Too much hype on synthetics to give me a comfort level with what they are. Oil companies aren't the most forthright manufacturers out there when it comes to providing meaningful, credible information.

Conventional oils will get the job done, as they have for decades, providing oil changes are reasonable. Synthetic oils will get the job done as well but it's difficult to quantify any major benefits to justify the extra cost.

Some put synthetic oils, like Mobil 1 for example, on a pedestal. European Castrol 0W-30 is probably the best synthetic oil available. One can go around in circles on synthetic motor oils. Both Valvoline and Castrol have challenged Mobil as to their synthetic oil's wearability per this article.

Use conventional oil, change it often, sleep well, would be my advice. I change mine every 5000 to 7500 kms.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:51 AM   #15
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rrich really knows what he is talking about. Could not have said it any better.
Which is why I did not suggest extended intervals between drains. On my last car I owned since new I changed out my full synthetic Castrol Syntec every 3000 miles with a new oil filter. Did I spend more on oil than some might think I needed to? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. The clean amber oil that drained out of it after 3000 miles was worth the peace of mind. Also not one single leak at 100000 miles was proof enough to me that synthetics are far superior to aptly named "Dino oil."
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:24 AM   #16
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Using synthetic oil with a 3000 mile (5000 km) oil change interval should keep your engine running well for thousands of miles.
As to color of oil, that isn't necessarily a good indicator per this Amsoil article.
Quote:
It is a common misconception that an oil's color is an indication of how dirty it is. This is absolutely NOT TRUE. The color of an oil does not have any bearing on its lubrication ability. Most oil and especially diesel engine oil will turn black in the first few hours of operation due to contaminates generated by the combustion process and soot particles. The ONLY way to accurately determine an oil's lubricating value or contamination level is through (spectrographic) oil analysis. Oil analysis is common practice used regularly in commercial, industrial and fleet operations and can also be used for passenger cars, light trucks or any other application. In addition oil analysis will also determine the exact pars per million (ppm) of wear metals in your oil which provides an indication of any abnormal wear or specific components that need mechanical inspection in addition to checking for any fuel, water or glycol contamination.
A couple of points:
- synthetic oil's ability to clean (dislodge dirt) and flow better (it is more flowable, by comparison, than conventional oil) may cause leaks to happen or get worse. Leak problems come up from time to time but aren't the norm unless the engine already has leak problems.
- changing to synthetic oil, if the engine is dirty for some reason, may require more frequent oil changes at first.
Quote:
Can I use Mobil 1 in older vehicles with high mileage?

Yes you can. Mobil 1 can help increase the life of all engines, even those in older vehicles and/or with high mileage. The extra cleaners in Mobil 1 can help clear stuck rings to help restore engine efficiency. In fact, Mobil 1 with SuperSynTM 10W-30 is ideal for these applications. Keep in mind, however, that Mobil 1 cannot correct an existing engine problem. If you are using Mobil 1 for the first time in an older vehicle (or just switching from conventional oil to Mobil 1 for the first time), it is good maintenance practice to follow a regimen of two or three short-interval oil changes – roughly at 3,000 to 5,000 kilometres. Again, all of this assumes that the engine is mechanically sound.
Here's some Mobil 1 FAQs for those interested in learning about synthetics.

Again, as stated in a previous Post, I use mostly 10W-30 conventional oil and change it at 5000 to 7500 kms (3000 to 4600 miles). If I were going to expensive synthetic oils, the German Castrol 0W-30 would be my choice. At least it's truly synthetic, available at Walmart here as well.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:47 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uranus View Post
I know this question has been asked but I can't seem to find a comparison between these two.

I have never owned a vehicle with this many miles on it, 142k. The previous owner only had it for a month (didn't like the auto tranny and wanted a manual) and he didn't ask what the owner before him used.

Thanks for any help,

Chris
Since the HM oil will contain synthetics, may as well go to synthetic. HM oils are way over priced in my opinion.
See Post #16. You might want to consider Mobil 1 with SuperSynTM 10W-30 or something similar.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:13 AM   #18
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I only use synthetic oil in my Harley. This is simply because I can use it for all three holes in my bike. Oil,transmission, and primary. I use it for convience in that I can bring 1 backup with me in lieu of 3 different fluids on long trips.

In my Jeep, all conventional.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:41 AM   #19
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So there you have it -
the internet does not reject words,
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magnets on the fuel line increase mileage,
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and of course, sitting under a pyramid makes you live longer.

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Old 07-09-2010, 09:14 AM   #20
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Personally....my preference is not to let the fluid to stay in there long enough to matter whether its synthetic or "organic".
I drive A LOT. So I schedule maintenance.
Every three months, like clock-work, I go to NTB for an oil/filter change, top off my other fluids, rotate my tires and lube the chasis.
30-minutes later, I hand over a check for $21 and go on my way.
This gives me half-an hour to BS with the shop guys AND it documented my maintenance procedures (which looks good to future buyers).
Then....once I get home, I dump 4oz of TufOil in the top.
Tufoil Engine Oil Treatment
I'm sure some portion of this process is dreadfully wrong ....but it works for me.
I drive about 40k per year and all my vehicles have lasted 250,000+ miles. My "new" jeep is the baby of the bunch with only 118,000 miles....so far
So.... I dont care what they put in it. I just change it often.
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:44 AM   #21
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What oil are NTB using, do you know? With repackaging of oils, there has been a lot of deception going on. Best to be sure they are using what you agreed to/paid for.

The last time I had my oil changed at a shop, they left smudges on the hood (not a good sign so I looked further), the filler cap off (sitting on the battery), and the oil filter loose (about a half turn). I was offered a free oil change for that experience. I declined the offer and does anyone wonder why?

Since oil already contains 15% to 25% additives, in one form or another already, I would avoid further dilution of the base oil with aftermarket additives. I may consider using TufOil type products for an extended oil change if I thought the original additives were used up for some reason, providing I knew what TufOil, and such, actually contained as additives. With frequent oil changes, no additives required, it's all in the original oil. Might want to look at this Pennzoil Site for some info on additives, including a pie chart. No .... don't put pie in your motor oil .... not good.

I see my Jeep is in need of an oil change fairly soon, 6100 kms (3800 miles) on the oil. I will be using either Pennzoil or Valvoline 10W-30 conventional oil from my stash and either a Fram TG-8A or oversize Morpar filter. The oversize Morpar filter is the equivalent to the Ford FL-1A in size and is listed for Fords, not Chryslers. It works the same as the regular Morpar filter works. The Fram TG-8A (oversize as well) is a high efficiency filter. I get the Morpars for about $2.75 so will likely go that route.

My advice FWIW: Forget the TufOil and go for a higher efficiency oil filter instead.

Here's an interesting read on "aftermarket additives" including various experiences by their Users. Your Owner Manual recommends against them by the way.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:43 PM   #22
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My Valvoline 10W30 is gold when its poured in, and black when it comes out which is the way I remember it being the first time my dad showed me how to do an oil change about 26 years ago. Only thing my dad told me back then was to NEVER use Penzoil, so I didn't and still don't, but hear that they got their act together after too many sludgy reports.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:46 PM   #23
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Pennzoil's oil has been fine since, I believe, from around 1995 when they switched to their PureBase stock. Pennzoil has been as good as anyone's for years now.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:06 PM   #24
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Yes, I know they got their act together, but I'll still never use Pennzoil just because Valvoline has a cooler looking emblem, more colorful oil bottles, flashier signage, and more believable commercials!! HA!!
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:19 PM   #25
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I remain loyal to Valvoline because when I was racing Sprint Cars they were AWESOME sponsors. They even found an engine for us on an afternoon's notice and brought it to us the next morning before an important race! NO CHARGE!
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:28 PM   #26
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I remain loyal to Valvoline because when I was racing Sprint Cars they were AWESOME sponsors. They even found an engine for us on an afternoon's notice and brought it to us the next morning before an important race! NO CHARGE!
Hmmm, I have to ask.....where did you race sprint cars at? I was an avid, loyal fan to the Tulsa and Ok City area tracks all my life until it got too expensive for them to compete. Now the only time I get to watch anything close is during the Chili Bowl in January.
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:40 PM   #27
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I dont wana sound arrogant, epecially after having said so many times that I am a noob and just starting te learning process...about jeeps.
But driving and vehicle maintenace is somethng I have a fair bit of experience at....though I never profess to be an expert (primarily because I d not believe in the concept of beng "an expert".

Debating the significance of one brand of oil over another is about as endless and useless as debating wich brand of automobile or toilet paper is best. None are crap, or they'd be out of business. None are clearly supreme...or the other guys would be out of business. Most folks use whatever their dad used...or whatever their favorite nascar team advertises....or whatever the calendar model is straddling.

Each main-stream does contain addtives...de-foaming, de-sludging, viscocity boosting, price justifying additives. Some contain lubrication additives lke suspended teflon.

Most operatig manuals recommend a specific type of oil ecause they have a marketing agreement with that oil company, in exchang for significant dis****s on the millions of gallons of oil that they ship from the assembly plant floor. And most mauals recommend against additives simply because they cannot test ever home-spundditiv out thre to vouch for their safety and usefulness. And from a liability perspective, its best to recommend NONE than to open the door to damage claims by recommending ANY.

Besides, another consideration is that it is a long establist understanding that auto anufacturers dont make much off the sale of the car...they make mre of maintenance. But whether it is in ters of sales or maintenance....there is no benefit to a manufacturer for the car to last a mllion miles. There is strategic value to the car expirng shortly after the warraty (and payments). So....it is my consipiriatorial opinion that they have no desireto recommend anything to reduce wear...and make their engines last longer...and thus sell fewer cars.

As for NTB reliability.... been going there about 13 years now. Roughly once a month. (three vehicles). I know their names, I know what the drive, I know their kids names, I know where they go wheeling, I know what they drink. I happen to have found a good crew becase I have had no problems. But yes, I have heard the nightmares of other experiences.

Lastly, in terms of my use of TufOil and using NTB for scheduled maintenance. Again, maybe I've just lucked out. But it sems to have worked out for me. Nearly a million total miles (roughlyequal to 40 times around the planet). And I have not had a significant mechanical failure.

I think it boils do to finding what works for you, and stick with it (as is always the case). Some may swear by bacon grease. other may say that only running pure Slick-50 with changes every 20 miles. Whatever works for you.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:43 PM   #28
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Late 60's, early 70's - before wings, roll cages and other safety devices. Based out of Ascot, Gardena CA. We traveled the circuit all over the US with 2 race cars. My partner had an accident that made him a Paraplegic. He died a few years later. After seeing him like that I couldn't drive like I used to. You have to be crazy fearless aggressive to win. I retired from it while I was still in one piece.

Yes, I'm an old fart.

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