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Old 06-10-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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To Switch or Not to Switch... to Synthetic Oil

I know this has been endlessly debated around here, but my "new" rig ('01, 97k miles) is due for her first oil change under my care. The previous owner has used conventional since he's had it.

In short: Should I start using full synthetic, which I'm a fan of, or go with a "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality, and stick with conventional? Maybe go with a "high mileage" flavor? What's in that stuff that makes it good for high mileage vehicles, anyway?

Whatever the consensus is by tomorrow is what I'm going with.

Thanks!

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Old 06-11-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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I heard if you start using synthetic in the older years after only using conventional your more prone to leaks.

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Old 06-11-2012, 12:29 AM   #3
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Just use regular oil. The good old stuff always works best tried and true and reliable.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by zeprider25 View Post
I heard if you start using synthetic in the older years after only using conventional your more prone to leaks.
Scott (thread author):

I just bought my first Jeep a few weeks ago: a '99 Wrangler with 100k on it. I asked the guy at my local 4wd shop, and he said the same thing as above (leaking).

I decided to go with conventional 10w30. I usually change the oil on all of my cars at about the 3,000 mile mark. It's probably overkill, but I've always been told that it's the cheapest insurance you can buy.

Let us know what you learn regarding synth vs conventional...I'm curious to know as well.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:34 AM   #5
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i just switched to mobile 1 at 170K. treat her like u luv her...
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:19 AM   #6
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When I bought mine it had 55K on it. No idea what the PO used but I went right to
Mobil 1. Used it in all my vehicles for the past 30 yrs. No regrets.....
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:47 AM   #7
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I heard if you start using synthetic in the older years after only using conventional your more prone to leaks.
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Originally Posted by AZ Greeen Jeep View Post
Scott (thread author):

I just bought my first Jeep a few weeks ago: a '99 Wrangler with 100k on it. I asked the guy at my local 4wd shop, and he said the same thing as above (leaking).
This is a myth in newer vehicles that do not use cork gaskets anymore. I dont believe there are any cork gaskets on these jeeps(although I may be wrong). I have switched everything out in my 02 bought with 110k miles on it to synthetic and no leaks(that werent already there) sprouted up. Now, in older vehicles with cork gaskets, this may or may not be an issue. IMO if a gasket is going to leak, its going to leak regardless of what oil you put in it and at high miles(when this question often comes up) gaskets, of any type, are obviously more likely to leak, again regardless of what oil type is used.

And to add to this MOST "synthetic" oils sold are actually a blend that use very highly refined base stocks and are not true synthetic. The definition of synthetic was changed by the federal government a few years ago when Mobil got sued after people found out that Mobil 1 was not a true synthetic even though they claimed it to be.

There are very few true 100% synthetic oils on the market. Amsoil Signature series(their OE and XL are blends), Red Line, Royal Purple(I believe is either all 100% full or they have at least one line that is), Eneos, Joe Gibbs Racing oils, Motul, and probably a few others. Mobil 1 does not have a full synthetic oil in their lineup(at least last time I checked). You arent going to buy a full synthetic oil for less than about $9 a quart and the most expensive Mobil 1 is like $5 a quart.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:21 AM   #8
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I ask the guys from my local 4wd and a couple of other big 4x4 shops, and they recommended me plain conventional, 10w30, for the tj.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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If it's not borken - don't fix it (unless you can pursuade your wife that your jeep really needs an up grade - then claim whatever is broken) use the conventional stuff.... Esepcially if you are going to change the oil on a regular basis (3-5K) why incurr the additional expense of synthetic.

If you do alot of wheeling in mud or water - you need to change ALL your fluids after a good play date - - so there again, why incurr the additional expense
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:13 AM   #10
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I got my 98 at around 100k miles in 07. Switched to synthetic around 115-120k and I'm pushing 130k now I believe with no issues.

Started with NAPA store brand synthetic, now I run amsoil XL
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Old 06-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #11
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You guys are NO HELP! *chuckle*
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #12
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Synthetic won't do a damn thing over conventional oil on a 100k engine other than to lighten your wallet. I understand HIGH MILEAGE standard oil can have benefits thanks to it having different detergents but your engine is broken in on the regular dino juice and it's best to just leave it as is. If you insist on switching at least consider compromising and going with a 50/50 blend so you won't spend as much money.

BTW, if you ever want to see a 50 foot fireball pour some synthetic oil on a burn pile and light it. My brother did that with some of my Mustang's "stool" (lol) and he thought he was going to catch his oak trees on fire!
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:47 PM   #13
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other than to lighten your wallet.
Yep, about $9 an oil change. Or, ~$18 a year for me.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:49 PM   #14
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Conventional every time if you are changing fluids that often.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:17 PM   #15
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Done - I'll go with some high mileage conventional stuff. Thanks!
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:15 AM   #16
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Conventional motor oil from major brands like Valvoline, Castrol, Pennzoil, Shell, Mobil, etc. is fine. The only time I would switch my engine oil to synthetic would be during extreme winter conditions like if I lived somewhere like Alaska, Buffalo NY, North Dakota, etc. when synthetic is worth it. In more temperate climates, modern mineral-based motor oils are excellent at completely protecting our engines. Heck even back in the 50's and 60's there were ads from Volvo and Mercedes Benz talking about customers with over a million miles on their engines... and in those days, we only had mineral based (conventional) motor oils on the store shelves.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:54 PM   #17
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Ok, so I lied... Going into Wally-World today, I eagerly sought out high mileage conventional oils, hoping, per my perusing of this board, to get adequate levels of that zinc stuff everyone goes on about. Well, in short, the only high-mileage stuff they had were synthetic/conventional blends. Screw it. I bought the Castrol GTX high mileage blend, did the change, started her up, and right away she sounds... smoother? Quieter? Is it entirely psychosomatic? Beats me. Anyway, it's done, and I'm off to Houston *SHUDDER* tomorrow for work.

Thanks for all the input... now... what kind of synthetic recovery rope should I get for my 12k lb. winch? Really. There's too much crap out there.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:51 AM   #18
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i just switched to mobile 1 at 170K. treat her like u luv her...
So on the first 170K she was a pig then all of a sudden when you started paying more for oil she acted better??? I threw my wife down a flight....never mind, I'm just busting some balls after a night of drinking...

Just change it on a regular basis and add some oil when it burns some....the type of oil doesn't make a freakin difference!!! 132K and she runs fine... 3K miles...... 5K miles with half a QT or so added....still works fine..... The cheapest stuff with regular changes works fine.... High milage oil is a waste of money.....so is synthetic unless your on the track and running high HP... But again I've been drinking and I will run my baby till she dies on the cheap stuff then rebuild her and run her till she dies again...

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