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Real or Myth?: Syn vs. Conv.

blackhat620

You Had to be There
1,687
150
Arizona
I just had to tuck my brain back into my ear after reading this.Ryan

Your the one who thought it would be fun to play in the weeds smilietease

What should a plebeian like myself switch to??? Havoline as suggested???
So do I infer that the Motorcraft is just fine?
I'm not looking to save the world with the universe's best oil. Just something that will give me no bottom end worries and maybe burn a little less (if possible).

Like, Lester said the oil you are using is just fine, don't over think this, any modern oil will serve you just fine. An engine failure do to oil failure is extremely extremely rare especially in a dd. You will trade the vehicle or rebuild the engine for other reasons long before you see any benefit to switching oils.
You live in a moderate climate and don't work your truck that hard, your engine oil has an easy life. You want to prevent bottom end engine problems, change your oil & filter occasionally and don't run the engine loaded or unloaded at redline frequently. As far as oil consumption, that is caused by oil leaking around the valve stem & rings. Sometimes a thicker oil will reduce consumption but the flip side is it can also increase consumption.
 

blackhat620

You Had to be There
1,687
150
Arizona
Not sure on the Amsoil if it is all sold MLM, as I know a store line that sells it...
Amsoil's business model and sales practices are MLM, there are many dealers that sell Amsoil on the retail side but they still purchase the product through an MLM marketing agreement. Once Amsoil sells the oil to an associate they do not care how the associate sells it to a third party. The advantage to purchasing Amsoil directly as an associate is that you can purchase it cheaper than buying it as a third party from an associate. Associates get kick backs on the amount of oil they purchase (ie the MLM model). Bottom line if you want to use Amsoil, sign up and become an associate.

When it comes to Pennzoil, it seems we can hardly give the synthetic away at the store. I can actually show you all the bottle types in the oil rack, that is how long some of it has been around. (10-30 synthetic) I may be drawing off of myth or old time problems, but just don't have much love for Pennzoil, which seems to be the sentiment of most of our customers, since it doesn't seem to sell well even on sale. It is one of the hardest moving oil lines we have. The surprise to me is that Delo 400 and Delvac also move slowly. Right now, Delo 400 is on sale for $10.99 a bottle, so it is moving well, but due to prior low sales, we just don't stock much of it. part of our issues that way is that we don't tend to get many diesel customers either, as we don't really cater to the diesel crowd very well.
The short answer is people pick the type of underwear they wear, the beer they drink and oil they use based on what there friends & family tell them is good. It is a peer pressure thing. Back in the first half of the 20th century oil was named and marketed based on the part of the country the oil came from, ie Pennzoil (LA, Calif), Quaker State (PA) etc. Do to transportation costs etc oil was refined & marketed very close to were it was obtained and as such oil from different areas of the country had different wax percentages etc. This caused each oil to perform differently in an engine, based on climate & vehicle use. Do to this each brand of oil took on a life of its own. Today there are very few refineries that produce base stocks for engine oils and they get their crude from all over the world. Do in large part to the API & Foreign oil testing specifications all oil base stocks & final formulations have to meet strick standards this results in most engine oils being very similar. That being said if you have a specific engine problem or need that is caused by an ill-performing oil then at that time you need to do the research & some field trials on different oils until you find one that meets all the needs of that particular engine.

Today Chevron, Texaco, Havoline are all owed by Chevron, Pennzoil & Quaker State merged in the late 90's and then in 2002 were absorbed by SOPAS (Shell).

Aside from that, I thought the Valvoline synthetic was pretty good as well, but you don't seem to agree Lester, is that correct? I know Mobil to be good, and tend to use it when I can. I generally catch it on sale typically, rather than pay the full price. Had some get clearance priced, so I am an oil change ahead... that is for the wife's car though, I don't spend the extra money for my old beaters...
Valvoline (upstate NY) became part of Ashland/Marathon oil. Any of todays API rated oils are good, problem is people still base there choices on wives tales told by shade tree mechanics in the early 20th century, engine oil has changed alot in the last 100 years just like the automobile, unfortunately the average consumer is a creature of habit and chooses based on what grandma & grandpa said when they were sitting around the table for supper.
 
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mrxlh

Oilfield Trash
5,904
430
Stigler, OK
BP product line is a conglomerate of former Arco, Amoco and BP brands, it really lacks an identity. I guess thats why they purchased Castrol and push that brand so hard. Nothing wrong with BP lubricants though. Not real popular here.
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
Valvoline is common around here, while Havoline is a little tougher to find. Used to run it when Wally World carried it. Never seemed to have any issues with it. Valvoline seems to be good as far as I have seen from running it in the family vehicles. Local store sells the Havoline synth blend, and then use the Valvoline conventional on my mom's car that has made it to 345000 miles with normal basic maintenance stuff.
 

blackhat620

You Had to be There
1,687
150
Arizona
BP product line is a conglomerate of former Arco, Amoco and BP brands, it really lacks an identity. I guess thats why they purchased Castrol and push that brand so hard. Nothing wrong with BP lubricants though. Not real popular here.

smilieIagree smiliewhathesaid

Just a trivia side note, Castrol got its name because it was originally made from Castor Oil.
 
BP product line is a conglomerate of former Arco, Amoco and BP brands, it really lacks an identity. I guess thats why they purchased Castrol and push that brand so hard. Nothing wrong with BP lubricants though. Not real popular here.


Two questions for ya;

1. I've always been told that castrol has/ had a real high detergent level and my understanding was that helps keep the engine cleaner.

2. By "Not real popular here" do you mean that you don't care for it or that sales arn't real strong in your area?

smilieIagree smiliewhathesaid

Just a trivia side note, Castrol got its name because it was originally made from Castor Oil.

You said was so what is the base now, and is it a "true" synthetic or "just" super refined?
 

mrxlh

Oilfield Trash
5,904
430
Stigler, OK
Castrol is real popular here, time it lube feature castrol products. BP (Arco, Amoco, BP) products are not very common.

Define high detergent. I define high detergent as the cheapest oil I can buy and change it twice as often.
 

mrxlh

Oilfield Trash
5,904
430
Stigler, OK
As far as a "true" synthetic, that is everyone's own particular assignment. You have to find out if your buying a GP III which is not a true synthetic, but labeled as such, or a real synthetic which would be a GP IV (PAO) and GP V (Ester based).
 
Castrol is real popular here, time it lube feature castrol products. BP (Arco, Amoco, BP) products are not very common.

Ok thanks thats makes sense..

Define high detergent. I define high detergent as the cheapest oil I can buy and change it twice as often.

As compared to other oils, per bottle/ qt..

My FIL didn't like it because he said it ruined an engine, my personal opinion is that it loosened up all the crud and plugged the screen..
 

mrxlh

Oilfield Trash
5,904
430
Stigler, OK
What ruined the engine, was lack of oil changes. A good oil with a good detergent pack just sped up the process.
 
he was a diesel tech/ OTR owner/ operator, for decades so I would doubt it was from a lack of changing..
 

blackhat620

You Had to be There
1,687
150
Arizona
Two questions for ya;

1. I've always been told that castrol has/ had a real high detergent level and my understanding was that helps keep the engine cleaner.

Most modern API oils are all pretty close in there detergent packs, the exception are the "high mileage" oils that tend to have a more robust detergent pack along with added seal swelling agents to help delay worn seal failure. I am not a fan of "high mileage" oils, just a marketing gimmick to charge more for the oil.

Most Group IV & V true synthetic base oils by nature are higher "detergent" than dino oils. I really don't like the term "detergent" as it implies that your engine is dirty and needs cleaning. With modern oils of the last 30+ years it is rare to see an engine "gunked" up. In order for an oil to "gunk" up an engine you have to overheat the oil and then run the engine an extended period of time with overheated oil. Dirty engine commercials make for great marketing but that is about the extent of it.

You said was so what is the base now, and is it a "true" synthetic or "just" super refined?

Castrol is a Group III "highly refined" oil. When Syntec came out it was marketed as a synthetic, Mobil sued Castrol because it was a group III base oil, Mobil lost the law suit and so ever since in the USA and a few other countries Group III can now be called fully synthetic.
[Side Note: Mobil will not admit it if asked and masks it on the MSDS sheets but since losing the lawsuit Mobil 1 is forumlated with a Group III oil but still sold at Group IV prices] Short answer don't pay extra for Mobil 1 over the other Group III "synthetics" on the market.

There is nothing wrong with Group III oils just don't pay a premium for them as the manufactures have a wide swing in price for their Group III oils. The down fall of Group III oils is that if you need a "true synthetic" Group IV or V a Group III cannot match it in performance. True Synthetic oils still have a higher VI index and a much lower pour point than Group III oils. So if you need to run in extremely cold climates then purchase a "true synthetic" oil as they have pour points in the -95F range. Group III has a pour point of about +20F but can be lowered when blended with the additive pack.
Also it is rumored that a Group III+ basestock category will be added shortly, these are made from GTL(Gas to Liquid) technology and have a VI of about 140 which is equivalent to most Group IV & V oils.

Most all API 5W-20, 0W-20 "energy conserving" oils specified in the owners manual are Group III or Group III/II(ie semi-synthetic) oils as this is the only cheap way to get these Ultra thin oils to pass the required wear tests.

Also in piston aircraft Group I & II straight weight oils are used because they still use "leaded" gasoline and "True" synthetic oils do not hold lead contamination in suspension very well. As with anything in order to select the proper oil you need to know the application as Group IV & V oils have negative properties in certain applications.
 

blackhat620

You Had to be There
1,687
150
Arizona
As compared to other oils, per bottle/ qt..

My FIL didn't like it because he said it ruined an engine, my personal opinion is that it loosened up all the crud and plugged the screen..

he was a diesel tech/ OTR owner/ operator, for decades so I would doubt it was from a lack of changing..

Not to pick on your FIL but doubtful at best it was an oil related failure. But to make that determination one would have to know the number of miles on the engine, conditions it was used under, was it driven by the same person all the time or chain ganged by a group of OTR drivers. Also what was the oil change history and what type of oil had been used in it before the switch to Castrol.
 
This happened before I came into the picture, but from what I can remember it was a Gas F series truck/ van my understanding was that castrol was the only changed variable; FIL and and guy that always hung out at the house always got into it over castrol...
 

blacksnapon

Moderator
Staff member
he was a diesel tech/ OTR owner/ operator, for decades so I would doubt it was from a lack of changing..
SHHHH.....I change mine every 10,000 whether it needs it or not.
 

LEB Ben

Arrogant A-hole At-Large
34,919
1,124
outside your house
Awesome thread, but of course, I have a question. I think I caught most of what was said...but there were a few things that conflicted for me:


1) I caught in there to change conventional oils every 2500 miles, but it was also said that oil change intervals are hyped up? I think most conventional oils recommend 3000 mile intervals...if that's hyped up, then why change at 2500?


2) First and foremost, I understand it's important to know where your oil is graded at. However, it was stated that changing the oil every 2500 miles would be cheaper than switching to a synthetic. Now my practice is to change dino's once a year or 9-12k...and syn's once a year or every 12-15k. For the Mustang, I just picked up a 5qt jug of Mobil 1 (need to determine the grade) full syn 5w-20 for 24.50, plus an extra qt to meet capacity for $6, plus the filter at $5...so call it $40 after tax. I plan on running that for another 12-15k. Now say, you get a cheap jug of the Wally World special for $12, plus a couple extra quarts to meet capacity at $3 ea, plus the same $5 for a filter. Now you're talking $25 for the first change. If you're changing every 2500miles you're adding 4 extra changes over the same time frame. It was suggested to change filters every other change...so you're talking an extra $90 over the same 12,500 miles. Outside of the cheap insurance, how is that cheaper???
 
Humm, good questions Ben; Outside of a OA I usually change the filter at 3k and oil at 5-6k when using Full-syn..

I just did mine with Super-Tech 5w30 Full-syn I got it for ?? 24.99 ?? 5qt jug plus 3.xx for Motorcraft filter...

So thats less than 30 bucks for an oil change..
 

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