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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-06-2006, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Regular oil to Synthetic

Just wondering, once and for all, if you guys think it's ok to go from running regular oil for over 140,000 miles and switching to synthetic. I know some people on here have said they did it with no problems. I've also read places where horror stories happened. That the synthetic oil breaks up build up from the regular oil, and it goes through the engine, until, eventually, a chunk maybe goes through a bearing, or stopping oil flow somewhere along the line.

I'd rather use synthetic, but just am afraid to switch to it. Any opinions?

BTW, what oils does everyone use... Synthetic or not, list your brands and weights.

I've been using Castrol GTX 10w-30.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-06-2006, 04:13 PM
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Most modern oils have plenty of detergent in them anyway. So, if you have had the car for a while and done your oil changes when you should, I say go for it.

If you haven't had the car for very long and suspect that it wasn't taken care of, it might start to leak at some of the seals. The oil passages are pretty small on these engines (from what I've read on here), so if you have a bad sludge build-up, I would think you would already be having valve rattle or some other symptom.

Another thought might be to slowly change over. First swap to synthetic blend for a while, then to full.

I personally use Mobil 1, 5w-30. Wal-Mart sells the 5 quart jug pretty cheap.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 12:25 AM
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I say just do it. The first time i started using synthetic was in 92 put it in an escort with 95,000 miles. kept the car till 150,000 no real engine problems. I usually use castrol syntec, or mobil 1 if i cant get the castrol. 5W-20

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 12:44 AM
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At 160k I didn't have any problems switching directly from conventional to synthetic. If you really want to be cautious, do what girdnerg said and run the blend for a couple oil changes then go full synthetic.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 05:43 AM
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Here's my take on the whole oil brand/type debate:

My 94 del Sol was bought new by a guy in DFW Texas, I have the receipts from oil changes at various quick lube places every 3 to 5 thousand miles. I'm pretty sure all the places used 5w-30, but there were several different brands of oil used.

I bought the car with 98k on it, switched to Mobil 1 synthetic 5w-30 and it doesn't use a drop of oil in 5k mile oil change intervals. I have switched vehicles with as high as 175k on them (90 Ranger) and as low as 55k (01 Accord). Never had a problem with oil consumption or otherwise. Make the switch.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 09:11 AM
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I know I sound stupid. I suspect that my car has had very good care taken of it. On Carfax, it showed that it had only had 2 previous owners. Nothing bad on the carfax report. It uses a little oil, or leaks it, or something, lol, but I'd say all 4.6's do. Absolutely sounds smooth, no ticking whatsoever. I'd say it's been taken care of.

I guess my next trip I'll switch to some Mobil 1 5w-30 and hope all goes well.

BTW, am I the only one on here that has heard of bad things happening to cars going from regular oil to fully synthetic? I'd rather HAVE synthetic. That's what goes in my mom's '00 Trans Am WS.6. Not only does it sound smooth, but the oil itself just looks good and has a good feel to it (Mobil 1 Synthetic).
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not trying to bump my thread, but let me ask two more things.

Number one, what is your personal opinions of Castrol GTX? Or Castrol vs Pennzoil (talking regular oils here, not synthetic).

Number two, IF I make the switch to synthetic, can you add the Lucas Oil Additive with a synthetic oil? The reason I ask is that I am a big fan of Lucas stuff. I've seen a lot of transmissions 'get better' with a new tranny fluid change and a bottle of Lucas. Not saying the Lucas did it, just saying I think it's a good, quality additive. Also, have you seen their gas additive? It's actually thick, unlike STP, etc., who claims to have Jet Fuel in theirs. I don't care about jet fuel, I want a clean fuel system.

Just wondering if the Lucas oil additive is a preventative measure, and not a 'fix' for leaky/smokey engines.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 08:18 AM
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With the new gf4 spec, pretty much every bottle of oil on the shelf is semi synthetic.

I'd recommend motorcraft oil/filter and 5000 mile oil changes.

No need to switch to synthetic, it won't make a difference unless your trying to go 10k miles on an oil change. If you want to do this you need to spin on a new filter every 5k, and this is a nightmare in a tbird anyways.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 01:23 PM
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I have used synthetic for years in my Cougars.

I have no ides what was in the red Cougar when I bought it (130k miles); it took a few oil changes to get it to stay clean to the next change...seems there was a bunch of crap in there.

I recently did the seafoam-oil change thing (add seafoam to the oil, drive ~100 miles, then change), and the oil that came out was extremely dirty, and the engine does feel better. I'm going to do it next time it gets close to an oil change, until the oil comes out clean again. I'm over 190k now.

I have heard FOAF, third-hand, horror stories like you describe, but the simple fact that I've never actually had anything bad happen because of an oil change to anyone I personally know, means it is likely BS, like the 'always use the same oil' BS.

If someone has used Quaker state for years, I wouldn't recommend changing the oil to something else, but then I wouldn't recommend driving the car until the crud is cleaned out of the engine either...Paraffin sux.

I get much better gas milage on Syntec than GTX, and castrol is about the only oil I've used for years. Started using it (GTX) in bikes, and it was the only oil that never broke down in my 2 stroke race bike.

Using car synthetic in bikes is problematic now, because the clutch won't hook up with the new synthetics...you have to use a bike rated oil. Burnt a clutch to figure that one out...

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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcemanV8
Number one, what is your personal opinions of Castrol GTX? Or Castrol vs Pennzoil (talking regular oils here, not synthetic).
From talking to older mechanics, Pennzoil is the one that they say causes huge amounts of sludge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IcemanV8
Number two, IF I make the switch to synthetic, can you add the Lucas Oil Additive with a synthetic oil? The reason I ask is that I am a big fan of Lucas stuff. I've seen a lot of transmissions 'get better' with a new tranny fluid change and a bottle of Lucas. Not saying the Lucas did it, just saying I think it's a good, quality additive. Also, have you seen their gas additive? It's actually thick, unlike STP, etc., who claims to have Jet Fuel in theirs. I don't care about jet fuel, I want a clean fuel system.

Just wondering if the Lucas oil additive is a preventative measure, and not a 'fix' for leaky/smokey engines.
They make it in synthetic and non-synthetic formulas, so buy whichever one goes with the oil you put in. Since you have a 94, your oil consumption is probably bad valve seals, which is very common. Your engine is probably smoking, you just don't see it coz the cats are catching it. I didn't notice mine smoking until I had the true duals without cats put on, boy did it smoke then. The Lucas oil stabilizer stopped the smoking and oil consumption in it's tracks.

I have used the lucas fuel injector cleaner. Didn't make any noticable difference, but I run it thru pretty often anyway to keep it clean.

As far as I know, jet fuel is just a high grade of kerosene, which should also work well.

Rob

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-16-2006, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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I don't mean to dig up this older thread, but when you use the Lucas oil stabilizer, is it something that's meant to be used every oil change?

Or is it something like 'stop-leak' or something to stop the smoking? I just wanted to use it if it was just something good for the engine. I like the Lucas products, they seem to be of the best quality. It's even the brand I used in my transfer cases on the 3000GT/Stealth.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 10:17 PM
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our engines arent really designed for synthetic oils. Some people have no problems and sometimes your seals start leaking like crazy after using synthetic! mostly synthetic eats away RTV sealants. I change oil on cars everyday and I see alot of problems with oils and additives. i use regular Valvoline 5w30 and a motorcraft filter I have had no problems. Last time the motor was apart it was cleaaannn inside!! Actually suprised me of how clean it was with as many miles!

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcemanV8
I don't mean to dig up this older thread, but when you use the Lucas oil stabilizer, is it something that's meant to be used every oil change?

Or is it something like 'stop-leak' or something to stop the smoking? I just wanted to use it if it was just something good for the engine. I like the Lucas products, they seem to be of the best quality. It's even the brand I used in my transfer cases on the 3000GT/Stealth.
It's meant to be used every oil change.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-17-2006, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twin turbo 281
our engines arent really designed for synthetic oils. Some people have no problems and sometimes your seals start leaking like crazy after using synthetic! mostly synthetic eats away RTV sealants. I change oil on cars everyday and I see alot of problems with oils and additives. i use regular Valvoline 5w30 and a motorcraft filter I have had no problems. Last time the motor was apart it was cleaaannn inside!! Actually suprised me of how clean it was with as many miles!
Factory manual says that you can use synthetic motor oils. I've never heard that engines have to be designed for synthetic oil. I thought lubrication was lubrication.

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by master486
I thought lubrication was lubrication.
Yeah, that's sounds a bit funny to me too.

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 09:00 AM
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Every vehicle I've owned the manual states that synthetic oils are just fine - but not to exceed the recommended oil change interval.

If you switch to synthetic and start to have problems - you had problems before the switch, they just hadn't showed up noticeably yet. I'll say again, I've switched a few high mileage vehicles over and did not have any problems whatsoever.
post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 09:40 AM
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Well, I have a horror story with q 4.6 in a bird. My friend switched to synthetic, everything was fine for a while then his engine siezed. He checked the oil and it was not on the dip stick. I never heard why it happened. But it didn't work for him. Maybe the filter leaked it out or anything though, I don't know
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 10:33 AM
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Lets get some real tech here -

First - All SM spec oils are technically semi-synthetic now, some they put it in the name to charge you more for. But even the 99 cent stuff is technically semi synthetic if it states SM on the bottle.

Motorcraft 5W20 could be called 100% synthetic in the USA only if Ford wanted it to, it meets the criteria (its hydrocracked and Castrol won the court case about this against Mobil). Hydrocracked oil cannot be sold as 100% synthetic in Europe last I heard. Most synthetics on the Walmart and auto parts store shelves other than Mobil are hydrocracked.

Synthetic being speced from the factory for particular cars is only for temperature reasons as these cars (usually factory hot rods) will take the oil sump temperature above 300F when the car is used within its specs - this came straight from the mouth of a GM engineer that worked on this project.

The word from his mouth about what oil to use - diesel spec in everything including the lawnmower that does not get the sump temperature over 300F, the antiwear additives (ZDDP - Zinc) are nearly double over SM spec. You will hear this diesel spec quote for anybody running old school flat tappet cam engines as well, the new SM spec is not good for flat tappets.

Lucas has a place at my house, the garbage can. It is simply thick regular dino oil with little to no additives. IMHO - run a thicker oil if you find Lucas works better for you.
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
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Well, I have a horror story with q 4.6 in a bird. My friend switched to synthetic, everything was fine for a while then his engine siezed. He checked the oil and it was not on the dip stick. I never heard why it happened. But it didn't work for him. Maybe the filter leaked it out or anything though, I don't know

His engine siezed because these engines drink oil through the valve stem seals like an 80's rock band making it to MTV drank alcohol - to the point of death if unchecked.
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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 01:21 PM
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Sometimes when I do an oil change at work someone decides to switch to synthetics and within 3000 miles they start having leaks. The next time when they come in they switch to a higher mileage regular blend and the leaking slows down or stops. Like I said it depends on the type of engine, if seals have been replaced already, mileage of the motor, brand of synthetic, and so on...The people I work with woulnt touch synthetics most of the time. Including one guy I work with who has a 2001 GM 4.3 his pan gasket started to seep oil right after a switch to synthetic. he switched back to higher milage and the seepage has stopped!

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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 01:56 PM
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Higher mileage oils all have more seal swell agents and possibly more detergent, thats the only difference to them. If you get too much seal swell agent, the seals will start cutting grooves into the metal (crank, balancer)
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-18-2006, 02:12 PM
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i switched to moil 1 15w-50, good for bearings, and i live in cali so im not worrying about extreme cold. so i run a thicker oil.

and it works well, the engine consumes oil now, slightly ...but nothing like my buddies sti, at 3q every month or 1500m.

thats consumtion

also full synth keeps my engine a bit cooler! nice for supercharged cars.

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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-22-2006, 04:24 AM
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You should stick to changing oil...

Quote:
Originally Posted by twin turbo 281
our engines arent really designed for synthetic oils. Some people have no problems and sometimes your seals start leaking like crazy after using synthetic! mostly synthetic eats away RTV sealants. I change oil on cars everyday and I see alot of problems with oils and additives. i use regular Valvoline 5w30 and a motorcraft filter I have had no problems. Last time the motor was apart it was cleaaannn inside!! Actually suprised me of how clean it was with as many miles!

Obviously, You have no idea what you are talking about.

The ONLY thing that disolves RTVs is concentrated phosphoric acid, in a concentration that would leave the RTV the only visible thing, after it dissolved the engine block.

If your engine seals are RTV, you have more problems than oil...

The only difference in synthetic vs dino oils is the variation of the length of the hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic oil has a tighter distribution of lengths, which, in the long run, has meaning in the fact that longer chains break down easier. Paraffin is a long chain hydro.

Very short hydrocarbon chains are easier to make acidic... dino oils are random lengths, with random constituents...ethane and methane and pentane groups in the mix. Synthetic oils do not have the random BS in there; it is very regular.

Fractional Distillation (cracking) is used with dino oils to reduce the variation, but nowhere close to synthetic levels; since they are building the chains around a target value, the mix is stable.

If a synthetic 5W30 leaks, a dino 5W30 should leak. High milage oils, with seal swellers, will reduce leakage, but tend to wear seals that weren't worn before faster. And they will make no difference with ring seal, which is metal on metal.

Our engines are well known for 'poor valve seals', but at 190k miles, I really don't see much to b*tch about. My 63 tbird died at 62k miles, mostly due to quaker state oil. (paraffin) (3rd engine, about 50k each)

I use about a quart between oil changes, and Castrol Syntec synthetic gives me 3-5 mpg over Castrol GTX, depending on how I drive. I can always tell when I'm coming up on an oil change, because my mileage starts to drop...

I started using GTX about 20 years ago, because it was the only oil my bikes didn't turn into glue...

You can treat your engine however you want. Mine will still be running at over 300k, if past history is any indicator. Yours is not as likely to be running next year.

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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 12:50 AM
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Well I dont know all the physics and chemistry behind oils Ill admit all I know is what Ive seen. I change oil on everything from geo metros to 18 wheelers. On average Im changing 600 or more cars oils in a month. Ive had cars with no leaks for 100,000 plus miles and after only one synthetic oil change seals start to seep. The thing i see is also if your still recomended to change your oil every 3000 just like conventional why spend 3-4 more dollars a quart?? Also when I do gear box services at work... If a rear end is specified to use synthetic gear oils but has been serviced before and instead using a cork gasket someone uses RTV we are not allowed to fill it with synthetic. I dont exactly know all the details and research all I know is I wont touch synthetics I stick with conventional. Wear is good on my motor, its clean, it cost less, and it dosent seep.

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