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Fuel, Oil, Cleaners & Other Maintenance Extending the life of your Civic requires the proper fuel, oil, and cleaners, along with other regularly scheduled maintenance.

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Old 10-04-2005   #1
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Are all synthetic oils the same?

I see lots of discussion about Oil A vs Oil B and how there are huge differences. I figured I would throw this out and let you decide what it's worth.

I used to work for a large car manufacturer in the racing engine group. These engines were turbocharged and run over 16,000 RPM for a very long time.

We were always getting requests from teams that ran the engine to use Brand A oil, or Brand B oil etc since they could get sponsorship money from them. Since they leased the engines from us and we warrantied them, we were very picky about what they could do. Everytime they wanted to run a new brand oil, We required them to submit the oil and "buy" an engine to be tested. We then ran the engine through a very grueling high rev endurance test and pulled the engine & turbo apart and inspected them very, very carefully for abnormal wear.

The results?

Every full synthetic oil tested passed with no discernable difference in wear. I'm not saying that they were the same or that there had the same wear, just that a very large car/engine manufacturer, with all the tools available to them could find no wear difference. All the big ones were tested, Mobil 1, Texaco, Penzoil, Valvoline, Quaker State etc...

The only oil that stood out as different was Royal Purple Racing synthetic. But not for the reasons you would think. Only because it has this weird tendancy to "thin out" as it got hot making the oil pressure versus oil temperature very non linear (and non-repeatable!). It did, however, make the most power but mainly due to the lower oil pressure! BTW, I run Royal Purple in my race car now, but when I needed more oil and I was in the middle of bum-fvck Egypt I put in some other synthetic and the world didn't end...

Just my $0.02 worth.

what do you think?
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Old 10-04-2005   #2
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Where's Amsoil or Redline in the mix?
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Old 10-04-2005   #3
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i use amsoil... 0w-30 full synthetic 35,000 mile oil
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Old 10-04-2005   #4
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Redline was tested for our internal information. Amsoil was not.
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Old 10-04-2005   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelSolid
Redline was tested for our internal information. Amsoil was not.
Wish you had amsoil info b/c that is what I use.
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Old 10-04-2005   #6
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To be honest, I don't expect it to be any better/worse than the rest of the full synthetics. They are all very good.
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Old 10-05-2005   #7
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Interesting, because Royal Purple has the highest TBN drop I've ever seen in a synthetic oil. Sometimes it's very good other times very bad, hence the reason I stay away from it, there is nothing consistent about that oil...

Amsoil is not tested normally because it not API apporved. This is an expensive and timely procedure, hence the reason Amsiol says they are not approved (http://www.performanceoiltechnology....ilicensing.htm). I know theirreason for not doin this, but I still feel safer using approved oils, it's just me. But because they are not tested and approved, they are generally not used in test.
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Old 10-05-2005   #8
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It doesn't surprise me that most of them tested the same, my question is what kind of test where done? What kind of endurance test where done? How long? How many times was the oil cooled and reheated during the testing? Where there any post run tests on the oil?

I assume you are testing F1 type engines (turbo and 16,000 RPM). While these engines have huge demands put on them, they are actually not as demanding on synthetic oils as say keeping an oil in your car for 10,000 miles. F1 engines (or at least the ones I know of) generally only run oil for a race or a few test laps, then it is changed out. So while they have extremely high heat and shearing rates, the actual endurance on synthetic oil is not the great. Heat rates are taken care of by proper oil weights and oil coolers and sheer stress is taken care of by making sure the oil is a full synthetic.

In a normal car, you're oil does not have the sheer stress and heat capacity issues found in F1 engines, the problems have now changed to be able to last while the additive have worn away and being reheated and cooled many times.

In short: the demands of an F1 car are different than that of a daily driving car, hence it does not make since to test for things that are needed in daily driving on a F1 engine.

Don't get me wrong, I think your info is good and useful, but I don't think the difference in oils comes out until well after 7,500 miles of normal driving.
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Old 10-05-2005   #9
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The only requirements placed on the proposed oils were that the oil be a full synthetic.

Under normal circumstances, new engines were broken in for about 1 hour on the dyno at varying RPM's on full synthetic oil. When shipped to the teams, they installed the engine and added the oil (about 10-12 qts). That oil was used for the life of the engine, which was about 550 race miles.

The validation test was a modified circuit sumulation on a full AC dyno. There were many full hot shut offs, hard accelerations on cold oil, high RPM runs on hot & cold oil and a general all around excessive abuse of the engine. When done, the engine was completely "spent".

We did not analyze the oil after it was completed as the oil was not our concern. Our focus was on the reliability of the engine. In short, we didnt care if the oil turned into carrot juice as long as it continued to protect the engine under our worst case conditions.

We had a consumers attitude toward the oil. We only cared about it's ability to protect the engine. Let the oil company engineers argue about "how" and "why", we only cared that it "did".

btw, the Royal Purple was exactly as you described. It's non-repeatability was a real problem for us as we used our oil pressure vs temperature as a gauge of the health of the rotating assembly during an engines life. The fact that it varied for no particular reason removed it from consideration for use.
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Old 10-05-2005   #10
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Yup, interesting and usefull information. But like I said, different brands of oil will only shine after very long use. For your concern, all are the same.
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Old 10-05-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrfish007
It doesn't surprise me that most of them tested the same,
...major snip...
but I don't think the difference in oils comes out until well after 7,500 miles of normal driving.
I agree. I just don't understand why someone who supposedly cares about their car goes longer than 7500 miles between oil changes?

The main point of the post was that it is my general opinion that all synthetic oils offer roughly the same protection when used normally, and presenting the primary first hand experience that formed that opinion.

btw, on my race car, I change the oil about every 10 miles but only because of the methanol contamination. 10 qts of full synthetic. it's not cheap!
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Old 10-21-2005   #12
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I'd say AmsOil is the way to go. I think the main differance is the type of additives they place in the syn. Blends thats all.
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Old 10-24-2005   #13
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Synthetic oil

Wal Mart sells their full synthetic Super Tech for $11.88 for five quarts, I read the label and it meets the same API spec as Mobil 1 and also good for diesels. Look at the label and you see a "S" designation which means Spark ignited engines and if you see a "C" then it is rated for compression ignited engines - diesels. There is no difference in S and C oils other than the C contains a better detergent additive package to keep diesels clean and gas engine does not need it but it will not hurt to run C oil in a Gas engine.

The American Petroleum Institute tests oils submitted by various oil manufacturers and assign a specification and if two different brand oils carry the same spec then they should be of equal quality. I'm not saying they are, just saying they 'should' be.

Using synthetic in most cars not necessary unless you do a lot of really high speed driving. Crown Vic cop cars around here use a synthetic blend and run 200K miles easy and summer time it gets 100F daily here in the dep South. Before synthetics came out many folks got 200K miles and more out of their cars with no major repairs. BTW, Wal Marts $11.88 for five quarts I see no reason not to use it because regular HD oil is about the same price.

While we're about this oil thing, do not use additives!
I have a link but this forum won't let me post it.

What about filters? Read the article and let your conscience be your guide.
Well, again, I have a link but can't post it.
My first time here and seems strange to me if we are to help each other then why can't we post links verifying what we say ? ? ? DUH ?

Ya'll have a nice day and drive safe.
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Old 10-24-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huney
Wal Mart sells their full synthetic Super Tech for $11.88 for five quarts, I read the label and it meets the same API spec as Mobil 1 and also good for diesels. Look at the label and you see a "S" designation which means Spark ignited engines and if you see a "C" then it is rated for compression ignited engines - diesels. There is no difference in S and C oils other than the C contains a better detergent additive package to keep diesels clean and gas engine does not need it but it will not hurt to run C oil in a Gas engine.

The American Petroleum Institute tests oils submitted by various oil manufacturers and assign a specification and if two different brand oils carry the same spec then they should be of equal quality. I'm not saying they are, just saying they 'should' be.

Using synthetic in most cars not necessary unless you do a lot of really high speed driving. Crown Vic cop cars around here use a synthetic blend and run 200K miles easy and summer time it gets 100F daily here in the dep South. Before synthetics came out many folks got 200K miles and more out of their cars with no major repairs. BTW, Wal Marts $11.88 for five quarts I see no reason not to use it because regular HD oil is about the same price.

While we're about this oil thing, do not use additives!
I have a link but this forum won't let me post it.

What about filters? Read the article and let your conscience be your guide.
Well, again, I have a link but can't post it.
My first time here and seems strange to me if we are to help each other then why can't we post links verifying what we say ? ? ? DUH ?

Ya'll have a nice day and drive safe.
Huney

1. I don't know why you can't post the links, but PM me with them and I'll see what I can do, that's kind of strange.

2. Oils that carry the API stamp just mean they meet the minimum requirements and that they are of the viscosity that is labeled. That has little to do with the life of the oil, and only means it carries the basics of oil. Most oils on the market by far surpass the API requirements. Just because two oils have the API approval, doesn't mean they are of the same quality.

3. As far as additives, I agree don't use most of them. The LC20 from Lubecontrol is a little different because it is basically a shot of additives for you oil. In short, most of the additives in oil will burn off around 3,000 miles, most oil can go a bit further than that, especially synthetics, but as time goes the additives drop, oil people call this a TBN (total base number). It measure the amount of additives left in the oil and when that number falls to low, your oil is spent, time to change it. The LC20 simply adds those additives back in, this is how some people can get 10,000 or even 15,000 mile oil changes, and when the oil is tested, it comes back like 5,000 mile oil with more of carbon in it (suspending carbon is the only reason you actually HAVE to change the oil, the oil gets to a point where it can no longer suspend carbon, then deposits form and bad things happen). With the use of additives, you can maintain the oils ability to suspend carbon and prolong oil changes. Most cheapo additive you buy off the Wal-Mart or AutoZone shelf are crap, no doubt, but some additive are okay, but chances are they are not sold in common places.
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Old 10-25-2005   #15
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"I don't know why you can't post the links, but PM me with them and I'll see what I can do, that's kind of strange."

It said I have to make 15 posts then I can post links. Anyway, let's try to get you there this way. Go to www bobistheoilguy (dot) com (slash) images (slash) lucas (slash dot) htm Hope it gets you there because you will be amazed at what you see.

"Just because two oils have the API approval, doesn't mean they are of the same quality." Yup, we're on the same page. Seems I remember seeing a website set up by API where they post the test results so you can take a look see. However, what Wal Mart gets for full synthetic I don't think I'll go any other way.

"The LC20 simply adds those additives back in, this is how some people can get 10,000 or even 15,000 mile oil changes," Additives come in a "package"
and some claim their additive package is better than others and the most hoopla is among diesel engine oils. Shell Rotella T has been around for many years and is said to be one of the best for gas or diesel engines, but like I said, gas engines don't require near the detergent additives as diesels to keep them clean inside.

DelSolid wrote: "I just don't understand why someone who supposedly cares about their car goes longer than 7500 miles between oil changes?"
Roger that, 5K is the furtherest I ever went. The driving condidtions have a lot to do with it and if it's dusty and/or hot with a lot of stop and go driving in the city like a cab or commercial city vehicle or you pull a trailer then you should change it more often.

Carb air filter is very important to and if dusty then change that sucker every 10K miles and not every 25K miles like auto manuals say. Air filters are dirt cheap and what with the price of gas now a'days it breathes better with a clean filter.

In another thread ctmx Post Master wrote: "I find that it runs smoother if you use 3qts of your oil of choosing and then 1qt of stp oil treatment.." Be very careful of additives, go see the above link bobistheoilguy and you will see why I urge extreme caution.

Last edited by Huney; 10-25-2005 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 10-25-2005   #16
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Here is the link

http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/images/lucas/lucas.htm

Very interesting photos
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Old 10-26-2005   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huney
"I don't know why you can't post the links, but PM me with them and I'll see what I can do, that's kind of strange."

It said I have to make 15 posts then I can post links. Anyway, let's try to get you there this way. Go to www bobistheoilguy (dot) com (slash) images (slash) lucas (slash dot) htm Hope it gets you there because you will be amazed at what you see.
well... I didn't know this rule was around. But anyway, I've read that site a few times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huney
"Just because two oils have the API approval, doesn't mean they are of the same quality." Yup, we're on the same page. Seems I remember seeing a website set up by API where they post the test results so you can take a look see. However, what Wal Mart gets for full synthetic I don't think I'll go any other way.

"The LC20 simply adds those additives back in, this is how some people can get 10,000 or even 15,000 mile oil changes," Additives come in a "package"
and some claim their additive package is better than others and the most hoopla is among diesel engine oils. Shell Rotella T has been around for many years and is said to be one of the best for gas or diesel engines, but like I said, gas engines don't require near the detergent additives as diesels to keep them clean inside.

DelSolid wrote: "I just don't understand why someone who supposedly cares about their car goes longer than 7500 miles between oil changes?"
Roger that, 5K is the furtherest I ever went. The driving condidtions have a lot to do with it and if it's dusty and/or hot with a lot of stop and go driving in the city like a cab or commercial city vehicle or you pull a trailer then you should change it more often.

alright... here is a list of addatives I that I learned in class, the professor worked at Amsoil for 30 years, I'm guessing he knew what he was talking about.

Additives used to protect the surface of the engine:
-Detergents used for ware and tare resistant: various phosphates, organic sulfur and chlorine compounds, sulfurized fats, sulfides and disulfides
-Rust and corrosion inhibitors: zinc dithiophosphates, metal phenolates, fatty acids and amines
-Build up inhibitors: metallo-organic compounds of sodium, calcium and magnesium phenolates, phosphonates and sulfanates
-Dispersatents: alkylsuccinimides and alkylsuccinic esters (these are extremely polar molecules that help keep the carbon conglomerating and forming clump)
-Friction modifiers: organic fatty acids and amides, high molecular weight organic phosphorus and phosphoric acid esters

Additives that help in protecting your oil from doing “bad” things:
-Antifoaming additives (these also help lower surface tension): silicone polymers or organic copolymers
-Antioxidants (oil can be oxidized which terminates the free radical reactions that happen that allow it to suspend carbon and disperse it): Zinc dithiophosphates (yes it’s multi functional), hindered phenols, aromatic amines and sulfurized phenols
-Catalyst deactivators (some metals can cause an accelerated rate of oxidation and hence ruin your oil, these form a protective coating around them so that they can not catalyze the oxidation reaction): organic complexes containing nitrogen or sulfur, amines, sulfides and phosphates

Additives used to increase the oils performance:
-These are used to fight wax and wax build up, (wax is often found in organic oil and some synthetics that use the Fischer-Trope synthesis followed by class III hydro cracking): alkylated napthalene and phenolic polymers, polymethacrylates, and certain copolymer esters.
-a seal swell additive, this can expand some metal and polymer seals to help seal better: Organic phosphates and aromatic hydrocarbons
-Oil thinning prevention (as the temperature oil rises it tends to thin out, these additives expand to help fight this and keep the oil at a constant viscosity): Organic phosphates, aromatic hydrocarbons, MMA, dienes and alkylated styrenes

Now, you'll notice most of these additives are either organic or heavy metallic in nature. The heavy metallic’s will not leave the oil. The organics and hydrocarbons will, however, burn off somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. Most of these so called oil treatments are horrible and not designed for what they need. I looked at Bob'stheoilguy.com, he NEVER tested LC20, why? I don't know, email him and ask him... Anyway, LC20 gives most of these organics and hydrocarbons back into the system, it's not a normal oil additive. Normal additives you add in once and that's it. This stuff you add in every 1,000 miles to renew the organics and hydrocarbons that have been burned off. It's pretty simple, oil burns off the additives, you replace them, the oil is okay.

Now, if you are using mineral oil, then yes, anything over 5,000 miles is bad. Full synthetic can go far longer though, here is why: Mineral (dino) oil is a blend of a bunch of different size molecules, together they have a certain average (keep in mind the average size of the molecule determines the viscosity of the oil). Here is the problem, smaller molecules will burn and oxidize faster than larger ones. So if you burn or oxidize all the small molecules, you have a bunch of big ones left, so your average size goes up and your viscosity goes up, this is bad. Look at synthetic oil, EVERY molecule is the same size, that means after a few get burned off, the average size is still the same, hence viscosity has not changed.

That being said, I would not trust and dino oil further than 5,000 mile (I try to only go 4,000 mile in dino) because the average size of the molecules is not right and hence the viscosity is wrong for the car. For full synthetic oil, this is not a problem right? So why not go further on a full synthetic. The only reason is because the additive I mentioned above have worn out and the oil can no longer suspend the carbon and other impurities. If you renew these additives, the oil has nothing wrong with it, why change it?

After all that, you can do what ever you want, but these are people who have spent their entire lives learning about oil and how it works, people form such companies as Lubrizol and Amsoil. IF you don't believe in using LC20 or renewing the addatives, then don't go more than 7,500 miles on synthetic oil IMO.

Last edited by Jrfish007; 10-26-2005 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 10-26-2005   #18
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Oh yeah, and for the air cleaner, I agree completely that you should change it more often if you live in a dusty area. Same with oil, it needs to be changed more often if you live in a dusty area, or you have high sulfur content fuel, or drive in smog often, all these things can accelerate the oxidation of your oil. But if you don't, why change you oil more often than needed?
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Old 10-30-2005   #19
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"But if you don't, why change you oil more often than needed?"
Auto mfgrs say we can go 7500 mi between changes, but that's optimum, easy, clean driving conditions. Our vehicles used in optimum conditions but it gets hot here in the deep South and we only put 8K mi a year on ours so I don't worry much about mileage and change oil & filter every six months. Rarely freezes here so I use the WallyWorld full synthetic 10W-30 oil.
rateitall.com/i-218610-wal-mart-super-tech-motor-oil.aspx

I was Googling and chanced upon this interesting link listing WalMart products and who makes them. forums.noria.com/groupee/forums/a/tpc/f/616604995/m/281607817/r/5441047901
No idea who Warren Oil Co is.
SUPER TECH SAE 30 UNIVERSAL MOTOR OIL -- WARREN DISTRIBUTION
SUPER TECH 5W30 FULL SYNTHETIC OIL -- WARREN DISTRIBUTION
SUPER TECH FULL SYNTHETIC SAE 10W30 -- WARREN DISTRIBUTION
SUPER TECH SYNTHETIC BLEND SAE 5W30 MOTOR OIL -- WARREN DISTRIBUT
SUPER TECH SYNTHETIC BLEND SAE 10W30 MOTOR OIL
You'll have to put the www in front of the links because I can't post links until I have 15 posts and I'm a new participant here. warrenoil.com/ ncagr.com/NCproducts/ShowSite.asp?ID=1998

Jrfish007 - Very informative post there, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge, we appreciate it very much.

Last edited by Huney; 10-30-2005 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 10-31-2005   #20
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In your conditions, I would do the same as you. Driving 8,000 miles a year, I would go 4,000 miles between oil changes, or 6 months.

Generally for a 4,000 miles oil change, I would just use a dino oil, but you bring up an interesting point of using a cheap synthetic instead. I guess my only worry is that they are using proper additives. So this brings an interesting situation, the answer is of course to get your oil tested after 4000 miles for a TBN and all that, but that will cost you $30.

Currently I'm broke, so here is what I would do: Your next oil change, make sure the oil comes out black, if it isn't that means the oil is not suspending carbon like it should, hence the carbon is being deposited in your engine, and that's bad. Also look for the oil to change color as it is coming out, if it starts out clear then gets darker or vise versa; this is also a bad sign. After the oil is drained out and before you put a new filter on, pure a little oil in the engine and let it run out. Check the color of this oil versus the rest of the oil that came out. But if the oil is suspending the oil okay, then use it
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Old 10-31-2005   #21
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Saludos de Puerto Rico ! When you guys speak about AMSOIL are you saying AMSOIL XL 5w-20
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