questionsdo you use synthetic oil?

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whereas the type of oil does make a difference on engine wear, my 2003 said in the manual to do oil changes at 7500 miles. for the record i do mine at 6000. i believe that if your car is under warrenty it might void it if you use a low grade oil or if the length between oil changes is too long (regardless of type of oil)

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There's more to it than that.
Using synthetics also give you better gas mileage. Not a lot, but its noticeable. With the increased mileage and oil change intervals it just about comes out even in costs.
Better mileage is from less friction. Less friction means less wear. You get that crappy 10w30 the Ford dealer uses and you have a 60k mile car. You get that 15w50 synthetic in a BMW, Mercedes, Honda, etc and you have a 260k mile car.
Spend a few hours perusing and drilling all the "top tier" listings, and it all comes out the same. The Feds have listed their minimum requirements for longevity, smog cleanliness and overall usefulness for new autos sold in the US. If it wasn't for synthetic oil in the motor and Techron in the fuel most American cars don't pass, won't last.
I had a Goldwing, and belonged to a few user groups and clubs. Shell Rotella Synthetic and a new filter every 5k miles, decent fuel, ride it nice- you had a 500k mile bike.

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Either synthetic or a blend. Been doing it for years.

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I have to. Otherwise my 1.8L turbo VW motor would be clogged up with what we like to call "turbo turds".

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I use synthetic and follow the manufacturers recommendations for oil changes. I also used synthetic in the gearbox too.

The last car I sold had 300k on it and the guy drove it away. When I sold it I still didn't need to add any oil between changes (a lot of those miles were freeway though at a steady 75-85 mph).

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I use synthetic on my turbo'd engine and regular cheapest O'reilly or Wal-Mart brand on everything else. I usually run 5k between changes. No problems with anything that would be attributed to oil. I have 6 cars, and only one of them is under 150k miles.

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I use Mobile 1 in my 06 Focus. Change it every 5,000-7,000 miles depending on the type of driving I've done, i.e. long distance vs. local. Going strong, runs like a champ at 82k.

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@gidgaf: There is no honda passenger vehicle that uses 15w 50.

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@meh3884: Pretty much this exact post, but for my 06 Fusion instead of an 06 Focus.

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I prefer vegetable or peanut for deep frying and olive for general, low heat applications.

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Synthetic, in my '07 Scion tC, changed every 5k miles. Just following the manual...

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In a high millage car switching to a synthetic can cause problems. If you are going to use as synthetic I would start under 50K miles. Synthetics in a higher mileage engine can cause the buildup in the sludge plugs to release and could cause excessive wear on you crank shaft bearings. The millage between oil changes is largely determined by oil filter estimated life, the oil will be good long after the filter isn't.

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I've used Mobil 1 5w-20 in my Honda since the first oil change. With many of the newer engines, especially ones with variable cam timing, synthetic or a synthetic blend is recommended. The actuators that drive the variable cams run on oil pressure and have small passages with very fine screens. Synthetics and regular oil changes do the job better on these.

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I've heard amazing things, along the lines you describe, about synthetic oils. I only recently got my car, so I've only changed the oil once and I honestly have no idea what oil they used...but given the option, I'd definitely go with synthetic. My roommate swears by it as well

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@dnnythms: I was just coming here to say the same thing. I worked at a honda dealership and never once did I fill a service job on a car with 15w50. I have no idea what the heck he's talking about. Also you can't just randomly put whatever viscosity oil into you car so don't just put 15w50 in because some maroon on the internet said that's best. If a manufacturer is suggesting 10w30 you should stick to 10w30. Sometimes manufacturers make a bad car or you get bad luck, but I believe most of the times cars go bad early (nowadays at least) because the customer just doesn't take care of their car with scheduled maintenance...

Personally I stick with manufacturers suggested oil (in my current case it HAS to be synthetic because there is no such thing as conventional 0w20) and since it's a honda I just change it within 20 miles of the oil change light coming on. I'd keep better track of it but it's in Km and I'm too lazy to do the conversions.

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@thedogma: Do your own oil changes, unless you're unlucky enough to be stuck with a car that requires specialty tooling. Even then you may want to consider it. An oil change is a simple process, and that way you can be sure what goes in. I've had a shop dump in any-old-thing even when I actually brought them two cases of Mobil 1 to make sure they had enough to go around. (The oil on the dipstick after the change was completely the wrong color, if you're wondering.) Then there are horror stories I've heard from a number of people about having the oil plug leak due to hasty mechanics stripping it by reinserting it with an impact wrench... but I digress. (Happy oilchange nightmares, folks.)

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@psaux: I used to do all my own oil changes. Then a while ago I acquired a car that uses 9 (yes, nine) quarts of full synthetic for its oil changes (at 10,000 miles intervals, though) and uses an unusual filter to boot. I priced it out and found that doing my own oil change is only about four dollars cheaper than taking it to the dealer. Frankly my time and garage floor are worth more than that. And since it's going to the dealer, who are tracking the service records on the car, they need to be able to stand behind their work.

So I take it to the dealer for the oil changes now. I get a sandwich across the street while they take it in, and by the time I'm done eating my car is ready to go and I never spill oil on myself any more.

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I do all my own oil changes, I only use Shell Rotella T6 5w40 in my 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX. It's one of the best oils on the market, especially for the demands of a turbocharged engine. I haven't ran dino oil in any vehicle I've owned since 2001. The better synthetics have great additive packages that improve lubrication and the detergent properties of the oil to keep the motor good and clean. Pair it with a high quality filter (i.e. not Fram), and you should be set.

I don't think that I could get the same service (specific oil & filter) anywhere else, that's why I do it at home. It does cost me more to do at home than at a shop, but again, no shops will put in Rotella T6 5w40 and use anything other than a crap Fram filter.

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I've been using Mobil 1 10-40 in my 98' Chevy Lumina since I bought it and I am on 234,000 miles now and having now problems. I always use Full synthetic in all of my vehicles.

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@ganzhimself: You can use fram just not the bottom line ones. I have been using the Xtended Guard one since buying my 98' lumina and still have very clean oil.

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Yes, I always use full synthetic. I don't do it just because of the extra fuel efficiency (marginal, at best), or that you can generally go further between oil changes (you can go father than you think, anyways, the 5k recommendation is pretty outdated).. but because it's better on your engine. I spent a lot of money on my cars, and I don't need residue and junk in my engine from regular oil.

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@dnnythms: @gidgaf: There is no honda passenger vehicle that uses 15w 50.
It does when I have it!
I do all my own fluid changes, and just having one good oil keeps it simple.
I used Rotella in my Goldwings, and if it wasn't for bad car drivers they'd still be running. I'd get over 250k miles, no problemo.
And yes, use the oil viscosity that the maker asks for. My 25 year old BMW says it needs 10w40 winter and 20w50 the rest of the time. I'm in LA, and we're having spring (78 degrees today) right now. 15w50 works out just right with me. If your manual says 0w20 use something that fits, silly. My Ford Truck is almost 30 years old, and 15w50 is good for it, too.
And what's wrong with a maroon!?!?

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@ganzhimself: Have you seen the newish oil filters shops use? They look like little cupcakes! Counter guy says that as long as you come in every 3k miles they're OK. I always thought that Size Matters, so I get the biggest Purolator that'll fit.

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@gidgaf: The important thing for most newer car owners is making sure both the oil AND filter meet or exceed manufacturer's specs. A reputable shop, whether it's an independent or a chain, will only put in oil & filter that meets specs, because they CAN be held responsible for damage to your engine.
Also, I can tell you from experience that if, heaven forbid, you actually experience engine failure while still under warranty, proving you had it serviced as required is infinitely easier done by a shop than on your own.
And finally, I trust my guys. If you don't trust yours, find a new place. There's lots that generally try to do a good job. Dealership? No, thanks. Some of their oils don't even meet specs(yeah, Goodwrench, I remember).

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Meh, I'm sure it helps with some cars, but I've always thought a lot of the claims of all the magic it can do to just be urban legends.

For me I've always just used conventional, and my 94 volvo wagon with 225k miles is still going strong.

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@gidgaf: The filter on my WRX is tiny... The filter media is all that matters. I wouldn't trust any of Fram filters, they're junk. They use a cardboard filter media, cardboard end caps, and many other cheap components.

http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilters/index.html
http://www.lesabret.com/filters/filter.html

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@psaux: It's definitely something I want to consider. My roommate is a bit of a car nut and after his speech on synthetic oil, went under the car to look for the oil cap and couldn't find it. That's pretty much the main reason I took it in.

I did take it to a dealership though, as opposed to Jiffy Lube or something, so ideally that's the next best thing. I'll probably take a look under the car around the next time I need a change, see if I can't find it.

I have heard some of those horror stories as well, but I have also been "assured" it either doesn't happen at a dealership, or is at least less common. While I doubt they used synthetic, I also doubt they used sludge

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@thedogma: Just know that, for all the years I served as a service manager @ an independent shop, dealerships gave me my most loyal customers, sometimes due to mistakes but usually due to, well, other reasons.