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Old 08-08-2010, 09:18 AM   #1
SickBeast
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Default Who makes the best synthetic oil?

I've heard that Mobil 1 is the best. I've been using Castrol Syntec in my car because I can get it cheap at Costco or Wal Mart, although I've heard bad things about it.

I'm also curious as to whether you guys use a good oil filter or not. I've been extending my oil change interval to 10,000km (6,500 miles), so I'm thinking it might make sense to use one of the better oil filters. I always hear advertisements for Fram oil filters on the radio; I'm not sure if they make a difference or not.

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Old 08-08-2010, 09:25 AM   #2
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A used oil analysis would tell you who makes the best oil.

Every car is different, some oils run better in some cars.

I'm a big believer in proper oil change intervals even over brand. I run Wix filters available through Napa (Napa Gold) on any car I maintain (3 currently) and either Pennzoil platinum synthetic or Formula Shell conventional.

As for best oils, I'd say Amsoil SSO is probably considered one of the best if not the.

You just can't be sure until you run a few different oils and get them analyzed.

In the end, I recommend checking out bobistheoilguy.com and checking for UOA's on your specific vehicle or at least engine type, if you can find any.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:35 AM   #3
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I've heard really good things about German Castrol.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:43 AM   #4
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I always hear advertisements for Fram oil filters on the radio; I'm not sure if they make a difference or not.

You have the internet, use it.


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Old 08-08-2010, 10:58 AM   #5
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AMS or Mobil 1. Though I don't think either are worth using in anything other than an extreme duty situation.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:17 AM   #6
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I don't know about the best, but I've been using Mobil 1. It isn't that much more expensive than conventional oil, and for how much I drive I figure it can't hurt anything.
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Old 08-08-2010, 11:30 AM   #7
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For the money Mobil 1 is probably the best synthetic. I'd be really careful about getting a "better" filter. I think most are probably worse, it's why I always go with OEM filters.

6500 miles oil change is not extending it, BTW. Check your manual I bet that's within normal specs and the manual assumts OEM filter and dino juice (more cars are coming from factory with synthetic but most are still not synthetic). On my vehicles I go by factory schedule (7500 miles in my 00 maxima and 04 mpv, it's 10k in my 10 prius, but unlike the first two it comes from factory with synthetic). I use OEM filters and dino juice in the MPV and stick with synthetic in the prius, since that's what factory and dealerships do with that vehicle.

Remember, most problems you'll ever have will not be attributable to good or bad oil unless you're vastly extending the change intervals. Dino juice is pretty much fine in most cases, which is why I don't bother paying the extra $10-12/year it would take to run my MPV on it.
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:10 PM   #8
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For the money Mobil 1 is probably the best synthetic. I'd be really careful about getting a "better" filter. I think most are probably worse, it's why I always go with OEM filters.

6500 miles oil change is not extending it, BTW. Check your manual I bet that's within normal specs and the manual assumts OEM filter and dino juice (more cars are coming from factory with synthetic but most are still not synthetic). On my vehicles I go by factory schedule (7500 miles in my 00 maxima and 04 mpv, it's 10k in my 10 prius, but unlike the first two it comes from factory with synthetic). I use OEM filters and dino juice in the MPV and stick with synthetic in the prius, since that's what factory and dealerships do with that vehicle.

Remember, most problems you'll ever have will not be attributable to good or bad oil unless you're vastly extending the change intervals. Dino juice is pretty much fine in most cases, which is why I don't bother paying the extra $10-12/year it would take to run my MPV on it.
Skoorb nailed it. Pretty much unless your engine is air-cooled or has forced induction you just plain don't need synthetic for a street car.

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Old 08-08-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
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If you're dead set on using a synthetic, either read up on bobistheoilguy.com or just try a few out.

I think I tried about 4-5 different brands of oil before settling on the German Castrol Syntec, or Valvoline. Depends on which is on sale when I'm planning to do the change.

In my experience Mobil 1 sucks, it was the only oil out of every one I tried that my car burned. Never used it again.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:16 PM   #10
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Skoorb nailed it. Pretty much unless your engine is air-cooled or has forced induction you just plain don't need synthetic for a street car.

ZV
I use it because I'm a little paranoid. I lost an engine to a spun bearing. Granted, the previous owner didn't really keep up with oil changes and ran it hard, but still....
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:11 PM   #11
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I use it because I'm a little paranoid. I lost an engine to a spun bearing. Granted, the previous owner didn't really keep up with oil changes and ran it hard, but still....
In my experience, a spun rod bearing has more to do with oil starvation than anything else. Usually it's something like the pickup running dry in hard cornering or due to letting the level get low.

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Old 08-08-2010, 04:17 PM   #12
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:21 PM   #13
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Mobil1 is a Grp 3 base stock now, i.e. same as most other name brand Syn oils in the US.

I have used quaker state, mobil1, valvoline, havoline, etc... syn and never noticed any differance. I buy what ever is onsale and run it in my CTS, Corvette, SiLs Audi A4, etc...

Don;t buy based on marketing but what works, which is pretty much any name brand out there as long as meets the right specs for your car.
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:45 PM   #14
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royal purple
ditto...

As for running synthetic in a street car...? Why not...? Where I live the temps get down right radical hot and what breaks down conventional motor oil...? Uh heat...! We see tires literaly melt apart on the hot roads we have so engines get the same hot temps and can also fail and basicly meltdown... Might also note most all auto makers are now using synthetic trans fluid and also synthetic gear oil in the rear ends... Why would they do that...? If they wanted to make more money would`nt they just use a cheaper conventional fluid or oil...? Nope it would mean more costly repairs under warranty from the cheap crappy oils breaking down and having bearing failures duh...!

Think of it this way you can get by with conventional motor oils as they have come a long ways in formulation over the years but would`nt you much rather buy a car or truck that you know has had nothing but synthetic oil rather than conventional oil any day...?
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:49 PM   #15
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MaxFusion16

ditto...

As for running synthetic in a street car...? Why not...? Where I live the temps get down right radical hot and what breaks down conventional motor oil...? Uh heat...! We see tires literaly melt apart on the hot roads we have so engines get the same hot temps and can also fail and basicly meltdown... Might also note most all auto makers are now using synthetic trans fluid and also synthetic gear oil in the rear ends... Why would they do that...? If they wanted to make more money would`nt they just use a cheaper conventional fluid or oil...? Nope it would mean more costly repairs under warranty from the cheap crappy oils breaking down and having bearing failures duh...!

Think of it this way you can get by with conventional motor oils as they have come a long ways in formulation over the years but would`nt you much rather buy a car or truck that you know has had nothing but synthetic oil rather than conventional oil any day...?
That is one of the dumbest reasons to use syn. It will make no differance for most cars and trucks. I had over 200k on my first 2 cars with reg oil and never had and issue. When I was an auto tech and tore motors apart the only time oil was a issue was when it was not changed or there was not enough if it. NEVER was the name and/or type a issue.
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:55 PM   #16
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Think of it this way you can get by with conventional motor oils as they have come a long ways in formulation over the years but would`nt you much rather buy a car or truck that you know has had nothing but synthetic oil rather than conventional oil any day...?
Turbocharged car driven hard? Yep. Anything else? Not really...
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:05 PM   #17
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In my experience, a spun rod bearing has more to do with oil starvation than anything else. Usually it's something like the pickup running dry in hard cornering or due to letting the level get low.

ZV
Neither were the case. I was on level ground, and I keep my oil level within spec religiously. It spun after I did a little more "aggressive" acceleration, if you can call it that (might have hit 4000 RPM at the most, redline is around 6000). That's why I was a little surprised but oh well.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:24 PM   #18
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Neither were the case. I was on level ground, and I keep my oil level within spec religiously. It spun after I did a little more "aggressive" acceleration, if you can call it that (might have hit 4000 RPM at the most, redline is around 6000). That's why I was a little surprised but oh well.
Sorry, I should have been more clear, I wasn't meaning that low oil or hard cornering were occurring at the moment the bearing spun. Rather, the spun bearings I've seen tend to occur on cars where the oil pickup has been uncovered at some point, either through the level running low or through hard cornering with an un-baffled oil pan.

Could have happened at any point in the car's history and it would have still been the root cause (given your description of the previous owner, I was thinking it was probably something he did, not you).

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Old 08-08-2010, 06:30 PM   #19
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Amsoil...problem is, they probably have one of the worst distribution systems.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:33 PM   #20
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That is one of the dumbest reasons to use syn. It will make no differance for most cars and trucks. I had over 200k on my first 2 cars with reg oil and never had and issue. When I was an auto tech and tore motors apart the only time oil was a issue was when it was not changed or there was not enough if it. NEVER was the name and/or type a issue.
he does have a point....lots of newer cars (Camry for one) require synthetic oils.

But yes, for previous cars, running synthetic is piece of mind. If paying that extra $2 a quart makes them feel better, then so be it.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:34 PM   #21
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If you're dead set on using a synthetic, either read up on bobistheoilguy.com or just try a few out.
Several years ago when I frequented several car forums, the general consensus was that it was a bad idea to switch oils like that. Is there any truth to that or did those guys just not know WTF they were talking about? To me, it seems like as long as your engine has adequate lubrication it should be fine, but it was like a mantra that your engine could get "used" to a certain oil and switching it up could cause problems.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:34 PM   #22
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As for running synthetic in a street car...? Why not...? Where I live the temps get down right radical hot and what breaks down conventional motor oil...? Uh heat...!
So where you live it gets over 275 Fahrenheit? Because even conventional oil won't start breaking down until sustained periods at that level of heat.

Even in Texas you're not going to see oil temps that high on street-driven water-cooled cars.

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Might also note most all auto makers are now using synthetic trans fluid and also synthetic gear oil in the rear ends... Why would they do that...? If they wanted to make more money would`nt they just use a cheaper conventional fluid or oil...? Nope it would mean more costly repairs under warranty from the cheap crappy oils breaking down and having bearing failures duh...!
Actually, it's because it allows them to advertise "lubed for life" rear ends and use "sealed" transmissions. It has nothing to do with the repair frequency and everything to do with being able to market the cars as though they never need to have the fluids changed.

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Think of it this way you can get by with conventional motor oils as they have come a long ways in formulation over the years but would`nt you much rather buy a car or truck that you know has had nothing but synthetic oil rather than conventional oil any day...?
Unless it was air-cooled or turbocharged, no, I wouldn't care one bit.

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Old 08-08-2010, 07:15 PM   #23
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Good filters do matter. Mobil 1 or Wix.

You don't know who made your OEM filter.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:19 PM   #24
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Do passenger cars have a oil quality sensor that can raise a flag/alarm/"idiot light" when the oil is no longer suitable to protect the engine?
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:24 PM   #25
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Is this for the Civic?

Run the cheapest shit you can buy that still meet's Honda's requirements for motor oil. Use an OEM filter. Buy them online in multi-packs. Buy multiple jugs of oil when they're on sale.

Moving on....
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