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Old 15th January 2009, 04:33   #1
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Question Whats the life of the synthetic oil?

Hi Team,

What is the life of the synthetic oil? I take my VTEC out only sometimes and I hardily driver 5000Kms a year. So I wanted to know whether should I change the oil every year or should I wait till car completes 10000kms? Do synthetic come with some kind an expire date (life span)?

Last edited by vinayvtec : 15th January 2009 at 04:49.
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Old 15th January 2009, 10:15   #2
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We use Synthetic oil and have been told that:
a) Synthetic Oil has about 2-3 times the life of natural oil
b) A car should be serviced every 6 months regardless of the number of km driven.

While the oil might not break down if the car is not driven hard or much, a car is a symphony of moving parts and these parts (along with many other parts like rubber parts, gaskets and seals) will deteriorate if the car is not used for long periods.
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Old 15th January 2009, 11:10   #3
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I refill my S.oil once in 15k-20k kms i.e once in 12-15 months

For answers to all your questions, please do refer the below link

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modify...al-oil-93.html (ARTICLE: Synthetic oil vs Mineral oil)
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Old 15th January 2009, 19:34   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
We use Synthetic oil and have been told that:
a) Synthetic Oil has about 2-3 times the life of natural oil
b) A car should be serviced every 6 months regardless of the number of km driven.

While the oil might not break down if the car is not driven hard or much, a car is a symphony of moving parts and these parts (along with many other parts like rubber parts, gaskets and seals) will deteriorate if the car is not used for long periods.
Point a) is not entirely true Navin. Synthetic manufacturers always suggest you follow manufacturer's recommended drain intervals especially when the vehicle is under warranty.

Also, Mobil debunks the other myth that synthetics cannot be used in new cars.

For those who are interested, these FAQs and more are at Mobil - The Oil That's Changing Oil in the "Ask Mobil" section

Regards,

R2D2
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Old 15th January 2009, 22:02   #5
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Though, few synthetic oil manufacturers claim a longer use period, it is wise to change your oil every 10,000 kms or 1 year.

Cheers,
gpa

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Also, Mobil debunks the other myth that synthetics cannot be used in new cars.
R2D2,

Synthetics offer far better lubrication when compared to their conventional mineral counterparts. Using synth oils on a new engine will not allow the engine to run in properly and can affect reliability over time. Which is why, it is recommended to switch to a synth oil at/after 10,000 kms once your car's engine has been properly run in.

Cheers,
gpa

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayvtec View Post
So I wanted to know whether should I change the oil every year or should I wait till car completes 10000kms?
vinayvtec,

It is recommended you change your car's engine oil at 5,000 kms considering that's the distance you cover in one year. Doing so will ensure your VTEC engine performs at its best.

Cheers,
gpa

Last edited by v12 : 17th January 2010 at 22:49. Reason: Please use the Edit option to post within 20 mins in the same thread.
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Old 15th January 2009, 22:22   #6
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My take of synthetic oils

A synthetic oil has the only advantage of retaining its lubricating properties at higher operating temperatures, Why does a mineral oil have a life of 2000kms on bikes and about 6000 kms on a car ? its because the oil doesnt get destroyed/consumed, its because the oil no longer has the lubricating properties it should have.

A synthetic oil lasts much more because it doesnt lose its lubricating properties as fast a mineral oil

i.e in extensive city driving your car/bike would heat up but not get cooled down that fast. so here the normal mineral oil loses its properties.Also if you're driving nonstop for a long distance , the oil would perform better than a mineral oil. Mineral oils lose their properties faster when used for a nonstop run frequently. Mineral oil from the HH company lasts 1500-1700 kms on my bike since I usually keep the engine at higher revvs.

A synthetic oil lasts around 6000-7000 kms in a bike (no idea about cars) , and does need top ups at intervals. A synthetic oil is more effective on a bike than a car because most of the bikes are air cooled and do heat up a lot, also the RPM's are a lot higher which really tends to degrade mineral oils whithin 2000kms of use.

Although as per my cbz-xtreme's manual its said to change oil at 6000kms with topups at 2000kms is utter nonsense. Because when I check the oil after 1500kms the oil has already lost the light colour its supposed to have. Do not judge the oil still has life by looking at the amount drained. I get 80% of the oil drained and the oil has lost the colour ( look at the sidewalls of the container you drain the oil out in sunlight, you can tell the actual colour of the oil)

Synthetic oils are overhyped by many people, some claim "butter smooth gearshifts" and some complain that the oil has made their engine harsher or are plagued by oil leaks.

If you usually drive at higher RPM's and your engine, gearbox doesnt leak oil, try to go in for a synthetic. ONe thing for sure is if your car requires a 20W40 grade , a 10W30 synthetic will NOT do the job. its better to run on a higher grade oil than a lower grade oil.

If you are using a higher grade oil , let the engine idle a bit more OR drive slowly at low revvs for a longer time, since the more viscous oil will take a bit more effort to circulate properly.

Filling synthetic oil doesnt mean that "fill it , shut it, forget it" Keep checking the oil level at regular intervals, top up, and If you find any harshness, change in the behaviour of the engine, inspect the oil. The oil may last anywhere from, 8000-15000 kms on a car , depending how suitable the conditions are.
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Old 15th January 2009, 22:39   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpa View Post
R2D2,
Synthetics offer far better lubrication when compared to their conventional mineral counterparts. Using synth oils on a new engine will not allow the engine to run in properly and can affect reliability over time. Which is why, it is recommended to switch to a synth oil at/after 10,000 kms once your car's engine has been properly run in.

Cheers,
gpa
Reducing friction between engine components is the primary function of every engine oil followed by detergence and other functions.

It flies in the face of reason that when every single engine manufacturer wants to reduce friction, someone tells me that using an oil that does exactly that is not recommended in the early life of an engine. It simply isn't logical.

Please dont take this personally gpa I am not arguing with what you say...I have read similar advice elsewhere on TBHP and cant help wondering if it is misplaced (but well meaning as is the case with every post here).

Incidentally I am a big fan of synth but cant or dont use it for reasons I have explained in the main thread on synthetic v/s mineral oils.

You may want to consider that Exxon Mobil and Mobil 1 have a reputation to protect and would not let mere commercial considerations sway them into misleading customers. Making misleading statements can be very, very expensive (in money and other intangible forms) when you are in the US market. BTW, I dont am not directly or indirectly involved in the oil industry except as an end user.

Regards,

R2D2

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpa View Post
vinayvtec,

It is recommended you change your car's engine oil at 5,000 kms considering that's the distance you cover in one year. Doing so will ensure your VTEC engine performs at its best.

Cheers,
gpa
Sensible advice. Which is why with synth the cost/benefit ratio comes into play

Vinayvtec - you need to follow manufacturer's recommended drain intervals regardless of the type of oil you chose.

Cheers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpa View Post
Though, few synthetic oil manufacturers claim a longer use period, it is wise to change your oil every 10,000 kms or 1 year.

Cheers,
gpa
Amen.

Or 5000 Kms or 6 months depending on whether you consider your car operates under severe service conditions or not.

Cheers!

Last edited by v12 : 17th January 2010 at 22:50. Reason: Use edit to post within 20 mins in the same thread.
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Old 16th January 2009, 01:50   #8
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I feel really surprised, when I see some of the advice on oils on forums...

Quote:
Although as per my cbz-xtreme's manual its said to change oil at 6000kms with topups at 2000kms is utter nonsense. Because when I check the oil after 1500kms the oil has already lost the light colour its supposed to have. Do not judge the oil still has life by looking at the amount drained. I get 80% of the oil drained and the oil has lost the colour ( look at the sidewalls of the container you drain the oil out in sunlight, you can tell the actual colour of the oil)
I have no idea why you think that you can evaluate an oil thru its colour. Why is the oil supposed to have a light colour? Darkening of the oil means that the detergents and dispersants in the oil are doing their job well!! I'd be worried if the oil didn't darken!!! The only thing you can perhaps make out thru a visual inspection of used oil is if the oil is oxidising or mixing with fuel. But in that case the oil will look quite different from what you are talking about. It is next to impossible to to pass justifiable comments just by visual inspection or just feeling the oil with your fingers (which you prolly shouldn't do anyway, because its carcinogenic). The only way to correctly tell is to send the oil for oil analysis to a laboratory. And we dont really have such facilities in India. The only sane thing left to do is to follow the manufacturer's recommendations with some commonsense thrown in wrt the conditions you drive in, etc.

As for fully synthetic lubes lasting longer than mineral lubes, please be warned that most synth lubes will NOT last any longer than mineral oils. I have already mentioned this in another thread. This is because its reported that most manufacturers are deliberately formulating their products to not last longer. The reasons are obvious. Btw, the tech to make synth oils last much longer has existed since quite sometime. Why it isn't implemented is again quite obvious. The only ocasion you can expect a fully synth to last longer is when the manufacturere is specifically explicitly guaranteeing on the pack that the product has an extended drain period of x km or whatever. If no such info is available on the pack, assume that the oil will last only as long as mineral oil, and follow oil change schedules as per your manual.

Please dont get fooled into thinking that you can evaluate used oils by visual or touch inspection. You just cant!

Last edited by Raccoon : 16th January 2009 at 01:53.
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Old 16th January 2009, 02:23   #9
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The Oil would blacken within a minute of usage.. You are taking it in a wrong way. Why are engine oils coloured then ? dont tell me now that oils are all "golden" the Gulf 20W40 mineral is Pink in colour for example. These colours are added so as to determine a visual feedback, if the oil no longer has its colour it means that its time to change it. as simple as that. It is not contradicting your statement
Quote:
Why is the oil supposed to have a light colour? Darkening of the oil means that the detergents and dispersants in the oil are doing their job well!!

exactly, if the oil has darkened beyond a point its time to change AS SIMPLE as that.


Btw if i went by the company manual my bore and piston would have been toast by now. Different riding styles do affect how badly a oil is subjected to. My engine heats up within 4 kms of usage (not because I run a lean mixture) because I ride in the 5-7k rpm ranges.

Anyhow before posting such info like:
Quote:
As for fully synthetic lubes lasting longer than mineral lubes, please be warned that most synth lubes will NOT last any longer than mineral oils. I have already mentioned this in another thread. This is because its reported that most manufacturers are deliberately formulating their products to not last longer.
kindly have a laboratory assisted proof for the same.

Quote:
The only sane thing left to do is to follow the manufacturer's recommendations with some commonsense thrown in wrt the conditions you drive in, etc.
AND don't the manufacturers too have an intent to earn then ? you screw your vehicle faster then. I change my oil by 1700kms where tits written to "keep topping up" till you drain it at 6000kms. I did follow this exactly for the first 10k my bike ran and i could feel the engine getting harsher. You come and ride my 34k kms old bike. Its still as smooth as I had got it.

I have used Agip fully syn for about 7k kms without any problem. Only thing is its too expensive for me to buy at one shot. So again back to the standard mineral oil from HH.

note to mod: kindly merge this with the previous post of mine.


An excellent read. this article
Carbible.com - Engine Oils
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Old 16th January 2009, 03:03   #10
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Thank you for the inputs guys, I was checking Mobil website and they have suggested changing of oil once in a year or 15,000 Kms which ever comes first.
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Old 16th January 2009, 08:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Reducing friction between engine components is the primary function of every engine oil followed by detergence and other functions.

It flies in the face of reason that when every single engine manufacturer wants to reduce friction, someone tells me that using an oil that does exactly that is not recommended in the early life of an engine. It simply isn't logical.


R2D2

It actually is logical. During run-in, you want all the mechanical parts to mate properly. That means little casting anomalies broken off, microscopic anomalies in the parts shaved off etc., all thanks to the friction. Add synthetic into the mix and this process suddenly takes way too long thanks to the impressive lubrication properties of the oil. This is why everyone recommends the running in period be done on normal mineral oil.

I also saw that the first engine oil fill that comes from the factory has manufacturer designed/recommended additives for purposes known to them. So, draining this oil and filling in synth might be counter-productive.
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Old 16th January 2009, 09:22   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayvtec View Post
Thank you for the inputs guys, I was checking Mobil website and they have suggested changing of oil once in a year or 15,000 Kms which ever comes first.
Thats is correct. Using standard Honda oil, the car used to have an oil change every 6000 km. At the point where it was to go for a service, you knew it needed a change. After switching to Mobil, the oil change interval was extened to 10000 but I still got the car serviced every six months.

Why change the oil every year - well it absords moisture and other muck!

Although the usuage is low - suggest that each time you take it out - warm it up, "enjoy" it - that will blast the muck and moisture out. It is also known as the "italian tune up"
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Old 16th January 2009, 09:59   #13
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Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
It actually is logical. During run-in, you want all the mechanical parts to mate properly. That means little casting anomalies broken off, microscopic anomalies in the parts shaved off etc., all thanks to the friction. Add synthetic into the mix and this process suddenly takes way too long thanks to the impressive lubrication properties of the oil. This is why everyone recommends the running in period be done on normal mineral oil.

I also saw that the first engine oil fill that comes from the factory has manufacturer designed/recommended additives for purposes known to them. So, draining this oil and filling in synth might be counter-productive.
Ok, let me turn your argument on it's head. Let's look at it in another way. The running in is THE most important period in the life of the engine and that is when you should ensure that temperatures are in the recommended operating range and this is done when friction is reduced. Why do you think a manufacturer recommends keeping below a certain RPM/road speed? It's because a certain element of extra friction exists in new engines due to new parts and surface anomalies (compared to already run in ones) and driving beyond a certain threshold value could increase the friction and load on the engine parts thereby preventing proper bedding in or worse still engine damage or seizure.

The 1st factory fill is a cocktail of friction modifiers and detergent agents that is meant to do precisely that. Reduce friction when the engine is new keep it internally clean thereby preventing it from damage. A synth oil only reduces but does not eliminate friction and wear. So you might have to baby your engine for 2K kms instead of the normal 1K.

Once again, I hope the members here will be able to understand what I am trying to say. I know this kind of rocks the boat when it's compared to what has already been discussed here. But a different point of view nevertheless.

When buying mobil1 for my OHC, the synth dealer told me that I could extend drain intervals to 20-30K and he's known some buyers that have done that with no ill effects on the car. Fat chance I'd ever do that! He was trying to justify the 5x cost of synth by offer incorrect advice. Unless specifically marked as extended drain, synth is meant to be changed at the same intervals as mineral oil

We as owners need to make a choice, do we believe an oil retailer, or the manufacturers of the vehicle and the synth oil that have poured in millions of dollars into research?

Prime mantra when using synth - As with mineral oil, follow or exceed manufacturer's recommended oil grades and drain intervals.

Cheers!

R2D2

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayvtec View Post
Thank you for the inputs guys, I was checking Mobil website and they have suggested changing of oil once in a year or 15,000 Kms which ever comes first.
Vinay, please note that the 10,000 mile (16K kms) drain interval is applicable to US driving conditions. Not Indian roads which are far more congested and dusty with stop and go traffic. This kind of driving is classified as severe and you should follow the drain intervals recommended by the manufacturer for these conditions.

Regards,

R2D2

Guys,

This is a list of manufacturers that use mobil 1 synth as factory fill i.e. in brand new engines:

Acura RDX, Aston Martin, All Bentley Vehicles, All Cadillac Vehicles, Chevrolet Corvette, Mercedes-Benz AMG , Mercedes SLR, Mitsubishi Evolution, All Porsche Vehicles, Dodge Viper.

This is partial extract with the full list available on the Mobil site but I've chosen the marquees whose cars most recognisable for performance and quality of their cars. Q.E.D.

Cheers!

R2D2

Last edited by aah78 : 16th January 2009 at 20:27. Reason: Posts merged. (20 min rule).
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Old 16th January 2009, 12:55   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
The Oil would blacken within a minute of usage.. You are taking it in a wrong way. Why are engine oils coloured then ? dont tell me now that oils are all "golden" the Gulf 20W40 mineral is Pink in colour for example. These colours are added so as to determine a visual feedback, if the oil no longer has its colour it means that its time to change it. as simple as that. It is not contradicting your statement

exactly, if the oil has darkened beyond a point its time to change AS SIMPLE as that.
I still have no idea how you are judging the oil by its colour. Dyes are added to lube oil just for visual appeal. Anyway, please check out the para I found on the Amsoil site:

Quote:
It is a common misconception that an oil's color is an indication of how dirty it is. This is absolutely NOT TRUE. The color of an oil does not have any bearing on its lubrication ability. Most oil and especially diesel engine oil will turn black in the first few hours of operation due to contaminates generated by the combustion process and soot particles. The ONLY way to accurately determine an oil's lubricating value or contamination level is through (spectrographic) oil analysis. Oil analysis is common practice used regularly in commercial, industrial and fleet operations and can also be used for passenger cars, light trucks or any other application. In addition oil analysis will also determine the exact pars per million (ppm) of wear metals in your oil which provides an indication of any abnormal wear or specific components that need mechanical inspection in addition to checking for any fuel, water or glycol contamination.
Quote:
Btw if i went by the company manual my bore and piston would have been toast by now. Different riding styles do affect how badly a oil is subjected to. My engine heats up within 4 kms of usage (not because I run a lean mixture) because I ride in the 5-7k rpm ranges.
Strange that you should experience this. Your riding style seems to be doing it. But one expects Hero Honda to extensively test the oil before they claim a drain period of 6,000 km. May I ask which Hero Honda oil you are using? I hope the bottle is genuine and you get it changed in front of you. Currently, BP, Savita Chemicals & Tide Water Oil (Veedol) makes 10w30 oils for Hero Honda. And now I believe even Gulf Oil does... tho I'm not sure if this is also recommened by Hero Honda and has a 6,000 km drain period.



Quote:
Anyhow before posting such info like:
........

kindly have a laboratory assisted proof for the same.
I certainly dont have any lab reports! Its for you to reject what I'v said at your own risk. After all its your engine...
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Old 16th January 2009, 13:44   #15
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I wouldn't go over 7,500 - 8,000 kms OR 1 year (whichever is earlier) on the same synthetic oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeno View Post
These colours are added so as to determine a visual feedback, if the oil no longer has its colour it means that its time to change it.
Gauging the condition of your engine oil by its colour is an incredibly amateur / old school method that has zero applicability today. Oil companies would like you to believe so, but you are better off avoiding this practice.

The single most reliable way is to get an oil-change based on kms driven and / or time.
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