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Old 03-13-2009, 09:45 AM
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Synthetic Oil in High Mileage Cars?

I have a van that has 100,000 miles on the odometer. I've been thinking about trying to switch it over to Synthetic Oil, but I've heard that it isn't suggested for older cars and cars with this many miles on them. They have High-Mileage Synthetic Oils, but I honestly don't know if those are any different than just buying regular Synthetic Oils.

I was wondering what people here think? Have people used Synthetic Oil on cars with High-Mileage? What have your experiences been?

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Old 03-13-2009, 10:03 AM
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The problem that most people encounter when switching a high mileage car to synthetics is due to the detergents in the synthetic oil. The conventional oil "gunk" accumulates around the gaskets and other places, often times preventing leaks. The synthetic oil begins to remove this "gunk" and things like oil pan gaskets, main seals, and valve cover gaskets beging oozing oil.

Another thing to consider is based on the year of your vehicle and the type of cam/lifter configuration. A roller cam system works fine with synthetic oil. However, with the removal of zinc from engine oil over the last few years, many flat tappet cams have been unhappy with this change. My personal opinion is that flat tappet cam engines need a zinc additive even after break in. Most synthetic oils don't contain enough zinc and arent additive friendly.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:14 AM
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Coincidence.. Check out Pg 67 -69 of the may 2009 car craft magazine. in summary, Synthetic oil that uses the SM standard is good in a car at any age with any mileage and there is no problem switching from standard to synthetic. I use royal purple in my daily driver with great results..
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:22 AM
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A few years ago I had a old 10 hp Briggs on a riding mower that was on it last leg. It would leave a smoke screen for quite some time after being started. I changed from the conventional 30 weight oil to a synthetic. The engine didn't smoke as much but it developed leaks everywhere after a few months. The engine would also have more noise at start up, but once it warmed up, it ran better with the synthetic in it. The next spring I replaced the engine, as it was worn out.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:18 PM
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Here is the Car Craft Article

I use Synthetic Oil in another car I have with good results. It seems to give the car a little more power and have a smoother operation when going from a stop.

The car doesn't have nearly as many miles on it as the van. I've heard those same issue's about Synthetic Oil. I actually tried to put a Synthetic Blend into the van and after a few months it developed a head gasket leak. I don't know if it was the mileage or the oil! I guess the engine on the van might be getting a little bit creaky. I could always try it and see if it works.

Last edited by mgold; 03-14-2009 at 07:54 AM.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:38 PM
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Maybe I'm just old school but I prefer the good ole dinosaur oil. Synthetic may make a difference in cold temperatures or with new cars with the close tolerances. In my street rods, the standard oil works fine and have never had a problem with it. Synthetic is expensive as well. The key is to change your oil filter and oil on a regular basis. I usually go 3-4000 miles on a change. I don't have to worry about leaks either. I use 5W-30W in the winter and switch to 10W-40W in the summer. No offense, but you have 100,000 miles on your van using regular oil? I'd say your oil has been working fine.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:59 PM
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One of my friend did swtiched from convional oil to Synthetic Oil on his high mileage car and ended up with bunch of oil leak. He swtched back to regular oil and still have the leak.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racecar100
One of my friend did swtiched from convional oil to Synthetic Oil on his high mileage car and ended up with bunch of oil leak. He swtched back to regular oil and still have the leak.
This is exactly what I am afraid of! I don't want to switch and have lots of problems with the engine.

Has anyone tried or used High Mileage Synthetic Oil? Obviously they made it for people who want to use Synthetic Oil on older cars. I'm just not sure if it is any different than regular Synthetic Oil.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgold
This is exactly what I am afraid of! I don't want to switch and have lots of problems with the engine.

Has anyone tried or used High Mileage Synthetic Oil? Obviously they made it for people who want to use Synthetic Oil on older cars. I'm just not sure if it is any different than regular Synthetic Oil.
mgold- My guess is your trying to find this miracle oil which will allow your engine to run for an additional 200,000 miles. Unfortunately, synthetics won't guarantee that, nor will regular oil. Do yourself a favor and save your money for other things. Keep using your regular oil and change it often, you'll be fine. Synthetics work for some people and others hate it. If you real curious, make the switch, but don't complain and say everyone in here told you so.
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:38 PM
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I bought two gallons of Rotella synthetic 5w-40 for my 6.5 diesel today. I'm a bit hesitant to switch, partly because of the 242,000 miles, but also because it doesn't leak much right now and don't want that to increase. I use about a quart, maybe a quart and a half between oil changes. The synthetic would help power and mileage a little (possibly not noticeable tho) but also make it start better and run smoother. Decisions decisions...
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:02 AM
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Synthetic does help with gas mileage, but not nearly as much as the oil companies will probably claim! If you are taking long highway trips keeping the car at steady speeds you will definitely notice a difference!
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:59 AM
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The only problem is, after the long trip, you'll have to slide a pan under the engine to keep all the oil from dripping on the ground.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:48 AM
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Uh, I have never noticed a difference in power from switching oil. Possibly by going to a different weight oil you may pick up a few horsepower and see a change in oil pressure. But a synthetic and conventional oil of the same weight probably arent going to make a difference in the power you feel when you mash the gas.
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaSouthWon
Uh, I have never noticed a difference in power from switching oil. Possibly by going to a different weight oil you may pick up a few horsepower and see a change in oil pressure. But a synthetic and conventional oil of the same weight probably arent going to make a difference in the power you feel when you mash the gas.
I totally agree with this statement. The article in Car Craft magazine claims they saw a 10 hp increase on the dyno when they switched to a thinner oil and synthetic. They contribute it to less friction on the engine parts. 10 hp on a dyno could be a slight variance and not contributed by the oil. I've never had the same dyno reading at every attempt on the dyno. In fact, I can see an improvement of 10 hp by adjusting my timing and fuel mixture. I guess some people use synthetic because it makes them feel better about lubricating their engine.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:21 PM
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I think I'm going to try to use Mobil1 High Mileage Synthetic Oil. Has anyone used this?
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