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Old 03-08-2018, 08:49 PM   #1
hessam69
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Default Do synthetic oils improve mpg?

Just wanted to know, if I change my engine, gearbox and rear axle oil to synthetic, would my mpg improve? Would the synthetic expensive oil pay for itself? ROI?

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:51 PM   #2
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it did in my saab a couple of m.p.h. i don't know if the r.i.o. is they except for the extended drain intervals
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:22 PM   #3
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The return on investment is also less sludge and pcv crap helping to have a longer lasting engine. Personally I use synthetic and it does seem to give maybe 1 mpg or so maybe more. But I do it for the other reasons mentioned. Especially helpful with a turbo hung on the engine.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:36 PM   #4
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Theoretically a synthetic oil with the same weight will have comparable viscosity and friction (and hence efficiency losses) to one without.

The main benefit is increased reliability, longer service life (esp in turbo / high heat applications). More expensive synthetics also may have a more comprehensive additive package... but honestly I doubt any of that will get you MPG increase.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dl242gt View Post
The return on investment is also less sludge and pcv crap helping to have a longer lasting engine. Personally I use synthetic and it does seem to give maybe 1 mpg or so maybe more. But I do it for the other reasons mentioned. Especially helpful with a turbo hung on the engine.
Totally agree. Mileage might be icing on the cake, but there are so many other benefits. Longer drain intervals, too.

....and it's actually cheaper to run M1.

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Old 03-10-2018, 02:12 PM   #6
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I change my mineral oil every 6 months. Even if I had synthetic I would still change it every 6 months. So I guess I'll stick to mineral. Thanks
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:16 PM   #7
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Ive always ran synthetic but one time I had some 40 weight regular oil. I was broke and need to change the oil; so I used it. Man I could tell a big difference seemed to kill me on taking off. I never checked the milage. As far as synthetc I just buy orielly brand or what ever is on sale but I keep it changed regularly.
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Old 03-10-2018, 09:55 PM   #8
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I haven't noticed any appreciable difference in MPG in either the wife's Mazda6 nor in my 240 with synthetic oil. However, I consistently see about a 9-10% increase in mpg with mid grade or premium fuel in the 240. Absolutely no difference in the Mazda.

I've actually abandoned the synthetic oil in the 240 for the tried and true Delo 400. Anything else and it's super noisy and piston slappy when cold. With the Delo, it's still noisy and piston slappy, but tolerable.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:08 PM   #9
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I run 10w40 mobile 1 syn unless something else is on sale. I don't notice any difference between oils with MPG or noise.

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I've actually abandoned the synthetic oil in the 240 for the tried and true Delo 400. Anything else and it's super noisy and piston slappy when cold. With the Delo, it's still noisy and piston slappy, but tolerable.
Embrace the slap. It's a way of life
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:43 AM   #10
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Synthetic oil improve mpg as much as it does improve HP...

Not measurable because the amount is so small.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:55 PM   #11
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Most miles I put on a vehicle was an 88 F350 with the 7.3 diesel. At 429K a valve keeper fell out and I rebuilt the whole engine. The machine shop dude asked me what kind of oil I'd been running because it was in really great shape. Answer was either 15-40 Rotella or 15-40 Centex non synthetic, changed religiously somewhere around the recommended milage or way over it.
Would synthetic have prevented the valve keeper failure? I doubt it.
Dammed thing ran exactly the same after the rebuild, should've done the heads. Lol
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:32 AM   #12
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Synthetic oil does not simply result in increased MPG. The oil is not 'slipperier' or some other such sh*t. The only way you save fuel is by using a lower viscosity oil, such as 0W-20. Its one of the ways that modern engines reduce fuel consumption. The lower viscosity results in lower pumping losses in the oil system. Modern engines are also SUBSTANTIALLY tighter tolerance than our old tractor engines - so they can get away with 0W-XX oil. If we did that it would just result in an oil light coming on at idle all of the time.


Synthetics are better than dino oils at a variety of things. They are more thermally stable and breakdown less under the high temperatures and pressures that oil is subjected to. They don't foam as much. They have a better mix of cleaning agents that keep your engine cleaner (or help clean it out). They keep dirt and other contaminants in solution better and longer. The list goes on. What it results in is the simple fact that synthetic oils are better than their predecessors. Personally, I run Mobile one 10W-30 in all my cars. I change the oil at about 5000 miles. I feel that going beyond that is really just pushing your luck unless you are doing oil testing. The risk of extended oil change intervals doesn't justify the reward of a little savings on the cost of oil changes.
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:48 AM   #13
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^ This.
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Old 03-12-2018, 03:52 PM   #14
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baaaarely.. its like increasing MPG by taking off your wipers...
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:52 PM   #15
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According to the Amsoil website, IIRC, they claim an average increase in mileage of about 4.3%, which isn't a heck of a lot, but over 200 or 300 thousand miles of driving can't hurt either. This number I believe includes changing all lubricating fluids in your vehicle, not just engine oil. For me personally, I change my filter about every 4 to 5 thousand miles, and my engine oil once a year. 397,891 mi. later, I'm still chugging along in my '84 245.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:21 PM   #16
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Idk, but I'm about 3k miles over on my oil change on my car and the oil is finally daaark. I run 0W40 M1 Euro Formula because Wally World cheap.
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Old 03-15-2018, 09:16 AM   #17
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Idk, but I'm about 3k miles over on my oil change on my car and the oil is finally daaark. I run 0W40 M1 Euro Formula because Wally World cheap.
Does it crank noticeably better/easier starting the engine really cold with the 0w?
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Old 03-15-2018, 10:55 AM   #18
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When it got into the low teens at night when i was up skiing, it cranked fine. As for the cold you're talking about; I have no idea. I'm sure it would help a lot.
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:19 AM   #19
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I ran a test like this on my last Chevy Cavalier. I ran it over a year. When you realized that I drive 40 to 50K miles a year, that is a reasonably long test interval.

The first 6 months I used Castrol GTX 10w30 conventional oil and Purolator filters. Since I drive so much, I stay on top of my tire pressures, air filters, plugs and wires, blah blah blah. I also feed my cars a regular diet of the cheapest 87 octane I can find and change fuel filters every year. In regular use mixed driving, both with and without A/C the car would average 32mpg.

The second 6 months I used Mobil 1 10w30 synthetic oil and Purolator filters. Everything else was the same. The car got an average of 32 mpg.

The first interval began in the middle of winter and ended in mid summer, so I had equal hot and cold weather driving.

I can tell you that I ALWAYS change oil at 5K mile intervals regardless of conventional or synthetic. My reasoning is that I drive on a higher than average amount of dirt roads in Kershaw and Lexington counties, and with as much use as my daily gets, I think that they build up dirt in the oil faster than the typical driver. I do not believe that they conventional or the synthetic oils degrade appreciably after 5K miles, but they have enough suspended particulates that the filter does not catch at that point. After my year long experiment, I use whatever oil is on sale as long as it has an ASE snowflake and is from a name brand. I avoid the no-name or store brand oil. I also use only Wix or Purolator oil filters. I have had issues with the bypass valves failing on Fram, but those issues may have been resolved in the past 15 years.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:01 AM   #20
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Don't forget to put nitrogen in the tires for better mpg too. ;)
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Old 04-01-2018, 02:39 PM   #21
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As someone who is getting their 744t back on the road after years of it sitting I'm really interested in going the full synthetic route now. 8+ years ago, when it was my daily I thought I read somewhere that in older cars you want to use conventional oil because synthetic is thinner and will find its way to create leaks you "didn't" have before. Not sure if that's true but since then I've had a couple newer cars that called for full synthetic so I just went with what was recommended. If you read a synthetic oil bottle, one in the 0W-20 range, they tout better fuel economy. Maybe...but I think that's just some marketing BS. But...since I'll be driving my 744 around and it had that turbo, I'm more interested in synthetic for the thermal properties and protection I guess. Plus you can get a 5 quart jug from Walmart of Valvoline full synthetic for about $22 and Mobil 1 for about $25 so the costs on full synthetic has come down a lot.

All that said. Older car, higher miles...I think I'll stick to the 3000 mile oil change.
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Old 04-01-2018, 05:57 PM   #22
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^^^ the synthetic leaks you speak of come from the fact that the molecules are smaller and more consistent so they end up seeping through all your old paper gaskets, every uneven surface and sometimes through material pores in the block, heads, intake, etc. (especially for aluminium engines, looking at you bmw). best not to do it without new gaskets and coating them with toyota black or hondabond.
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Old 04-02-2018, 12:55 PM   #23
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Ran into problems running syn oil in the diff, both on my car and in the race Sprite, same fatigue failures in both cases. The syn oil does not absorb shock as well as plain old gear oil.
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:12 PM   #24
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Broken spider gears?
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:38 PM   #25
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Redline 20W50 with Mann filters
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