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View Full Version : Synthetic Oil - worth it or not


IHusky
08-11-2007, 01:34 AM
Synthetic oil - worth the extra $$$ or not. Thank you

causalitist
08-11-2007, 01:48 AM
there are a few huge threads on this.

i use synthetic.
alot of people swear by synthetic
alot of people havent done any research and just go with the "dino is what my daddy always used"

even within synthetic, there are ones with huge additive packages and ones with just the standard. synthetic oils really never wear out, its the additive packages such as the acid neutralizers etc that do.

alot of people make the argument that while in a car a synthetic oil with a huge additive package such as amsoil 0w-30 thats designed to go 35,000 miles is great, in our little mowers they get dirty anyway and need to be changed since crap in the oil wont be taken care of by the additives.

there is little doubt that synthetics lube way better and leave less deposits since they dont have wax and such in them.


my opinion is to use synthetic, but not one with a huge additive package, just the standard synthetic designed for 7500 miles so its cheaper.. i doubt 100 hours is enough to use up the package in any oil. that way you get the superior lube and cleanness synthetics, but for less cost. my mower only takes 2 quarts so this was an easy decision lol.

my main point here was that since our machines are operated in very dirt enviroments compared to cars, we need to change oil sooner.. and this led to my choice of a baseline synthetic... but in light of this, it seems that oil filtration is wayyy more important for our application.

i use amsoil absolute efficiency filters.. 98.7% of particles down to 15 micron.. after all my research i have not found a filter with better numbers. if anyone finds one let me know.

what i think IS worth it is on your truck getting a big bypass oil filter like on semi trucks. there is a reason why they get a million miles from those things. there a few hundred bucks

Envy Lawn Service
08-11-2007, 02:29 AM
Well, this is going to sound "3rd person" but here goes anyways...

I have been trying to make a believer out of Envy, but so far I'm not seeing it.

So as of right now... no I still do not believe it is worth the money.

Currently I'm running synthetic oil in all of my business equippment, except the trucks. I'm also running it in a personal vehicle to try to extend drain intervals because it's design makes for messy filter changes.

All-in-all, I still remain rather unimpressed. Synthetic... big hairy deal...

I think the reason is in the BASE STOCKS. I think there are like 5 base stock groups, starting with the lowest dino and ending with the purest synthetic. The dino oils I've been running have great additive packs and higher end base stocks. In other words, the way they refine their dino base stocks makes them rival the "typical synthetic". And truth is, the typical synthetics are really not true synthetics, but are rather much more close to the dinos I have ran in the past.

I had been running chevron/texaco and mobil 10w30's... mobil 20w50's... and heavy duty diesel oils for 15w40... and Opti-2 for 2 cycle.

I replaced the chevron/texaco and mobil 10w30's in my equipment with synthetic.
It "seems" to be standing up very well and staying cleaner (dunno if that's good or bad) BUT... my fuel consumption has been UP, way UP.

I replaced the Opti-2 with synthetic... BUT it smokes more... so I'm moving up to 80:1 mix ratio to see if that helps.

In the personal vehicle application I replaced the Texaco 10w30 with synthetic. Everything seems to be the same EXCEPT consumption/loss/breakdown. I've never had to add make-up oil to this one before, but I will have to soon or else change the oil.

MattsMowing3535
08-11-2007, 05:57 AM
Honestly, In something like a expensive street bike or a nice car I say sure I miswell put it in. But in the mower? Why!?!? Id rather change the oil a little more often... Now I do use Synthetic in all my 2-stroke that is simply a must as far as I know most people around here use it but im not totaly sure.

DAV Mowers
08-11-2007, 08:58 AM
Funny you should bring this up. Yesterday I was at my dealers and they were taking apart a motor from a 4 year old Huster Z they took in a trade in for a new mower Thursday. There was nothing wrong at all with the motor the dealer just wanted to see for himself what it would look like inside. The guy had used the oil the dealer put in when it was new and at the first 50 hours he changed to synthetic and stayed with it the whole time, changing it per owners manual just like regular oil.

I stayed there until they got finshed as did quite a few other pros, they all wanted to see themselves. I'm telling you guys that motor looked brand new, if you didn't know before hand you would think that motor had less than 20 hours on it. I'm sold and will stay with synthetic oil from now on.

TSG
08-11-2007, 09:23 AM
The fact that Synthetics run cooler is good enought for me
I run Amsoil in everything, cars, trucks, 2 strokes, ect.
I am not a dealer, but buy in bulk.

Now you see many mowers coming through with "USE MOBILE 1 "

The issue is that the dirt hurt more than older oil.
Filters really matter

jkingrph
08-11-2007, 09:32 AM
I have an old JD lawn tractor, 17hp Kawasaki and have been using synthethc, Mobil 10w30 since new. The oil never looks dirty. Unit has a little over 500 hours and oil has been changed twice yearly, at mid season and at end of season when I quit mowing as a homeowner.

Last year I purchased a Scag Wildcat with 26HP Kawasaki LC engine and am using synthetic in it. Considering that the mower cost over twice what my first new car, a dressed up model in 1969 cost, anything I can do to make it last is worth it.

mdlwn1
08-11-2007, 09:41 AM
You're all right..synthetics last longer...the dirt that accumulates does not. There is really no reason to use synthetic in an aircooled lawnmower. The motors will run long enough if treated well. We all know that "Juan" will hit something...neutral drop the gearbox.....use mix gas..and whatever it takes to shorten the life of it anyway...lol

TSG
08-11-2007, 09:48 AM
You're all right..synthetics last longer...the dirt that accumulates does not. There is really no reason to use synthetic in an aircooled lawnmower. The motors will run long enough if treated well. We all know that "Juan" will hit something...neutral drop the gearbox.....use mix gas..and whatever it takes to shorten the life of it anyway...lol

Synthetics makes my motorcycle run 18degrees cooler
and 10-15 on my mowers.
I only know this because I put a lazer thermometer on the mower
and have an oil temp guage on the HD
If you plan on keeping you mower for 3 years then turning it over
it probably doesn't matter
If you want 5,,,,,,rethink dyno's

Last post on this for me,,,it's going to look like a motor cycle page soon

mdlwn1
08-11-2007, 10:03 AM
Iv'e had a Kaw 460 running for 9 years now and it starts on the second pull. Cheapest oil I can find. Of course synthetic is better, but think about this...I have replaced 2 blade spindles, 4 grass catchers, 5 belts, a few tires, 9 blade sets, 1 gearbox, and more air filters than I can remember. Air filters and clean fuel are the 2 biggest things to bring a mower engine down over time.

lawnspecialties
08-11-2007, 11:04 AM
I use Mobil1 in my mowers. But that's it. I mean, heck, it's only two quarts at a time and I change it every 100 hours.

My F-150 holds six quarts and my F-250 holds 15 quarts.:dizzy: You bet they get conventiional oil.

IHusky
08-11-2007, 11:33 AM
I use Mobil1 in my mowers. But that's it. I mean, heck, it's only two quarts at a time and I change it every 100 hours.

My F-150 holds six quarts and my F-250 holds 15 quarts. You bet they get conventiional oil.

Thats pretty much my set up now. Might switch over to synthetic on the truck. I drive the 4 banger M-F and 3500 on weekends. Put very little miles on the truck, otherwise. How long can I go without changing the oil, becasue the truck only gets about 300-400 miles on it per month? Should I change it every 4 months regardless of the miles on the truck or go by mileage?

ed2150
08-11-2007, 12:22 PM
My 1997 GMC truck came from the factory with Mobil 1 in it; that's all I've ever used and at 234,000 miles it's still going strong.

I run Mobil 1 in my mowers because synthetic does run cooler but like someone else said, the biggest issue is dirt.....frequent oil & filter changes along with clean air are the life of a mower engine.

As far as Amsoil oil filters......they are the best at filtration but they are very expensive. Purloator Pure 1 filters are almost as good are a LOT less expensive.
Be aware though, that the better filters that catch smaller particles do stop up faster and thus need to be changed more often than cheaper filters although it probably isn't a factor if you change oil at the proper intervals as recommended by your engine manufacturer.

Oil level should be checked more often with synthetics; true synthetics have a very uniform smaller molecule size and more can get past the rings and be burnt than with dino oils that have widely varying molecule sizes in their makeup. (That's why synthetics cool better; their uniform molecule size makes them transfer heat better.)

Vikings
08-11-2007, 02:38 PM
Funny you should bring this up. Yesterday I was at my dealers and they were taking apart a motor from a 4 year old Huster Z they took in a trade in for a new mower Thursday. There was nothing wrong at all with the motor the dealer just wanted to see for himself what it would look like inside. The guy had used the oil the dealer put in when it was new and at the first 50 hours he changed to synthetic and stayed with it the whole time, changing it per owners manual just like regular oil.

I stayed there until they got finshed as did quite a few other pros, they all wanted to see themselves. I'm telling you guys that motor looked brand new, if you didn't know before hand you would think that motor had less than 20 hours on it. I'm sold and will stay with synthetic oil from now on.
Man, That's a good story.

Envy Lawn Service
08-11-2007, 03:22 PM
Synthetics makes my motorcycle run 18degrees cooler
and 10-15 on my mowers.
I only know this because I put a lazer thermometer on the mower
and have an oil temp guage on the HD
If you plan on keeping you mower for 3 years then turning it over
it probably doesn't matter
If you want 5,,,,,,rethink dyno's

Last post on this for me,,,it's going to look like a motor cycle page soon

Now see... there is a proof in the pudding benefit of synthetic oil.

Most oils labeled "synthetic" are just highly refined dino...
But this guy is running an oil with some "TRUE" synthetic in it... Amsoil.
And he also has the benefit of having the stuff to see the reduced temps...

At $7-$8 a quart, it better show some proof of benefit!

dave k
08-11-2007, 10:04 PM
So Envy
Why don't you tell us how you really feel about McAfee Tech Support to change the subject a bit::hammerhead
Dave
On oil, I use Dino

Grass Happens
08-11-2007, 10:12 PM
On an air cooled, I'd be rather Leary of extending the change interval, no mater what the oil. I change my oil every 50hours and as long as its got the little seal on the bottle, that good enough for me. Although I do use Valvoline, my mtd push mower gets what ever is on sale. I am FAR more worried about the air filter and oil filter. Besides. any dead Dino is better then no dead (or fake) Dino. I run OEM Kaw filters on the unit. I bought it used (with a kaw filter) and the machine has easily 1500 hours on it, with the original 12.5 kaw. Now if i bought one of those fancy efi liquid cools? that would be a different story.

Frontier-Lawn
08-11-2007, 10:39 PM
Nothing but Redline oil for me

Americal Vet
08-11-2007, 11:33 PM
Mobil 1 for me. My Corvette came from the factory with it and that is what's recommended. I use it in my mowing equipment as well.

mverick
08-12-2007, 12:34 AM
We had a oil tech in at our company. He didn't recomend Synthetic. Said it could hold moisture better then dino. He recomended a hydrocracked dino for longer life. And he did all the research. Worked for the oil company's.

I've always used syn in my motorcycles. Depends on the vehicle for dino or syn.

I use the bypass filters in my diesels. It's added on. Runs 2 lines to a seperate filtering unit. And 2 larger filters. I use Baldwins. Buy them by the case.

Good filtration is the key.

causalitist
08-12-2007, 04:31 AM
Iv'e had a Kaw 460 running for 9 years now and it starts on the second pull. Cheapest oil I can find. Of course synthetic is better, but think about this...I have replaced 2 blade spindles, 4 grass catchers, 5 belts, a few tires, 9 blade sets, 1 gearbox, and more air filters than I can remember. Air filters and clean fuel are the 2 biggest things to bring a mower engine down over time.

i agree with you 100% .. we should be talking about killer fuel filters..

we have great oiled pre filter air filters etc .. but in our line of work gas cans are so dirty and i bet this is the usual way dirt gets in engines .. and most of these little fuel filters that they use on the walkbehinds or you buy aftermarket only filter 50-75 microns .. maybe 30.

i found this big high capacity 15 micron fuel filter ..
http://www.kohler-engine-parts.opeengines.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=165_76
1/4" fuel line .. its so big im using it for 250 hours or so.

one thing i hate is when you go to buy fuel filters and they dont state the micron size they filter. anyone finds one better than 15 micron please lemme know. these thing are so cheap i dont see why not to find the best.

Jusmowin
08-12-2007, 07:43 AM
I use Royal Purple in the truck and Mobile 1 in all my mowers along with Opti in the 2 stroke or hand held stuff. As for filters, I use factory OEM filters as they are easier to find and have always worked well for my needs.

tomo
08-12-2007, 06:23 PM
hello,
Has no body ever heard of semi synthetic ???????
Good compromise if u ask me .
Do u run your mowers in less than perfect conditions
tall ,wet thick grass
dusty conditions
constant high day time temps sub tropics /tropics etc

Running a kohler 4 eg it should be on oil changes more often than factory recommendation if running in the above conditions .

To run extended change intervals in the above conditions is well :dizzy:

So to change oil more often than factory recommends, the semi synthetic then becomes the better choice . Main reason is cost . This is all done with still a greater level of protection to the engine than the factory standard recomendation .

Changing oil filter is done always at the same time ensuring at least 99% oil is changed .
The quantity of oil/dirt the filter holds is huge when compared to total sump volume ,unlike most passenger cars .

tomo :waving:

coobie
08-12-2007, 10:26 PM
hello,
Has no body ever heard of semi synthetic ???????
Good compromise if u ask me .
Do u run your mowers in less than perfect conditions
tall ,wet thick grass
dusty conditions
constant high day time temps sub tropics /tropics etc

Running a kohler 4 eg it should be on oil changes more often than factory recommendation if running in the above conditions .

To run extended change intervals in the above conditions is well :dizzy:

So to change oil more often than factory recommends, the semi synthetic then becomes the better choice . Main reason is cost . This is all done with still a greater level of protection to the engine than the factory standard recomendation .

Changing oil filter is done always at the same time ensuring at least 99% oil is changed .
The quantity of oil/dirt the filter holds is huge when compared to total sump volume ,unlike most passenger cars .

tomo :waving:I use a synthetic blend schaeffers 7000,great oil at $3.79 a quart.coobie:)

topsites
08-12-2007, 10:39 PM
Synthetic oil - worth the extra $$$ or not. Thank you

Alright I tell you what...
You can come over anytime, start any of my cars, let them warm up a little, you have to give them that, just enough to 'tick' the temp gauge, please. Once that is done, step on the gas and push the rpm gauge as far as it will go, then hold it there as long as you want. Yes, redline governor, 20 minutes, 2 hours, whatever, until you are satisfied. You can drive it or just do it standing still, but no spinning tires or any other stupid thing, just revv the motor as high as she'll go, indefinitely or until out of fuel.

You can take my old 15hp Kohler, let me fill it up with oil and spin a filter on it, then start it and run it a few minutes... Then I'll drain the oil but leave the filter, and you start it again and run it for a bit, no full rpm's this time though, 5, 10, maybe 15-20 minutes. Technically she should take 8 hours like that, but that's pushing it hard.

You can take any of my working machines and take them on the worst of inclines, time and again, run them at idle or wot or anywhere in between, don't care. You can forget checking or changing the oil, even if it's well past the interval or a quart low, don't care.

That's with cheap Walmart synthetic, better yet, most of my stuff still runs cheap Big Lots synth blend.
Cost? About $2.50 a quart (2 for 1 sales lol).
After it is changed, I use some of it like wd-40, for low-speed apps like hinges.

It's insurance on your engine:
Run dyno and sooner or later one of your mower engines will seize, only a matter of time.
Run synth and I can almost guarantee that will NEVER happen, you can abuse and get stupid with them.
That having been said, no, I don't normally do these things and you're not supposed to, if you do it you're on your own, but I can!