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View Full Version : Synthetic Oil. What I learned about it.


Doublewide6
01-20-2013, 10:01 AM
I came across this video on youtube. Eric the car guy ETCG seems to be very knowledgeable. I am wondering if this info should carry over to our mowers?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lshd7WR-a6I

Richard Martin
01-20-2013, 03:23 PM
I'd have trouble taking advice from a guy that doesn't know what he's talking about. He seemed to be confused as to why Mobil 1 is rated SM/CF. He knew what the SM stood for but not the CF. He explained that synthetic oil must have a different rating system. CF is a diesel oil specification. It has nothing to do with being synthetic oil. He was kinda off on few other things too but what's the point.

Doublewide6
01-20-2013, 05:24 PM
I guess the point is to not use synthetic oil unless the engine manufacturer calls for it.

Patriot Services
01-20-2013, 05:36 PM
Engine makers specify ratings. The type is pretty irrelavent. Synthetics have properties crude bases don't. These become important when you exceed the limitations of crude based. Small engines run under conditions that qualify for severe duty lubricants. I have pulled apart many engines over the years. Synthetics are always cleaner and show less wear in my experiences.
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ed2hess
01-20-2013, 06:50 PM
I think the temperatures are just tooo high for conventional oil in lawn equipment, especially the air cooled ones. We switched to Schaeffer synthetic 10 years ago and are very happy with results. We run it in the hydro also.

Richard Martin
01-20-2013, 07:07 PM
Any quality conventional oil is perfectly suitable for the air cooled engines that we use. And I have test results to prove it. The only reason you would want to use synthetic is if you want to extend oil change intervals.

Jason Rose
01-20-2013, 07:11 PM
I've been running amsoil in everything the past few years and am perfectly happy with it. Very little oil consumption on the air cooled engines and using dino in them always resulted in needing to add nearly a quart in 100 hours on kohlers.

I've heard of Schaffer, friend of mine has told me about it. Trucking companies love the stuff I guess. He wants me to try some but their website doesn't really offer much information.
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weeze
01-20-2013, 08:08 PM
i'd say if you run regular change your oil every 50hrs and if you run synthetic you can change it every 100hrs. i use mobil 1. they don't even make regular oil anymore. it's all synthetic. it just holds up to the heat better and longer. when it's 100 degrees in the summer you don't have to worry about even getting close to thermal breakdown lol. mobil 1 does have regular base oils in it though. it's not entirely synthetic like amsoil and others that are more expensive. it's sortof regular oil with extra synthetic additives that make it last longer and perform better in high heat situations and break down slower.

ric1
01-22-2013, 01:19 PM
Any quality conventional oil is perfectly suitable for the air cooled engines that we use. And I have test results to prove it. The only reason you would want to use synthetic is if you want to extend oil change intervals.

That is correct and it's great for a car to extend changes but you should not extend changes on mowers.

Florida Gardener
01-22-2013, 01:31 PM
That is correct and it's great for a car to extend changes but you should not extend changes on mowers.

Do you have any hard data to back that claim up?
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ric1
01-22-2013, 01:54 PM
i'd say if you run regular change your oil every 50hrs and if you run synthetic you can change it every 100hrs. i use mobil 1. they don't even make regular oil anymore. it's all synthetic. it just holds up to the heat better and longer. when it's 100 degrees in the summer you don't have to worry about even getting close to thermal breakdown lol. mobil 1 does have regular base oils in it though. it's not entirely synthetic like amsoil and others that are more expensive. it's sortof regular oil with extra synthetic additives that make it last longer and perform better in high heat situations and break down slower.

Ok you say if you run regular change your oil every 50hrs and if you run synthetic you can change it every 100hrs. To me that sounds stupid and the reason being is that the synthetic is going to be just as dirty at 50hrs as the regular oil is in a mower.
Oil change intervals can be as short as 3,000 miles or as long as 15,000 miles on some new cars. Even the oil manufacturers recommend that you follow the oil and filter change frequencies shown in your owner's manual. So you should also do in your mower manual.

Patriot Services
01-22-2013, 02:13 PM
Oil is not changed because it is dirty. Either the additive package is depleted or it is failing from thermal breakdown.
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Jason Rose
01-22-2013, 02:23 PM
Oil is not changed because it is dirty. Either the additive package is depleted or it failing from thermal breakdown.
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Exactly. If your oil is truly getting "dirty" you actually have other problems. Synthetic is much less likely to break down prematurely due to the heat, and with air cooled engines this is a very real problem.

Extended oil changes in cars is real, but you have to be cautious about them. In relaity you can, but you really need to get your oil tested, an oil analysis, to be SURE that it's still working. In a car or light truck it's not really that cost effective when you are talking about 5 or 6 quarts of oil. And MOST newer vehicles do NOT need the oil changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles like has been ingrained in everyones heads for decades. Even with conventional oil most manufacturers are calling for 4 to 7 thousand miles between changes. Look at the recommendations from your vehicle mfg. before assuming.

Semis and big engines like that can really benifit from extend oil change intervals, but they are also using bypass filtration systems and oil analysis. MANY are going a million miles on the same oil with just topping off periodically. It's true...

Patriot Services
01-22-2013, 02:26 PM
Next up will be the numnutz that advocate just changing the filter. Nothing as dumb as running dirty oil through a clean filter and expecting it clean the oil.
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Florida Gardener
01-22-2013, 02:39 PM
Exactly. If your oil is truly getting "dirty" you actually have other problems. Synthetic is much less likely to break down prematurely due to the heat, and with air cooled engines this is a very real problem.

Extended oil changes in cars is real, but you have to be cautious about them. In relaity you can, but you really need to get your oil tested, an oil analysis, to be SURE that it's still working. In a car or light truck it's not really that cost effective when you are talking about 5 or 6 quarts of oil. And MOST newer vehicles do NOT need the oil changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles like has been ingrained in everyones heads for decades. Even with conventional oil most manufacturers are calling for 4 to 7 thousand miles between changes. Look at the recommendations from your vehicle mfg. before assuming.

Semis and big engines like that can really benifit from extend oil change intervals, but they are also using bypass filtration systems and oil analysis. MANY are going a million miles on the same oil with just topping off periodically. It's true...
I just ran a tad over 16-K in my Tundra. TBN was still at 1. I run Amsoil 0W20 and a Toyota filter. Blackstone said since metals were low, I could go longer. I won't though as I am cool with 16-K. Filter was still good at those numbers.
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ric1
01-22-2013, 02:45 PM
Do you have any hard data to back that claim up?
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Let me ask you a question, If this synthetic oil is so fantastic why is it that every manual I have ever seen whether it's Cub Cadet, Toro or Honda and the list goes on all say Use a high quality detergent oil of API service class. They also say synthetic oils meeting the listed classifications may be used with oil changes preformed at the recommended intervals, and I have to assume the interval would be the same because the manufacturer don't specify otherwise. The manual also says change oil and oil filters more frequently under severe conditions.

The thing that gets me is they also say, However to allow piston rings to properly seat a new or rebuilt engine should be operated for at least 50hrs using standard petroleum based oil before changing to a synthetic.

Now I'd like you to explain to me why I should change from a regular petroleum base oil to a synthetic when a synthetic isn't good enough to use to break my engine in properly. Pardon me that just doesn't make good sense.

I believe the guy in the video, there are no benefits for me to run the synthetic and it's sure not cost effective because I do my oil and oil filter changes every 50 hours.

Jason Rose
01-22-2013, 02:52 PM
The reason you need conventional oil to "break in" your engine before running synthetic is the exact reason why running conventional oil all the time is probably not in your best interest. It ALLOWS wear, meaning it's not providing full friction protection and is allowing small amounts of material to be worn away in your engine! good synthetic oils are so good that they won't allow an engine to wear in as needed to properly seat the rings, which will over time cause them to blow by causing lower power output and oil consumption.

No one is saying to run longer than spec on the oil changes on small engines, if they did they are wrong. I change mine every 100 hours, using amsoil air cooled formula oil. I've never seen the need to change oil every 50 hours in a machine that has a filter, even with conventional oil. I also change the filter with EVERY oil change, even though the engine mfg usually recommends changing the filter every other time. Which makes no sense to me...

Patriot Services
01-22-2013, 02:58 PM
Back in the day before computerized micro tolerances. Engines did need to break in and wear mate a bit. That is not true anymore with modern engines and machining.
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Florida Gardener
01-22-2013, 03:06 PM
Let me ask you a question, If this synthetic oil is so fantastic why is it that every manual I have ever seen whether it's Cub Cadet, Toro or Honda and the list goes on all say Use a high quality detergent oil of API service class. They also say synthetic oils meeting the listed classifications may be used with oil changes preformed at the recommended intervals, and I have to assume the interval would be the same because the manufacturer don't specify otherwise. The manual also says change oil and oil filters more frequently under severe conditions.

The thing that gets me is they also say, However to allow piston rings to properly seat a new or rebuilt engine should be operated for at least 50hrs using standard petroleum based oil before changing to a synthetic.

Now I'd like you to explain to me why I should change from a regular petroleum base oil to a synthetic when a synthetic isn't good enough to use to break my engine in properly. Pardon me that just doesn't make good sense.

I believe the guy in the video, there are no benefits for me to run the synthetic and it's sure not cost effective because I do my oil and oil filter changes every 50 hours.
So the answer is no then.
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weeze
01-22-2013, 10:52 PM
Ok you say if you run regular change your oil every 50hrs and if you run synthetic you can change it every 100hrs. To me that sounds stupid and the reason being is that the synthetic is going to be just as dirty at 50hrs as the regular oil is in a mower.
Oil change intervals can be as short as 3,000 miles or as long as 15,000 miles on some new cars. Even the oil manufacturers recommend that you follow the oil and filter change frequencies shown in your owner's manual. So you should also do in your mower manual.

yes. i change every 100hrs which is what my mower manual says to do. i use synthetic though. if i were to use regular i would do it more often. it's not about being dirty it's about the oil not breaking down. would you be fine to run regular oil 100hrs? yes but it will be more broken down at 100hrs than synthetic oil would be.

Landrus2
01-22-2013, 11:08 PM
yes. i change every 100hrs which is what my mower manual says to do. i use synthetic though. if i were to use regular i would do it more often. it's not about being dirty it's about the oil not breaking down. would you be fine to run regular oil 100hrs? yes but it will be more broken down at 100hrs than synthetic oil would be.

We all change oil but we barely clean the cooling fins That is # one engine killer:waving:

Patriot Services
01-23-2013, 01:49 PM
We all change oil but we barely clean the cooling fins That is # one engine killer:waving:

This is when you are happy you spent a few extra bucks for the synthetic that can handle the heat without breaking down. I was at Walmart last night. All the full synthetics were no more than 10 dollars extra per 5qt jug. The saying "pennywise and pound foolish" comes to mind.:usflag:

Valk
01-23-2013, 01:53 PM
Nothing but Mobil 1 15w50 in my KAW KAIs...after proper (8hr+50hr) break-in with 30wt dino of course.

weeze
01-23-2013, 05:34 PM
We all change oil but we barely clean the cooling fins That is # one engine killer:waving:

i've been removing the fan shroud and cleaning mine out after every season but there's hardly anything in there. i always take the blower and blow down through the fan after every yard i cut. i think it keeps it cleaned out. also i don't cut in the rain. water and dust turn into mud that sticks in the fins lol. i'm gonna wait 2 seasons this next time to check it. they say check it every 100hrs but i wouldn't do it but every 250hrs to be honest. i guess if you cut in the rain alot you may wanna check it every 100hrs because it might be gunked up in there lol.

Landrus2
01-23-2013, 05:40 PM
i've been removing the fan shroud and cleaning mine out after every season but there's hardly anything in there. i always take the blower and blow down through the fan after every yard i cut. i think it keeps it cleaned out. also i don't cut in the rain. water and dust turn into mud that sticks in the fins lol. i'm gonna wait 2 seasons this next time to check it. they say check it every 100hrs but i wouldn't do it but every 250hrs to be honest. i guess if you cut in the rain alot you may wanna check it every 100hrs because it might be gunked up in there lol.

When you put 1500 hours per season you start loosing bolts:waving:

robert@honda
01-24-2013, 09:10 AM
Honda officially recommends 10W-30 API Service Category SJ petroleum oil for use in all* engines because petroleum oil is what is used when the engine is certified by the EPA and California ARB rules.

Synthetic oil is acceptable, provided it is 10W-30 and API Service Category SJ.

As others have said, it's not so much about the oil, but that you change it per the maintenance schedule. Often, it's not the lubrication or oil itself that fails, but the additives and detergents that can only absorb so much carbon and other byproducts produced by internal combustion engines.

* The exception for this is snowblowers, which should use 5W-30.

-Robert@Honda
Caveat: I work for Honda, but the preceding is my opinion alone.

weeze
01-24-2013, 01:25 PM
When you put 1500 hours per season you start loosing bolts:waving:

yeah that'll never happen with me since i'm solo. at most i'll put about 250hrs a season on it lol. :weightlifter:

if i put 1500 hrs a season on a mower i'd buy a new mower every year :laugh:

Turf Tracer
01-25-2013, 11:22 AM
Mobil 1 because it flows quicker.

Patriot Services
01-25-2013, 07:37 PM
Mobil 1 because it flows quicker.

What? You do know brand name has absolutely nothing to do with an oils pourability, right?:usflag:

Turf Tracer
01-25-2013, 09:48 PM
ok Synthetic Oil Flows FASTER at Start-up.

This is a huge plus:clapping:

Patriot Services
01-26-2013, 09:30 AM
ok Synthetic Oil Flows FASTER at Start-up.

This is a huge plus:clapping:

Oils of the same weight flow at the same rate regardless of synthetic, dino or blend.
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Snapper Jack
01-26-2013, 10:04 AM
Conventional oils in low weight start to develop flow difficulties at temps -13F and sooner from my experience in extreme colder climates and take considerably longer warm up periods to retain their normal flow rate where as synthetics oil flow rates develop no back lashes even as far down to -50F. Having relatives up north where temps can drop to as low as -47F is all the proof I need in choosing synthetic oils over conventional multi oils

GMLC
01-28-2013, 09:13 AM
I have personally dissassembled, inpected, and measured inside engines with over 300,000 miles. I can tell everyone here that synthetic oil will give you a cleaner engine with less wear. Not to mention synthetic has a much lower pour point for cold temp start up and a much higher break down temp.
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Snapper Jack
01-29-2013, 07:58 PM
Here's a link to testing various oils, educational and a real eye opener for sure.
http://speedtalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=30483&sid=2363be543c9fc22cc38874ac901c407b

inHaliburton
01-29-2013, 10:09 PM
Oil is not changed because it is dirty. Either the additive package is depleted or it is failing from thermal breakdown.
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Worth repeating. This is what synthetic oils are about.

inHaliburton
01-29-2013, 10:18 PM
Last summer I had occasion to have a head removed on my JD zero turn with 1500 hours on the engine. I'm used to feeling a "ridge" with a finger nail near the top of the cylinder. I've used synthetics since new and was surprised not to find a ridge at all inside the cylinder. Right or wrong, I interpret this to mean very little wear.

GMLC
02-01-2013, 05:43 PM
This is a good one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejExtOcV5aI

Doublewide6
02-04-2013, 06:04 PM
Here is Part 2 to the original video. Comments?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zEBI1QndPo

Richard Martin
02-04-2013, 06:35 PM
Here is Part 2 to the original video. Comments?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zEBI1QndPo

Yeah. In the end the summary was the most important thing is to simply change the oil. I've preached that here for years.

meets1
02-04-2013, 07:40 PM
I have guy who works part time and sells amsoil. I don't use it. To costly for me. I change mower oil 75-100hours regardless. Trucks go about 3500-4000 miles. That's gasser engines. I just can't see going 10-15k on oil changes or running 200-500hours on a small engine to save me 10minutes of time to drop oil out of mower. Just me.

Ausman
02-05-2013, 08:12 PM
One of the early questions is what the SM/CF means. If the Srating comes first in the spec it is most suited for use in SPARK ignition engines, if it is followed by a CF if higher is is suitable for SOME COMPRESSION ignition engines. The opposite is also the same, Ci/4- SH means it is suited to diesel engines and petrol engines requiring an SH rating. The higher the letter falls in the alphabet the newer the rating is.

The numbers-- SAE30 = this is a mono grade and is to be used where it is called for, 10W/30 is a multi grade and means that W is a winter spec, ie it will take on the characteristics of a 10 grade when cold and a 30 grade when at operating temperature. (I am oversimplifying this)

The synthetic question-- Simplified a synthertic oil is oil that is pulled apart and the equal sized molecules are arranged in such a way to make the oil more stable, and less able to be broken down. Normal oil is not as stable as synthetic and will break down sooner, Synthertic oils do have some properties that will allow them to remain stable longer under high temperatures and manage heat better.

There is a lot of evidence that synthetic oil can extend oil drains but all manufactures only recomend this if accompanied by periodic oil sampling. This is not cost effective in the sump capacities in lawn and garden care. I simply would suggest it is comforting to know your oil will stand up if you do not get to servicing at the exact time required due to having a busy schedule.