Synthetic Oil. What I learned about it.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Doublewide6, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. ric1

    ric1 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 188

    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.
     
  2. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,531

    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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    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    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...
     
  4. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,531

    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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  5. 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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  6. ric1

    ric1 LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 188

    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.
     
  7. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    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...
     
  8. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,531

    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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  9. So the answer is no then.
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  10. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,047

    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.
     

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