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Synthetic Oil - worth it or not

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by IHusky, Aug 11, 2007.

  1. IHusky

    IHusky LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 478

    Synthetic oil - worth the extra $$$ or not. Thank you
  2. causalitist

    causalitist LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 610

    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
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    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.
  4. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    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.
  5. DAV Mowers

    DAV Mowers LawnSite Member
    Posts: 127

    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.
  6. TSG

    TSG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    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
  7. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    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.
  8. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    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
  9. TSG

    TSG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 444

    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
  10. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    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.

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