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Synthetic Oil ???

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by poudre_lawn, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. poudre_lawn

    poudre_lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    What are the pros/cons to using synthetic oil in a mower ???

    I have a 6 horsepower snapper mower purchased in 2000, with the tecumseh engine.

    I have been using straight 30 weight valvoline dino oil and will be changing the oil soon and am wondering if there are any better alternatives ???
  2. Mikes Machines

    Mikes Machines LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    I am sure there are lots of opinions about this subject. My understanding is that synthetics will hold viscosity at slightly higher temperatures. Some synthetics are supposed to be slipperier reducing friction increasing power and milage. I'm not so sure I believe it though. Synthetics dont prevent corrosion the way that fossil oil does. The thing that bothers me is the car manufacturers dont use it to get better fuel milage out of cars. It would seem to me that if it truly was better they would use it to meet federal mandated miles per gallon laws.
  3. Tevi

    Tevi LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Messages: 61

    Heat kills.Synthetic lubes handle extreme conditions better than fossil lubes.The only draw back is price(I look at it as a cost vs.price issue).Some cars do run synthetic(Vettes/Porsche/Benz/Viper).Ventrac even runs synthetic.I bought a Kawasaki motor and they extended the warranty up to 4 years if I bought thier synthetic oil service pack.I know for a fact that engines run cooler on syn.Ther is not a jet engine in the world that dosen't run syn.Check out www.amsoil.com
  4. Mikes Machines

    Mikes Machines LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    I used amsoil in my Steiner transmissions. They are the same as a Ventrac. When cold the hydraulics work well after a couple hours of use they still work but they are not as strong. This was the same with Steiner oil and Amsoil. If Amsoil holds viscocity better you would not see performce drop off when the oil gets hot. The amsoil loses viscocity when hot just like the Steiner oil.
  5. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    Not to start a war on this, I'm not sure about a Ventrac or Steiner, but synthetic oils, including Amsoil & Mobil1, etc., do hold viscosity better. They also handle heat better. Synthetics main (only) down side is cost. For many people, the cost just isn't worth it. If you're going to run your equipment until it dies, it would probably be worthwhile for you to use. If you're going to trade it off after a couple of years of use, you're probably money ahead by just using conventional and changing regularly.
  6. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    I've heard that switching to synthetic must be done as early as possible, to keep deposits from forming inside the engine (normal with conv. over time) that the synthetic will break up and redissolve into the oil, and that is what will increase wear and tear on your engine.
  7. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    I know Amsoil makes an engine flush that you use before converting a "higher mileage" engine over, but I'm not so sure thats required. I would just do the 1st oil change after switching to synthetic a little quicker than you normally plan on, like maybe 3000 miles, or 50 hours on equipment. Then utilize the extended change benefit of synthetics from there on in.
  8. Mikes Machines

    Mikes Machines LawnSite Member
    Messages: 112

    In the early days of synthetics they did not mix with mineral oil. Kind of like oil and water. Nowdays there are additives to allow them to mix. I still wouldnt use a quart of synth and a quart of mineral though.
  9. xcopterdoc

    xcopterdoc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 752

    Hey Mike... Some of the manufactures are in fact using syn oil or a syn blend. Ford has been using the Motorcraft 5-20(syn blend) in all the newer trucks. Only reason they changed from 5-30 was to get a mpg or two to meet fed stds. I think the Corvette comes from the factory with Mobil 1. I'm sure there are more.
    On a small engine that is several yrs old, I dont know if you would really see any difference. I'd run a good brand of dino and when it is replaced, start the new one on syn.
  10. CCWKen

    CCWKen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    I don't think synthetics come in non-detergent. The thing you have to watch is using detergent oil in a non-filtered enging. Detergent oils keep dirt and wear particles suspended in the oil so that the filter will trap them. If there's no filter, all these "wear particles" remain suspended in the oil. Non-detergent oils allow the particles to settle to the sump so they can be drained out.

    Rule of thumb:
    A pressurized lube system with a filter can use detergent and/or synthetic oils.

    A non-filtered system should alway use non-detergent oils.

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