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Synthetic oils in your spray equipment

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Searched threads, but nothing to my satisfaction. We run "synthetic blend" motor oil in all our small engines...as well as our spray trucks. Here's why:

    About a dozen years ago, we switched to "full synthetic" motor oil in our spray trucks. Oil pressure increased an amazing 10 psi in all trucks. Then we tried "synthetic blend" motor oil.........same psi as "full synthetic":confused:. So we now run "synthetic blend" lubricants in all engines big & small.

    As far as getting 25,000 miles out of an oil change.....mechanics warn that regular oil changes are still needed to keep the oil clean.

    Bottom line: we currently use "synthetic blend" motor oil (cheaper than full synthetic), grease, and gear oil.

    Any thoughts? Recommendations?

    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,283

    Being a Master ASE Certified Auto Tech & Mercedes-Benz Master Guild Certified, I can tell you from first hand exp. about synthetic oils & oil change intervals. Mercedes changed their intervals in 1999 to 10,000-about 17,000 mi. according to conditions. But they only had conventional oil spec'ed for them. Result? I made a LOT of money doing engine repair. What went wrong is the engineers planned on synthetic oil to be used. I would pull these engines apart w/ 25,000 miles on them because they were using a quart of oil in 500 mi. What I found was piston rings stuck to the pistons & gummed up with oil deposits. Synthetic oil has a higher "flash point" & doesn't break down as quickly as conventional motor oils. The oil would break down & "bake" & gum up the piston rings, meaning they could not folow the contour of the cylider wall, causing oil to be pulled into the combustion chamber, where it was burned.

    Then we switched to synthetic oils (Mobil One)-Problem SOLVED!:cry: No more engine work:cry: ...And so I had to change my line of work:laugh:

    The answer is YES! definitely you should use synthetic, or at least synthetic blended oils-IF you own your vehicles/equipment & care about their longevity...
  3. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,163


    Great info!

    Thanks guys!

    Liberty, so how often should I change the oil in my vehicles if using Synthetic? What are your thoughts on the synthetic blends that Larry is talking about?
  4. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,143

    Would you recommend switching to synthetic oil for vehicles (diesel and gas) that have been using only conventional oils?
  5. gregory

    gregory LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,079

    i am a service manger of a heavy duty truck shop been working on hd trucks for 16yrs and yes syn is the way to go in hd trucks most if not all of the new ones come with syn in the trans and rear ends and they give them a 250k warranty but you must use syn.i run syn in my 06 ford f350 and my toro z master and i will put it in my z spray jr i run it in my wifes nissan..worrth the money like liberty said...
  6. treemonkey

    treemonkey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    The never ending debate.....based on popular opinion!

    I would not be so quick to jump on the synthetic oil bandwagon just based on LIBERTYLANDSCAPING'S anecdote.

    With the latest round of oil reformulation (SM), the differences between oils has narrowed even more.

    Liberty's story does not compare apples to apples. Running dino oil past 10K is beyond it's engineered life. Mercedes was foolish to overlook that. Of course the engine was going to varnish, sludge up, stuck rings, etc..

    The move to synthetics should be based on cost/benefit and user preference. Synthetics cost about double that of dino.

    Synthetics shine for extreme temp. operation (cold/hot turbo, etc..) and for extended drain intervals, if that's your preference.

    Regarding synthetic oil change intervals, I think it is stupid to go beyond the manufacturers recommendation during warranty. After warranty, I think it would be wise to do a Used Oil Analysis beyond the first 10K install to get a gauge at how the oil is holding up (just like a soil test). Different engines and driving habits can use up additives at different rates.

    Beyond that, if comparing a quality dino oil at 4 to 6K vs. a synthetic at 8 to 12K, there is no proof that the synthetic is better regarding engine wear, cleanliness, seal longevity, etc.. If you have PROOF beyond anecdotal stories, please show me.

    Gregory, I agree that many HD trucks are coming OEM with synthetic gear/tranny oils. That's because they are proven to give better mpg...even a tiny percent is helpful over a million miles or so (great protection too). However, most big rigs still use dino heavy duty engine oil such as Rotella, Delo, and Delvac (to name a few) and get phenomenal engine longevity.

    Regarding synthetic blend.....I think the jury is still out. 5w20's are synthetic blend by nature/manufacture. In other viscosities, Schaeffer's is a proven synthetic blend, but it's hard to know how much "synthetic" you are getting in most other products.

    Just my 2 cents. Synthetic use should be evaluated according to one's needs.

    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,283

    I definitely would NOT adhere to the higher intervals. Oil-even synthetic, is cheap, compared to quality equipment.

    Treemonkey, MB has since changed their interval to a fixed one (about 12k) I never have recommended going the 10k-20k+ interval. With hi-line cars you are dealing with $20,000 engines-better safe than sorry! Most of the car's indicated service needed around 12,000 mi-I think you had to pretty much put non-stop mileage on at 45mph. to get the longest interval.

    I've seen what a simple change to synthetic oil can do for a specific case. (It was Mobil 1) Anecdotal? NO WAY! The numbers don't lie... I've seen synthetic shine on the longer intervals.

    By the way...we never had any of those problems w/ conventional oil at 7,500 mi intervals. :)
  8. AmsoilPower

    AmsoilPower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 938

    Americanlawn---if you or anyone else have any specific questions regarding synthetic oil please do not hesitate to PM me. I will glady answer any questions. Since I have a friend who obviously views me as a nuisance I will not get into details here. For those who care to see the big picture and can see around the fact that I am a dealer for Amsoil, I gladly welcome your questions.
  9. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    LIBERTY & gregory

    I have a Question about Using synthetic oil in older Trucks. I have used synthetic oil in Newer Trucks because they came that way and told never to switch back. After retiring I kept a couple of older trucks. They are running straight oil with Slick 50 additive.

    Would it be wise to switch to synthetic oil on Diesel Trucks in the 150K mile range that always ran straight oil??? I am concerned about Seals Etc not accepting synthetic oil.
  10. gregory

    gregory LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,079

    ric i wouldn't worry to much about putting syn oil in something that old and worry about seals leaking.if they are hard they are going to leak no matter what oil you run in them.don't know what motor you have but a diesel with that many miles on it i would worry more about blow by then anything else depending on what motor we are talking about...

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