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Best Oil to Use? (Cheap Wal Mart VS Synthetic)

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by TexTaco, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Jul 18, 2011 at 10:28 AM
    #1
    TexTaco

    TexTaco [OP] Member

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    I've been changing my own oil for years and have always used the cheap stuff (penzoil, quaker state, even the cheapest ~ wal mart). I've heard varied opinions on the right oil to use ranging from synthetic (expensive) to just using the cheap stuff. Honestly, I can't justify spending $40 on 5 1/2 quarts of oil when I can get it for $15.

    So, basically I'm asking what the benefits are to not using the cheap stuff?

    For the record, I drive 25k miles a year and plan on close to 200k miles out of my Tacoma.
     
  2. Jul 18, 2011 at 10:37 AM
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    Tylerm5000

    Tylerm5000 Well-Known Member

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    Our Tacoma was raised at Jiffy Lube for the first 100k, but after that I switched to Mobil 1. When I replaced the head gasket, my mechanic at my house said that the engine had no signs of excessive wear. Even the timing chain and its plastic components looked new. The valve lifters and cam all looked like they were just installed. The truck never burns oil, and now it has new stem seals.

    I have heard that conventional is what you should base all oils off of. They are still pretty good oils. If you buy a great brand of conventional, then you shouldn't have a problem.

    Tacomas, especially the i4s, are pretty much good for at least 325k.

    Try bobistheoilguy.com also
     
  3. Jul 18, 2011 at 10:37 AM
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    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Some synthetics allow longer intervals between oil changes. Helps offset the cost of the oil. I just swapped to synthetic because I put on a lot of lighter, highway miles so extending my oil change time was an attractive option. Just my $0.02, I know there are a lot of differences, I don't know enough about them to speak intelligently though.
     
  4. Jul 18, 2011 at 11:31 AM
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    Lurkin

    Lurkin Well-Known Member

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    IMO, none, assuming that you are only going with a 5k OCI, or less. If you change your oil at that interval, chances are good you won't see any difference. There's a "possibility" you may increase your chances of making it to 200k with no lube-related problems, but it's doubtful that with a 5k or less change interval you'd see any difference anyway. Current oils, even the "cheap" ones are pretty good, coupled with current ECUs that keep the combustion process pretty efficient.

    I'm still under warranty, so 5k OCI's for me. I also use Mobil 1 oil, so I am overkilling it. Once I'm past the initial engine warranty I will entend the OCIs to 7-8k.

    For you, only benefit would be to increase the OCI and then have fewer oil changes to do.
     
  5. Jul 18, 2011 at 12:00 PM
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    oldstick

    oldstick Middle Age Member

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    One thing I have noticed at our local Walmarts. I suppose due to the current high oil prices, a 5 quart jug of major brand oil (Castrol, etc) is around $18 - 20. And the 5 quart full synthetics are about $25. So I have gone with the synthetics the last couple oil changes. On the first 5K mile change, I noticed the synthetic appeared noticibly cleaner than usual.
     
  6. Jul 18, 2011 at 12:08 PM
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    RideFast

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    You can get mobil 1 for $22.99 @ walmart and a oem oil filter for 3.99 @ Toyota. You should be able to go longer on synthetic oil. A lot of guys go 7-10k miles on synthetic oil. I have only ever gone 5k but I am going to do an oil analysis at 7k and see how the results come back.

    Read chris4x4's thread on oil filters before you buy another one.
     
  7. Jul 18, 2011 at 12:30 PM
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    Lurkin

    Lurkin Well-Known Member

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    Might also want to do a bit more research on base oil technology and what the US allows to be called "Synthetic". There are 3 predominate auto base oils in use, Group II, III and IV. Group II is basically normal dino oil, probably the cheapest oil you'll find on the shelf. Group III is hydrocracked dino oil, much better oil then Group II, but still dino oil. Group IV is the true synthetic as it is not dino oil, but rather PAO.

    In the US, Group III and IV can be marketed as "Synthetic", not anywhere else. Everywhere else a synthetic oil is Group IV. Pricing here on the other hand is normally about the same for III and IV, but there are differences in performance. Since the oil companies don't need to publicize the composition of their oils, it's hard to figure out what you're really buying.

    Personally I don't want to pay the same price for a Group III oil as for a Group IV, it just annoys me. About the only way I've found to get some assurance is to buy only 0W-(20 or 30) oil, as the 0 figure cannot be reached with a dino-based oil from what I've read.
     
  8. Jul 18, 2011 at 12:33 PM
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    OZ-T

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  9. Jul 18, 2011 at 12:40 PM
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    Pugga

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    Is there any benefit to running 0W-30 oil vs the recommended 5W-30?

    Or DHK
     
  10. Jul 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM
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    slo13zx3

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    400 k with super tech dino

    400k.jpg
     
  11. Jul 18, 2011 at 1:20 PM
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    novanut21

    novanut21 Well-Known Member

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  12. Jul 18, 2011 at 1:37 PM
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    horwitzs

    horwitzs Well-Known Member

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    0w-30 would only be better in very cold temperatures.

    IMO the type of oil you buy is a lot less important than the fact that you change it regularly.
     
  13. Jul 18, 2011 at 1:47 PM
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    kingston73

    kingston73 Well-Known Member

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    This is what I've found as well. I don't know the cause but I've seen the effect, in my area the difference in price between the cheapest oils and synth's like Mobile 1 has decreased. I used to be able to buy the cheapest for a couple dollars, now it's within a dollar or 2 of the synthetics, so saving 5 or 6 dollars to me isn't really worth it.
     
  14. Jul 19, 2011 at 5:32 AM
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    Lurkin

    Lurkin Well-Known Member

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    There was an article posted a while back from someone who analyzed the technical data for 0, 5 and 10 weight oils. His point was that the 0 oil's viscosity cold was still thicker then the warm viscosity. In other words, using the 0 oils would allow the oil to circulate easier on cold startup, yet it was still thick enough to provide the necessary protection while the oil warms up to the hot viscosity.

    Can't find the post now though, might want to do some searching yourself, or maybe someone has the link stored away.
     
  15. Jul 19, 2011 at 7:30 AM
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    TexTaco

    TexTaco [OP] Member

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    Wow. Great responses. I was expecting to get grilled by all the sythetic users. I'm surprised at the varied responses.

    I was doing my oil changes (5w 30) every 3000 miles up until about a year ago, and then switched over to 5000. I'm a little leary of going to 7000 or 10000. Also, I've been using the Wal Mart cheapy stuff and have never had problems in any vehicle I've owned. I pay about $14 for 6 quarts and get a fram filter. I may switch to OEM based on Chris' info on filters, but I'm gonna stick to the Wal Mart stuff for now. I may switch over in the future, but I'm skeptical for now.
     
  16. Jul 19, 2011 at 8:02 AM
    #16
    Lurkin

    Lurkin Well-Known Member

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    I think you avoided the "grilling" since you are one of the few that posed the question right....

    You'll get quite a varied response to any oil/filter/air intake/exhaust question you pose. But for you, you just need to weed through the "required" vs. the "want". For a 5k OCI, t'ain't nuthin wrong with running conventional oil. As long as it's changed on schedule all should be good. If you want to reduce your oil changes could switch to a higher cost/perf oil and still spend the same per year.

    I do stay away from Fram anymore, but you've already mentioned that. A SuperTech filter would be better and quite cost effective to.
     
  17. Jul 19, 2011 at 8:23 AM
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    RideFast

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    I don't remember where I read it but its good when your oil is a dark chocolate color because your oil is catching all of the debris. It would probably be worth it to do an oil analysis at 5k to see how much further you can go on your oil. I am sure even if you are using dino you can go further than 5k. OMH when was the last time you herd of any car failing because they did not change the oil.

    My dads 2011 tundra owners manual says 10k oil change intervals on 0w20 and 7k on 5w20
     
  18. Jul 19, 2011 at 8:24 AM
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    RideFast

    RideFast on the flats.

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  19. Jul 19, 2011 at 8:56 AM
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    KenLyns

    KenLyns Lord of War

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    Extending oil change interval beyond 5K with synthetic oil requires some scientific method - i.e. getting an oil sample and sending it to a lab like Blackstone for analysis. Not worth the trouble IMO. Even with an extended oil change interval, you would still need to change the filter every 5K (i.e. change filter without draining all the oil).
     
  20. Jul 19, 2011 at 9:18 AM
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    RideFast

    RideFast on the flats.

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    Good point luckly a filter is only 3.99. I don't think the oil will drain out of the engine especially on the 4.0. I am thinkin the only oil you will loose is whats in the filter. Just top off the oil.

    Like I said before toyota is already approving some of their engines for 10k mile oil changes.
     
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