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Synthetic oil mileage benefits?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by BigJimHouse, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:20 AM
    #1
    BigJimHouse

    BigJimHouse [OP] Member

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    Hi guys, I've had my '00 Tacoma for 2 months now, just had all the major service done (minus oil change) and am thinking about using synthetic.

    I did a search and read on some brand preferences but didn't see much on what benefits are to be had (actual).

    Seems common sense that it'd be better but are there actual mileage increases to be realized? I'm figuring that if the oil is that much better and decreases friction, mileage increase should be a must?

    Can anyone chime in on real-world benefits?

    Thanks, Jim
     
  2. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:24 AM
    #2
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    The main benefits of synthetic are longer oil change intervals and the fact that they hold their viscosity to lower temps than conventional making it easier to pump on cold starts. The only thing I noticed when swithching is faster starts on cold mornings. Everything else is the same.

    Oh and I plan on using Pennzoil Platinum on my next change but it really doesn't matter. Just choose a brand name product and use it. M1 is good.
     
  3. Apr 1, 2010 at 9:48 AM
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    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    I wouldn't consider synthetics a 'mileage increaser' because you really won't notice it.

    Point blank - synthetics are (overall) good for your engine. It penetrates further than regular oils and is better at 'cleaning' deposits than regular oils.

    Oil change intervals with synthetics is a highly debated topic. Personally, I change mine at regular intervals (5K miles) simply because the oil is very dark (dirty). Before you make any assumptions that synthetics will last longer - you should have an oil test done to make sure its OK to continue running it for longer intervals (or just change it regularly anyway and not worry about it).

    I've been using synthetics in all my vehicles.
     
  4. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:01 AM
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    AlexanderD

    AlexanderD Well-Known Member

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    when changing from 'regular' oil to a synthetic is it likely a good idea to do a double change. as in change it to synth. then take it for a drive then change it again.
    i know that synthetic oil and dont mix (as in they actually dont mix together) and may react with one another. i wouldn't want to drive around for 5000 miles with oil that may be sub-par.
    or is it maybe a better idea to go with a semi synthetic between the two to bridge the gap?
     
  5. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:05 AM
    #5
    steve o 77

    steve o 77 braaap

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    You can mix synth and conv all you want. It will not hurt anything at all. Just change it once, no need for a double change. All semi synth is is a mix of conventional and synthetic.
     
  6. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:25 AM
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    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    X2
     
  7. Apr 1, 2010 at 11:45 AM
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    AlexanderD

    AlexanderD Well-Known Member

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    good to know fellas.
     
  8. Apr 1, 2010 at 2:10 PM
    #8
    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    After spending umpteen hours researching, I just put synthetic in for my truck's first oil change. I bought it used (101k mi), and have no idea what was in it. So, my approach is to assume it was not synth, which means I anticipate it will clean out some junk.

    Because for this, I am going to change the oil and filter early (like, real soon) to account for potentially increased particulates in the oil and in the filter.

    The owner's manual says oil change intervals are 7,500 for normal duty, 5,000 for hard duty (stop and start, off-road, etc.).

    After this first synth batch and an oil test, and possibly another 5k interval for the second batch of synth (depending on what the oil test says), my intent is to do a 10k interval on the oil, but a 5k interval on the oil filter. The oil viscosity should last a long time, but that doesn't mean there aren't particulates getting into it and the filter. I think that going from 7,500 to 10,000 mi. for standard duty service interval is a pretty conservative approach to getting more out of the oil's useful life (and not wasting money and resources) if the oil test backs it up. This makes sense for my driving style and typical use.

    It drives me nuts when I see guys saying they use Mobile 1 in a truck they bought new and change it every 3,000 miles. It is foolish on so many levels.
     
  9. Apr 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM
    #9
    NAAC3TACO

    NAAC3TACO Just east of crazy

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    I use Mobil 1 in my truck and change it every 6 months to keep warranty happy. Once it's out of warranty I'll probably change it once a year. I only use synthetic because it sits out in the cold during the winter. My two cars that sit in the garage get quality dino oil or synthetic blend. As far as the original post is concerned, I've never noticed an increase in gas mileage using synthetic, but many people claim they have. Of course, those people may work for the companies that make synthetic oil.
     
  10. Apr 1, 2010 at 2:42 PM
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    tacoman101

    tacoman101 Well-Known Member

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    Although Synthetics are longer lasting, and don't require as frequent of oil changes, that just means you wont get under your rig as much to check stuff such as front end components, gear oil...etc.
     
  11. Apr 1, 2010 at 2:50 PM
    #11
    NAAC3TACO

    NAAC3TACO Just east of crazy

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    Good point.
     
  12. Apr 2, 2010 at 10:58 AM
    #12
    crimsonred2004

    crimsonred2004 X-wing Design Engineer

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    Seeing how we are on this subject how about some opinions.....I have heard that if reg conventional oil has been used for a while that if you switch to synthetic the detergents will clean away the crude and build-up and you stand a good possibility of generating oil leaks where there were none before :eek: ...do you guys find this true or is it just urban legend??? My Taco has 130k on it and i was thinking about going full synthetic....good idea or not :rolleyes: ???? Thanks
     
  13. Apr 2, 2010 at 11:21 AM
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    scocar

    scocar Scouting the perimeter for weakness

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    Oh gawd, here comes the debate...or you can search the oil threads for tons of speculation and the occasional gem of scientific fact.
     
  14. Apr 2, 2010 at 4:11 PM
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    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    It depends on the situation and the condition of the vehicle.

    I had a Jeep WRangler w/ 80K miles that I switched to synthetics. It developed a lifter tap. Nothing major and it usually stopped tapping once things warmed up.

    I had a 96 tacoma that I bought at 60K miles. I started using synthetics. My oil pan started to 'sweat' (no drips, but an obvious buildup of wetness) around the gasket of the oil pan. I also consumed 1/2 quart of oil every 4,000 miles.

    Yes, synthetic oils do penetrate further and they do cleanse better. But each situation would be different.
     
  15. Apr 3, 2010 at 3:45 AM
    #15
    tacoman101

    tacoman101 Well-Known Member

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    I went from Conventional to Synthetic with my truck at 149000 and haven't had any oil leak problems or anything. Before switching to Synthetic I read about this problem and was a little worried, but when I tried it, I had no problems. Also if you do have an oil leak from the Synthetic oil you can run certain oils to rebuild or recover the gaskets and seals, such as High Mileage Oils.
     
  16. Apr 3, 2010 at 12:02 PM
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    BigJimHouse

    BigJimHouse [OP] Member

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    Wow, good stuff!
    I'm still kinda surprised that there's no real mileage benefits. The fact that it would be better for the engine is really good enough. A guy told me that when switching to synthetics, a mechanic suggested to him to change old oil with new reg. oil/filter and a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil and run the vehicle for a day or so this way, then change out everything to synthetic.

    He tried it in an older Cherokee he was working on and said the reg. oil combined with the Marvel upon draining after a day of driving it was pitch black. What do you guys think?

    Jim
     
  17. Apr 4, 2010 at 5:52 AM
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    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    That's a debatable subject.... and again, the results would probably vary with the condition of each vehicle.

    What I often think of - is if you remove the buildup too quickly (or majority of it) can cause things to loosen up. Like for instance, seals don't seal as properly, pistons/rings don't seal to the cylinders as well.... That kinda stuff (and that's just a guess) depending on where and how much buildup and how much was removed.

    I've never used any of those oil additives -for that reason. You don't really know how much buildup will be removed when you use those additives. I think using synthetics is just enough to keep things clean but doesn't remove too much (over time) to change things on a drastic kinda level. Did that make sense? I dunno, I'm just guessing out my ass.....:D

    When I change my oil (Mobile 1), it's like really dark chocolate after 5,000miles and the truck only has 25,000 miles on it and its been running synthetics since it had 2500 miles on it in 07. ??
     
  18. Apr 4, 2010 at 7:25 AM
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    Air_Ops

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    I have been using Mobil 1 from 12,000 miles on I now am at 157,000. I can not say if I noticed an increase or decrease in gas milage. I change the oil every 6,000 miles, on my previous truck (96 4Runner 3.4) I used dino and changed it every 3,000 miles. When I bought the Tacoma I calculated that to switch to synthetic and change it every 6,000 miles would be close to cost neutral. During the warranty period I was having the dealer change it. I average between 18-20 mpg with a 60/40 split hwy/city, I have seen as high as 23 mpg on extended highway runs.
     
  19. Apr 4, 2010 at 12:26 PM
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    3.4L

    3.4L Well-Known Member

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    The increase in mileage would be negligible and the increased cost in buying the oil assuming everything else equal, meaning you change it yourself either way, would offset any actual mileage gain.

    Now, if you live in extreme temperature climates whether hot or cold, do a lot of off roading, pull a trailer etc OR want to go to extended drain intervals, then synthetics are the only way to go.

    If you go to www.bobistheoilguy.com you will find all the information you want or need about synthetic oil.

    If you live in a mild climate and do regular driving, then regular oil changed every 3-5k miles will be fine. For every person that I have met that swears by synthetic and boasts about how many miles they have on their engine, I meet the equal number of others that use plain old motor oil like Pennzoil and go the same distance.

    It also has a lot to do with your engine of course! My g/f's 3.4L 1995.5 has 260K miles on it and she has used nothing but regular oil with the factory filter since new.

    What does this mean? Well thats a lot of miles which means she allowed the oil to rise up to operating temperature to burn off alot of contaminates and water..

    It simply all depends on your application and how diligent you are as well as how well built the motor is. It also doesn't hurt that for a relatively small V6 engine, it takes 6 qts of oil!!! thats a LOT of reserve for the long haul..

    I run synthetic myself. I like the idea its really the best I can get and its cheap enough for me. I change every 5K miles simply because its an easy number to remember. Plus if I go over, its no big deal as I have a nice margin of safety.

    As far as your oil going dark.. Well, thats partially a trait of the particular oil you are using.. I know that direct injection engines do make the oil much darker as they have a tendency to dilute it with fuel by the way its injected.
     
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