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Is synthetic engine oil worth the price?

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Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering whether to use synthetic engine oil in my new Rubicon. When you consider that I will probably be changing the oil every 3,000 miles, the cost difference could be significant. Is the performance of this type of lubricant worth the cost?

I have a 2000 VW Golf TDI. The manufacturer recomends synthetic oil, and it was delivered with synthetic oil in the engine. I have always used synthetic oil in this car which now has over 60,000 miles. However, I can't tell whether the experience has been good or bad.

Any opinions?
 

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i change my oil every 3000K
if you change reg oil often your motor will last a long time.
plus keep the cooling system flushed and working properly that helps also.

:wink:
 
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I've used synthetic in mine and haven't seen a major difference. The main concern about any lubrication system (I operate gear trains valued in excess of 25mil.) is the filtration. If you put a quality filter on that has the ability to filter for the total time then any of the quality oils will be good to use. I can't find the link to the filter testing that was done (someone help me out here), but Wic filters were the best, with Purolator being in the top 3. I run a Purolator Pure One on mine. It is the same one that came stock on the Rubi as a Mopar filter (identified by construction and marking on the head). The biggest problem comes when the filter clogs (can't filter anymore) and the bypass valve opens up, then you are circulating unfiltered oil back into the engine. At this point synthetic would be a better oil. Mineral oil has the nasty habit of holding the carbon deposites suspended in the oil, so the need for a filter, while synthetic oil just deposites it in the oil pan. Synthetic will not allow particles to be suspended in it like Mineral oil. (Mineral oil = Non-synthetic) I did notice a big difference between filters on my older Jeeps. With Fram the oil would be black in 1000 miles, with the Wic and Purolator, I could go 3000 miles and it would be slightly discolored. When I switched to Synthetic I could go a little longer, but the cheaper filter still gave me black oil at 3000 miles, while the other two left it clean. One last note the dura-blends really aren't worth the money. Stay full Mineral, or go full synthetic.


Ron
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Ron! Very helpful info. Can I rely on the dealer to use the right MoPar filter, or would I be better off to simply provide the filter (and oil) of my choice?

Thanks again,

Dan
 

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I like synthetics for 3 main reasons:
  • 1) synthetics have proven themselves to virtually eliminate friction wear on surfaces that have metal to metal contact, for hundreds of thousands of miles.
    2) reduced build up of sludge’s, impurities are not burned onto internal engine surfaces, impurities are dropped out of the oil and trapped in the oil filter (a high quality filter is important too).
    3) true viscosity at all temperatures, I won't get into the details of viscosity and what it is, but you can prove this to yourself,
    a) pour a quart of 10w-30 conventional motor oil that is 30° F and see how well it flows (that’s how well it flows in your engine when it is that cold),
    b) do the same pour ability test with some 10w-30 synthetic motor oil, you’ll see it flows freely.
The same holds true for high temperatures as well, synthetics are not apt to breakdown from high temperatures (thermal breakdown), synthetics flow the same hot or cold.

IMHO synthetics are worth the extra $$.

OIL FILTER COMPARISION WEB SITE
 

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I have heard that you should run non-synthetics until the engine is "broken in" properly and then switch to synthetic. The theory was that the engine would not break-in with a synthetic. Any truth to this? Any idea on when the break in period is over? :?:
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Griz for the link and additional info. Stevo, while engine breakin is important, with todays technology the clearances are more precise so the old addage about break in isn't as critical as today. They still say to take it easy on the engine for the first 500 or so miles. That is more to ensure that all the internal parts seal. I've heard that keeping it on Mineral oil for the first 6,000 miles before you shift is good, I also head that you can shift at the first oil change. Noone seems to be in agreement as to when.

Ron
 

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Just my .02 cents, but I have always used synthetics throught the jeep
in any vehicle I have ever cared about. That means crankcase, trans,
xfer case, and pumpkins.

It will be especially noticable in a 5-spd (or any manual) when you are
upshifting in normal daily traffic. With synthetics, the revs stay high,
and dont drop as quickly as with normal oil. After a while, you will even
know when to change your oil, just by noticing when the RPM's are
starting to come down fast between shifts, and you dont have as much
low end (older engine).

My last advice. Just like Scotch whiskey, don't use blends. Use high
quality synthetics. Your engine might even like one brand more than
another.

Bilbo
LasvEgas
 

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whats your opinion of the best synthetics
im at 3700 miles and 2 reg oil changes done.... now i ready for synthetics

i went to a oil maint conference the one guy who impressed me was from
AMSOIL.....
thoughts?
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Many thanks to Pick for the great link to the Oil Guy! I spent some time over there and came to the realization I would have to do more studying, but generally, I am convinced to use synthetics. I appreciate the helpful input from all of you. I will check to see what is available locally with appropriate checking with the Oil Guy to make sure I am getting a real synthetic. I also plan to visit with the dealer's service manager to find out what they offer and recommend.

Thanks, again,

Dan
 
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Discussion Starter #13
synthetics/filters

It is true,

A good break in with regular oils is essential, and recommended by most mechanics. How long a break in is not established. I'd figure 6-12k mi.
So figure on 2-4 3k oil change intervals. They used to suggest 30k mi. before synthetic useage. I think that's a bit extreme. I've also been told that once you use synthetics, you must never go back to traditional oils.

BTW, the Napa Gold Brand Oil Filter application for the Wrangler, is manufactured by Wix. Wix Brand Filters are sometimes hard to locate, but your local Napa Parts is not!

Roy
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I've pretty much found that you can only get Wix filters at NAPA. Has anyone found them anywhere else?

Ron
 
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Discussion Starter #15
I use Mobil 1 full synth oil and a K&N oil filter. I found to have more oil pressure with the K&N.
 

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Mobil 1 is great oil, you can't go wrong with it. Most name brand oil filters are okay, I always use a mopar filter FE292. Before I put synthetic in my engine I would put it in my diffs. The transmission auto and manual along with the t.case already have a synthetic blend oil in them just remeber to check the level and the condition of the oil regularly. If you change your oil 3000k or sooner you are not going to gain anything by running synthetic engine oil. Remember it's your cash-ola so buy what you want just change it regularly and you will have no problems. NOTE: don't use synthetic on a high mile engine that always had mineral oil in it, it will burn and leak the oil out faster then you can put it in!!
 

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You guys may want to check out this link, as for filters, Mobile one is a great filter, manly becuase it does not use a paper media, it uses a synthetic media and end up filtering about 5 to 10% better than paper.

Be carefull with Mopar, as it says here "It should be clear that Mopar filters are really nothing special. Unless you are trying to have a perfect restoration and need that Mopar logo, there is no reason why you should be buying Mopar oil filters. Most of them seem to currently be Purolators or Champions, but that could change at any time. "

Oil Filter Study
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Rokin Rubi said:
I use Mobil 1 full synth oil and a K&N oil filter. I found to have more oil pressure with the K&N.
That's what I'm using too.... The Mobil 1 product seems to be the best "common" synthetic on the market (I used Castrol for many years) and the K&N filter also seems to be in the top grouping (and it has the 1" nut on the bottom). I switched on my first oil change too.... There's two many vehicles that ship with synthetic oil (including the performance Chryslers and BMW's) for there to be a need of "a tremendous number of miles" on standard oil for breakin. IMHO.... Ron
 
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Discussion Starter #19
:?: Is it ok to switch to synthetic oil if I have been using regular oil for eighteen thousand miles in my rubi?
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