Niagara Gazette

Columns

March 21, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: Breaking down synthetic motor oil

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Concerned, I switched to semi-synthetic oil that was more full-bodied and the consumption stopped. I logged another 30,000 miles and sold it. Carmakers use full synthetics and semi synthetics in some of their engines today. In most cases, you will find that a synthetic lubricant is used when there’s a high performance engine with tight engine tolerances, high compression, and high operating temperatures. Follow your owner’s manual for motor oil recommendations. If you want to use synthetic oil and your car is still under warranty, check with your local dealer before switching to synthetic oil (just to make sure you’re covered with the switch).

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Does it work better in some cars than others?

As I stated earlier, some carmakers recommend only using synthetic oil in their engines. For instance, Chevy recommends the use of Mobil One full synthetic oil in its Chevy Corvette engine. I have used synthetic oil in all of my vehicles for the past 20 years with great results, with one exception. I didn’t use a full synthetic in my Ford Taurus 3.0 DOHC V-6. Ford specifies using a 5W20 semi-synthetic due to engine design, so I followed the manufacturer’s specification. Remember, before changing to synthetic oil, check with your dealer and/or owner’s manual on carmaker’s recommendations/caveats. As stated earlier, you could void the warranty if the use of synthetic is strongly prohibited. Also, if your car is equipped with an oil life monitor calibrated for use with conventional oil, forget following the dictates of this system, as good synthetic oil will outlast oil change intervals laid down by the oil life monitor. Just change it every 5,000 to 7,000 miles; that should cover just about all applications.

•••

What are the pros and cons of using synthetic oil in my car?

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