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Old 09-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
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Synthetic oil and tranny fluid are they worth the money?

Re synthetics worth the extra cash?
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:05 PM   #2
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IMHO, Transmission yes. Gas engine, yes. Diesel engine, maybe, depending on the quantity required.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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For sure in the transmission. Not for my diesel...it takes 28 quarts, requires annual changing, and the synthetic does not reduce change intervals. If the 18 wheelers use dino, it should be okay for us.
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Old 09-23-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Why does the syn. not reduce OCIs? Have you done UOAs?
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:22 PM   #5
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For the transmission...yes. But I do not run enough miles to justify synthetic oil in the engine...not for twice a year oil changes at 14 quarts.

Ken
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:28 AM   #6
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Why does the syn. not reduce OCIs? Have you done UOAs?
Yes, I've done lots of used oil analysis (UOAs) on my PowerStroke diesel. Oilchange interval (OCI) did not change when I tried synthetic three different times. Blackstone told me my OCI was about 5,500 miles. One time I tried Amsoil and did the Amsoil trick to extend the OCI. Changed just the filter and topped off with Amsoil synthetic at 3,500 miles, then changed the oil at 7,000 miles. Blackstone chewed me out good. They said the OCI did not change just because you paid too much for your oil, and that 7,000 miles was way too long for my engine.

I also tried Mobil Delvac 1 and Havoline URSA synthetics. No change in my UOAs.

Synthetic oil is not cost effective for diesel engines. The big boys get about a million miles out of their engines using dino motor oil, and they don't get any more miles before the first overhaul if they pay the big bucks for synthetic. So very few of the real truckers use synthetic oil. The big trucking companies with MBAs running things do not allow their drivers to pay extra for synthetic oil, because it's not cost effective.

For gas engines, use what the manufacturer requires. My 2012 Ford EcoBoost engine requires synthetic blend, and Ford says it's okay to run full synthetic. My first oil change was at 10,000 miles, and I went with Motorcraft synthetic blend.

Synthetic ATF is a different story. Synthetic ATF can work with a lot more heat before severe deterioration than dino oil. So if you frequenty overheat your tranny, or run it up against the red line when towing, then you want synthetic ATF. For towing, you need a tranny temp gauge that gives you sump temp. 225 is the red line, so if you ever get close to 225 you need synthetic ATF. (I never saw over 205 on my diesel, but I ran Mobil 1 ATF just in case.) On the 2012 EcoBoost Lariat, there is a built-in tranny temp gauge, and so far (about 5,000 towing miles) I haven't seen over 210. So I'm good with whatever Ford put in there.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:19 PM   #7
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You gotta remember, 7.3s and 6.0s are HEUI motors, so that's what shears the oil so much and gives you very quick OCIs. So I bet if you ran synthetics on a 6.4 or 6.7, they'd be longer.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:22 PM   #8
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Smokey,
I ran the Amsoil in my '04 6.0 for well over 100k miles--at 15k change intervals. Blackstone not once said anything was abnormal, nor did they not like the long OCI.
Joe
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:32 PM   #9
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I had a 2006 Ford Ranger 4x4 automatic with the 4.0 V6.
First, the warranty required using full synthetic in the rear dif for towing. We had a 2004 FW Utah popup so I put Royal Purple in the rear.
Second, I wanted to find out for myself if synthetics worked or if there was any difference from "normal" lubes. I put RP tranny fluid in the tranny and transfer case, put RP "oil" in the engine and also put RP Ice in the cooling system.
Engine starts were quicker and quieter. Drive train felt smoother. Shifting improved and mileage improved.
The cost was worth it to me in that truck.
My current truck now has Amsoil Severe Gear lube and Amsoil friction modifier in the rear end. I will change over to full synth lubes in the drive train this year.
I don't know what brand I will use when I do it.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:27 AM   #10
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Smokey,
I ran the Amsoil in my '04 6.0 for well over 100k miles--at 15k change intervals. Blackstone not once said anything was abnormal, nor did they not like the long OCI.
Joe
Yes, your 6.0L had a longer OCI than my 7.3L. Ford said my OCI was 3,000 miles for my severe duty (constant towing heavy), but Blackstone stretched that out to 5,500 miles. My 2012 F-150 has a factory-recommended OCI of 10,000 miles.

I was on the road when my 2012 flashed the "change the oil" light the first time at a little over 10,000 miles, so I didn't get a used oil sample. Wish I did. I'd like to know the status of the Ford factory 5w30 synthetic blend break-in oil after 10,300 miles, including about 5,000 miles of towing a TT that weighed almost 5,000 pounds wet and loaded. One good sign of that EcoBoost engine is it used less than a quart of oil in that first 10,000 miles. I'm running Mobil 1 synthetic now, so we'll see how it does for the next 10,000 mile OCI.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:37 AM   #11
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First, the warranty required using full synthetic in the rear dif for towing.
Yes. Gear lube and ATF are not the same as motor oil. Full synthetic gear lube is required by Ford in all SuperDuty SRW rear ends, and I ran Mobil 1 synthetic ATF in my '99.5 F-250 with 7.3L diesel engine to protect the tranny from high towing temps. But there was no reason to use anything better than Shell Rotella T or Chevron DELO 400 dino motor oil in that diesel. Anything more expensive that Rotella T was just wasted money.

However, my 2012 F-150 with the twin-turbo EcoBoost engine requires at least synthetic blend motor oil. I don't think Mobil 1 makes a blend, so I just use plain ole Mobil 1 full synthetic motor oil in that engine.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:45 AM   #12
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Newer (post January 1, 2010) diesels utilize more EGR and have regeneration cycles for the filters, adsorbers and traps in the exhaust system. Typically, oil change intervals for these severely emission controlled engines are a function of soot contamination and/or fuel dilution of the oil, not of the condition of the lube oil itself. In that case, it's hard to justify the extra $$$ for synthetic engine oil - that's why I use 'em in my gassers but not in my diesel.

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Old 09-28-2012, 07:14 PM   #13
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Newer (post January 1, 2010) diesels utilize more EGR and have regeneration cycles for the filters, adsorbers and traps in the exhaust system. Typically, oil change intervals for these severely emission controlled engines are a function of soot contamination and/or fuel dilution of the oil, not of the condition of the lube oil itself. In that case, it's hard to justify the extra $$$ for synthetic engine oil - that's why I use 'em in my gassers but not in my diesel.

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Old 09-29-2012, 10:07 AM   #14
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That's why you delete and tune
Deleting or messing with emissions control components is agin the law. Aftermarket tunes that don't comply with EPA restrictions are also agin the law, and will probably void the warranty on your very expensive diesel engine. So only wild gamblers go there.
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