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To Synthetic Or Not To Synthetic

  • Right away.

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • Gonna wait until 1200 mile break-in.

    Votes: 1 4.2%
  • First oil change at 3500 miles.

    Votes: 13 54.2%
  • Never!

    Votes: 2 8.3%
  • Other.

    Votes: 7 29.2%

  • Total voters
    24
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Discussion Starter #1
I plan on changing to synthetic at 5000 miles, Mobile 1 5W30. Reason is, I don't think the engines get fully broken in at 1200. Until then, it's Pennzoil 5W30 mineral based. I also change at 500-800 miles, then again at the 3500 recommended. Probably unnecessary but just in case there is some build-up of shavings etc from factory/during break-in.
 

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That's an age old question, when to switch to synthetic. As stated on the Mobil site, Mobil 1 is put in many cars from the factory, so why wait?

It's "factory fill" in Chevrolet Corvette, all Porsches, Mercedes-Benz AMG models, Dodge Viper, Ford Mustang Cobra R and all Aston Martin cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
dmako said:
That's an age old question, when to switch to synthetic. As stated on the Mobil site, Mobil 1 is put in many cars from the factory, so why wait?

It's "factory fill" in Chevrolet Corvette, all Porsches, Mercedes-Benz AMG models, Dodge Viper, Ford Mustang Cobra R and all Aston Martin cars.
Perhaps an urban legend, but some people believe it takes longer to break in an engine running synthetic than mineral based. Posts I have seen on other sites suggest waiting anywhere from 3000 to 10000 miles. If you believe in synthetics superior lubrication, this has some merit.
 

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I have not used synthetic oil in a car yet. I am considering using it in the Murano.

However, I have some industrial experience with synthetics. They last three times longer, offer superior lubricating qualities (less wear), can work in extreme conditions –heat and load, where mineral oils cannot. If one translates it to engine, one would expect that engine last longer and wears less. And we shouldn’t change oil more often than every 7K – 10K miles. But there is a warranty issue………So…….

Enforcer,
given the superior synthetic oil lubrication properties I would expect breaking in takes longer time when using this kind of oil. But this is only my opinion based on industrial experience.
 

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Syn or not to Syn

I've been using synthetic oil for the last 15+ years. Used in in my 1988Subaru and say a 2-3 mpg increase, used it in my 1997 Toyota RAV4 and saw a gas milage increase and just put it in my Murano (Fins) and saw a gas milage increase. Never had any engine problems with either the Subaru or the Rav4. Only thing I've ever had was an oil leak on the Subaru. I believe in Syn.:D
 

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Mtetzlaff,
This is great news. I believe that synthetic oil contributes to less engine wear and is longer lasting (though car and oil companies will never admit that, I mean longer lasting). However, improved mileage? What would cause it. Why would it happen? Better lubrication means less friction and energy dissipation in the form of heat. If what you are saying is true we should all convert to synthetic oil.

2 mph improvement would translate into 10% mileage/gas improvement. Assuming oil change every 3,500 miles. Gas usage (20 mpg fuel economy) 3,500 divide by 20 = 175 gallons. At US$1.50/gallon it is $262.50. 10% = US$26.25. Now 5 quarts of Mobil 1 synch costs Approximately US$20.00. So here we are. We can easily justify switching to sych based on mpg improvement. Not to mention extended engine life.

Thanks mtetzlaff. I am going to switch next oil change.
 

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since last post I have found an interesting info on synthetic oils. Try this link: ttp://www.performanceoiltechnology.com/Amsoilvs.Mobil1.htm

Anybody out there with Amsoil synthetic oils experience.
 

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Kris said:
And we shouldn’t change oil more often than every 7K – 10K miles. But there is a warranty issue………So…….
Their is an every 7,500 mile oil change interval listed in the Murano's manual so I don't know why there would be any warranty issues with using synthetic and switching to a 7,500 mile change interval.

I will probably switch to synthetic at about 5,000 miles. I plan to do my first change then. I don't believe in the every 3,000 mile change Jiffy Lube BS for newer cars, and if you use synthetic you definately shouldn't change that often due to wasting money and needlessly wearing out parts that touched in an oil change. A manufacturer could probably run an engine on Synthetic for 100,000 miles without a change in these newer engines (as long as the filter could hold up that long). I think in most cases the manufacturers keep the interval low to keep the service departments at dealerships happy. My VW Golf had a change interval of 10,000 miles (to bad it needed to have a quart added every 1,000 to 2,000 miles).

That is not to say that their are not exceptions to this like Toyota's sludging issue which I am not that familiar with. And you should always check your oil every 1000 miles no matter how often you change it to make sure you are not running low and to examine the color.
 

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Inichols,

I have driven cars in Europe and in Australia. In both cases the recommended oil replacement intervals were somewhere around 10K to 15K (kilometers – which would translate to approximately 6K – 10K miles). I was very surprised to find that many US carmakers recommend 3K miles. I am with you on this one, especially if you used synthetic oil replacing it every 3K miles would be simply wasting of money.
 

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You can stretch oil changes by using synthetics but the weak link is in the oil filter I’d say. The filter can not go the distances of the oil can.
 

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dmako said:
You can stretch oil changes by using synthetics but the weak link is in the oil filter I’d say. The filter can not go the distances of the oil can.
Speaking of oil filters, I'm getting ready to have my oil changed, and I plan to switch to Mobil1. I want to use a Mobil1 oil filter, too, but every auto parts store I've gone to doesn't have one specifically for the Murano. I thought I read somewhere that the Murano's filter is the same as the 3.5L engine in the 2003 Maxima. Does anyone know if that's true?

Jeff
 

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I second the notion that the filter is the factor that limits the mileage between oil changes.

The pores in a filter are a finite size, and anything smaller than these pores passes right through the filter. Eventually, any oil will become saturated with these ultra small particles, and the only way to eliminate them is to replace the oil.

I imagine data on the pore size of oil filters is available somewhere. It would be interesting to compare filters from different OEM and after-market manufacturers.

-dave-
 

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Discussion Starter #14
jpburk said:


Speaking of oil filters, I'm getting ready to have my oil changed, and I plan to switch to Mobil1. I want to use a Mobil1 oil filter, too, but every auto parts store I've gone to doesn't have one specifically for the Murano. I thought I read somewhere that the Murano's filter is the same as the 3.5L engine in the 2003 Maxima. Does anyone know if that's true?

Jeff
Yes, see this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Redbeard said:
I second the notion that the filter is the factor that limits the mileage between oil changes.

The pores in a filter are a finite size, and anything smaller than these pores passes right through the filter. Eventually, any oil will become saturated with these ultra small particles, and the only way to eliminate them is to replace the oil.

I imagine data on the pore size of oil filters is available somewhere. It would be interesting to compare filters from different OEM and after-market manufacturers.

-dave-
I saw that somewhere, can't remember where. But I remember the Mobile 1 and OEM being very good, others not.

I don't know if it is still done, but some oil filters used to have by-pass ports for times of high demand.
 

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Honda uses a super-duper, top secret, "break-in oil" that you are not supposed to remove until after 7500 miles. It has something to do with seating the rings.

My S2000 manual states not to change to synthetic until after 10,000 miles to allow the engine to fully break in. Sythetic oil does not allow for proper seating. Also you must consider the 8900 rpm redline in the S2000.

I will switch to Mobil 1 after 5000 in the Murano.
 

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Actual Mobile One Experience

I have a 00 Maxima SE that I bought new in Sept 1999. I changed the regular oil at 2,000-5,000 and at 10,000, switched to Mobile One 5-30. I have the dealer do the oil changes and I provide my own 5 gallon jugs of Mobile One 5-30. I have used the standard OEM Nissan filter and change both oil and filter at every 5,000 miles.

The car now has 135,000 miles on it and the engine has no measurable wear on it. I had a compression test run at a non Nissan dealer at 100,000 miles and all the cylinders measuered with in +/- 2 of each other. The technician who ran the test, ran it again because he couldn't believe they were still that close after 100k.

The car gets lots of highway miles (driving 75-85, usually) and has achieved a lifetime Gasoline mileage of 24.2 MPG on Amoco Premium, virtually every fill up. The mileage during the first 10,000 miles was 22.0 (with the same kind of driving, except for the first 1,000 miles where we followed the break in schedule, well mostly).

I know I'm spending a little more on oil changes (I've explained it to the wife many times!) but I'm saving close to enough in gas mileage to feed it the good stuff all the time.

I suspect I'll get a similar gas mileage result when I convert the Murano at 10,000 miles but the extra wind resistance may reduce the gas mileage increase a bit.

This was the first vehicle I ever ran synthetic in but now I'm a convert and I use the small remainder from the 5 gallon jugs in the lawnmover and string trimmer as well.
 

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Took my Murano into the dealer's service dept. yesterday for its first 3,500 mile maintenace visit. I asked the service rep if I brought in Mobil 1 would they use it and he said yes, but that Nissan didn't recommend synthetics. (I knew that.) But then he looked at me and said he's been using synthetics for years and no problems. I said I planned on switching to synthetic at 10,000 miles and he said good to that, that the engine should be well broken in before changing. A lot of FA forum members say 10,000 miles, so that's what I'm going with.
 

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Ok, I'm at about 3500 miles now, should I have the dealer change the oil, or wait until 5000? When I do have them change it, what should I have them put in? (If I'm not going synthetic until 10k)
:confused:
 
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