Need to make new car last driving over 100k/year


Old 10-22-03, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: San Jose, CA
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One of my relatives worked in Engineering at Mobil. I popped the question on him one day and he responded along with real reasons that engineered oils were superior to the regular stuff pumped out of the ground. No argument -- synthetics ARE better.

But does one really *need* it or *benefit* from it? Do $200 gold-plated AC power plugs *really* make an audible difference on stereo equipment though the whole house is wired with romex?

Consider this--how long does a typical owner keep his car? 5-10yrs at most? Speaking for myself, I donated my wife's '85 at 153K miles a couple of years ago after she got a new car to replace it. I did her oil every 3-5K regularly from the time she bought it. The car was brown when it was new; it was metallic silver when I dumped it -- simply because there was no more paint left on it! The upholstery was trashed due to sunlight exposure. Bottom line was it looked like a heap, and it wasn't terribly enjoyable to drive anymore even though it was reliable and mechanically sound.

If I had used $ynthetic oils, *maybe* engine compression would have been a little better, but it wouldn't have done anything to the rest of the car.

I have an 84 with 184K miles now and still going strong. It's never seen a drop of synthetic juice. I should easily get 250K out of it assuming the rest of the car still continues to hold together, I don't get in a wreck, I don't get tired of maintaining it, or I don't buy myself something else in the mean time.

I'll stick with regular dinosaur juice. No point spending the extra bux on synthetics. The money saved goes to pay for our vehicle registration fees instead. They're supposedly going up 3x this year in CA. Very nice. :-( sigh!

Whatever happened to Slick50 Snake Oil? [needless to say, Didn't they get busted for false advertising?] Yet so many folks religiously swore by the stuff for so many years... lol!
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Old 10-22-03, 10:10 PM
mike from nj
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excellent points---alung

you just paraphrased everything i've said in the last two weeks.

mobil 1 is a better oil---whether my friends, uncle's, neighbor's nephew working at nasa said it or not.

it is NOT needed to make an engine last well past 100,000 miles, even one that is known for smoking, like MINE is, and it isn't(yet)

do i want to spend $1 or $4 a quart, on something that isn't needed?


and as i look inside the oil fill cap at the aluminum rocker arms---they're clean.

that is an answer to the 'original' question
Old 10-23-03, 03:57 AM
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Which is why your 1983 WhateverMobile (you didn't say what it was) lasted.

Again, the key is regular maintenance on a timely and consistent basis. That is the best thing for your car over throwing high dollar product at it.

Is synthetic better? Sure. Is it better in the sense that it's worth it with consistent, measurable benefits to the average car owner? No.

See you at 250k.
Old 10-23-03, 07:06 AM
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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good thread, it's decided that regular maint. is the key. To those of us who live in the great white north, put a jug of 5W30 of your best oil outside at -30 and put a jug of 5W30 synthetic beside it and come out in the mornin' and see which one pours..... I've done it. At initial start up, you want oil in your pan, not molasses.
Old 10-23-03, 03:52 PM
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My parents have always lived in Canada, we have been in this area for over 20 years. We have never used synthetic and have never had a problem with startup in the winter. Sometimes it is
-30 with high windchill, whether or not the oil pours is beside the point, we still get protection and quick startups. The only time you don't get a fast startup or good protection is when regular maintenance is not done, like was said 100 times.
Old 10-23-03, 04:25 PM
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-30? Brrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

NYC gets temperature extremes, but that must be brutal!
Old 10-23-03, 06:08 PM
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Ya it is, not too many winter DAYS are that bad, but if you go out and start a cold, not plugged in car at 4 in the morning in january (average nightime temp could be below -30 regularily) the engine sounds weird (from the oil being thicker than normal) and doesn't run very well at all until it is hot. Still though, the cars we have had have always started right away, however if they were not plugged in, you have to let it warm up for at least 5 minutes if you want it to run anything close to well. Other than that extreme, we don't let the cars idle to warm up, if the temp is -25 or warmer, we just get in and drive away with everything frozen. The "to warm up or not to warm up" is another debate that often gets heated (No pun intended
Old 10-24-03, 06:51 AM
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Sounds like you should have a couple of engine block heaters in your arsenal!
That will keep the engine block warm and aid in starting.
Old 10-24-03, 12:42 PM
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Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
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This has moved way off the original poster's question,in fact daveblan hasn't posted since 10/11/03 so let's give it a rest.
Old 10-24-03, 01:07 PM
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Funny thing is that Counterman magazine did a column/special/feature on "LOF" (Lube, Oil, Filter).

Bottom line is that in many cases the 3/3000 rule is valid because:

1) Many people do severe driving and don't realize it.
2) "The best thing you can do to extend the life of your engine is to change the oil and filter", which means regular maintenance is the key.
3) Basically, getting under the hood allows you exposure to head off problems BEFORE they start in other vehicle systems, so this is an argument for frequent service,
4) When oil is contaminated, you are circulating junk around the engine which is not good.

Again, maintenance is the key here.

Davo: Seems to me the conversation is still going on....
Old 10-24-03, 03:08 PM
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I think all our vehicles have block heaters (not many cars around here don't have them) the ones in the garage are fine (not heated garage but it is always at least 10 degrees warmer than outside) for outside, we plug them in during the couple months when the temps are really nasty.
Old 10-24-03, 10:05 PM
mike from nj
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funny thing is----Counterman magazine!

the points are valid though
Old 10-25-03, 03:31 PM
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Actually, Babcox owns them and also publishes "Underhood" and "Front End and Brake" among others. The magazines are pretty good for information and giving snapshots of things.

The magazine also comes to me free of charge at work. LOL.

It's actually not as "sales oriented" as you might think. If more people read things like this to educate themselves a bit (those in the trade that is), half the fallacies they believed in might go away. .

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