Don't know if the oil is synthetic or petroleum

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Old 03-29-07, 08:56 AM
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Don't know if the oil is synthetic or petroleum

Hi-
We purchased a used vehicle, and I want to change the oil before our first long road trip. The seller (a dealer) doesn't know if the engine is currently using synthetic or petroleum motor oil.

How do I tell if the current engine oil is synthetic or petroleum? I've heard you're not supposed to switch back and forth.

Your thoughts appreciated- thanks!
Dave O
 
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Old 03-29-07, 11:15 AM
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Nope, you can switch back and forth
They are compatible

It's just if the engine has been treated to synth all it's life you might want to keep it up
If you don't want to, no biggie

If it's had Dead Dino Juice all it's life and it's on high miles now, probably not worth the switch to synth
 
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Old 03-29-07, 11:53 AM
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Thanks!

It's still low miles, and I shoulda coulda woulda been MEANING to change the oil before now. But we're about to take a road trip, and I want to make sure the oil is recent.

I figure I'll go with whatever the owner's manual says to use, and move forward with that.

Thanks again for your reply!
 
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Old 03-29-07, 04:01 PM
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Might want to research if your particular engine is a known sludge-prone one. Synthetics are recommended for them even if not specified. Consumerreports.org among others has a list.
 
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Old 03-29-07, 04:25 PM
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Whew! Had me going there for a minute

Thanks for that info, Tow_Guy. It turns out our vehicle is NOT on the list. I didn't even know of such a list!
 
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Old 03-31-07, 05:53 PM
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Not something the automakers really like to see in print. FWIW, my wife's Camry is on the list and it has no bearing on how much we love the car.
 
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Old 04-10-07, 02:11 PM
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Did you switch to synthetic?

Just back from the road trip I mentioned in the first post, so I apologize for the delay.

Did you switch to synthetic in your Camry? My mother-in-law has a Camry, and I'm going to recommend that she switches.
 
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Old 04-12-07, 01:40 PM
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In general, it is good form to change all fluids and filters when buying a used vehicle. This provides a baseline for future maintenance. Below is a list. Some of the items you may not have thought about. You don't have to do everything, but all items are worth considering.

- engine oil & filter
- transmission fluid exchange & filter
- coolant flush
- brake fluid flush
- fuel filter
- differential fluid
- ps fluid flush
- throttle body cleaning
- air filter
 
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Old 04-12-07, 01:48 PM
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Good idea

THat's smart thinking. When I changed the oil I noticed the last guy (I'm guessing Spiffy Lube) did not use a drain bolt gasket, and really had to torque the drain bolt to prevent drips. So some maintenance was done, at least- good idea to change those fluids and start things off on the right foot.
 
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Old 04-12-07, 02:09 PM
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Cool Engine Oil

Engines are about the tightest things known to man except of course for my ex-wife...You can dump just about anything into an engine and it will still run. Lets say you have an engine that has alot of crud built up. Run 1 quart of kerosine in along with the engine oil for 10 minutes to clean it up, drain the oil and add 4 quarts of oil for a 5 quart system and 1 quart tranny fluid cause it has detergent in it. This will polish the bearings. I once ran a water hose through an engine to remove a bunch of built up sludge and then drained the pan and ran kerosine (1 Quart) for 10 minutes and then drained the oil again and then filled it up with oil and the smoke out the exhaust pipe dissapeared. How may times I have run an engine with no water or oil is beyond me, but them engines seem to just keep on going, although I must add, I only own General Motor cars, exspecially Chevy...
 
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Old 04-13-07, 06:33 AM
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NH396, are you serious with your advice?... running a water hose through an engine??
 
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Old 04-13-07, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CycleZen View Post
Hi-
We purchased a used vehicle, and I want to change the oil before our first long road trip. The seller (a dealer) doesn't know if the engine is currently using synthetic or petroleum motor oil.

How do I tell if the current engine oil is synthetic or petroleum? I've heard you're not supposed to switch back and forth.

Your thoughts appreciated- thanks!
Dave O

There is no way you can visible tell the difference short of an oil analysis. Don't belive in the mystical properties of synthetic engine vs. conventional as a lot of people have come thanks to the heavy marketing. Conventional motor oil has come a lot way in 10 years and still very good to use.
Look at bob the oil guy

Frank
 
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Old 04-13-07, 12:54 PM
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Smile yep

it was one of those quaker state engines that was gunked up really bad. of course you dont start the engine. I ran hot water from the kitchen sink right into the valve cover oil fill hole and took out the drain pan plug and let that hot water wash out alot of gunk. when I was done I removed all the spark plugs and turned over the engine a few times to remove any water that might have got in there but I figure if you got a good set of rings and no worn valve guides that it would work, if not as a safety measure I removed any that seeped in but I din't see any water. Then I ran 1 quart of kerosine and 4 quarts of oil to allow the kerosine to clean it more and when that was done empty it out. I must add though since the owner was a buddy of mine he refused to follow all of my instructions and was in too much a hurry to run the engine and we did have a small fire. I guess there was still some leftover kerosine...
 
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