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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > synthetic oils

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chiefneon

Livingston, TX

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Posted: 03/13/02 11:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Howdy

I've been thinking about changing motor oil in my cummins 12 valve diesel to synthetic.

I the largest part of the time I use this vehicle is when pulling a 5th wheel. So I may have need to have the oil changed on the road.

I've heard Amsoil is a good brand but is it hard to fine on the road.

I was also advised by Wal Mart that they are now carring "Rotella synthetic oil" which I now use and like but have not tried the new synthetic. I wood like to go to this brand if it's going to be carried by Wal Mart's. Makes thing easier on the road.

Last question how often do you change the synthetic oil. I read some were that they don't change thier oil only the filter and add two quarts of new oil.

Happy Trails!
chiefneon

Ray,IN

IN, USA

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Posted: 03/13/02 09:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Oil change interval does not change with type of oil. The same contaminates are present in the crankcase whatever you use. That said though, the 2003 Dodge/Cummins has a 15k oil change interval. Bottom line is- do whatever you are content with. To find syn oil on the road phone any truck service center and ask for info.

Kenneth

Washington, the state

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Posted: 03/14/02 11:52am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The debate between petroleum oil and synthetic oil can take on almost religous overtones sometimes. Anyway....

Some makers of synthetic oils do recommend an extended change interval. You'll have to get the data from each brand. If you go to extended oil change interval, you want to be sure that the oil maker has a warranty against engine damage that backs up the truck maker's warranty. In any case, any synthetic will be good for the full interval specified in your owner's manual. There is one brand that claims that if you use their filters and add their special replenishment oil when you change the filter, the oil never needs to be changed. I'm not brave enough to try it. http://www.synlube.com/prod01.htm.

If you're planning on driving a very high number of miles, a by-pass oil filter will dramatically reduce engine wear. http://www.amsoil.com/products/bf.html

Petro oils are very good. Synthetic oils are superior in either very cold or very hot situations, or if you're going to own your truck for may years and many hundreds of thousands of miles.

Wal-Mart, and many other shops, have sometimes been guilty of failing to actually change the filter or other misdeeds. Also, someone said that they sell Fram filters. I don't believe that Fram has the quality that they used to have. For a truck like yours, stick with Mopar, Fleetguard (Cummins), Hastings or Baldwin (same thing), Wix or Napa Gold (same thing), or Amsoil filters. You can take the filter to any oil change shop and have them install it during the oil change. Also pick up some drain plug gaskets from a dealer and have them use a new gasket each time. Figure out a way to be sure that they actually change the filter and drain plug gasket, and that they use the oil you specifiy.

If you have a considerable number of miles on your engine, you'll find that the improved detergency of the synthetic oil will remove sludge that's been building up in your engine. One way to handle this is after the first installation of synthetic oil, change your filter at 1000 miles, again at 3000, and again at 5000. After this, revert to your usual oil and filter change interval.

Ken

chiefneon

Livingston, TX

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Posted: 03/14/02 02:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ken

Thanks for your help I generally do the the oil and filter changes myslf except while on the road.

Here in Texas hot weather is the norm here. I'm just trying to get the best out of my truck that the reason for looking at changing over to synthetics.

"Happy Trails"
chiefneon

Dennis and Kathy

Spanish Fork/UT, USA

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Posted: 03/14/02 11:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 98 Dodge with a Cummins 12v (which I no longer own) stated in the owners manual not to use a full synthetic motor oil. It said you could use a synthetic blend after 10,000 miles.


Maddog59

Portland, OR USA

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Posted: 03/15/02 09:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In order to get the most out of your motor oil, extend engine life, increase engine power and torque, reduce your maintenance costs, and save the world, use good quality synthetic oils (oil, transmission, and differential), install a bypass oil filter, test the oil by laboratory oil analysis (LOA) and/or portable oil analyzer (POA), and only change the oil when it is necessary (and it may never be necessary). Why? – The long discussion below summarizes my research/opinion.

Here are two web sites, which may help Rv’ers decide on whether or not to switch to synthetic motor oil and whether a bypass oil filter is really necessary. The first is http://www.trawlerworld.com/c_qu_2000_12_4.htm; I really like this site and capnwil’s information and test results. The other www.motoroilbible.com I am less enthusiastic about, because the author (Kaufman) also sells Amsoil. The information Kaufman provides in his book is very good and as far as I can tell the oil information is reliable. There is always the chance he is biased by his relation with Amsoil. I purchased the book and received a discount voucher that anyone can use for $2.00 off the $9.00 book purchase. Use voucher #312681000, and no, I do not receive remuneration from Kaufman.

Motor oil lubrication is a complicated issue. While oil technically does not wear out, pollutants from combustion, internal wear, and other sources may contaminate it. The contaminates foul the oil and cause additional engine wear. Which in turn causes more engine wear. Because the full flow oil filter that came with your vehicle filters out particles larger than 20 microns or so, the real culprits to engine wear are the little guys in the 5 to 20 micron size. The full flow filter cannot touch these particles, the only way to eliminate them is to flush and refill the system with fresh oil every 3,000 miles.

The problem with the 3,000 mile flush and refill system is 1. It is expensive – you dump perfectly good oil. 2. It damages the environment. 3. It increases our dependence on neat guys like Sadam Husein, the Russians, and the Arab Sheiks. 4. It’s a darn messy job - changing the oil and filter. There must be a better way.

In my humble opinion capnwil hit on the solution, the bypass oil filter, and oil testing. What is a bypass oil filter? It is an auxiliary oil filter, which filters a small amount of oil at a time but filters it to between 1 and 5 microns. In essence, the filter will make the oil as clean if not cleaner than it was when new. As my son would say, “cool”. In this state the oil will last many thousands of miles and under the right circumstances, indefinitely.

How can you tell if the oil is still good? Good question. Just looking at it won’t give you the necessary information. All motor oil looks worn out after just a few hundred miles. This is because contaminates smaller than 1 micron cause visible color changes. But remember, these particles are not the reason for premature engine wear and failure. The only way to determine whether the oil needs to be changed is by oil testing by laboratory oil analysis (LOA) and/or portable oil analyzer (POA).

Capnwil’s testing shows that bypass filtration and oil testing is the key to engine life and oil longevity. Please read his report!!! He also found that bypass filtration and synthetic oil were a real winner indicating that synthetic oil and bypass filtration should result in far less engine wear and lower long term costs than the 3,000 flush and fill system. But this system can only be cost effective if the bypass filter system and synthetic oil costs are reasonable and if the potential engine life payback is reasonable.

Of all the bypass systems I have seen, the Oilguard bypass system is one of the best values (www.oilguardfilters.com) at about $120 for the full installation kit and $8.00 for each mail in oil test (after the first). Amsoil has a slick two-filter system that replaces your original filter with an oil sending mount and two remotely mounted filters, one full flow and one bypass for about $200 (http://www.amsoil.com/products/bf.html, the corporate site is: www.amsoil.com), filters cost $26.00 and testing costs $20 each. The Frantz filter system is $165 from www.wefilterit.com and maybe cheaper elsewhere, the filters are toilet paper rolls so the cost is minimal. A search for “bypass oil filters” will undoubtedly find others. I am partial to the Oilguard system generally; the Amsoil appears to win on ease of installation, and the Frantz wins on filter cost.

Why wouldn’t you make the change? If your rig is older, the possibility of oil leaks is something to consider. Also, if you don’t plan to keep your rig for many years, you will never recoup the costs or the engine life benefits.

I hope this was helpful.



1983 Sportscoach III (the Ski Haus - snow and water), 454 c.u., turbo 400, Thorley 303y, K&N filters, Air Lift air springs (w/ auto inflator), Mor-Ryde tag axle, front & rear receiver hitches with Thule ski rack and storage pod on rear receiver (I am proud of this design, ask if you want info or plans).

Kenneth

Washington, the state

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Posted: 03/16/02 09:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hawk, does this answer your question about leakage:
Myth #1: Synthetic motor oils damage seals.

Untrue. It would be foolhardy for lubricant manufacturers to build a product that is incompatible with seals. The composition of seals presents problems that both petroleum oils and synthetics must overcome. Made from elastomers, seals are inherently difficult to standardize.

Ultimately it is the additive mix in oil that counts. Additives to control seal swell, shrinkage and hardening are required, whether it be a synthetic or petroleum product that is being produced.

Myth #2: Synthetics are too thin to stay in the engine.

Untrue. In order for a lubricant to be classified in any SAE grade (10W-30, 10W-40, etc.) it has to meet certain guidelines with regard to viscosity ("thickness").

For example, it makes no difference whether it's 10W-40 petroleum or 10W-40 synthetic, at -25 degrees centigrade (-13F) and 100 degrees centigrade (212 degrees F) the oil has to maintain a standardized viscosity or it can't be rated a 10W-40.

Myth #3: Synthetics cause cars to use more oil.

Untrue. Synthetic motor oils are intended for use in mechanically sound engines, that is, engines that don't leak. In such engines, oil consumption will actually be reduced. First, because of the lower volatility of synlubes. Second, because of the better sealing characteristics between piston rings and cylinder walls. And finally, because of the superior oxidation stability (i.e. resistance of synthetics against reacting with oxygen at high temperatures.)
http://www.amsoil.com/articlespr/articlemyths.htm

Semi-synthetic oils usually don't have enough advantage over good petro oils to justify the higher price. It's not a good idea to mix different oil brands or types: "It is usually best to use the same oil for topping off that you have been running in the engine. That is, it is preferable to not mix your oils, even if it is Valvoline or Quaker State you are using. The reason is this: the functions of additives blended for specific characteristics can be offset when oils with different additive packages are put together. For optimal performance, it is better to use the same oil throughout." (same link)


Ken


Hawk

Halifax,NS, Canada

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Posted: 03/17/02 11:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So you seem to be saying, "go with full synthetic and do not be concerned about developing leaks, or stay with your regular petro brand oil" as there is not enough benefit in the semi-synthetic oils to justify using it. Do I have to cart this oil back to the store???????? Ken


'96 GMC 2500HD ext cab,long bed,5.7L Vortec,4.10 posi, RBW 15K Lil Rocker, Jordan 2020 Ultima (I love it)
'96 Golden Falcon 25 MGT 5th Wheel

Hawk

Halifax,NS, Canada

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Posted: 03/16/02 06:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Please help me on this. I am due for an oil change. Yesterday. on impulse, I picked up 6 liters of semi-synthetic oil and a new regular filter. I read all about developing leaks on older engines and so was reluctant to go to full synthetic oil. Any benefit here. I would keep to my regular change practice with this. Thanks Ken

Cessna 182

owensboro ky

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Posted: 03/16/02 08:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hawk, buy non synthic of the same brand and add a quart on the semi on the next oil changes. Just a suggestion. the semi is only about 50 50 anyway.

Jim


Have a good one
Jim
99 Holiday Rambler Vacationeer
95 Escort Toad

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