Does conventional oil protect better?

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Originally Posted By: carock
There is enough information in this thread to finally answer the OP’s question. Does conventional oil protect better than synthetic? The answer is no. In every instance I can easily find, the only evidence people present to show that dino oil protects as good or better than synthetic is UOA metal wear numbers. I think we have established that UOA metal wear numbers are the wrong tool for the job. Unless somebody can show me evidence that a real world passenger car or fleet car test was conducted where dino oil proved it was superior to synthetic oil I think the case is closed. There are real world passenger and fleet car tests showing that synthetic oil is superior to dino oil. The other argument people have made is that dino oils are cheaper and it just isn’t worth using synthetics. That is not really the question.
Tell that to all the OFF and ON Road Truckers logging millions of miles on dino. I would venture to say neither protects better. If used appropriately and in accordance with vehicle specifications, either will protect virtually the same.
 
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I would agree with the above and add that conventional is more than good enough for most passenger vehicles in most situations. In any case, is there really a "conventional" anymore? as I think the vast majority of conventional are probably synthetic blends at this point...
 
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Originally Posted By: wemay
Originally Posted By: carock
There is enough information in this thread to finally answer the OP’s question. Does conventional oil protect better than synthetic? The answer is no. In every instance I can easily find, the only evidence people present to show that dino oil protects as good or better than synthetic is UOA metal wear numbers. I think we have established that UOA metal wear numbers are the wrong tool for the job. Unless somebody can show me evidence that a real world passenger car or fleet car test was conducted where dino oil proved it was superior to synthetic oil I think the case is closed. There are real world passenger and fleet car tests showing that synthetic oil is superior to dino oil. The other argument people have made is that dino oils are cheaper and it just isn’t worth using synthetics. That is not really the question.
Tell that to all the OFF and ON Road Truckers logging millions of miles on dino. I would venture to say neither protects better. If used appropriately and in accordance with vehicle specifications, either will protect virtually the same.
There is no evidence in your argument that dino protects better than synthetic.
 
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Maybe because... i didn't say so.
Originally Posted By: carock
Originally Posted By: wemay
Originally Posted By: carock
There is enough information in this thread to finally answer the OP’s question. Does conventional oil protect better than synthetic? The answer is no. In every instance I can easily find, the only evidence people present to show that dino oil protects as good or better than synthetic is UOA metal wear numbers. I think we have established that UOA metal wear numbers are the wrong tool for the job. Unless somebody can show me evidence that a real world passenger car or fleet car test was conducted where dino oil proved it was superior to synthetic oil I think the case is closed. There are real world passenger and fleet car tests showing that synthetic oil is superior to dino oil. The other argument people have made is that dino oils are cheaper and it just isn’t worth using synthetics. That is not really the question.
Tell that to all the OFF and ON Road Truckers logging millions of miles on dino. I would venture to say neither protects better. If used appropriately and in accordance with vehicle specifications, either will protect virtually the same.
There is no evidence in your argument that dino protects better than synthetic.
Maybe because... i didn't say so. Reread Bold type. whistle
 
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Originally Posted By: carock
Both those articles are about comparing wear metal levels from the same machine, and I believe the same oil, and doing trend analysis to determine if there is abnormal wear. They are not talking about changing machines and changing oils and then using wear metal particle counts to determine if one lubricant is better than another.
And that's pretty much what Blackstone used to support their conclusion all be it over a larger population of "machines". I don't think anyone in this thread said a single pass UOA provided any value.
 
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Originally Posted By: Pablo
Originally Posted By: Nederlander75
Reads like lower metal content supports less wear and thereby supportive of the assertion that conventional oils do produce less wear.
You are doing science logic incorrectly.
Demonstrate please. Of course including all the discussion to form a relevant context.
 
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So "protection" only consists of lower wear? What about other attributes such as oxidation control or shear stability? And what about different brands of synthetic or conventional oils? Surely not all are a monolithic block when it comes to "protection"?
 
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Originally Posted By: carock
Is it not significant that there are no racing groups still using conventional dino oils? In an industry where engine tear downs are part of the routine, EVERYBODY has switched to synthetics based on actual observations of wear in the field. My point is that when we look at engines that wear out pretty quickly, synthetics are the obvious choice. There really is no reason to assume that the same thing does not apply to engines that live 200,000+ miles except that it takes so much time to run the experiment. People in the forum have been comparing wear metal results in UOA's and this is simply the wrong tool for the job. Even though race engines may not represent the same duty cycle as street engines, it is a better indicator of oil characteristics than UOA wear metal comparisons.
I have to take exception to the race engine comparison. The oiling systems are not even close. Neither are most of the bearing clearances. Lots of race engines run dry sumps and vacuum pumps to boot. I don't see any on street cars... Race engines are modified to exclude by-pass valving. 100% of the oil goes through the filter, 100% of the time. It's the only way to prevent 15 micron and bigger sharp hard metal bits from circulating and taking out expensive bearings and valve gear at 7-10,000 RPM. Quicker than you can shut down if you even see a flicker on the oil pressure gage ... Most race motors I know about have a plate magnet epoxied into the bottom of the pan for the same reason. And valley screens to compartmentalize the valve train from the lower rotating assembly. Valve trains break, and they can do massive damage. Keep them localized if possible. Non of this happens on street motors ... And the oils are different. Lots of them are mono-grades up to and including 70 ... Just like pre-heating the tires for some classes, the engine boss often pre-heats the oil before filling the tank. There is no high viscosity cold oil pumping going on. AND, some race motors have pre-oilers to make sure they have pressure before the crank ever turns. I don't know to many street motors that do this ... If you want to look at motors that get abused regularly, look at fire trucks. Big engines with high reciprocating masses that go from zero stone cold to WOT in seconds and do it time and time again. Some of the locals around here do use Chevron Supreme or Delo which is pretty close to conventional oil (Grp III blend) and those motors last a long time. They don't like synthetics because they have drain-off issues. The motors may sit for week and then go WOT at 2:00 AM. They like having engines that don't clatter and clack while they are trying to get out the gate with traffic going crazy in all directions. At best they run syn-blends. Race teams pick synthetics because 1.) they are sponsored and get paid to do so, and 2.) they expect to possibly loose coolant, and they want the lubricant to try to do it's job at 400*F while they are trying to get back to the pits. This is not an assumption that street folks make ... But I will say that the first ORT to make 1,000,000 miles w/o a tear down was on Chevron Delo 400. Followed by Delvac a few month later. That's documented history. That's not synthetic. So even if synthetics do offer some benefits, they have not been shown to be better at actual lubrication. AND, even Blackstone among others will explain long and hard how you do not use synthetics in aviation or marine engines until they are thoroughly broken in. Usually not until after the third oil change. There are drawbacks to using synthetics, even though there are sometimes advantages. It depends on the job at hand. There is no one-size-fits-all here ...
 
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Taiwan
Originally Posted By: carock
There is enough information in this thread to finally answer the OP’s question. Does conventional oil protect better than synthetic? The answer is no. In every instance I can easily find, the only evidence people present to show that dino oil protects as good or better than synthetic is UOA metal wear numbers. I think we have established that UOA metal wear numbers are the wrong tool for the job. Unless somebody can show me evidence that a real world passenger car or fleet car test was conducted where dino oil proved it was superior to synthetic oil I think the case is closed. There are real world passenger and fleet car tests showing that synthetic oil is superior to dino oil. The other argument people have made is that dino oils are cheaper and it just isn’t worth using synthetics. That is not really the question.
A lack of evidence for the superiority of mineral oil is not evidence for the superiority of synthetic oil. In the absence of evidence, the null hypothesis stands. Incidentally, in Articles, there used to be a description of a fairly large scale UOA fleet comparison of synthetic and mineral oils, and IIRC the null hypothesis stood there too. Can't remember the exact title, something like "Determining what is Normal". Good article, but it seems to have gone. Wasn't in the title list but its still there. https://bobistheoilguy.com/used-oil-analysis-how-to-decide-what-is-normal/
 
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Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
AND, even Blackstone among others will explain long and hard how you do not use synthetics in aviation or marine engines until they are thoroughly broken in. Usually not until after the third oil change. There are drawbacks to using synthetics, even though there are sometimes advantages. It depends on the job at hand. There is no one-size-fits-all here ...
I assume you mean piston engines in general aviation, as turbine engines use only synthetic oils. Not that I'd listen to Blackstone for my airplane though. So what GA piston engine synthetic oils are there?
 
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Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
Originally Posted By: carock
Is it not significant that there are no racing groups still using conventional dino oils? In an industry where engine tear downs are part of the routine, EVERYBODY has switched to synthetics based on actual observations of wear in the field. My point is that when we look at engines that wear out pretty quickly, synthetics are the obvious choice. There really is no reason to assume that the same thing does not apply to engines that live 200,000+ miles except that it takes so much time to run the experiment. People in the forum have been comparing wear metal results in UOA's and this is simply the wrong tool for the job. Even though race engines may not represent the same duty cycle as street engines, it is a better indicator of oil characteristics than UOA wear metal comparisons.
I have to take exception to the race engine comparison. The oiling systems are not even close. Neither are most of the bearing clearances. Lots of race engines run dry sumps and vacuum pumps to boot. I don't see any on street cars... Race engines are modified to exclude by-pass valving. 100% of the oil goes through the filter, 100% of the time. It's the only way to prevent 15 micron and bigger sharp hard metal bits from circulating and taking out expensive bearings and valve gear at 7-10,000 RPM. Quicker than you can shut down if you even see a flicker on the oil pressure gage ... Most race motors I know about have a plate magnet epoxied into the bottom of the pan for the same reason. And valley screens to compartmentalize the valve train from the lower rotating assembly. Valve trains break, and they can do massive damage. Keep them localized if possible. Non of this happens on street motors ... And the oils are different. Lots of them are mono-grades up to and including 70 ... Just like pre-heating the tires for some classes, the engine boss often pre-heats the oil before filling the tank. There is no high viscosity cold oil pumping going on. AND, some race motors have pre-oilers to make sure they have pressure before the crank ever turns. I don't know to many street motors that do this ... If you want to look at motors that get abused regularly, look at fire trucks. Big engines with high reciprocating masses that go from zero stone cold to WOT in seconds and do it time and time again. Some of the locals around here do use Chevron Supreme or Delo which is pretty close to conventional oil (Grp III blend) and those motors last a long time. They don't like synthetics because they have drain-off issues. The motors may sit for week and then go WOT at 2:00 AM. They like having engines that don't clatter and clack while they are trying to get out the gate with traffic going crazy in all directions. At best they run syn-blends. Race teams pick synthetics because 1.) they are sponsored and get paid to do so, and 2.) they expect to possibly loose coolant, and they want the lubricant to try to do it's job at 400*F while they are trying to get back to the pits. This is not an assumption that street folks make ... But I will say that the first ORT to make 1,000,000 miles w/o a tear down was on Chevron Delo 400. Followed by Delvac a few month later. That's documented history. That's not synthetic. So even if synthetics do offer some benefits, they have not been shown to be better at actual lubrication. AND, even Blackstone among others will explain long and hard how you do not use synthetics in aviation or marine engines until they are thoroughly broken in. Usually not until after the third oil change. There are drawbacks to using synthetics, even though there are sometimes advantages. It depends on the job at hand. There is no one-size-fits-all here ...
There are a lot more race engines that are exactly what you drive on the street, just driven under hard core track conditions. I specialize in vintage race engines. There are hot rodded and tuned engines, and there are four stroke dirt bikes. My experience with these engines is that synthetics are OBVIOUSLY better than dino oils. No dry sumps, no full flow filters, etc. Just like a "regular" engine only tuned with more boost, driven at higher rpm, etc. I look around the pits and nobody is using Delo 400. I am also not aware of any sponsorship deals. It can't just be me who notices this. Also, people who DID have problems with dino oils switched to synthetics, lots of them. I dealt with general service in high end cars. These are people who have modded Mitsubishi EVO's or 911 Turbo track cars. Everybody has switched to synthetic because they had problems with dino oils. Including Delo 400. These are cars driven on the street. I was a test engineer for the major manufacturers. They know synthetics work better than dino oils and recommend synthetics when their design highly stressed engines even though there is an extreme bias to keep their Consumer Reports maintenance costs low.And no, the big oil companies are not paying them to recommend their ols, they are cooperating to engineer oils with better performance and recommending the result of their cooperation. Sorry I can't produce conclusive results showing that your 1996 Toyota Camry would have gone 600,000 miles with synthetics versus 350,000 miles with dino oil. That test takes too dang long. I won't live to see the results. For all the people who insist that dino oils are just as good or better than synthetics, you need to produce some actual evidence that shows it. Just because a truck can go 1,000,000 miles on dino oil with a 50 gallon sump and a three gallon bypass filter does not mean that synthetics won't outperform the dino oil. Service that is good enough does not mean its the best available. The UOA wear metal results from Blackstone labs are the wrong tool for the job as far as I can see and that is only evidence that is being presented here in support of dino oils. There is no actual evidence in this thread that dino oils out perform synthetics. There is just some evidence that dino oils are good enough to get the job done. Well I am here to tell you that there are plenty of circumstances where dino oils are not good enough to get the job done and synthetics are clearly superior.
 
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Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
Originally Posted By: carock
Is it not significant that there are no racing groups still using conventional dino oils? In an industry where engine tear downs are part of the routine, EVERYBODY has switched to synthetics based on actual observations of wear in the field. My point is that when we look at engines that wear out pretty quickly, synthetics are the obvious choice. There really is no reason to assume that the same thing does not apply to engines that live 200,000+ miles except that it takes so much time to run the experiment. People in the forum have been comparing wear metal results in UOA's and this is simply the wrong tool for the job. Even though race engines may not represent the same duty cycle as street engines, it is a better indicator of oil characteristics than UOA wear metal comparisons.
If you want to look at motors that get abused regularly, look at fire trucks. Big engines with high reciprocating masses that go from zero stone cold to WOT in seconds and do it time and time again. Some of the locals around here do use Chevron Supreme or Delo which is pretty close to conventional oil (Grp III blend) and those motors last a long time. They don't like synthetics because they have drain-off issues. The motors may sit for week and then go WOT at 2:00 AM. They like having engines that don't clatter and clack while they are trying to get out the gate with traffic going crazy in all directions. At best they run syn-blends.
Where did you get this information? It just is not true. Ester based oils hang in there better than dino oils, no question about it!
 
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50 gallon sump and a 3 gallon bypass filter? You do have a flair for the dramatic don't you? My semi truck Detroit engine has a 9.5 gallon sump and a bypass filter that holds, maybe, 1.5 qt. Even my previous Cummins N-14 with 10 gallon sump and NO bypass filter went 1.4 million miles on 30K oil changes just using conventional Kendall 15w40 and Baldwin full flow filters. Got sold and went right to work for next owner. All I ever did to that engine was 1 fuel injector and an accessory drive seal. Same Holset turbo it started with. Not really sure that synthetics would have made that much difference. While there may be no hard evidence that conventional oil would outperform synthetic, the reverse is also equally as true. We all know that how one operates an engine has as much to do with longevity as the base oil used. And the add pack also plays into the equation. Now, I am a fan of blends for engine oil and full syn for the drive train on my current semi. But then, the drive train component OEM's will automatically extend the warranty by 50%, from 500K miles to 750K miles, by using syn fluids in them. And the drain interval recommendations are significantly longer as well. It is a cost value decision for me.
 
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Originally Posted By: kschachn
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
AND, even Blackstone among others will explain long and hard how you do not use synthetics in aviation or marine engines until they are thoroughly broken in. Usually not until after the third oil change. There are drawbacks to using synthetics, even though there are sometimes advantages. It depends on the job at hand. There is no one-size-fits-all here ...
I assume you mean piston engines in general aviation, as turbine engines use only synthetic oils. Not that I'd listen to Blackstone for my airplane though. So what GA piston engine synthetic oils are there?
Yeah, I mean piston engines as there are no turbine cars or trucks in the general market smile There are no synthetic GA oils that I know of. But there are parts of synthetic sequences used in multi-grades and they are still frowned upon too for break-in. There are some OK's for use after well broken in. I know this does not answer the OP's question. But you have to wonder why whole industries shy away from synthetics ...
 
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Originally Posted By: carock
Sorry I can't produce conclusive results showing that your 1996 Toyota Camry would have gone 600,000 miles with synthetics versus 350,000 miles with dino oil. That test takes too dang long. I won't live to see the results. For all the people who insist that dino oils are just as good or better than synthetics, you need to produce some actual evidence that shows it. Just because a truck can go 1,000,000 miles on dino oil with a 50 gallon sump and a three gallon bypass filter does not mean that synthetics won't outperform the dino oil. Service that is good enough does not mean its the best available. The UOA wear metal results from Blackstone labs are the wrong tool for the job as far as I can see and that is only evidence that is being presented here in support of dino oils. There is no actual evidence in this thread that dino oils out perform synthetics. There is just some evidence that dino oils are good enough to get the job done. Well I am here to tell you that there are plenty of circumstances where dino oils are not good enough to get the job done and synthetics are clearly superior.
Which ones over which ones? Gimme a synthetic that is "clearly superior" for general street use in non-modified cars. And your examples of "street" cars are race cars in disguise. I could have mentioned outlaw drag cars and such, but none of this is what every-day joe needs or maybe wants ... What synthetic is "clearly superior" in my 1970 Chevy pick-up? How about the '88 Bronco? Or my wife's XJ6? Or my BIL's Dakota, or my niece's Volvo 4-banger? Yes, synthetic is recommended for my Saab 2.3t because of their stupid exhaust design which puts catalytic heat directly into the oil pan adjacent to the oil pump pick-up so it has a tendency to coke the pick-up on conventional oil. I agree that synthetics are better at heat management. But that ain't what the OP asked ... And you have supplied no hard evidence on wear numbers or any tests, or any professional papers that can prove this one way or the other. And the drain-off I mentioned was about capillary fill of cooling lubricants. Some synthetics have lower surface tension which leads to a thinner oil film. They'll cling fine. They just won't fill large bearing clearances and such if they sit for extended periods of time. Most dino oils will cling an fill do to higher surface tension.
 
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Originally Posted By: carock
Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
Originally Posted By: carock
Is it not significant that there are no racing groups still using conventional dino oils? In an industry where engine tear downs are part of the routine, EVERYBODY has switched to synthetics based on actual observations of wear in the field. My point is that when we look at engines that wear out pretty quickly, synthetics are the obvious choice. There really is no reason to assume that the same thing does not apply to engines that live 200,000+ miles except that it takes so much time to run the experiment. People in the forum have been comparing wear metal results in UOA's and this is simply the wrong tool for the job. Even though race engines may not represent the same duty cycle as street engines, it is a better indicator of oil characteristics than UOA wear metal comparisons.
If you want to look at motors that get abused regularly, look at fire trucks. Big engines with high reciprocating masses that go from zero stone cold to WOT in seconds and do it time and time again. Some of the locals around here do use Chevron Supreme or Delo which is pretty close to conventional oil (Grp III blend) and those motors last a long time. They don't like synthetics because they have drain-off issues. The motors may sit for week and then go WOT at 2:00 AM. They like having engines that don't clatter and clack while they are trying to get out the gate with traffic going crazy in all directions. At best they run syn-blends.
Where did you get this information?
I think its what the white-coats call anecdotal evidence. Y'know, rather like yours?
 
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Originally Posted By: BrocLuno
There are no synthetic GA oils that I know of. But there are parts of synthetic sequences used in multi-grades and they are still frowned upon too for break-in. There are some OK's for use after well broken in. I know this does not answer the OP's question. But you have to wonder why whole industries shy away from synthetics ...
I have never seen such a prohibition on break-in, do you have a source on that? Something relating to the engines not breaking in properly or some mechanical issue. And the reason the whole industry stays away from synthetics has nothing to do with break-in or wear or anything like that.
 
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