Keep with Conventional for 2001 Buick?

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669
Location
Arizona
My aunt owns a 2001 Buick LeSabre with 53k miles. She keeps it garaged-kept and barely drives it. (She elderly and basically takes it to the local store or appointment.) The car is in awesome shape and I have done all the maintenance on it since new. I go by the OLM and it's around 11% now. It's always had a steady diet of 10W-30 Chevron or Pennzoil and WIX filters. Conventional "Dino" oil as you refer to it. It maybe gets one Oil change per year. My question... Since Walmart Supertech Synthetic is so inexpensive now, would be of any benefit to change? It might sound like a silly question... but I'm just throwing it out there... What oil is considered the "best" conventional these days? I really don't mind spending the extra money to keep it going... but with very few miles driven each year, does it behoove me to consider a full synthetic? Thank ahead of time for your thoughts!
 
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4,482
Location
Los Gatos, CA
I don't buy conventional any more. I just don't see any reason to. The best conventional oil is any oil that meets your engine's spec. And just think how well you will sleep with the syn? Good luck!
 
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3,426
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
Big spread when you have it changed, and --living in a condo-- I'm not allowed to change it. Plus I've stocked up with $10 oil change coupons. When my VWB runs down a few ounces I throw in some Harvest King syn 5w30-- that or ST would be my pick if I was changing my own. Warren or Warren, sleep well and save $$$.
 
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10,268
Location
USA
SN "conventional" is a syn blend now due to more stringent modern standards. The Walmart synthetic is a great deal, and there is nothing wrong with using it. I would use house brand synthetic over name-brand "dino" Even the cheapest oil that meets SN standards is better than any oil available in 2001 when your car was new smile Napa has their house brand synthetic oil on sale this month for $3.49/qt. It is Valvoline
 
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8,458
Location
Virginia
Originally Posted by slacktide_bitog
SN "conventional" is a syn blend now due to more stringent modern standards. The Walmart synthetic is a great deal, and there is nothing wrong with using it. I would use house brand synthetic over name-brand "dino" Even the cheapest oil that meets SN standards is better than any oil available in 2001 when your car was new smile Napa has their house brand synthetic oil on sale this month for $3.49/qt. It is Valvoline
This ^^^^^^^^^^ Very good post here.
 
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14,482
Location
...
18 years and only 53,000 miles. Have you ever seen inside this engine? My first inclination would be to stay the course with what has been used up to now. Most conventional oils are blends these days. Pick a brand and run with it. Keep an eye out for sales and promos.
 
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3,426
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
Minor point, but many SN oils that are 5w30 blends are 10w30 group II. VWB has declared their Daily Protection 5w20 and 5w30 to be blends and their 10w30 to be conventional. This ticks off a small portion of reviewers on Amazon and what not who associate synthetic and cubic zirconia and want "real oil" and not "phony oil" just like they got their fiance a real diamond and not a fugasy.
 
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JGmazda

Thread starter
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669
Location
Arizona
Originally Posted by PimTac
18 years and only 53,000 miles. Have you ever seen inside this engine?
I have not seen the inside... I did a full coolant change along with brake & power steering flush last year. (I've heard the 3.8L is a rock solid engine) Also heard there was some Dex Cool issue with gaskets? Nevertheless... it runs like a top. She says one day I'll inherit it... LOL... It's a great car and on the highway, I've routinely got 30mpg going 65-70mph.
 

JGmazda

Thread starter
Messages
669
Location
Arizona
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I don't buy conventional any more. I just don't see any reason to. The best conventional oil is any oil that meets your engine's spec. And just think how well you will sleep with the syn? Good luck!
Good point!
 

JGmazda

Thread starter
Messages
669
Location
Arizona
Appreciate the replies everyone! I don't want to "cheap out" on the oil... and I'm not a Mobil 1 fan. (I have a UOA coming on my 2008 KIA w/Supertech soon) Hopefully this will give me data. I use my KIA much harder that the Buick.
 
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3,426
Location
St. Charles County, Missouri
Think the ST high mileage syn is the same price as the non-hi mileage syn. That's the new "low end" syn fill and filter at Walmart--bit over thirty bucks. Despite the low mileage, that would be my choice if I was changing the oil myself.
 
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1,906
Location
Canada
What engine? As I've proven, the 60 degree GM V6's are incredibly easy on oil. 60k mile oil changes are a distinct possibility. The 3800 V6, which is probably the engine in that car, is also reputed to be very easy on oil. Throw in a decent quality 0W-30, make sure the level is kept topped off, change the filter every 15k, and similarly, you may never have to change the oil again.
 

JGmazda

Thread starter
Messages
669
Location
Arizona
Originally Posted by pitzel
What engine? As I've proven, the 60 degree GM V6's are incredibly easy on oil. 60k mile oil changes are a distinct possibility. The 3800 V6, which is probably the engine in that car, is also reputed to be very easy on oil. Throw in a decent quality 0W-30, make sure the level is kept topped off, change the filter every 15k, and similarly, you may never have to change the oil again.
Yes, you are correct, it is a 3800 v6 engine. The car resides in Arizona, so I'm not sure how a 0W oil would be of any benefit. I can't imagine never changing the oil. I can do yearly or mileage based changes but I can't see never changing it...
 
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4,112
Location
WA
With that low of miles annually (3k'ish), the benefits of switching to a full synthetic are marginal at best. Don't fix what ain't broken....
 
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12,887
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
How often do you change the oil/filter? YES, stick with what you're doing. PYB is a great oil. Maybe even move to 5W30; I use PYB HM 5W30(or most HM oils) in the '80 FORMULA in my signature. Because your aunt only drives the BUICK once in awhile, the 5W may help with (just slightly) better startup lubrication on those rare occassions that she takes the car. AND YES AGAIN. You can move to synthetic oil as it is cheap at Walmart*. But, should you? However, if you're changing the oil & filter once per year then stick with conventional. Maybe even move to SuperTech oil and you'll spend the same money for the oil & filter as the PYB alone!...I realize you mentioned the money isn't an issue. smile
 
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8,313
Location
Texas
You are thinking smart! Go with the Supertech Syn - it's dexos rated also so it meets a pretty stringent standard. You may even consider the Hi mileage version to keep seals conditioned and such.
 
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1,876
Location
South Carolina
I change the oil on my F150 each year with SuperTech syn. At it's one year oil change the mileage is around 1,200 miles and the truck is at about 255k miles. ST syn is such a bargain why use conventional? Just bought ST syn at WalMart for under $15 for 5qt jug.
 
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4,397
Location
Parts Unknown
I would stick with the dino oil and filter combos you mentioned and would not change to synthetic at this point. Why change from what has worked. Read too many situations where oil leaks start after switching on an old engine. You probably can go with 2 year oil changes. I go 2-3 years on an old Mercury which I use dino and drive it 1000-1500 miles during the summer.
 
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Messages
283
Location
Michigan
I put 252,000 miles on my 2002 Grand Prix before the transmission gave out using nothing but the cheapest 10-30 I could find. The only thing I would suggest is watch coolant level and if the intake gasket goes this is still an affordable repair to an otherwise solid car. I suspect this car will go the rest of her life on nothing but cheap 10-30. I put tons of miles on this car and I often took it to Muffler Man for their $16 oil change special. I changed the oil myself on my old cars, but on days like today when there was a foot of snow on the ground I let them do it.
 
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