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#4424676 - 06/07/17 05:46 AM AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study
CarbonCrew Offline


Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 100
Loc: SC
"AAA Spills the Truth on Oil Changes"


http://newsroom.aaa.com/2017/06/aaa-spills-truth-oil-changes/


As synthetics move more towards the mainstream, this study might be a 10-15 years too late. It doesn't draw any conclusions that a seasoned BITOGer hasn't seen already. The 59 page PDF study on link on the right side of the column, I've only had a few minutes to look at it and hope to get more time to read it completely today. I really wish they would name their test oils. There are some conventional and synthetics that really shine versus their peers. Anyhow, I thought it was interesting that hoped some others would find it interesting as well.

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#4424710 - 06/07/17 07:00 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: CarbonCrew]
BigCahuna Offline


Registered: 09/29/09
Posts: 2140
Loc: Deep in the heart of Jersey
Here's a quote from Blackstone labs, whose business in life is to check and analyze oil of all types. Here what they have to say about the regular VS synthetic oil debate. Question from their comment section on their webpage. Come on, you're holding out on me. I should use synthetic, right? And here's their response.
Buddy, you should use whatever you want. Synthetic oil won't guarantee a longer engine life any more than my eating organic food will guarantee I'll live until I'm 90. We here at Blackstone generally use regular petroleum-based oil because honestly, it works just as well for us. I feel Blackstone's response means more and carries more weight, then someones opinion who gets paid to write articles for a newsletter.,,

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#4424721 - 06/07/17 07:12 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: CarbonCrew]
Artem Offline


Registered: 10/30/10
Posts: 5117
Loc: Florida
"We here at Blackstone Labs..."

Meaning, the regular average Joe employees who drive their regular average Hondas to work and back will be just fine for 200k miles with regular conventional oil, changed on time.

Other engines require Synthetic in order to stay alive because they have a ton of power and are pushed HARD.

The only proof I've ever needed on the synthetic vs Dino oil was the frozen pour test done many many years ago (you can find a bunch on YouTube) where Synthetic CLEARLY pours quicker and better then conventional. <-- that's all I need to know. popcorn
_________________________
2014 Mazda 3 Hatch 2.0L & 6spd - Idemitsu 0w20 Synthetic @ $0.75 a quart.

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#4424739 - 06/07/17 07:32 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: CarbonCrew]
SonofJoe Offline


Registered: 07/23/16
Posts: 1052
Loc: Europe
Oh dear! Yet another group of misguided people that have been seduced by the idea that doing a bunch of tests in the lab actually means something in real life.

For any given oil grade, is synthetic demonstrably better than conventional in terms of oxidation stability, volatility & MRV?...yes, always. Is synthetic more resistant to shear because it contains less VII polymer?...yes absolutely. Does that make the synthetic 47% better than a conventional oil (conveniently bridging the differential in price)...absolutely NOT!!! Will a synthetic give less engine wear or less deposits than a conventional oil over say a short 5k OCI? Almost certainly not.

To me, it's like going into the lab to demonstrate that a gun is better than a knife. Obviously it is but if all you want to do is stab or shoot someone in the back, there's very little material difference in the end result.

Having said that, in the US I would say use synthetics to minimise the risk of late onset oil ring stick. However that's more due to the nutty way ILSAC forces people to formulate oils. If you made sensible oils with sensible viscometrics then the case for using synthetics would be much less compelling.

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#4424765 - 06/07/17 07:55 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: Artem]
Shannow Online   content


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 39856
Loc: 'Stralia
Originally Posted By: Artem
The only proof I've ever needed on the synthetic vs Dino oil was the frozen pour test done many many years ago (you can find a bunch on YouTube) where Synthetic CLEARLY pours quicker and better then conventional. <-- that's all I need to know. popcorn


In florida ????

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#4424769 - 06/07/17 08:02 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: CarbonCrew]
HerrStig Offline


Registered: 08/24/11
Posts: 9560
Loc: Boston, MA
Careful shopping has always gotten me good prices on Group III oils and I change my own. So, I get whatever benefit synthetic provides at Drippy Lube conventional oil change prices, and a better filter as well.


Edited by HerrStig (06/07/17 08:03 AM)

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#4424783 - 06/07/17 08:23 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: Artem]
hallstevenson Offline


Registered: 04/25/17
Posts: 339
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: Artem
"We here at Blackstone Labs..."

Meaning, the regular average Joe employees who drive their regular average Hondas to work and back will be just fine for 200k miles with regular conventional oil, changed on time.

That also covers 90% of more of vehicle owners too, does it not ?

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#4424794 - 06/07/17 08:31 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: CarbonCrew]
blupupher Offline


Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 4421
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
Careful shopping has always gotten me good prices on Group III oils and I change my own. So, I get whatever benefit synthetic provides at Drippy Lube conventional oil change prices, and a better filter as well.

Exactly.
When I can buy synthetic for less than conventional, does it really matter that I am running it at conventional OCI?
The most expensive oil in my 100+qt stash is the Castrol Magnatec that was $2.75/qt. A great price even for conventional.

Will my engines last any longer than if I just used conventional, probably not. But I am hoping that it will reduce the chance of the piston ring oil passage clogging on the Toyota 2AZ-FE engine in the Scion, and with the short tripping in the truck, it won't hurt.

As for the article, I agree, it would be nice if they identified what oils were tested.
Also, where are they getting their prices? $38 for a convention oil change and $70 for synthetic at an oil change place? I have to admit, I don't really know what these places charge, have not been to one in years.
For the DIY, they say average cost of 5 qts conventional is $28, and syn is $45? Not sure if that includes the price of a filter, but that seems really high, or I am just really cheap.
Also interesting they discuss the hydro-cracked definition of synthetic and how it changed due to Castrol.
Overall it is a good read, especially for those that want to know more about oil.
_________________________
1994 Honda VT1100C: Peak 15w-40/TG/2500 mile OCI
2002 Ford F150: GTX HM 5w-20/EcoGard Syn/1yr OCI
2012 Scion xB: QSUD 0w-20/CQ Blue/5k OCI


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#4424801 - 06/07/17 08:38 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: CarbonCrew]
TexasVaquero Offline


Registered: 05/31/17
Posts: 127
Loc: South Texas Rancho
Buy Synthetic if you want to keep your car for more than 3-4 years. I bet those guys at Blackstone just get new cars because they got the means. For us normal folk that want to keep our cars for longer periods, Synthetic.
_________________________
2014 NISSAN VERSA 5spd M/T- M1 EP 5w30 and M1 EP Filter. 5k OCI.
2011 CHEVY IMPALA 3.5ltrs - M1 HM 5w30 and M1 EP Filter. 3k OCI.

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#4424835 - 06/07/17 09:17 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: HerrStig]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
Originally Posted By: HerrStig
Careful shopping has always gotten me good prices on Group III oils and I change my own. So, I get whatever benefit synthetic provides at Drippy Lube conventional oil change prices, and a better filter as well.


I'm 100% with that.

Under $20 for a group III oil (6 qts = $12) + synthetic oil filter ($6). No reason to pay $55-$125 per OCI at a Quick Lube or Stealership. Anyone could buy the oil with rebates or not for $20 or less. You can then bring the oil and filter to your servicer of choice and pay them another $10-$15 for the Oil Change. At least that way you can be reasonably sure they ended up in your vehicle.
_________________________
----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs

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#4424855 - 06/07/17 09:47 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: TexasVaquero]
blupupher Offline


Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 4421
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
Originally Posted By: TexasVaquero
Buy Synthetic if you want to keep your car for more than 3-4 years. I bet those guys at Blackstone just get new cars because they got the means. For us normal folk that want to keep our cars for longer periods, Synthetic.

I forgot to talk about that.
So many people only keep their car for 3-5 years or get rid of it when it hits 100,000 miles, even if their is plenty of life left in them.
If you have no plans for keeping the car (and don't care about the next owner) then conventional oil will be just fine going by manufacturers OCI.
_________________________
1994 Honda VT1100C: Peak 15w-40/TG/2500 mile OCI
2002 Ford F150: GTX HM 5w-20/EcoGard Syn/1yr OCI
2012 Scion xB: QSUD 0w-20/CQ Blue/5k OCI


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#4424869 - 06/07/17 10:03 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: blupupher]
homeyclaus Offline


Registered: 08/22/11
Posts: 99
Loc: Northern VA
Originally Posted By: blupupher
Originally Posted By: TexasVaquero
Buy Synthetic if you want to keep your car for more than 3-4 years. I bet those guys at Blackstone just get new cars because they got the means. For us normal folk that want to keep our cars for longer periods, Synthetic.

I forgot to talk about that.
So many people only keep their car for 3-5 years or get rid of it when it hits 100,000 miles, even if their is plenty of life left in them.
If you have no plans for keeping the car (and don't care about the next owner) then conventional oil will be just fine going by manufacturers OCI.

Funny, I am generally only interested in cars that have > 100k miles on them because I like really nice cars but don't want to pay the big bucks. We're not in the 80's anymore where 100k was an achievement for most cars, thank goodness. Nowadays the life of a vehicle is years, not miles really, unless it's really low mileage where it has seen a lot of idling or cold starts.

And for Joe average, there really is no difference between synthetic and conventional, but for us DIY oil changers the price difference in real terms so low that it not a decision, especially if it keeps the doubt at the back of your mind quiet.
_________________________
2013 Toyota Tundra CM 5.7L TRD (M1 0w20/PUP0w40euro, WIX/CQ filter)
2010 Mercedes E550 4Matic (PP 0W40 Euro, Mann)

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#4424872 - 06/07/17 10:10 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: TexasVaquero]
FlyNavyP3 Offline


Registered: 07/04/16
Posts: 1407
Loc: Jacksonville, FL
Originally Posted By: TexasVaquero
Buy Synthetic if you want to keep your car for more than 3-4 years. I bet those guys at Blackstone just get new cars because they got the means. For us normal folk that want to keep our cars for longer periods, Synthetic.




You say this, but I notice from your sig that you're running M1 HM for 3k and M1 for 5k in your vehicles. My 1987 4Runner is over 30 years old with nearly 330,000 miles on the original engine. Lived on conventional oil for all these years with the same intervals you're using synthetic for. For many years likely on API SG SH in its early life. It consumes zero oil in a 5k run on anything I've ever run in it in my 75,000 miles of ownership. Perhaps I should start running synthetic if I want it to last another 3-4 years...
_________________________
Luke
P-3C and P-8A Maritime Weapons and Tactics Instructor, Instructor Tactical Coordinator and Mission Commander

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#4424942 - 06/07/17 11:17 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: FlyNavyP3]
Astro_Guy Offline


Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 444
Loc: Pennsylvania
This was an interesting read, and the methodology seemed to be sound at the individual test level. The "47% better" claim is, unfortunately, just a bit of journalistic fluff from a non-technical author or editor. It is based upon the aggregate difference between both types of oil across all of the tests. All you could really conclude is that on average, synthetics may be better than conventional. Unfortunately you cannot go out and buy an "average" sample of either.

If you take the time to read the entire article, you will find that the added cost for people who don't change their own oil is based upon the average cost of two oil changes at AAA's own service centers. The added cost for the do-it-yourself crowd (meaning virtually everyone reading this) was base upon buying 5 quarts of the oils in one quart containers as opposed to five quart jugs. The article does point out that the figures would be different had the oil been purchased in five quart jugs.

The real value in this article can be fond in the graphic results comparing the oils in each test. At least one of the conventional oils performed quite well in contrast to the synthetics on most tests, and at least one of the synthetics showed a rather mediocre performance. It sure would have been nice to know the identities of the oils.
_________________________
'01 Volvo V70XC, 225k, 0w40 M1
'16 Accord, 11k, soon to be 0w20 M1 EP

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#4424948 - 06/07/17 11:24 AM Re: AAA Conventional vs Synthetic Oil Study [Re: Astro_Guy]
CarbonCrew Offline


Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 100
Loc: SC
Originally Posted By: Astro_Guy
This was an interesting read, and the methodology seemed to be sound at the individual test level. The "47% better" claim is, unfortunately, just a bit of journalistic fluff from a non-technical author or editor. It is based upon the aggregate difference between both types of oil across all of the tests. All you could really conclude is that on average, synthetics may be better than conventional. Unfortunately you cannot go out and buy an "average" sample of either.

If you take the time to read the entire article, you will find that the added cost for people who don't change their own oil is based upon the average cost of two oil changes at AAA's own service centers. The added cost for the do-it-yourself crowd (meaning virtually everyone reading this) was base upon buying 5 quarts of the oils in one quart containers as opposed to five quart jugs. The article does point out that the figures would be different had the oil been purchased in five quart jugs.

The real value in this article can be fond in the graphic results comparing the oils in each test. At least one of the conventional oils performed quite well in contrast to the synthetics on most tests, and at least one of the synthetics showed a rather mediocre performance. It sure would have been nice to know the identities of the oils.


This was my take away as well. I could have done without their 'analysis' but the hard numbers were what I found most interesting. Like you, I noticed that the conventionals was performing quite well. GTL basestock maybe?

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