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Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? #5326057 01/18/20 08:26 AM
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Loobit Offline OP
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I occasionally read about synthetic becoming darker quicker and/or causing leaks in older MPI engines because it loosens leftover deposits in engines that supposedly always used conventional. Wouldn't fresh conventional with the same additives do the same thing, or does the fancier base stocks of synthetic contribute to this cleaning far better?

Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: Loobit] #5326066 01/18/20 08:39 AM
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FordCapriDriver Offline
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Some synthetic base stocks like PAO if i remember correctly have intrinsic solvent characteristics, others like Group III and Esters not so much.

Last edited by FordCapriDriver; 01/18/20 08:40 AM.

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Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: Loobit] #5326068 01/18/20 08:41 AM
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Donald Offline
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Yes. But if you want to clean a less expensive synthetic changed more often is best.

As always, the valve cover should be pulled to check for sludge.


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Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: FordCapriDriver] #5326083 01/18/20 08:57 AM
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[quote=FordCapriDriver]Some synthetic base stocks like PAO if i remember correctly have intrinsic solvent characteristics, others like Group III and Esters not so much.[/quote} Esters clean PAO and GPIII not so but then there are the additive packages.


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Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: Loobit] #5326097 01/18/20 09:10 AM
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sloinker Offline
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The Ester or Group V is the base oil that is known to clean. You won't find much Group V ,if any, in off the shelf oil nowadays. If I had to guess it would be that there is no ester content of any amount in any mass marketed synthetic oil in America. It's probable the modern add pack may substitute some of Ester's characteristics used in the predominately Group III base oil found on the shelf at the local Walmart..

Last edited by sloinker; 01/18/20 09:34 AM.

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Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: FordCapriDriver] #5326104 01/18/20 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by FordCapriDriver
Some synthetic base stocks like PAO if i remember correctly have intrinsic solvent characteristics, others like Group III and Esters not so much.


Exxon Mobil has this to say about Group V base stocks

The use of Synesstic™ AN base stocks or Esterex™
esters as PAO co-base stocks can offer the following benefits:
• seal swell and additive solubility
• improved lubricity
• improved cleanliness
• improved thermal and oxidative stability


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Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: FordCapriDriver] #5326132 01/18/20 09:47 AM
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Loobit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by FordCapriDriver
Some synthetic base stocks like PAO if i remember correctly have intrinsic solvent characteristics, others like Group III and Esters not so much.

I figured group III would behave like group II in terms of cleaning. I bet it's each oil brand's high end line of oils that have a mix of PAO and whatnot that really do the cleaning. You can see it in the volatility rating and flow characteristics in -30° temps. What about GTL derived oils? I know Pennzoil Platinum cleaned the living trash out of one engine we got (a 1MZ-FE).

Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: Loobit] #5326134 01/18/20 09:52 AM
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PAOs are Group IV and esters and alkylated naphthalenes are Group V. Group IV, PAO, fluids are more thermally stable than mineral oil and contribute less to deposits. However, they don’t have any significant cleaning advantages over mineral oils. Esters and ANs tend to have better solubility characteristics which is why many PAO-based engine oils contain a low treat level of them. The 8-10% ester or AN in many synthetic oils improves additive solubility which is less than satisfactory in PAO fluids. Some suppliers may use Group III oil for additive solubility which doesn’t contribute to cleaning.

PAO and ester/AN oils will improve cleaning, but they probably will have little impact on existing carbon and varnish. They will solubilize sludge. These oils will also reduce deposit formation.

Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: Loobit] #5326136 01/18/20 09:52 AM
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Some "conventionals", actually most, are synthetic blends including Grp. III bases-I still have a case of PYB 5W20 from the days when Shell was using GTL base in PYB, along with the old high moly formula (pre-SN+)-I would wager that it would clean as well as most lower-end synthetic oils.


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Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: FordCapriDriver] #5326156 01/18/20 10:12 AM
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OVERKILL Offline
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Originally Posted by FordCapriDriver
Some synthetic base stocks like PAO if i remember correctly have intrinsic solvent characteristics, others like Group III and Esters not so much.


You've got that somewhat backwards.

As the purity of the base oil increases with respect to catalyst derived and solvent dewaxed bases, the solvency and polarity decrease. So, Group I is the most polar of the traditional hydrocarbon bases and as you go up the chain, this decreases until you are at Group III where you have next to no solubility, which is only eclipsed by PAO, which is even worse. These bases offer better thermal stability and superior cold temperature performance (particularly PAO) but because they are so pure; so "neutral" they that an oil blended with them be dosed with something else to improve solubility. This is either a lower group base or something like POE. Esters have a great deal of polarity, which is one of the reasons Mobil uses them in their PAO-based formulations and even shows them in their blending guide, as they facilitate proper solution of the addpack and give the oil the ability to better keep contaminants and combustion byproducts in solution.

GTL, being a Group III product, would be as bad as VISOM and other group III bases, if not worse, in terms of solubility and is probably as close as you can get to PAO in that department.


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Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: Loobit] #5326281 01/18/20 12:28 PM
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more than anything $$$$$ determines whats in oils + all oil blenders strive to meet specs using the least costly base oils + add pack that meets a spec + classification. in most cases its the additives + since diesel oils use more even basic diesel oils clean better. only real synthetics PAO + Esters are totally clean because they are man made in labs not from dirty CRUDE oil!!

Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: Loobit] #5326322 01/18/20 01:15 PM
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Do they sell blended oils only for people that don't care about keeping their motors clean?.,,,

Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: Loobit] #5326345 01/18/20 01:39 PM
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Group IV PAO has the lowest solvency of any oil group and also the harshest on seals. This is why you won't find a straight PAO oil. It will have some amount of group III, ester, or napthalene to give it some solvency and help condition seals. The group III and IV synthetic oils actually have less cleaning ability than conventional group I and II oils because of that lower solvency. Solvency is what breaks down sludge so it can be picked up in suspension and filtered out. The additive package has little to do with this. A common misconception is that detergents clean the engine, but that's false. Detergents keep the oil clean as a way of sludge prevention, but they do not remove sludge that's already there.

If you want to clean up sludge from your engine, the best way to go is an oil with a lot of ester. This is the basis for Valvoline Premium Blue Restore (VPBR) as it's ~60% ester.


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Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: shanneba] #5326358 01/18/20 01:46 PM
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I’m thinking the 30-40% that is not PAO in M1AP is a cocktail of all of the above … must have been endless combos tested in development … they might have learned some things usable to M1 EP which I think they can just fill the EP bottles with AP once they give up.

Re: Do all synthetic oils act as a cleaner? [Re: BigCahuna] #5326378 01/18/20 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BigCahuna
Do they sell blended oils only for people that don't care about keeping their motors clean?.,,,
proper oil change intervals work wonders. What does it matter when you d\get the cat towed to the junk yard with a clean engine?


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