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Synthetic to regular oil

I am wondering what the effects of changing from synthetic to regular oil are...

Synthetic to regular oil

Postby quickdrraw [OP] » Feb 11 2012, 9:28pm

I am wondering what the effects of changing from synthetic to regular oil are... This question was actually brought to me by my father, I plan on always using it. I searched the forum and found only person confirmed this. So I did a little research and found this:
In all lies is a grain of truth. Early in the days of synthetic, the compounds in the oil had different effects on the internal seals of an engine. Petroleum contained distillates that caused the engine seals to expand or "swell". The seals would wear to the correct tolerance for that component and everything would be fine, until the owner switched to synthetic oil . Synthetics did not contain the distillates and the seals would return or "shrink" back to their original size.
This caused sometimes incredible oil leakage issues. An interesting side bar is the invent of several "stop leak additives" to battle these problems. The primary component of these was and still is today.... Petroleum Distillate
If an engine had synthetic oil in it from the beginning and for the majority of its existence, the seals would not swell and wear until the owner switched to conventional oil. Once the switch was made, you could never go back due to the extended wear to the motor.
Both synthetic and conventional oils are "engineered" today making them very similar in detergent and distillate levels, so switching is not so much of an issue anymore.

This guy sounds knowledgeable but I would feel more comfortable if someone could confirm this, thank you!
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby CKNSLS » Feb 11 2012, 9:41pm

Not a direct answer to your question-BUT if you drive 15,000 miles a year you are changing your oil (if you use OLM) about twice a year. With gas prices they way they are we are all watching our dollars. That being said, he needs to look at the COST DIFFERENCE if he is driving average miles per year. Other than that I would suggest a good regular/syn blend oil. Those are generally sold with the price somewhere between regular and full synthetic oil. As a natter of fact, I run Mobil One myself and might look in to a blend next time around.
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby starspangled6.0 » Feb 11 2012, 9:42pm

You'll be just fine switching. Many guys on here have switched to synthetic, without any ill effects. I've used it in many family cars, and it hasn't leaked at all. My truck had 114,000 miles on it when I switched, and it's hardly used a drop at 118,500 miles.
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby EKinMN » Feb 11 2012, 10:42pm

Ummm....stars? He's switching FROM synthetic TO regular (dino juice). :)

Yes, quickdraw, you can. The real questions is "what do you see as the benefit of this"? Is it a cost thing? I run a premium synthetic (in my case, Amsoil) twice as long as a conventional, and do it at less than double the cost. It means that I save a bit of money, and don't have to lay on the garage floor quite as often. I am also doing my part for the environment by using less oil. Why not consider extending your drain interval rather than going to a conventional?

**EDIT-- OP, what are you trying to do? Your post is about switching from syn to conventional, but the quote is about switching from conventional to syn.

If you want to go to syn....you can, and should. :D
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby quickdrraw [OP] » Feb 11 2012, 11:34pm

Sorry that was my mistake. It was a two part question;
I plan to go from conventional to synthetic, which I did my research on and found it to be fine, just wanted confirmation.
The latter question was from my father, If ever the case should arise and I ,lets say couldn't afford it for example and, need to switch back am I able to?
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby Z15 » Feb 11 2012, 11:40pm

If an engine had synthetic oil in it from the beginning and for the majority of its existence, the seals would not swell and wear until the owner switched to conventional oil. Once the switch was made, you could never go back due to the extended wear to the motor.


This has no basis in fact as far as I am concerned.

PS - I have been using and selling synthetic oil for over 20 yrs and never heard this one before.

Myth #1 - If the oil turns dark or black quickly, it's no good. You can tell the condition of oil by the look, smell or color of it. Dirty (black) motor oil means the oil is breaking down.

Fact: A common misconception is that high quality motor oil should come out of an engine looking clean at the time of an oil change. Nothing could be further from the truth. If the oil is doing its job of cleaning the engine, then it should be dirty when it is drained. Motor oil will start looking dirty a short time after it is put to use. In the case of diesel engines, the oil will look dirty within a few hours of operation. These are signs that the motor oil is doing its job of keeping soot, dirt, and other combustion contaminants in suspension to be carried to the filter or removed from the crankcase when the oil is changed. AMSOIL motor oils have been formulated to hold these contaminants in suspension until they can be removed with an oil and filter change.

Myth #2 - Using synthetic motor oil will void a manufacturer's warranty.

Fact: As long as the synthetic product meets the viscosity and performance requirements outlined in the vehicle’s owner’s manual, using synthetic oil will not interfere with the warranty coverage. However, one exception would be the rotary (Wankel) engine used in certain Mazda vehicles, which recommend against the use of synthetic oil in that particular engine.

Myth #3 - Once you start using synthetic motor oil you cannot go back to conventional oil.

Synthetic and conventional engine oils can't be mixed, or else they react and cause engine problems.
Fact: As long as the synthetic motor oil product and conventional motor oil product meet the viscosity and performance requirements outlined in the vehicle’s owner’s manual, you may interchange them with each other.


Myth #4 - Synthetic oil causes engine leaks. Synthetic motor oils eat gasket material and cause engines to leak. Synthetic motor oils affect engine seals and result in excessive oil leakage. Synthetic oil can’t be used on high-mileage engines. Synthetic and synthetic blend motor oils cannot be used in older or high-mileage vehicles.

Fact: Synthetic oils do not cause engine oil leaks. Deteriorated and hardened seals and gasket material cause engine oil leaks. If the seals are already leaking with conventional motor oil, they will leak with synthetic oil. If the seals are in good condition, synthetic oils may be used in high-mileage engines.

Myth #5 - Engines have to be “broken in” before using synthetic oil. I need to break in my engine with non-detergent oil. If I use regular oil or synthetic oil in a new engine, my engine will take longer to break in.

Fact: It was common years ago for engine manufacturers to recommend non-detergent oils for engine break-in. This was when the pistons used cast-iron “square-faced” rings and the rings needed to wear some to “seat” into the engine. With today’s technology of oils and engine manufacturing, engine manufacturers no longer recommend the use of non-detergent oils for the break-in period. In fact, many engines today are factory-filled with high quality synthetic motor oil, Corvette, Cadillac for instance.


Myth #6 - Heavier is better. Thicker is better. You can tell the viscosity of oil by feel (between your thumb and fore finger). “I’ve used straight 30 weight for years.” Motor oil viscosity is not that big a deal. Thicker motor oil is better for your engine and increases engine life. One must use SAE 20W-50 motor oil if the vehicle has over 100,000 miles on it. SAE 5W-20 is too thin to protect the engine. Synthetic SAE 5W-30 is thinner than conventional SAE 5W-30 motor oil. Straight weight oils (i.e., SAE 30) give better protection than multi-viscosity oils.

Fact: There are two main reasons why vehicle manufacturers recommend thinner or lighter viscosity grades of motor oil. First, a gain in fuel economy can be achieved with lower viscosity oil. At cold temperatures and at start up, lower viscosity oil will reduce internal engine friction. About 10% of the engine's horsepower is lost to internal engine friction, resulting in a drop in fuel economy. Additionally, vehicle manufacturers are struggling to meet Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requirements set by the government and avoid paying associated fines. Any fuel mileage improvement associated with a lubricant use would be good for them, and lighter viscosity grade motor oil will make a difference.

Second, thinner motor oil is essential for easy starting, particularly in cold weather, and for proper lubrication once the engine starts. Today's smaller engines have smaller clearances and tighter tolerances between moving parts, and there have been some instances where camshaft damage has occurred because of inadequate lubrication with higher viscosity grades in colder weather. Thinner oils, such as SAE 5W-30, will flow faster than heavier motor oils during start-up and initial engine operation and will help protect the engine from excessive wear. Multigrade oil will also offer the same high temperature protection as single grade motor oil. Always check your vehicle owner's manual to select the proper viscosity grade based on the expected temperature range. The viscosity grade(s) recommended by the vehicle manufacturer depend somewhat on engine design. Engine manufacturers have spent considerable time and expense experimenting with different viscosity grades and have indicated in the owner's manual the grades they feel will best protect the engine at specific temperatures. While one manufacturer's engine may require an SAE 10W-30, another manufacturer's engine may require an SAE 5W-20 viscosity grade. This is likely due to different tolerances within the engine or other engine design factors.

Myth #7 - All 2-cycle oils are the same.

Fact: Generally 2-cycle oils formulated specifically for air-cooled engines, such as chain saws, may contain additive chemistry not recommended for water-cooled engines, such as outboard motors. Ensure that the product you use meets the equipment manufacturer’s requirements. Some oil marketers formulate products to meet both water- and air-cooled engine requirements.

Myth #8 - You can't use motor oil in a manual transmission.

Fact: Fluids recommended for manual transmissions/transaxles vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and are dependent upon application. The type of fluid recommended for a given unit will depend on a number of variables which include the low temperature fluidity required, the amount of gear wear protection needed, the effects of the fluid on synchronizers and the transmission/transaxle. Some transmission manufacturers may require motor oil to be used in the manual transmission. Other fluids used may be ATF, gear oil or a special manual transmission fluid, depending on variables previously mentioned. Always check the owner’s manual to ensure the fluid being used has the proper performance requirements.

Myth #9 - Oil is oil … ATF is ATF. All oils are the same.

Fact: Motor oils and Automatic Transmission Fluids (ATF) are formulated differently. Motor oil is formulated to withstand the harsh combustion environment of an engine, while ATF is formulated to provide specific properties for a transmission.

Myth #10 - Adding a quart of ATF the day before an oil change will clean your engine. ATF added to the motor oil will clean the engine due to the high levels of detergent in ATF.

Fact: ATF does not contain detergent chemistry. ATF does contain dispersants, which have properties similar to detergents. But ATF is not formulated to withstand the combustion environment inside the engine. Keep the fluids where they belong: motor oil in the crankcase, and automatic transmission fluid in the transmission.

Myth #11 - Adding oil additives means you can extend drain intervals. Adding oil additives means I can get longer engine life.

Fact: Engine oil technology has rapidly advanced in the past decade, making today's high quality engine oils second to none. Now, vehicle owners have a choice between conventional, synthetic blends, and full synthetic engine oils positioned to provide the best protection for their application and driving needs. However, there are consumers who want to provide value-added protection to their engines through the use of engine treatments. Although there are several engine oil supplements on the market today, consumers must remember that the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have stated in the vehicle owner’s manuals (i.e. 1999 Silverado page 6-15), "Don't add anything to your oil. Your dealer is ready to advise if you think something should be added.”

Some engine oil additives may have detrimental effects on engine parts and engine oil performance.

When using high quality motor oil products such as AMSOIL Motor Oils, engine oil supplements are not needed.
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby quickdrraw [OP] » Feb 12 2012, 12:48am

<--- this guy is informed now thanks!
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby starspangled6.0 » Feb 12 2012, 12:51am

quickdrraw wrote:I am wondering what the effects of changing from synthetic to regular oil are...
quickdrraw wrote:Sorry that was my mistake. It was a two part question;
I plan to go from conventional to synthetic, which I did my research on and found it to be fine, just wanted confirmation.



So, you're going from regular to synthetic, or the other way around?
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby EKinMN » Feb 12 2012, 3:30am

I think that he got his answer either way! :lol: Thanks Z15!
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Re: Synthetic to regular oil

Postby BuxCamper » Feb 12 2012, 4:04am

Great info in one spot Mike!
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