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To switch or not to switch?


Ralph Wiggum

Question

I've got a 2004 Honda Accord with the 3.0L V-6. I've got about 38000 miles on it. Until now, I've been running conventional oil. I've got two questions:

1) Would I be safe switching to a synthetic? (I've gathered from previous posts that you can run into problems switching)

2) Would it be beneficial, or should I just keep running conventional?

Thanks a bunch, guys!

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There are a couple reasons to CONSIDER switching, although I know of a number of vehicles that have gone >200K on plain old dino oil.

I think it would be safe. Especially if you have had good oil change history.

1. Better flowability in cold weather. The faster oil gets to moving parts, the less wear there is. Seems I read somewhere that like 80% of engine wear occurs on startup.

2. Extended oil drains. Here you risk battle with warranty, but they have to prove what you did (or didn't do) caused a problem to legally deny warranty.

I'll try to find the link of a test where the conclusion (by doing oil sampling) was that with Mobil 1 and changing filter every 5k and topping off the oil, analysis showed time to change the oil came at 18K miles - FWIW. I think the bottom line was that you could do about 15K-18K (or once per year) between changes with filter every 5K (and no, this was not an Amsoil site or sponsor, although Amsoil was compared as well and fared about the same).

I've run synthetics since new in a 1994 Chev pickup at up to 25K drain intervals and it still runs like a top. I hardly drive the truck much anymore so my oil and filter changes are once per year. 195K and running fine, no blue smoke on startup, no rattling/clanking,ticking, etc, just runs and runs. BTW, synthetic in transmission, axles, and xfer case too.

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Ditto: I've run Mobil 1 in crankcase, and Red-line MTL in tranny -- in my Summer car ('88 Saab SPG) for the last 100,000 miles. No smoke, better MPG, and shifts like butter.

Another thing to note: the synthetic winter easy cranking of starter is much easier on your battery.

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Ralph-

Right or wrong, I made the switch to Mobil 1 synthetic 5W-30 in my '99 GMC Sierra about 3 years ago. I was running regular Mobil 5W-30 previously.

I have 130,000 miles or so now on my Sierra and it is still running great.

My oil change intervals are somewhere between 3,000-5,000 miles. Maybe I'm changing more frequently than I should but I was trained in the "old school" and am having a hard time adjusting to letting the miles rack up a little.

I would say you are good to go. Just make the change. But that is just from my personal experience.

I also run synthetic in my ice auger and snowmobiles as well. The sleds actually run much better on synthetic as well as the auger.

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I have to agree with the synthetics being used in all oils in your vehicles. I switched my 2004 Silverado over to it after 10,000 miles and did see a little increase in gas mileage. I also run Synthetic in the transmission. I used to be against it until it was proven in a dirt track car I was crew chief on a few years ago. We were burning up 3-4 Powerglides a year until the switch was made to synthetics. We then got 3 years( 65 nights) out of the tranny and when we took it apart to rebuild, everything looked good as new. That sold me on the advantages of the synthetics .

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