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SCNJDN

200,000 Miles...consider Synthetic Oil?

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I have a 1993 Corolla with 200,000 miles that I bought new in '93. I have always had the oil and filter changed every 3,000 miles. Currently, the motor puffs some blue smoke if it is parked on an incline. It doesn't really bother me as long as it doesn't smoke while I drive it. A Toyota Tech told me not to worry about it and that it was not worth fixing...just keep fresh oil in it and drive.

 

My question is, would I gain any advantage to switching to a synthetic oil (Castrol Syn-Tec maybe...suggested brand?) or should I just keep using conventional (Valvoline Max-Life 10W-30). The car will be given to my daughter this year and I want it to last as long as I can. Its been a good car. All mainenance is up-to-date.

 

Also, my 2005 Matrix XR will hit 60,000 miles sometime this year. I have taken it to the dealer (so there are no issues with any warranty claims) for all oil changes and service. When I start changing the oil, again...switch to synthetic or keep it conventional?

 

I have never used synthetic but have heard that there may be leakage due to its consistency, is there any fact to that? Will I see any leaks in my driveway with synthetic. So far, my little blue '93 has never left a mark.

 

Thanks in advance.....Sn

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When you switched to the synthetic in your '94, did you keep the same weight? The '93's take 10W30, would I keep that weight with the synthetic?

 

Also, today, I took the Matrix in for its oil change. I asked the tech at the Toyota shop about my '93's rough idle. I told him I am going to put in new plugs and wires. He told me to get the carbon removed from my injectors first ($210.00). I would rather try the plugs/wires before sinking that much. Would a good two or three tankfuls of Chevron Injector Cleaner do any good? (I have read that Chevron is the best injector cleaner??)

 

Sn

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If you have gotten over 200K, why would you want to change over? The only advantage would be longer oil changes, but that's about it.

 

If you want to change over on the younger car and you plan on keeping it long term, then it can't hurt.

 

In all honesty, I think I wast money by running Mobil 1 in a Corolla. I only do it cause when the light comes on at 5K miles, I can change it at my pace. If I had regular oil in it, I'd probably stop everything and change the oil. With Mobil 1, I could probably go 10K miles and not cause any damage. I don't wait that long, but I probably could.

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I see your point about the '93. I am the type that will buy new and run it until it totally falls apart. Case in point, from 1993 to 2004 was the span of time between my purchase of a new car. I was impressed and disappointed in the new Matrix product over the last 11 years.

 

So, I'll be keeping the Matrix for at least another 10-15 years. So, beside the fact of longer duration between changes, as far as engine wear, would the synthetic deliver better engine protection? Smoother idle? Increased gas mileage?

 

Thanks, Sn

Edited by SCNJDN

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Differenced between modern synthetic motor oils and conventional oils are pretty small now. The only real advantage you will pickup is the ability to run longer between oil change intervals. There is a slight advantage in fuel economy - but we are only talking about an extra couple MPG. Might be worth it to some.

 

Synthetic might help the 93 Corolla burn less oil, or it could make things worse. If you want to try something, add some of the synthetic blend motor oil - Valvoline makes some good stuff. Is oil is seeping past the valve stem seals, synthetic and semi-synthetic blends should help swell up the seals and stop the oil smoking. They will also help break up any stuck piston rings, slowly though. Some have reported very good results with a product called AutoRx (though have not used it myself), Seafoam, Rislone, MMO, and others.

 

What every makes you happier. If you decide to go the synthetic route - I would stretch the oil change intervals to atleast 5K miles - just to get your moneys worth from the product. Probably couldn't hurt to use the Toyota "tall" filters in that case - same specs as the OEM filter, just slightly longer cartridge (more clean media and holds more "stuff").

 

As far as better protection, well conventional oil did you good for more than 200K miles, synthetics are nothing more than conventional oil that has been processed a bit more. Both are made from the same base materials - just the extra processing tacks on a couple of bucks to the bottle. Can't go wrong with either one.

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I agree with gvr,

why change over now?

 

I have 200k on my 4runner and still use dino oil.

 

If anything, possibly use a high milage oil?

Anybody have any experience with 'em?

 

tdk.

 

Running Castrol GTX High Mileage in one of my older cars - works pretty well. Specs on it look very similar to a synthetic blend, but just a hair thicker in viscosity. Also ran Mobil Drive Clean as well as Valvoline Synthetic blends - all have worked out pretty well. From what I've gathered - most of the highmileage oils are really synthetic blends with some seal swellers and slightly higher viscosity to help with oil consumption/oil smoking issues.

 

We switched the Camry over to a synthetic blend at around 180K miles - nothing worse for wear, other than we can hear the engine a bit more and it helped dissolve a lot of the deposits on the top end of the engine. I think the car has almost 250K on the clock now and still running strong.

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Thanks Fish,

 

I was wondering about that same one. The place that changes my oil uses castrol, and had some on his shelf.

When I was changing oil every month, I was trying to decide if it was worth changing up to it, but now that I have another ride, and my only uses it to go shopping, I am using dino-oil every 3-4months.

 

Mind you, I already have 67k on my 06Nissan... maybe its time to consider changing up to the high milage oil...

 

hmmm...

tdk

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If you have a shop do your oil changes for you, chances are they will put in whatever is standard for them.

You may be able to supply, or at least suggest a different (specific) oil for the change.

If you do your own oil changes, conventional oils work (check manuals for viscosity - varies with operating temperatures).

You can go to a mixture of oils, or switch to synthetic.

The key is to keep the engine lubricated with clean oil on a regular basis.

Synthetics do cost more, but require less frequent change intervals.

I use conventional on some of my cars (because it is relatively inexpensive) and synthetic on others.

The choice is always yours and would depend on your budget and method of oil changing.

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you can switch back and forth it you like, there is no problems. Only problem is if you were using dino for 200K miles and decided to switch to synthetic, the dino oil will have left a slight varnish or deposits (not sludge) around seals and such and the syn will start to clean that away so you *might* see some weeps or leaks as the syn begins to clean the deposit away.

 

you can add syn to dino oil and make your own syn blend. I have done 3 quarts pennzoil dino 5w30 with 1.5 quarts pennzoil platinum 5w30, so about a 33% syn blend ratio. It is advisable not to mix different brands as there are different additives and friction modifiers. Stay with same brands of oil if mixing. castrol gtx with castrol syntec, pen dino with pen syn, valvoline with valvoline synpower etc...

 

depending on your driving habits, ie.. short trips , a lot of stop and go driving you may just want to stick with dino and change every 3-5 months as you dont get the oil up to temps and keep it there so the condensation and fuel can burn off. If you do a lot of highway miles you can still use dino and go 5-6K intervals or switch to synthetic and go longer drain intervals if you wanted to.

 

Me personally< i would stick with what has gotten you 200K trouble free miles. Valvoline maxlife syn-blend gets good reviews and is a pretty good oil and can be used in newer cars as well it is just designed for higher mileage cars due to the extra detergents and seal additives.

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I've pretty much run Mobil 1 5w-30 for the past 8 or so years with 15K mile change intervals on my cars. I've recently stopped using it though because all of them are leakers now.

 

I put the van back on Valvoline dino and it seems to have stopped.

 

The Jeep will be changed this weekend. It poured out the rear seal when I first put it in so I modified the blend percentage with some success but it still leaks a bit if it sits around for a while without being driven.

 

The Corolla is still running the Mobil1 10W-30 but I'll be changing to the high mileage version. It's not energy conserving oil but my hope is that the leaking subsides at least until the next timing belt change when I'll reseal the front of the engine.

 

My daughter's 1999 Camry was leaking like a stuck pig. In her case the well known oil pump seal was to blame but I do believe was fueled by the Mobil 1 usage.

 

My other daughter's 1998 Camry also started to leak and I changed her over the Valvoline dino as well. I checked the driveway after she visited the other day and no leaks.

 

Anyone that knows me knows how much I like the Mobil 1 synthetic product but it looks like it has caused most of my leaks....oh well. The engine is very clean inside and still runs great at 229,000 miles.

 

My advice would be to use the high mileage Mobil 1 product.

 

Do a search on synthetic...lots of info here. A while back I posted a lot of sites with loads of information.

 

Jay in MA

 

My question is, would I gain any advantage to switching to a synthetic oil (Castrol Syn-Tec maybe...suggested brand?) or should I just keep using conventional (Valvoline Max-Life 10W-30). The car will be given to my daughter this year and I want it to last as long as I can. Its been a good car. All mainenance is up-to-date.

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I've pretty much run Mobil 1 5w-30 for the past 8 or so years with 15K mile change intervals on my cars. I've recently stopped using it though because all of them are leakers now.

 

I put the van back on Valvoline dino and it seems to have stopped.

 

The Jeep will be changed this weekend. It poured out the rear seal when I first put it in so I modified the blend percentage with some success but it still leaks a bit if it sits around for a while without being driven.

 

The Corolla is still running the Mobil1 10W-30 but I'll be changing to the high mileage version. It's not energy conserving oil but my hope is that the leaking subsides at least until the next timing belt change when I'll reseal the front of the engine.

 

My daughter's 1999 Camry was leaking like a stuck pig. In her case the well known oil pump seal was to blame but I do believe was fueled by the Mobil 1 usage.

 

My other daughter's 1998 Camry also started to leak and I changed her over the Valvoline dino as well. I checked the driveway after she visited the other day and no leaks.

 

Anyone that knows me knows how much I like the Mobil 1 synthetic product but it looks like it has caused most of my leaks....oh well. The engine is very clean inside and still runs great at 229,000 miles.

 

My advice would be to use the high mileage Mobil 1 product.

 

Do a search on synthetic...lots of info here. A while back I posted a lot of sites with loads of information.

 

Jay in MA

 

My question is, would I gain any advantage to switching to a synthetic oil (Castrol Syn-Tec maybe...suggested brand?) or should I just keep using conventional (Valvoline Max-Life 10W-30). The car will be given to my daughter this year and I want it to last as long as I can. Its been a good car. All mainenance is up-to-date.

 

 

My corolla has 202k miles on it (owned since 122k) and I've tried about everything. I did use Mobil 1 synthetic for a while but then ended up using Valvoline high mileage synth blend just because I kept having to add the Mobil 1 all the time. The Valvoline stayed in there just fine. Then after a couple years I switched to Amsoil and that stays in ok but not quite as well as the high mileage stuff. I've always changed it myself at around 3-5k mile intervals. After having the timing belt changed at 200k the mechanic said the inside of the engine looked "very clean" and the cam looked "brand new".

Edited by Redd

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Valvoline maxlife (mostly the syn blend) is highly regarded and recommended on bobistheoilguy.com

 

it can be used in newer motors as well, not just high mileage ones. It is just geared towards higher mileage motors as it has extra cleaning detergents and the seal additives

Edited by 02zx9r

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At 200K with blue smoke, switching to synthetic is a mistake. Synthetic oil is thinner by design and tends to have more detergents to allow for extended drain intervals. Between the thinner oil and its detergents possibly cleaning varnish buildup off the cylinders and sleeves, it can make blow-by and oil consumption a lot worse. A better choice is to use thicker dino oil and top it off/change it frequently.

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