The problem with synthetic oil

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Zombie Master
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The problem with synthetic oil

Post by Zombie Master » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:29 am

THE PROBLEM WITH ‘FULL SYNTHETIC’ OIL
"The main problem with oils is that there is no actual regulation for what comprises an oil, or what is required of an oil, for it to be classed “Full-Synthetic”.

Fact is, in many cases, oils claimed to be fully synthetic are often made by highly refining and synthesising mineral oils to achieve a higher degree of purity than would otherwise have been achievable. Other times they may also be made using a large degree of actual synthetic oil, but are still not essentially “Full” synthetic by any means. They would more appropriately still be semi-synthetic oils.

As you can imagine, it pays to check with the oil manufacturer on what the base stocks of their Fully Synthetic Oil are actually made of. A lot of the time, you’ll be quite surprised to learn that they are actually not fully synthetic oils at all in nature, only by marketing name.

With the benefit of the doubt – it could well be 100% synthetic oil… but it could also be 90%, or 60%, or even 2%. In short, fully synthetic oil is a marketing term that in no way defines the quantity of synthetic content.100% SYNTHETIC OIL

In order to make higher quality oils, high-performance oil companies will essentially develop molecules from scratch, which are then synthesised and produced free of any mineral or crude oils.

By doing this, the greatest advances in automotive oils are made, as new compounds and molecules are developed that are capable of greater lubrication, greater protection and higher resistance to pressure. This also means that companies can control the quality of every drop of oil in your bottle, as opposed to having to refine the quality of mineral base oils.

And the best part is, there is no escaping this 100% Synthetic terminology with fancy or confusing marketing terms. If it is so-called such, it must be 100% Fully Synthetic by regulation."
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richard t
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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by richard t » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:35 am

I work in oil and gas business as mech for 34 years. I always use the ISO standard to help select oil for my equipment

barryh
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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by barryh » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:25 pm

The whole mineral vs synthetic thing is way over blown. What matters is how the oil performs not how it's marketed. You can forget true synthetic anyway unless you are prepared to pay double the price of other very good quality oils. The API standards are not really the pinnacle any more so I rely on the Acea specs and manufacturers specs. Something like Mercedes 229.5 exceeds both API and Acea specs so it's hard to beat. Even then the various oils that meets one of the most respected specs in the industry are mostly not fully synthetic in the true sense although some will use GTL technology (gas to liquid) which is considered a group 3+ oil so not a true synthetic like a group 4 or 5.
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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by enigmaT120 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:19 am

ZM did you write all that or was it a quote? Where is it from?
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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by barryh » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:03 am

Where ever it's from it's essentially correct. Very few oils marketed as fully synthetic actually are. Price is the best guide as a true fully synthetic usually costs in the order of £40 upwards for 5 L. For an example of a real synthetic look at the price of something like Motul 300V.

At the risk of making this even more complicated there are NO oils containing 100% synthetic stock of a specific type e.g.an ester for the simple reason it wouldn't perform very well. Amongst other reasons there are issues of compatibility with additives that mean even the very best most expensive synthetic oil is a blend of different components. The best oils just contain a higher % of synthetic base stocks in the blend that's all.

Focussing on what defines a 100% synthetic oil is an all but impossible dead end quest. It's far more worthwhile to focus on how an oil performs rather than what it's made of.
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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by Zombie Master » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:27 pm

enigmaT120 wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:19 am
ZM did you write all that or was it a quote? Where is it from?
It was a quote from Motoul. I've been reading how we are duped by the term full synthetic. They are always trying to give us "the business"
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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by Zombie Master » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:09 am

Price is the best guide as a true fully synthetic usually costs in the order of £40 upwards for 5 L. For an example of a real synthetic look at the price of something like Motul 300V.
Well then the Motorex synt 4T that is specified for my KTM must be great stuff. But I do not subscribe to the adage that "you get what you pay for."
Focussing on what defines a 100% synthetic oil is an all but impossible dead end quest. It's far more worthwhile to focus on how an oil performs rather than what it's made of.
The only way I know to tell how an oil performs is to see if my motor wears out. I guess sending in samples might be a good way, if you can trust them. I have trust issues. :|
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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by Roy Gavin » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:32 am

There are UOAs around on Mobil 1 which show nil FE and, as you would expect, no diminution of the ZZDP.
Which means no wear on the steel parts.
Usually the description Ester denotes the manufacturers top line oil, but not always.
Last pack of M1 big twin 20/50 MA2 I checked only claimed to be SH too, so it should save you running around looking for obsolete oil, if that is what you prefer!
It is also at the thick end of the scale, so should stay in grade for most of its service life.
Adelaide, Oz. 77 R75/7. 86 R80 G/S PD, 93 R100 GS, 70 BSA B44 VS ,BMW F650 Classic

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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by barryh » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:16 am

I'm not against oil marketed as full synthetic, it's what I use in all my vehicles but they all do relatively low annual mileages so I'm more than happy with the pseudo full synthetics particularly the GTL types like Shell Helix Ultra (Penzoil Ultra Platinum in the US is the same oil) which provide good performance at relatively modest prices.

How do you judge how an oil performs ? short of used oil analysis or long term wear tests the best guide is OEM specs like MB 229.5, BMW LL-01 or Porche A40. If an oil meets those it's good stuff.

There is no magic about how a synthetic lubricates vs a mineral oil or at least nothing like as much as many people think. The major benefits arise from the fact that synthetic oil is more temperature resistant, more stable and needs less additives. For example synthetic has a higher inherent viscosity index so it doesn't need as much viscosity Index improver as a mineral oil. That's a good thing and makes it stay in grade for longer because there isn't as much dependence on an additive which is going to wear out.
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Re: The problem with synthetic oil

Post by Roy Gavin » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:19 pm

If anyone has ever seen a UOA on a mineral oil with nil FE give us a link, until then we can confidently say synth works better!
Yes, the additive package counts too, and manufactures tend to put their top package in their top priced synth oils, so you get a double benefit.
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Adelaide, Oz. 77 R75/7. 86 R80 G/S PD, 93 R100 GS, 70 BSA B44 VS ,BMW F650 Classic

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