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Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

July 22nd, 2017, 1:24 pm

I read on the Ford site to use 5w-30 motor craft oil. I went to purchase oil and the parts store sold me Motorcraft 5w-30 synthetic blend. Is this going to hurt anything?
We have a 2000 Chinook Concourse.


Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

July 22nd, 2017, 1:39 pm

Are you changing oil or just adding some?

If just adding some, it shouldn't hurt, but it won't give the same benefits as totally switching over to synthetic.

Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

July 22nd, 2017, 1:46 pm

Totally changing the oil. What oil do you use and what viscosity please?
So do you prefer full synthetic over synthetic blend?

Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

July 22nd, 2017, 3:45 pm

The manual specifies viscosity grade 5W-20 and compliance with Ford spec WSS-M2C945-A. The Motorcraft 5W-20 Synthetic Blend can be had in 5qt. Jugs at a good price from Walmart and is an excellent oil. Engine oil choice generates heated debates and the site "Bob is the Oil Guy" or BITOG is a mine of facts, opinion and lore should you browse there. Stick with the 5W-20 above and you won't go wrong. Cheers, TC (former research chemist and oil hobbyist)

Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

July 22nd, 2017, 5:18 pm

We have a local authority in Ted! Awesome.
To my mind, viscosity vs synthetic are two different conversations.
Always run the correct viscosity according to the manufacturer for your engine/climate/season first off.
Synthetic retains its viscosity longer. That's about it, thanks to long chain polymers (hope that's correct Rover...?). That does not change the reality of oil contamination from blow-by or dusty roads or radically excessive heat. I.e. dirty oil is still dirty whether it's created from natural gas or dead dinosaurs. Assuming your engine is new-ish - and if it's a Chinook, it's probably not - you can slightly extend the change intervals with synthetic. Otherwise you're spending more money than needed if you focus on synthetic. Plus you're likely burning enough along the way to justify regular oil changes anyway. The filter is a big part of the equation, too. If I can get a 5qt jug of synthetic for $22.99 (common) then I'll do that every time. But it doesn't really influence my regimen. Burning a quart every 3000 miles determines when I change; I'll top off a couple times, then change out between 4 and 5k miles, depending on conditions and convenience. Also, simply looking at the dipstick (color, smell) can be informative. For gear oil, or ATF, it's a totally different topic all together.

Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

July 22nd, 2017, 6:36 pm

Ford switched their recommendation from 5W30 to 5W20 in mid 2000, in order to eke out a fraction more gas mileage, to meet government CAFE standards.

Stick with the 5W30 for best high temperature protection.

Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

July 22nd, 2017, 6:52 pm

Synthetic engine oils do have advantages in more severe applications like racing engines or high-temperature gas turbines, but not for normal automotive service conditions. These days “synthetic” has become more marketing hype, just like “organic” for food, and commands a premium price.

Oil is formulated from a base stock blended with an additive package. Originally the base was refined from crude oil pumped from wells. A synthetic oil base is prepared by chemical reactions and more resistant to thermal breakdown and viscosity loss at higher temperatures, owing to a more controlled molecular structure.

Real world performance depends more on the oil’s additive package. Additives are also “synthetic” laboratory compounds that include detergents, dispersants, viscosity-index improvers, anti-oxidants, anti-wears, bases to neutralize acidic buildup and friction modifiers for better fuel economy. This package is proprietary and differs in detail from one brand to the next. Lubrizol is a big supplier to the industry and brands are constantly being reformulated to keep up with increasingly stringent emission and mileage standards.

It’s most unlikely to have oil-related engine failure from any name-brand oil with the required viscosity and performance specifications. Usually the worst thing that happens is build up of sludge from too many short trips and extended drain intervals. Best advice is to go by the owner’s manual for oil specification and filter change intervals based on time and/or mileage.

Hope this helps with a practical perspective on a rather confusing topic given all the industry hype and claims.

Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

July 22nd, 2017, 9:20 pm

This is an interesting thread. Great to have some people with experience in the industry.

Yeah, my year originally recommended 5W30, but that was apparently amended to 5W20 at some point along the way. I've "heard" both that it was for CAFE (gas mileage) striving, and that the engine has very small oil galleries and so the 20 is now known to be better. Not exactly the same reason (!). If the first is true, I'll likely go back to 5W30. If the second, then maybe I'll stick with 5W20. I run Mobil1 (mostly cause it makes me feel good) and from what I've read their 5W30 and 5W20 are not that far apart. But I'm just one who occasionally peruses discussions - I don't really know.

I've been running the "extended performance" Mobil 1 that supposedly lets you go 15,000 miles between changes. In real life, I rarely go beyond 5-6,000, but I feel like if I got stuck someplace where it was inconvenient to change oil, I would feel so bad about stretching it a bit (I like to do my own).

Once with my previous camper van (same basic van, but with 5.4 V8), I changed my oil and then ended up dragging the used oil around for AGES (was in states where it was oddly hard to get rid of). Now I check that in advance.

While we're on the topic, might I say that I really like the Fumoto valve I installed. Makes changing oil so much less messy.

Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

November 27th, 2017, 7:56 pm

The previous owner changed to Mobile 1 high mileage. I wonder if it is a bad idea to switch it to Mobile 1 synthetic high performance 5W-20 from Costco? I can get the high mileage version, but I would need to get it in 5 qt jug and I will need to get the single qt size for top off and in case the 5 qt is not enough.

Re: Engine oil.....regular, synthetic or blend?

November 27th, 2017, 9:34 pm

I use a synthetic blend. I cant justify the added cost when i dont even leave the oil in the engine long enough for it to break down just using synthetic blend. To me it would be like flushing money down the toilet.
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