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I was informed by the dealer that I could use either synthetic or regular oil in my new RAV4, V6 AWD. I was wondering if there are any ideas about whether the synthetic oil is better for the life of the engine?
 

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RELIGION ALERT!!!!!

One view is that


Petroleum motor oils are prone to boil or vapor within the normal operating temperature of the engine. This is commonly referred to as breakdown. Once the oil begins to breakdown it usually results in oxidization creating hardened oil deposits in your engines components and sludge. Synthetics by contrast, are able to withstand greater heat temperatures resulting in greater protection against breakdown.

Heat is a major enemy of any engine. Heat produces friction and friction produces wear and wear reduces the life of your engine. The uniformly smooth structure of synthetic motor oil, free of the components found in conventional petroleum motor oil provides superior protection against heat, friction, and wear on your engine. Simply put, synthetic motor outperforms conventional motor oil when it comes to protecting your engine against heat.

Provides superior start-up protection

Petroleum motor oils contain waxes and parrafins which can thicken when exposed to cold temperatures. Once the petroleum oil is cold, it makes it difficult for the oil to get from the oil pan to the moving parts of your engine during cold-weather start-ups. Meanwhile, until the oil heats up and is fluid enough to circulate through your engine, damage is occurring to your engine which over time can reduce the life of your engine. Synthetic motor oil on the other hand, does not contain these waxes and has fluidity properties which allow it to get into your moving parts almost immediately providing greater protection for your engine.
VW now mandates synthetic for their Turbo engines to prevent sludge build up. (0W-40)

You will most likely see 100,000 miles on the engine in normal driving with either dino or synthetic. The additives in Dino oil now days do a good job of protecting your engine if you change your oil when it needs to be changed. The key is to determine what the frequency is for changing the oil based on your type of driving.

Just my opinion here (there are many on this subject)....

I do the first change at 3,000 miles and at 6,000 miles I have my oil analyzed (I used Blackstone Labs http://www.blackstone-labs.com/gas_engines.html ) to see what the condition of the oil is and how the engine is doing. So far analysis has focased in on 5,000 miles for the type of driving I do.

I am on the synthetic side of the congregation and use Mobil 1. Do I have to ....NO. Do I want to YES :wink:
 

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Another Mobil 1 devotee.

I have used Mobil 1 for about 22 years now. I agree with summerwind. I plan to do a dinosaur oil change at 2500 miles and then to Mobil 1 at 5000 miles and do 5000 mile change intervals thereafter.

Just for fun, put your favorite dinosaur oil and some Mobil 1 into some small clear jars and put them in you freezer overnight. Once you see them the next day, you won’t go back.
 

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rjhoffmann said:
I was informed by the dealer that I could use either synthetic or regular oil in my new RAV4, V6 AWD. I was wondering if there are any ideas about whether the synthetic oil is better for the life of the engine?
In terms of engine longevity in harsh environments, synthetic wins hands down. Use Mobil 1 which you can buy from WalMart for less than US$5 per quart, and run extended oil changes with filter changes at the regular interval.

If you live in Southern CA then don't bother. You won't see any benefits. If you live in Anchorage, don't use ANYTHING BUT synthetic.

John Davies
SPokane WA
 

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How does the synthetic work?... As far as.. I have heard that once you switch to synthetic you cannot switch back.. This true?.. How much more expensive is synthetic if you go and get your oil changed and don't do it yourself?.. Worth it?..

Any downfalls to using synthetic?..
 

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Inocense -
Synthetics have really caught on in recent years, and the main advantage it has over conventional dino oil is its stability under extreme temperature conditions. Doesn't break down in extreme hot temps, keeps its viscosity in extreme cold temps, so you get less engine wear on cold startups. Lots of old wives tales about synthetics - prone to leaks, can't use until engine is broken in, can't switch back to dino oil once you've switched to synthetic. All these myths have for the most part been dispelled. Somebody help me here with the link I've seen several times :idea:

Synthetic is expensive, about $5 - $6/quart, but your change intervals will lengthen somewhat. IMHO, you being a Chicago resident, with the summer & winter extremes, it probably would do you good to go syn, especially for winter. I'm sure there are others here that will agree. However the synthetic vs dino has been a very heated debate amongst many of the auto forum participants......

OC
 

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Thank you OC.. I will check more into it.. And your right, especially with the temperature extreme's here.. Am sure we are very comperable to your neck of the woods.. :p
 

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try bobistheoilguy.
The benefits of synth are at the operating extremes.
I have a turbo VW and have always used M1.
Running a bigger oil filter is also a cheap way to install an oil cooler.

I do find it odd the recomm viscosity for my rav4 is 0W20

Maybe for mileage?

My dealership uses Castrol Syntec for all changes.
Otherwise, I'd use dino oil for a non-turbo in moderate temps.
 

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Does anyone know if you can replace the V6 oil filter without losing the oil, the way it hangs down so low near the same level as the oil pan, I wonder.
 

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BarnyFife said:
Does anyone know if you can replace the V6 oil filter without losing the oil, the way it hangs down so low near the same level as the oil pan, I wonder.
As it looks like the V6 uses a cartridge filter and not a spin on I would be surprised if you can change it without have oil drain out.

As I have an I4, you will need feedback from a V6 owner that has changed their oil themself.
 

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Re: Another Mobil 1 devotee.

r said:
Just for fun, put your favorite dinosaur oil and some Mobil 1 into some small clear jars and put them in you freezer overnight. Once you see them the next day, you won’t go back.
I had to run M1 0W40 Artic weight during winter in Alaska or my Integra would start like it had cement in the oil pan(I didnt use my block heater, no plug ins at my apt). I changed it out as soon as it started getting above 40 deg as it was too thin for normal temps.

Never noticed a mileage change but it would crank right up with the water/oil in her.
 
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I've run synthetic in my Corolla since 15,000kms and I swear by it

car has never felt like it has lost power, still gets 32MPG and has 225,000kms on it now

still running 5w30, and the oil stays clean right up to time to change it, and it lasts longer, generally I wil lgo to 8,000kms before I change it

it's going in the Rav at the next oil change for sure!
 

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Re: Another Mobil 1 devotee.

Masterblaster said:
I had to run M1 0W40 Artic weight during winter in Alaska or my Integra would start like it had cement in the oil pan(I didnt use my block heater, no plug ins at my apt). I changed it out as soon as it started getting above 40 deg as it was too thin for normal temps..
????????

http://www.mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENPVLMOMobil_1_0W-40.asp

"Mobil 1 0W-40 is the most advanced performance synthetic engine oil designed to provide ultimate cleaning power, wear protection and overall performance. Mobil 1 0W-40, European Car Formula (NA) or Protection Formula (EU), exceeds the requirements of the leading industry and car manufacturers' standards required for newer modern gasoline and diesel powered automobile engines. The Mobil 1 Technology is race proven and the choice of NASCAR racing. Mobil 1 0W-40 is perfect for all types of vehicles anywhere in the world and has the performance reserve to protect when conventional engine oils cannot. It is the first choice at the factory for the some of the world's finest performance vehicles: Mercedes-Benz AMG, Porsche, and Aston Martin. "

What in the world makes you think it is too thin for Arctic summers?

John Davies
Spokane WA
 

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Well, it takes a lot of reading to understand the fine points of engine lubricants.
For example, average joe shmoe will not understand why german castrol 0W30 is actually THICKER than most 10W30 oils.
 

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My 01 Rav4 is approaching 100K miles, and has used Mobil 1 since 11K miles. When I reach 100K miles, I plan to perform an oil change, and I will collect some samples to send out to the labs for the benefit of everyone who reads my posts.

When I perform the oil change at 100K miles, the oil itself has been in the engine since 88K miles, and I changed the filter halfway through the oil change interval at 94K miles. In case you were wondering, my Rav4 hit 88K miles in March so its been a little more than 2 months since my last oil change (9K miles ago - my Rav4 is at 97K now).
 

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Is it really synthetic just because it says it is??

In 1997 Mobil lost a lawsuit against Castrol. Castrol had reformulated their synthetic line of motor oil, switching from a 'true' 'synthetic' polyalphaolefin (PAO) base stock to a hydroisomerized petroleum base stock commonly called Group 3. Mobil was challenging the labeling Castrol Syntec oil as synthetic.

The fact is that although Group 3 is from petroleum it has little in common when looking at the molecular structure than less refined common motor oils. Its test numbers are close to the performance of PAO based synthetics.

My gripe is it should be cheaper, but it isn't. Castrol Syntec, Valvoline Synthetic and Pennzoil Synthetic are all Group 3, not PAO. I have switched from Castrol Syntec to Mobil 1 simply because for years I thought I was using a motor oil that was not derived from petroleum and feel mislead, although the Syntec is still pretty good stuff.

Mobil 1, Amsoil, and I think Red Line are PAO based.

Gene
 
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