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In previous vehicles I've always moved to synthetic early in the life of the engine, but continued oil changes 5-7k, perhaps unnecessarily.

My 2012 RAV4 V6 has 60k on it, has had regular oil so far, but I am thinking of moving to synthetic. Any opinions on whether it is worth doing so with this engine if I stick to frequent oil changes?
 

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7K....maybe. 5K.....not worth it. Only a used oil analysis done a few times can tell you a safe mileage to run the synthetic or the regular oil for that matter.
 

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Regular oil is fine to use if changed at reasonable oil change intervals. Synthetic oil is better oil, will circulate quicker is colder climates, will maintain it's properties at higher overheating temps, and can be used longer than reg oil. I change my synthetic oil every 20,000 km's but change the oil filter half way through at 10.
An oil analysis is a great idea at checking on the oils life. I think you will be surprised at how long it can be used for. Our lubrication guys at work have told me about the importance of a good filter too. They said that the oil right from a factory is tested before using it, then tested again after a short run in a gearbox. It tests cleaner after it's used than from the factory ,according to them.
 

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I use synthetic in everything except my boat for the long change intervals. I change the oil in the boat once a year with only 75 hours of use, typically, so there's no point using synthetic in it.
 
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I've used syns on a number of cars. have no fear on running it 12 - 15k with a filter only in the middle.
Used syns extensively in aviation turbines. carbon particles are what darkens the oil, syns or fossil.


There was a Cadillac back in the 40's that had a cuno filter in it, and they said to go 30k between oil changes!
Oil company bought rights to it and had it removed from production cars ! ! wonder why?
 

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From the Toyota Owners frequently asked questions site (www.toyotaowners.com):


"Only Toyota vehicles in which 0w-20 synthetic oil is required (except for the 2TR-FE and 3UR-FBE Engines*) have been approved for extended oil change intervals of 10,000-miles/12-months. (However, you should continue to check the oil level regularly and top off if needed. That will help your engine get the full benefit of synthetic oil.)


  • Vehicles in which 0w-20 is an option to 5w-20 mineral oil, (or 5w-30), will continue to require 5,000-mile/6-month oil change intervals, even if 0w-20 oil is used."
While not specific about the RAV4 V6 engine or the recommended mineral oil weight for that engine, the implication is that even if using synthetic oil (which isn't recommended) in the RAV's V6 the oil change interval remains the same as for mineral oil. If an owner has a Toyota warranty or VSA and it is still in effect it would appear that to prevent Toyota denying a claim which applies to the engine one should adhere to the 5,000 mile/6 month interval. But for owners whose vehicles aren't or are no longer covered by the warranty or VSA that caution no longer would apply and they could use synthetic with longer oil change intervals.
 

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If you are doing oil changes 5-7k then using regular oil is the way to go. Synthetic oil has a longer interval life 10 -12 k. It is just more economical using regular oil for shorter service and synthetic oil for longer service.
 

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The most important benefit of synthetic oil is the long change intervals, but quite often you will be going against the owner's manual recommendation when you do it. There are millions of us out there that have been doing this for decades with no issues, but if it bothers you, change it sooner. Won't hurt it, just wasting a little time and money, IMO.
 

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i'll be taking a sample after 10k/1yr, if it comes out clean i'll probably run 15k regularly. amsoil sso 0w30
 

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Linked is the best oil, for the money:
DIY National Promo – Pennzoil

I switched from expensive Amsoil oil recently, to the new Pennzoil Platinum Pure-Plus full synthetic.
- and use a premium oil filter
- either Amsoil or WIX Platinum (2008 Limited v6 - NAPA #47047 ) synthetic media filter
Full synthetic reduces engine wear, on cold winter startup.
- I change oil every 10,000 Km while still under extended warranty
- will be bumping that up soon, closer to 15,000 Km

PS - I have a 6 gallon air compressor, that always blew fuses in winter time, if left in the cold garage - switched to synthetic compressor oil, startup problem solved.
I run syn. in my small engines to - from my John Deere 318 garden tractor to a Honda 200M.
 

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PS - I have a 6 gallon air compressor, that always blew fuses in winter time, if left in the cold garage - switched to synthetic compressor oil, startup problem solved.
Very same here. Amazing.
 

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Linked is the best oil, for the money:
DIY National Promo – Pennzoil

I switched from expensive Amsoil oil recently, to the new Pennzoil Platinum Pure-Plus full synthetic.
- and use a premium oil filter
- either Amsoil or WIX Platinum (2008 Limited v6 - NAPA #47047 ) synthetic media filter
Full synthetic reduces engine wear, on cold winter startup.
- I change oil every 10,000 Km while still under extended warranty
- will be bumping that up soon, closer to 15,000 Km

PS - I have a 6 gallon air compressor, that always blew fuses in winter time, if left in the cold garage - switched to synthetic compressor oil, startup problem solved.
I run syn. in my small engines to - from my John Deere 318 garden tractor to a Honda 200M.


that Pennzoil is not 100% full synthetic like amsoil or redline. doesn't it even say on the bottle it's made from natural gas? I used to run Pennzoil ultra before they switched to the natural gas formula, was a good oil but a little on the light side for a 5w30 when I was running it. running ~15k miles (25k km) per oil change with amsoil with decent UOAs coming through, though these days I don't drive enough on a single car, so I'm just doing one oil change per year
 

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that Pennzoil is not 100% full synthetic like amsoil or redline. doesn't it even say on the bottle it's made from natural gas? I used to run Pennzoil ultra before they switched to the natural gas formula, was a good oil but a little on the light side for a 5w30 when I was running it. running ~15k miles (25k km) per oil change with amsoil with decent UOAs coming through, though these days I don't drive enough on a single car, so I'm just doing one oil change per year
Sure it's 100% full synthetic. The current industry definition is that as long as there's no Group 2 base oil, it's full synthetic. Pennzoil Platinum is a Group 3 oil, but the GTL process results in a much cleaner and purer base oil that typical Group 3 bases.

Most of the recent information I've seen indicates that the better Group 3 bases are equivalent or superior to most Group 4 bases these days. Group 5 bases (Motul, Redline, Amsoil, Delvac) are still superior, but only marginally, and at a much higher cost.

All that to say -- pick a good quality Group 3 synthetic (Pennzoil Platinum, Mobil1, etc.) and you'll be fine.
 

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Here is an interesting article describing synthetic oils Understanding the 
Differences Between 
Synthetics and here is another article describing the base oil groups Understanding the Differences in Base Oil Groups,

Personally, I had a 1973 Ford Gran Torino with a 351 Cleveland engine and I put just under 300,000 miles on it and the only engine work I ever had to do was change the hydraulic lifters at 210,000 miles. Anyone ever owning an early 70s car knows that is quite an achievement. When I pulled the valve covers, it looked like new, no varnish and no carbon deposits, I was amazed. A mechanic looked at the engine when I sold the car and told the buyer that I was exaggerating the miles because he found the same things and did an engine compression test and found that all cylinders were well within tolerance in fact he said it tested like a new engine. He also sent an oil sample to a lab looking for problems and found none. That car never leaked or burned oil. I changed the oil ever 10,000 miles (Mobile 1) and filters at 5000 miles. Since then I have always run synthetics following the same maintenance schedule. I also use synthetics in generators, mowers, and outboard engines without a problem.
 
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Sure it's 100% full synthetic. The current industry definition is that as long as there's no Group 2 base oil, it's full synthetic. Pennzoil Platinum is a Group 3 oil, but the GTL process results in a much cleaner and purer base oil that typical Group 3 bases.

Most of the recent information I've seen indicates that the better Group 3 bases are equivalent or superior to most Group 4 bases these days. Group 5 bases (Motul, Redline, Amsoil, Delvac) are still superior, but only marginally, and at a much higher cost.

All that to say -- pick a good quality Group 3 synthetic (Pennzoil Platinum, Mobil1, etc.) and you'll be fine.


current industry definition is pretty much just what they're legally allowed slap on as "100% full synthetic" but it's still hydrocracked oil. not to say it's better or worse, though typically it is "worse" than group 4 or 5. whether that's true or not for Pennzoil I haven't looked into, but you are definitely right in saying you'll be "fine" with a Group 3. Aside from the Rav4 and Corolla all of my cars are raced so I usually stick with Amsoil or Redline
 

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If you want to prove to yourself that synthetics greatly reduces friction, do this simple test: Note where your temperature gauge is currently when running whatever regular oil you run, also as precisely as you can figure your current fuel mileage. Now change your oil to a synthetic with a quality filter and after running a few hundred miles note the temperature (on all my vehicles it has proven to be lower) recheck your mileage and you will probably notice slightly better mileage. When I first change a vehicle over to synthetics, I change oil and filter after 5000 miles (this is because that first change is removing a lot of gunk left behind by regular oil) and after that a full oil change every 10,000 miles and a filter change every 5000 miles.
 

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If you want to prove to yourself that synthetics greatly reduces friction, do this simple test: Note where your temperature gauge is currently when running whatever regular oil you run, also as precisely as you can figure your current fuel mileage. Now change your oil to a synthetic with a quality filter and after running a few hundred miles note the temperature (on all my vehicles it has proven to be lower) recheck your mileage and you will probably notice slightly better mileage. When I first change a vehicle over to synthetics, I change oil and filter after 5000 miles (this is because that first change is removing a lot of gunk left behind by regular oil) and after that a full oil change every 10,000 miles and a filter change every 5000 miles.


too much variability in usage and oil viscosities even that are rated the same. ie, Pennzoil I've used tends to be much lighter than a "normal" oil I've used, and Redline tends to be much thicker. The real question is protection, which you'd only get a decent idea if you are regularly doing UOAs
 

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If you want to prove to yourself that synthetics greatly reduces friction, do this simple test: Note where your temperature gauge is currently when running whatever regular oil you run, also as precisely as you can figure your current fuel mileage. Now change your oil to a synthetic with a quality filter and after running a few hundred miles note the temperature (on all my vehicles it has proven to be lower) recheck your mileage and you will probably notice slightly better mileage. When I first change a vehicle over to synthetics, I change oil and filter after 5000 miles (this is because that first change is removing a lot of gunk left behind by regular oil) and after that a full oil change every 10,000 miles and a filter change every 5000 miles.

Err - coolant temperature in a properly functioning engine is determined by the coolant thermostat, not by the type of engine oil.
 

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Err - coolant temperature in a properly functioning engine is determined by the coolant thermostat, not by the type of engine oil.
Yes, the thermostat does set the temp, however, the engine at speed runs cooler (at least in my experience when using synthetics, This is in the US deep south to include many trips across the United States on Interstate 10. And years working in Gila Bend, Arizona.

Again an engine running at speed not idling or city traffic. I never had a car or motorcycle (air cooled) overheat in city traffic even in southern Arizona summers when using synthetics. However, friends who didn't use synthetics did had overheating issues and who otherwise took good care of their vehicles, particularly in city traffic.

So yes I really believe, oil does make a difference.

Here is an excerpt from the linked web site.

Keep the Engine Cool

Because only about 60 percent of the engine cooling is handled by the radiator and coolant, the other 40 percent (more in an air-cooled engine) must be taken care of by the engine oil. The combustion process takes place at about 2000 to 3000 degrees F, which can heat pistons and valves to 1000 degrees F in extreme cases. In pistons, much of this heat travels down the connecting rods and affects the bearings. Since tin and lead, two common bearing materials, soften drastically around 350 degrees F and melt at 450 degrees F and 620 degrees F (respectively), it is important for the oil to transfer excess heat away from the bearings as quickly as possible. In valves, the long, thin valve stem is more easily stretched when hot as the valve spring pulls the valve tight against the seat. Too much stretch, and valve clearances disappear and valves and seats burn.

There are ways of helping the oil keep its cool without resorting to chemistry. Increasing sump capacity increases the length of time the oil gets to cool off before being thrust into the breech again, and the more oil there is the more BTUs it takes to heat it up and keep it hot. Adding an oil cooler allows the oil to more readily lose heat, and can add to the volume of oil in the engine.

Incidentally, installing a high-volume oil pump to cure high oil temperatures actually exacerbates the problem in most engines. A high-volume pump takes more horsepower to run (creating heat), and it over-pressurizes oil passages, which can lead to greater oil consumption as the oil is squirted or flung onto the cylinder walls or past seals.

http://www.gregraven.org/hotwater/oil/
 
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