to synth or not to synth? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-10-2012, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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to synth or not to synth?

Hi here. Gotta 97 E320 with just now 117k miles. car is new to me and runs beautifully. Looks like they have been using reg oil. Should i go to synthetic or not? also best brands? THX GREAT FORUM!!!!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 08:18 AM
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It's entirely up to you - your car is fine with either one. Paying more for oil sometimes helps people with low self esteem feel better about themselves.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 08:23 AM
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I use synthetic in all my vehicles. Don't have to worry about sludging of oil in pan. Synthetic is more expensive but I look at it as I paid this much for a vehicle, why wouldn't I pay a little bit more for something that could make my engine last longer.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 08:49 AM
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This is how I see the oils.
Non-synth: Oil change every 4K miles.
Synth: Oil change every 8K miles.
The replacement is done before oils break down.
Non-synth, $3/qt. Synth, $6/qt.
So price-wise, synth, non-synth are the same. Non-synth doubles the labor.
Some old car may burn oil. Even some new ones do, too.
Waiting 8K miles to check/replace the oil while relying on the computer to flash "oil level low" warning is just too late, low oil level may already hurt your car engine. Regardless of the oil to use, check its level often.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 09:56 AM
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Generally speaking, synthetic oils are superior to conventional oils.

But at 117K, what's the benefit in switching? To the extent dino hasn't been protecting the engine, much of the wear has already occurred. There's also the anecdotal evidence of many who have switched only to find that the synthetic finds leak paths that weren't there before.

That said, I'm a fan of synthetics, and if you are as well, then try it. If leaks develop you can always go back to dino. Pick a good brand with the correct viscosity per your manual.

Good luck.

Edit: Mobil1's site recommends their 0W40.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 10:31 AM
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I am fan of synthetics as well, but Mobil1 has some problems with their oils, that they are trying to sweep under the carpets.
Per my recollection MBUSA changed the policy on oils about 2001 and all cars prior to that run on dino with FSS just fine. Our ML320 was running for 3 years on dino with oil replaced every 18 months at average 12k miles, later switched to synthetics and in 13 years in our family never had any engine problems.
I switched to synthetics in several high mileage vehicles and had positive results like less oil consumption. Even my John Deere tractor runs on synthetic.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 10:49 AM
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If you know with a reasonable level of certainty your car has always run on dino oil I would stick with it. I have 2 cars (Toyota and Plymouth) both older than yours and with higher mileages. Both have had dino from day one; I had their oils analyzed and they came back good. BTW I have always maintained a 3000 oil/filter interval and use Pennzoil.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-11-2012, 08:02 PM
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I had the last generation Honda Prelude, the one with 200HP. After 100k km, I switched from regular oil to synthetic oil. I then noticed that my car was losing oil and this car never lost oil before. This lasted for a few months and I finally switched back to regular oil and the problem went away.

This was 9-10 years ago and I cannot remember the details but I remember I had to add oil every week or so.

This experience teaches me that if an engine is used to regular oil for a few years, change oil type may cause issues.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-12-2012, 06:22 PM
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Oil threads, what a great topic!
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