I recently put synthetic 5W30 Mobil 1 motor oil in my 1986 Nissan 200SX, after moving from Florida to New Jersey. The car still had 20W50 regular oil in it. When the temperature dipped down low here, many people told me to get the thick oil out of the car asap and replace it with thinner oil.
My roommate had a few spare quarts of synthetic, which he gave me. I've never used synthetic oil.
The car has 113,500 miles on it--I'm the sole owner. I will be driving roughly 10 miles a day, and not every day. I'll be spending more time in the car warming it up than driving it!
Considering the age of the car, the weather, the distance, is it all right to use synthetic once in a while? Should I use synthetic year-round, upgrading to a thicker oil in warmer weather? (I won't be using 20W50 anymore, even in the summer, since my driving will be short distances at slow speeds.)
When I was in Florida, I was told synthetic isn't necessary, and to just use 20W50 year round, except possibly during the winter months, when Florida can actually dip below 65 degrees (The horror!) But Jersey? Sheesh, it's cold.
What is your opinion, given the car is 18 years old?
Thanks, everyone! Jack D.
it's good that you let the car warm up before driving it, you do that because it's good fot the engine, not because it's undriveable before it warms up... right?
an engine needs some time to adjust to synthetic oil, and if you don't drive hard you really don't need synthetic. plus synthetic costs like $4 a bottle.
as to what grade of oil... 20w50 is really thick and will decrease your gas milage and power some, I think 10w30 would be fine. the 5w30 is kinda thin at start up and i think i've seen 5w30 recommended against if you were going on a cartrip.
My '94 Grand Am 3.1 with 180,000 miles uses 5W30 year round. I switched to Mobile 1 several months ago and it loves it. Combined with 93 octane I'm getting, on average, an extra 60 miles per tank.
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i burn alot of oil, about a quart a week. so I stopped putting synthetic in until I put in a decent engine. I have a quality K.Watanabe remanuactured engine. Truthfully if I didn't drive it so hard it probably wouldn't burn very much.
I'd recommend against using synthetic in your car for the miles it has. By 118K, as your seems to have, your engine has already accumulated carbon and sludge on the parts, and clearances are wearing down appreciably. If you're just starting to use a little oil, then you'll be burning synthetic faster than organic, and burning money out of your wallet accordingly.
Synthetics are great for new or newer engines, but in this instance you'd only be feeding prime rib to a plowhorse: The horse is bound to gag it back up or die from indigestion. Go organic, man...you'll be happy you did.
Later, taters; Off to a better place. Catch me there!
hey cool...washingtonian with a pulsar...se or xe?? and i agree on that. Although synthetic is cool and you can notice a difference even in higher mileage engines it'll make things go down hill quick and can even cause problems by picking up all the old crap from dino oil and blocking passages. if you have new rings and seals synthetic would be completely safe as long as you gradually introduce it (unless you hot tanked everything).
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