Does Your Pickup Need Synthetic Oil?

Synthetic oil phot BC

The short answer to the question above, as our colleagues at Cars.com note, is likely no, mainly because there isn't a midsize, full-size or heavy-duty pickup truck owner's manual that says so. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good reasons to switch.

One of the easiest ways to be nice to your truck is to give it "the good stuff," meaning higher-quality synthetic engine oil. Synthetic oils offer better performance at both higher and lower engine temperatures than conventional oils, but using it will cost quite a bit more. For older engines, synthetics can reduce sludge buildup, and it may even result in better fuel economy. But make sure you do your research; don't simply rely on your neighbor's advice or any of the popular myths about oil.

So if you're planning on giving your truck a treat and the circumstances are right, using synthetic oil may be the right thing to do.

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Comments

Go full synthetic motor oil. Your engine will thank you for it.

^^^^ agreed.

MOBILE ONE EXTENDED PERFORMANCE IS ALL MY VEHICLES EVER GET. MY 5.4LITER 2005 F150 IS PUSHING 200K WITH DEALER INSTALLED SINCE NEW SUPERCHARGER. MY 11 ECOBOOST AND 12 PENTASTAR POWERED CHRYSLER 300 ALL GET THAT OIL. CHRYSLER GETS CHANGED EVERY 8000 MILES, AND IT COMES OUT CLEAN EVERYTIME, AND I NEVER HAVE TO ADD OIL IN BETWEEN. MY 11 ECOBOOST TOWS A BIT, SO I CHANGE THAT EVERY 5-6000 MILES, BUT SAME STORY, NEVER USES OIL IN BETWEEN. THE OLD 5.4 TRUCK WITH 200K STILL GETS FULL SYNTHETIC, THAT GETS CHANGED EVERY 5000, AND NEVER USES ANY OIL. ALL SINCE NEW FULL SYNTHETIC. i SWEAR BY IT, AND WOULD NEVER USE ANYTHING LESS.

There's been a few good discounts for 5 quart jugs of synthetic motor oil on slickdeals.net. I think it was around $11.


A bottle of slick 50 every 3 or 4 changes. Has got my engine to over 200,000 miles and running great.

I've done a lot of research on the subject, and the only real advantage is longer oil change intervals. Other than that it's a wast of money as modern conventional oils have improved dramatically over the past 15 years.

This whole issue now is silly. It's settled. Answer = YES!

It's been shown over and over again that the advantages from synthetic oils in: superior lubrication (film barrier strength); faster flow; flatter temperature dependence; better resistance to heat degradation; better cold-weather starting; greater adhesion to cylinder walls; better additive packages; higher fuel mileage; etc, etc. --- are absolutely not attainable with regular oils. This is not rocket science.

Of course truck manufacturers list regular oils in their operators manual: they want you to buy a new truck every few years. You've got to be crazy to NOT use a synthetic oil nowadays, --- unless you just don't give a xxxx about your vehicle.

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I always used synthetic oil for everything. Motorcycle, ATV , lawnmower, generator, cars. Mostly have few 5L jugs on my shelf all the time. I buy when heavily discounted, not when needed. You have a much better pricing in the US , so it's no brainer to not to use it, if you own a vehicle and want to keep it for 6 + years, but feel free, what ever is your life style.

There is one great reason to use Mobil 1

It has the ability to continue lubricating at MUCH higher temps than conventional oils.

It's very true that less costly blended oils are much better today but they aren't cheap, because they use so many synthetic additives.

If your engine leaks oil or if it uses more than 1 quart between changes, you may not like the extra cost of Mobil 1, but the advantage in very hot and very cold performance is golden.

I have never used synthetic on my 1991 Ranger with a 2.3 liter 4 cylinder (which I bought new); just used whatever cheap conventional oil I could find at any given time. It still runs great at 367,000 miles with no overhauls. I change the oil every 3,000 miles and the used oil is always clean. I realize synthetic is better but you can go a long way with regular oil changes and conventional oil.

seakayakerkgb - - -

Where do you live?
Do you use your truck in the SW deserts?
Do you use your truck in Alaska?
Do you do towing at above 6,000 lbs?

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My 2016 Toyota Tacoma came with synthetic oil from the factory and owners manual states oil change every 10,000 miles!

My 2010 Toyota Tacoma was switched to Mobil 1 after motor was broken in and now I change the oil once a year!

My old 1985 Toyota 2wd with 4-speed manual also stated oil changes every 10,000 miles and that was the 80's...

Use Castrol EDGE and if you drive a Ford I also suggest a Kidde 466204 Pro 10 MP Fire Extinguisher.

Use Castrol EDGE and if you drive a Ford I also suggest a Kidde 466204 Pro 10 MP Fire Extinguisher.

"Where do you live?
Do you use your truck in the SW deserts?
Do you use your truck in Alaska?
Do you do towing at above 6,000 lbs?"

NMGOM | May 28, 2016 2:30:24 PM

I live at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado so yeah it gets worked hard for such a little engine. Pretty much full out climbing up those mountains. It has been up the highest roads in the country quite routinely (over 14,000 feet a number of times and regularly over 10,000 feet). It has been all over the country but not Alaska. It has been in 110 degrees in the southwest deserts, the heat of Death Valley and even Mexico. It has been in minus 35 in Wisconsin (actually lived there for a number of years).

Now your question about towing 6,000 pounds is just silly. A Ranger with a 4 cylinder engine is just not made for that and it would be foolish to try, plus I have a 3/4 ton for towing. It has towed light loads once in a while but has hauled loads up to a ton in the bed (admittedly overloaded). The truck has only broken down and been towed once in those 367,000 miles. It is just a good reliable truck.

Like I said above, I know synthetics are better but I have done very well with conventional oil and frequent oil changes. Can't complain about my results.

If you aren't going to use synthetic oil, then you had better purchase the best oil filter you can find. {that means the one that are $10-12~

I put over 300k on siera gmc using regular oil,seeing minus 30 winter temps
and the engine never had any issues..started even without plugging in the block heater every time..
Sure synthetic may be better,,but not necesary unless you have turbos or factory recomends it..

I think that all axles have synthetic oil nowadays..

I always keep my trucks ten years or more and never had any engine fail yet,
But then I make sure not to overheat it and change the oil and filter at proper intervals..usualy once a year..

Older v8 truck engines were generally low RPM, low end torque and generally experience less wear because of that. If you drive a boosted or high rpm engine, you particularly can benefit from using a Full Synthetic motor oil, if it isn't already recommended by your manufacturer.

I beg to differ with whoever wrote this story. In my Chevy owners manual, it does say to use Dextron II Synthetic Blend oils. But besides that fact, I have always used full syn oils in every vehicle I have owned since Mobil I came on the seen. No mater what car, bike or truck, I have never had to add any oil between changes. It lasts twice as long, sure cost twice as much, but you do not have to change it , or pay to change is but half the time, so you either save time, or money on labor. Not to mention the waste involved.

In over 40 years of driving I have never used synthetic oil. the last 3 trucks I have owned I put at least 200,000 miles on them. 2 I sold to friends who are still using them with no engine issues. The standard oils now days are so much better then 20-30 years ago as there is no need to use synthetic's. My brother in-law agrees with that statement and he is the head of the North America Fluids division of a major oil company...

In over 40 years of driving I have never used synthetic oil. the last 3 trucks I have owned I put at least 200,000 miles on them. 2 I sold to friends who are still using them with no engine issues. The standard oils now days are so much better then 20-30 years ago as there is no need to use synthetic's. My brother in-law agrees with that statement and he is the head of the North America Fluids division of a major oil company...

The first sentence says it all people; clearly these guys didn't do any research. My Ram EcoD comes with synthetic and the manual says to use only full synthetic every 10K miles. Zero credibility this post has...

Synthetic oil? You get it all back from much extended, oil change intervals. I change my oil at 40,000 miles, and if it still looks clean and clear, I'll keep driving it. I'd say synthetic oil is a great investment. It's an '04 F-150, 4.6 V8, 180K miles . Great engines and it burns a quart every 7K miles, same as new.

Conventional oil, changed every darn 3K miles is a waste.

I ran Mobile one in my last 4 or 5 vehicles,with one exception.My 2011 silverado with the 5.3L.On that I used royal purple.Big difference between that and mobile one.RP is so much smoother,and mpg's picked up a bit,both hwy and city.But,it does cost more.I'm going to run it in my new van.To me,it was worth it,along with a RP filter.

First you need know the difference between a full synthetic and a conventional motor oil.
Second you can't tell what brand of synthetic is better cause you can't taste it or drink it.
Third, once you do understand a good brand of synthetic you MUST use a certain or good brand of oil filter. Using the wrong oil filter you're defeating the purpose of using synthetic.

The good synthetic will pick up twice as much dirt and carbon deposits and trap them in the oil filter than conventional oil so the filter media of the oil filter must be better.
Also! Using a synthetic you MUST change the oil filter half way between oil changes ( if your normal oil change is 8000 miles then you MUST change the oil filter ONLY at 4000 miles then add in the amount of new oil you lost just changing the filter)

I have used synthetic for 20 years and thru experience I know what brands are better than the others and I know thru the SAE Tests what brands of oil filters are better.
I am NOT going to tell you what the best brands are cause you'll fight with me and I really don't care what you use on your truck.

Ever since Mobil sued Castrol, and wrongfully lost the lawsuit {over 15 years ago} about Castrol improperly using the term "synthetic"; the consumer selection of synthetic oils took a downswing, for more than a decade.
Mobil's claim was that 'synthetic' oil should be-synthesized: built up from know smaller parts, to have a product that is uniform in size/shape/function.
Castrol point, that their highly refined oil was basically as good-and cheaper; which benefited their bottom line-and the consumer too.
So Mobil was being undercut by a competitor engaging in false advertising.
Activist [or moron] judge sided with Castrol; the buying public got screwed over for more than a decade, at least those who wanted actual fully synthetic oil.
Now, regular oil has been much improved since the year 2010, and the most important component of oil is the additive package. That is why GM specifies dexos1/2, etc.

Frankly >90% of engine wear occurs on startup, when the oil is too thick-and flow is limited by maximum oil pump pressure; and the bearing clearances are too large-which need MORE oil to function.
So, pick a synthetic oil in 0w-20, and enjoy the much better cold weather performance.

One thing is for sure. Truck guys...even groups of guys that know a lot about oil will never agree on which oil is best or whether synthetic is necessary. Depends on a lot of things. Where I live in a very dusty climate i change my oil more often because of worries of contamination of the oil. Synthetic will get contaminated just as quickly as conventional. I use synthetic in some machines, conventional in others, and blends in others. I also use different brands depending on the application. Generally I use synthetic anytime I plan to go long intervals, work the engine hard, or it is a machine that I really need to be reliable and long lasting. I use conventional in my cheap, old, or machines that don't get a lot of use.

My wife's 2002 Nissan pickup was on synthetic from the time she bought it until she sold it in 2010. I do all our oil changes and she wanted me to make sure it was babied...Well that truck had so many engine problems (at least one thing every year) that it was not even funny. We spent so much money on repairs that I don't even know why we kept it that long. I have had several trucks and have always run Castrol GTX with a half quart of Lucas oil and let me go on record saying that I have never had engine problems in any of those trucks.

Are Synthetic oils necessary? No unless your warranty requires it. Is a quality Syn oil better than a quality dino oil? Absolutely. If your gonna keep a truck for a very long time synthetic is a no brainer!

This whole issue now is silly. It's settled. Answer = YES!

It's been shown over and over again that the advantages from synthetic oils in: superior lubrication (film barrier strength); faster flow; flatter temperature dependence; better resistance to heat degradation; better cold-weather starting; greater adhesion to cylinder walls; better additive packages; higher fuel mileage; etc, etc. --- are absolutely not attainable with regular oils. This is not rocket science.

Of course truck manufacturers list regular oils in their operators manual: they want you to buy a new truck every few years. You've got to be crazy to NOT use a synthetic oil nowadays, --- unless you just don't give a xxxx about your vehicle.

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Posted by: NMGOM | May 28, 2016 11:25:35 AM

I agree. Just like the guys that like to stretch out their oil change intervals to the very last mile.. until the oil analysis shows it's 99.98% depleted. Nevermind all the contaminants floating around in that oil. Both types are cheapskates. They probably buy the cheapest, sketchiest oil filter they can find too.

European synthetic oils are more synthetic then you'll find in North America hence the reason its so much more expensive. North american laws are so lax in regards to how synthetic oils can be marketed, you may not be getting exactly what you think. The other oil scam out there is the actual change interval requirements. Everybody seems to have a set milage as to when oil needs changing, but your engines know nothing about milage, just "hours". Extensive oil testing was done in heavy equipment in extreme use where they intended to include maintenance packages in their lease programs and its been proven even convention oil didn't break down in 500 hrs of engine use. Now considering using a quality synthetic oil in a clean environment, 500 hrs should be a cake walk. Now to convert 500 hrs to general milage, I'm probably not far off to say 500hrs equates to approx 25,000 miles or more....just food for thought.

No matter what oil you use in a gm(government motors) and fiat, they will come apart because they are junk. Lmao!!! You can run a MILITARY GRADE FORD TRUCK with no oil and it still won't quit.

No matter what oil you use in a gm(government motors) and fiat, they will come apart because they are junk. Lmao!!! You can run a MILITARY GRADE FORD TRUCK with no oil and it still won't quit.

Posted by: Natethegreat | May 30, 2016 7:46:01 PM

Sure, what ever you say....

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/05/retired-mechanic-puts-a-shine-on-classic-ford-trucks.html

Beebe

You're correct synthetic oil will get contaminated just as quickly as conventional oil, BUT synthetic WILL pick up MORE contamination that conventional oil missed.
That's why is soooo important to use a HIGH QUALITY low micron oil filter that will trap the increased amount of contaminates the synthetic picks up.

You are wasting your money using synthetic when you use a crap oil filter.
Most people have no idea what micron rating and the filter media their brand of oil filter has.
I suggest to read the latest SAE Tests on the best brands of oil filters out there and look at the popular brands that failed.
I won't name those brands cause it's not worth it fighting with you about it and frankly I don't care what brand you use cause it's not my truck.

I used to drive a 1993 Ford Explorer V6, when I first started driving it, it required oil changes every 2500 miles due to major sludging, the dipstick looked like it had been pulled out of a diesel engine, jet black oil that was almost grainy with contamination, and it was burning at least quart of oil over that time. After a few months of scratching my head at the problem I changed 1 thing (well technically 2). I started using a premium full synthetic oil, and a premium oil filter. The first oil change it was a night and day transformation. The oild was still very black, but it no longer felt grimy when it came out of the engine. It also only burned about half of the amount of oil it had been consuming prior to that. After another full synthetic oil change, the oil was coming out more of a chocolaty brown/amber color and the stream was no longer opaque when looking at it with a backlight as it drained from the motor to the drip pan.

Even though I started stretching the oil changes to 4000-5000 miles, it still wasn't burning through more than half a quart of oil in that time. It was a night and day difference. I didn't notice increased fuel economy, but it definitely cleared out the major sludging problem that old truck had, and doubled my oil change intervals. So the extra cost was well worth it. I use full synthetic oil in every vehicle I own now (except for our newest which is still eligible for free dealer services).



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