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Old 08-10-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
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best synthetic oil to use

hey everyone i was just wondering what is a good synthetic oil to use. My friend suggested royal purple, the dealership i bought from uses mobile 1, is there much of a difference? any help would be appreciated
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:00 PM   #2
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yes mobile 1 is not a rel synthetic.

All synthetics are not equal. The API has not come out and defined what is "synthetic", but rather, classified oils into five major groups.

Group I base oils are the least refined of all of the groups. They are usually a mix of different hydrocarbon chains with little or no uniformity. While some automotive oils use these stocks, they are generally used in less demanding applications.

Group II base oils are common in mineral based motor oils. They have fair to good performance in the areas of volatility, oxidation stability, wear prevention and flash/fire points. They have only fair performance in areas such as pour point and cold crank viscosity.

Group II base stocks are what the majority of engine oils are made from. 3000 mile oil changes are the norm.

Group III base oils are subjected to the highest level of refining of all the mineral oil stocks. Although not chemically engineered, they offer improved performance in a wide range of areas as well as good molecular uniformity and stability. By definition they are considered a synthesized material and can be used in the production of synthetic and semi-synthetic lubricants. Group III is used in the vast majority of full synthetics or synthetic blends. They are superior to group I and II oils but still have limitations. Some formulations are designed for extended oil changes. Amsoil XM Oils, Castrol Syntec and many others fall into this category.

Group IV are polyalphaolefins (PAO) which are a chemically engineered synthesized basestocks. PAOs offer excellent stability, molecular uniformity and performance over a wide range of lubricating properties. Amsoil Synthetics and Mobil 1 primarily use group IV basestocks. PAO is a much more expensive basestock than the highly refined petroleum oil basestock of Group III. (Can you say profit margin! Grab your ankles and sing along!)

Group V base oils are also chemically engineered stocks that do not full into any of the categories previously mentioned. Typical examples of group V stocks are Esters, polyglycols and silicone. Redline uses an ester basestock.

In the 90s, Mobil filed suit against Castrol for falsely advertising Syntec oil as synthetic, when in fact it contained a Group III, highly hydroprocessed mineral (Dino) oil, instead of a chemically synthesized (group IV or V) basestock. Due to the amount that the mineral oil had been chemically changed, the judge decided in Castrol's favor. As a result, any oil containing this highly hydroprocessed mineral (Dino) oil (currently called Group III
basestock by the American Petroleum Institute) can be marketed as a synthetic oil. Since the original synthetic basestock (polyalphaolefin or PAO) is much more expensive than the Group III basestock, most of the oil blenders switched to the Group III basestock, which significantly increased their profit margins.

I have kept my big mouth shut for awhile until I could develop some decent "proof" of what I suspected. Mobil1 is no longer a 100% Group IV Synthetic PAO basestock. This all started post Katrina when Mobil1 announced it's PAO plant was whacked hard. Virgin Oil Analysis began popping up on various boards refelcting Group III basestocks with drops of GroupIV PAO's. Pennzoil Platinum did the same thing....went to a Group III basestock in November 2005 by the way. And I do watch many boards and forums outside of BITOG.....(which has turned into a zoo by the way).....I read the corporate reports of Exxon-Mobil and I research and get my info from more than the Internet and VOA's....
I wrote a letter to Mobil asking if their basestock was still 100% Group IV and got a "canned response" like others word for word by the way....

" Mobil 1 motor oils are 100% synthetic, utilizing the PAO basestock and proprietary blend of additives that is tailored specifically for each viscosity. Mobil does not discuss specifics about our motor oil formulations."

You want to know why I have an issue with that statement? Because Mobil Pre-Katrina always said and advertised they used Group IV basestock exclusively. "Utilizing the PAO basestock...." is not the same as "Exclusively using the PAO basestock..."......that is a change for sure....the other thing that has me convinced Mobil1 is now just another synthetic "blend" is they are now advertising they utilize "Synthetic Technology".... So.....Mobil in their Corporate Report admit to disaster at the plant that made the PAO basestock ( which Amsoil buys there by the way). VOA's clearly show a reformulation with Group III showing up. Mobil has changed the way they "express themselves" now. Mobil1 now sells it for like $5-$6 bucks a quart for a Synthetic Blend oil. And that is a rip off as they are now just as guilty as those they sued and litigated against years ago.

I remain an advocate that Mobil1 is good oil. However it is very very overpriced for what it is now. Lot better oils out there for less money for sure.

Originally Posted by SSmoky01
So what oil are you gonna run now Sarge? "Lot better oils out there for less money for sure." What oils are you speaking of?

Well ........ Full Synthetics
RedLine / Royal Purple Racing 21 or 41 / Amsoil/ Cosworth
Synthetic Blends
Shaffers or Pennzoil Platinum
Castrol GTX or Havoline
Sarges High Performance Soup
6qts Castrol GTX
3oz AutoRX
8ozs Valvoline Synpower Oil Treatment

Just in......from a "oil board" and the author is a known chemist guru.....

Okay boys and girls, take a seat cause you aren't going to like this.

The new M1 EP 5W-30 SM dated Oct 2006 just came out of the G.C. and it is MOSTLY mineral oil, presumably Group III. It also contains a good slug of AN and some PAO, but little or no ester. Will have more data tomorrow.

And Mobil has changed its spec sheets on the 5-30 EP....
"PAO + hydroprocessed."
BY the way GC is Gas Chromatograph....cuts through the sh1t machine

After all these years of Mobil1 crying about other "Synthetic Blend" brands selling as Full Synthetics.....they go and do this.....just goes to show you what money and greed will do.

Originally Posted by Wulfe13
I've always used Valvoline Full Synthetic.... it is Full synthetic, if it says full synthetic, right??? No...less that 25% is is mineral basestock.....sorry... Only true synthetics I know here in the states are RedLine/Amsoil/Royal Purple Racing Oils....oh yeah and Cosworth.....but don't get all caught up in "what is 100% synthetic"......blends and dino's are is all in the add packs....I'm pissed at Mobil1 cuz they are charging a xxxxload for a GroupIII product...and are a bunch of hypocrites to boot. $6.00 a quart for that xxxx? My xxx! Courts said a hydro cracked dino can be called 100% synthetic....that is how they get away with that. And FWIW I have 6 qts of Valvoline Synpower 10-30 sloshing around in my Dodge R/T right now....good it on sale for $2 bucks a quart

And Amsoil lil baby xxx aint clean in all this either...I'm still pissed at them over their XL lines of oils....The XL line is Group III, and Amsoil calls it synthetic. Before that line came out Amsoil made a big deal about how Group III isn't really synthetic, blah blah blah. But when they introduce their own Group III oil, it's somehow now synthetic. Now Amsoil ATM is still 100% synthetic... but the XL is Group III
10W30 may be a better oil to use IF, as the article states, you are experiencing temperatures approaching 300F, or the ambient temperature is on top of the scale. I have run 5W30, 10W30, and even 20W50. Viscosity grades are simply a range of possible thicknesses of an oil. In other words these are merely thinner weight oils depending upon application and ambient temperature. This is, as you stated, an older article (Perhaps 1993). It states that 10W30 Mobil 1 is a synthetic, which is true to a degree (no pun intended). Mobil 1 is no longer a true synthetic, not since New Orleans at least.

Synthetic vs mineral oil bases:

Synthetic oils tend to retain a more consistent viscosity over a wider temperature range. In mineral oils, the additives to create multi grade oils can be in there in quantities that approach the amount of slippery stuff. Viscosity improver's are not lubricants as such, and the fact that synthetic oils need less of this can have 2 results. 1) There is more room in the package for more actual oil or slippery stuff and 2) You can cover a wider temperature range with the same amount of viscosity improver when compared to mineral oil.

Synthetic oils tend to be more resistant to oxidation (the effect on oil exposed to heat and air). They can either have less antioxidant in them, or they can last longer at higher temperatures for the same level of degradation of the base oil.

"In mineral oils, the additives to create multi grade oils can be in there in quantities that approach the amount of slippery stuff" - A typical mineral 4T motor oil will contain 5-10% performance additives (detergents/dispersants, antioxidants, anti-wear agents, corrosion inhibitors, PPDs, antifoam and friction modifiers) and 5-15% viscosity index (VI) improvers, leaving 75-85% base oils. It is true that synthetic base stocks, with their higher native VI's require less VI improver than GIs and GIIs for the same multi-grade spread, and several synthetic products are out there that achieve modest multi-grade requirements yet apparently contain no VI improvers.

Synthetic is the term used to describe the base oils which are used to make the final product, it does not include the additives. There are many types of full synthetics but for engine oils there are typically two. 1) PAO ( poly alpha olephin) which is man made from small gas type molecules which are chemically combined to form larger oil molecules. This gives a very uniform fluid with predictable qualities, but at a cost. 2) Hydro-treated oils. These are severely purified and chemically altered mineral base stocks or waxes. These too have a uniform structure and predictable behavior but are not as "PURE" as the PAO. However are much more cost effective and for most of us, offer the high level of protection we want for our bits of gear but without hitting the hip pocket as hard. Then there are the semi synthetics which combine mineral base oils with some amount of synthetic base oil to improve the performance. These are about third on this list in terms of oxidation stability etc.

HereÔ€™s a quick look a one particular test conducted:
Data Source: Horsepower TV
Description of Test: Replaced existing 5W30 synthetic engine oil, GM Dexron III® ATF mineral oil and 75W90 synthetic differential fluid with Royal Purple's 5W30 Motor Oil, Synchromax® manual transmission fluid and Max-Gear® 75W90 in a 2000 Camaro SS and tested on full chassis dynamometer. Result: 2.9% HP gain.

From the Royal Purple site: RP recommends following the manufacturerÔ€™s maintenance intervals while the vehicle is under factory warranty. In clean engines that are no longer under warranty, oil change intervals may be extended up to every 12,000 miles or annually, whichever comes first. Oil filter changes should be done as recommended by the filter's manufacturer and oil should be topped-off as needed.

In dirty engines, Royal Purple recommends standard 3,000 to 5,000 mile oil and filter change intervals until the engine oiling system is clean and free of deposits left by lower quality oils and / or poor maintenance or mechanical problems. This will allow time to gradually remove existing deposits without overloading the oiling system. Mechanical problems such as fuel dilution, coolant leaks into the crankcase, poor air filtration and / or failure to maintain proper oil level are all detrimental factors to the service life of any engine oil. Any one of these factors can significantly shorten the useful service life of any oil.

5W30 versus 10W30

Virtually all new passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. use either 5W30 or 10W30 oil. The difference between the two is that the 5W30 flows better when cold, so if you live in a cold climate or operate your vehicle in a cold climate during the winter months, you should use 5W30 if it is the preferred oil for your vehicle. If you live in a sub-tropical climate and don't operate your vehicle in cold climates, then 10W30 is acceptable as long as the manufacturer specifies that it is permissible to use it.

Is there a disadvantage to using an oil that flows better when cold, i.e. 5W30 versus 10W30?

Sometimes, but usually not. The crux of the issue is this: the bigger the difference between the cold oil viscosity and the hot oil viscosity, the more the volume of viscosity modifiers and the less the volume of base stock. If you are good about following the manufacturer's recommended oil change interval then stick with the 5W30 if that is the preferred oil for your vehicle, even if 10W30 is acceptable in warmer climates. Older cars may specify 10W30 only. This is because they need a little more viscosity when cold to keep a protective film on the cylinder walls. There have been instances where the larger amount of viscosity modifiers that are present in 5W30 have broken down due to excessive heat and have left carbon deposits on the valves, but this is extremely rare. The proper fix would be to reduce the excessive heat, but the workaround was to use an oil with less viscosity modifiers.

Why do many oil change places, even dealerships, use 10W30 instead of 5W30, even when 5W30 is preferred?

According to, as well as many mechanics who have posted on USENET, 10W30 is the closest thing to a one size fits all oil. Many older vehicles need 10W30, and most newer vehicles are okay with it in warmer climates. Since many garages don't want to have multiple tanks of bulk oil they choose to carry only 10W30. It would not be a disaster if you used 10W30, but given a choice, go with the manufacturer's recommendation and use the 5W30.

Thicker is Better Myth

The reason that oil viscosities have gotten thinner is because bearing clearances have become smaller. Using thicker oils will interfere with oil flow and the oil pressure will increase. In a worn engine it may be okay to increase the viscosity of the oil because the bearing clearances have become larger.

In summary:

Just about any motor oil you can buy over the counter today is far superior to the very best racing oil of the 60's, 70's, 80's, etc., with few exceptions. In my opinion, it's the service interval that really determines how well the lubricant performs in any individual engine or application. I stick with the 5W30 because I still change at 3000 miles and I have documented an increase in MPG and a noticeable difference in performance by switching to RP 5W30. The above aricle has good points but one must remember that it is more than 10 years old and a lot has changed in regards to oil properties over just the past five years... It all boils down to running what you want to run.

Nearly everyone I know has switched from MOBIL 1 and now runs Royal Purple, 5W30.
quoted from a friend

Last edited by FI4T0MCAT; 08-10-2009 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:09 PM   #3
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WOW...thanks for the disertation on oil...I need to read back through again to figure out what "professionals" recommend however I really appreciate the bit regarding the definition of the different types of oil...I had never seen that in one place prior to this post.

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Old 08-10-2009, 11:19 PM   #4
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Holy Christ F14TOMCAT Great info!
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:24 PM   #5
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Your welcome. I like to do a lot of research before i buy or use anything.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:33 PM   #6
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Yea, SARGE is great over there on the LS1 forum...

Lots of great reads when the snow is falling.
It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:35 PM   #7
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He is a wise old man lol
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:36 PM   #8
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Damn I'm going to have to read this a few more times, I'm nodding out. thanks for the info, planed on using Amsoil or BG
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:39 PM   #9
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But what do you do when your dealer says that ut will void your warranty if you don't use mobile1, what would you do?
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:43 PM   #10
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Find a different dealer.
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Old 08-10-2009, 11:49 PM   #11
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sheezus... I us amsoil in my bike and put Mobil 1 in the Camaro at 500 miles... approaching 1000 now and will switch to RP after that... Wow. Thanks for the webinar on oil.
Performance: ARH 2"/"3 headers + ARH 3" HF catback system, SS brake lines, hawk HP+ pads, motul RBF 600 fluid, K&N CAI (w/custom insulation), plug wires, air scoop, Hurst STS, Pedders Track II suspension, 18x10 wheels, 295/45/18 Nitto NT05s
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:01 AM   #12
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im almost at 3000 miles and i havent changed my oil yet what would you suggest i put in it to make up for not changing it, and is it bad that I havent yet?
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:05 AM   #13

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I recieved a folder from Lingenfelter after I picked up my car and they recommended Mobil 1 - thats what I will be sticking with.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:07 AM   #14
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Royal purple, and yes, but thats just my opinion. With all new engines I add zinc initially (adds cushioning properties to the oil) then make my first oil change at 1500. leave the filter though, Then my second at 3000, and change the filter. Then continue on the every 3000 schedule. I always add a zinc addative, oils now cant have enough zinc in them (thanks uncle sam) to provide proper cushioning. So i basically make my own blend.
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