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  1. #1
    Senior Member chilimac's Avatar
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    I recently purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima, and today I took it to the dealer for its first oil change (a freebie). Since I'll be doing all subsequent oil changes myself, I was clever enough to ask the service dude what kind of oil he put in. He said they use a mix of Valvoline synthetic and natural oil (I use the term natural to distinguish "regular" from "synthetic"). I wasn't clever enough to ask why they use a mix - why not all synthetic, if that's reputed to be better overall. Now I'm wondering, and I figure you guys with lots of automotive experience will likely have some words of wisdom. I guess an obvious factor from their standpoint would be that the mix ends up being cheaper than straight synthetic, since the service was a no-cost item to me. Any thoughts?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Roten67's Avatar
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    it is Semi synthetic, designed to have many of the benefits of synthetic oil without matching the cost of pure synthetic oil.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JWink's Avatar
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    Its also said that if an engine is ran with full synthetic oil from day one and then is switched to conventional oil it can leak from the seals.



    This is just something I have always been told . . . . IDK if it has any merit or not. I have not witnessed it myself.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Cobram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWink View Post
    Its also said that if an engine is ran with full synthetic oil from day one and then is switched to conventional oil it can leak from the seals.



    This is just something I have always been told . . . . IDK if it has any merit or not. I have not witnessed it myself.




    It's the other way around. Engines which have only used normal dino juice will sometimes spring leaks at oil seals if switched to synthetic oil. Wax and sludge build up on the inside of the engine and the seals aren't exposed to oil as they should and dry out. The only thing keeping the seal from leaking at this point is the waxy buildup. Sythetic oil will dissolve or clean the build up and the engine will spring leaks. I have seen this more than a few times over the years, not so much anymore as engines and lubricants have improved. When sythetics first started getting popular in the mass market it wasn't uncommon.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member edinlr's Avatar
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    Watch for the oils with a lot of moly additives. They seem to cause havoc with wet clutches. Check to see if the manufacturer offers that oil in a motorcycle version that won't mess up your clutch.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member JWink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobram View Post
    It's the other way around. Engines which have only used normal dino juice will sometimes spring leaks at oil seals if switched to synthetic oil. Wax and sludge build up on the inside of the engine and the seals aren't exposed to oil as they should and dry out. The only thing keeping the seal from leaking at this point is the waxy buildup. Sythetic oil will dissolve or clean the build up and the engine will spring leaks. I have seen this more than a few times over the years, not so much anymore as engines and lubricants have improved. When sythetics first started getting popular in the mass market it wasn't uncommon.






    Yeah thats it!



    Same thing can happen with the "engine clean" additives that places like Sears and the like sell.



    Now I used to work at sears and I did see those engine cleans work but only when done regularly and before too may miles were on the engine. It would take the tick out of an ecotec engine if it was before 100,000 miles but we had a customer insist that we do one on his car with 200,000 on it and it just made it tick worse. I think it had to do with cleaning sludge off the cam chain guides. They have a habit of causing problems in those engines.
    1980 CX500 Deluxe

  7. #7
    Senior Member Billrod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chilimac View Post
    I recently purchased a 2013 Nissan Altima, and today I took it to the dealer for its first oil change (a freebie). Since I'll be doing all subsequent oil changes myself, I was clever enough to ask the service dude what kind of oil he put in. He said they use a mix of Valvoline synthetic and natural oil (I use the term natural to distinguish "regular" from "synthetic"). I wasn't clever enough to ask why they use a mix - why not all synthetic, if that's reputed to be better overall. Now I'm wondering, and I figure you guys with lots of automotive experience will likely have some words of wisdom. I guess an obvious factor from their standpoint would be that the mix ends up being cheaper than straight synthetic, since the service was a no-cost item to me. Any thoughts?
    It sounds like you are talking about a new car. Is that correct? If so you will not have a problem.

    You mention that he said "they use a mix of Valvoline synthetic and natural oil." That does not sound like a lot of engineering was going into the concoction they are using. I would just go with a 100 percent synthetic like Mobil-1 or AMSOIL with a good oil filter and have nothing to worry about.

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