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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,
When I bought my VW Jetta, I asked a very good friend of mine what oil should I use for my engine. Being a vortex member, he immediately redirected me to vwvortex.com and told me to register and to read as many FAQ/DIY threads as I can.
He said: "The answer is somewhere in there. Just keep reading till you find it"
Well I read, and read and it turns out that there is no definite answer for my question. All I could find was that the oil should meet certain VW specs. Different people posted different results from different oils and the oil battle was as notorious as the "1.8T vs VR6" threads.
I decided to find out for myself what is the best oil for my engine. I found a link to Black Stone Labs. They specialize in lubricant and fuel analisys for marine, automotive and aircraft applications. Read more about them on their web site.
I started sending oil samples for analisys each time I changed the oil. Initially, I wanted to see how the engine was wearing and what to expect in the future.
Notes:
* All oil analisys reports were generated by BlackStone Labs
* Technical Data was obtained from mobil1.com and valvoline.com
* I have maintained similar driving habits throughout the time period
* I have not moved to another location since I bought the car. This means same yearly climate conditions.
* There was no oil added to engine as it consumes none! The oil level has been constant!
* I have extended the last report from BlackStone Labs to include a summary of the oil flash point, viscosity, and other data.
* All oil changes were performed by me. I used ONLY VW OEM Oil filters!
Technical Data:
Mobil 1 SuperSynth 0W-40:
SAE Grade 0W-40
Viscosity, ASTM D 445
cSt @ 40º C 80
cSt @ 100º C 14.3
Viscosity Index, ASTM D 2270 187
Sulfated Ash, wt%, ASTM D 874 1.2
HTHS Viscosity, mPa·s @ 150ºC ASTM D 4683 3.6
Pour Point, ºC, ASTM D 97 -54
Flash Point, ºC, ASTM D 92 236
Density @15º C kg/l, ASTM D 4052 0.855
VW Approvals: Volkswagen 502.00/505.00,503.01
Valvoline SynPower 5W-40:
The Technical Specs are in a PDF that can be found Here
Here is the complete report for the past 4 consecutive oil analisys reports. The data is listed in chronological order with the most recent sample to the left. Note the highly elevated levels of iron, lead, molybdenum and boron that were reported in all 3 samples of Mobil1 0W-40. According to BlackStone Labs this is due to high levels of fuel found in all 3 Mobil1 samples. Also, a very low flash point is observed in Mobil1 samples.

All these problems are not present in the Valvoline SuperSynth 5W-40 sample. Furthermore, the results from this Valvoline are well below the Universal averages for this engine. This suggests that I should be able to run this oil for at least another 1000-2000 miles and still get an excellent report out of it!
For authenticity purpose, the original report can be found here.
Summary
I have noticed that there is a very strong hype created around Mobil1 products, especially here on the vortex. I for one, have fallen victim of this hype when I started digging more into oils. The truth is that while Mobil1 0W-40 is marketed as a premium quality fully synthetic oil, it performs AVERAGE AT BEST! Several folks in the 1.8T forum have done similar tests and have obtained similar results: high levels of fuel and water dilution resulting in lower viscosity and high levels of wear metals.
On the other hand Valvoline SynPower 5W-40 also meets the VW approved engine specs. With it, my engine runs bit smoother and quieter especially at idle. At high engine speeds the engine feels more responsive and more lively. Another difference is that with Valvoline, I am observing improved efficiency. My 2.0 broke its own record of fuel efficiency: 34.3 miles to the gallon on high way. All this at approx 80mph and with 225/45/17 Summer Performance Tires. The improvement is 3.3-3.9 miles per gallon compared to Mobil1.

I realize that I am comparing only 1 sample of Valvoline to 3 samples of Mobil1. I will continue this sampling process and even extend the oil drain period on the Valvoline to determine how many miles I can run safely before changing the oil. Once I obtain 2 more samples of Valvoline, I can definitely say Valvoline is better than Mobil1. For now, draw your own conclusions from this thread!

Simply put: Be aware of the actual performance of the Mobil1 0W-40. While it meets our engine specs, it barely meets my expectations for a quality synthetic oil.
UPDATE - OCT 14, 2005!
NEW OIL SAMPLE INFORMATION ADDED IN THE FIRST COLUMN!

During the last oil use interval I installed a TT260 camshaft. No trace of increased metals due to camshaft break-in!

Modified by vasillalov at 10:20 PM 10-14-2005


Modified by vasillalov at 11:31 PM 12-16-2009
 

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i have a question about synthetics though. my mechanic, former mechanic, who was old school always said that if cars were supposed to run with synthetic oils, they would come from the dealer and factory with those oils. now, i havent switched to synthetic because i have heard these rumors that u cant just do a switch all the sudden. do u have to flush the oil lines, oil pump, oil pan, etc before switching to synthetic? just asking, and learning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: (photoman)

Quote, originally posted by photoman »
i have a question about synthetics though. my mechanic, former mechanic, who was old school always said that if cars were supposed to run with synthetic oils, they would come from the dealer and factory with those oils. now, i havent switched to synthetic because i have heard these rumors that u cant just do a switch all the sudden. do u have to flush the oil lines, oil pump, oil pan, etc before switching to synthetic? just asking, and learning!

I switched from conventional oil to synthetics without doing any flushing. Modern fully synthetic oils have good detergent properties and will flush the engine after the first drain ointerval.
 

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Re: (photoman)

A lot of cars do come these days with synthetic. There's a good reason why all don't though ... money. When you consider how many cars a manufacturer produces in a year and total the cost of dino and synthetic oil for these cars, the difference in $$$ is pretty large.
I've also heard it mentioned that dino does a better job then synthetic of letting an engine break-in. If this is true, then it's another good reason why a new car would be sold with dino oil in it and then have it switched over to synthetic during the first or second oil change.
Gary
 

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Re: (vasillalov)

Quote, originally posted by vasillalov »
I switched from conventional oil to synthetics without doing any flushing. Modern fully synthetic oils have good detergent properties and will flush the engine after the first drain ointerval.

Those same detergents are the problem with switching oils if you have a high mileage engine (say above 70K). Old engines have FALSE seals that have to do with the crud that builds up around the rings and prevents oil from leaking out. When you introduce synthetic oil to an engine that has been running dino oil all those years... well it either breaks or leaks around those false seals. 1.) the detergents break the seals and 2.) synthetic oil is so slick that it can get in places that conventional dino oil can not.
If you have been running natural oil for a long time, don't switch to synthetic unless you want to see some leaks.
 

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How does this prove anything? Engines are constantly wearing in, especially for the first 40K miles. Hell a vr6 doesn't reach its full potentional until about 15K miles.
Just because you switched oils and your results just happen to be correlated with the wear of the engine doesn't mean anything other than there is a correlation that can be observed.
This kind of a test with so many variables is rediculous. Just run any good oil and call it a day. Its not like engines running mobil 1 synthetic aren't lasting 150K+ constantly anyway

Now if you observe a trend from a LARGE (say thousands) group of 2.0's that are ALL running either valvoline or mobile 1 and observe some kind of indication that one of the oils was inferior then this would indicate the need for further testing.
You don't have the millions of dollars, facilities, or knowledge to facilitate and conduct a test that would mean ANYTHING.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: (kungfoojesus)

kungfoojesus,
Why are you getting mad?
I did not post here to advertise Valvoline or to spill blasphemy agains Mobil. That is why the thread has a title "CASE STUDY" I am in no way trying to generalize anything here. I am simply posting my observations!
It is true that all engines are different. It is true all oils are different. It is true that it takes long time for the engines to break in.
But I think you are barking upt the wrong tree! For one, I started the oil analisys monitoring @ 60K miles. I would say my engine was well broken in by that time!

And I already mentioned that there are many people observing the same results in the 1.8T forum. This is not so isolated as you want to think!
Finally, have you ever driven a 2.0 for 5 hours non-stop on a highway? Do you know that the 2.0 valvetrain is notoriously noisy? Do you know how a 2.0 sounds at idle with oil badly beaten down by constant high engine speeds?
 

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Re: CASE STUDY: Oil Analisys On 2.0 (vasillalov)

definitely going in the watched topics list. Thanks for the analysis. I run Mobil 1 0w-40 and would love to get my oil analyzed. But I dont know of any such labs here in NJ.
wouldnt mind giving Valvoline a try on my next oil change
 

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Re: CASE STUDY: Oil Analisys On 2.0 (vasillalov)

I'd be curious how the results come back if you try Castrol full synthetic, after you complete the Valvoline tests.

Few things I can add to this topic, on a brand new engine, it is suggested that a non-syn oil is used, this way as the new engine breaks in, small pieces of metal will not stick but get flushed into the oil pan. Once the engine breaks in ~2000-3000 miles, then it's a good idea to use synthetic, specially on FI vehicles.
On the other hand, there is also the potential draw back on using synthetic oil on high mile engines, (as mentioned above) with age, conventional oils will leave a small build up at piston rings which will prevent oil consumption from engine wear, where as synthetic oil will not. (This happened to me after using synthetic oil on a previous turbo car, used syn from 10k to 80k then started to consume oil, knocking on cold starts, bad fuel/mileage, etc.. instead of a rebuild, I added motor honey, went to conventional oil and all the problems went away, I sold the car at 90k and since I still know the owner, car is still running good, 7 years later).
 

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Re: (vasillalov)

Quote, originally posted by vasillalov »
kungfoojesus,
Why are you getting mad?

cuz he's is another blind VWVortexer who doesnt want the boat rocked, and you rocked his world!
Ha nice post, sumthing useful and worthwhile, i think ill try valvoline next time i change the oil, see what i think.
 

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Re: CASE STUDY: Oil Analisys On 2.0 (Raktim81)

I also have a 2.0 and run the valvoline synthetic.
I started after 2500m and am currently at 29k.
No scientific results here other than keeping track of mileage in a little notebook and looking back at the first month compared to the most recent - I'm averaging about 7mpg more. But, it was still in the "break in" period.
(it was broke in by the time I got it home IMO)
lots of highway miles 2350+ month every month
 

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Re: (vasillalov)

Quote, originally posted by vasillalov »
kungfoojesus,
Why are you getting mad?

I'm not mad. I was just pointing out that your test is hardly worth anything at this time.
By your logic, I could argue that people eating ice cream increases the number of rape victims. It is true that when people buy more ice cream the number of rape victims increases. Is it then true that ice cream is causing more rapes? No, unfotunately correlations can be misleading but actually don't PROVE anything. The fact of the matter is that more people are outside during the summer, parks are often the scene of rape crimes, parks are outside, more people spend time in parks during the summer, more people get raped during the summer.
I'm not mad, I'm just saying PROVE it. Don't show us some lousy correlation in one instance and say its factual that valvoline is better than mobile 1.


Modified by kungfoojesus at 2:07 PM 7-31-2005
 

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Re: (vasillalov)

Quote, originally posted by vasillalov »
kungfoojesus,
Why are you getting mad?
I did not post here to advertise Valvoline or to spill blasphemy agains Mobil. That is why the thread has a title "CASE STUDY" I am in no way trying to generalize anything here. I am simply posting my observations!
It is true that all engines are different. It is true all oils are different. It is true that it takes long time for the engines to break in.
But I think you are barking upt the wrong tree! For one, I started the oil analisys monitoring @ 60K miles. I would say my engine was well broken in by that time!

And I already mentioned that there are many people observing the same results in the 1.8T forum. This is not so isolated as you want to think!
Finally, have you ever driven a 2.0 for 5 hours non-stop on a highway? Do you know that the 2.0 valvetrain is notoriously noisy? Do you know how a 2.0 sounds at idle with oil badly beaten down by constant high engine speeds?

What does this have to do with your test showing anything more than a correlation?
 

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Re: (kungfoojesus)

Quote, originally posted by kungfoojesus »

Don't show us some lousy correlation in one instance and say its factual that valvoline is better than mobile 1.

hey! Lousy to you maybe. So don't speak on my behalf.
 

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This is my final post in this thread as I can see I'm definitely out of place here.
Car tuners of all people should know there are an uncontrolable number of variables as a vehicle breaks down that can lead to any number of results in alleged "tests". To measure the sound, feeling, or even the levels of certain metals in your old oil PROVES nothing due to all the variables. Further more, all the variables of a vehicle driven in the real world are incalculable. Your entire test is based on false premises and mocked logic. If people can't see that in your initial post, I'm certainly no longer going to waste my time explaining it to them.
Call me mad. Leave it at that. Morons.
I'd suggest you post this in a technical forum or spend time reading up on scientific methods. Any 100 level science course in ANY of the sciences will easily show you the flaws in your method. A 7th grader should be capable of picking appart your arguement for mobile 1 and valvoline. I know because I'm a high school teacher.
but not



Modified by kungfoojesus at 2:25 PM 7-31-2005
 
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