Synthetic vs Conventional Oil
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  1. #1
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    Default Synthetic vs Conventional Oil

    I have a used 2007 Dodge Caliber with 132,000km right now and I'm trying to decide if I want to switch to synthetic oil.... Or at least I think i'm switching to synthetic. Not too sure what the previous owner put in the car considering they never changed the oil themselves. When I bought the car it was due for an oil change so I know what's in it now. I drive approximately 1,500km a month and I currently have conventional oil in it with synthetic wearguard, It's from CanadianTire and it's the MotoMaster Formula 1 brand.

    I've read other threads and even watched a few videos and this is where I'm starting to get confused. Some say you'll be just fine, you might even notice better gas mileage. While others say on older cars you'll notice leaks since the synthetic oil will clean out the engine more. Does 132km make my car "old" or is that cars made before 2000-1990?

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  3. #2
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    I call BS on the whole "if you switch to synthetic you'll have leaks". While this may have been common in older engines, the cars built today are built to much tighter specs. I had an 03 PT Cruiser that I switched over to fully synthetic after I got it (4th owner) and it never leaked a drop. It really all depends on how often you want to change your oil. I run 10,000 miles between changes on my cars as I use full synthetic and a quality filter (Purolator Gold). If you don't mind changing the oil every 3,000 miles or so, then stay with the conventional oil and a quality filter. The costs is still going to be about the same. Bottom line is it's your money.
    Crazy can be medicated, ignorance can be educated, but you just can't fix stupid.
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  4. #3
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    Conventional vs. synthetic oil is a debate that'll go on forever...it's like a religion for some people.

    I personally run synthetic oil in my Caliber (and my wife's Scion) for two primary reasons. First, I do mostly city driving and synthetic oil doesn't break down as quickly as conventional oil when subjected to conditions like that. It allows me to go ~5500 miles between my semi-annual changes without worry. Second, I live in upstate NY and synthetic oil flows better in cold weather, so I feel confident the oil is flowing well irregardless of how cold it is outside. Being up in Canada this is probably an issue for you guys as well.

    A 5 gallon jug of quality synthetic oil is only $26 around here (that's for Castrol...Mobil1 is even cheaper at WalMart if you're willing to shop there). That's barely more expensive than conventional oil. I use a quality oil filter (Wix) that I buy in bulk online and do all of the changes myself.

    The Scion just turned 120K and my Caliber is at almost 80K, zero engine problems.

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  6. #4
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    My caliber has 237K km on it. I have forever done my own oil changes since new. I buy what ever is on sale. Lately for the past year I've been running semi or full synth as it has gotten cheaper. I put on 35k km a year so that's about 4 oil changes. I change the oil when the car tells me to which is usually 8800-9200 km.

    The last change I did I used the high mileage semi synthetic just to swell the seals as it's getting up there.

    Next change is moto master formula 1 full synthetic as it was on sale.

    I will once a year run the high mileage just to renew the seals.

    Again I've been driving this since new. It's a low hp low heat engine.

    On the other hand my 2011 twin turbo ecoboost on gets Penzoil Platinum or ultra platinum every 8k km (5k miles). But it is a high horsepower high heat engine.

    And it might see an oil change once or twice a year.

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