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Why would brand of oil make a difference?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by parkerfe, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    Every since I first got my BB512i in Dec 2002 I have been using Castrol Syntec 5w50(winter) or Castrol TRW 10w60(summer) and my car never smoked. About a month ago Sams had Mobile1 15w50 on sale so I bought two cases and used it to change the oil/filter in my Boxer. As soon as I started the engine in the garage I noticed smoke coming out of the tail pipes; not a whole lot mind you, but since it didn't smoke at all before it was enough that I noticed it immediately. Thinking that maybe I just overfilled it a little (although the level on the dip stick appeared to be correct) I drove it a couple of weeks yet it continued to smoke. So, on Saturday I again changed the oil/filter this time back to Castro 5w50...and guess what ?...no more smoke. Why do you think that my car would smoke with Mobile1 15w50 but not with Castrol Syntec 5w50? Any oil experts out there have an opinion. In any event NO MORE Mobile1 for me!
     
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  3. rmfurzeland

    rmfurzeland Formula Junior

    Jan 7, 2005
    548
    Houston, TX
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    Ron Furzeland
    Well, just to get the discussion going, the oil is getting past the piston rings so different viscosity and film break down parameters - try researching the manufacturer viscosity specs and look for a difference.

    My Dad never like synthetics for this reason.

    Regards,
    Ron Furzeland
     
  4. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    What doesn't make since is the Castrol 5w-50 did not smoke but the Mobile1 15w-50 did and the 5w should be thinner than the 15w. They are both synthetic oils though.
     
  5. Llenroc

    Llenroc F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Consultant

    Jun 9, 2004
    3,299
    Colorado
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    Vern
    Franklin, This thought is going to be out there so take it for what its worth. Maybe the Mobil vs. syntec is heavy enough to gather/stay in the rings more and coat the walls a little more??? I'm not an expert but your problem is interesting to think about. I have used mobil in my Ferraris for years(not a Boxer) and have not had this problem. Although I have a friend with a 512BBi and he had made a comment to me about the car using a little more oil, not smoking, just using a little more oil than it did using coventional Castrol. Anyway interesting problem. Regards, Vern
     
  6. LarryS

    LarryS Formula Junior

    Nov 14, 2003
    302
    Fremont, CA
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    Larry S
    I rebuilt a 2 liter Lancia a few years back and the place I order the parts from sent aftermarket rings instead of standard fiat rings, I thought they'd be ok, wrong.
    With Castrol dino oil it smoked visibly on acceleration, I changed to Valvoline dino oil, 80% of the smoke went away and the rear of the car didn't nearly as dirty. The oil consumption was probably the same, but at least I didn't have to see it....
    I think different formulations/additives of oils do different things.
     
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  8. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,086
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    I have seen a few leak free BB's that we couldn't keep syn oil in them so we just use Dino oil of the same weight and no problem.

    Years ago I worked in a shop that changed from Valvoline to Kendall oil. Exact weight and specs. We could not keep Kendall in the motors from one oil change to the next on any high mileage cars. They would burn the stuff so fast people were having oil pressure problems from starvation between fuel fill ups. We changed back to Valvoline and the problems just vanished.
     
  9. MrScarface

    MrScarface Formula 3
    BANNED

    Aug 8, 2005
    1,079
    Austin
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    Adam
    I'm not an oil "expert", but I do know a lot about them (i think at least). The smoke could be a few reasons. The most simple answer would be quality of the base oil used to manufacture, or the additives used. Not all are equal and most companies have their own propriatary additives and detergents.

    Not to hijack your thread, but here's a little info I know about oil.

    Syntec along with a lot of the other "synthetic" oils are not really synthetic. They use Group III base oil which is just a highly purified petroleum oil. In other words, it's just a really good dino oil. When Castrol came out with Syntec, Mobil sued them saying that Group III oil is not synthetic. The judge ruled that the word "synthetic" is a marketing term, not a manufacturing process or chemical structure. After the ruling, every oil manufacturer and their dog started used Group III oil as a base for their "synthetics".
    Also, never buy "synthetic blends". It's the biggest scam in the oil business that gives the biggest profits. It's just a dino oil with a splash of Group III oil base. So you're paying 100% more, but not getting much better quality. Yet, it only costs the manufacturers about 15% more to make. It gives them huge profits.
    If you want a true synthetic in the sense of the word, look for one that uses Group IV PAO (Poly-Alpha-Olefin) or even better is Group V which is a diester base oil. These later two are much more expensive, but they are a MUCH better quality.
    Don't get me wrong, Group III based oils are good, but they are not real synthetics. Think of them as a very good petroleum based oil, cause that's what they are.
     
  10. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    My Boxer does not leak with either the Mobile1 or Castrol Syntec...it just smokes with the Mobile1 but not the Syntec.
     
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  12. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    Not to hijack your thread, but here's a little info I know about oil.

    Syntec along with a lot of the other "synthetic" oils are not really synthetic. They use Group III base oil which is just a highly purified petroleum oil. In other words, it's just a really good dino oil. When Castrol came out with Syntec, Mobil sued them saying that Group III oil is not synthetic. The judge ruled that the word "synthetic" is a marketing term, not a manufacturing process or chemical structure. After the ruling, every oil manufacturer and their dog started used Group III oil as a base for their "synthetics".
    Also, never buy "synthetic blends". It's the biggest scam in the oil business that gives the biggest profits. It's just a dino oil with a splash of Group III oil base. So you're paying 100% more, but not getting much better quality. Yet, it only costs the manufacturers about 15% more to make. It gives them huge profits.
    If you want a true synthetic in the sense of the word, look for one that uses Group IV PAO (Poly-Alpha-Olefin) or even better is Group V which is a diester base oil. These later two are much more expensive, but they are a MUCH better quality.
    Don't get me wrong, Group III based oils are good, but they are not real synthetics. Think of them as a very good petroleum based oil, cause that's what they are.[/QUOTE] With regular Syntec you may be right, but I believe the Castrol TWS oils are 100% synthetic...does anyone know for sure? http://www.castrol.com/castrol/productdetailmin.do?categoryId=82914037&contentId=7000252
     
  13. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall

    My point was that it can go by the rings at an alarming rate in an otherwise OK motor.

    I have a client with a great running, leak free BB and you can't keep syn in the motor. It all goes out the tail pipes. Dino oil, no problem.
     
  14. Artvonne

    Artvonne F1 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2004
    5,379
    NWA
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    Paul
    This is very interesting, and not something that readily makes any real sense. I know a gentleman who always ran Mobil 1 in his diesel engines and always did the 25,000 mile change interval while always blaming the cars makers for building crappy engines. Every diesel engine he ran (BMW, Ford 6.9 and 7.3, and Mercedes Benz) needed top end overhauls by 100K miles and leaked like sieves.

    I had one engine, also a Mercedes 300 diesel, that never used any oil until 2000 miles, but then would use a quart in the next 300 miles. Change it and it was good for 2000 miles again. Obviously something happened to the oil at that late mileage to make the engine start burning it.

    In another case, I had a Honda Civic that would fill the yard full of extremely thick oil smoke for about 20 seconds on a cold start, then clear out and run fine. One can of Gunk motor flush and it never smoked again. Obviously dirty rings, but the mechanics involved seem odd. Its simply amazing that something as simple as a piston engine could confound so many people and have everyone scratching thier heads, even after over 125 years in existence.

    As much as I am not a fan of synthetic oils except in very very extreme cases, I am truly curious why your engine would behave this way. But excessive oil consumtion is not something to wave off thinking more oil on the cylinders is a good thing. Excessive smoking could result in heavy oily carbon deposits forming up around the piston crown, and choking up the exhaust port and the backside of the exhaust valve head as well as fouling the rings. Obviously the M-1 is able to slip past the rings or valves while the Dino oil cant. Longer molecular chains? I thought that was the whole idea of synthetic, to make a longer chain. Could the Ferrari engine me more damaging to certain oils by shearing them into shorter chains?
     
  15. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
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    Franklin E. Parker
    FYI, both the Mobile1 and Syntec TWS are synthetic oils...and a BB512i comes from the factory with a synthetic blend oil, i.e., Agip SINT2000. As far as oil consumption is concerned, I rarely have to add any oil at all between my twice a year oil changes...maybe one liter every 1500kms or so. The OM on my BB512i claims normal oil consumption is 2~4 liters per 1000kms, which seems like quite a lot of oil burning to me!
     
  16. Prova85

    Prova85 Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
    1,952
    So. Shore MA.
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    Kenny K
    Here's a link to a forum that Dr Haas is also active in. You won't find a group of people more anal about oil than here. If you have a question about oil, it's already been asked and answered here.

    http://theoildrop.server101.com/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi
     
  17. Impactco

    Impactco Formula 3

    Jan 29, 2006
    1,615
    I changed my oil last week to 10W40 Castrol GTX. The car supposedly had 20W50 in it from the prior owner. Now I get a little puff of blue smoke at startup. Nothing to worry about I guess after reading the comments here.
     

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