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post #1 of 53 Old 03-26-2008, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
boyscoutbuzz
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Synthetic oils for the 4.0

Where can I find info about using synthetic oil in my 2005 sport? It has 30,000 miles and is over due for an oil change.

What are the benefits?

Is there one brand better then the rest.

What about synthetic oils for the axles?

Is there one place better to buy from?

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post #2 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 01:40 AM
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Mobil One is time tested and proven for decades to be an effective synthetic oil and costs less than many others. Reasonably priced at NAPA, cheap at Walmart, and free at my local Jeep dealership since I'd bought a synthetic oil change for life thing, which gives me a choice of Mobil One or Chevron synthetics.

Many other brands of synthetics are really rather unproven and it's not known if they work or not. Some are proven by independent tests that they don't work very well. The worst of them (Castrol and Toro) didn't even test out as good as a generic conventional oil, as shown by a test of many synthetics that used Shell conventional oil as a control (i.e. - comparison to conventional oil). Royal Purple faired almost as badly as Castrol, which suggests that advertising is what they do best, not making synthetic oil. I remember another test of conventional oils done years agod by Consumer's Guide where Castrol, Torqo, and Havoline tied for being worst conventional oils.

Remember that you aren't supposed to mix different brands of synthetics, but you can mix a conventional oil with a synthetic oil (like dump in a can of each). You can also mix two brands of conventional. I'm not sure if they have to be the same weight, but probably a good idea.

The benefits of using Mobil One are that your engine can last 1 million miles. Mobil One has actually proven that. They are the only synthetic oil company that has actually proven that to be a hard fact by testing. I think that an engine running Royal Purple could probably last just as long, maybe Chevron too, but they've never actually proven it by driving a car a million miles. Mobil One has actually proven it by testing a car that many miles.

Synthetic oils are slipperier at all temperatures, but their greatest advantages are at start up in cold weather (flows much easier and faster), and at hot temps. If engine overheats, it gives much extra protection. Regular oil starts rapidly breaking down at 250 F, and even somewhat at 230 F. Many modern cars and trucks operate from 220 to 240 F. Mobil One can withstand temps up to 435F.

So Mobil One is way better than conventional oils and also available at affordable prices. It's also been proven by independent tests to be in the top three brands of synthetics for performance. I'll explain more later and provide a link to those two independent tests.

I suspect Chevron is good too (maybe as good), but it wasn't one of the brands tested in those two tests I found. Darn! Chevron synthetic is affordable if you go to one of their supply places for trucking companies that sells it by the 5 qt jug. Maybe NAPA sells it too?

The top rated synthetics in tests for high horsepower, high heat, and engine wear under those racing type conditions were (in order of 1st best, 2nd, and 3rd) Amsoil, BP Synthetic, and Mobil One. However, let me emphasize that this test did not include cold starting wear tests at all, nor did it include long mileage or long time. I was basically a few hours hammering hell out of the engine on a dyno while testing horsepower, torque, and then doing lab tests on the oil.

In another test of Amsoil vs Mobil One, long mileage and long time periods were tested and Amsoil failed miserably. It was 5/30 Amsoil and it thickened to 15/50 according to reviewers. Granted that was over 14,000 miles endurance tests, but still. It's viscosity started out thicker than rated, and ended up way thicker than rated. That would be terrible for cold starts, and really not very good for engine wear in general. The reviewer said that not only did Mobil One hold up much better in the endurance test, but the engine ran smoother and got 10% better fuel economy.

It's also unfortunate that only one independent test/review tested BP Synthetic - and only for racing. The Amsoil and BP ranked higher than Mobil One in the full throttle racing test (but Amsoil failed the endurance test by turning to thick). Since BP did so well in the full throttle test, I wonder how it would have done in the endurance test, if they'd tested it for endurance.

It's unfortunate that neither independent test/review tested Chevron Synthetic. I'd be very interested to see how the Chevron would do. I'd also like to see test of Valvoline full synthetic.

Lastly, I was very surprised the Royal Purple did poorly on the full throttle racing tests. It wasn't tested for endurance.

It's interesting to note that the two oils tested that did the best overall (Mobil One and BP synthetic) are less expensive than most other brands tested. Interesting, huh? There is a free lunch after all. It's also interesting to note that the worst synthetics are not even as good as a cheap generic conventional oil. Shell conventional oil out performed Torqo and Castrol synthetics. Holy ripoffs Batman!

I'll post links to the tests tommorrow. Off to bed now.

Last edited by CB3; 03-27-2008 at 05:49 AM.
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post #3 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 02:42 AM
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P.S. - Mobil One (Valvoline, Penzoil, probably BP and Chevron, and others) make synthetic gear oil for differentials and manual transmissions, synthetic auto transmission oil, and some of them also make synthetic power steering fluid (often an overlooked item).

Of course Penzoil makes synthetics too. This is worth a thought. I don't like Penzoil's conventional oil due to it's bad reputation with mechanics for being waxy and making engines sludgy. However, Penzoil's synthetic oil should be a different animal without that problem. Probably just as good as Valvoline synthetic. Probably same with Quaker State and many other big name players.

However, Mobil One is the most proven by time, useage, and tests. It's the one most trusted for jet aircraft engines both civilian and military. However, BP did great in full throttle tests. Maybe it's great for endurance too? The thing is that I don't know because they didn't test BP for endurance. So it might be good or bad for that. I just don't know. Same as I don't know with Chevron, Valvoline, Penzoil, Quaker State and many others that weren't tested in those tests I found.

The only one I know for certain is good for full throttle, cold startup, and endurance is Mobil One. It took 3rd place for full throttle and high heat viscosity and wear tests, and first place for cold startup and endurance viscosity and wear tests. Mobil One is a proven thing across the board. The others are either proven failures by those tests, or weren't tested and are partly unknowns or total unknowns.

So are there other synthetic motor oils as good as Mobil One? Maybe. Better than Mobil One? Maybe. But only Mobil One is proven good at all those things, and many others (including Royal Purple) were proven inferior.

If anyone knows of other independent tests to look at, or other synthetic oils worth considering, please share. Tommorrow I'll post links to the independent tests/studies I found.

Last edited by CB3; 03-27-2008 at 05:34 AM.
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post #4 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 05:39 AM
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P.S. - 20K miles is the ideal time to switch to synthetic oil, but 30K is also good.

Conventional wisdom is to run conventional oil for 10K to 15K miles and then switch to synthetic because it takes that long to fully break in engine. However, one of the test indicated that it actually takes 20K miles to fully break in an engine (with conventional oil before switching to synthetic).

So I tend to think that 15K to 20K is the ideal time to switch, but 30K is close enough. I switched my XJ at 30K and it worked out great. I drove it to 93K when I sold it to a friend. The engine was still in new condition, as was all running gear (had Mobil One in it too). The transfer case was noticeably quieter and shifted easier with Mobil One in it, as compared to conventional OEM oil. I had Valvoline synthetic power steering fluid in power steering (because Mobil doesn't make that). Next time I'll look for power steering fluid from BP or Chevron. Just think that BP or Chevron would be as good, maybe better, and cost less. The Valvoline was fine though. I used Mobil One for everything I could. i.e - all but the power steering.

However, I don't recommend Mobil One grease because it's not very good. Most brands of grease have better ratings for washout resistance and for extreme pressure wear protection. Valvoline synthetic grease is also a disappointment. Green Grease synthetic grease is one of my favorites. That Metalon grease that Hoseclamp likes is my very favorite grease.

Last edited by CB3; 03-27-2008 at 05:58 AM.
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post #5 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 09:36 AM
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Synthetics are hands down the best in certain situations. In my prior XJ, I ran Amsoil 10-30W with a bypass filtration system. Changed the oil every 48K miles, main filter every 5K and the bypass every 25K. At 264K miles, it still ran like new. Lab analysis showed oil still within spec at 48K. Did the same on my YJ, and found horribly thick oil, almost as if it were wax, and dropped the Amsoil in favor of Mobil 1 and 5K changes. The diffs are perfect candidates for good synthetics and are required by many mfgs for towing applications or lockers. More stable shear and better at handling heat. If your going to change your oil every 5K or less in the engine and you don't tow or operate in extreme climate, your likely not going to be that much better off. I am an extended oil change guy. In the LJ, I run Mobil 1 Extended service, change at 10K with filters every 5K. But I drive it every day. If it were sitting a lot, I would run conventional and change it often. Time sitting is a killer to oil. Look at your driving style, I recomend changing out the diffs, Tcase and tranny to syns, then decide on the engine based on use. Most importantly, figure out a maintenance schedule and stick to it!

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post #6 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 10:02 AM
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I have run various synthetics, Ammaco back in the 80's, Castrol Syntech, NAPA (Valvoline), Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum. This is mainly in Ford Contours. I ran on Castrol from about 20K to 150K, then switched to Mobil 1, then to NAPA and back to Castrol and now running Pennzoil. Different engines like different oils. I haven't run synthetics in my 4.0 L. It leaked to much. My Countours 2.0L is still clean at 200K miles. I mean no sludge or varnish in the valve area. Though I have seen pictures of an engine run on conventionals with simular results. I usually run about 7,500 to 10,000 miles for oil changes since out of warranty period.
Amsoil has a very good reputation. My brother uses it. You might check Bob is the Oil Guy. Its a web board on oils etc. They talk oil like we talk Jeep stuff. Some very knowlegable people. I think the 4.0L has a reputation for beating up on oils. So if the Mobil 1 is holding up in it, I'd give it a try. My engines sounded a bit tinny with it. Also, with the NAPA. Not scientific though. Castrol makes a 0W-30 or is it 5W-30, thats made in Germany. Its only sold at AutoZone. Some rave about it.
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post #7 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 01:33 PM
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So NAPA has a synthetic made by Valvoline? Interesting. I'm somewhat familiar with Valvoline synthetic, but didn't know they made it for NAPA under the NAPA name.

Great information. Thank you.

Does Valvoline also make NAPA conventional oil?

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post #8 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by RKCRWLR View Post
Synthetics are hands down the best in certain situations. In my prior XJ, I ran Amsoil 10-30W with a bypass filtration system. Changed the oil every 48K miles, main filter every 5K and the bypass every 25K.
With each topup you added new oil. With each filter change, you removed oil and added new oil. So considering that you probably added 1+ quarts every 5K, put removed that much oil oil oil between evaporation and filter change.

So every 25K you'd actually changed out 5 quarts. So I think the average oil age/mileage was actually about 12K, which actually corresponds to the independent test I read where Amsoil did well for about 12K and then started thickening to sludge and was goop by 14K. Mobil One lasted 18K and then was to dirty and had to be changed, but it never thickened.

However, Amsoil did win the full throttle racing type test of new fresh oil against new fresh oil, just edging out BP synthetic (2nd place) and Mobil One 3rd place. But Mobil One won the endurance test against Amsoil (BP not tested for endurance).

=====

I wish that the BP had been fully tested (including endurance), and also the Chevron and NAPA/Valvoline too. Very often what you pay does not correspond to what you get.

Mobil One is cheaper than Amsoil and Royal Purple. Royal Purple got its lunch ate in full throttle racing tests of fresh oil (racing tests) by Amsoil, BP, Mobil, Hi-Tech, and Shell.

Mobil won the endurance test (only Amsoil and Mobil were tested for endurance).

I interpret that as Amsoil is slightly better than Mobil One for racing or those who drive full throttle and change oil at normal intervals, but Mobil is best if you go longer change intervals, and Mobil tested good enough for full throttle racing.

So I think that between Amsoil and Mobil One, Mobil is the better all around oil for daily drivers, or at least the best tested. Many brands were not tested at all, and most were only tested for full throttle racing, not endurance. Only Amsoil and Mobil were endurance tested.

One interesting thing is that BP Synethic ranked between Amsoil and Mobil One for full throttle racing tests of new fresh oil. It's a shame that BP wasn't also tested for endurance.

It's also a shame they didn't test Chevron and NAPA/Valvoline synthetics.

It's entirely possible that if tested, Chevron, NAPA/Valvoline, and BP might be as good, or possibly even better than Amsoil or Mobil One. They're less money that Mobil One, and way less than Amsoil. However, Mobil One at Walmart is pretty affordable.

One last thought, what do they traditionally (and I think still use) in jumbo jet aircraft engines and military jet engines? Mobil One. So when hundreds of lives and millions of dollars of equipment are at stake, Mobil One is the traditional choice. That doesn't necessarily prove it's best or make it best, but it does prove it's more than good enough for a Jeep, and it proves that large companies and the government with resources, engineers, and scientists usually prefer Mobil One for mission critical equipment. Mobil One may, or may not, be best; but it's certainly the most tested, proven, and trusted oil by people whose lives depend on it, and it's less expensive than many of the brands it beat in independent tests. i.e. - it's a great value for the money.

On the other hand, many large companies prefer BP and Chevron synthetics for expensive trucks (maybe Shell too - which also rated high in tests), though many of those trucking companies also prefer Mobil One. I tend to think that those 3 brands (BP, Chevron, and Mobil One), and possibly NAPA/Valvoline are the best, and by coincidence those brands also happen to cost less. Perhaps that's not a cooincidence at all.

Large oil companies (Mobil, BP, Chevron, etc) have the financial means to hire the best and most scientists and engineers, do the most R&D, and their large scale of production for manufacturing synthetic oils means lower costs. So it's no coincidence that some of the oil giants make the best synthetic oils, and do so for lower costs to the consumer, and sell it in 5 qt and even 5 gallon cans (cheaper to buy). If the oil costs less, you can afford to change oil more often (like at normal 5K service interval or whatever is normal for your car), which in turn gives added protection. i.e. - you won't need to test the endurance limits of the oil if it's affordable enough to change more often.

Last edited by CB3; 03-27-2008 at 02:37 PM.
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post #9 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 02:35 PM
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While near the subject, the quality of oil filter is important. NAPA Gold and Wix are among the best, and the prices are very good too. I don't go for the super fine filtration filters (like K&N) any more because I've had several brands of them clog before 4K miles and then oil pressure go way to high (pegged the pressure gauge fully to the right).
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post #10 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 02:56 PM
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Full throttle racing type test of new fresh synthetic oils. Many brands tested.
http://www.performanceoilnews.com/oi...nst_oils.shtml

Endurance test on a daily driver. Amsoil and Mobil tested.
http://neptune.spacebears.com/cars/s.../oil-life.html

I'll add some more/other independent tests later, when I have time.
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post #11 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 03:00 PM
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Ditto on what CB3 has to say.

FYI, and I am searching for the link, the highest rated oil as far as qualifications go for the Jeep 4.0 is the Mobil 1 syn "High Mileage" and the very close 2nd place is the Mobil 1 "Extended" oil. Of course use the correct weight oil for your Jeep. I am currently running a Donaldson 550299 oil filter which raises the oil capacity to almost 7 quarts. It is a huge filter.

API numbers are the trick;

The Mobil 1 High Mileage is best:



The Mobil 1 Extended Protection is very good as well,



Depending on where you live or where you shop both of those may not be available.

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post #12 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 03:33 PM
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P.S. - when I said that Mobil One won the endurance test against Amsoil, I meant regular Mobil One, not their extra fortified High Mileage or Extended Protection or SUV oils.

The regular Mobil One beat the Amsoil by a small margin (14K vs 18K miles) in the endurance tests. However, the High Mileage, Extendend Protection, or SUV Mobil One oils would have probably substantially ate Amsoil's lunch on endurance tests.

Also, while Amsoil slightly beat Mobil One in the full throttle racing tests of new fresh oil against new fresh oil, once again, that was regular, plain old Mobil One, and it still came in 3rd best after Amsoil and BP (test done by an Amsoil reseller).

So Amsoil's varsity against Mobil One's 3rd string (junior junior varsity - water boy) resulted in Amsoil slightly winning the full throttle racing tests, but Mobil slightly winning the daily driver endurance test. That Mobil One product is way less expensive than Amsoil.

Now, imagine if they'd tested Amsoil against Mobil One's varsity products. I think that Mobil varsity products would have kicked Amsoil's butt up and down the block, and still cost the same or less than Amsoil.

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post #13 of 53 Old 03-27-2008, 04:31 PM
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Synthetic Greases for Jeeps

However, Amsoil does make the best fresh water marine grease I've found to date. It's stats for fresh water use are even better than Green Grease synthetic (but Green Grease is rated for fresh and salt water use).

Mobil One's synthetic grease is not impressive at all - and I wouldn't use it. Same with Valvoline synthetic grease - and most big name grease makers.

In fact, almost all brands of synthetic greases are pathetic - with most not being as good as better conventional greases. The exceptions are Green Grease synthetic which is excellent, and Amsoil's Synthetic GH Series Heavy Duty EP Grease that's excellent, and also that excellent non-synthetic grease Metalon that Hoseclamp likes.

Note: I only look for greases that are marine greases (5% or less water washout), with good high pressure lube ratings, and good wide temperature range (including low temp range). The best marine greases have water washout of 3% or less, good extreme pressure lube abilities, good highend temp range of 450F+ (most have high temp rating of 500F+), but most salt water marine greases are challenged at low winter temps.

The Green Green and Amsoil are both good in all those areas, but Amsoil offers a better low operating temperature in it's range. By comparison, Mobil One grease is pathetic (as most synthetic greases are) for extreme pressure lube ratings and water washout. The other really good grease I've found is Metalon, which is possibly the best marine grease you can get (a non-synthetic recommended by Hoseclamp).

For the record, I researched the greases very well. Metalon is the best salt water marine grease. Green Green is almost as as good, except that it's lowend of its op temp range is not that low. It's -20F. That's good for a salt water marine grease since most don't go very low. However, Metalon is better since it goes down to -40F. The problem with Metalon is that it's not sold retail. It's sold wholesale in minimum orders of 24 tubes.

Amsoil Synthetic GH Series Heavy Duty EP Grease is the best for fresh water use because least water washout (least of any grease), and still has best op temp range and good extreme pressure lube ratings.

For salt and fresh water use in cold climates: Metalon is best, but unavailable to consumers (so irrelevant). (Metalon works down to -40F) In moderate to hot climates Metalon and Green Grease are equally best for salt water use.

Green Grease is not suitable for extremely cold climates due to lowest op temp of -20F. For moderate to hot climates Green Grease is the best available salt water marine grease (tied with Metalon for best in moderate to hot climates).

For fresh water marine use in cold climates Amsoil grease is the best because excellent lowend op temp range (-40F) and least water washout of any grease. For fresh water use in moderate to hot climates Amsoil and Green Grease are both excellent. The thing about Amsoil is that it's excellent in all climates for fresh water marine use (as is Metalon for fresh and salt water in all climates).

So while I like Mobil Oils, I like Amsoil's grease best for my needs. Well, I like Metalon Grease best, but can't get that because I won't buy 24 tubes. Maybe the forum guys should group buy 24 tubes of Metalon and then distribute among each other. I'm already using Green Grease now. I wish I'd used the Amsoil because it's better for cold winters, but Green Grease will be good enough for winter. You cannot/shouldn't mix synethic greases. So I'll stick with Green Grease forever now. It's excellent stuff, but for my climate the Amsoil would have been better, and Metalon ideal.

Well, I guess no one's perfect. Mobil One's oils are the best, or among the best, and relatively affordable too, but Mobil One's grease is as pathetic as most brands of synthetic greases. Apparently making good grease is a different skill than making good oil.

Last edited by CB3; 03-27-2008 at 04:49 PM.
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post #14 of 53 Old 03-28-2008, 04:59 AM
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So NAPA has a synthetic made by Valvoline? Interesting. I'm somewhat familiar with Valvoline synthetic, but didn't know they made it for NAPA under the NAPA name.

Great information. Thank you.

Does Valvoline also make NAPA conventional oil?
That is my understanding. I hear it has a less robust additive package. I don't know about their standard oils. Look for Ashland Oil Company on the package.
As far as filters, NAPA is one of the best. Amsoil has a new filter out that people rave about. Also, Puralator Pure One, Baldwin, Hastings and Donaldsons.
I skimmed the article and wasn't as impressed with Mobil 1. Them and Amsoil were't listed in the thickening. Also, I did the math, Amsoil isn't $17.50 pre quart. It listed $87.50 and siad they used 5 liters (roughly 5 quarts). I think Amsoil sells for about $7.50/quart. Also, said they used the same weight for Amsoil for the HP test, but others used a lower viscosity.
I didn't check the date of the article. I have heard Mobil 1 has changed their formula in the past few years. They don't weather they use group 3, group 4 or group 5 base stock.
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post #15 of 53 Old 03-29-2008, 12:24 AM
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Regarding less Robust additive packages, I read at Mobil One's website in the FAQs that the goverment (EPA) has required all motor oil brands sold over the counter (in 1 qt containers) to have reduced phosporous/zinc compared to what they had before. That doesn't apply to products not sold over the counter at auto stores in 1 qt containers.

So while Mobil One was certainly the best in the past, it and all other brands of synthetic and conventional oils are now no longer as good as they were before that air pollution reduction law messed with their additive packages (reducing their phosphorous).

However, brands sold only in bulk (4 or 5 qt jugs and larger quantities), and not typically sold at auto stores, are not subject to that law, and still contain full phosporous/zinc levels to give full engine protection (although that increases air pollution).

So, for that reason, the Chevron and Shell are quite likely the best synthetic oils available, as well as being among the least expensive. It's my understanding that the Chevron still has full phosphorous levels (probably Shell too). As a result, Chevron is probably the current best and better than Mobil One. However, in the past, before that government law required Mobil One and all others sold in 1 qt jugs over the counter at auto stores to reduce phosphorous, Mobil One was the best.

So Mobil One was the best back in the day. It's still among the best, and also most affordable, along with NAPA synthetic. However, the Chevron is almost certainly the best now. However, all 3 of those brands are still more than good enough for a Jeep engine, and very affordable too. Affordable for a synthetic oil.

There are still a few one Mobil One oils that have full phosphorous/zinc for a gasoline engine and are an appropriate weight. That's the Mobil One 0/40 and Mobil One 10/30 for High Mileage Engines. http://www.mobiloil.com/USA-English/...duct_Guide.pdf Note: Based on what I've read, 1000 PPM phosphorous/zinc is ideal because it's low enough not to mess up an XJ or TJ catalytic converter (less sensitive than newer cats), yet high enough to give super engine protection. So those two Mobil Ones have the best protection you can get and are equal to, or are, the old school Mobil One product. I just wish that 1000 phosphorous formulation was available in 5/30 and 0/30.

If you get a Mobil One product with that 1000 phosphorous/zinc, you've got the old school Mobil One which is better than the new stuff. Though the old school stuff requires more frequent changing than the new stuff. The oil stuff must be changed at 2X to 3X normal change interval, but no problem. The old school stuff is generally less expensive to purchase. The real problem I see with the old school stuff is that it's now offered in only two weights, and neither weight is ideal for my needs (0/40 and 10/30). I want 5/30 or 0/30.

The Chevron is available in 0/30 and 5/40 and has full phosphorous/zinc levels. i.e. - it was exempt from the law requiring reducing phosphorous levels in over the counter oils. Shell was also exempt. That's because those two are sold primarily (or entirely) in bulk, and not at most auto stores.

All oils for diesel engines still have high levels of phosphorous/zinc. However, they have so much extra phosphorous/zinc that it's likely they'd mess up your catalytic converter, and the diesel engine oils are usually to thick a weight for gas engines. The gas engine oils (back in the day - until recently) has less phosphorous/zinc than diesel engine oils, but more phosphorous/zinc than current over the counter consumer oils.

So really, Mobil One, Chevron, Shell, and NAPA are among the best and also cost the least.

The very best protection comes from the two old school Mobil One forumulation still available, if you're satisfied with the viscosity (0/40 and 10/30 for high mileage engines), and the other best are the Chevron and Shell synthetics sold in bulk (4 or 5 qt jugs). I think those 3 are tied for best protection, but the Chevron and shell probably cost less.

I'd call the NAPA runner up for protection, but certainly good enough and affordable.

So ironically, the best ones are also the least expensive ones. I think that's because they're made by big oil companies that can afford to hire the best and brightest scientists and engineers, do the most R&D, and have the largest enconomy of scale for production, thus keeping prices down. Also, 3 of 4 of those still offer products that have full phosphorous because oils sold only (or primarily) in bulk and not available at most auto stores, are exempt from that EPA law.

Last edited by CB3; 03-29-2008 at 01:08 AM.
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