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Old 01-01-2011, 05:04 AM   #1
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Synthetic oil change interval?


I am using synthetic oil in my small 4-stroke engines, none of which is used more than 30 hours a year.

At one year, the oil looked new. At two years it looked almost new. At three years, it was still clear but a little darker.

Does anyone know a realistic change interval for this type of oil in seldom-used engines? I have a feeling that even five years is practicable.

I have a stand-by generator with oil that old and never have a problem with it. When I wipe the dipstick, the oil is golden brown and clear.

Ken C

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Old 01-01-2011, 07:25 AM   #2
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Synthetic oil change interval?


Oil subjects are always objectionable no matter what forum you're on. Lucky for you cprstn54 I'm about to solve your problems.
There are several grades of snythetic oil.
(LONG) http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Oils1.html
While your old oil is fine the problem lies with the moisture that accumulates inside the crankcase. This moisture falls below the surface of the oil and causes corrosion. If you live in a very dry climate then I would say no problem. If your engines are kept at one temperature then chances of moisture are even less. Just as water droplets form on a glass of ice tea water forms on the inside of your crankcase when the temperature drops.
I also have started using fully synthetic in all my vehicles and small engines. Air cooled engines operate 100 degrees hotter than a water cooled engine. With synthetic oil If a water cooled engine loses it's coolant and is stopped before maximum temperature is reached chances are you are only going to replace a set of head gaskets and maybe a head. The bottom end of the engine should not be damaged. In an over heat condition standard oil will break down much sooner than synthetic damaging rings and bearings. I change oil in my seldom used generators every 2 years because they live in my insulated garage.
They most important thing with small (or any) engine is to add sta-bil to the gas if it sits for more than 3 months. Today’s ethanol enhanced gas attracts moisture. I do not use ethanol enhanced gas for this and one more reason. Corn just recently reached record high prices. Beef and beverages will soon follow.
Extracted corn distillates belong in a bottle, not your gas tank.


Last edited by Know It ALL; 01-01-2011 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 01-01-2011, 07:39 AM   #3
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Synthetic oil change interval?


<While your old oil is fine the problem lies with the moisture that accumulates inside the crankcase.>

I have heard this before. However, if water is accumulating in the crankcase then changing the oil will not be helping because I have never seen any water drops at the bottom of the drain pan when I pour the waste oil into a drum.

If water is suspended in the oil, the oil would be cloudy. Also, any suspended water would boil off during operation. I do not think water hurts the oil as machinists use a water oil mix to cool and lube their cutting tools. Lastly, I have never found an engine hard to turn over, which would be the case if there were corrosion on the rubbing parts.

I have had a couple of oil pans rot out, but i has always been from the outside.

Ken C
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
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Synthetic oil change interval?


FYI: I just learned that there are different types of synthetic oils and some are NOT friendly to certain motorcycle engines. I have a Kawasaki, my son has a Kawasaki. He was going to do me a "favor" and change my oil and filter for a Christmas present--yeah to my son. I had read that any synthetic oil which displays within the circle on the back (yep, the back) of the bottle "Energy Conserving" should NOT be used in Kawasaki, Yamaha and certain Suzuki motorcycles which use a "wet-clutch" set-up, as mine does. This is what he bought. These particular oils contain either Molybdenum or Teflon to reduce engine wear. But, these ingredients will get in between the clutch plates and cause clutch slippage and premature clutch plate wear. I had to ask him about this because I remembered him stating that he had to have his clutch adjust three (3) times within the past year. There are synthetic oils which have "Energy Resourcing" within this circle on the back of the bottle and they can be used in these motorcycles.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:19 AM   #5
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Synthetic oil change interval?


Usually ALL oils that are 10-30 or lighter have the clutch killer molybdenum. Not just synthetic.
http://www.calsci.com/motorcycleinfo/Consumables.html

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...1070319AA9Ogtl
I run Shell Rotella fully synthetic in my wet clutch Honda Rincon.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:24 AM   #6
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Synthetic oil change interval?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cprstn54 View Post
I am using synthetic oil in my small 4-stroke engines, none of which is used more than 30 hours a year.

At one year, the oil looked new. At two years it looked almost new. At three years, it was still clear but a little darker.

Does anyone know a realistic change interval for this type of oil in seldom-used engines? I have a feeling that even five years is practicable.

I have a stand-by generator with oil that old and never have a problem with it. When I wipe the dipstick, the oil is golden brown and clear.

Ken C
Hey Ken -

You're going to get a butt-load of highly opinionated and angry comments about this one. It's weird, but talking about synthetic oil is almost like arguing religion. Not sure why.

The bottom line is that you are NOT going to find one definitive, agreed up on answer, to your question.

My sons & I used to do a side-line lawn mowing service, when they were growing up. We mowed 30+ lawns, plus a bunch of commercial property. We put a LOT of hours on our equipment, so our situation was probably a little different than yours.

I always ran regular oil in my mowers, and added some Lucas Synthetic Oil Stabilizer - both for added viscosity, and synthetic wear protection. Because of the amount of hours we ran our engines, I always changed the oil at least once per year.

We had great success doing this. Obviously that's what I'd recommend. Of course, 10 more guys are going to come along and recommend 10 different things.


Good luck!

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