Synthetic versus Conventional oil


Asked by Feb 15, 2011 at 01:05 PM about the 2003 Ford Escape

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi. I've been reading a lot of good things about synthetic oil. Can it really improve fuel economy? Any idea how long between oil changes as opposed to conventional oil, and do you need a special filter because of this? I own a 3.0 liter V6 Ford escape, 2003 model. Thanks in advance

27 Answers


What kind of oil have you been running it with? Synthetic oil is better than conventional since it provides much better lubrication and doesn't break down as rapidly. However, the only real synthetic oil on the market is Ams Oil. I would continue to change it at the recommended interval. You can continue to use the same type of filter.

3 people found this helpful.

I've been using a synthetic blend at the dealership. Some places tell me to change it more often due to the age of the car even though the engine seems to be in very good shape. Thanks for the reply.

1 people found this helpful.

I've been using full synthetis since my 08 F-150 first oil change, dealer recommended changing it every 8000kms for Canadien conditions, but that would be different farther south in the U.S. I've been told once you have a vehicle on synthietic you should NOT change back to conventional oil. I would just contake your Ford dealer and ask them what they recommend, there are some cases warranty will not cover engine damage if proper records are not kept and/or oil filter used. Some Ford dealers will tell you you can only use a Ford filter in there 5.4 engines I don't know if its true or not but I was told this by one Ford dealer (warranty department). I had a 05 Escape AWD and it was horrible for fuel mileage, at the time I thought it was good till I bought the new 08 F-150 with the 5.4 supercrew and it gets better fuel mileage then the escape did!

1 people found this helpful.

Very impressive about the gas mileage. Thanks for the info.


depending what brand of synthetic oil you choose to use it will change your distacnes between oil changes. typically its 5000-7000 miles though with synthetic instead of the standard 3000 miles with conventional. synthetic will improve engine efficiency though and also longevity. dont cheap out on oil filters. buy the more expensive one when its available. its your engine....take care of it and it will take care of you. also my personal fav is mobil 1.

2 people found this helpful.



I use Valvoline Synthetic Blend in my 1989 Century with 305K miles, I still change the oil, oil filter and air filter every 3K miles. I've been getting about 28 mpg city and up to 40 mpg on the freeway.

1 people found this helpful.

if you change,get ready for it to start burning oil.


Are you seriously ASE certified like you say all the time? WTF dude come on. It's a 2003. If it has under 100000 the odds of losing oil are small. Btw he won't burn it he will leak it from gaskets swelling and unswelling. I've switched at over 100000 miles on a 98 and been fine. This was in 06.


You would be fine going from synthetic to conventional, but going from conventional to synthetic is a bad idea if the car is very old.

3 people found this helpful.

I'm an idiot because I corrected your incorrect bs post? That makes sense.


With synthetic motor oil there is less friction between the engines moving parts, allowing it to move easier. You probably wont see much of a gain in mpg's. if you were to use synthetic fluids in differentials, transmission or transfer case you may see a difference. Your vehicle probably does anyway. You can double the length between oil changes with most synthetics (6000 miles) but change the filter at the regular 3000 and top off until full. No special filter needed but i recommend wix, k and n, or mobil. Mobil 1 also makes oil called clean 5000 and clean 7500 that they say wont need to be changed for 7500 miles.

3 people found this helpful.

you dont know how to correct a dam thing.if u think im wrong,try it yourself,IDIOT SOVANT.

1 people found this helpful.

28,40,that dont sound right,that car was not able to get 28 highway when new.not being a ass ,just dont sound right.


Hey man, chill. Even ASE techs are wrong every now and then. You are wrong in this case. When an engine is running on conventional or synthetic blend the gaskets swell and absorb various impurities caused by the more rapid breakdown of conventional oil. Therefore, if you run synthetic in an older engine that has been running on conventional or synthetic blend without changing all the gaskets and seals that come in contact with oil, it will clean out the gaskets, causing them to shrink and leaving you with an extremely leaky engine. This doesn't mean that one oil change with conventional will have this effect. It takes tens of thousands of miles for the gaskets to swell to that degree. Otherwise, nearly all home-rebuilt engines would have to run conventional or synthetic blend since most home rebuilders run conventional the first oil change to better clean out any dirt left behind.

1 people found this helpful.

It's right, I've tracked the mileage since I got it. Buick V6's are much better engines than they are given credit for, my older brother has an Olds Cutlass with a 3100 and has gotten up to 45 mpg.


Wrong! The ONLY issue you might run into is you will start to notice leaks. The problem isn't the oil. The problem is a crappy old seal that needs to be replaced anyhow. Synthetic just has an easier time getting though the leaks than conventional. Synthetic doesn't cause the leak, it only makes it apparent that you have one. It wouldn't be long before it would start leaking on conventional anyhow. The fact of the matter is that you can switch between conventional, to a blend, to a full synthetic at any time.

3 people found this helpful.

Once again, WRONG! If you start burning oil then it's because you have bad rings. It has nothing to do with the oil.


I have also switched from conventional to synthetic on MANY cars without any leaks forming or burning oil after wards. All the cars had been on conventional their entire lives and had close to or over 100,000 miles. Again, you need to address the real issue if you're having problems. The rings or the seals.

1 people found this helpful.

You guys are propagating a lot of misinformation. Amsoil is a true synthetic and it's great stuff. However, it's not the only one. You have other brands like Red Line (my personal favorite), Motul, Eneos, and Mobil 1 makes a full synthetic as well. There are some others and I forget their names. However, Royal Purple is NOT! It is a blend which uses a group III base. It's over priced crap.

Guys,just change your oil & filter.

1 people found this helpful.

It really comes down to personal preference. You probably wont see a change in fuel mileage. Synthetic lubricates a tiny little bit better, but it wont improve your gas mileage. You may see an improvement in Oil mileage (if there is such a thing) If you use synthetic you can extend your oil changes to 5000-7000 miles. That is one less oil change than using regular oil. You can try AMSOIL, it has some good qualities, but do your research before you take the plunge. They do have a 25000 recommended oil change with a written warranty. No other oil does this because they know they cant back it up. There is a catch, though. You still need to change the filter at 3000-5000 miles. When you change the filter, you loose about 1/4 to 1/2 quart of oil, so buy a couple extra quarts. I would highly reccomend a good quality filter if you plan on using this. I would be wary of switching to synthetic if your vehicle has more than 100000 miles. When you switch to synthetic, there is a higher probability of leakage at the seals. If you live in a cold climate, I would reccomend synthetic. You will notice the engine starts easier at cold temperatures because synthetic doesnt change viscosity as much as regular oil at low temps. Example: My Suburban would barely turn over when it was -30 degrees with regular oil. It fired right up at the same temp with synthetic.

The best lube is clean oil, blend or synthetic.. Carbon build up in the lube willl destroy valve guide, rings, cranks and seal worse than sand if you put it in your engine. Gaskets wear out when their time has comel I have not used anything but Mobil 1 in dragsters, passenger car, truck, and SUV now for over 30 years. My cars, trucks and SUVs have gone all a minimum of 200,000 each with no tear downs or lubricant leaks.


Synthetic and Syn-blend are both excellent oils, but so are today's conversional oils. I would suggest you continue to change oil using whatever type oil you've been using all along. Going from conventional oil to synthetic may cause oil leaks to develope, especially in older engines with higher miles that tend to have weaker seals and O rings. Why invit trouble and spend more money doing it - unless you really hate changing oil and this is a way to avoid doing it as often? Any leak could be temporary, perminent, or may not even happen at all. I've been using 5w20 synthic blend in our Mariner since day one, 5w20 conventional in our family's 2001 Escape since day one, 147,000 and 135,000 miles respectively. Neither burn oil, compression on both are good, and both have marginal yet comparable engine oil leaks. In my opinion, the frequency of the oil changes are more important that the type of oil used - both of these cars get 3,000-3,500 mile oil changes, even though the syn- blend is rated for longer life, old habits died hard with an oil change freak like me. Regular fluid changes and maintenance along with reasonable driving habits and a low road salt environment, if your lucky, and you will likely get tired and trade your car long before the engine wears out - no matter what oil you use.

I can share my experience with you. I bought a used Ford Ranger 2.3L 4 cylinder with manual 5SOD transmission. Previous owner had always used conventional oil. I get the bright idea that I'd use Mobil One synthetic starting with the first oil change. Within a month, this truck suddenly starts using a quart of oil every 500 miles or so. Previous to adding the Mobil One it used essentially no oil within 500 miles. As it needed oil replacement I used Mobil Super oil for high mileage engines. After adding about 5-6 quarts of Mobile Super (to replace the oil I was losing each week, the engine gradually stopped using excessive oil. A fresh full change of the Mobile Super now has the engine consuming no oil between changes. I never should have put the fully synthetic in to begin with and will never use it in a high mileage engine again. Having said that, I will most certainly use a fully synthetic oil in the next new vehicle I purchase. For what it's worth, guys! Frank in Atlanta

Sorry guys - I forgot to mention that the Red Ford Ranger above that started using oil badly when I changed to Mobil One had 171,000 miles on it. I guess that was my clue to leave well enough alone and stay away from a fully synthetic product! Frank in Atlanta

Synthetic oil is more refined than regular oil and has smaller molecules, therefore it lubricates better. but will leak more as the molecules are smaller. It's all chemistry.

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