Synthetic oil

Asked by Feb 24, 2009 at 08:55 AM about the 2002 Chevrolet Camaro Base Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2002 Camaro 3.8L V6 with 66,500 miles.Would it be OK to switch to Synthetic oil?

28 Answers

7,395

Basic guidelines say less than 10 years and 80k miles is OK to switch to synthetic oil. I suggest you do so.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
155

its ok to switch to synthetic after engine break-in, i reccomend using Mobil-1 synthetic oil, thats what i use and i noticed a suggnificant gain in power.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
7,415

i've been using it since 10k miles. i just use 50% synthetic and 50 % normal 10w30 ; it is very good. mobil 1 synthetic holds up very well and kept my engine running perfect. i miss that car! :)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
7,395

are you saying that you hand mixed synthetic and regualr oil??? thats a huge no no if you did so. using a synthetic blend is not the same as mixing 2 oils together. that probably took years off the life of that engine

35

wow yea NEVER mix oil like that. why would u mix regular oil with Synthetic... that makes no sense. but it would be fine to switch to Synthetic oil. i got my 1991 firebird V8 305 with 128k miles and when i got it i started useing Synthetic oil.(2 years now).

85

oil is oil only synthetic bonds to the engine internals better than conventional oil and it is slicker. so it is not good to use on a fresh engine because it doesn't allow for propper seating of the rings and lifter. mobile one is the best oil be synthetic or regular.

7,395

how can you say oil is oil and then say one oil is better. also im confused by the oil is oil comment...does that mean you think that you can mix becasue you cant mix regualr and synthetic. also synthetic runs cleaner than regular so if youre car is too old and has dirt clogging small holes by your gasket the synthetic oil can clean that out and start a small leak that previously didnt exist. thats why a good rule to follow before switching to synthetic from regular is 10 years or 80k miles...odds are the engine is still in good shape and doesnt have potential leaks yet

85

if u cant mix synthetic and u cant break an engine in on synthetic then what do you do you break in on regular oil then switch to senthetic on the first oil change so the 2 oils are mixed in the main journals rod journals oil passages and lifter valley and if you have an oil cooler then it mixes their 2

35

that is very true but, the amount of oil u are mixing is very slim conpared to going 50,50 and u will only be mixing reg oil with Syn for 1 oil change the first one.

8,375

Jesus what a crap ton of bad information. Okay, switching from standard to synthetic is ok. That being said most synthetics are hydrocracked mineral oil products which don't cause your gaskets and seals to swell nearly as much as other lubricants. This can cause minor leaking as your seals/gaskets return to close to normal size, you won't know till you try. Additionally synthetics tend to have fewer friction modifiers which allows them to spend more of the volume with more useful additives, such as detergents and wear modifiers. This is also why you've likely heard someone at some point say synthetic has more oil in it. Lets see.... I'm missing a crap ton but that should be the base information you need. My $0.02 on wear protection. Sadly ZDDP, the most effective type of wear protection added to oil, has been reduced rapidly to protect your cat converter and 02 sensors so IMO wear protection should be a primary concern when picking and oil these days. (If you want more info on ZDDP or oil in general check out http://lnengineering.com/oil.html) -------------------------- As for mixing oil yourself... It's not technically bad, but that's assuming you had pure stock and not the whole additive package. By mixing two chemical packages that are not meant to mix you are risking possible undesired consequences. I would NEVER recommend mixing your own oil for this reason.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
35

Right... Mr. crap imformation lol... thats what we all said but in diff words.... only thing we didnt say was the diff types or shit in the oil...

315

ya u can switch it but remember once u switch to syn. u can't go back to conventional. Also watch for leaking out of ur rear main or front main seal. If you decide to go to synthetic go to Ams-oil, its rather expensive 6-8 dollars a quart depending on who ur buying from. But it is one of the best out there on the old bottles like 5 years ago they said good up to 15k miles on one oil change but because of i forget the name of the association they put 3500 miles. Plus all the engines i've personally taken apart and looked at after using for several years shows great wear on it, not as in alot of wear but rather about to same as any just in that it has no weird wear patterns on the cyl. walls. thats my .02 cents. Thats the oil i'm switching to after i build my car.

7,395

if you have an oil cooler and you get your oil changed and oil sits in the oil cooler along with the oil pan who doesnt also drain all of the oil out of the oil cooler???? getting an oil change would be pointless then without draining all of the oil out of the system. also the amount mixed together would be negligible. you do not mix 50/50 conventional and synthetic. and after the second oil change all of the conventional oil will be gone from the system.

8,375

I wasn't talking about you specifically, but a bunch of people saying similar things without any knowledge other that what they've been told is bad information... It's like saying the sky is blue because magic pixies fly up there... Yeah the sky is blue but that's still bad information. Take the guy below suggesting amsoil. Most of their products contain too much zinc compounds and will ruin cat converters and O2 sensors. Which is why the majority of their product line doesn't carry API certification (which means it will void the warranty on several makes/models). That being said I'm a fan of Amsoils products and would run it in any classic carbed car or motorcycle without a second thought. Or I'd run their certified line. They gave it a goofy number as a name, but I can't remember it at the moment... XL-7550 or something... If I remember you can tell on the bottle because they put a 3 letter code starting with XL after the weight.... Once again don't quote me as I can't remember for sure. Check their website if anyone wants more information on it. or 'also synthetic runs cleaner than regular so if youre car is too old and has dirt clogging small holes by your gasket the synthetic oil can clean that out and start a small leak' Confusing detergent and dispersant levels with the effects of switching to a mineral oil product. All oil is clean to start with and can contain a certain amount of particulate before becoming saturated based on amount of detergent and dispersant in the oil. If what was said was true your oil would leak every time you changed your oil and then if you had conventional is would seal itself up after x miles. Once again, yes switching to synthetic can cause leaks, but it's not because conventional is poking holes and being so dirty that it's clogging them. If that was true how long do you think your oil passages at the bearings would stay clear? Or the one you've disproved in your own experience... '10 years and 80k'? ------------- Oil changes are the most common service, yet I'd say IMO it's the least understood. I'm surprised we haven't had the guy chime in yet who think all oil is the same and you should run a discount oil that has no certifications on any car. Trust me stick on this forum a few more months and you'll see some down right hilarious things said about oil. I do apologize though, that came out a lot harsher than intended, but I kinda get annoyed with these topic as they come up every so often, and most contain complete idiocy from several people. This one is actually the best yet in that regards and hasn't contained any bad 'advice' really. Once again sorry for the confusion.

35

its all good man. it came off that you where Mr. know it all, and everyone esle is wrong. but you do know your stuff dont get me wrong. and yea i just started this Car IQ thing. and i seen some funny stuff posted and said about things...

8,375

Like I said re-reading my post it came off A LOT harsher than I meant. I just get worked up on a handful of topics... Oil and Fastest Car topics are probably the worst.

85

all oil is not the same and defiently don't use discount oil and why would you mix reg and synthetic 50/50 ? thats just plain cheap and dumb. all i was trying to imply is your motor will not blow up if you switch. as for oil all you find in my shop is mobile 1 reg and synthetic, and royal purple nuthng else.

85

theres no reason you couldn't switch, and it will improve mileage, and perhaps make your engine last longer, depending on how its been treated so far. I recommend the pennzoil 0w30, it is awesome stuff and alot cheaper than mobil-1, and still lasts far longer than regular oil. I suppose you could mix, but as i think another poster pointed out its sort of beside the point.

7,415

the engine was fine, i change the oil regularly at 3 mo / 3k miles. oil filter was prewett (oil soaked in the filter)before i even installed it. =) i just use some synth for just incase i push 4 mo. oil changes. the car was totaled in a bad 1st rain with 63k miles on it. i'll never know how long the engine would've ran to. =p

7,415

@adam morgan mixing oils... i am kinda concerned about chemical incompatiblity. i'm using valvaline 10w30 + quart of mobile 1 synth 10w 30 in 4.5qt mix. it seems to have no sludge deposits or any signs of un-normal stuff going on. the buick 3800 v-6 has 64k miles and is running well. would u know of any signs of problems?? :\

8,375

Like I said I don't recommend mixing oils. It'd likely be cheaper to buy the 5 quart jug of mobil1 for an oil change. As to your question...It's nearly impossible to guess as it's nearly impossible to visually inspect oils... It's actually illegal here. If your set on mixing and want some piece of mind, get an oil analysis kit from one of the many labs that specialize in oil analysis. That being said the main thing I'd worry about is foaming as far as immediate consequences, but like I said I'd recommend just picking one and sticking with it.

7,395

i was jsut relaying what i was told by a mechanic. i havent taken any courses in this so im not an expert. what he said made sense since oil leaks do occur after a switch. and multiple mechanics have told me that the switch from conventional to synthetic should be based upon 10 years or 80k miles. that seems like a good guideline that has worked out perfectly for me in the past. ive never had oil leaks but have had multiple friends not go by that guideline and spring leaks.

35

ok, synthetic oil and non synthetic oil... the difference: synthetic oil is non broken down, if looked at under a scope, its a triangular shape... non synthetic, is oval shape(already broken down), synthetic has the supposed tendency to last a lil longer, but it all depends on the adhesives... really, oil is oil, you won't notice a power difference... now, if ur car has leaks, u'll want to use a thicker oil, if no leaks, go ahead and use a thinner oil or whatever is 'recommended." as long as the oil is SAE certifiied, the oil is good to go... although, my experience, Valvoline brand seemed to have made my seals leak a lil bit... and as for mixing them, no no. oil cooler helps a bit dependign on what temp the oil can heat up to before it looses its adhesive base. also keeps the motor runnin a bit cooler... on my 85 z28 camaro, it ran at 110, i had an oil cooler, always ran mobile synthetic 1 oil, header rap, 3 core radiator with single electric fan... different motor, 82 z28 camaro, no oil cooler, ran at about 140 - 160 degrees... but the water jackets might have had a little build up. to answer your question, it wouldn't make much of a difference to switch to synthetic, it mainly depends on the thickness of the oil if u have leaks..

7,395

if the car has oil leaqks fix the leaks. going to a thicker oil isnt going to help any. by ignoring a leak it jsut leads to larger problems in the end

35

a 2002 camaro may not have leaks... but an 80's camaro or older model that may have 120k + miles on it or so... not everyone is gonna have the money to change out gaskets or fix leaks, thicker oil wouldn't leak as fast. didn't state it would fix the leake or stop the leak, itd be recomended depending on a few things

85

What a group of smart fellas or is it fart smellas whatever as far as not using synthetic oils when a car is new is baloney since 1992 i believe corvettes have left the factory with mobil 1 You can use it any time if you want to save a buck buy walmart full synthectic SHHHHHH it,s mobil 1 Dont overthink it

7,415

any testamonials to using hy-per lube??? :)

You can mix oils according to valvoline and popular mechanics. Synthetic is compatible with conventional. Synthetic is made from crude oil, it has simply been put through a more intense refining process and had certain additives included for efficiency. You can also change back and forth between synthetic and conventional according to these organizations. The belief that you can't is a myth.

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