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Discussion Starter #1
I regret it has taken me a while to get to 3 of 3 of this series. Also, I’m quite surprised; my Save Your Hands post has proven quite popular with some comments still coming. I’m glad it has been a benefit to some readers.
I have been on a few forums over the years and there’s usually some difference of opinion regarding oil and particularly pros and cons of synthetic oil compared with regular oil or “Dino Juice.”
I am firmly in the synthetic oil corner. Usually these discussions are around various opinions but as W Edwards Deming famously said, “In God we trust, all others bring data.” So here is some data to back up my opinion:
I posted my comments here regarding changing out the camshaft position sensor on March 12th 2008. My ’04 Taurus (Vulcan) had approximately 85K at that time.
I purchased the car in ’05 with about 30K. It had been a fleet vehicle driven by a pharmaceutical rep. I have no idea where or how it was driven but it was in nice condition and appeared to have been well cared for. I drove it for my personal business and put interstate miles on it. I don’t beat my cars but I don’t drive them easy either. I don’t know what type of oil the fleet maintenance people used but I had the car serviced with regular oil changes at the local Ford dealer. I think they used Motorcraft semi synthetic.
At about 100K I started to service the car myself at 5K intervals using 5W-20 grade Mobil 1. At about 120K I switched to 5W-30 grade.
So, to get to my point. The original camshaft position sensor lasted 4 – 5 years and about 85K before it started to “chirp.” I replaced it with the new Motorcraft part and after 12 years and 125K miles (t just turned over 210K) I have not had a problem with the camshaft position sensor.
I realize that I’m only using one part as an indicator and there may be many other variables. However, my opinion is that the reason I have had much better results with the second camshaft position sensor is due to using good quality, full synthetic oil.
Cheers! John Kenneth
 

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Hey JayKay,
I have enjoyed reading your posts. I am open to advice, experience, and the knowledge of your time in the trade. You write with precision, intelligence and a little humor. After reading this post got to wondering when you said it began to chirp? Do you mean the camshaft sensor, or maybe the camshaft synchronizer??? Thanks for your tips on protecting your hands.
Scott
 

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I believe on older cars the use of synthetic oil is overkill and can say anything about the newer cars that it is required for. All my Taurus have hit the scrapyards with 200k miles or more and none have had an engine oil related failure. They get body rot and structural issues. I have used syn oil in a backup generator that sits for a year or more between oil changes and not use.
I thought syn oil had a feed stock of regular crude and is just chemically modified to call it synthetic oil. Some may use natural gas as feed stock.

I place increased engine longevity on the advent of fuel injection and better excess fuel management during cold starts.
 

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I am on Bull #7,8,9. 3 Bulls, all bought used and at this time 5 drivers for the 3 Bulls. Also had 5 Lin Cont. All used Walmart conventional, no engine issues. Highest mile Bull 193K and it is clean inside, and quiet. I would more concerned about PCV's. Had my share of that.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, "synchronizer," I should have included a comment, I use "camshaft position sensor," and "synchronizer" interchangeably, and perhaps incorrectly.
Mine did not fail, but it started to squeak or "chirp" (quite loud). I suppose it would fail eventually as a squeak is an indicator of not enough lubrication.
Also, always use the Motorcraft part. Read the accounts regarding other brands at the beginning of this part of the forum.
 

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I respect JayKay's endorsement of synthetic oils. A year or two ago I had bought up a bunch of Havoline full synthetic 5W30 5 quart jugs at O'Reilly's on close out at 5.97 per 5 quart jug. I started using it in my 2000 Taurus at 121,000 miles to present reading of 163,000. I have not experienced any oil leaks sometimes attributed to synthetic oil. I bought my Dad's 1989 Ford Ranger in 2002 with a 2.9 L V-6. I drove it until May, 2017 and had it towed away in September, 2017 with a rear main seal leak, worn out front suspension and too much wrong to keep it going. The engine had 336,000 miles when I said goodbye. I from 2002 on used any and all brands of dino oil, sometimes mixing viscosities. I did have to have the transmission rebuilt at 269,000 miles. I suppose the major advantage of synthetic on an older vehicle is a longer change interval. Hey JayKay, did I miss part 2 of 2??

Scott
 

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I used to reserve synthetic oils only to cars that had turbo. But now that I've been finding brand name synthetic oil for under $2 a quart, I have no reason or argument for using regular oil. Synthetic has allowed me to extend oil change intervals from 5K to 10K. I'm stocked for at least 5 years if not more.
 

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These deals come up once in a blue moon. When they do I make sure to buy at least 10 jugs. Both deals were at WalMart.com. One was $1.88 a quart for Valvoline Synpower 5W-30 delivered to my door!
 

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I'm not entirely sold on synthetic or even constant oil changes here. The 2017 may be different - but the 08 Sonata gets 5w20 when we decide to get around to it ( from 10 to 30k) and has 185k now without any issues, more of a problem that my son doesn't check his oil level and that oil seems to evaporate!

Moreover, back in the days when we were dirt poor with kids, I ran a Tempo 2.3 for over 100k and the only fresh oil it got was what was replaced due to leaks - got hit at 263k. Longest with no oil change was my Ciera's 2.5 - bought it with 175k, mostly drove it on the highway, sold it still running but with floor pan rot with 563k. Saw it off and on yet for 3 more years. Never a problem.

While I don't recommend this - usually my wife's car is the new one and I try to stick to mileage intervals best I can, I've known quite a few who never changed oil, and never had trouble - so it does question just how important oil changes are provided you don't have those Chrysler engines that love to clog or a high stress engine like a turbo, as long as you use 10w whatever.

I have bigger problems with 5w20 more or less evaporating than anything, even in the '17.
 
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