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Diesel This is a new forum dedicated to diesel engines and their applicable accessories.


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Old 10-04-2013
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

Westerbeke has nothing to gain by promoting the use of synthetic oils and therefore it becomes a liability to invest in the research to confidently advise that oil changes can be extended to certain intervals. I wouldn't expect a company like Westerbeke to give two shits about people wanting to extend the life of their engines if it meant they had to spend money to do the research. There has been enough research done by innovative engine manufactures like Volkswagen, Mercury, Cummins, BMW, Yanmar, Volvo and the like, that it is not even an option to use mineral oils in many of them. Synthetic oil manufacturers have published the results of all their tests which show that the use of synthetic oil has only positive effects in engine longevity, oil longevity, filter longevity and the overall efficiency of the engine. I know change is scary, but so is living in the past.
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

Quote:
Originally Posted by caberg View Post
I have a Yanmar 1 gm. I changed the oil and the oil and fuel filters before the start of the season, and put maybe 20 hours on the engine this season (really only motor on and off the mooring).
Besides changing the oil you may want to review the way you operate your engine. Do you ever run it long enough to completely warm it up and run it under load? You may be killing it with "kindness".
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Old 10-04-2013
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
Westerbeke has nothing to gain by promoting the use of synthetic oils and therefore it becomes a liability to invest in the research to confidently advise that oil changes can be extended to certain intervals. I wouldn't expect a company like Westerbeke to give two shits about people wanting to extend the life of their engines if it meant they had to spend money to do the research. There has been enough research done by innovative engine manufactures like Volkswagen, Mercury, Cummins, BMW, Yanmar, Volvo and the like, that it is not even an option to use mineral oils in many of them. Synthetic oil manufacturers have published the results of all their tests which show that the use of synthetic oil has only positive effects in engine longevity, oil longevity, filter longevity and the overall efficiency of the engine. I know change is scary, but so is living in the past.
Sounds like an Amsoil commercial....

Synthetic gets expensive when you consider many marine diesels will run 15k hours+ on conventional oil without issue. They fail from many reasons other than the oil used. If it is less expensive due to longer change intervals why are the vast majority of trucking fleets still using Dino oil.?

I have numerous commercial marine customers with over 10k engine hours, and a few with 15k+, and they all run Rotella T or Delo conventional Dino oil.

Remember we are talking about sailboat AUX engines here... 10k hours on a sailboat, at 100 hours avg per year, means your engine lasts 100 years + using just conventional oil.

Also consider that "Million Mile Joe", a local guy here in Maine, drove a run of the mill Honda Accord 1,000,000 miles on the original, un-rebuilt, engine and transmission using nothing but conventional oil & regular transmission fluid.. If a basic Honda accord can go 1,000,000 on conventional oil, is a synthetic really necessary.......?

1,000,000 MILES on regular Dinosaur oil in a run of the mill Honda!!!

How many folks do you know that run their cars to 100k or 200k let alone 1,000,0000 miles...? So why do we need synthetics if today's engines can go 1,000,000 miles on regular and inexpensive Dino oil? If we were to listen to the marketers of synthetics we'd all have failed engines by 50k.. Heck I don't even buy cars unless they have over 100k on the odometer and have never had a single oil related engine failure except for oil leaks on cars I owned that ran synthetics..

There are many other things you can do for your engine to get the most out of it that will do far more for its longevity than conventional vs. synthetic..

Most boaters would never even come close to the engine hours where a synthetic might make a difference in longevity..
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

Awesome argument.
By your logic people should continue smoking cigarettes because we have heard of people who lived to be 100 and smoked 2 packs a day. The problem with that logic is obvious, but i feel compelled to explain it. Engines running synthetic have more protection during and after remaining idle. They have less resistance throughout it's temperature range and are much more stable during overheat situations and therefore are more capable of protecting your engine in the event of an overheat, and remain more fluid in cold conditions. Because they allow for less friction, they create less heat which in turn creates less material stress and prevents material breakdown. Because the engine turns more easily it actually improves fuel economy, which i recognize is not of great importance to someone who puts 20 hours a year on the engine, but it could become an issue down the road. My car and van all have over 400k on them and although there are many other things which could go wrong, the fact that i have synthetic in them increases my odds of not suffering cylinder and ring wear, valve stem wear, sludge and other material wear. It's better than mineral oil, it's smarter than mineral oil and that is indisputable.
I also have customers with huge hours on their mineral oil run engines but there were a lot more boats built than i get to see in any given marina, but they are far and few between, and if all the other people who owned engines could have saved their engines by spending $10 more a year or two, i suspect the majority of them would have elected to.
Your objection to a vastly better product is confusing to me and your claim that engines with synthetics would die at 50k is weird and smells like bull@#%$. Oh wait, that's because it is bull@#%$. You don't want to use it, who cares? But why you would deter other people from electing to use it only fills the void in you. You are not doing them any favours.
Please, i won't engage you anymore on this topic, no matter how inflammatory you get, but i encourage you to use your time researching research, done by smart people, used by smart people.
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Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

Ahoy-
You had a compelling argument until you got personal with Mailsail. He was not at all inflammatory, only presenting his viewpoint. Given his background many contributions on this site, I and many others regard his opinion highly. No need to cuss him out.

From what I read of both opinions, the type of oil we put in out recreational engines is less important than the fact that we're simply changing the oil.
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
Awesome argument.
By your logic people should continue smoking cigarettes because we have heard of people who lived to be 100 and smoked 2 packs a day.
Conventional oil is like cigarettes?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
The problem with that logic is obvious, but i feel compelled to explain it. Engines running synthetic have more protection during and after remaining idle. They have less resistance throughout it's temperature range and are much more stable during overheat situations and therefore are more capable of protecting your engine in the event of an overheat, and remain more fluid in cold conditions.
Yes synthetics have some great properties, no doubt about that and I don't dispute they are excellent lubes.. The real questions is are they actually necessary to the average life of engines today?

I for one have worn out numerous cars well before the engines. Perhaps we need synthetic paints to prevent our cars from rotting out before the engines wear out.? Now that I would pay for... I don't know too many people who take their engines with them when their cars body dies or for that matter people having engines die from oil related issues in the time they keep the engine..

Oil related engines failures are extremely rare today even with the vast majority of cars & fleets running conventional oils. Oil related failures in marine engines are also extremely rare. Most issues come from lack of maintenance not what type of oil was chosen because any oil change is better than none.

The argument with synthetics always seems to revolve around extending change intervals. My question, do any of the engine manufactures support a warranty if exceeding their change intervals? We know Westerbeke/Universal don't support extending intervals.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
Because they allow for less friction, they create less heat which in turn creates less material stress and prevents material breakdown. Because the engine turns more easily it actually improves fuel economy, which i recognize is not of great importance to someone who puts 20 hours a year on the engine, but it could become an issue down the road. My car and van all have over 400k on them and although there are many other things which could go wrong, the fact that i have synthetic in them increases my odds of not suffering cylinder and ring wear, valve stem wear, sludge and other material wear. It's better than mineral oil, it's smarter than mineral oil and that is indisputable.
Smarter, stronger & indisputable, but is that level of protection really necessary...? It is a real question.I just don't see engines dying from oil related failures even when using conventional oils.. Most big fleets in this country don't use them either.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
Your objection to a vastly better product is confusing to me and your claim that engines with synthetics would die at 50k is weird and smells like bull@#%$.

That was not my claim, though I admit it appeared that way. Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was if those of us using conventional oil believed the marketing from the Synthetics we'd all have dead engines at 50k, not from using synthetics but from using conventional oil. We just don't have the massive oil related engine deaths the marketers of synthetics would have you believe from conventional oils.

I have used synthetics and by far and away those cars had more oil leaks than any others. Was it frustrating and expensive, you bet. Can I blame it on the synthetics? No, I can't. It is odd that the cars we owned with synthetics suffered from oil leaks far worse than those that ran conventional oil.

We actually owned two identical BMW's, one that came from the factory with Dino and was never converted and one was converted to synthentic. Both cars went to approx 150k before we upgraded or sold them. The Dino car had zero oil leaks in 150k (147k actually) and the synthetic one (same identical engine in both cars) had nothing but chronic oil leaks. Some seals were done two times in our ownership. Similar miles, same engines same manufacturer but different oils. Still only an n=2...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
Oh wait, that's because it is bull@#%$. You don't want to use it, who cares?
Again sorry for the confusion with that statement. I have used it and if I bought a car that had been using it I would stick with it. Would I ever personally convert a car to it? No because I know I will never own a car or boat long enough for the oil to make a difference in my engines longevity for my use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
But why you would deter other people from electing to use it only fills the void in you.
I am not deterring people from using it only suggesting they actually pay some attention to the manufacturers recommendations for oil change intervals.

Why would you advise folks to ignore the engine manufactures recommendations for oil change intervals? You claim they, Westerbeke, have not done the testing, do you know this for a fact? What was your source for them not doing the testing did it come from someone like Joe J. at Westerbeke?

Can you assure us that if you exceed the change interval under warranty that Westerbeke will cover it because it was a synthetic?

Perhaps that testing was not done by Westerbeke but perhaps by Mitsubishi or Kubota the people who make the blocks for Westerbeke? I do feel Westerbeke does have a hair in the game and that is because they pay for the warranty. They don't suggest exceeding the change intervals even with synthetics. You do seem to advise this so should owners of in-warranty Westerbeke products listen to your advice or Westerbeke?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
You are not doing them any favours.
Are you, by advising not listening to your engine makers suggestions for maintenance intervals?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
Please, i won't engage you anymore on this topic, no matter how inflammatory you get, but i encourage you to use your time researching research, done by smart people, used by smart people.
Inflammatory??? I don't think I used any inflammatory language such as "bull@#%$" which I find unnecessary... I am sorry if you took my post as inflammatory but it was not meant to be in any way.


My real question remains;

Is a synthetic necessary for the average engine life most engine owners face? Beyond marketing messages, and the fact that it is technically a better lubricant, "is it necessary?"....

I just did a count with my wife on cars we've owned. It exceeds 50 (in sales I used to get a new car every 9-12 months - fleet stuff) All of our personal cars were run to well over 100k and we even owned some 300k classics in the mix. In all those cars, back to when we were both 16, neither of us have ever had an engine oil related failure. The only oil related issues we can think of were some oil leaks, which I do feel were made easier (not caused) by synthetics.

Honest question, is it necessary?

I also came across this for Yanmar:

"Your Yanmar pleasure boat engine should be broken in before using the sythetic oil. As long as you have at least 50 hours on the engine and it has be used at all RPMs, then synthetic oil is OK to use. Please continue to change it at the recommended interval for your engine as specified in the operator's handbook.

You can expect slightly increased oil consumption and posibly a drip or two under the engine. Synthetic oil tends to find its way past gaskets and seals a little easier than petroleum based
products. Depending on temperature, you can also use a petroleum based 10-30 or even a 5-20 if it is cold enough. Just be sure to use a premium grade oil.

Regards,
Earl Helmer
Director, Service Warranty and Engineering"
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  #17  
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

My apologies Sabreman. I start to lose my temper with passive aggressive people who make it their business to sling rhetoric around and plant misintention on others. I just don't know what he has to gain robbing people of reason.
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
My apologies Sabreman. I start to lose my temper with passive aggressive people who make it their business to sling rhetoric around and plant misintention on others. I just don't know what he has to gain robbing people of reason.
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy
Or, as an option to continually worrying about your need to change it because it has been a year but you only put 20 hours on it, use a proper (not cheap) full synthetic and change it every two or three years if you want to. You will find that you can also double the intervals between filter changes as well. Synthetic costs more initially, but who cares? You spend at most $15 on oil as it stands, and you have a growing concern every season's end and beginning. Put in $25 of a high end synthetic, out a sticker in it to "replace in fall of 2015" and Bob's your uncle". Use the boat as you normally would, maintaining the oil level and running it to temperature when you use it, and sleep well at night, for a lot more nights.
Just wanted to add a few more to the list so owners can decide whether or not to extend oil changes with synthetics.


Westerbeke Corporation:
[I]"10. Can I use synthetic oil in my engine?
Westerbeke does not approve or disapprove the use of synthetic oils. If synthetic oils are used, engine break-in must be performed using conventional oil. Oil change intervals must be as listed in the MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE section in the Operator's Manual and not be extended if synthetic oils are used. NOTE: The information above supersedes all previous statements regarding synthetic oil."

"Do not leave old engine lubricating oil in the sump over the winter lay-up period. Lubricating oil and combustion deposits combine to produce harmful chemicals which can reduce the life of internal engine parts."



Toyota:
"My vehicle uses petroleum based motor oil. If I switch to synthetic motor oil can I extend the oil change intervals?

Toyota does not recommend extending the oil change interval. We recommend continuing to follow your vehicle's Warranty and Maintenance Guide."





Cummins:
"Synthetic Oils
Use of “synthetic engine oils” (those made with API group 3 or group 4 base stocks) is permitted subject to the same performance and viscosity limitations of petroleum (mineral) based engine oils. The same oil change intervals must be applied to synthetic oils that are applied to petroleum (mineral) based engine oils."

BTW it was Cummins, not me, who bolded the word must.




Caterpillar:
"Q: What do you think about the use of synthetic oils in marine applications?

A: Some synthetic oils have a characteristic that enhances the useful service life of the oil, which can help lengthen oil service intervals. Caterpillar doesn’t recommend automatically extending oil change intervals for any oil, including synthetic base stock oils."





Honda Motor Company:
"Can I use synthetic oil in my Honda engine?

Honda engines are developed, tested and certified with petroleum based motor oils as a lubricant. Synthetic oils may be used; however, any motor oil used in our engines must meet all oil requirements as stated in the owner’s manual. In addition, recommended oil change intervals must be followed."




Yanmar:
"Your Yanmar pleasure boat engine should be broken in before using the synthetic oil. As long as you have at least 50 hours on the engine and it has be used at all RPMs, then synthetic oil is OK to use. Please continue to change it at the recommended interval for your engine as specified in the operator's handbook.

You can expect slightly increased oil consumption and possibly a drip or two under the engine. Synthetic oil tends to find its way past gaskets and seals a little easier than petroleum based
products. Depending on temperature, you can also use a petroleum based 10-30 or even a 5-20 if it is cold enough. Just be sure to use a premium grade oil.

Regards,
Earl Helmer
Director, Service Warranty and Engineering"



Please do the research for your own engines on oil change intervals or listen to the below statement, if you choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahoyhoy View Post
I wouldn't expect a company like Westerbeke to give two shits about people wanting to extend the life of their engines if it meant they had to spend money to do the research. There has been enough research done by innovative engine manufactures like Volkswagen, Mercury, Cummins, BMW, Yanmar, Volvo and the like, that it is not even an option to use mineral oils in many of them. Synthetic oil manufacturers have published the results of all their tests which show that the use of synthetic oil has only positive effects in engine longevity, oil longevity, filter longevity and the overall efficiency of the engine. I know change is scary, but so is living in the past.
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Re: Frequency of Changing Oil & Fuel Filters

"Westerbeke Corporation for example specifically says that synthetics do not change the intervals at which you change the oils."
Westerbeke can't actually make any blanket statement about oils, since they don't actually make engines. They assemble blocks and other parts contracted from the lowest bidder, and those actual makers have varied over the years.
Westerbeke are also the technically astute folks who paint the entire assembled engine a nice shiny red. Including the belts and hoses, whose makers expressly say NEVER to paint them, and to condemn them if they are found painted.

40-50 years ago, the concept of changing the oil during layup, to prevent acids from eating the engine, might have made sense. But modern oils with modern additives pretty much counteract all those nasty contaminants, and continue to do so for long periods. Take a look at any premium full synthetic oil, odds are the oil change interval is spec'd for something like ONE YEAR or many thousands of miles.

I'd strongly suspect that means the contaminants, including acids, are being neutralized and rendered safe for a full year, too. I'm sure those oil companies would have some direct comment on the matter, although fear of litigation probably would have them say "follow your engine maker's recommendations" unless you asked precisely the right question, i.e., how long do your additives perform?

I'd be more concerned with changing the oil in the spring, pre-launch, to get rid of the large amount of condensate that will have formed in it over the winter. Of course you could certainly just drain the oil in the fall, leave it empty (with a warning tag!) and put in new oil in the spring, but leaving the old good oil in the engine would probably cause less damage than letting condensate build up alone, wouldn't it?
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