Skip to main content

Read our primer articles on High Mileage Oil, Synthetic Oil and Kinematic Viscosity

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Synthetic: chem produced artificially by the synthesis of simpler materials or substances rather than occurring naturally

Sorry, but that's the dictionary definition. Based on that, and with some knowledge of general chemistry, even some Group II oils (isosyn based) substantially meet the definition of . . . synthetic. Please, let the great debate . . . END once and for all.

Group III base oils are subjected to the highest refining levels and while they originate from crude oil, they are chemically rearranged to offer molecular uniformity and stability for very good performance in a wide range of lubricating properties. They are commonly marketed as synthetic or mixed with lower group base oils and marketed as semi-synthetic products. Group III base oil products are increasing in popularity.
It's hard to tell what you're getting when you buy some oils. TallPall has it right, if the synthetic had more expensive ingredients, maybe GIV or GV, that would be on the label.

Here is an example. PurePoer, a GII+ oil does not say synthetic but has a description that is pretty impressive, and it costs about the same as oils like Red Line, $7.95 a quart, in case lots. The following description is pretty impressive. For a price like that, what are you getting? The problem is that it might be worth the money. How would you know?

Pure Power! SAE 10W/30 CI-4/SL* Motor Oil is API Licensed for Long Drain and Energy Conserving. Pure Power! has an extremely high TBN/Alkaline Reserve (13+) which effectively neutralizes corrosive acids to protect bearings and other vital surfaces. Pure Power! extends motor oil change intervals 2-4 times, lowers operating temperatures, lowers emissions, increases fuel mileage and increases horsepower. These are just some of the benefits from using Pure Power! EHP Motor Oils. API Service Classification CI-4/SL*, exceeds O.E.M. requirements for alternate fuel, gasoline and diesel engines. Pure Power! Motor Oils are proven to be extremely cost effective when used in conjunction with an effective Oil Analysis Program. Pure Power! provides superior internal protection for gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, methanol or turbo-charged engines. Exceeds GM specification 6069M, Ford Specification M2C153E, Mack T-9 Specification Mack’s preferred recommendation is SAE Grade 15W/40. Not recommended for Electro Motive Diesel engines with silver bearings. Meets MIL-L-63460 requirements. *Qualifies Long Drain & Fuel Conserving 1Case/12Quarts
What counts is performance per $. In many instances group III can give the same performance for a lot less money. I think companies should disclose enough of their formulation for people to consider, and then look at the price and decide.
The courts decided that group III is synthetic, and I've seen the tecnical arguments in a paper published by Chevron.
I prefer to use the term "traditional synthetic" to distinguish in talks or papers. when comparing the products.
The wonderful world of philosophy. What is and what is not..
The word "Synthetic" is roughly interchangeable with the word "Modified" and its useage. To illustrate: You want to sell a modified car. The person who responds to your add is going to ask "What vehicle is it?" and "What has been done to it?" A cheap car with a free flowing exhaust added is a modified car. So is a GT3 Porshe. The reality is that oil companies try to give high end impressions while keeping to a minimum the molecular modification of the most economocally viable mineral basestock. The best base stocks available in the automotive world are Poly-ol-esters which are very expensive, The cheapest is a barrel of crude bought straight from your nearest oil well. Everythging else is in between...

Regards, Roger M

Originally posted by YEHUDA:
Hello, first try here. Valvoline calls some of their product premium conventional oil and that is what I would call a group 3 product base oil.True synthetic oils only have in them what the maker wants, with mineral oil they try to remove what they don't want in there and additize to correct what they can't remove. Moving from group 1 to 2 and 3 they get progressively cleaner and closer to only having what they want them to contain.
Well jailed colonel, I like to think that I have Group III when I run Valvoline Premium Conventional, and maybe that is exactly what it is. Some have suggested that any oil meeting todays stringent standards pretty much has to be Group III, though some mixtures of Group IV or V with Groups I and II, II+ probably also meet the standards and may be just as good.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.