my truck's working nice real good now, even in very sub-zero temps. Here's a noob question: Should i add additives during my next oil change? IE, prolong, etc etc. Also, is synth oil worth it for my old truck?
somewhere on line there is a site with tests done on oil additives - it may be something like "oilguy.com" or something like that, i found it on this site.
anyway, they had pictures of oil with lucas in it, they had an motorized gear thing just the promotional ones that lucas provides for the stores that sell it. Except this one had two, side by side, seperated by plexiglass.
anyway, although the tests showed the oil with lucas working better at hot temps, when it was at cold temps it showed the oil having a much harder time sticking to the gears, where as the normal oil was doing better. Basically, lucas oil stabilizer is great when your engine is hot and truckin down the highway but harder on the engine at startups for the above mentioned reason, especially in cold weather.
i stopped using it for that reason and just decided to change the oil more often instead.
Whether or not additives do much good is debateable. There are so many different scenarios with different brands and viscosities of oils, different oil temperatures, engine speeds, and variable loads that it is hard to tell whether they actually do any good or not. In my experience they seem to work pretty well, but they sure are expensive...
Synthetics are another thing that is debateable. Personally, I don't think they are worth the expense, particularly on an older diesel where the oil gets very dirty. The main reason oil needs to be changed regularly and frequently isn't because the oil itself wears out, it is because of all the dirt suspended in the oil. If you use synthetic you should probably change the oil at least as often and then you are basically just spending more on oil than you were before. Some people say that if you just change the filter every now and then you can use synthetic and avoid changing the oil as often, but I am not sure how well that works. Personally I use a good quality, diesel-rated, paraffin-based oil.
To identify a good oil and see if it is suitable for your engine, look at the back of the container. There will be an API certification which will give you a lot of information about the oil:
The first letter will tell you whether the oil is rated for gas or diesel engines (or both). An "S" means "Spark ignition" (gasser), while a "C" stands for "Compression ignition" (diesel). GM recommended an oil with both ratings for the 6.2.
The second letter tells you how good the oil is. Basically the way this works is the further into the alphabet you go beginning with the letter "A", the better the oil is. GM recommended anything rated D or higher (on some of the early 6.2s the recommended rating was actually lower than that). Naturally, the further you go, the better the oil is. If you come across two oils with the same price, take the one with the higher rating. Oil has come a long way from the beginning of the API ratings... These days many oils are rated as high as G or H, but you don't necessarily need to spend the money for one of those. Anything rated E or F is fine. The main thing is to make sure you don't buy an oil with a very low rating.
bobistheoilguy.com I think is the site you were referring to. I personally have read tons on this, my conclusion is this: Some oil manufactures and so called experts say that additives can do harm because of the chemicals used, like Chlorine based lubes (Chlorox is very slippery), but can react with the byproducts of combustion to make the oil very acidic. Lots of guys have stories like: I've used Triple X Snake Charmer for 33 years and never had to open my hood. I ONLY put oil in my oil. You'll have to decide for yourself, but there are lots of good engines in the junkyards that outlived their vehicle on dino oil alone. Good luck!!
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