Synthetic vs. Blend vs. "Regular" - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
Regular Service / Maintenance This section contains discussion about regular service and maintenance (upkeep) of your Jeep Commander

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Synthetic vs. Blend vs. "Regular"

Hi everyone. I'm pretty new to the world of Jeeps and 4-wheel drives and quite honestly I'm not very knowledgeable about the general maintenance of cars, aside of course from the usual "change your oil every 3,000 miles, etc."

I was hoping you guys (and gals) could help me understand what type of motor oil is best for my Commander. It's an '06 4.7L V8 with 30,000 miles. I'm the second owner as I just purchased it 2 months ago so I have no idea what was done prior to me. I searched some topics on here and noticed that most everyone agreed that full synthetic was best for our vehicles. Armed with that knowledge, I went last week to do my first oil/filter change. I took it to a place down the street and asked what their "house" oil was. I was told it was Kendall. I explained that I understood that synthetic was the best so I asked them to put Castrol Syntec in my Jeep. I patted myself on the back as I walked out for having such incredible knowledge of motor oil and went home and waited for the call to come get my Commander.

An hour or so later they called and went to pick it up. "That'll be $95.79 please." "Ummmmm, excuse me?" "$95.79 for today's fluid change sir." "Ummmm, how much would it have been to go with a "regular" or "blended" oil"?" "Oh that's only $19.95." So after picking my jaw up off the floor I paid the nice man and sheepishly asked him if full synthetic was something that was really necessary. He said that he has a 4-wheel drive pickup truck and he "treats" his to a full synthetic once a year, running a blend the rest of the year.

So I'll ask you the same question: Is a full synthetic necessary? Can I go longer between oil changes? Will it help with engine life and gas mileage? Can I do it occasionally and run a synthetic blend the rest of the time or once you go full synthetic do I have to stay with it?

Thanks for all your help AND not laughing at me for my stupidity. (Of course, I can't see you so you might very well be laughing at me).
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 09:58 AM
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To start, they bent you over for the oil change.
Don't blame the oil for the price you were charged.
That aside, full synthetics do allow for a much longer change interval, in some cases as high as 25000 miles!
BUT, the filter should be changed and oil topped at about 5000 mi or every 3 months.
I am quoting synthetic suppliers here and not making any recommendations for the most part.
The reason the long intervals work is because of the chemical makeup of the oil.
Since synthetics are esther based rather than carbon based, the only potential for sludge is due to acuumulated blow by (hydrocarbon debris).
They have superior lubricity and a very high film strenth, reducing any potental of metal to metal contact.
Because the synthetics are thermally stable, they hardly thicken when cold and this allows almost instant oil flow and pressure at startup (highest wear moment).
I don't recommend 25k intervals, but, depending on mileage, twice a year is very reasonable using full synthetics.
Semi synthetics.... a carbon based oil with a compatible synthetic package mixed in.
You have a good oil with good lubricity but thickens when cold, and will cause sludge if not changed......IMO dont bother.
I believe it is designed for folks that like the synthetic idea but don't want to tote the note.
Regular oils are just that....and regardless of anyones personal opinions there are no bad ones.
Just varying degrees of good ones.
As long as you follow a reasonable time/mileage interval they hold up fine.
As I've said before, if you intend to keep it for BIG miles (my 96 Blazer shows 242k, Mobil 1 from the beginning, still no consumption between changes) then a synthetic may be for you.
You may want to run synthetic because you MAY keep it for big miles.
But the vast majority of operators rarely go past 100k, so the next owner becomes benificiary of your synthetic oil changes.
So, if this isn't a forever relationship, I'd say go with quality conventional motor oils changed in a timely manor.

I know, I know....this answer will set off a firestorm of opinions but, what the heck, the site has been kind of quiet lately.

Chuckle,
Rob


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 10:14 AM
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I do debate, with myself, the cost vs. benefit of synthetic. Under the factory warranty, you need to get the oil changed on a schedule. The schedule doesn't make an exception for synthetic, so there is no gain for mileage. I do plan on keeping it a long long time, but will I realize any benefit over the long run that wouldn't be covered by a lifetime warranty?

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses guys. I've never done my own oil change but it would seem I could save some dough by doing so. Is it relatively simple? Where do I dispose of the old oil? Do I change the oil filter too? Is that pretty easy? I'd love to be able to run synthetic every time but I can't if it's nearly a hundred bucks every few months.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 01:50 PM
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yes it is fairly easy to change the oil and filter...I have the same engine as you and can say that a Nice jack and set of jack stands is perferrable or a set of ramps are needed for at least me [edited] to fit underneath and get to the drain plug and filter...

there are a few holes in your stock engine cover (bottom of engine) that allow you to access the drain plug and filter. (if someone could post pics it would help greatly). Find the plug and slowly turn it until oil starts to drain...keep your eye or finger on the plug until it comes out as you dont want to fish it out of the oil drain pan later. Let it drain completely then find your filter (round cylandar usually white or black with oil written on it. remove it by twisting it...may need some muscle or a filter wrench if too tight. Disgard the filter with the used oil and replace the drain plug. take a little oil on your finger and rub the seal/gasket on your new oil filter and attach it to the proper site. after its snug try to twist it another 90 degrees. now aslong as the plug and filter are reattached you can now fill your engine up with whatever oil you please...cough...synthetics!...cough... After filling it up replace the oil cap on the engine and close the hood. take a look under the commander for any leaks from a misthreading or loose plug/filter. start the engine and let it run for about 5 minutes and your done...

you may want to check your tire pressures or something while you wait for it to drain...gives you something to do.

As far as disposal of the oil and filter go...a lot of recycleing spots may have a bin for used motor oil. If not contact your local trash company or local government to see where you can properly dispose of such fluids.
hope you understand what I am saying...GL

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Last edited by GetNby; 10-12-2009 at 01:51 PM. Reason: disposal
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the informative post, GetNby. I think I might try to tackle this project on the next go around. I'm assuming my handy dandy owner's manual will tell me how many quarts are required.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 02:42 PM
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$95.17 is expensive but not necessarily a rip off. The oil they put in for you retails for about $6.99/qt so for 7 qts plus a $4 filter it was $53 for "parts" alone. Basically you paid someone $42 for to spare you the trouble of crawling under your Jeep, getting your hands dirty and then disposing of almost 2 gallons of used motor oil. Unless you have a hankering to work on cars, that's not that bad of a deal.

If you want to do it yourself though, its pretty easy. I just did my first DIY oil change on my wife's Commander this weekend and compared to every single car I have ever changed the oil on, the Jeep was far and away the easiest becasue of the ground clearance. I use ramps to get the vehicle up which I find alot easier than jacks and stands for this type of work (but the Jeep is so high you could do it without them). Just drive it on up and you are ready to go to work.

http://www.amazon.com/Blitz-11903-Rh.../dp/B000AMMN9O

Most auto parts stores collect used oil so you can just put it in a couple old gallon milk jugs or the bottles from the new oil you put in and take it back to the store.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GetNby View Post
yes it is fairly easy to change the oil and filter...I have the same engine as you and can say that a Nice jack and set of jack stands is perferrable or a set of ramps are needed for at least me [edited] to fit underneath and get to the drain plug and filter...
if i may add to the qestion...above it was stated that if gone with synthetics that it would be recomended to at least change filter between oil changes.....so can the oil filter be changed without loosing all your oil....and so ?i can do my oil every 5,000 and my filter at 2,500 does that sound right?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 03:04 PM
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The oil filter can be changed without loosing any more oil than the filter contains.
Usually, slightly less than 1 quart is required to restore the oil level.

Rob

If 5000 miles equals 6 months or less you need not even change the filter till you do a full oil change.


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Last edited by robby; 10-12-2009 at 03:07 PM. Reason: Added info
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 06:56 PM
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For the oil changes I use the yellow oil change pan that you can find at most auto parts stores, then I drain that pan into a large yellow gas that I use for old oil. When that gas can is full of used oil I take it to the auto parts store and have them dump it, most stores will do this for no charge.

Not a Commander but this write up with pics will give the idea:
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...DIicswOL-LDHCg

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