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Motor Oil And Your Car

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Old 08-11-2017, 06:36 AM
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Default Motor Oil And Your Car

This morning one of my colleagues mentioned that he had brought his car in for an oil change and the mechanic told him that if the manufacturer recommends either synthetic or dino oil you have to use the recommended type. The reason he said is that the car's sensors are set to recognize the type of oil and using anything else could cause problems with the sensors and the car's computer. I'd never heard that. In fact I've always been told that the choice between synthetic and dino oil was a user preference and it had nothing to do with the car's sensors.

Have you heard anything about this. Do you have to use the type of oil recommended by the manufacturer?
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:59 AM
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Maybe to keep factory warranty per contract, but otherwise your engine and sensors do not know the difference.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:15 PM
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I suspect it might have to do with the vehicle manufacturer.
What kind was he referring too?

type is also a very broad description.
gear box lube is still a "type of oil" but I'm fairly sure I wouldn't put it in my crankcase.
on my MB's I've added oil near the end of the oil change interval and the time to service has gone up.
so they are looking at something.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Mdeck View Post
Maybe to keep factory warranty per contract, but otherwise your engine and sensors do not know the difference.
That's exactly what I think.
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Old 08-11-2017, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by boltonblue View Post
I suspect it might have to do with the vehicle manufacturer.
What kind was he referring too?

type is also a very broad description.
gear box lube is still a "type of oil" but I'm fairly sure I wouldn't put it in my crankcase.
on my MB's I've added oil near the end of the oil change interval and the time to service has gone up.
so they are looking at something.
He was talking about motor oil. His claim was that if the manufacturer recommended synthetic oil, you have to use it or if the manufacturer recommended dino oil you have to use it because the sensors are set for either synthetic or dino.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:12 PM
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What sensors? The only one I am familiar with is the oil pressure sensor and it can't tell the difference.

I assume that modern oil change interval monitors are based on mileage and how the car is driven over those miles. I suppose if there was, in fact, a set of sensors that somehow "read" the condition of the engine oil, they might be somehow sensitive to synthetic vs dino.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:18 PM
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Good question for that Engineer "son". These new cars get more complicated all the time but I highly doubt things have reached the point where they must have the mfgr's recommendation. Like you, I think its just a dealership being proactive.
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Old 08-11-2017, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by dlq04 View Post
Good question for that Engineer "son". These new cars get more complicated all the time but I highly doubt things have reached the point where they must have the mfgr's recommendation. Like you, I think its just a dealership being proactive.
I happen to agree with you. I think his mechanic was just trying to sell him a bill of goods.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:23 PM
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If they recommend full synthetic and you don't use it, you're on your own on the warranty.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:31 PM
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My guess is that the mechanic meant the oil change minder. They work off mileage and start and stop cycles. They don't actually "sense" the oil, but the mileage calculations are based on the recommended oil. If the oil minder is set up based on synthetic and you use conventional, you will exceed the service interval before the minder goes off.
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