Piston Slap: Synthetic to Dino Switcheroo Edition
TTAC commentator Geo. Levecque writes:
Hello Sajeev, greetings from Canada. If you switch Oil to Synthetic, can you go back to the old stuff? If it matters, I am asking about my 2008 Toyota RAV4 2008, 4 Cyl, with 18,000 kms on it.
Your engine is a baby. Not because it’s small and lives in a cute-ute, but because your new-ish Toyota isn’t set in its own way. Parts in your engine don’t yet move to their own (microscopic) groove. As engines get older and tolerances change, switching between synthetic and dino oils makes your motor fight its natural, programmed movements. For now, this isn’t a big deal.
So you can, but after your motor clocks 100,000+ kms, you run the risk of upsetting the delicate balance that synthetic oil worked hard to create. I personally don’t think it’s a wise idea. And won’t recommend it.
Bonus! A Piston Slap Nugget of Wisdom:
Walk into any parts store and you’ll see specific oils made for high mileage vehicles. You are usually asked (by their accounting department) to switch to these oils after 75k (miles) for longer life. These oils have extra additives to help older engines reduce oil consumption, plug leaks or make a host of funny noises (like timing chain rattle or main bearing grumbles) go away. Which is nice, in theory.
In reality, an engine with 75k isn’t much different than one with 10k. Modern engines easily run past 150k with little or no change in performance. So change your oil regularly, use a good filter and stick with your regiment for the rest of your (car’s) life. That is the only way to fly.
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