Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 18:20:54 -0800
From: Justin VanAbrahams <>
Subject: Re: 5W50 synthetic oil grade

Ken Washington wrote: > > Justin, > > The Castrol Syntec 20W50 caused a few leaks in my 83 900T and the engine > did seem to run quieter. When I went back to the Castrol GTX the leaks > stopped and engine quieted down. I remember reading somewhere that > Castrol Syntec, probably in its earlier formulation was not that good > for Turbos because it had no zinc in the additive package. It may be > different now. At any rate, since I change my oil and filter about every > 3500 miles I can see no advantage in switching to a synthetic, > especially since I use Militec-1. For your info there are many people > using Militec-1 along with regular and synthetic oils in racing and non > racing applications. For one thing, what the happy heck are you doing using a 20w oil? Especially in a turbo! That oil is WAY too thick, and WAY beyond Saab's recommendations. I can't imagine what horrible things that would do to the turbo. 15w is the thickest oil recommended by Saab, and my admittedly limited experience tells me thinner is better for turbos. Furthermore, oil does not "cause" leaks, nor does it "stop" them. Using a synthetic may have caused an imperfection in your system to leak, but quite honestly that, IMHO is a good thing. Consider: Where the oil is getting out, dirt and grime may be getting in. By switching back to oil that, for whatever reason, did not seep through that imperfection, all you were doing was covering up an existing problem, and that makes no sense to me. The cooling and lubrication systems on a car, especially a turbo, should never be overlooked and problems should ALWAYS be dealt with. My '85 900T has 190,000 miles on it and doesn't lose a SINGLE drop of oil between changes using Mobil 1 5w-30 or Syntec 5w-50. You know why? Because when I first put Syntec (I personally prefer Mobil, it should be known) in when I bought it, I found two oil leaks - the crank seal and the rear seal. Both were fixed immediately. And that's the way it SHOULD happen. As for Militec-1, I don't doubt its capabilities. But I also don't see any reason to use it. I'm quite happy with synthetic oils. I feel they are better for the environment and better for the engine. I don't believe that Militec-1 can increase the temperature tolerance of an oil, and that's what's first and foremost - at least to me. When I shut my car off, I'm quite sure that the exreme temperatures present in my turbo aren't cooking the oil, and that's worth quite a lot to me. I don't see any way in which Militec-1 could improve upon that. I'm not saying that dinosaur oil would cause the turbo to cook or the oil to coke, but the fact of the matter is it's cheap insurance. I put a lot of demands on all of my cars, and the least I can do is take all the preventative measures I can to protect them as best I can. For naturally aspirated cars, synthetic may not be the right choice. My main point in the various Turbos I own is its temperature tolerance. But, as I said above, I think that synthetics are, at least slightly, better for our planet (no petroleum products in them) and that at least means something. I use it in my SHO, and after 116k it's still running strong. Not to say it wouldn't be had I used another oil, but again - the extra few bucks I spend every 5,000 miles or so are drops in the bucket compared to an engine rebuild on that car, and it's worth it to me. -Justin Synthetic filled and additive free

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