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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yeah, I know. Some of the older crowd here have read my posts regarding sticking with premium conventional oil in all the cars. And there have been no issues with either Castrol GTX or Valvoline Premium conventional oils AT ALL.

but ...

Daughter is in medical school and drives a 2016 Elantra SE. Very nice little car and just perfect for her. Some readers may know that this is the replacement for her 2006 Elantra hatchback that got squished by a Freightliner in a highway rear end collision. Bought the '16 with 18K miles on it, lease return, looks brand new. And she is driving it mostly in Houston, and only about 500 miles a month. Tops. So that is candidate #1 for synthetic.

The other two vehicles are a 2014 Elantra GT 2.0L GDI and a 2015 Sonata Sport 2.4L GDI.

What started me down this change of heart is reading up on the various properties of the different brands of synthetics. While both the Castrol GTX and Valvoline Premium conventional oils easily exceed the Hyundai requirements, ALL of the top six synthetics go well beyond those requirements. From several performance tests the list of the best synthetics were about the same:

Mobil 1
Royal Purple High Performance
Castrol Edge
Valvoline SynPower
Pennzoil Ultra
Amsoil

Interesting note, even though on the various tests run the rankings changed, all of the above were exceptional. Think of it this way; at 500yds one rifle can shoot a .75" grouping (wow) while the fourth best shoots a 1.2" grouping. For all practical purposes, the target is full of closely spaced holes.

But the interesting note that showed up in several different independent tests (as in not a web site selling a particular brand) was that the Valvoline had an additive package that was better than most at cleaning up and preventing sludge, and had a very low volatility score. Which is important with GDI engines. So, off I goes to the local WalMart to pick up some 5qt jugs of 5W20 Valvoline SynPower. Hmm. First wallyworld doesn't have any. Nor does the second. Third has only two jugs. So I ask what's the deal here, did they just have a sale? Nope, since that is the common weight recommended, sold out and hard to get (around central Texas, anyway).

Did find some and will be putting it in all three. The '16 Elantra for sludge purposes, and the two GDI engine for, well, they are GDI engines.

All will get OEM filters, and I will watch for any consumption issues. The '14 Elantra GT has the highest mileage at 48K, so I really don't expect any problems. But the little 1.8L in the '16 Elantra does an interesting trick on cold start that will be interesting to observe. The timing belt tensioner is both spring and oil pressure loaded. So it rattles like a son-of-a-gun until oil pressure comes up. We will see if the synthetic helps.

I retired from 40yrs of research and product development engineering. I needed a project. :)
 

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I am thinking the same thing myself. Running Pennzoil Ultra Platinum now. Pennzoil Platinum before that. I think the main reason to run synthetic is there is a margin for error if something is a not perfect in the car. It is like an insurance policy, it is there if you need it.

I have doubts in Hyundai's ability to produce a bullet proof engine. Giving it an oil with advantages over conventional is something I can easily do. Replacing a motor or a car, not so much.
 

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Yeah, I know. Some of the older crowd here have read my posts regarding sticking with premium conventional oil in all the cars. And there have been no issues with either Castrol GTX or Valvoline Premium conventional oils AT ALL.

but ...

Daughter is in medical school and drives a 2016 Elantra SE. Very nice little car and just perfect for her. Some readers may know that this is the replacement for her 2006 Elantra hatchback that got squished by a Freightliner in a highway rear end collision. Bought the '16 with 18K miles on it, lease return, looks brand new. And she is driving it mostly in Houston, and only about 500 miles a month. Tops. So that is candidate #1 for synthetic.

The other two vehicles are a 2014 Elantra GT 2.0L GDI and a 2015 Sonata Sport 2.4L GDI.

What started me down this change of heart is reading up on the various properties of the different brands of synthetics. While both the Castrol GTX and Valvoline Premium conventional oils easily exceed the Hyundai requirements, ALL of the top six synthetics go well beyond those requirements. From several performance tests the list of the best synthetics were about the same:

Mobil 1
Royal Purple High Performance
Castrol Edge
Valvoline SynPower
Pennzoil Ultra
Amsoil

Interesting note, even though on the various tests run the rankings changed, all of the above were exceptional. Think of it this way; at 500yds one rifle can shoot a .75" grouping (wow) while the fourth best shoots a 1.2" grouping. For all practical purposes, the target is full of closely spaced holes.

But the interesting note that showed up in several different independent tests (as in not a web site selling a particular brand) was that the Valvoline had an additive package that was better than most at cleaning up and preventing sludge, and had a very low volatility score. Which is important with GDI engines. So, off I goes to the local WalMart to pick up some 5qt jugs of 5W20 Valvoline SynPower. Hmm. First wallyworld doesn't have any. Nor does the second. Third has only two jugs. So I ask what's the deal here, did they just have a sale? Nope, since that is the common weight recommended, sold out and hard to get (around central Texas, anyway).

Did find some and will be putting it in all three. The '16 Elantra for sludge purposes, and the two GDI engine for, well, they are GDI engines.

All will get OEM filters, and I will watch for any consumption issues. The '14 Elantra GT has the highest mileage at 48K, so I really don't expect any problems. But the little 1.8L in the '16 Elantra does an interesting trick on cold start that will be interesting to observe. The timing belt tensioner is both spring and oil pressure loaded. So it rattles like a son-of-a-gun until oil pressure comes up. We will see if the synthetic helps.

I retired from 40yrs of research and product development engineering. I needed a project. :)
Agree with your views.
It will be interesting to follow your progress using OEM oil filters which in my view are innocent until proven guilty and using synthetic oil in a GDI engine can only help.

My 2017 non GDI Elantra will only cover around 6000 km per year of mixed driving and for the warranty period will use dealer supplied oil and filter.
The dealer uses Hyundai approved Havoline oil.
 

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When my children where in college I was on the synthetic wagon already (back around 2000) and knowing that I would only see the vehicle 2-3 times a year for oil changes I went with synthetic and did once a year changes. Worked out fine. Most years between 8,000-12,000 miles a year. UOA always came back fine. No GDI engines back then. Amsoil was about the only choice for extended OCIs but now so many choices. IMO, definitely synthetic for children away from home where one is still responsible for the maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"I have doubts in Hyundai's ability to produce a bullet proof engine."

There are a couple of the older 2.0L non-GDI (2001-2010?) Elantras in town that have been regularly maintained by the local dealer with over 300K miles and no major repairs. This is the engine that uses a timing belt instead of chain. Requires a change every 60K (owners manual varies) but are good to 90K. Daughters had 144K or so on it when totaled. Used maybe 1/4 qt of conventional oil between changes at 5K intervals. Castrol GTX 10W30 with OEM filter. Dealer shop foreman referred to that engine as the "Ford 8N of Hyundai engines". For you non-farm types, the Ford 8N was built back in the late 1940-early 1950's and many are still around. Not the most powerful, but engineered to run forever.
 

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I am more concerned about bullet proof in 2017/2018. :smile:

My hope is the Atkinson 2.0 proves to be just as reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I hear you on the Atkinson. I understand the principle, but ...

Never realized how much synthetic oil smells like hydraulic oil. Changed out the 2.4L Sonata last night. Full five quarts to hit the full mark on the reddish colored dipstick. Engine idles quiet enough to hear that high pressure fuel pump. :)
 

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I hear you on the Atkinson. I understand the principle, but ...
Please clarify. This is not a true Atkinson Cycle engine--it just simulates the same effect with valve timing. Why would that be less reliable than any other engine? Surely there are other sophisticated variable valve timing configurations that just as likely, if not more likely, to have reliability issues.
 

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Please clarify. This is not a true Atkinson Cycle engine--it just simulates the same effect with valve timing. Why would that be less reliable than any other engine? Surely there are other sophisticated variable valve timing configurations that just as likely, if not more likely, to have reliability issues.
Agree, this engine should not have reliability issues for the reasons you stated.
 

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"I have doubts in Hyundai's ability to produce a bullet proof engine."

There are a couple of the older 2.0L non-GDI (2001-2010?) Elantras in town that have been regularly maintained by the local dealer with over 300K miles and no major repairs. This is the engine that uses a timing belt instead of chain. Requires a change every 60K (owners manual varies) but are good to 90K. Daughters had 144K or so on it when totaled. Used maybe 1/4 qt of conventional oil between changes at 5K intervals. Castrol GTX 10W30 with OEM filter. Dealer shop foreman referred to that engine as the "Ford 8N of Hyundai engines". For you non-farm types, the Ford 8N was built back in the late 1940-early 1950's and many are still around. Not the most powerful, but engineered to run forever.
Drove mine to 140K miles, did 2 timing belt changes, engine was clean when sold, never consumed oil. Suspension took a beating and I was tired of a shimmy at highway speeds I could never fully eliminate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
From Ward's Automotive:

"The new 2.0L makes 147 hp at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb.-ft. (179 Nm) of torque at an estimated 4,500 rpm. It operates with a compression ratio of 12.5:1. (big bump in compression and the associated rod and bearing stresses)

Benefits of Atkinson cycle include reduced pumping loss, as the close timing on the intake valve in the compression stroke is delayed, maximizing the expansion ratio.

Also reducing pumping losses is intermediate-valve-cam phasing technology, while a new electronically controlled thermostat decreases pumping energy.

Piston-cooling jets, which spray oil at the piston’s lower portion, help improve fuel economy."

So, I am not saying the new engine will be bad, just that there is a lot of new design here. Let some time go by and see how good the motor is.
 

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From Ward's Automotive:

"The new 2.0L makes 147 hp at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb.-ft. (179 Nm) of torque at an estimated 4,500 rpm. It operates with a compression ratio of 12.5:1. (big bump in compression and the associated rod and bearing stresses)
Thanks a lot flemmons. Now you gave me something to worry about. :surprise:

I am hoping my 10w-30 Chevron Supreme will suffice this summer. Makes me want to stay away from thin oils just to ensure there is enough oil film to protect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In Mizzou you should be good with 10W30. True story, I got caught in a freak ice storm in Arkansas one Christmas in a '84 Fiero running Castrol 20W50!!!

Had to be very careful getting that little beast started in 10F weather! Didn't know which would come first; oil pressure or flying rod!

It was a testament to the durability of the "Iron Duke Four" that we made it home without incident.

Seriously, I have no doubt that Hyundai did the due diligence on the crank and main bearings to handle the additional stresses. And they do have some Atkinson history on the hybrid, but I am old school and just like to see how things play out.

The Atkinson did make a purchase decision for us when we had to replace the 2006 Elantra Hatch daughter planned to keep through med school. (this is the car that got shortened by a Freightliner flat bed). We have a great dealer here we have dealt with for years, even before Hyundai was in the US. They knew about the accident and had known daughter since she was born. The general manager for Hyundai came up and told me "just pick anything on the lot, it's yours at my cost, and then we will pull out ever rebate we can get." So we drove a fresh off lease '16 with only 18K miles on it, then drove a new '17 Elantra Ltd with the Atkinson engine. Daughter went to pull out into traffic with the '17, stepped into the throttle, hard, and ...

Nothing happened. The engine stayed at idle for about a three-count, then took off. She looked over at me and asked "what just happened?" I explained to her that obviously something in the drive by wire didn't respond to the throttle pedal input. She went straight back to the dealer, got out of the car, and said, "nope."

She loves the '16. Named it Sparky. :)

Obvious by how many are on the road now, that little software glitch has been worked out.
 

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Back in the day the dealership used bulk Castrol 10w-30. My Sentra did crank slow in the middle of winter. I will be using Pennzoil Platinum 5w-30 this winter which is my preferred oil.

I do not accelerate hard so never noticed a lag. Maybe a little in Eco, but that was touching gas pedal like an egg shell. Lately I have been driving in Normal mode, tight parking Eco mode, and rush hour or hauling Sport mode. Car is very responsive.

I do use Lucus fuel treatment every fill up. On my last car it made the car more responsive. So it may be contributing to the same experience with the Elantra.

https://lucasoil.com/products/fuel-treatments/lucas-fuel-treatment
 

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I recognize that oil is an emotional topic for many die-hards. I don't wish to get everyone excited, but...
I retired from the Nuclear Power industry. I'v been a gear-head since I was 16 years old. My bud was the emergency diesel generator guy. We both were very keen on proper design and research. We have both built engines and raced cars (road-raced) at stringent environmental conditions (the Sebring short course is very stringent on cooling and brakes).
The bottom line is that today's oils are SO MUCH BETTER than the oils of the 60s, 70s and 80s. The API spec continues to revise to become more stringent. I choose to use synthetic since I know I can go extended intervals (with the litigation potential for warranty claims I still change at required intervals for cars under warranty). ANY OIL YOU USE TODAY will be fine. If you want, any synthetic oil you use will be fine. I buy what's cheapest - often the Walmart Syntec brand. On a related note, from my bud's research oil filters are just starting to do their job at or beyond 10K miles.
I'd be amazed that any of you can find anyone that's had an oil related failure from anyone they know and trust with an IC engine that they've properly maintained in the last two decades. I have run several of my cars over the years at local road racing tracks - the 2.3L Ford (made in Brazil) motor that was turbocharged in my Turbo '84 Gt Mustang had over 10,000 race track miles. When I first put an oil temperature gauge on it I was shocked to see the oil temp zip up to 300F in about 4 laps. That motor lasted well over 90K miles when a Subaru totaled the car and I had to retire it.
Just my 2 cents.
 

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I guess I'm getting old and ambivalent, but I recently switched all from Mobil 1 Synthetic to Mobil Super High Mileage conventional. And now that it's harder to find that, I'm going with Castrol GTX.

I had oil analyzed for a while, and eventually, determined it was probably true what I'd read and heard but didn't initially want to believe: oil is oil is oil.

As long as it meets the standards, it's fine. So I keep with good filters (usually from the dealership), and with a brand-name conventional oil.

I sleep pretty decent, except for this pillow that has kind of broken down... probably moreso than the oil I run for 5k between changes.
 

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Tried them all over the years and have come to the conclusion that oil companies will say just about anything to sell their oil. I no longer trust any of their outlandish claims and these days I always use the cheapest correct grade oil I can buy.
Their oil is always better than the next guys oil because they have added their new secret *blar blar blar*for extra protection etc..

Most guys believe what the oil companies say and what they write on their oil containers and think that by spending up to three times more for an oil that you are actually looking after your car better than the guy who buys the cheap stuff.

But the truth is that no matter how much you spend on the oil your piece of tin & plastic is going to be yesterdays vehicle in 5 years and pretty much worthless anyway. Don't waste your money on "Snake Oil".

I have never had an issue running inexpensive mineral based oils in my pre 80"s collector cars or my modern high performance vehicles. They have all performed just as well using a good quality cheap oil as they have when I have used the more expensive Top of the range variety of Synthetic oil.
 

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Synpower has been discontinued. The new marketing term from Valvoline for their synthetics are:
Valvoline Advanced
Valvoline High Mileage w/ Maxlife
Valvoline 4-stroke
Valvoline Modern Engine
Valvoline VR1

Advanced replaced Synpower. As you can see, Valvoline markets 5 different types of full synthetic motor oil.

I select synthetic oils based on who has the best price per quart and stick with a higher viscosity grade, which hopefully makes up for some automaker engineering $nafus, caused by the cost accountants or greenie police. I would never even consider a 5w20, especially when the factory service manual and the owner's manual offers 5w30, 10w30.... Hyundai engine reputation isn't something to brag about.

I grabbed all the clearance Synpower, Edge, RoyalPurple, Pennzoil... from the local walmarts around here. And, I grabbed all the dusty euro oils from the local autopart stores. These euro oils are slow sellers and usually on clearance often enough. Overly thick grades don't sell so they get clearance too. Had plenty of the 5w50's, 15w50's... oils too, using a quart per fill is one of the best snake oils.

I don't use OEM filters either. NOTHING has proven them to be superior to any other filter. And, the particle counts showed them inferior to other filters. Hyundai's GDI soot(blasting media) needs to be removed from the oil. I would say that ANY mid/top tier oil filter easily trumps the MH filter from Korea. I'd use a Fram PH filter over the OE any day.

My fleet went synthetic 20 years ago. None of my engines ever died from oil related problems. And, most did not succumb to automaker engineering failures which are more common than not. I expect my lemon 2.4GDI/2.0T to last a very long time because of the thicker synthetic oils that I use. With the amount of sludge that I've seen with "proper maintenance" on Hyundais, I don't recommend conventional oils. "All" and "proper" and "scheduled" ... maintenance are usually lies from the owner when they complain about their engine failures.


Oil filters work immediately and can become more efficient as they load up. But, as they load up, more oil flow is bypassed. If you want a bypass filter, then install one. Don't overuse a full flow filter converting it to a bypass. Running a filter longer than a regular interval is foolish.

Most of what the big "acronym" oil agencies are doing are for environmental reasons. Some of the requirements sacrifice engine longevity for fuel economy or emission system life. And, they move so slowly that it took 50 years to come out with GF5 which easily was met by 1970's synthetic oils. 3 most important factors when blending an oil are: increased fuel economy, increased oil change interval, increase o2 and catalytic life... and not saving your engine from wear. I want a oil that reduces wear and don't care if my o2 sensor doesn't last 150k miles. I want an oil that makes the engine last forever and don't care if I have to sacrifice 1mpg for it. You won't get that from current automaker recommendations concerning grade/interval...

I am not happy with oil or filters that are good enough. I want exceptional performance. Good enough is for losers with their participation awards. I don't just participate, I excel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Yeah, the Valvoline SynPower to "Advanced" just showed up on the shelves here recently. And I never trust ratings by someone with a dog in the hunt. Checked multiple independent testing labs to see what they said. And as I stated, all the top six have their strong and weak suits, but all well within the required specs for a modern engine. Went with the Valvoline on both price and the statements from a couple of the labs regarding the exceptional anti sludging properties and volatility.

With the newer synthetics (and conventional, for that matter) I am somewhat on the fence regarding grade. In my locale either 5W20 or 10W30 are acceptable year round. But this past winter we had several forays into the teens (Fahrenheit) and just a few years ago had 90+ consecutive days well over 100. I may be looking at doing a weight change on the mid year, but not convinced that is necessary. Will look at how the 5W20 does over the summer. With a 1.8L, 2.0L GDI, and 2.4L GDI in the fleet, have a good sample to look at.
 
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