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    Thread: Best off-the-shelf synthetic oil for VW?

    1. Member RobMan8023's Avatar
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      08-11-2010 03:44 PM #1
      The only VW approved oil I have easy access to is Mobil-1. I'm not hung-up on using VW approved oil, but do want to use the best quality oil I can buy at a place like Autozone or Advance Auto.

      They carry Valvoline Synpower, Castrol Syntec, Mobil-1 among others, but the ones that are always touted on BITOG forums and here are things like Motul, Redline, Amsoil etc. I could also pick up the Castrol SLX stuff at the dealership, but I'd have to drive a bit farther to get it...

      Any thoughts? It's for a 2.0TSI engine which beats the crap out of oil.

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      08-11-2010 09:55 PM #2
      Castol Syntec 5W40 is VW approved and what VW puts in at the factory. Notice the shameless ad on the oil cap? As for the best, oil is like religion and everyone has a favorite that is the best.

    3. Member jmj's Avatar
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      08-11-2010 10:41 PM #3
      Rotella T 5w-40. $20/gallon all day long at Autozone.

      You can see my recent UOA here: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...8#post66934758
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    4. 08-12-2010 04:43 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by RobMan8023 View Post
      The only VW approved oil I have easy access to is Mobil-1. I'm not hung-up on using VW approved oil, but do want to use the best quality oil I can buy at a place like Autozone or Advance Auto.

      They carry Valvoline Synpower, Castrol Syntec, Mobil-1 among others, but the ones that are always touted on BITOG forums and here are things like Motul, Redline, Amsoil etc. I could also pick up the Castrol SLX stuff at the dealership, but I'd have to drive a bit farther to get it...

      Any thoughts? It's for a 2.0TSI engine which beats the crap out of oil.

      For the best engine protection I'd recommend a VW 505.01 approved oil of the correct viscosity including the Castrol SLX Professional sold at the dealer. Audi mandates the 505.01 oils in their RS engines and will not accept any other oil. Without actual testing and approval by VW you really don't know if the other oils are appropriate for your engine even though it might be a great oil for other engines.

      Also don't be duped by companies that state: Recommended for ABC oil specs. Recommended is not the same as tested and approved.

    5. Member jmj's Avatar
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      08-12-2010 05:09 PM #5
      Just noticed you have a new GTI, which means you're under warranty, in which case you may want to skip my recommendation.
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    6. Member falconeight's Avatar
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      08-12-2010 10:17 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by shawng View Post
      Castol Syntec 5W40 is VW approved and what VW puts in at the factory. Notice the shameless ad on the oil cap? As for the best, oil is like religion and everyone has a favorite that is the best.
      What this guy said, and if you can find german castrol jump on it.

    7. Member jmj's Avatar
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      08-18-2010 12:35 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by shawng View Post
      Castol Syntec 5W40 is VW approved and what VW puts in at the factory. Notice the shameless ad on the oil cap? As for the best, oil is like religion and everyone has a favorite that is the best.
      All of what you post here is true, but if you take some time to read the various threads, along with UOAs, in this forum, you may find that relying on the factory fill is no assurance of problem-free engine performance. It is a good idea to run only approved oi while you're under warranty, but of the oils on that list the Castrol 5w-40 has consistently been shown to provide poor performance in this engine.

      I used only approved oils, had no mods, and I still had to replace a fuel pump and cam shaft out of warranty. I'm now using Rotella T 5-40, and have UOAs showing excellent wear protection. The fact that it is readily available and half the price of the oils most people gravitate to is just a bonus, as far as I'm concerned.
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    8. Member 83mk2scirocco's Avatar
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      08-19-2010 11:58 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by falconeight View Post
      What this guy said, and if you can find german castrol jump on it.
      They have german castrol?
      I use high mileage castrol 10/40 in summer and 10/30 in winter
      I live in 110 degrees in the summer and 70 in the winter.
      Good ol AZ.
      except when the sun melt your car.

    9. 08-20-2010 04:09 AM #9
      A UOA does not tell you if one engine oil lubricates better than another or reduces engine wear. This is a fallasy that many enthusiasts do not understand. In addition the OP would need to quantify "better" to make any determination even if he had the proper oil sequence test data.

      Read the nice article at the link below to better understand what a UOA can and can not tell you. Basically a UOA is to determine if the OCI is correct and what contaminants are present in the oil. If you truly want to know if one oil lubricates your engine better than another you need to spend a few hundred thousand dollars (per oil) and a year to properly test each oil to the appropriate VW oil test sequence. i.e. VW 502, 505.01, 504.00, 507.00, etc.

      http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/cms/in...onth&Itemid=71

    10. Member jmj's Avatar
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      08-20-2010 07:19 AM #10
      Point taken. Obviously I'm not going to spend thousands of $$ to find which oil, technically, lubricates better for a given engine. So far, though, it appears that engine wear and presence of contaminants, as shown by UOAs, are significantly "better" with Rotella T in my car's engine than they were with any other oil I used, and especially Castrol Syntec 5W-40. Plus it's half the price, which is a bonus in my book.
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    11. 08-20-2010 11:07 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by jmj View Post
      Point taken. Obviously I'm not going to spend thousands of $$ to find which oil, technically, lubricates better for a given engine. So far, though, it appears that engine wear and presence of contaminants, as shown by UOAs, are significantly "better" with Rotella T in my car's engine than they were with any other oil I used, and especially Castrol Syntec 5W-40. Plus it's half the price, which is a bonus in my book.
      The contaminants should not vary by what oil you use... Wear can not be measured via a UOA. A mechanical issue can be detected like a leaking air filter as high silicon, etc. but wear metals in a UOA do not tell you anything other than if they are in the "normal" range or unusual, which would be a mechanical issue.

      Any VW approved oil of the correct viscosity for the application will serve you well. The reason why VW actually tests and certifies oils is so that VW owners know which ones are proper for the application.

    12. 08-20-2010 11:15 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by 83mk2scirocco View Post
      They have german castrol?
      I use high mileage castrol 10/40 in summer and 10/30 in winter
      I live in 110 degrees in the summer and 70 in the winter.
      Good ol AZ.
      except when the sun melt your car.
      You can get it at Autozone.
      0w30 and VW approved.



    13. Member jmj's Avatar
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      08-20-2010 05:14 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by TechMeister View Post
      Any VW approved oil of the correct viscosity for the application will serve you well. The reason why VW actually tests and certifies oils is so that VW owners know which ones are proper for the application.
      I'm not convinced this is true, given my own experiences with a worn cam follower (which may or may not have had anything to do directly with the oil, I guess), but I do know that my current follower is wearing much slower than the original one did with oils on the "approved" list, and I see no other ill effects, so I'm sticking with what works for me. YMMV
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    14. 08-20-2010 10:31 PM #14
      Without actually removing the valvetrain components and measuring them, you really don't know what the wear rate is. Without controlled oil/engine testing like the car makers conduct, it's all speculation.

      You have no means to know if the cam/lifter wear that you experienced was lubrication induced, metallurgical issues, operational issues, etc. Proper scientific testing is of more value than a 1000 subjective opinions. Objective, controlled scientific testing eliminates the speculation and determines reality.

      Your anecdotal experience is a data point not a conclusive determination.
      Last edited by TechMeister; 08-20-2010 at 10:54 PM.

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      08-20-2010 11:47 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by TechMeister View Post
      Without actually removing the valvetrain components and measuring them, you really don't know what the wear rate is. Without controlled oil/engine testing like the car makers conduct, it's all speculation.

      You have no means to know if the cam/lifter wear that you experienced was lubrication induced, metallurgical issues, operational issues, etc. Proper scientific testing is of more value than a 1000 subjective opinions. Objective, controlled scientific testing eliminates the speculation and determines reality.

      Your anecdotal experience is a data point not a conclusive determination.
      Exactly. I'm still wondering how someone can change the oil with a different brand name and viscosity and say: "ohhhhh, my engine loves this oil. It's good stuff! LMAO

    16. Member jmj's Avatar
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      08-21-2010 08:33 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by TechMeister View Post
      Your anecdotal experience is a data point not a conclusive determination.

      No sh*t, Sherlock; I actually alluded to that in my last post, and I've never held myself out as an automotive expert.

      Are you this obtuse in real life, or did somebody piss on your cheerios?
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    17. 08-25-2010 11:34 PM #17
      Making inappropriate posts doesn't serve any useful purpose nor validate you POV and violates the forum rules so you might want to reconsider you're attitude?

    18. Member animaniac's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 12:01 AM #18
      With regards to the cam follower and pump unless this is common out of warranty failure on the tsi engine then one can't tell what caused the wear, if it were the oil then wouldnt other parts on the engine suffer with wear?.

      The problem is vw knows how to make money and they know if the parts fail outside of the warranty your going to replace the parts yourself or let a dealer or garage do it, either way they make money, times this by thousands of golfs and then by the other vag cars which use theses parts, not only this part may have been made to fail early but other parts aswell, but it's very very very hard to prove the manufacturer has designed it like this intentionaly.

      No wonder vw makes hundreds of billions.

      Just look at the clogged intake valves on the tsi engines due to direct injection, the fuel no longer goes passed the inlet valves but as we all know the pcv system is still puffing oil and crap into the intake this leads to clogged intake valves thanks to the direct injection.

      This leads to a richer fuel mixture due to lack of air, the car runs like crap and has to go the garage or dealer in which case they use a intake cleaner which may work, but if the oil has turned into hard carbon and obviously the head has to come off for the valves to be cleaned!

      Possibly end up burning a valve in theses circumstances !

      All money for vw.


      The modern engines arnt as good as folk think!

    19. Semi-n00b JDWAUDI's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 03:28 AM #19
      If your worried about price, put the Castrol Syntec 5W-40 in your engine. It is what the engine calls for. Walmart has good prices on 5 gallon jugs of Mobil 1 and other oils too. That's just fine. I put Shaeffer Synthetic in my S4 (4.2) last time, and I did notice smoother engine operation on cold starts at altitude (Boulder, CO). It seems to consistently work well at different temperatures, and seems to stay cleaner than other oils I have used. I will be putting Shaeffer or most likely Red Line oil in my Transmission and Differentials.

      To avoid sludge in your turbocharged engine, please allow your turbo to cool off for 30 seconds or so before turning off your engine. Also change your oil more frequently than the recommended 10,000mi intervals.

      If you are doing track days or beating the piss out of your engine, just fork over the extra coin for Royal Purple. I can't verify that it is superior, but people I know that race Porsche's swear by it. They are reliable sources that have done the foot work, so I trust them.

      These oil arguments are always hilarious. Frequency of the oil changes are your best bet!

    20. Semi-n00b JDWAUDI's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 03:38 AM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by animaniac View Post
      With regards to the cam follower and pump unless this is common out of warranty failure on the tsi engine then one can't tell what caused the wear, if it were the oil then wouldnt other parts on the engine suffer with wear?.

      The problem is vw knows how to make money and they know if the parts fail outside of the warranty your going to replace the parts yourself or let a dealer or garage do it, either way they make money, times this by thousands of golfs and then by the other vag cars which use theses parts, not only this part may have been made to fail early but other parts aswell, but it's very very very hard to prove the manufacturer has designed it like this intentionaly.

      No wonder vw makes hundreds of billions.

      Just look at the clogged intake valves on the tsi engines due to direct injection, the fuel no longer goes passed the inlet valves but as we all know the pcv system is still puffing oil and crap into the intake this leads to clogged intake valves thanks to the direct injection.

      This leads to a richer fuel mixture due to lack of air, the car runs like crap and has to go the garage or dealer in which case they use a intake cleaner which may work, but if the oil has turned into hard carbon and obviously the head has to come off for the valves to be cleaned!

      Possibly end up burning a valve in theses circumstances !

      All money for vw.


      The modern engines arnt as good as folk think!
      The direct injection carbon build up is a problem for sure. BG sells a kit for this specific problem now too. It comes with little wooden skewers to chip away the chunks, solvent, wire brushes, etc...I'd recommend using a Pneumatic Fluid Sucker/Evacuator to suck up the gunk while cleaning it out.

      If anyone has this problem. You can take off the Intake Manifold and clean the Intake Valves. Just rotate the engine a bit to do a few at a time. As per TSB, LOL.

      If you have misfires on cold starts, this could be your problem. I had a RS4 come in with 15,000 miles on it, and you would not believe the amount of carbon on the valves!

    21. Member jmj's Avatar
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      08-26-2010 01:32 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by animaniac View Post
      With regards to the cam follower and pump unless this is common out of warranty failure on the tsi engine then one can't tell what caused the wear, if it were the oil then wouldnt other parts on the engine suffer with wear?.
      I haven't heard/read any issues with the TSI engine and cam followers, probably because it uses a roller cam setup, whereas the FSI engines use a flat tappet cam follower design for the HPFP, which is more prone to wear.
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    22. 08-27-2010 02:38 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by JDWAUDI View Post
      If your worried about price, put the Castrol Syntec 5W-40 in your engine. It is what the engine calls for. Walmart has good prices on 5 gallon jugs of Mobil 1 and other oils too.
      fyi-
      Mobil does not make 5qt jugs of 0w40.
      Walmart does sell the 0w40 in qts for about $6.79 each.

    23. Member VR6OOM's Avatar
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      08-28-2010 12:32 AM #23
      I just switched to German made Castrol 0w-40 from autozone per this post...


      Quote Originally Posted by chalkboarddub
      let me break it down when it comes to oil, i've done alot of research over the years.
      I wouldn't waste my money for synthetic for your 2.0 since it's not boosted and i doubht you run super extended drain intervals like i do.
      First off, most "synthetics" that are sold in the US are not true synthetics. A true synthetic is a group IV or group V oil, these include Polyalphaolefin (PAO) (group IV) and Ester (group V). Only a few companies who sell oil in the US sell a true synthetic. Most the oil you see on the shelf is hydrocracked group III oils. Only in the US group III based oils are considered synthetic, everywhere else it's illegal to claim so.

      Brands i can think of that are true synthetics off the top of my mind
      Redline
      Amsoil
      Castrol syntec 0w-40 (has to be german castrol, if it says made in america its crap)
      Elf
      Motul
      Total
      Lubro-Moly

      Brands that's basestocks are group III based
      Mobil 1 (both regular and extended drain)
      Castrol Syntec and Edge (except german castrol noted above)
      Pennzoil
      Valvoline
      Quakerstate

      You can swap to a synthetic oil after running mineral/group III oils forever without an issue besides possible oil leaks. Since true synthetic oil is created in a lab, each oil molecule is uniform ie. same physical size. Other oils vary in size a bit, so the "bigger" molecules can't squeeze through where ever the oil leak is. True synthetics viscosity tend to be a little lighter or "thinner" than mineral based oils. If you were to send a lab a sample of brand new Syntec 5w-30 and the "german castrol" syntec 5w-30, the german castrol's viscosity looks more of a 0w-30 does. Ester based synthetics (group V) such as redline clean the engine of sludge and varnish pretty well. So if you have a leak that's plugged up by varnish/sludge and a ester based oil cleans it out..well yeah you'll have a leak.

      Oils i recommend that are atleast group III based.
      Rotella T 5w-40 (it's known as a diesel engine oil, while it is it's also approved for gas engine use, Plus it's like 3.50-5 a quart and i've ran 12k miles on it, sent off a sample to a lab to get analyzed and it still had 3k left in it. It's a really tough oil)
      Mobil 1 0w-40, a good mix of group III and IV oils and additives, it shears pretty quick so it'll become too thin if you run it too long
      Amsoil 5w-40, solid oil everyway you look at it. The avg price of 8-9 a quart keeps me from using it everytime.

      What oil filter do you run? brand and is it oversized or stock sized?

      i switched my 300ZX over to redline when it had 160,000 miles, I sold it with 230,000 and the engine was clean and had great oil pressure.
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    24. 08-28-2010 11:05 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by VR6OOM View Post
      I just switched to German made Castrol 0w-40 from autozone per this post...
      Autozone doesn't carry Castrol 0w-40.
      Did you mean the legendary GC 0w-30?

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      08-28-2010 03:06 PM #25
      Strictly anecdotal, but at 56,000 I switched from the usual suspect Castrol to Valvoline Synpower. Engine starts more smoothly and observed mileage on highway has gone from approx 30 to approx 34 mpg. YMMV may vary, as always.

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      08-29-2010 12:22 PM #26
      Does anyone use Militec 1 with the oil?

    27. Member eliberto87's Avatar
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      08-29-2010 09:42 PM #27
      i use mobil 1 extended performance synthetic 5,000 miles interval but ive been reading up on pennzoil platinum and the best oil in the world yes i said it pennzoil ultra read thhis up http://www.pennzoil.com/#/motor-oil/pennzoil-ultra no other oil gives u up to 40% sludge removal, only certified only over the counter oil used by ferrari my best two mobil 1 extended and my new favorite pennzoil ultra

    28. Member VR6OOM's Avatar
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      08-29-2010 11:51 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by The Kilted Yaksman View Post
      Autozone doesn't carry Castrol 0w-40.
      Did you mean the legendary GC 0w-30?
      GC means German Castrol? Maybe it was 0w30...
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    29. Member VR6OOM's Avatar
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      08-29-2010 11:53 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by eliberto87 View Post
      i use mobil 1 extended performance synthetic 5,000 miles interval but ive been reading up on pennzoil platinum and the best oil in the world yes i said it pennzoil ultra read thhis up http://www.pennzoil.com/#/motor-oil/pennzoil-ultra no other oil gives u up to 40% sludge removal, only certified only over the counter oil used by ferrari my best two mobil 1 extended and my new favorite pennzoil ultra
      Fwiw, I would never trust a brands claims on their own website.
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    30. Member jmj's Avatar
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      08-30-2010 07:35 AM #30
      So you're saying Enzo Ferrari never shopped for Pennzoil?
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    31. 08-31-2010 04:34 PM #31
      Objective oil sequence testing is what counts when it comes to engine oils. Pick any tested and approved oil for the application and it will serve you well.

    32. Member VR6OOM's Avatar
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      09-05-2010 11:32 AM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by jmj View Post
      So you're saying Enzo Ferrari never shopped for Pennzoil?
      No that's not what Im saying. Just be skeptical of "claims" from an oil companies own marketing. Objective 3rd party results are one thing and so are facts.
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    33. Member jmj's Avatar
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      09-06-2010 03:16 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by VR6OOM View Post
      No that's not what Im saying. Just be skeptical of "claims" from an oil companies own marketing. Objective 3rd party results are one thing and so are facts.
      I'm with you. Maybe Pennzoil is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I wouldn't believe it just because they said so.
      Quote Originally Posted by Taipei_E92 View Post
      If you generalize...you are always going to get it wrong.

    34. Member marcohh8's Avatar
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      09-08-2010 03:24 PM #34
      everyone really does have their own belief on which is better. ive used mobil1 for about 2 years then i tried royal purple and will never look back
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    35. 09-08-2010 07:19 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by marcohh8 View Post
      everyone really does have their own belief on which is better. ive used mobil1 for about 2 years then i tried royal purple and will never look back
      ...and why will you "never look back" ? Is that a trail of Royal Purple dripping from your engine or what? Just asking.

      In other words, what objective basis did you use to determine if RP was better than the M1 you had previosuly used and how exactly did you quantify the performance difference? Or do you just like the RP oil bottle?

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