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Author Topic:   Synthetic Oil in Merc four stroke???
mbking1 posted 03-16-2002 07:43 PM ET (US)   Profile for mbking1   Send Email to mbking1  
I have a new four stroke Merc 60 that is coming up on its 20 hour service. I asked dealer about putting in a good synthetic oil. He says "don't do it". He says if I ever have a serious warranty claim, the factory could use that as a reason to not do repairs. Anyone have any thoughts on the subject? Thanks. Mark
Jerry Townsend posted 03-16-2002 07:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Mark - I suspect that if you contact Mercury, you would get a different answer. Years ago, I purchased a new GMC 3/4 ton 4X4 and wanted to use Mobil One. I contacted GMC and they didn't have any restrictions. Ran that engine for 180,000 miles before putting in a larger engine - but there was virtually minimal wear on the original engine. Mobil One is good stuff !!! --- Jerry/Idaho
mbking1 posted 03-16-2002 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for mbking1  Send Email to mbking1     
Thanks Jerry:

I have been using Mobil One for years on my cars. I just need to get a definitive answer from Merc. Mark

Clark Roberts posted 03-16-2002 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Mark, Merc Marine 1-800-637-2879 ask for a tech rep...(consumer affairs = 1-920-929-5040).. let us know the answer as I want to use Mobile 1 in my 115 .. Clark
Tom W Clark posted 03-16-2002 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
That "you can't mix regular and synthetic oil" line is an old wive's tale. You can use synthetic and add a quart of whatever if you want and need to someday. The motor won't mind but you will dilute the extra protection of the synthetic.

The two types of oil are fully compatible. The best thing about synthetics is its ability to cling to internal parts so much longer that regular motor oil. Just the thing for motors (like outboards) that are only run intermittently.

Dick posted 03-16-2002 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
From my Merc 4 stroke service manual:

Use Quicksilver 4-Cycle Marine Oil with the proper viscosity for the expected temperature in your area. If not available, use a premium quality 4-cycle engine oil, certified to meet or exceed anyone of the following American Petreoleum Institute (API) service classifications SH, SG, SF, CF-4, CE, CD, CDII.
SAE 10W-30 viscosity oil is recomended fo use in all temperatures. SAE 25-40 oil may be used at temperatures above 40* F.

Looks like it leaves the door pretty wide open to me.


B Bear posted 03-16-2002 11:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
This is very interesting. I had also asked my dealer about using Mobil One in my Honda 90 when I bought my boat and they told me "no", but any automotive 10-30 SAE oil would be fine.
I have a feeling it might have something to do with allowing the engine to break in first. I know in the past it had been recommended that you allow at least 20K miles on an auto or truck engine before swtiching to a synthetic oil. If this is true imagine how many hours it would take to get the equilivant of 20k miles on an outboard. It could take years!
dgp posted 03-17-2002 01:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
Porsche and BMW gasoline engines; Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar and Volkwagen diesel engines are factory filled with pure synthetic engine oil. I see no problem with using it in a marine 4 stroke outboard however, do not extend the oil drain interval no matter what the oil salesman claims you can do. That_will_void the warranty!
kamml posted 03-17-2002 08:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for kamml  Send Email to kamml     
The advantage of synthetic oil has more to do with operating temperatures than anything else. Where synthetics really shine is at high operating temperatures where they don't lose their lubricating ability from temperature related breakdown like many mineral based oils. Automobile engines operating around 180-190F, sometimes even higher can use this sort of protection. Particularly those with high piston speeds. If an outboard seldom sees 160F and probably runs most of the time between 3000- 4500 rpm it would appear there would be no real significant advantage with synthetic over good quality mineral based oils. The initial pour-ability of cold synthetic lubricant may result in better initial circulation through the engine at start up which could result in less wear over time. IMHO you would have to keep an outboard motor a long time to realize any savings over the cost of a good quality mineral based oil at the current price (almost 4X). If you feel like you need to do all that you can for your motor, why not use it. Ken
B Bear posted 03-17-2002 09:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for B Bear  Send Email to B Bear     
Alot of good thought here.

I'll go striaght to the horse's mouth and call the manufacturer and ask about this. It is something I should have done, question the premise, thanks for the push.

browning20ga posted 03-17-2002 01:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
Ken, Your right on your TEMP statement but you might of shot yourself in the foot on your RPM statement. Seems to me the higher rpm of an outboard may be a selling point for a synthetic oil. How often do we drive your vehicles at 3000 - 5000 rpm?
SuburbanBoy posted 03-17-2002 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Two words Mobil 1. That is all you need to know. High temp, low temp, extended intervals, shortened intervals. I am not aware any situation (other than initial cost) where standard dino is ever better. The break-in myth is more BS. Many, many engines use M1 from new, european, asian, and of course domestic.


mbking1 posted 03-18-2002 05:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for mbking1  Send Email to mbking1     

Spoke with Gary (920)-929-5040 today and the saga continues. I asked him about Mobil One and made reference to the SAE specs in the service manual. He stated that if I had a warranty issue, I would be asked the following question. "Did you use one of the suggested oils specifically listed in your manual? If your answer is anything other than yes, you may have a problem on claims.I again mentioned that Mobil One exceeds the SAE specs in the service manual. He restated his line and we got no further. Anyone else out there care to call and give it a try? Perhaps to someone further up the food chain than Gary? Thanks. Mark

dgp posted 03-18-2002 06:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
This engine oil issue is a "no-brainer"; as long as it meets the API Service Classification and the SAE grade the mfr can't deny you warranty consideration_unless_you ran it out of oil, continuously ran it low on oil or used extended drain intervals.
Jerry Townsend posted 03-18-2002 07:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jerry Townsend  Send Email to Jerry Townsend     
Mark - it sounds like you talked with a Mercury puppet. As you point out, Mobil One exceeds all SAE specifications, therefore there should not be a problem. Aside from that, there is a lot of evidence that speaks for the benefits of Mobil One. Further, I am not aware of any evidence showing that Mobil One is a detriment or has caused problems. Accordingly, I would go ahead and use it.

Another point. Mobil used to recommend running their oil for 50,000 (I believe) miles and then changing oil and filter. In my experience using Mobil One mentioned earlier, I would run until I was down one quart (typically after 4,000 to 6,000 miles)and then change filter and add two quarts of Mobil One. When the engine was pulled down after 180,000 miles, the oil was essentially as clean as new. Initially I had the oil analyzed after 10,000 and after 20,000 miles and there was no break-down. The point - religously keep the filter clean.

browning20ga posted 03-18-2002 08:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
I wonder if the synthetic oil manufacturers would stand behind you if a motor manufacturer refused service based on the use of their product?
I would think that if you had an oil analysis done they wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
Maybe I'm being a little naive.
P.S. I'm going to contact Amsoil and see what they say.
browning20ga posted 03-18-2002 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for browning20ga  Send Email to browning20ga     
This is from the Amsoil site FAQ's.

Q---Will AMSOIL Motor Oils void the warranty of a new vehicle?

A---Absolutely not! Manufacturers’ warranties are based upon the use of oils meeting specific API Service
Classifications, for example, SJ/CF. (AMSOIL lubricants meet the current API Service requirements and, thus, are
perfectly suited for use in any new vehicle without affecting the validity of the new vehicle warranty.)

flwhaler posted 03-19-2002 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for flwhaler  Send Email to flwhaler     
What about detergents in the oil? Does the merc oil have some type of water dispercent? It would make sense to me. Would yamaha 4 stroke oil void warranty?


daverdla posted 03-19-2002 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
Mobil was forced several years ago to pull the plug on its synthetic aviation oil. Apparently, synthetic oil is not as good at carrying away contaminants as mineral based oils. Basically, lead was not held in suspension by the synthetic oil and the build up clogged oilways (the most common fuel for piston powered aircraft is 100 octane low-lead). The problem seemed to mainly affect large displacement turbocharged engines, 500c.u. and larger.

Since cars and boats use no-lead, lead build up shouldn't be a problem. Boats, like airplanes however, are operated at high power settings for extended periods - perhaps this is why there is some concern? Automobiles are rarely called on to operate at high power settings for extended periods. High power meaning continous output of 65 or 75% of max power for several hours.

I don't know if mobil got back into marketing synthetics for aviation or not. Dave

SuburbanBoy posted 03-20-2002 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
The Exxon (they own Mobil 1) site states the following about their aviation oil "Exxon Elite™ is a blend of synthetic and mineral-based oils (plus a highly effective additive package). Why a semi-synthetic? Exxon engineers determined that a fully synthetic oil may not have the solvency to handle the lead deposits that result from the use of leaded fuel. So they developed Exxon Elite™ as a semi-synthetic formulation that combines the best of both synthetics and conventional oils."

They do btw, market a synthetic turbine oil, just in case you have a few laying around. It is fully approved by the Pratt & Whitney Group. Put that in your 13'.



daverdla posted 03-20-2002 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for daverdla  Send Email to daverdla     
I think shell also markets a hybrid. I guess its for the same reason.

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