chnage intervale for synthetic blend oil

Bought a new-to-me 2000 Focus ZX3 a month a go and took it into my local Canadian Tire who explained to me that the car takes a synthetic blend oil 5W20. I thought I was being ripped when I found a TSB on the net
recommending this type of oil.
Question: what are the change intervals for 5W20? Will it improve fuel economy and extend the life of the engine?
Ron
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For winter use, it's an advantage (gels up less in the cold). The Crappy Tire guy is wrong if he says the Focus has to have it, but nothing wrong with using it.

I'd say the same as regular oil. You might get away with 10k but not more than that, and only if you don't have a lot of stop-and-start driving. The problem is that while syn does not break down as fast as regular oil, it gets dirty just as fast.

Not that you'd notice, except as I said it flows better at really cold temps so may save a little gas there. As to engine life, most cars these days go to the wrecker with the basic engine still in good shape so that's not a factor.
I will be getting my oil changed (2000 SPI) early in the new year and will get semi-synthetic, but that's for cold-weather starting. Otherwise I wouldn't bother.
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On Sun, 21 Dec 2003 12:35:39 -0500, "Dave Gower"

I usually change the oil by judging the amount of dirt/crap in the oil. I just put 6000km on my ZX5 since my last change, your mileage will vary. Moisture and a lot of cold starts tends to give (synthetic or natural) oil fits! The 5W20 oil is a synthetic blend so in theory it should last longer than ordinary 5W30 oil that what was originally recommended for the 2000 Focus. I think Ford has since revised their recommendation to the 5W20 weight - this oil wasn't around when the car was first sold.
A oil and filter change for me was about $32 including taxes from my local dealer/quick lube bay so the difference in price from 5W30 is minimal.

Cold starting is probably about the same as with 5W30 but running at warmed up temps such as highway speeds should run a little easier and therefore a slightly increased mileage. I always thought the first number was the viscosity at lower temperatures and the second number was the viscosity at the warmed up temperature. If true then 5W20 is thinner and freer running after warming. Today's engines are built to tighter tolerances than of yesteryear and really need the lower viscosity.

I saw a website earlier this year that explains the in/outs of motor oil from the point of view of a oil chemist. One comment caught my eye was that today's synthetic oils should last *MUCH* longer than the recommended oil change interval. (Not a 100% sure but I thought the guy mentioned between 50K and 100k) The recommended interval from the vehicle manufacturers is basically a carry over from the days of mediocre oils and is a cash cow for the oil manufacturers.
I am still a skeptic about the extra extra long interval because this guy doesn't live in the extreme temperature swings and lows that we have in Canada (probably a southern Californian!) In fact he does mention that even synthetic oils don't do so well under our conditions.
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I live in Ontario, and in the winter I always use 0w30 Synthetic. Starts really easy, runs quieter. One of them is a 1991 2.5 Sundance and it still doesn't use oil. The other one is a 1999 Sable 200hp. Gerry

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Best there is! Best year around too. I'd skip the blends - just so much marketing crap.
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AFAIR Ford recommends 5W30 over here and a 20.000 km change interval or once a year.
Seems reasonable, before the Focus I had a Ford Sierra TD, which got new oil every 10.000 km as recommended from Ford.
Never any problem even after >230.000 km the engine was running like new. From >17 years driving various Ford, the body will fall apart from rust long before the slightest problem with the engine.
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