3800 series motor.

Some of you may remeber from my last post I just got a new engine put in my car. I have always been a huge fan of synthetic oils in my racing bikes but never used it in a car. I figure going with a
synthetic in this new engine is a good idea.
I am wondering when I could put the synthethic in. I know the auto shop put in the standard 10W-30 or 5W-30. Should I put synthethic oil in at the 500 mile oil change or should I wait until the next oil change??
Tim
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I'd put a little more mileage, maybe 3-4k.

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You can put in right away. The only reason not to is the high cost and the fact that you will be doing very rapid oil changes at the start of life of a new engine.
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Tim,
I'm not that big a fan of synthetic oil. Now if the engineers have designed the engine with synthetic oil in their specs (like the new C6 Corvettes) then of course I'd use it.
In the last 3 GM cars I've owned (2 of which has 3800s in them) I've used 10W-30 Pennzoil regular "dino oil", changing it at 3~4K mile intervals without any kind of oil-related problems.
If you do decide to go with the synthetic, I'd wait until your 2nd oil change - give those rings a good change to seat in.
BTW, that first 500 mile change is CRITICAL - do not delay it.
Regards, Bill Bowen Sacramento, CA
P.S. Something even more important: DO NOT use 10W-40 oil in that engine! GM has put out numerous bulletins on that subject - for some reason (which GM doesn't divulge) the 3.8/3800 V-6s are prone to sludge-up with 10W-40 oil.

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Any modern engine with 195 thermos tend to coke up 10-40 oil, this was an ongoing problem I know of first hand ,GM had this issue in the early 80's with the switch over to high temp thermo's, I would think that that sitiution has changed, though after 20 years, maybe. No mfg, today recommends 10-40.
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Change the oil now with same oil used now. Run it another 2K miles. Then change to synthetic oil. Change the oil filter each and every oil change. A minimum 15 minute minimum drain time is recommended, preferrably, while the oil is hot.
Piston ring break-in is critical to the life of the engine. Don't blow it.
--
Jonny



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Mobil 1 is factory fill on a number of cars, the Corvette being one. They seem to live quite well with syn oil right from the start.
Roy
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His 3800 has what in common with a Corvette?
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The both have crankshafts, cams, rod bearings, main bearings, oil pumps, and on and on. No reason NOT to use M1 from the start if you desire. GM does not do it for cost reasons more than anything else; the Corvette also may see higher RPM in its daily life.
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Sure there is. Unless you know what material the rings are made of, what type of facing they have and what type of process and stone grit was used to hone the cylinder walls, he may find that his piston rings will not seat.

Marketing actually. Same reason they no longer put grease fittings on steering components of passenger cars.

RPM has nothing to do with whether one uses synthetic oil or not, and since most people seen driving Corvettes are white haired old men/women going thru their post mid life crisis, I seriously doubt that many see over 3000 RPM.
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The engines used in the Corvette and the 3800 are mass produced. Okay, in the C-4 they used Mobil 1 to cut the oil temp because they couldn't fit a oil cooler. That has been resolved. They aren't really hand fitting the rings and pistons. The choice of oil from get go doesn't really matter in a mass produced automotive application imo.
Roy
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It is not a matter of hand fitting, the material used in the rings and the cylinder bore finish are designed to reduce friction to a minumum, these techniques are not commonly used on a passenger car engine.
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