My 2004 XG350L now has 31K miles. It has always been serviced at the deal
from the day I purchased it. All service was performed at 3K mile intervals.
My dealer uses Kendall GT-1 motor oil. Recently, I've noticed more and more
tappet noise from the valve train when I start the car in the morning.
Especially when it's been cool at night. The valve train noise goes away
after the oil has circulated and the engine has been idling for a minute or
two. Will 100% synthetic oil help to stop the tappet noise? Any suggestions
on which brand - success stories or failures would be appreciated. Should I
consider a different oil filter? If so, which would be the best?
Carl C. Jackson
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in
Not an expert but what weight oil is currently in the engine, if its a 10w30
the owner manual may call for 5w30, which is thinner at start up and may
quiet the tappets. I don't think a synthetic will make any difference in the
noise just your wallet, a different filter brand may, maybe your current
filter is draining down over night and there's a oil pressure delay on
morning start ups.
I'll take a try at this, but not regarding Hyundais.
I switched to Mobil 1 when it first came out around 1985 for my Honda
Civic. 12 years of tough San Francisco hills later, I drove it to the
junkyard under its own power. In all that time, it was never neccessary
to open the engine. Adjusting the valves was a waste of time: there was
never any wear to adjust for.
In my Ford Aerostar, I could not use Mobil or Castrol syntetic due to
incompatibility between the oversized bottle neck and the skinny filler
tube (a real issue; I won't go into detail). I tried Quaker State
synethetic or Pennzoil (can't remember -- undoubtedly the same product)
-- didn't seem to offer any advantage that I could discover.
Regular Castrol oil did make a difference, however. I believe that
Castrol's regular product is superior to everyone else's conventional
oil. My Aerostar perked up in power with this lube. I know of some
technical differences between these oils, but I don't want to write a
tome about them.
Bottom line for me is that my experience with Mobil 1 has been superb.
In fact, I have almost every weight of it on my workbench and use it
when restoring precision turntables. I use it in almost all audio
mechanisms. I've been told that synthetic oils tend to leave a film in
place on metals, which is exactly what I need on a certain brand of
record changer which originally called for an esoteric German oil with
that property. And, of course, that's what we all want to be there when
we start our engines. Now, what the quality is like after the merger
with Texaco is anyone's guess. A woman at Castrol told me that there's
been no change regarding where the Castrol oil is still being made. In
other words, BP didn't shut the Castrol factories and move all the oil
production to BP shops.
If I were going to use a synthetic again, I'd also consider Castrol as a
serious contender just because it's a brand that I trust. And Mobil 1,
of course. I know how the Mobil product was developed, and I was
satisfied at the time that they'd done their homework. However,
understand that Castrol has been acquired by BP -- it may not still be
the same stuff. (If you want to see what can happen to a product after
an acquisition, read amateur test reports of oil filters on the web:
you're eyebrows will raise.)
Kendall seems to be a brand that's used a lot by shops who, of course,
buy it in bulk. I wouldn't use any oil that I could not find retail for
Another concept that I've seen recommended is to make up your own
"synthetic blend." The idea is to dump in 4 quarts of regular and 1
quart of synthetic -- both in the same brand, of course, to ensure that
they'll mix OK. Note, too, that Mobil has always said that their
synthetic will blend perfectly with anything. And since their oil is a
**full** synthetic, I see no reason to dispute this.
My own plan for my 2000 Sonata with 107,000 miles, is to have my oil
changed with the regular Castrol 10w-40 (probably optimal grade for my
climate). I think that for me, the regular Castrol is just so good that
going to a synthetic wouldn't offer much meaningful advantage.
I can't work on my own car where I live now, so what I do is I've found
a scuzzy oil change chain place where I like the guys; I march in with
my own oil and filter, and say, "Why not knock off $4 for your own oil
and dump in this stuff. OK?" This costs a lot more, but it's worked fine
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