96 Caprice Synthetic versus Conventional Oil - Chevy Impala SS Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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96 Caprice Synthetic versus Conventional Oil

My caprice is a 96 with the Lt1and it has 180k miles on it. What kind of oil do you all recommend for the car.

I want to go with 10/ 30 mobile one, but considering the vintage of the car... I have heard that synthetic oil can leak easier than conventional, and I don't want to deal with any leaks right now.

I have had the car for almost 3 months now and i want to put some new oil in there, what's the best filter n oil combo ???
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 02:03 AM
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I know many folks will claim it's a wives' tale, but when we put synthetic in our 95 (pre-build), @120,000 miles, it went from leaking dime sized drops to soup can lid messes. I've heard arguments both ways. That's just what we saw ... about two months of driving. We'd claim it was obvious and connected. Others would claim it was just that time (to leak).

Hey ... it prompted us to rebuild the engine and that made all the drops go away.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 12:04 PM
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I'd go with one of the oils for high mileage cars, possibly a synthetic blend but not pure synthetic. I'd also go to 10W40 minimum.

Don Rundgren
McKinney, Texas
1996 Caprice 9C1
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 12:09 PM
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Synthetic will leak faster than conventional oil. May or may not be a big enough difference to matter. I always use Mobil 1 0W-40 in my 175K mile '94 Caprice. I change the oil once a year regardless of milage(though it's usually around 10,000 miles). In that time, I drip out around two quarts(I usually add a "make up" quart at around 5K miles). Every other oil change I have my used oil analyzed(I use Blackstone Labs), and even at 10K miles, it comes back good and they tell my it still has 2000-3000 miles of life left in it. Even with the leak, the extended service life of the synthetic is still more cost effective than conventional oil.

Disclaimer: Any hokey-assness on my personal vehicles does not reflect the quality of my work done while I'm on the clock
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supersporty View Post
My caprice is a 96 with the Lt1and it has 180k miles on it. What kind of oil do you all recommend for the car.

I want to go with 10/ 30 mobile one, but considering the vintage of the car... I have heard that synthetic oil can leak easier than conventional, and I don't want to deal with any leaks right now.

I have had the car for almost 3 months now and i want to put some new oil in there, what's the best filter n oil combo ???
Yes, change the oil now, if you don't know for sure the history.

Filter: The regular AC Delco PF52 filter is perfectly good and solidly built. Be careful, though--do NOT get the newer Delco PF52E, which Walmart and others sell--it's a flimsier, smaller version. It's a couple of bucks cheaper, but a crappy design with less capacity and can collapse internally.

Oil: 0W30, 0W40, 10W30, 10W40 all are reasonable choices. GM went to 0W oil to try to squeeze a little more gas mileage out of cold engines. Since your car has a lot of miles on it, my suggestion would be 10W30 or 10W40. Checking the level often between the first few several changes will tell a lot about the condition of the engine. If you don'tknow the oil change history, I suggest doing the second oil and filter change pretty soon after the first one, like maybe 500-1000 miles. Use cheaper non-synthetic oil the first time. For regular changes, I just wait until the change oil light comes on in my Fleetwood--does the Caprice have that? (I don't know). Depending on driving conditions, mine ends up being 3000-8000 miles. I use regular synthetic Mobil1 10W30.

Leaks--does your car have an external oil cooler or oil cooler in the radiator? If it does, the weak link is the hoses, which start slowly leading at the crimped ends of the rubber. Also, since the car is old, if you have oil cooler hoses you might want to replace them just to avoid sudden failure. If you don't have those, then no worries.

Also, if you do have the oil cooler hoses, the other thing that might start leaking is the gasket where the filter adapter bolts to the engine. Removing the filter adapter is easy, but cleaning out the hardened old gasket from the machined hole in the engine can take a long time under the car, like an hour with a tiny scraper.

Maybe I have been lucky, but the cooler hoses and the adapter gasket were the only two leak problems I had so far.

Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-13-2014, 09:31 PM
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If you currently are not leaking or burning oil, Mobil 1 does have a high mileage synthetic available that I recommend. I also like Valvoline Max Life for these cars. I also like the AC Delco filter mentioned above.

95 Caprice wagon DCM
ISSCA # 2424
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