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Old 02-09-2003, 10:41 AM
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Synthetic Oil Question

I know, winter is ending, I probably should have done this before. I replaced all glow plugs with new Bosch, replaced relay, tightened alternator belt, checked battery, and its all fine. It burns a bit of oil (1/2 quart over 3000 miles) and I see some oil film around oil filler cap ( original cap, no tell tale signs of bad compression like power loss etc) She drives real nice, but if it's around 15 out and I take her to school, leave her out for 7 hours, she either won't start or she will be a killer to start. Before going off and replacing my starter, I am curious how much synthetic oil would help? I am running Texaco Ursa 10W-30 Diesel trucking oil, and it still isn't starting as easily as I wanted. Is this how these cars are, or can this be remedied by oil?

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Old 02-09-2003, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,373
When I switched to synthetic (5w40 rotella) in my cars, I was shocked. It seems like I bought 10 degrees of colder starts. All four of ours have started after sitting out at school for 7-10 hours.
And its been pretty cold this year.

Something else interesting that I discovered was that if I just changed a filter at 3k miles, I could extend my oil 6k instead of 3k. This is a point of debate among oil/diesel experts, but enough of them suggested it, so I did it. Therefore, the $12.83 per gallon (walmart costs earlier in the year) was pretty much the same as dino because I got twice the mileage. So far, this has been a nice strategy during the winter months.

'84 300DT 298k (Aubrey's)
'99.5 Jetta TDI IV 251k (Julie's)
'97 Jetta TDI 127k (Amber's)
'97 Jetta TDI 186k (Matt's)
'96 Passat TDI 237k (Don's
'84 300D 211k Mint (Arne- Undergoing Greasecar Conversion)

'82 240D 229k (Matt's - Converted-300DT w/ 4 speed
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:57 AM
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Sythetic Oil has helped me alot, but my car still turns over slow when it gets cold. After reading another thread the other day I finally figured out that if I clean some of the contacts around the starter it might help. I havn't done that yet, but I am hoping it will. If that doesn't work, then that means that I need a new starter. I am going to say that if Synthetic oil doesn't help, then try you might have some bad contacts, or need a starter.
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Old 02-10-2003, 12:09 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Boston,Ma
Posts: 168
Kyle-I put Delvac in my '82 240 last November.Temperatures here ,Boston, have been occasionally in single digits overnight. The car is outside all night,from 7 P.M. until 11A.M. and then it starts with very little trouble! The "worst" it's been was maybe 3 tries before it started. Great stuff!
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Old 02-10-2003, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,595

I have used synthetic oils since the '70s when Mobil 1 first arrived and I was living in Alaska. Over the years I have tried other products, including RedLine and Castrol, as well as Mobil 1 in other than the original viscosity (15W-50 and 0W-40). While I believe the result was a more reliable cold starting experience, I could not verify it directly. Until recently when I switched the whole "fleet" (gas and Diesel) to Delvac 1. The 1982 240D has always been pretty reliable down to the mid '20s F. Below that it was not a sure thing and below zero it was pretty sure you would be push starting it. Well, on Delvac 1 the car has started on demand down to minus 10F. My daughter calls whenever the car fails to start or makes an unusual noise, and she has it in Troy, NY at college. She has only called once, and that was after a few weeks of really cold weather and a few consecutive days of trips of less than five miles each way which stressed the battery. Once it got back above 10F the car started on its own, no jump or anything. This is substantially better than it performed on any previous oil, including Mobil 1 0W-40. So, not to encourage an oil war, I think there are definite cold start benefits to synthetics in general, and these benefits are more pronounced with products specifically formulated for Diesels in particular.

Good luck, Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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Old 02-10-2003, 09:58 PM
Holson Adi's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,561
Originally posted by dbgrate
Kyle-I put Delvac in my '82 240 last November.Temperatures here ,Boston, have been occasionally in single digits overnight. The car is outside all night,from 7 P.M. until 11A.M. and then it starts with very little trouble! The "worst" it's been was maybe 3 tries before it started. Great stuff!

Do you happen to have a blue 240D?

Where in Boston are you?
2008 BMW 335i Coupe
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Old 02-10-2003, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 87
Up here in Buffalo my 1983 300SD starts at below zero temps with two glows. I might say quickly also. I currently have Delvac 1 in the thing. The engine sounds good almost right away. I really don't even know if my block heater still works.

Art Bourget

1983 300SD
1st In Class - Starfest Concours 2004
1st In Class - StarTrack Concours 2003
1983 300TDT
1985 300D

MBCA - Niagara Section
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