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my .02

I agree 100% with everyone stating there is no reason not to use synthetic. these engines hold what 1 quart possibly 1.5 quarts?? for $10-$13/qt I can afford to use synthetic.

What I haven't seen is anyone asking about motorcycle oil.. IMO this is a better choice than automobile oil, because they remove the friction modifiers from it. Now I know some you probably believe this to be snake oil, but hear me out.

Firstly motorycle/atv engines have alot of aluminum, magnesium and some high performance stuff has impregnated ceramic impregnated and titanium. That being said In a motorcycle/atv the "oil" is doing double duty. It lubricates all the engine pieces, rods, crank, valve train, camshafts but it also needs to lubricate the transmission gears and the wet clutch. The forces, heat and general abuse that motorcycle oil gets is not the same as an automobile engine, where it just to lubricate some moving parts and flow around. The motorcycle oil gets crushed between steel and fiber plates in the clutch which is 100's of pound of force. Then it flies over into the transmission and is ground in between the teeth of the gearset.. Then gets pumped back through the system and runs over the valve train. Nowlook that may not mean anything, But motorcycles that are used in places that use snowblowers are run for a few months and put away. Just like our snow blowers, ridden hard and put away wet.

I dunno maybe I'm talking thru my butt since I didn't have my 2nd coffee yet.. I also haven't researched small engine oil, and might be the same as motorcycle oil.
Depends on what kind of motorcycle you ride.
 

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Motorcycle oil IS Motorcycle oil because the lack of friction modifiers, If you put oil with it then your clutch will no longer work and may need to be replaced, Other than that there is nothing special about it, Just can't have friction modifiers in a clutch so it's marked as Motorcycle oil.
 

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What if I used to ride and no longer own a motorcycle???
Then I feel sad for you! Lol
What I was getting at was not all motorcycles use motorcycle oil. Harley`s twin cams and M8 motors can use 3 separate oils. Regular motor oil for the motor, a different oil for the primary ( clutch) , and a third for the transmission. Most foreign bike`s motors share the same oil with their clutches and transmissions.
So for a snowblower I use regular slippery synthetic motor oil. Mobil 1 5w-30
 

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For clarification purposes (synthetic vs dino)...
These excerpts are taken from https://localtvwtkr.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/aaa-research-report-synthetic-vs-conventional_final.pdf

On March 1, 1999, the National Advertising Division (NAD) ruled on case #3526 involving Castrol
Synthetic Engine Oil. The ruling found that “severe cracking and reforming processes” to hydroisomerize
a mineral base stock is indeed a synthesis and therefore the refined product can be advertised as a
synthetic oil. Because of this ruling, many “synthetic” oils now on the market are composed of highly
processed crude oil.
.

Groups I-III are derived from petroleum crude oil. Quality conventional engine oils are typically made
from Group II base stocks. They are often manufactured by hydrocracking, a process that saturates the
hydrocarbons within the base stock. Due to the saturation of hydrocarbons comprising the base stock,
Group II oils have good anti-oxidation properties.
Group III base stocks typically undergo a severe hydrocracking process designed to produce a purer base
oil. A significant number of engine oils marketed as “full synthetic” fall into this category.

Group IV base stocks are true “synthetic” base stocks in the technical sense of the word; they are
polyalphaolefins (PAOs) synthesized by oligomerization of α-decene or a mixture of α-olefins containing
between 6-12 carbon atoms. The resulting oligomers are then hydrogenated and distilled to yield the
base stock. Group IV base stocks are lab created, not based upon crude oil.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Then you have the additives package that is added (detergents, anti wear, anti foaming, anti sludge, etc).
Ideally, those additives should combine with the base stock, but in most cases the additives are mixed
with a crude based carrier and then combined with the base stock.
So even if an oil is a true synthetic based upon group IV base stocks, the carrier used for the additives
package may be crude oil based, so still not 100% synthetic.

So what does all this mean ?

In my opinion, very little when it comes to a snowblower, but good to know anyhow.
In a lab setting, most synthetic (group III or IV based) oils outperformed dino oils in every test, but
in the real world it's probably not so cut and dry.
Out of all the oils marketed/labeled as "full synthetic", there are only a handful that use group IV base stocks (no crude), but they may still use a crude based carrier for the additives package.
Some say there are only 2 true synthetic oils available in the U.S. and others say it's slightly more,
maybe as high as 5 or 6.

For myself, I'll use either Motorcraft 5w30 (since I have a bunch in the garage) or PennGrade 1 (used to be Brad Penn). Both are synthetic blends.
 

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Gentlemen, please calm yourselves. I know opinions are like buttholes, most everyone has one, so with that being said, here is my humble opinion.

When you have a new engine, change the oil as per the instructions in your owner's manual. After the break-in time period, if you want to use synthetic oil, go for it.

I personally would use synthetic if your blower sits outside 24/7. Otherwise, if it sits in a somewhat warmer location, a garage for example, regular dino oil would be OK. :D
 

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1) Snowblowers don't use an oil filter. So the oil should be changed at least at the end of season or more often if it's run a lot. 2 years ago I changed the oil during mid season because I was getting water (white cream) on the dip stick.

2) I use 5W-30 regular oil. In 40 years, I have never ran into an engine related problem due to oil. Not in any lawn mower, tiller etc.

However, when I run out of regular oil I will switch over to synthetic. Why? It feels better to use the better oil. Is it needed? Not really. Remember you got to drain it out in 3-4 months anyway....
 

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My local honda dealer uses Honda 10w-30 because the temps do not go below zero very often.

Many years ago a mechanic friend told me the best thing you can do for a motor is to change the oil and filters regularly. Good advice as we have 3 cars still going strong after 330,000 , 297,000 , and 281,000 miles on them. all subarus.

Even though the Honda manual says to use 5W30, My dealer recommended 10W30 Honda oil for the same reason. We rarely go below zero as well. On another note, we purchased a new Subaru Outback last year...Really like this car, especially in the snow.
 

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1) Snowblowers don't use an oil filter. So the oil should be changed at least at the end of season or more often if it's run a lot. 2 years ago I changed the oil during mid season because I was getting water (white cream) on the dip stick.
Bob,
I'm also getting white cream on the dip stick...
But I think it's not a water but foaming effect.
And it's happened only in this season when I switched from Mobile dino to Mobil1 full synthetic 5w-30 oil.
 

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The oil demonstrated to keep your engine cleanest is the new Penzoil Synthetic made from natural gas, not oil. Proven less carbon buildup and sludge.

Most manufacturers are recommending synthetic today. I run synthetic in everything, I run the Penzoil in my important stuff. Keep it light, no heavier than 0-30. 0-20 if you can get it.

The big thing with Mobil 1 is that it doesn't flash as fast as other oil, so when it gets into the combustion chamber, and it typically does, it doesn't have the effect of lowering octane.

Here's the Penziol.

 

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It is my second season with the blower which I bought new late last fall. I did the 5 hour break in oil change and used conventional oil, but was wondering if I should switch over to synthetic oil.
I've been servicing my cars and small engines for nearly 40 years. I never blew up an engine because of using regular oil.
5W30 is a fine choice for a snowblower.

If you want to be extra safe and make yourself feel good use the synthetic. Remember at the end of the season to drain it out and add fresh. This is the trick for keeping your motors running until the bodies fall off, change it after the season is over. That means 1 hour of use or 75....
 

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Bob,
I'm also getting white cream on the dip stick...
But I think it's not a water but foaming effect.
And it's happened only in this season when I switched from Mobile dino to Mobil1 full synthetic 5w-30 oil.
No question, It's condensation that collecting inside the engine, because of the super cold weather. The engine is cold then it warms up do to running the engine.

So it's water (steam) that's starting to form inside the engine.

I'd recommend to change the oil or let the engine run longer to completely burn off the moisture.
 

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It gets there from the Humidity in the air. I would just change the oil, wipe the dip stick clean and not worry too much about it.
This in a nut shell.

The same thing happens when you take some meat out of the freezer and let it sit on top of the counter. The wrapper gets all wet. There's your moisture in the air.
 

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Most manufacturers are recommending synthetic today. I run synthetic in everything, I run the Penzoil in my important stuff. Keep it light, no heavier than 0-30. 0-20 if you can get it.
Most OEMs spec 5W30, 5 being the cold weight and 30 being the hot weight. 0W30 would be fine for exceptionally cold temperatures (think 10F and below) but 0W20 is just too thin for an air cooled engine (which are particularly hard on oil) designed for 5W30. Yes, it's thinner and will flow faster when cold, but that will translate to lower oil pressure in oil passages as well as less film strength when placed under pressure by engine components when hot.

Just like I'd never run 5W30 in my car (spec'd for 0W20), I wouldn't run 0w20 in my power equipment spec'd for 5W30 or 10W30.
 

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Most OEMs spec 5W30, 5 being the cold weight and 30 being the hot weight. 0W30 would be fine for exceptionally cold temperatures (think 10F and below) but 0W20 is just too thin for an air cooled engine (which are particularly hard on oil) designed for 5W30. Yes, it's thinner and will flow faster when cold, but that will translate to lower oil pressure in oil passages as well as less film strength when placed under pressure by engine components when hot.

Just like I'd never run 5W30 in my car (spec'd for 0W20), I wouldn't run 0w20 in my power equipment spec'd for 5W30 or 10W30.
A lot of these motor oil weights are given by car manufacturers for fuel efficiency purposes, thinner oil posts better mileage. It also corresponds to the oil pressure gauge, or light depending on what you have. A thinner oil shows lower pressure, and it's noticeable.

I typically ran what was called "4 stroke small engine oil" and straight weight 30 for a long time. Even specific air cooled motorcycle oil. I'm going to go lighter now. The weights aren't really that critical. The difference between 10-30 and 5-30 or 0-20 in this particular application is negligible, if you're using synthetic.

Here's the page from my manual. oil page.jpg
 
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