Is synthetic oil required for the 2012 charger SE? I checked the manual and it says you may use synthetic oil only if quality requirements are met. But no where does it say it is recommended or required. I ask because my wife took my charger for an oil change while I was at work and the tech said he could only put in full synthetic.
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The problem with our society today is that we regularly ruin words and their meaning! We use the word "Synthetic" as a type when it is really a characteristic! We use the word Kleenex for facial tissues, but not all tissues are really made by Kleenex.
We use Synthetic to describe Group IV Poly Alpha Olefin oils....and now they even use the words "Full Synthetic" instead of Para-synthetic.
What people don't know or realize is that what you put in your car based on what it is made of does really matter. Dodge has come up with the 8k mile numbers for the Pentastar for cost of ownership numbers and not for "doing the best" for the engine!
I have seen samples of even 5k mile oil in the Pentastar and there is a lot more wear in it than anyone here would want.....if they really care about their car lasting longer than the warranty! This is why Mopar puts a 5 year or 100k mile warranty. Most people will hit the 5 years before the 100k! Average driving is 12-15k miles per year. 12 x 5 = 60k 15x 5 = 75k. Warranty done......3-5 more year needed to use it!
To understand what your question really means, I have put the differences together for your review. Since I manufacture oils for industry as well as racing.....and regular street cars, understanding the differences are important!
Off the shelf solvent refined oil
- also known as "Conventional Oil" is mineral based with various molecule sizes and extremely reactive to heat. Reactive up to 35% by volume. Smaller molecules burn up and produce varnish. Larger molecules make oil thicker.....20 turns to 30, 30 turns to 40 etc. Great on seals and maintains additive packages. Pumpability, wearability, and oxidation stability are marginal. Need to change quickly...2,500 to 3,000 miles. Produces more wear. In a 6 quart system like the Pentastar, over 2 quarts can end up in the catch can (if you have one) and mainly out the exhaust. They are like Valvoline, Castrol, Wolfs Head, Quaker State etc. This is the oil that is known to sludge up in engines.
Why does engine oil break down, combine with contaminants, and form sludge deposits? Chemistry teaches that engine oil is unstable and decomposes in the presence of oxygen at high temperature and the % of reactivity due to base stock componentry. The process, called oxidation, occurs after exposure to normal high operating conditions for extended periods of time and is accelerated by exposure to severe operating conditions or to excessively high temperatures. Remember that our engines run at 200 to 240 degrees for emission reasons. Conventional Solvent Refined oils do not do well in these conditions!
During oxidation (which is why oxidation stability is so important in the manufacture of your oil), the chemical bonds that define the oil molecules are broken, and some of the reactive products accumulate and interact to form a highly viscous complex mixture of solids, liquids, and gases that contain a variety of solid carbon-based dirt and metallic particles, as well as liquid coolant, fuel washdown, oil and water droplets.
Off the shelf PAO Synthetic oils
are known as "Full Synthetic" and are uniform in molecule structure (hence the word synthetic) and less reactive to heat...about 15% by volume. Consistent small molecules carry heat more uniformly and produce less varnish. I didn't say none! Pumpabillity, wearability and oxidation stability is better than the solvent refined mineral oils I just discussed.
However, these Group IV PAO oils are much more aggressive on seals, and solubility is not very good. Solubility is the additive packages which drop out of them and end up in the oil pan. Change these oils at about 5000 miles for best results. In a 6 quart system like your Pentastar, just over 1 quart can end up in the catch can and out the exhaust. Neo, Royal Purple, Amsoil, Mobil 1, Redline, Quaker Q, and NAPA Synthetic are examples. It is interesting that Mobil makes 86% of all the PAO base stock that is sold on the market today. Since a lot of these companies don't do their own refining it isn't hard to understand that they are buying stock from Mobil and private labeling it.
QuantumBlue Custom Blended
is what we design, and are also uniform in molecule structure (synthetic) and much much less reactive to heat....about 3% max by volume. We hydrogen crack sweet crude oil to take virtually all the reactives out of the oil so that you don't encounter them in your engine while being VERY friendly on your seals. It is a more expensive process to do this, but it yields an oil that will withstand anything you can throw at it and not turn to sludge and will not evaporate into the catch can and out the exhaust! It contains consistent larger molecules for better carrying capacity than PAO and are clean running for a long period of time. Very good pumpability, wearability, and oxidation stability than solvent refined or PAO based oils. It is very friendly on seals and the solubility is significantly better than either of the other two. Change intervals of these oils are in the 10 to 15k miles on one drain. In a 6 quart system, just 5.76 oz of the oil ends up in the catch can or out the exhaust compared to 2 qts out the exhaust in a solvent refined oil or 1 quart out the exhaust for the PAO Synthetic.
So assuming a conventional oil is $15.57 for 5 quarts of oil + 1 quart at $3.12 to make the 6 quarts + 7.88 for a cartridge filter = $26.57 x 1.075 tax = 28.56 per change....if you do it yourself. So 10k miles at 3.33 x 28.56 = $95.11.
Typical Synthetic Group IV would be like Mobil 1 at 8.99 per quart. 8.99 x 6 = 53.94 + 7.88 for and oil filter = 61.82 x 1.075 tax = $66.46 for 5k miles.
66.46 x 2 = $132.91 for 10k miles....again if you did it yourself.
QuantumBlue is $12.76 per quart x 6 = 76.56 + free oil filter this month and no tax = $76.56 + shipping of $12.00 to your door = $88.56 for 10k miles again if you did it yourself. You can take it to a local shop to do the change but use our oils.
In the end, the mineral oils don't protect anywhere near as well as our QB yet people are obsessed in changing them and spending more.
The PAO oils were better in their time but have been far eclipsed by what we make and we are no more expensive than a typical synthetic off the shelf and still do better than them in so many aspects.
The oil analysis charts that we post constantly prove that.
BND Automotive LLC