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Gregg,
you are making me actually think twice now about using synthetic oil...... I think my next oil change will be the GN4 conventional oil 10-30 and hope that I do see the difference..
It is OK to switch brands and type of oil....once we use syn. oil correct ????

2010 Honda Roadsmith trike............... Never abused, alway ridden smoothly, never raced (BUT oil has been replaced every 2-3,000 miles with filter always...........
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I suppose it depends on how one describes failure. Failure as in on a trip with a major engine break down ??? Or failure because of poor maintenance habits, a repair now cost more ??? I see lots of the latter. The Wing in post #2 is a great example of that. His repair would have been cheaper if he had more frequent oil, and air filter changes, a proper oil filter, and by using non-synthetic oil.
Please explain - or if I missed it, point out where you shared the details:

1. What was the issue/reason for bringing the bike to your shop? The failure.
2. What parts were replaced?
3. How was oil the cause of the issue?
4. What was the increased cost due to maintaining the bike by the book (8,000 mile oil change)?

Thanks.
 

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Gregg,
you are making me actually think twice now about using synthetic oil...... I think my next oil change will be the GN4 conventional oil 10-30 and hope that I do see the difference..
It is OK to switch brands and type of oil....once we use syn. oil correct ????

2010 Honda Roadsmith trike............... Never abused, alway ridden smoothly, never raced (BUT oil has been replaced every 2-3,000 miles with filter always...........
View attachment 374034
Good idea ... especially if you have a trike. Honda's conventional GN4 oil continues to be the best oil for a 5th gen. I'm sure as time passes, it will prove true for 6th gens too. In a 2010, Honda wants GN4 10w-30.
 

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.... A common example that I'm often reporting are burnt clutch plates on trikes. In all cases, the customer uses synthetic. I've not yet seen one burnt clutch plate with Honda's GN4 conventional oil...
I understand your point, Greg but, as often, you're not doing a proper comparison. You're not taking full notice of other influencing factors. They are numerous and probably you can't know them. It's fine relating your experience, and interesting but it's not fine concluding that what you experience is mass factual truth.

In my case I never use OEM products, I purchase exclusively from motor factors. Other than connector corrosion I've only had two failures and that was a right-hand top fork seal at 16k miles, the other was a starter relay at approx 6k. Both of these are OEM products and my experience. Is it fair that I now conclude that OEM products are rubbish? Of course not. Not enough data.
 

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I for one appreciate the opinion and take it for what it is, the conclusion he has reached based on his own observations.
 
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I for one appreciate the opinion and take it for what it is, the conclusion he has reached based on his own observations.
I do too. But when I ask for specifics and an explanation, all I hear is crickets. If someone makes a claim they should be able to provide some details at least.
 

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I have had this same thing happen every time I try to give mechanical advice.
Everyone expects mechanics to be an exact science. They want perfect answers that fit every problem, and every variation of that problem, to be 100% all the time. Sorry - no way. The problem is: Mechanical contraptions don't always react exactly the same, as a result of the same factors. And, there are multiple factors for every failure, some of which are impossible to accurately gauge.
You don't change your oil, but want exact answers on whether it will hurt your particular machine. Okay, let's start: What viscosity and brand and type of lubricants have been used? What brand and type of filter? Has the machine ever been used when it was low on coolant or oil? Are you the only person who has ever operated the machine? Is there a history of this particular machine's failures and what are they? How hard do you use the machine? In what climate? Are you 100% consistent in your habits (doubtful - we're human)? Have you used aftermarket additives? What was the "run" or "lot" of your machine on the assembly line? ...and on, and on it goes. No way to be 100% on every machine made on this earth. This isn't mathematics, where the result of 2 X 4, will always be 8.
So...Will I be able to tell you that running your oil for 50,000 miles will DEFINITELY ruin your particular engine? No, but I am very certain it PROBABLY will. Now, you find me that miraculous guy that did and suffered no bad result - am I supposed to forget all I have seen? If you want to take anecdotal advice, go ahead. You should know, that science usually rejects anecdotal results or advice, because it is anecdotal and not accurate.
So, we tend to go by statistical results. We know what USUALLY happens, when you do or don't do this or that. That is how a mechanic arrives at his advice. If you want a perfect answer every time, for every circumstance, on every machine - you will have to seek advice from a "Higher Power"!
 

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I have had this same thing happen every time I try to give mechanical advice.
Everyone expects mechanics to be an exact science. They want perfect answers that fit every problem, and every variation of that problem, to be 100% all the time. Sorry - no way. The problem is: Mechanical contraptions don't always react exactly the same, as a result of the same factors. And, there are multiple factors for every failure, some of which are impossible to accurately gauge.
You don't change your oil, but want exact answers on whether it will hurt your particular machine. Okay, let's start: What viscosity and brand and type of lubricants have been used? What brand and type of filter? Has the machine ever been used when it was low on coolant or oil? Are you the only person who has ever operated the machine? Is there a history of this particular machine's failures and what are they? How hard do you use the machine? In what climate? Are you 100% consistent in your habits (doubtful - we're human)? Have you used aftermarket additives? What was the "run" or "lot" of your machine on the assembly line? ...and on, and on it goes. No way to be 100% on every machine made on this earth. This isn't mathematics, where the result of 2 X 4, will always be 8.
So...Will I be able to tell you that running your oil for 50,000 miles will DEFINITELY ruin your particular engine? No, but I am very certain it PROBABLY will. Now, you find me that miraculous guy that did and suffered no bad result - am I supposed to forget all I have seen? If you want to take anecdotal advice, go ahead. You should know, that science usually rejects anecdotal results or advice, because it is anecdotal and not accurate.
So, we tend to go by statistical results. We know what USUALLY happens, when you do or don't do this or that. That is how a mechanic arrives at his advice. If you want a perfect answer every time, for every circumstance, on every machine - you will have to seek advice from a "Higher Power"!
Wow. Very well stated. I personally basically believe the gist of your post. There are a MILLION things that DO affect what causes failures/poor performance. Like you have stated very well, there is NO WAY .....ANYBODY...............can say for sure what they are.
 

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I have had this same thing happen every time I try to give mechanical advice.
Everyone expects mechanics to be an exact science. They want perfect answers that fit every problem, and every variation of that problem, to be 100% all the time. Sorry - no way. The problem is: Mechanical contraptions don't always react exactly the same, as a result of the same factors. And, there are multiple factors for every failure, some of which are impossible to accurately gauge.
You don't change your oil, but want exact answers on whether it will hurt your particular machine. Okay, let's start: What viscosity and brand and type of lubricants have been used? What brand and type of filter? Has the machine ever been used when it was low on coolant or oil? Are you the only person who has ever operated the machine? Is there a history of this particular machine's failures and what are they? How hard do you use the machine? In what climate? Are you 100% consistent in your habits (doubtful - we're human)? Have you used aftermarket additives? What was the "run" or "lot" of your machine on the assembly line? ...and on, and on it goes. No way to be 100% on every machine made on this earth. This isn't mathematics, where the result of 2 X 4, will always be 8.
So...Will I be able to tell you that running your oil for 50,000 miles will DEFINITELY ruin your particular engine? No, but I am very certain it PROBABLY will. Now, you find me that miraculous guy that did and suffered no bad result - am I supposed to forget all I have seen? If you want to take anecdotal advice, go ahead. You should know, that science usually rejects anecdotal results or advice, because it is anecdotal and not accurate.
So, we tend to go by statistical results. We know what USUALLY happens, when you do or don't do this or that. That is how a mechanic arrives at his advice. If you want a perfect answer every time, for every circumstance, on every machine - you will have to seek advice from a "Higher Power"!
I want a specific answer about the specific claim about the specific situation that was posted and I asked about in Post #62. Nothing more, nothing less. 😐
 

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Had a refrigeration motor on an old meat truck, back in the gasser days. It was normal to have to overhaul the gasoline engines that powered the reefer units. These single cylinder engines were quite a bit heavier duty than lawn mower engines. Made by Wisconsin or Onan.
So, this one engine I got done overhauling made quite a ruckus, when started. Shocked and puzzled, I puller her apart again and rechecked everything and rebuilt my rebuild. Started again, and sounded bad.
Now, I am frustrated, mad, scared I was losing my ability, and also worried about my foreman's reaction. Foreman told me to stay on the clock and do whatever I needed to do to get the darn thing up and running - no loaner meat trucks available! I was lost! I had replaced and renewed everything I could see damaged, or know to replace - all that was left was the crankshaft and the connecting rod. They looked fine and I had replaced the cam and all the bushings and bearings, along with the piston and rings. I had checked and rechecked valve and carburetor adjustments. Besides, this was a big knock!
So now, I am desparate and have no pride left - I call the manufacturer and ask if they have a clue. After long laundry list of, " did you do this?" Type questions, the adviser finally paused - and asked me if I checked out the connecting rod. I said I inspected it and found it wasn't egged or cracked, so I reinstalled it onto the crankshaft with new bearings. He asked, " Did you mic it for stretch?". I thought he was messing with me! He assured me he wasn't pulling my leg. A solid connecting rod actually stretching? It was stretched - a young mechanic learned something.
Rebuilt once more, now with the only internal part I had not replaced, replaced. Guess what - yep, ran perfect.
 

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If you want an answer to your specific question, you could always open a shop, work on a few thousand bikes, and answer your own question. ;)
 
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If you want an answer to your specific question, you could always open a shop, work on a few thousand bikes, and answer your own question. ;)
Yes. Then when I made a claim I'd be able to back it up with specifics. ;)

I'm a Greg supporter. If I ever have transmission issues I'd get my bike to him even though it's across the country and it would cost me a fortune. I'm not trying to make him look bad - it's not a "Gotcha" question. I'm genuinely curious. The claim makes no sense to me. I learn a lot reading this board and I look to learn more. When someone makes a claim and then just disappears after being questioned... well, that's an answer too.

I have a 2006 with almost 110,000 miles on it. No problems, thankfully. I switched to Honda full synthetic and had one change using Honda synthetic blend, changing oil by the book (except one time I went 14,000 miles on the synthetic). I changed back to Honda dino, partially because of Greg. So I do read with an open mind and have no problem admitting when I'm wrong or changing my opinions.
 

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Yes. Then when I made a claim I'd be able to back it up with specifics. ;)

I'm a Greg supporter. If I ever have transmission issues I'd get my bike to him even though it's across the country and it would cost me a fortune. I'm not trying to make him look bad - it's not a "Gotcha" question. I'm genuinely curious. The claim makes no sense to me. I learn a lot reading this board and I look to learn more. When someone makes a claim and then just disappears after being questioned... well, that's an answer too.

I have a 2006 with almost 110,000 miles on it. No problems, thankfully. I switched to Honda full synthetic and had one change using Honda synthetic blend, changing oil by the book (except one time I went 14,000 miles on the synthetic). I changed back to Honda dino, partially because of Greg. So I do read with an open mind and have no problem admitting when I'm wrong or changing my opinions.
Depends on the use of the bike and where it is used. We only make recommendations on experience of the overall - not the individual. You may do just fine going by the book recommendations. I tend to use the book as the MINIMUM requirements, on most things.
Cadillac CTS 3.6 Direct Inject engines had an oil change interval that was monitored by the ecm. Programming in the ecm, would alert the owner of needed oil changes. Their overconfident mileage intervals were quietly reduced on ecm recalls, due, in part, to timing chain failures. Not all of the failures were because of the interval set too long, but it was a perceived contributor.
Just an example of how the real world experience, experienced overall, once in the field, can affect previous advice. Harley had cam chain tensioners that were spring loaded - some had trouble @ about 30k, but many did not. Then, there was Hondas frame cracks. I had an 03 with no cracks, but I definitely wondered about it! They finally came out with factory run series that may have been affected.
Like previously stated, no magic advice works 100% on all machines - we just go by experience and overall numbers.
My take on all of it is: Oil is the absolute cheapest engine insurance you can buy.
 

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Depends on the use of the bike and where it is used. We only make recommendations on experience of the overall - not the individual. You may do just fine going by the book recommendations. I tend to use the book as the MINIMUM requirements, on most things.
Cadillac CTS 3.6 Direct Inject engines had an oil change interval that was monitored by the ecm. Programming in the ecm, would alert the owner of needed oil changes. Their overconfident mileage intervals were quietly reduced on ecm recalls, due, in part, to timing chain failures. Not all of the failures were because of the interval set too long, but it was a perceived contributor.
Just an example of how the real world experience, experienced overall, once in the field, can affect previous advice. Harley had cam chain tensioners that were spring loaded - some had trouble @ about 30k, but many did not. Then, there was Hondas frame cracks. I had an 03 with no cracks, but I definitely wondered about it! They finally came out with factory run series that may have been affected.
Like previously stated, no magic advice works 100% on all machines - we just go by experience and overall numbers.
My take on all of it is: Oil is the absolute cheapest engine insurance you can buy.
Yes, real world experience. I mentioned that earlier: 20 years of GL1800s and millions of miles. Experience. No oil-related engine failures regardless of change intervals. That's pretty darn good.

I'm all for "cheap insurance" but I'm opposed to buying insurance that is not needed - pure waste. Going by the book is cheapER insurance and 20 years of data proves it's plenty.

I know about the Cadillac - thankfully my SRX has the Northstar V8. :)
 

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Yes, real world experience. I mentioned that earlier: 20 years of GL1800s and millions of miles. Experience. No oil-related engine failures regardless of change intervals. That's pretty darn good.

I'm all for "cheap insurance" but I'm opposed to buying insurance that is not needed - pure waste. Going by the book is cheapER insurance and 20 years of data proves it's plenty.

I know about the Cadillac - thankfully my SRX has the Northstar V8. :)
Ancedotal information supplied by a forum is not real world - however helpful the advice may be. When asking a service department about how to maintain your vehicle, you don't want what folks on a forum say - even guys like me. You want what the people who routinely deal with service issues say. You are free to take their advice or not, but I wouldn't recommend grilling them on the "why" too much. It's just advice. Sounds like GoldWingrGreg has worked on a lot of Wings, you may want to put his advice ahead of the average poster on this forum.
At the end of the day, if what has worked for you is making you happy, that's what you will do. We all make judgement calls - nobody knows all.
By the way, Northstar engines had massive issues over the years - but yours may not have any of these issues - again, it works for you.
I had a friend who had one and wasn't happy. Again, anecdotal info.
The problem comes when you don't have a Northstar and are considering buying one. You want to hear the good, but also the bad and the ugly! My CTS had the recall and the chain kit, so I'm good. I like my CTS and the 3.6 Direct Inject is a rocket! I don't know what anyone would do with the Corvette engine in the V! But I would let someone know about the chain issues with some 3.6s, if they were considering buying a Cadillac.
 

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Ancedotal information supplied by a forum is not real world - however helpful the advice may be. When asking a service department about how to maintain your vehicle, you don't want what folks on a forum say - even guys like me. You want what the people who routinely deal with service issues say. You are free to take their advice or not, but I wouldn't recommend grilling them on the "why" too much. It's just advice. Sounds like GoldWingrGreg has worked on a lot of Wings, you may want to put his advice ahead of the average poster on this forum.
At the end of the day, if what has worked for you is making you happy, that's what you will do. We all make judgement calls - nobody knows all.
By the way, Northstar engines had massive issues over the years - but yours may not have any of these issues - again, it works for you.
I had a friend who had one and wasn't happy. Again, anecdotal info.
The problem comes when you don't have a Northstar and are considering buying one. You want to hear the good, but also the bad and the ugly! My CTS had the recall and the chain kit, so I'm good. I like my CTS and the 3.6 Direct Inject is a rocket! I don't know what anyone would do with the Corvette engine in the V! But I would let someone know about the chain issues with some 3.6s, if they were considering buying a Cadillac.
I respectfully disagree. For this forum, with people like FredH and Techdude an a few more, information on this board is real world. When there was a common issue like the frame cracking issue, it was well publicized here and I believe championed by FredH. Another common issue is ghost shifting and a couple people championed that issue on this board, including DJ Fire. If there were any other major issues, like problems as a result of doing maintenance by the book, the issues would eventually have made it to this board. My opinion.

So when a mechanic tells you something, you should just accept it? LOL! I've blown a gasket (my own, not any vehicle) two, maybe three times in my life. One was on a mechanic - actually a dealership full of mechanics. And I don't regret doing it - only that I was put in a position where I felt I had to do it. And my certified letter with evidence and plan to sue was responded to with a nice big check. So, yeah, there are lots of mechanics out there, some good some bad. When something doesn't make sense to me, I ask questions. If a mechanic is too far above me to answer my questions then too bad.

So yes, Greg has lots of experience. He also has opinions. There are others on here I respect and support - but their oil philosophy is stuck in the era of 5 decades ago. Many dealers still say the GoldWing requires a 600 mile service. That's at least 3 decades old. So, yeah, I'll question them from time to time. ;)

Yes, I did research on Cadillacs throughout the years - they all have problems but for the year I was researching, the Northstar V8 was, to me, a better choice.
 

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I understand your point, Greg but, as often, you're not doing a proper comparison. You're not taking full notice of other influencing factors. They are numerous and probably you can't know them. It's fine relating your experience, and interesting but it's not fine concluding that what you experience is mass factual truth.

In my case I never use OEM products, I purchase exclusively from motor factors. Other than connector corrosion I've only had two failures and that was a right-hand top fork seal at 16k miles, the other was a starter relay at approx 6k. Both of these are OEM products and my experience. Is it fair that I now conclude that OEM products are rubbish? Of course not. Not enough data.
Do you have a trike ???
 

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I respectfully disagree. For this forum, with people like FredH and Techdude an a few more, information on this board is real world. When there was a common issue like the frame cracking issue, it was well publicized here and I believe championed by FredH. Another common issue is ghost shifting and a couple people championed that issue on this board, including DJ Fire. If there were any other major issues, like problems as a result of doing maintenance by the book, the issues would eventually have made it to this board. My opinion.

So when a mechanic tells you something, you should just accept it? LOL! I've blown a gasket (my own, not any vehicle) two, maybe three times in my life. One was on a mechanic - actually a dealership full of mechanics. And I don't regret doing it - only that I was put in a position where I felt I had to do it. And my certified letter with evidence and plan to sue was responded to with a nice big check. So, yeah, there are lots of mechanics out there, some good some bad. When something doesn't make sense to me, I ask questions. If a mechanic is too far above me to answer my questions then too bad.

So yes, Greg has lots of experience. He also has opinions. There are others on here I respect and support - but their oil philosophy is stuck in the era of 5 decades ago. Many dealers still say the GoldWing requires a 600 mile service. That's at least 3 decades old. So, yeah, I'll question them from time to time. ;)

Yes, I did research on Cadillacs throughout the years - they all have problems but for the year I was researching, the Northstar V8 was, to me, a better choice.
Question a mechanic advising a repair. Thank a mechanic, when you ask for and receive his advice. Many of us quit responding to guys who ask what they should do, then argue with the answer. As a mechanic, I am offering advice that I dearly paid for, in sweat, blood, and injury. I don't want it subjected to analysis, just appreciated for the gift it is. Take it or leave it, but I'm not your buddy advising you on how your relationship with your girlfriend is. I assumed you ask because of my experience, so don't denigrate it by arguing. I am not addressing this to you personally - just explaining that we mechanics aren't arrogant, just wary.
No disrespect to anyone on this or any forum, but no manufacturer in their right mind would publish their service bulletins, based on advice from any owner's forum. Customer feedback is taken into some account, but most is based on reliable results from service in the field.
I get and give advice on many topics on forums, but rely on the manufacturer, as the ultimate authority on service matters.
I'm glad you like your Caddy. I always wanted one, but by the time I got one, they sure have changed! Remember when you would joke that a guy with a fancy pickup truck, had a "Cowboy Cadillac"? Now, you'd take that term literally!
 

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By the way, for all you guys who think oil is way high tech now and the old rules don't apply : Try starting a diesel that has 48 quarts of "Maple Syrup" in it, from being left in 10 degree temps for a week. Then, after an hour, and jumper cables, fuel tank heaters, and a bottle of ether to start the beast - just give it the old, "New engines need only a 90 second warmup" routine, and see what happens!
Oil does one thing: Protects against friction. No magic cure - where there is friction, there is wear. Oil breaks down with time and use.
See? Free advice.
 
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