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FAQs & Myths


Why Synthetics?
All motor oils are made up of base oils and additives. In general, fully synthetic motor oils contain non-conventional, high-performance fluids and a system of additives to help prevent wear, keep an engine clean, flow easily, maintain viscosity, prevent rust and reduce friction. The result is a lubricant that remains liquid and slippery under the widest possible range of temperatures and engine conditions.
How should I dispose of used synthetic motor oil?

You should follow the same environmentally sound procedures that you do with conventional motor oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) guidelines for disposal include:

  • Do not dump used motor oil in the trash.
  • Do not pour it on the ground or down the sewer or storm drain.
  • Place the used motor oil in a closed container.
  • Take it to a service station or a collection location that recycles used motor oil.
  • Do not burn the used motor oil in a space heater.
  • To make it easier to recycle, do not mix motor oil with other substances, such as gasoline or antifreeze.
  • To locate proper disposal locations in your area, use the Earth911 search.

Many Exxon™ and Mobil™-branded service stations will take used motor oil from do-it-yourselfers and will follow EPA-approved recycling. Please note that it is acceptable to mix used Mobil 1™ synthetic oil with used conventional oil.

Are there advantages to using synthetic oil in a motorcycle?

ExxonMobil offers two synthetic motor oils for motorcycles. Mobil 1™ motorcycle oils have been specifically optimized for motorcycle applications, including transmission clutch performance and high-temperature operation such as air-cooled operation. Be sure to follow your owner's manual for recommended oil and filter change frequencies.

What makes advanced full synthetic motor oil superior to conventional motor oil?

The performance of Mobil 1™ synthetic motor oil is more robust, especially in terms of low-temperature pumping and flow compared to conventional oils. High-temperature stability leading to the protection against deposits is also superior. These attributes translate into less engine wear, to help keep your engine running like new, and a long engine life. Conventional oils lack the performance of synthetic oils in the areas of low-temperature performance and high-temperature oxidation stability. The mineral base stocks used in conventional motor oils also contain significantly more impurities, such as aromatics and other undesirable contaminants that cannot be completely removed by conventional refining of crude oil.

Can different synthetic motor oils be mixed together?

Mobil 1™ synthetic oil is fully compatible with conventional motor oils, semi-synthetic motor oils and other synthetic motor oils, should it be necessary to mix them. However, it is important to note that the superior performance of Mobil 1 oil will be reduced by diluting it in any way.


MYTH: You should break in your engine with conventional oil, then switch to a synthetic like Mobil 1™ oil.

REALITY: You can start using Mobil 1 synthetic oil in new vehicles at any time, even in brand new vehicles. In fact, Mobil 1 synthetic is original equipment (it is installed at the factory) in:

  • Aston Martin DB9, DB9 Volante, Rapide S, V12 Vantage Coupe and Roadster, V12 Zagato, Vanquish and Vanquish Volante
  • Bentley Continental Flying Spur, Continental GT, Continental GTC and Mulsanne
  • Chevrolet Corvette C6R.S, Z06, ZR1, Grand Sport Coupe and the Corvette C7 Stingray with the Z51 Performance Package
  • Chevrolet COPO Camaro and Cobalt, Columbia Model
  • McLaren MP4-12C and P1
  • Mercedes AMG:
    C 63 AMG, C 63 AMG Estate, C 63 AMG Coupe, C 63 AMG Coupe Black Series
    CL 63 AMG
    CL 65 AMG
    CLS 63 AMG Coupe, CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake, CLS 63 AMG S-Model Coupe, CLS 63 AMG S-Model Shooting Brake
    E 63 AMG, E 63 Estate AMG, E 63 AMG S-Model, E 63 AMG S-Model Estate
    G 63 AMG
    G 65 AMG
    GL 63 AMG
    ML 63 AMG
    S 63 AMG
    SL 63 AMG
    SL 65 AMG
    SLK 55 AMG
    SLS AMG Coupe, SLS AMG Roadster, SLS AMG GT Coupe, SLS AMG GT Roadster, SLS AMG Coupe Black Series
  • Nissan GT-R
  • Porsche:
    911 Carrera, Carrera S, Carrera Cabriolet, Carrera S Cabriolet, Turbo, Turbo S
    911 GT2 and GT3
    Boxster and Boxster S
    Cayenne, Cayenne S

One of the myths surrounding synthetic oils is that new engines require a break-in period with conventional oil. The fact is, current engine manufacturing technology does not require this break-in period. As indicated by the decisions of the engineers who design the high-performance cars listed above, Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil can be used starting the day you drive the car off the showroom floor.

MYTH: Using Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil will void the warranty on my new car.

REALITY: Mobil 1 and Mobil 1 Extended Performance oils will not void new car warranties, with the exception of the Mazda rotary engine (Mazda does not recommend any synthetic motor oil). Mobil 1 oils exceed the API and ILSAC motor oil service requirements for all new vehicles, both import and domestic. If in doubt, always check your vehicle owner's manual or contact your vehicle's manufacturer.

Since most new car warranties call for shorter service intervals than those enabled by Mobil 1 Extended Performance oils, ExxonMobil recommends you follow the recommendations in your owner's manual while your car is under warranty.

MYTH: I need to flush my engine before switching to Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil.

REALITY: No special preparation is necessary when switching from conventional motor oil to Mobil 1 or Mobil 1 Extended Performance synthetic motor oils.

MYTH: Mobil 1 and Mobil 1 Extended Performance oils require use of a special oil filter.

REALITY: While ExxonMobil recommends that you use a high-quality filter, you can use the same type of oil filter that you would normally use with conventional oil. ExxonMobil does offer a very high-quality oil filter that is a perfect companion to Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil. The Mobil 1 Extended Performance Oil Filter contains synthetic blend filter media instead of the typical cellulose filter media. With a 99.2 percent efficiency rating (under SAE J1858 Multi-Pass Efficiency Test), the Mobil 1 filter is much more efficient than a typical oil filter. Its new high-capacity design stores more contaminants (two times the capacity of the leading brand).

MYTH: Motorcycles can't benefit from synthetic oil.

REALITY: Motorcycles are an ideal application for synthetic oil. ExxonMobil offers two fully synthetic motor oils for motorcycles:

Mobil 1™ Racing 4T 10W-40 is recommended for on-road, high-performance, 4-cycle sport bikes, which are typically liquid cooled. It can also be used in air-cooled engines calling for a 10W-40 oil.

Mobil 1™ V-Twin is a 20W-50 oil recommended for 4-cycle V-twin engines, particularly those that are air cooled and tend to run hotter than other types of engines.

MYTH: Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil can't be used in diesel engines.

REALITY: Yes it can. For heavy duty truck engines that require API CJ-4, CI-4 Plus, CI-4, CH-4 or CG-4, there's Mobil  1™ Turbo Diesel Truck 5W-40.

For certain passenger car and light duty truck diesel engines, Mobil 1 is appropriate for vehicles calling for engine oils that meet specific car builder approvals or ACEA-quality oils as indicated below:

Mobil 1™ Oils Appropriate for Diesel Engines
Mobil 1 Turbo Diesel Truck 5W-40 Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5W-30, Mobil 1 Extended Performance 10W-30, Mobil 1 5W-30, Mobil 1 10W-30 Mobil 1 0W-40, Mobil 1 15W-50, Mobil 1 High Mileage 10W-30, Mobil 1 High Mileage 10W-40 Mobil 1 Extended Performance 5W-20, Mobil 1 0W-20 Advanced Fuel Economy, Mobil 1 0W-30 Advanced Fuel Economy, Mobil 1 5W-20
Meets or exceeds the requirements of:
CI-4 Plus
Meets or exceeds the requirements of:
  X   X
Meets or exceeds the requirements of:
Meets or exceeds the requirements of:
Meets or exceeds the requirements of:
Recommended by ExxonMobil for quality level:
Recommended by ExxonMobil for quality level:

Be sure to check your owner's manual for the oil quality recommended for your diesel engine.

Heavy duty trucks requiring a viscosity other than 5W-40 should consider one of the Mobil Delvac™ 1300 Super products. Mobil Delvac products can be purchased at a large number of truck stops across America, and select retail and auto parts stores, as well as from ExxonMobil Distributors.

Updated July 2011

MYTH: Mobil 1 synthetic oils will leak out of the seals of older cars.

REALITY: Mobil 1 oils do not cause leaks. In fact, new Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil was tested in dozens of industry standard and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) tests to prove its seal performance. It is fully compatible with the elastomeric materials from which all automotive seals and gaskets are made. If an older engine is in good condition and does not have oil leaks, Mobil 1 oils provide the same advantages as when used in a new engine. ExxonMobil recommends taking measures to repair the leaks, then using a Mobil 1 oil. ExxonMobil also recommends following the automobile manufacturer's manual for the proper oil to use.

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