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Using 5w-30 synthetic for older minivan


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My parents have a 2001 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with 129,000 miles on it. They have always used conventional 5w-30 (owners manual states 5w-30 is the right oil for the car). With synthetic oil becoming more prevalent they were thinking of switching to synthetic but also worried this might cause oil leaks and would not be a good choice for an older engine. Is this a valid concern or would switching to synthetic be okay?

4 Answers

Use the correct oil spec and viscosity and you will be fine.


They definitely do have a valid concern about synthetic or even synthetic blend starting oil leaks with an older high mileage engine. Stick with the conventional oil at this stage of the game. Scotty has addressed the issue in several videos.

The problem is that it is becoming harder to find conventional oil at reasonable prices compared to synthetic oil and the cost of a at home oil change is getting high for them.


Does your car currently leak or burn oil?

I have an 04 and have used synthetic oil in there before. I haven't had many issues with it.

No the car does not have any leaks and does not burn oil.

Stay with what has worked for you. To change the oil brand or type, at this point, might create problems, given the differences in additives.


How many miles have they put on it since they bought it? If they've had it a long time, they know how often the oil changes were performed. If they maintained it, it shouldn't leak.


In my own experience, I switched my 1999 Ranger from conventional to full synthetic, with 250,000 miles at the time. I had just bought it as well. I've not had any issues after 23,000 miles. I accidentally put 5W-20 full synthetic in last time, not 5W-30 weight, which the manual stated. Ford put out a TSB that it's compatible. Even with the lighter oil, my truck isn't using much oil. The engine was maintained by all of the previous owners. The tranny was a different story.