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I have a 2003 XL with ~70K miles on the clock and was wondering about the benefits of switching to a synthetic oil at this point in the cars life. I have had the oil and filter changed every 3-4,000 miles since the beginning at the dealer.

Any thoughts or references will be much appreciated.

Thanks
Ken
 

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Sludge is the issue IMHO. I personally feel the synthetic cleans better and with a PCV system that is regularly maintained you should be able to log many more miles. However if there is some grunge in there, the syn will slowly clean it out, hence frequent oil changes and more $.
Tough call at this point. If there is a way to pull the valve covers and really see, that would be the determining procedure.
There are stories on this site about sludge with varied OCI and types of oil.
I find in my '02 that when I do drain the oil, I can let it drain for an hour after the first ten minutes, using a separate pan and get anywhere from 4 to 8 ounces.
Food for thought.
Good luck to you however you choose.
Personally I'd do the Pennz Platinum or Ultra for a while and see how much "dark" comes out.
 

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CLEAN oil is the one thing that will keep sludge at bay. Those who stretch the change intervals are more likely to have sludge buildup regardless of what oil they are using. Synthetics do allow for a bit longer between changes while offering superior protection to typical dyno oils. You can change between them at any time.
 
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