Help! Accidentally mixed synthetic and mineral oil when changing my oil.

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by arooni, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. arooni

    arooni Been here awhile

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    Hi everyone!

    Hope you're doing well. I've already hit Ushuaia, and now I'm on my way farther north in a city called Bariloche towards Buenos Aires.

    I headed down to the moto shop and bought what I thought was 3 liters of 20/50 semi synthetic Bell Ray Oil. Well after I had already got rid of the old oil, put on the new oil filter, and had filled the oil to the right level, I discovered to my horror, THAT ONE OF THE 3 LITERS WAS NOT SEMI SYNTHETIC BUT WAS ACTUALLY MINERAL OIL!

    After I had added two liters of semisynth oil I turned the engine for a few minutes to suck the oil into the filter so I could get the oil level right. To my knowledge, I have never actually turned the engine on with the synth/mineral mix.

    SemiSynth Oil: BelRay EXP 20W-50 (API/SM JASO MA2)
    Mineral Oil: BelRay EXL Mineral 20W-50 (API SM / JASO MA2)

    My plan is to drain all the oil, take off the filter, and try to pressure wash the filter (even though I believe that there was only semisynth oil there.

    Questions:
    1) Would you do anything differently than my plan above?
    2) How serious is this mistake?
    3) How can I best clean the oil filter? Do I need to replace it?

    Best,
    David (from beautiful Argentina)
    #1
  2. kirb

    kirb should be out riding

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    I wouldn't have bothered to do anything but maybe change the oil sooner. Semi-synth is kind of the same thing as mixing synth and regular oil. Most synth oil is fully compatible with mineral oil.

    I don't think you have anything to worry about as long as the requirements of your bike match the lowest rating of the oil used. Make sure the oil used is also able to be mixed together (usually says on the container)

    #2
  3. luckychucky

    luckychucky Long timer

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    I figure it's like KY, if it's slick it can't hurt. But I'm not a mechanic. Really what can it hurt? It's metal not a babies butt.
    #3
  4. GrahamD

    GrahamD Long timer

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    +1.

    What you have now is semi synth oil. Just a bit more semi than you wanted.

    As long as it has oil and it is not ridiculously out of spec, it will be fine. Just change a bit sooner if you want next time.
    #4
  5. Andyvh1959

    Andyvh1959 Cheesehead Klompen

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    First some clarity. Some people think of non-synthetic oils as mineral oil, or oil that is petroleum based. Standard "mineral based" automotive oil can be thoroughly mixed with synthetics with no ill effects. If that is the case then don't worry about it and run it as is.

    However do you really mean true mineral oil, which is usually clear and has most uses as transformer oil, or electrical component oil. Like I said, real "mineral oil" is clear and of a fairly low viscosity rating. Also, it won't have the additive packages common to mineral based automotive oils. If that is the case, then I'd not worry about it much beyond changing it as soon as you can. Its not like you're mixing ATF and engine oil, or using multi-vis oil in a 2-stroke.

    Kind of like the old saying, "any oil is better than no oil and old oil is better than none."

    Don't do anything to the filter, it doesn't care what kind of oil went through it.
    #5
  6. smilin'Ed

    smilin'Ed Ed

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    This is not an issue. The oils are miscible and either version is better than most would put in a DRZ. I used to run Rotella T in my KLR, the same oil we put in the diesel engines in the shop.

    Just leave it in there and change at the next regular interval.
    What problems do you forsee by running the mix as it is?

    E
    #6
  7. villageidiot

    villageidiot Long timer

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    I'd probably say something like "fuckit run it"
    #7
  8. kirb

    kirb should be out riding

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    This doesn't really help your situation, but I was at a dealer where a guy grabbed some yamalube off the shelf for an FJR oil change. He used 80-90 in the crankcase and went on a 2000 mile trip before he figured it out.
    No damage. Everything was fine.
    #8
  9. MariusD

    MariusD Been here awhile

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    This thread smells of a joke just to see what responses will be provided....
    If the OP is genuinely asking, the answer is simple: your bike will never know the difference and u should lose not 1 second of sleep over the mix. You will be completely fine. Leave it as is.
    #9
  10. arooni

    arooni Been here awhile

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    Definitely not a joke. It happened, and seeing as I've heard it's not good to mix synth and mineral oils in the past, I'm noticiably concerned, especially as I plan to ride the bike up through Uruguay/Brazil/Venezuala and don't want to mess up the motor which has been running great.
    #10
  11. joef

    joef Been here awhile

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    Like all the above its fine, just change it a bit sooner
    #11
  12. falcn

    falcn Squidless Soul

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    Regular dyno oil and synthetic can be mixed with no problem. You are fine. Ride it and forget it.
    #12
  13. mart´n

    mart´n Adventurer

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    Sorry, but I thought it was a joke as well!

    Well, I have the same bike, a red v-strom from 2005 and run pretty much every kind of oil in it. Mineral, semi and synthetic, whatever is cheap and nearby. The bike doesn´t care, so stop worrying and ride on.
    It would be overkill and a total waste to drain the oil and put some new on!
    #13
  14. MariusD

    MariusD Been here awhile

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    I'm curious what reliable source did you hear this from? :huh

    While tolerances in today's engines are a little tighter than in older vehicles, as long as you use the same (or close) thickness of oil, the mix of sythetic vs mineral should have zero impact on engine components.

    You're definitely fine bud.
    #14
  15. blkhrt81

    blkhrt81 Been here awhile

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    Somewhere, and bugger me if I remember where, I did hear that mixing full synthetic and regular oil was not recommended, I think because of a possible emulsion problem. The same place though said that semi-synthetic was compatible with regular oil.
    I be in the " run it and change again at a slightly shorter interval" camp
    #15
  16. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

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    They sell oil in the store in most places that is synthetic mixed with traditional oil. The only difference is a lower lifespan than full-synth, but higher than traditional oil. Believe me you've nothing to worry about as long as both the oils met the minimum specs for your bike.

    I've had to use generic pennzoil dino in my bike alongside castrol full synth, because that was all they had at the store and I was low. Both oils met the bikes standards, i just swapped them out a bit sooner.
    #16
  17. bmac

    bmac Been here awhile

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    David,
    When you have some time head over to bobistheoilguy.com and do some reading. Don't fall for the marketing propaganda of the big oil companies.

    For the most part semi-synthetic is a marketing gimmick. Generally they have around 10% or so of synthetic and the rest is mineral oil. A lot of people assume it is an equal blend of synthetic and mineral oil which is not the case.

    The reality is you have not done any harm and your bike will be fine. It is a complete waste to change out perfectly good oil. Most all oil available today will last far longer than most people expect.
    #17
  18. pluric

    pluric Gimpy Adventurer

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    It's the internet. DO NOT TRUST THE OPINIONS of strangers.
    You must contact the proper authorities and have the bike
    properly destroyed before it hurts you and others. The End.

    [​IMG]

    However, if you choose to ignore my sage advice I wish you the
    best in your travels. That's kinda my dream ride. :thumb
    #18
  19. arooni

    arooni Been here awhile

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    This is the funniest thing I've seen yet on ADVRider. Thank you for making both me and my CouchSurfing host here crack up in laughter.

    And thank you all for your advice to calm the heck down... I thought I had made an irreparable mistake, and I'm glad to hear that's not the case. On to Buenos Aires!
    #19
  20. dduelin

    dduelin Amazing grace how sweet the sound....

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    Semi synthetic oils are a clever way the oil distributors came up with for you to pay nearly full synthetic price for plain old dino or crude oil.

    Truth of the matter, after Mobil lost their lawsuit against Castrol most synthetic oil sold as such is actually highly refined Group III stock derived from good old fashioned crude oil mixed with a small amount of "pure" synthetic oil. So, most synthetic oils are still semi synthetic blends and we get to pay even more for them.

    Bottom line is no worries friend. Ride on and forget about it until oil change time.
    #20