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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The manual calls for a Genuine NISSAN Differential Oil Hypoid Super GL-5 80W-90 or equivalent conventional (non-synthetic) oil for the front. The rear calls for Genuine NISSAN Differential Oil synthetic 75W-140 or API
GL-5 synthetic gear oil, Viscosity SAE 75W-140 for the "E-Lock vehicles" which I assume would be the Pro-4X.

Is there some issue if you use synthetic gear oil?
 

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No issue.
Many of us run synthetic.
The manual call for non-synthetic because that is good enough. And the cost is less as well. When someone is doing the cost of ownership spreadsheets and the manual calls out synthetic oil, it adds to the cost of ownership. So blame the bean counters.
 

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I use Valvoline Synthetic 75W-90
 

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The manual calls for a Genuine NISSAN Differential Oil Hypoid Super GL-5 80W-90 or equivalent conventional (non-synthetic) oil for the front. The rear calls for Genuine NISSAN Differential Oil synthetic 75W-140 or API
GL-5 synthetic gear oil, Viscosity SAE 75W-140 for the "E-Lock vehicles" which I assume would be the Pro-4X.

Is there some issue if you use synthetic gear oil?
Only recent model years specifically state no synthetic oil for the front diff. If memory serves it is 2016 and beyond. My 2013 4x4 Frontier specifies Nissan hypoid oil or GL-5 equivalent, no mention about conventional versus synthetic.
 

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i would venture to guess that most gear oils are like engine oils "called" synthetic!!! only legal since 1999 severly hydrocracked CRUDE oil products are legally sold + advertised as "synthetic" thanks to the scumbag Castrol company that was selling + marketing early Syntec engine oils as "synthetic" before the advertising council "revised" its definition of "synthetic" allowing group III refined CRUDE oil lubricants as almost all are today, very few REAL synthesised lubricants like Redline + Motul exist today with some oil blenders doing both or like amsoil only adding enough REAL synthetic group IV + V to meet a spec. thats why amsoil no longer touts PAO a group IV base oil + WILL NOT answer any inquiries as to that FACT!! any combination of groups III, IV, + V base oils are "legally" synthetic today!!!!
 

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2016 Frontier SV 4x4 Crew Cab
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I can't speak for the Nissan but my wife's Suzuki called specifically for non synthetic hypoid in the rear diff. I ignored it and put in amsoil synthetic, and it bound up and wouldn't turn correctly when turning tightly. No LSD. Drained it and put in Kendal conventional hypoid and problem solved. When the time comes for the Nissan I will not be putting synthetic in. There's a reason it's stated in the manual, even if it isn't critical.
I realize most people run synthetic. I would too if it werent for my experience with the suzuki. Since its in the front where you won't have it engaged on dry ground anyway, it is probably why no one has seen any problems.
 

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just curious, did you meet the correct spec with said "synthetic" replacement? a little more details could be relevant, what brand + what specs were on the replacement "synthetic". manufacturers push their branded lubricants for $$$$ as they don't blend their lubricants, + generally they are made as cheap as possible + way overpriced for what they are!! they just rebrand what has been blended for them usually to their specs!!
 

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2017 Pro-4X w/Luxury Package
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I ran Royal Purple synthetic in both diffs on the 2012 I had with no issues. Think it helped mileage a bit too.
 

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i will do Redline prolly this summer in my new to me 2011. bought from CarMax but got no service records or carfax, + paying top dollar i am not pleased, but needing a truck ASAP + wanting only a manual shift + king cab made slim pickings! i missed a 2015 with similar miles under 30,000 at the same price, teaches one to not hesitate on good deal!!
 

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Specing non-synthetic does not preclude using synthetic. What Nissan is saying through the spec is the front diff doesn't get that hot, so conventional oil is adequate. They are not saying don't use synthetic.
 

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M1 in my cases last 20K, no issues
 

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2016 Frontier SV 4x4 Crew Cab
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Specing non-synthetic does not preclude using synthetic. What Nissan is saying through the spec is the front diff doesn't get that hot, so conventional oil is adequate. They are not saying don't use synthetic.
Why in ~2016 would they change the wording in the manual to specifically say 'non-synthetic' then?
I wonder if something changed with the diffs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
I ended up using the Supertech Semi Synthetic from Walmart. Seems to be made by Citgo from the SDS sheet. They have a few gear oils so hard to tell what Citgo product it is, but the ones I did find seem legit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Specing non-synthetic does not preclude using synthetic. What Nissan is saying through the spec is the front diff doesn't get that hot, so conventional oil is adequate. They are not saying don't use synthetic.
Yeah you're right. I think since Nissan doesn't sell a full synthetic they probably call out conventional. I did some research on oils and it turns out you can get crap synthetic oils that don't perform as well as conventional oils. Seems to have a lot to do with the additive packages i.e. a quality conventional oil can perform better under extreme conditions than a crap synthetic. Some oils simply meet the spec where as others far surpass them.
 
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