What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Synthetic Motor Oil?
Do people still use conventional oil? The answer is yes, in fact, many people don’t know the difference between conventional and synthetic oil. So, we put together a quick read to get you up to speed on engine oil!
What’s the Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Motor Oil?
I'm sure you can guess the key difference here, conventional oil is a natural mineral oil while synthetic oil is man-made.
- Conventional Oil (refined crude oil) is made up of millions of tiny molecules of all different shapes and sizes.
- Synthetic oil is an artificial chemical compound made by breaking down petroleum molecules and then rebuilding them. If you were to look at synthetic oil under a microscope you would see millions of molecules that were all the same size and structure.
Is Synthetic Oil Worth the Hype?
As is true in most facets of modern life, technology has made advancements to build upon the original concept. In this case, I could make you a pro and con list, but explaining the benefits of this technological improvement would probably be more efficient.
What Synthetic Oil brings to the table:
- Stability – Because of its naturally higher viscosity index, synthetic oil holds up better under the fluctuating temperatures of an engine. It flows better when it's cold as well as presenting a thicker film at high temperatures and loads.
- Eco-friendly – Synthetic oil does not boil off as quickly as petroleum motor oils, which means it releases less pollution.
- Life Span – Synthetic oil boasts a longer life span attributed to less degradation and volatility (described above).
What Oil is Best for Your Auto?
You should always refer to your vehicle owner's manual when deciding what oil is right for your vehicle. It used to be that only high-performance luxury models called for synthetic, but more and more, the everyday driver makes and models are jumping on the synthetic bandwagon.
The downside to synthetic is the cost, as it is quite a bit more expensive than its conventional mineral counterpart.
Let's break down your options:
- Mineral Oil provides adequate lubrication, and when the cost is an issue, you can depend on it to do the job.
- Synthetic Oil Blends are a great option that can provide some of the benefits of synthetic without breaking the bank.
- Full Synthetic is a premium product that is worth the cost if it fits your budget.
A Word About Oil Changes
For many years oil change intervals followed a simple standard – 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever occurred first. Over time, these intervals were extended to 5,000, 7,500, and even up to 15,000 miles! It was thought that by using Synthetic and Synthetic Blend motor oils these intervals would be safe.
Our experience over the past 32 years has shown that conditions exist that can cause the oil to breakdown and/or begin to cause “slugging” when these extended intervals are followed. Considering the fact that oil and filter changes are relatively inexpensive when compared to the replacement cost of an engine, changing your car’s oil by the old standard can be very beneficial. Regular oil maintenance will save you money and preserve the resale value of your car, no matter which oil product you choose.
We here at North Hills Auto believe that educated decisions are good decisions, that’s why we like to keep our customers informed. Whatever product is right for you, North hills auto is on your side! Swing in for our 120 point inspection Super Offer and get 4 free oil changes.