Is synthetic motor oil really better than non-synthetic?
All of us have seen synthetic motor oil being heavily advertised. One thing they all have in common is that all these ads claim that synthetic oil comparatively lasts longer and should protect your engine better than regular/conventional oil. What makes them different is that synthetic motor oil is noticeably more expensive, making it a not-so-very easy choice for many.
In today’s blog, we will try to outline all the primary differences between synthetic and conventional engine oil. This should help you weigh all the added benefits you get from using synthetic oil against the higher cost and determine which one fits best for you.
What do you mean by conventional oil?
Often referred to as the original engine oil, conventional engine oil is refined from crude oil which is a natural resource. It has been used for more than a century to keep vehicles running reliably.
You will notice that oil is referred to by its weight, even though it’s a liquid. This is because ‘weight’ simply means viscosity, the ease at which a liquid will flow or pour at certain different temperatures.
Viscosity ratings have been standardized all around the world. Multi-weight oils have numbers like 5W-20, 10W-30, 10W-40 and so on. The first number represents the oil’s viscosity at 0°F (-18 °C), an engine’s winter/cold starting temperature. Always remember, the lower the number, the better because thinner oil tends to flow better.
The second number donates the level of protection the oil provides an engine at a normal operating temperature which is 212 °F (100 °C). Same goes for this one, the thinner oil gets, the better its flow. Years ago, many manufacturers clearly specified lower viscosity oil for winter use and higher viscosity weight oil for summers. Today we have multi-weight oils which cover a much wider range of operating conditions.
What is Synthetic Oil and how is it produced?
Synthetic oil is another type of engine lubricant which is artificially created using chemical compounds. Some types of synthetic oils start with a base of conventional oil which is later chemically modified in a factory. Others, however, are artificially manufactured from scratch using completely different raw materials.
This type of oil includes a variety of additives which distinguishes it from conventional oil. The amounts and types of additives used help you determine its performance. Additives like conditioners are used to help your engine’s neoprene oil seals remain flexible and pliable even under intense heat at which they operate to help prevent any oil leaks. Synthetic oil can better withstand a chemical break-down under load and heat.
Usually, high mileage cars take advantage of such designed formulas to further enhance their experience. High-end vehicles such as Mercedes-Benz typically require full synthetic engine oil to take advantage of its superior protection.
Is synthetic motor oil a better alternative for your car?
To help you understand better, here are a few advantages synthetic motor oil has to offer against non-synthetic oil.
- It is more effective at resisting any break-down which might have been caused under heat and load, helping it to last longer than regular non-synthetic motor oil.
- Reduces engine wear during cold startups since it offers better flow in cold temperatures.
- Less frequent visits to a mechanic for an oil change.
- Offers increased resistance to contamination along with reducing deposit and sludge inside the engine and on its piston rings.
Is switching to synthetic oil worth it?
In layman’s terms, synthetic engine oil lasts longer and requires less frequent changes when compared to non-synthetic.
If you regularly make short trips and the engine never fully warms up, conventional oil might not get hot enough to burn off any moisture or other contaminants and by-products of combustion which is not good, if this is the case for you, switch to synthetic.
Similarly, if you stay someplace where there are extreme temperatures or if you tow a boat or trailer or any heavy loads, synthetic oil would be the way to go.
In summers, many people get great performance out of synthetic but with that said, be cautious when it comes to extended oil change intervals. Many cars do not necessarily get their hoods opened or fluid levels checked during services. Oil levels could go extremely low without you even noticing it if your car starts to leak oil or consume it.
Suppose you are routinely exceeding the recommended service intervals like many than it’s probably a better decision to switch to synthetic.
However, if you are using non-synthetic engine oil for a while, changing it on time, and your vehicle manufacturer does not require you to change it, we recommend you to continue using the non-conventional engine oil.
Who are we?
Aloha Lube is a trusted and honest family-owned auto repair shop serving everyone located in Allen, Texas. Here, we strive towards giving our customers excellent service and best quality work without having to worry about any kind of dishonesty for extra parts or extended labor hours in order to scam you. Established back in 2017, our Allen car service experts offer full transparency to all our customers.
We as a company are aiming towards making your maintenance experience as comfortable as possible. If you live anywhere near Allen, Texas, get in touch with us over a phone call or visit our web page to get more details.