What is Synthetic Blend Oil?
Changing your motor oil regularly (ideally, every 3,000 — 4,000 miles or every three months) is the single most important thing you can do to prolong your vehicle’s life and improve its performance and efficiency.
However, when going for an oil change, you must know what type of motor oil is being used in your vehicle. Regardless of the type of vehicle you drive — truck, car, van, SUV or hybrid — you cannot hope to see a return on your investment without taking care of the engine by using the right type of motor oil.
What Does Motor Oil Do?
Motor oil, like any grease, helps reduce friction between two surfaces. In the case of a vehicle engine, motor oil lubricates all the moving metal parts of your vehicle’s engine and stops them from grinding against one another, “seizing up,” or getting too hot as the liquid moves through the sump. This allows the engine to run at its maximum capacity, so you get many trouble-free years of good service.
Lubrication is not the only role that motor oil plays, however. It also helps keep the engine cleaner by picking up silicon oxide and acids that naturally occur during an engine’s lifetime. These waste materials are suspended within the motor oil; hence, when the motor oil is flushed from the engine, the waste is flushed, too.
Types of Motor Oils
The two types of motor oil you will hear most about are synthetic and conventional oil. But what works better for your vehicle?
Conventional petroleum-based oil is the most commonly used type of motor oil. It is refined (though it still originates from the earth). It is cheap, requires more frequent changes and is prone to chemical degradation (oxidation). On the other hand, synthetic oil is completely synthetic (artificially made) and made using a base of petroleum molecules.
Synthetic oil can either be a full-synthetic or synthetic blend.
Full-synthetic oil is generally made with higher-performing additives and has a naturally higher viscosity index. This means that it can perform optimally in higher and lower temperatures, allowing the oil to last longer before it requires a change. Despite all its advantages, full-synthetic oil has one glaring downside: cost. The price of full-synthetic oil is generally around two to four times the price of conventional petroleum-based oil. While the extra refining means that you will be visiting your Allen auto technician less often, the high initial cost can still sometimes seem like too much of a barrier. On top of that, full-synthetic oil also has a slightly lower fuel economy at highway speed than conventional oil.
Synthetic blend oil is a middle ground between conventional petroleum-based and full-synthetic motor oils. This type of oil contains a mixture of up to 30 percent synthetic oil with the rest being conventional petroleum-based oil, and is usually significantly less expensive than a full-synthetic oil.
What are the Advantages of Using Synthetic Blend Motor Oil?
At first glance, it seems as though there would be little benefit to using a synthetic blend motor oil. After all, with only 30 percent of the total volume being truly synthetic, isn’t it too diluted for it to make any real difference?
While the percentage of synthetic oil in the blend is indeed too low to provide synthetic-like levels of engine protection when it comes to thermal breakdown and overall viscosity, there is another dimension of benefit when it comes to the inclusion of synthetic oil in a blend.
The additives found in synthetic oil can help a great deal when it comes to addressing several engine issues. Synthetic blend motor oil contains additives that contribute to reducing overall engine wear. Not only that, but the detergents found in the synthetic component of the oil help fight the build-up of acids in the engine oil and help clean carbon and other contaminants out of engine internals. Synthetic blend motor oil is a good option for use in applications where the engine will be seeing heavy duty or extreme conditions, as these circumstances will make full use of the oil’s additives.
To sum it up, synthetic blend motor oil is an excellent compromise for those who want to enjoy some of the protections of synthetic oil but don’t want to spend a large amount of money changing the oil in their vehicle. This type of oil can be particularly useful for someone running a fleet of light trucks or service vehicles that are used hard, but for which the cost of constantly replacing a full synthetic oil would be prohibitive.
How Often Should Motor Oil be Changed?
No matter the type of motor oil, over time, it breaks down and becomes “sludge-like,” which can be detrimental to the effectiveness of an engine. This process is completely natural, though it can be slowed down with proper vehicle maintenance and regular check-ups.
Most vehicle owner manuals recommend changing the motor oil every 3,000 to 4,000 miles or every three months, whichever happens first. By following the 3,000 — 4,000 miles/three-month rule of thumb, you can be certain you are making the wisest investment possible.
Aloha Auto Repair & Wash Is Your Trusted Mechanic Shop In Allen, Texas!
An oil change is relatively inexpensive and should be a part of your routine vehicle care and maintenance to ensure that your vehicle runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. At Aloha Auto Repair & Wash, our oil change specialists are willing and able to assist you with any questions you might have.
Please contact Aloha Auto Repair & Wash today at 469-617-6121; we would love to hear from you! Also, don’t forget to visit our blog for more tips and insights on car care, maintenance, and repairs in Allen, Texas.