Why is Synthetic Motor Oil Better Than Conventional?
Synthetic motor oil may have been around since the late 1920s, but it has only been in recent years that synthetics have become an option everywhere you get your oil changed. After years of using conventional oil and enjoying its relatively low cost, seeing how much a synthetic oil change is can present a bit of a shock when it comes time to pay the bill. So why is synthetic oil more expensive than conventional, and is it worth the extra cost?
What is Synthetic Oil?
Much like conventional oil, most synthetic oils are made from highly refined crude oil. The main difference between conventional and synthetic is the amount of refining and the additives each contain. Synthetics are more refined than conventional oils, resulting in a much purer product made up of smaller, more evenly distributed molecules. They also contain additives to enhance their performance, with each manufacturer using their own secret proprietary blend to enhance their synthetic oil
Synthetic Is Better for Your Engine
All of the special processing that synthetic oil goes through gives it many properties that make it superior to conventional oil for most vehicles. Its smaller, more uniform molecules mean that it lubricates your engine better, which results in less friction while it is running. And because synthetics are more refined, they have fewer impurities, leading to fewer harmful deposits inside your engine.
Another positive property of synthetics is that they are less reactive to temperature changes than conventional oil, which thickens in cold temperatures and is less effective at cooling your engine in extreme heat. In fact, a study on synthetic oil conducted by AAA found that, overall, engines performed 47% better on synthetic than on conventional oil. All of these things add up to mean that synthetics result in less wear to your engine components, which can increase your engine’s performance, give you better fuel economy, and increase the overall longevity of your engine.
Better Oil, Fewer Oil Changes
The positive properties of synthetic oil doesn’t just result in better performance and lifespans for engines. They are also less prone to deterioration, and can last much longer than conventional oil. The general rule of thumb for vehicles using conventional oil is to have it changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles. With synthetic oil, however, most newer vehicles only need to have oil changes every 6 to 12 months or 7,500 to 10,00 miles, though older and high-performance vehicles may need them more frequently. So while synthetic oil changes can be two to three times as expensive as conventional oil changes, they only need to be performed half as often. An added bonus to fewer oil changes is that it means less used oil to be recycled, and less of a negative environmental impact.
All vehicles can be switched to synthetic even after having always used conventional oil, and still benefit from the positive effects that synthetic offers. There are certain situations where it may be especially beneficial to use synthetic oil. If you make a lot of short trips in your vehicle, conventional oil may not get warm enough to burn off impurities or moisture in your engine. If you live in a climate that has either very cold winters or very hot summers, synthetic helps to protect your engine from the additional strain these extreme temperatures can cause. This is also true if you use your vehicle for towing or hauling heavy loads. Even if none of these situations apply to you, the special additives in synthetics can still help your engine by cleaning deposits left behind by conventional oil.
If the extra cost of a synthetic oil change is still giving you pause, a synthetic oil blend may be the compromise you are looking for. While a synthetic blend doesn’t have quite as much of a positive effect as a full synthetic, it does still perform better than conventional oil, and doesn’t need to be changed quite as often. At Distinctive Auto Repair, our standard oil change includes a synthetic oil blend, because we believe in providing you with the best products possible to help keep your vehicle on the road for as long as possible. If you’re still unsure about using synthetic oil, we are happy to answer any questions you may have.
Distinctive Auto Repair provides customers in Murfreesboro and surrounding areas with high-quality auto repair and maintenance services for both domestic and foreign vehicles. We are a BBB Accredited auto repair facility that is staffed with ASE-certified technicians who use only state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and equipment when they are fixing vehicles. Whether your vehicle is in need of a small job or a major repair, put your trust in our team of experienced and skillful auto technicians.