When you schedule an oil change, the service attendant may ask which type of oil you would like: synthetic or conventional. Although you might be tempted to choose the cheaper option (conventional) on instinct, there are many factors to take into consideration beyond cost. What about longevity? How frequently will you need to change your oil? How will the oil stand up to high temperatures? Synthetic vs. conventional motor oil: which is best?
Synthetic vs. Conventional Motor Oil
Before we dig into the differences between these two forms of oil, let’s review the makeup of each type. Conventional oil is made from extracted and refined crude oil. Additives are included in the formulation of the oil to help boost its heat tolerance, increase its resistance to breakdowns, and ensure that it has the proper viscosity (i.e., thickness and fluidity).
Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is created artificially and highly engineered. The oil is refined, distilled, purified, and broken down into molecules to remove impurities and allow for highly tailored products that suit the needs of modern engines. As you might expect from their elaborate creation, synthetic oils offer a higher level of performance and protection. They also include additives to further the engine’s power and functionality.
Pros and Cons
- Cost: As we mentioned above, conventional oil is significantly cheaper than synthetic. In fact, in some cases, it’s half the price! However, despite its initial high cost, synthetic oil offers numerous benefits that can help you save money in the long run.
- Durability: Synthetic oil lasts longer than conventional oil, which means it also allows for less frequent oil changes. Plus, synthetic is less harmful to the environment because you can use it for longer, reducing the amount of oil you need to dump each year.
- Engine Wear Protection: Synthetic oil better protects your engine from wear, especially during cold start-ups. If you perform a lot of stop-and-go driving and short trips in chilly weather, this may be an important benefit.
- Performance in High Temperatures: Synthetic oil performs much better in extreme temperatures because its additives increase its temperature range and boiling point. It remains stable in a variety of temperatures and won’t thin out as much as conventional oil.
Synthetic vs. conventional motor oil: it’s impossible to say which oil is objectively best. Your choice will be guided by your own priorities, your driving habits, your area’s climate, and your vehicle’s needs. For help deciding between the two, discuss your questions and concerns with a reliable mechanic. And no matter which type of motor oil you choose, remember to have your oil changed regularly to protect your engine and keep your car running smoothly.
Is your car ready for an oil change? If you’re located in Springfield (MO) or northwest Arkansas, give ASE-certified Seeburg Service Center a call. Our experienced, knowledgeable, and friendly mechanics perform a variety of auto repairs and maintenance, including oil changes, alignments, and brake repairs. To get started, please contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!