Four Benefits of Synthetic Oil



Keeping your vehicle well maintained with frequent oil changes is an unavoidable part of owning a car, but the choice of which oil to put in your engine can be just as important. Conventional motor oils are cheaper and have been used for decades, but many are now opting for the more expensive synthetic oils to increase the longevity of their vehicles. Of course, there are pros and cons to each type of oil, but the benefits of using synthetic may make you think twice about sticking to conventional oil at your next oil change.

Increased Protection

Unlike conventional motor oil, synthetic oil is treated with additives and chemicals that can actually help protect your engine from damage. For example, conventional motor oil can suffer from something known as viscosity breakdown, which happens when oil breaks down (usually due to using the wrong type of oil), thickens and coats the engine, causing engine seizing and smoke. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and retain strength and stability, even at high loads and temperatures.

Synthetic oil also helps protect your engine from scuffing, pitting, rolling contact fatigue and metal-to-metal contact, increasing the longevity of your engine and resulting in less time and money spent on repairs and maintenance.

Wider Temperature Range

Synthetic oils have a naturally higher ability to resist change in viscosity with temperature, and are formulated to be wax-free, which means better overall protection for your engine.

Wide temperature ranges in synthetic oil also make choosing your oil easier than choosing conventional oils that use the SAE system, which can be confusing for some people. The SAE system lets you know which oil is best for your vehicle based on external criteria, such as temperature. Getting the wrong type of oil can lead to oil breakdown, as well as engine seizing and smoking. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is able to withstand a a wider range of temperatures, so there’s no guesswork when deciding which oil to use in your car.

Less Waste & Environmentally Friendly

Millions of gallons of motor oil end up in sewers, soil and trash each year, due to improper disposal of oil by do-it-yourselfers. Unlike conventional oils, which need to be changed every 3,000 miles, synthetic oils are designed to last and protect longer, which means less waste from frequent oil changes. Cutting oil changes from every 3,000 miles to every 7,500 may help reduce that number significantly.

For people who want to be environmentally conscious, synthetic oil also comes out ahead of the curve when comparing synthetic vs. conventional oil. Synthetic oil burns much more cleanly than conventional oils, which is better for the environment. Synthetic oils are also not made from petroleum, like conventional oils are, last longer than conventional oils and do not burn off as quickly, even in higher temperatures.

Better Bottom Line

While synthetic motor oil may cost more initially, the money you save on frequent oil changes and other maintenance definitely makes synthetic the better buy. Additionally, synthetic oils are more slick than conventional oils, allowing for cooler and smoother engine operation, which will improve your horsepower and gas mileage, again saving you money.

When considering the higher cost of synthetic motor oil, consider the long-term savings gained through fewer oil changes, better gas mileage and extended engine longevity, with reduced need for repairs along the way. If the cost of synthetic oil is still too big of an investment, however, many oil companies are now making part-synthetic oils that combine conventional and synthetic oils into one, more affordable option.

Steve is a fitness guru who is passionate about helping people lead healthier lives. Find Steve on LinkedIn!

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