Motor oil has always been called the lifeblood of a car. Without it, cars do not run well - or at all - for any length of time. Any driver knows it’s essential that a car’s oil is changed on a regular basis to properly lubricate all of a car's valves and parts, and if a car’s oil is not changed on a regular basis, mechanical problems to the engine are inevitable. However, the traditional 3,000 miles oil change is history, for the most part. Oil chemistry and engine technology in new cars has improved to the point where the standard oil change is somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 miles. Today, the two types of motor oil for cars are conventional motor oil and synthetic motor oil, and we'll go into detail on the difference between conventional and synthetic motor oil.
Conventional motor oil is made from crude oil found beneath the ground. It is processed at refineries to maintain its base oil and additional products are mixed in. On the flip side, synthetic motor oil has base oils that are artificially synthesized. All of the additives are more technologically advanced, less volatile, and contain smaller levels of wax. The end result is that synthetic oil has a purer base oil form. There are many advantages to using synthetic motor oil for your car. From the moment the engine is turned on, you get superior protection for the engine. This stable form of engine oil maintains the right level of gumminess through a wider temperature range than conventional oils. This viscosity allows the oil to stick to parts of the engine and does a better job preventing wear and tear. Synthetic motor oil also flows better than conventional motor oil. This is due to extra friction inhibiting chemicals. The car is protected from dry starts with synthetic motor oil. Since there are more durable properties to synthetic motor oils, breakdown is reduced, and these oils don’t require changing as often as conventional motor oils. In addition, cars get better gas mileage and quicker start-ups. When conventional motor oils break down, they often leave scaling or sludge deposits on engine parts. This often happens when cars are driven under tough conditions and/or for long periods of time. As conventional motor oil breaks down, it sticks on many components in the engine and gets baked on. Synthetic oils will eventually break down, too, but they can last three times longer than conventional oils, which saves you money. Synthetic oils are also more environmentally friendly because they do not require digging miles into the earth's crust for oil, take no refining, and last longer and go farther than conventional oil. Although synthetic motor oils are superior to conventional motor oils, either will protect your vehicle’s engine as long as your car's manual doesn't specify which you have to use and you stick to a high quality oil. Some cars require synthetic motor oil and can be damaged if conventional oil is used, like late-model and new vehicles from European manufacturers like Audi, Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. There are also cars from Toyota, Honda and Subaru that need synthetic motor oil, and hybrids typically require synthetic motor oil. The most important factor to remember is to follow the recommended service intervals outlined by the car manufacturer. Synthetic oil costs more than conventional oil, but lasts far longer, improves engine performance, increases engine life, and is more environmentally friendly. Plus, any car can be treated to synthetic oil, while the same cannot be said of conventional oil. We believe there is great benefit in using synthetic oil in your car and recommend trying it out the next time you schedule an oil change!