When your Winston-Salem, North Carolina auto mechanic performs an oil change on your car, truck or SUV, do you choose synthetic oil? Yes, this oil cost many times more than conventional oil. But the price is not the full story. With all that synthetic motor oil can do for your vehicle, is it worth the higher cost? So, synthetic oil vs conventional oil?
What is synthetic oil?
Synthetic oil is a man-made alternative to conventional oil, made from two types of oil and powder additives. The oils include a base fluid and a carrier fluid for even additive distribution. Like conventional, synthetic is made from refined oil pumped from deep within the Earth. It is the refining process that makes these two lubricants different. Both fluids serve the very important purpose of reducing friction in your car’s engine, also reducing sludge and improving performance.
Synthetic lubricant has been used in automobile and jet engines since 1929. It provides many advantages, including less friction, reduced deposits, better functioning in extreme weather, fewer impurities and boosted protection with engine-cleaning capabilities. Synthetics also improve fuel economy.
What are the different types of synthetic oil?
Full synthetic oil is the highest quality of synthetic oil. However, without uniform standards in place to grade these fluids, the term is more or less just a marketing catchphrase.
A synthetic blend, also called semi-refined oil, is the next grade down from full synthetic quality. Semi-synthetic blend is a mix of conventional oil with synthetic. This means that you benefit from the synthetic attributes, such as higher refinement and engine-cleaning additives. But with traditional oil in the mix, you also get the impurities. Because they are not fully synthetic, the cost is also lower.
To decide which oil to use in your vehicle, you must weigh that cost with the oil’s benefits. Your options include:
- Synthetic oil
- Semi-synthetic oil (synthetic blends)
- Conventional oil
Synthetic blends provide some benefits over conventional oil while being cheaper that fully synthetic. But full synthetic oil provides the highest quality and performance of the three types.
How often do you need to change synthetic oil?
Although it costs more, synthetic oil requires fewer changes than conventional oil or synthetic blends.
Typical oil change intervals include:
- Conventional oil: Twice yearly or every 7500 miles
- Synthetic oil: Once yearly or every 10,000 to 15,000 miles
Older or antique vehicles may need their conventional oil changed more frequently, such as every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. New vehicles often require fewer oil changes. Your auto mechanic is your best guide in scheduling this service.
Synthetic Oil vs Conventional Oil
You can tell a difference in how your vehicle runs with synthetic oil vs conventional oil. The used oil is also much more sludgy and thicker when you use conventional, even after the same amount of use.
Synthetic oil helps your vehicle perform better by protecting the engine through reduced friction. Synthetic oil additives clean your engine and burns cleaner because of fewer impurities. At the same time, when considering synthetic oil vs conventional oil, the former is less likely than conventional to thicken and form deposits.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that synthetic oil helps engines perform 47 percent better than conventional oil. You have to change synthetic less often and provide your vehicle with what it needs to run its best.
Benefits of synthetic oil vs conventional oil include:
- Fewer emissions
- Better fuel economy and oil economy
- Fewer oil changes
- Improved engine protection
- Reduced wear from lower friction
- Reduced engine drag and engine repairs
- Better protection in all weather
- More predictable oil quality
- Quicker engine starts
- Better cleaning of engine sludge and deposits
Schedule Your Oil Change Service in Winston-Salem, NC Today
As you can see from the above list of benefits of synthetic oil vs conventional oil, it is worth the higher price over conventional oil. To find out more about your vehicle’s lubrication needs and which oil to choose for your engine, schedule your next oil change service with Cloverdale Auto in Winston-Salem, NC. Call us at 336-331-3448 to set your appointment today.