Should You Use Synthetic Oil or Conventional Oil?
When you visit your chosen automotive dealership or local mechanic for your routine oil change, you’ll often hear them ask you what type of oil you want them to use: synthetic or conventional. The difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil is something that many drivers don’t know about. While some may have a preference for which type of oil to use in their car, others will ask for the cheapest option simply because they don’t understand what sets the two apart. While the two types of oil look similar, their performance and how long they last are vastly different from one another.
Why Does Your Car Need Oil?
Motor oil works as a lubricant that protects the internal components of the engine, such as the crankshafts and pistons. It works at cleaning the engine by keeping particles and excess debris from building up, and in doing this it reduces excess friction and lowers the temperature of your engine. Your mechanic will inform you that it’s important to have a routine oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles to keep rotating fresh oil into the engine. Doing this will help prevent any contamination or build up of bad particles.
Understanding the Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Oil
Most conventional motor oil is petroleum-based, which originates from crude oil. Hydrocarbon is made from compounds of hydrogen and carbon that are natural or organic. While this type of oil is mostly made of real crude oil, there are additives used to improve the natural components for extra durability and protection. Synthetic oil comes from exactly what the name states: synthetic compounds. While these compounds are similar to hydrocarbons, the synthetic compounds last longer and offer more durability. With this increased durability comes better protection for longer periods, as synthetic oil is less likely to break down as quickly as conventional motor oil.
Knowing the difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil is going to help in the proper care and maintenance your vehicle. Talk with your mechanic or local dealership, as they can offer advice and information on which oil will work best for your particular model. Always make sure to give your car the proper care it needs and deserves by learning about the different products you’re putting into it.
March 7, 2012 by Jamie Rettig