Before you take your car into the shop for its next oil change, educate yourself on the difference between synthetic and conventional oils to ensure your vehicle’s performance and longevity. Most mechanics will ask which type you prefer or will recommend a type they think is best. However, consumers don’t always know the difference and typically end up choosing the cheapest option. It’s always good to save money, but not knowing the difference could put your vehicle at risk.
What’s the difference between synthetic and conventional?
The chemical difference between synthetic and conventional oil is simple. Conventional oil is crude oil refined from the ground. Synthetic oil is a man-made engine lubricant made from different chemical compounds. Some synthetic oils come from raw materials, while other types of synthetic oils start out as conventional oils before being chemically altered. With so many types of oils, it can be confusing to know which one is best for your vehicle. Therefore, it’s important to conduct proper research before heading to the auto shop.
What type is best for my car?
The easiest way to determine the best type of oil for your car is to check the owner’s manual. Car manufacturers usually suggest which oil type is best for a particular vehicle and how often you should get an oil change to help the car run its best. Choosing the wrong type of oil can damage your car and lead to costly repairs.
Oftentimes, cars from European manufacturers and certain types of hybrid cars require synthetic oil. Synthetic oil typically lasts longer and reduces engine wear. It also can handle high temperatures without breaking down. Using synthetic oil can cut down on your auto repair expenses and save you money down the road. Synthetic oils are also more planet friendly than traditional oils. Longer spans between oil changes means you will only dispose of 15–24 quarts of oil each year.
Conventional oil is recommended for the first 5,000 miles a new car is driven. The manufacturer equipped the vehicle with conventional oil, and the engine will benefit from the break-in period. After that time, you might want to switch to synthetic oil. However, do not try to transition the vehicle too soon. Also, If you drive an older model vehicle with high mileage, stick with conventional oil. The car is accustomed to running on conventional oil and will not reap the benefits of synthetic oil. Be diligent about taking your vehicle in for routine oil changes – waiting too long can damage the engine.
There are pros and cons to both synthetic and conventional oils, so it’s important to speak with your mechanic about which option is best for your car. The information published here was provided by trucking mechanics at Jackson Moving and Storage in Downers Grove IL.