It seems that today, no matter what you are looking to buy, there are hundred of different options to choose from. Motor oil is no exception, and at times it can be extremely confusing when deciding what brand or type of motor oil you should use in your vehicle. To meet the needs of today’s motorists, manufacturers generally offer four major types of engine oil: conventional, synthetic-blend, full synthetic, and high mileage. Here are some simple ways to discern between the different choices and which would suit your vehicle’s needs best.
As the name implies, conventional motor oil is petroleum-based and refined into a base lubricating oil. The oil is then blended with additives with various benefits, with most conventional oils having 10+ unique additives in any given formula. These additives help keep motor oil at low temperatures, prevent build up of contaminants such as dirt, and keep your engine’s parts clean. On average, conventional oil will meet the needs of a typical driver, but some driving styles can push conventional oil to the limit and put extra stress on your engine, which brings us to the next oil type.
Synthetic Blend Oil
Synthetic blend motor oil is a mixture of the conventional petroleum base oil and an artificial , highly refined synthetic base specially formulated to meet higher standards. Synthetic blend, unlike conventional oil, will offer more performance for engines driven in harsh conditions, or with aggressive driving styles. Longer trips and highway driving do not stress an engine nearly as much as severe driving, which includes frequent short trips, lots of stop-and-go traffic, and frequently carrying heavy loads (either passengers or cargo). If your normal commute takes you through rigorous city traffic or over short distances, you most likely fall into the severe driving category, in which case synthetic blend motor oil is ideal.
Full Synthetic Oil
Synthetic motor oil is the best formula of motor oil available to the consumer; there is nothing that protects your engine better. There are many advantages to using full synthetic motor oil, especially for drivers who demand the best protection for their engine. Synthetic excels at protecting your engine in harsh driving conditions, and has superior low temperature flow which helps your engine start better and remain more protected in extremely cold weather.
High Mileage Oil
Vehicles with high mileage are not to be left out – there are formulas specifically designed to meet the needs of a well-traveled engine, normally formulated for vehicles with over 75,000 or 100,000 miles. These specially designed formulas contain additives which condition and protect the seals within your engine that may have become brittle over the years, and also help protect against oil burn-off. High mileage motor oil is specially designed to protect your aged engine and work extra hard to protect it, which is reason enough to choose high mileage oil if you drive an older vehicle.
Armed with this knowledge, the days of indecision over which oil you should choose at the lube station are over. Based on what you need from your vehicle, and how you drive, it becomes quite simple to select the right oil for your vehicle.