Changing your oil is one of the easiest ways to maintain your car and increase the lifespan of your engine. However, it can be confusing to choose the best oil options for your vehicle. Should you go for conventional oil? Is a blend the right option? Or, is synthetic oil the way to go? While conventional oil and blends certain have their place, we believe that synthetic makes sense for many drivers. Let’s talk about exactly why you should consider an oil change full synthetic over other types of oil.
What is Synthetic Oil?
Motor oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle, which is why changing your oil is so important. This product reduces friction in your engine by providing lubrication. As parts of your engine move, they rub against one another, which causes wear. Over time, this wear can make it necessary to replace parts or even entirely rebuild your engine. Additionally, friction causes heat. Too much heat can cause major problems with your engine.
You have three oil options: conventional, blends, and full synthetic. Conventional oil is from the earth. It goes through a refinement process to take out any impurities, so you get a smooth, lubricating product. On the other hand, synthetic oils are highly refined, man-made products. The base is still made from petroleum products, so synthetic oil is chemically the same as conventional oil. They even look and smell very similar. However, since synthetic oil goes through a stricter refining process, scientists can ensure the molecules line up perfectly. In addition, with a synthetic oil, the molecules are all the same size. Natural, less-refined mineral oil products have imperfections. Simply put, they aren’t as pure. So, synthetic oil works better than conventional oil for most vehicles.
Although synthetic is a superior product, some people instead choose a synthetic blend motor oil. With blends, you’ll get a product that mixes conventional and synthetic oil. The final product combines the cost savings of conventional oil with the higher quality of synthetic oil.
Here are a few common myths, misconceptions, and facts about synthetic oil:
- Yes, you can use synthetic oil in older cars with high mileage. Because they are chemically the same, you can use synthetic wherever you use conventional oil.
- Synthetic oil is not just for high-performance vehicles. In fact, most vehicles can benefit from the use of synthetic.
- It’s okay to switch to synthetic oil if you are currently using conventional oil or a blend. When we change your oil, we’ll completely drain your old oil first. Any oil residue left in your engine won’t matter. And, in case you change your mind, you can easily switch back to conventional oil.
- Synthetic oil will not cause damage or extra wear on your car. This includes your engine seals or any other engine parts. In fact, the opposite is true in many cases!
- Although they are more highly refined, synthetic oils are not thinner than conventional oils. People often refer to it as thinner because it doesn’t break down as quickly or have as many impurities. It’s not really thinner, though. All oils come with a viscosity grade (aka oil weight). Whether it is conventional or synthetic, this number must accurately reflect how thick/thin the oil will be at different temperatures.
Of course, brand matters when it comes to synthetics and oil in general. A high-quality brand will always work better than a low-quality brand. Here at Kernersville Auto Center, we use only Havoline, which is a brand that has been around for over 100 years! We use Havoline oil in our own cars and recommend it to our friends and family. If it’s not good enough when we change the oil in our vehicles, it’s not good enough for our customers.
Benefits of Synthetic Oil over Conventional Oil
We primarily use synthetic oils because there are so many benefits over conventional oils and blends. If you need an oil change full synthetic is the way to go.
First, synthetic oil reduces wear and heat, which can prolong the life of your engine. Friction is the enemy of any engine. Both the physical wear and the heat from friction can cause problems in an engine. Rebuilding an engine is one of the most expensive repairs you could have to make. Actually, many people choose to buy a new car instead. Eventually, the cost of a repair outweighs the benefits of keeping the vehicle! Synthetic oil helps your car or truck stay on the road longer.
Next, synthetic oil does give you slightly better gas mileage. Basically, your engine doesn’t have to work as hard when you’re driving. Therefore, it uses slightly less gas. This is a very small difference. However, if you drive a lot, you’ll see a small savings.
With synthetic oil, you’ll also find that you have to change you oil less often. When you use synthetic, you’ll typically only need a change every 7,500 – 10,000 miles. In some cases, you can go even longer between changes. Many car manufacturers recommend changing conventional oil every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. It really depends on your vehicle and driving habits, though. Our mechanics can give you estimates for changing both types of oil. Remember that your owner’s manual doesn’t take your driving habits or weather conditions into account. Over the lifespan of the vehicle, changing your oil less frequently can really add up to a savings. Synthetic oils are also cleaner for the environment. As discussed, you’ll change your synthetic oil less often, which produces less waste. These oils also produce fewer emissions.
In some cases, synthetic oil may also cause less sludge in your engine. If you tend to make short trips, your engine doesn’t get as hot as it does on longer drives. The heat burns off water and other impurities found in your engine oil. With lots of short trips, these impurities build up, creating sludge as the oil breaks down. Synthetic oil is purer from the get-go, so there are fewer impurities to burn off. Similarly, synthetic oil prevents sludge by working better in both cold and hot weather. Essentially, if your engine is straining, synthetic oil helps it work more easily. Here in North Carolina, this is especially true when you’re cold-starting your car in the winters. Additionally, it works to prevent oil breakdown during triple-digit days in the summer.
Finally, keep in mind that synthetic oil makes your engine performance more predictable. The oil is a higher quality and closer to pure. With conventional oil, different brands can vary wildly. Even different batches from the same brand can vary. If you drive a high-performance vehicle or need engine predictability, synthetic is the way to go.
Is Synthetic Oil More Expensive?
Yes, synthetic oil is more expensive upfront when compared to conventional oils. The cost of your oil change will depend on the specific oil you need. Additionally, different engines need different quantities, which affects the cost. However, in all cases, synthetic will cost more.
That is to say, synthetic oil costs more upfront. In the long run, synthetic oil can actually help you save money. Many car owners find that synthetic oil pays for itself over the life of a vehicle.
The most immediate cost savings is in the frequency of your oil changes. Our ASE-certified mechanics can advise you about how often you need to change your oil, since it depends on your vehicle. Some people find that they only have to change their oil half as often. Even with our affordable prices, this savings can add up.
Synthetic oil really shines when it comes to the longevity of your engine. All motor oil breaks down over time, along with getting dirty from the dust and grime on the road. This is why changing your oil is important. Conventional oil starts breaking down pretty much as soon as you change it. As it breaks down, the parts of your engine rub against one another more and more. The wear is minimal at first, but over several years, you can see the damage to your engine. With synthetic oil, breakdown is slower. So, it adds a layer of protection to your engine, adding months or even years to its life.
When making the choice between conventional and synthetic, make sure you review your manufacturer recommendations. Some newer-model cars require synthetic. If you’re not sure, our mechanics can tell you if synthetic is required for your vehicle.
What our Customers are Saying about an Oil Change Full Synthetic or Conventional at Our Shop
With so many options for a full synthetic oil change, why choose Kernersville Auto Center? Well, we focus on putting the customer first. Our licensed mechanics never recommend products or services you don’t need – including synthetic oil. If conventional oil is the best choice for your vehicle and budget, that’s what we’ll recommend. Our goal is to give you high-quality service, not to raise your bill. That’s why people come back to us again and again: they know they can trust our advice. We’ve been serving the Kernersville – Piedmont Triad area for more than 25 years.
Here’s just a taste of what people are saying about Kernersville Auto Center:
“We have trusted our vehicles to Mac and his team for over a decade. An asset to the community. Always professional and personable. I don’t go anywhere else.” – Tim Icenhower
“Fast service plus convenience extras make this place and great value. I paid just over $56 to get an oil change in my Mercedes. It’s a diesel and uses an extra-large oil filter and 9 quarts of oil so this is a really good deal. As a complimentary service they also vacuumed my interior and washed my front and rear windows, checked all my fluid levels and were extremely polite during the process. There was no sales rep pushing extra repairs or services that I didn’t request, which I greatly appreciate.” – James Eren Barnes
“I can’t say enough about how easy Mac Allen and Havoline Xpress lube make it for someone to maintain their car. The staff comes out to meet you and takes care of everything. They are very knowledgeable about all aspects of vehicle maintenance. I have had my oil changed, new windshield wipers, NC inspection, and new tires with nitrogen. All a customer has to do is wait in his clean, comfortable waiting area. Mac makes taking care of your car as painless as possible!” – Lou Ann Peters
You can click here to read more testimonials from our customers.
No Matter What Kind of Oil You Choose, Regular Oil Changes are Important!
Regardless of the type of oil you choose, you need to get it changed regularly. Part of being a car owner is providing regular preventative maintenance and repairs. Along with oil changes, you’ll need to budget for:
- Annual state inspections
- Brake maintenance
- Engine tune-ups
- Air filter replacement
- Tire rotation and replacement
- Checking, replacing, or topping off fluids
- Windshield wiper replacement
- Bulb replacement
This isn’t a complete list of the minor repairs you might need (along with oil changes). The key here is to make repairs as soon as you need them. If your check engine light comes on, bring in your car as soon as you can. We’ll take care of any issue.
In addition, when you join our loyalty club, you’ll receive points after every visit, which you can use for savings on future services. No wonder our customers come back year after year!
We keep our oil changes, and all maintenance, fast and affordable. Our goal is to get you back on the road as soon as possible. You can make an appointment quickly and easily online using our easy scheduling tool. Additionally, you can call us if you’d rather make an appointment via phone. We also take walk-ins whenever possible, but for the fastest service, make an appointment. Our team looks forward to helping you with your next oil change or any other maintenance your vehicle may require.