When you take your vehicle in for an oil change, you are likely confronted with various selections for which oil you would like to use. These oils are broken down under two categories: Conventional Oil and Synthetic Oil. Synthetic tends to cost two to three times as much as conventional engine oil, but what are the benefits of it, and is it worth the price?
Synthetic engine oil is produced using a synthetic (or artificial) base, unlike conventional oil which is processed from crude oil stock. The crude from which regular engine oil is produced contains certain levels of impurities which can not be removed during the refining process, however the artificial base stock of synthetic oil contains no such impurities, allowing it to stand up to heat much better than conventional oil, and also results in an extended lifespan.
Many synthetic oils are enhanced with “performance additives”, but just what do these additives do? In short, the additives in synthetic oil, as with those in conventional oil, are engineered to reduce sludge buildup and mineral deposits, provide superior protection for your engine’s components in extreme temperatures, and extend the overall life of your engine. Whether your vehicle has high or low miles, switching from conventional to synthetic motor oil can only benefit your engine, however synthetic will typically yield the most benefit if you begin using it during the initial break-in period of your vehicle (3,000-5,000 miles).
So, is synthetic motor oil better than regular oil? You bet it is. Vehicle’s with high-performance engines generally require the use of synthetic, but in vehicle’s in which it is not required, you will still gain substantial benefits. If your vehicle is already high mileage and you have not used synthetic motor oil in the past, the difference in the two oil types will be far less than if you use synthetic in a newer engine with few miles, however it can do nothing but good for your engine. Synthetic oil may be more expensive when compared to standard oil, but the benefits to your engine can far outweigh the cost if used regularly.