When it’s time for an oil change, you get to choose: synthetic oil or regular motor oil. If you’re like most car owners, this can be confusing.
What are the differences between the two? Is one better for your car than the other? Does it really matter?
In this blog, we will consider the pros and cons of synthetic oil and regular motor oil and discuss which is the better choice for your vehicle.
Let’s dive in.
What Does Engine Oil Do?
Engine oil serves a critical purpose, along with the other fluids in your vehicle. As your motor runs, engine oil lubricates its moving parts, keeping heat at bay and ensuring the motor runs smoothly.
Engine oil also collects and contains the byproducts of engine combustion. Over time, oil becomes dirty.
That is why changing your oil every few thousand miles is so critical to the health of your vehicle.
Synthetic Oil 101
Synthetic oils have become the norm in auto repair circles. In addition to them being better for your engine than conventional oil, synthetic oils also last longer than regular motor oils.
While regular oil is made of mineral oil, synthetic oils use higher-quality base materials. The result is motor oil that is more chemically stable, less prone to oxidation and acidification, and slower to break down.
Synthetic oils support optimal engine performance and protect engine parts better than regular oils. Specifically, they reduce engine sludge and deposit buildup, protect your car’s engine against high temperatures, and control oil breakdown.
Manufacturers generally recommend using synthetic oil in classic cars and high-performance vehicles. That said, you can use it in any car.
Regular Motor Oil 101
For years, conventional motor oil was considered the industry standard. It is less expensive than synthetic oil and available in various viscosity grades.
Manufactured from crude oil, regular motor oil is standard in cars that don’t require special protection and are driven daily.
That said, regular motor oil does not last as long as synthetic. It also does not protect the car’s engine as efficiently. This means you must change your oil more frequently if you use conventional varieties.
How To Know Which Is Right For You
Not sure if you should use synthetic or conventional oil at your next oil change? We recommend following the manufacturer’s directions for your vehicle. A quick glance at your owner’s manual will tell you what type of oil your car requires.
That said, you’re not married to those recommendations. If you’ve been using conventional oil in your car, you can switch. As we mentioned earlier in this article, synthetic oil provides better engine protective benefits and lasts longer than conventional oils.
A word of warning: if you’re going to make the switch, expect to pay more than you did for oil changes with conventional oil. Don’t let the sticker price shock you, though: investing in synthetic oil is a great way to care for your engine and extend the time between oil changes.
Still not sure which oil to choose? Talk to our Pensacola auto repair team. One of our skilled mechanics will be happy to help you learn how to best care for your car. Contact us today.