Motor oils are necessary to protect engines, as they lessen friction caused by the constant contact between engine parts. Accordingly, it’s indispensable for friction to be minimized because not only does it speed up the wear and tear of engine components, but also adds extra heat in the engine, which consequently decreases its power.
However, the question is, what oil should you use to lubricate your engine — conventional or synthetic? More people in Ogden and other cities seem to be shifting to synthetic motor oil due to its alleged benefits, but synthetic costs about six to 10 times more than its conventional counterpart, so it’s only wise to determine if it will truly provide superior performance.
Below, we’ll discuss the advantages of using synthetic oil, but before that, let’s tackle the compositions of synthetic and conventional oil.
Synthetic vs. Conventional
Both motor oils are derived from refining oil. In fact, the majority of synthetics are abstracted from the same source as conventional oil. However, the difference lies with their level of refinement and distillation.
According to My Engine Needs, despite undergoing a refinement process, conventional motor oil still consists of contaminants and non-uniform hydrocarbon molecular compounds that negatively affect its efficiency. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, does not contain such contaminants. Furthermore, the hydrocarbon molecules in its composition have a very uniform appearance and size. Here are some of its amazing benefits:
1. Provides superior protection against engine wear. As previously explained, an engine’s components constantly move at high speeds against each other. Over time, the friction breaks down the engine parts. While conventional oil is able to properly lubricate the engine, synthetic oil outperforms it by creating a protective barrier around each component to further reduce friction.
2. Help keep your engine cleaner. As you probably already know, as lubricants circulate through the engine of your car, it’s likely to pick up some nasty deposits along the way. Conventional oils eventually form a sludge that not only decreases the performance of your engine, but also shortens its life. Therefore, while synthetics are more expensive, they help cut down costs in the long run by prolonging the life of your engine.
3. Performs better in extreme temperatures.
- Hot temperatures: When your car is being driven, its engine gets hot. While it is perfectly normal, high temperatures can cause conventional motor oil to evaporate over time, thus failing to protect your engine parts. On the other hand, full synthetics are heat resistant, so it functions well even when your engine is tending to intensive work like hauling or when you’re driving in a place with an extremely hot climate.
- Cold temperatures: Oil tends to settle when your car is stuck in the garage, but once you start it up, the ignition prompts it to flow again. However, conventional oil takes significantly more time than full synthetic oil to resume a smooth flow. Moreover, during the winter or in places with intensely low temperatures, the flow process takes even longer. In comparison, full synthetic oils are designed to rapidly promote a smooth flow even during cold seasons or in low-temp environments.
Synthetic oil provides excellent efficiency, prevents sludge problems, and is resistant to thermal breakdown and oxidation. Thus, if money is not an issue, go for a full synthetic product to save yourself from the inconvenience of annoying deposits and frequent oil changes.
However, if you find it too costly, opt instead for a synthetic blend. Alternatively, every other oil change, you may choose to rotate between synthetic and conventional or a full synthetic and a blend. But, be sure to determine if this rotation is suitable for your car. In addition, take note that not all types of engines can safely accommodate synthetics so always refer to your vehicle’s owner manual first.