What’s the Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Motor Oil?

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Caring for your vehicle and ensuring its motor and engine parts enjoy a long, healthy life means choosing the right oil. But what are the differences between synthetic and conventional motor oil? Is one type of oil better than the other? What about the price and performance of synthetic and conventional oils? We’ll address these questions and more to help you extend the life of your engine.

Qualities of Conventional Oil

Manufacturing: Conventional motor oil is made from a natural process by refining crude oil. Because of these natural properties, each batch of conventional oil has impurities.

Price: The cost of conventional oil is about one-third to one-half of synthetic oil. However, check out the performance facts before reaching for this “value” engine oil.

Performance: Conventional oil has been around for a long time and is adequate for lubricating engine components. However, due to impurities in conventional oil, engine sludge (which happens when base oils break down) develops faster and puts your engine at risk. For best results, opt for oil changes every 3,000 miles. Also, extreme temperatures and aggressive driving styles will cause conventional oils to break down more quickly, requiring more frequent oil changes.

Qualities of Synthetic Oil

Manufacturing: Full synthetic motor oils are chemically developed with detergent additives that allow each batch to be uniform in structure. This means far fewer — if any — impurities in a batch of synthetic oil compared to its conventional counterpart.

Price: A huge difference between synthetic and conventional motor oil is the price. The manufacturing process is complicated, which drives the cost up. However, though you may pay more upfront, you’ll save money in the long run as synthetic does a great job of protecting your engine — and your engine will require fewer oil changes over the life of the vehicle.

Performance: Synthetic oil tends to break down more slowly, offering protection long past that 3,000-mile mark. Some full synthetic options can hold up to 10,000 miles before an oil change is needed — especially in modern engines.

Switching to Synthetic Oil

After comparing the differences between synthetic and conventional motor oil, you may consider switching to synthetic motor oil to increase engine performance. This is an easy process if you have a newer model, and your vehicle may not require an engine flush to switch oil types.

However, certain high-mileage vehicles, and those older engines that have never used synthetic, may need a flush or a gradual change over, as they were not made with synthetic oil properties in mind. Your mechanic or manufacturer’s instructions can help you decide if your vehicle requires conventional or synthetic engine oil.

Your LubeMaster technician can also help you choose between full synthetic (which uses the highest quality base oils) and a synthetic blend (a mixture of conventional and synthetic oils).

Get a Full Service Oil Change From LubeMaster

From helping you understand the differences between synthetic and conventional motor oil to performing quick, full-service oil changes and even diagnosing why your check engine light is on, LubeMaster is here for you and the health of your engine, no matter what you drive. Contact our team today for preventative maintenance by certified technicians, where we’ll ensure your oil and other essential fluids are checked and topped off, giving you peace of mind on the road.

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