Synthetic oil has long been lauded as a superior alternative to conventional oil due to being more eco-friendly. But it’s been hard to convince drivers to pay 6 to 10 times the price for man-made oil instead of traditional one has been hard. In the end, could the benefits of using synthetic oil really be worth the high price point?
The Similarities And Differences
Contrary to what some may believe, most synthetic oil is somewhat similar to conventional oil, in that they are both the end product of refining crude oil. The primary difference between the two is the level at which the oil is being refined.
There are several synthetic oils that use artificially made compounds as the base, but they’re still quite a rarity. In the US, the type of synthetic oil you’re most likely to encounter would be what manufacturers classify as Oil Grade Group III. Synthetic oil that uses highly refined crude oil as the base and is enhanced by additives for better performance (and vehicle preservation) during the manufacturing process.
Synthetic oil and conventional oil also look similar – visually, you won’t be able to differentiate between the two of them. The big difference is how they change when they’ve run in your car for a while.
Conventional oil will start losing its form much quicker than synthetic oil. It’ll get a lot thicker and sludgier than it originally was, and will need to be changed much quicker to prevent it from leaving deposits they may start plugging leaks in your car.
Synthetic oil, by comparison, will maintain its original form for much longer. Its uniform molecular size and fewer impurities ensure that it thickens far more slowly, burns cleaner (thus the eco-friendliness), and leaves far fewer deposits over the time it’s in use.
Benefits Of Switching To Synthetic Oil
The biggest upside of switching to synthetic oil is the increased engine protection, as well as less wearing from lower friction. As synthetic oil has a uniform molecular size, it significantly reduces the friction, while additional refinement and engineering of the oil goes through reducing deposits.
Synthetic oil producers also fortify their products with additives that can clean engines. If your seal gets clogged and leaks are plugged, switching to synthetic oil can clean the deposits.
Synthetic oil has also been shown to function better in extreme weather, particularly lower temperatures, than conventional oil.
On the other hand, it must be noted that promised fuel economy is likely not going to be all that noticeable. While you may burn less overall, considering the high price point, you aren’t likely to cut your gas budget anytime soon. It may, however, save you some costs long-term by preserving the engine.
Where To Get An Oil Change?
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