Synthetic or Conventional Oil For My Next Oil Change?

June 11th, 2014 by

Conventional vs. Synthetic Oil: Choosing the Right Oil for Your Car in Boulder

Choosing between conventional and synthetic oil can feel overwhelming. Both have pros and cons, and the “best” choice depends on your priorities and driving habits.

Here at Fisher Auto in Boulder, we want to empower YOU to make an informed decision:

The Environmental Impact:

Synthetic Oil Change

  • Both Conventional and Synthetic oil types are derived from crude oil, which isn’t ideal.
  • Synthetic oil uses less crude oil but requires more intensive processing, which can have its own environmental impact.

Performance and Efficiency:

  • Synthetic oil: Outshines conventional oil in performance. It withstands extreme temperatures better, lasting up to 3 times longer between oil changes (reducing waste and hassle).
  • Synthetic oil: Reduces friction in the engine, leading to better gas mileage and overall horsepower.

Motor Oil Cost:

  • Synthetic oil: Is significantly more expensive per quart than conventional oil, making Synthetic oil changes pricier.

The Takeaway:

  • Conventional oil: A budget-friendly option suitable for older vehicles or those driven less frequently.
  • Synthetic oil: A premium choice for newer vehicles, performance-oriented driving, or those seeking extended intervals between oil changes (which can offset the higher cost).

The Future of Oil:

Exciting advancements in alternative lubricants are underway. Vegetable-based oils hold promise, but they’re not yet mainstream.

Boulder Drivers, Fisher Auto is Here to Help!

Let our experienced technicians guide you in choosing the right oil for your car.

Schedule your next oil

change at Fisher Auto today!

Pros VS Cons

This is more of a situation where you compare pro’s and con’s and then determine your own answer, rather than finding a definitive answer. There are aspects of either oil type that each individual person may perceive completely differently in importance than someone else.

The Difference between Conventional Oil and Synthetic Oil

To start out the main difference between conventional and synthetic is the process of refinement and engineering of the oil. They both are refined from crude oil. There is no getting around this fact and given our current environmental state, neither is ideal. Soon there could be substitutes such as a vegetable oil based lubricant but no alternative lubricant is quite viable yet. Now onto a comparison of the two competitors so that you can make an informed decision.

The difference comes in the form of refinement, production of a quart of synthetic oil is much more technologically intensive than conventional and the differences stem from that. The technologically advanced refinement process factors heavily into the cost of synthetic oil versus conventional and as a result, an oil change with synthetic oil can cost twice as much or more than a conventional oil competitor. From an environmental standpoint, while the synthetic oil uses less crude oil it also uses several chemicals that are damaging to the planet so that aspect really ends up just about tied. Luckily there’s so many more factors to the debate.

The main difference comes in with performance. Synthetic oil wins out against any conventional competition when It comes to their efficiency and ability to withstand the very harsh environment that is your engine. The high temperatures of an engine are enough to break down oil leading it to eventually vaporize and leave the motor through the exhaust. Synthetic oil is made with this concern in mind and can last as much as 3 times as long in your engine, resulting in less oil changes, less waste, and less hassle. Synthetics also lead to less friction in the engine than conventional and that results in better performance both in overall horsepower and efficiency which leads to more miles per gallon.

Frequency of Oil Changes

The next aspect of the debate is in the frequency of oil changes. For quite awhile the universal rule has been either every 3,000 miles or 3 months, whichever comes first. But, given all of the recent technological advances that have gone into the refinement of synthetic oil, they can now last for 10,000 or 15,000 miles in between oil changes and a few can last up to 20,000 miles while conventional oils still max out at 3,000 miles.

The Synthetic & Conventional Conclusion

So there is a ton of info for you to make your own decision or to at least give you a foundation of knowledge. There is still a lot of debate but we live in an exciting time because there are also constant innovations in the industry toward a new, better option. Some sort of vegetable oil alternative seems the most likely solution to the dilemma now but a new and better alternative could come to the forefront any day now. We’ll see what happens next.

Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended oil type for your specific vehicle.
Visit Fisher Auto in Boulder for expert advice on oil changes and other car care needs!

Schedule your next oil change at Fisher Auto today!