Car ?’s- Should I be Using Synthetic or Conventional Oil for my Oil Change ?

June 11th, 2014 by

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.
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.
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.
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.