You may ask yourself this question: does my car need synthetic oil? The answer not only may surprise you but could also have a huge impact on your wallet!
What are Synthetic Lubricants?
What is synthetic oil? Synthetic oils are engineered chemically to create pure lubricants. These laboratory engineered lubricants contain no contaminants or molecules that don’t serve a specifically designed purpose.
What are the advantages of synthetic oil? Unlike conventional lubricants, synthetic oils contain uniformly sized pure molecules that provide high-performance properties such as the following:
- Superior friction-reducing capabilities.
- Enhanced fuel efficiency.
- Stronger film strength.
- A vast capability to perform in a broad range of temperatures, from extremely cold to high heat.
In other words, synthetic oils outperform petroleum-based conventional lubricants by a substantial margin.
Let’s discuss a little bit about conventional oils so that there is a better understanding and reference point for the differences between both.
Conventional lubricants are derived from the ground and refined from crude oil. Naturally, petroleum base stocks contain elements such as nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, vanadium, and nickel. These contaminating elements are naturally inherent to crude oil, and it becomes challenging to totally remove these unwanted impurities via the complex refining processes.
No matter how far the oil refining process has evolved over the years, this process goes about separating the various types of molecules in the base oil by weight. At the end of the process, what is left behind are molecules that are similar in weight, but quite dissimilar in structure.
This dissimilar molecular structure brings with it various negative performance characteristics.
In other words, because synthetic oils are perfectly engineered to eliminate any of the negative aspects of conventional oils, these synthetic oils offer the best and most useful performance characteristics your vehicle demands and requires.
When asking “does my car need synthetic oil?”, based on this initial overview, the answer is a resounding YES!
In this blog post, we’ll try to delve deeper into providing you the reader the many benefits that can be reaped when choosing to utilize a high-performance synthetic oil in your prized vehicle.
So, you’re asking the question “does my car need synthetic oil?” and we’ve proposed that the answer is yes, but to make that final decision, there are other issues and questions that will most likely come up in your mind before you finally decide.
Synthetic Oil Does Not Void Warranties
One of those questions that I’m sure you’ve heard before is that using synthetic motor oil or any other motor oil in a new vehicle can void the manufacturer’s warranty. Is this true? The answer is no.
The fact is, original equipment manufacturers will recommend using engine oils that meet specific specifications, such as certain viscosity grade recommendations and particular service requirements.
The OEM must stand behind its warranty to cover all vehicle failures it would typically recover provided that the oil being used meets the vehicle requirements and service specifications, and was not the cause of the failure.
Any respected and reputable synthetic motor oil manufacturer will market engine oils that meet or exceed these OEM specifications.
Beyond this, there is a federal mandate called the Magnuson-Moss Act that says that a vehicle manufacturer may not require the use of a specific brand of aftermarket product unless it is provided free of charge.
Note that if you encounter a dealership, service center, or any other business that says that using any reputable synthetic engine oil that meets a particular vehicle’s stated specifications will void your manufacturer’s warranty, one can directly contact the FTC.
In other words, you are free to use any motor oil that meets or exceeds your car’s required specifications.
Another interesting aspect of synthetic oils that can help you answer the question “does my car need synthetic oil?” is how long a high-performance synthetic oil can last in service.
A good quality high-performance 100% pure synthetic engine oil can outlast a conventional oil anywhere from three to ten times longer.
I’m sure in the past you’ve always been told to change your oil every 3,000 miles if you wanted to correctly maintain your vehicle. Along comes a high-performance synthetic oil manufacturer and they are claiming that their oil can last anywhere from 15,000 to 25,000 miles without an oil change! How is this possible?
I’m sure this is confusing and goes against the grain of what has always been the case with changing oils in cars every 3,000 miles. Nevertheless, there are technical reasons why a properly formulated high-performance synthetic oil can stay in service far longer than a conventional petroleum engine oil.
Long Drain Intervals From Synthetic Oils
Pure synthetic engine oils are engineered to deliver extended drain interval performance due to their ability to resist breakdown far better than petroleum/conventional oils.
Much thought and research has been put into creating engine oils that can withstand very extreme operating conditions. Through the use of the finest pure synthetic base stocks, these advanced engine oils are engineered to prevent the formation of detrimental deposits.
They are also highly resistant to burning-off, or what is known as volatilization. If volatilization were to occur, this could negatively affect viscosity, which could lead to unnecessary increased oil consumption.
Beyond the fact the that finest base stocks are chosen, chemists will blend into these base stocks the finest possible additives. When you combine top of the line base stocks with the best performance-enhancing additives, you end up with superior engine oil that can withstand the most extreme engine stresses.
Such a high-performance oil can provide the necessary protection for the complete and recommended drain interval. The philosophy of such a motor oil is to engineer in a safety cushion of performance that provides extra protection so that the oil can adequately provide long and extended drain intervals.
Through scientific oil analysis, one can monitor the oil’s condition at select intervals so that you can understand and learn what is happening inside your motor.
Think of an oil analysis much like having your blood tested by your doctor in a laboratory. Your doctor draws your blood, sends it off to a lab, and the results will show the condition of your blood.
It’s the same concept for your engine’s oil. The oil is the lifeblood for your engine’s critical parts to have the protection they need. By drawing a sample of engine oil and sending it off to the lab, there is a lot of interesting data that such an oil analysis can provide.
At the end of the day, a quality high-performance synthetic oil should be able to provide a much longer drain interval and service life than conventional engine oil.
Synthetic Oils Deliver Better Value
You may have heard that 100% pure synthetic engine oils may cost more than regular standard conventional oil. So, you may have difficulty justifying paying a higher price for such a product.
Yes, on the surface, a high-performance synthetic oil does seem to have a higher price than mineral/petroleum-based motor oil. The fact is, comparing a premium synthetic oil to other conventional engine oils is much like trying to compare apples to oranges.
To justify investing in something that costs more, we need to focus on true value. If there was a way to protect your engine against unnecessary wear and loss of power by as much as 70% or more, would this be a benefit to you?
If by the simple task of replacing your oil so that expensive and critical components such as camshafts and pistons could have a much longer service life, would this be a benefit to you?
Well, a high-performance synthetic lubricant can provide these types of benefits that conventional oils simply are incapable of providing. High-performance products justifiably command a premium price. With anything of true value, the true overall value doesn’t end with the purchase price.
A properly engineered high performance 100% pure synthetic engine oil delivers real value and is very cost-effective compared to a petroleum-based oil. They offer real savings by reducing repairs, improving fuel economy, requiring fewer oil changes, offering a high reduction in breakdowns, lowering maintenance costs, and greatly extending engine service life.
You may have a year old car that you’ve been utilizing a conventional petroleum engine oil in from day one. The question arises as to whether switching to 100% synthetic engine oil could cause mechanical issues.
This is an old wives tale. The fact is, switching from conventional oil to a highly engineered high-performance synthetic engine oil is perfectly safe. You may ask if mixing synthetic motor oils with conventional oils is OK. Yes, there’s no danger when mixing synthetic with petroleum.
With that said, understand that mixing a petroleum-based oil with a high-performance synthetic oil will reduce the superior performance of the synthetic engine oil. Also, when mixing synthetics with petroleum oils, the synthetic lubricant manufacturer will not support extended drain intervals when oils have been mixed.
Synthetic Oil Delivers Green Technology
Another timely and relevant benefit that is offered by a high performance 100% pure synthetic oil would be an environmental benefit. Unfortunately, each year, there are millions of gallons of engine oil that are burned off through the exhaust of vehicles, thus leading to emission pollution.
As stated earlier in this post, conventional engine oils burn off far easier than thermally stable, heat resistant synthetic lubricants. Conventional oils simply create too much emission pollution. As the lighter oils and conventional oils burn off, thicker oils are left behind, which leads to unwanted engine deposits. That causes piston rings to stick and oil to blow-by.
This negative vicious cycle caused by conventional oils greatly reduces engine life, has a negative effect on fuel quality, and increases air pollution.
Technically speaking, synthetic lubricants are naturally slippery due to their uniform molecular structure. Synthetic base stock oils are very slippery and flow with minimal friction. It has been proven in many tests that synthetic lubricants can improve fuel economy by over 6%.
To put that in perspective, say that it costs you $50 to fill up your gas tank every week. Multiply that number by the 52 weeks in the year, and you have a yearly fuel bill of $2,600. Now, by simply switching to a high-performance 100% synthetic engine oil, you can save up to 6% on your yearly fuel bill. That works out to be a yearly savings of $156, or in other words, 3 free gas fill-ups!
By consuming less fuel you have a product that contributes to energy conservation. One of the major environmental advantages of synthetic motor oil is that by extending drain intervals, synthetic lubricants are preventing billions of quarts of oil from being emitted into the air.
A critical strategy to help create a cleaner nation is to reduce the pollutant source. By moving away from a 3,000-mile drain interval to a 25,000-mile drain interval, one can see this reduction in the pollutant source of motor oil by more than eight times.
In summary, to answer the question “does my car need synthetic oil?”, the answer is a most definite YES! Vehicles require a huge investment. To maximize the return on investment, high-performance synthetic oils provide you and your vehicle the best opportunities for getting the maximum performance and life out of your car.
In the debate of synthetic vs regular oil, synthetics are the clear winner. By using quality synthetic oils in your vehicle, you will save on repairs, save on gas, maintain performance, and vastly extend the life of your vehicle. Happy motoring!
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