There’s a lot of fuss these days about which motor oils work best with modern engines. Although various factors contribute to engine health (driving habits, climate), the process of choosing the right one for your oil change doesn’t have to be complicated. You can look to your owner’s manual or ask a trusted technician. If you want to know the ins and outs of synthetic and conventional oils, though, here’s a brief look at both:
Conventional Motor Oil
As the least expensive, most widely-used option, traditional oils work well for low-impact engines or older models. If you don’t drive long distances on a regular basis, or if the car is used seasonally, this straightforward approach might make sense.
High-performance vehicles or new models that need to stay fresh can benefit from fully synthetic motor oil. It has a higher viscosity, which helps keep away engine sludge, and it shields the engine from oxidation and thermal breakdown. With a more consistent molecular size, it also limits friction and engine drag, increasing a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Most experts agree that the extra cost that comes with buying synthetic is worth the added layer of protection.
In addition, extreme temperatures wear out an engine, but synthetic oil protects it more efficiently, so if you live in a climate with long hot summers or snowy winters, using synthetic can help your vehicle brave the elements. The primary reason for the value of full synthetic is it contains more additives. The complexity makes it an expensive lubricant, but again, you get what you pay for.
If you want to see the benefits of synthetic oil for yourself, consider starting with a blend. This option is the ideal compromise, as it has many benefits of synthetic oil but costs less. Without all the additives of full synthetic, it won’t protect to the same degree, but it gets you halfway there. And if you like the results, you can always experiment with full synthetics later.
The Bottom Line
If you can afford the extra cost, most technicians will advise using full synthetic motor oil, as the benefits are too great to ignore. It protects your car’s engine more expertly than other varieties and can save you money on upkeep and repairs, offsetting some of the added expense. If you have an underused or older model vehicle, conventional oil works, but everyone else should do what they can to protect their engine with full synthetics or blends.
For all your car’s maintenance and repair needs, remember to call Kirk’s Auto Care in Livonia, MO today!