Synthetic Oil vs. Conventional Oil Changes

If you’ve taken your car into your local auto repair shop in Orange for an oil change, you’ve probably been asked whether you want synthetic or conventional oil. You know that synthetic oil is much more expensive, but is it worth it? And what’s the difference between synthetic and conventional oil?
Synthetic oil is a man-made oil that is made from a base oil, powder additives, and a carrier oil that enforces an even distribution of the additives. Both synthetic and conventional oils are made from refining oil; the primary difference lies in the level of refinement. Synthetic oil has a higher refinement and goes through a distillation and purification process. There are also added ingredients that result in control over the molecular size and purity of the oil, which lowers friction, reduces engine sludge, and increases performance. Synthetic oil is generally agreed to be a superior oil to conventional oil. It has fewer impurities, better function in extreme weather, better fuel economy, and a quicker engine start time. However, it is also two to four times more expensive than conventional oil. When is the extra cost worth the benefits if you’re on a budget? Here are three reasons why you should choose synthetic oil for your next oil change.

Less Frequent Oil Changes

If you have a hard time making it to an auto body shop for an oil change every 3,000 miles, synthetic motor oil may be a better choice for you. Synthetic oil can go longer before it starts to break down compared to conventional motor oil, so you will need oil changes less frequently. With conventional motor oil, mechanics generally recommend changing it every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. With full synthetic oil, your oil only needs to be changed every 10,000 miles – possibly even less often, depending on your car manufacturer. Although synthetic motor oil is more expensive, it could still be a great option for your vehicle if you often go more than the recommended time before having your oil changed.

Extreme Local Temperatures

Synthetic oil functions better in extreme weather conditions than conventional oil, so it’s a good option if you frequent a climate with freezing winters or sweltering summers. Synthetic oil is specifically engineered to resist extreme temperatures; it’s refined, distilled, and broken down on a molecular level before it’s combined with unique detergents and additives. All of these factors are what give your engine better start time, improve your fuel economy, and protect against the stress of high RPMs. To get the most out of your oil’s longevity and your engine’s performance, ask your auto repair technician about full synthetic motor oil this summer.

Manufacturer Required

New vehicles from European car makers such as BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi now typically require the use of full synthetic engine oil. Subaru, Honda, and Toyota have also recently begun requiring synthetic oil in select models as well. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to see if synthetic oil is required for your vehicle. If you use conventional motor oil with a car that requires synthetic, you put yourself at risk of losing any warranty coverage for an engine problem, even if the oil choice did not cause the problem.

Synthetic oil is generally always the better choice because it can prolong the life of your engine. However, it’s also more expensive, and the choice is mostly dependent on your budget. If you’re not ready to splurge on full synthetic oil and your vehicle does not require it, choose a synthetic blend or switch between synthetic and conventional oil with every other oil change. Conventional motor oil will still get the job done if synthetic oil is entirely out of your budget – just be sure to change it at least every 5,000 miles.

If you’re overdue for an oil change, or if your car requires larger auto repair services like auto transmission repair, give us a call at Citywide Auto in Orange. We are a family owned and operated full-service automotive maintenance and repair facility that has proudly served the Orange County area since 2002. Our technicians are ASE-Certified and use cutting-edge diagnostic tools to quickly and accurately diagnose automotive issues in the most cost-effective manner possible. To speak to a friendly and knowledgeable team member about our services, call us at (714) 633-4211 or stop by our location in Orange.