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225 Don Knotts Boulevard
Morgantown, WV 26501
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Synthetic Oil or Conventional Oil? Help!

Motor oil serves many different purposes in a vehicle’s engine. It has been in use since combustion engines conception and serves six important purposes. The functions of engine oil range from carrying heat away from engine parts to reducing corrosion. It also helps piston rings to seal with the cylinders which prevent loss of compression. Another core function of oil is to carry away dirt particles from the parts it protects and acting as a cushion between engine parts to reduce noise.
Its most important function is lubrication where it forms a film between moving parts of the engine, in turn, reducing friction.

Nevertheless, motor oil can be a bit confusing for most drivers or car owners which can create a range of questions such as do I really need synthetic oil or will my new car take conventional oil? Understanding the basics of the different types of motor oil in existence is the only thing that will help you choose the right engine oil. Regardless of whether you are the one changing your vehicles oil or professionals are, you should  understand the basics of the oil you put in your engine. There are a lot of choices when changing engine oil but the confusion usually lies in between should you use  synthetic oil or conventional (regular) oil. 

Conventional oils also known as regular oils are a product of crude oil derived through various refining processes such as hydro treatment which converts undesirable components into a suitable final product. These lubricants have undergone tremendous refining in the past 20 years especially in the area of viscosity enhancers. This means the modern conventional oils flow better over a range of temperatures. 

On the other hand, synthetic oils came into existence in the 1970s and are a product of a synthesis process that rearranges molecules and assembles them to form a new product that conforms to perfect specifications of shape and size with premium lubricating properties. Additives are add to help fight off sludge and other motor build up. Both regular and synthetic oil have the same natural ingredients but the difference arises in how the final product is derived. 

Here is a quick overview of the major differences between synthetic and conventional oil. It includes the advantages of synthetic oil over conventional oils.
Synthetic oils are less apt to breakdown. This means they have a longer life than conventional oils hence they do not need to be changed as often. This property ensures your vehicle is protected throughout the service interval. Lack of oil engine breakdown is the most common known cause of engine failure.

Synthetic oils offer improved lubrication due to added lubricants that increase the ability of the oil which keeps the engine parts slick especially at high temperatures. This ensures that your engine will last longer as it decreases engine wear in the long term.

In terms of cost, a synthetic oil change will cost up to 2 or 3 times more than conventional oil change. Although synthetic oil is more expensive, the costs can be outweighed since oil change intervals are less frequent due to the fact a vehicle can travel for longer periods of time between oil changes.

Synthetic oil maintains its viscosity for long periods at high temperatures compared to conventional oil. This benefits the engine by allowing the oil to stick to engine parts more readily which in turn offers better wear protection as well as protecting the engine from dry starts. If the vehicles engine has not run for long periods gravity pulls down oil to the bottom of the engine. This leaves the top parts with no lubrication and will run unprotected. Synthetic oil maintains its viscosity hence decreasing the effect of dry start.

Conventional oil leaves some deposits on the engine parts as it breaks down especially if the engine runs for long periods of time and is driven hard. This is called scaling or sludge. This is unfamiliar with synthetic oils as it contains fewer contaminants such as sulfur and other elements that contribute to sludge build up.

It is clear that both types of oil have desirable virtues and their different properties will affect your engine in different ways. Although the properties of synthetic oil look more superior, conventional oil will also do fine in protecting your engine. The best practice is to follow your vehicle’s Manufacturer Manual as all vehicles require different maintenance. There is also a middle choice of semi-synthetic oils which is an alternative to pure synthetic one. 

 *Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of vehicle repair. Copyright Riverside Automotive www.riversideautomotive.biz

 Auto Repair, Auto Maintenance, and Quality Tires - Morgantown, West Virginia
Riverside Automotive Copyright / February 22nd, 2015

Written on Sunday, February 22, 2015 by
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