Most people who strive to pay close attention to automobile maintenance are familiar with the two main types of oil that they can choose from: mineral oil (commonly called “regular oil”) and synthetic oil. While synthetic oil is widely regarded as the superior choice, you might have heard conflicting advice regarding which type of oil is better for your vehicle–so let’s take a look at 5 key benefits of synthetic oil.
1. Higher Resistance to Cold Temperatures
Synthetic oil boasts a higher resistance to cold temperatures than regular oil does. Mineral oil thickens dramatically once the temperatures start dropping, and its viscosity increases as a result.
Thicker oil is much harder to pump through the engine’s components in order to provide the necessary protection, meaning that the entire point of your car’s oil has been undermined and its parts could be damaged by a rough startup.
While regular oil has high paraffin content and can stop flowing altogether if the weather gets cold enough, synthetic oils utilize better base stocks that contain far less paraffin. This means that synthetic oil will still increase your chances of a smooth startup and a well-protected engine even in the middle of winter.
2. Lower Evaporation Rate
In addition to being resistant to cold temperatures, synthetic oil is also much more resistant to heat than regular oil. Synthetic oil’s resistance to higher temperatures enables it to stick around and do its job without evaporating as quickly as regular mineral oil does.
The lower evaporation rate of synthetic oil provides a number of advantages. One perk of a lower evaporation rate is that you’ll lose less oil over time, meaning that you won’t have to replace the oil in your vehicle as often.
A lower evaporation rate also reduces the risk of oil sludge which forms when oil burns onto the hot surfaces of car parts and evaporates, leaving behind a bubbly crisp. This crispy sludge completely counteracts the work that the oil has done to lubricate your car parts and prevent damage.
3. Synthetic Oil is Cleaner
Natural oil is manufactured by refining mineral oil, whereas synthetic oil is created chemically. As a natural result of the usual processing methods, synthetic oil contains fewer impurities and boasts a far more uniform molecular size.
This uniformity and purity enables synthetic oil to decrease friction in your engine far more effectively than the rougher natural oils can. The lubrication is smoother, the viscosity is better, and the end result is all-around more effective.
4. Better Performance for High-mileage Drivers
Synthetic oil is more durable and has a slower degradation rate than mineral oil, which many people interpret as the go-ahead to wait longer in between oil changes. Don’t make this mistake!
You should always aim to change your vehicle’s oil as frequently as its manufacturer recommends, and a great synthetic oil doesn’t change that. However, the durability of synthetic oil does translate to much better performance for high-mileage drivers.
The thinner viscosity and higher durability of synthetic oil mean that your vehicle will be far more efficiently lubricated and protected, even when you rack up a high number of miles. If you’re a frequent driver, especially one who takes long trips, then synthetic oil is likely a great choice.
5. Higher-quality Additives
The base oil makes up 80% of your motor oil’s contents, while a unique blend of additives makes up around 20%. As you might suspect, the quality of both components varies from one brand to the next, but always have significant impact upon overall performance.
Synthetic oil is generally manufactured with higher-quality additives than regular oil, on top of having that nice, uniform molecular structure that we mentioned earlier. These high-performing additives are often used to concoct special blends suited for specific vehicles, meaning that you should do some research to find the best fit for your machine.
When searching for the best oil to use for your vehicle, you’ll usually find that synthetic oil is the better fit. Synthetic oil has much greater temperature tolerance and more uniform molecular structure than mineral oil and is generally manufactured with a higher-quality oil base and better additives.