Pros and Cons of Synthetic Oil

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Oil is actually divided into five groups, but just two of them are generally recognized: conventional and synthetic. Conventional oil comes from fossil fuels and has been used for the last century to power transportation needs. Synthetic oil is based on the same principles, but has some definite advantages and disadvantages when compared to conventional oils. Let’s take a look.

What Are the Pros of Synthetic Oil?

1. It lasts much longer than conventional oil.
You know that recommendation that the oil in a vehicle be changed every 3,000 miles? For synthetic oil, it’s actually 7,000 miles. That’s because synthetic oils take longer to break down when compared to their conventional counterparts.

2. It reduces engine wear.
Synthetic oils stay strong while being used, so they help to reduce engine wear because they don’t break down as quickly. This is especially important during the cold weather months as oil degradation can cause some serious engine problems if not addressed.

3. Many modern vehicles require it.
If you’ve purchased a new vehicle recently, then check the owner’s manual about which oil to use. Many modern vehicles require a synthetic oil. If conventional oil is used instead, the manufacturer’s warranty could be considered void.

What Are the Cons of Synthetic Oil?

1. It stops drivers from proactively inspecting their vehicle.
Because oil life is more than doubled with synthetic oil, most drivers will drive the 7,000 miles without every looking under the hood. For the average driver, that’s about 6 months of vehicle use. If a problem develops during that time, it might take months to discover it.

2. It costs more.
Synthetic oils cost more because they last longer. The cost is actually about 3x higher than conventional oil. For many vehicle owners, a long-term use of synthetic oil can save them money, but this isn’t true for every vehicle owner. The life cycle cost must be calculated to determine how affordable it will be.

3. It can become thick.
Although synthetic oil doesn’t degrade like conventional oil, it does sometimes get thicker in the extreme cold. This makes it difficult to get an engine cranked because the viscosity of the oil is off and this could damage the vehicle.

Synthetic oils might be the first step toward a more environmentally friendly transportation solution. Check your owner’s manual to see if it is required and then make a decision for your vehicle based on these pros and cons today.