For the average motorist, the one indispensable piece of consistent car maintenance is the oil change. Common wisdom holds that, withstanding a catastrophe, regular oil changes will stave off major repair needs and prolong the life of a vehicle. While this doesn’t hold entirely true, it does communicate the importance of a regular oil change. In the absence of oil, an engine would almost immediately overheat and seize up. Engine have many, many moving parts and interdependent components. Oil provides the necessary lubrication to keep these components harmonious in their operation.
As oil ages or becomes dirty, it accomplishes this task with less efficiency. Your engine will begin to overheat, and parts will wear out. Eventually, your engine will seize up and cease operation, a situation that will require its total replacement. When you consider the importance of oil’s role, you naturally may wonder at the differences between the two major types of this substance: traditional oil and synthetics. While both perform the vital and necessary role of lubrication for your engine, differences in quality and price set these two substances apart. Every motorist should understand these differences, as they can impact the choice you make for both your next oil change, and many more down the road.
What Is Synthetic Oil?
While everyone has heard of synthetic oil, few people know anything substantial about the nature of this product. It may surprise you to learn that all synthetic oil begins its life as regular oil. From there, a manufacturer will create a new, synthetic product through the addition of substances meant to improve oil’s natural lubrication, along with its service life and ability to protect an engine. Though synthetic oil begins as a natural product, manufacturers will subsequently refine, distill, purify, and break down the substance into its base molecules. This process accomplishes the removal of natural impurities, and makes it possible to blend additives that provide a high level of protection and improved performance.
Thanks to this intense manufacturing process, synthetic oil can achieve a range of benefits that vary according to the nature of its additives. It also leads to a higher sticker price that offsets the added expense of the material’s complicated manufacturing process. Because of synthetic oil’s ability to provide value at higher temperatures, it is required for certain high-performance machines, including jet engines. However, since few people pilot jet engines in their daily commute, the real benefits of synthetic oil may not feel worth the increased purchase price.
The Difference Between Synthetic and Regular Oil
When it comes to observable differences, not many exist between synthetic and regular oil. They both provide the same function, after all, in that they enable the safe, consistent operation of your vehicle. It can seem like the only differences are longevity and price, in that synthetic oil lasts longer, but traditional oil is cheaper. In reality, however, you do not need a Formula One racer to experience many of synthetic oil’s benefits, including:
- Heightened Lubrication: The addition of lubricants improves upon the natural lubrication properties of oil. This makes it easier for the oil to keep engine parts slick at high temperatures, and can increase the overall lifespan of your engine.
- Fewer Engine Deposits: Over time, conventional oil will break down and stick to engine parts. These deposits are not good for your engine, and prove extremely difficult to remove. Synthetic oil is much less likely to do this.
- Better Overall Stability: Synthetics are designed to maintain their viscosity at higher temperatures for a longer period of time. This resistance allows synthetics to provide more consistent, stable protection for a vehicle.
- Reduced Likelihood of a Breakdown: Enhanced durability means that synthetic oils can protect your vehicle for a longer period of time than standard oil. This means you can change your oil at longer intervals, and enjoy more durable protection over a prolonged period of time.
How Often Does Synthetic Oil Have to Be Changed? Synthetic oils can last anywhere from 5,000 to an incredible 15,000 miles.
When Should You Change Conventional Oil? Unscrupulous mechanics will try and encourage drivers to change their oil every 3,000 miles. In reality, traditional oil can last for 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Common Questions About Your Car’s Oil
At Rolling Auto Service, we strive to keep people informed about the needs of their vehicles. When it comes to oil changes, we’ve encountered a range of common questions.
Is It Okay to Go from Conventional Oil to Synthetic?
Absolutely! They perform the exact same function for your engine, and you can switch back and forth as much as you want.
Is It Okay to Go from Synthetic Oil to Regular Oil?
Yes, you can. As with the preceding question, there’s no consequence to switching your type of oil.
Is It Okay to Mix Synthetic Oil with Regular Oil?
Essentially, yes. You will not damage your engine if you mix oil types. However, the presence of standard oil can offset the benefits you would otherwise derive from a synthetic.
Is Synthetic Oil Better for Your Car?
Yes. Synthetic oil leaves fewer deposits, and does a better job protecting your engine over a longer period of time.
Will Conventional Oil Hurt My Car?
Conventional oil will only begin to act detrimentally if used beyond the recommended mileage. Any type of oil will gradually accumulate dirt and debris. As this polluted oil interacts with your engine’s delicate components, it can eventually cause a range of problems, not excluding total breakdowns.
Contact Us Today for an Oil Change
At Rolling Auto Service, we’re your local mechanic for anything from a pesky check engine light, to transmission rebuilds and other major services. We have a great deal of experience with both common and complex car issues, and can readily explain the differences between regular and synthetic oil. Best of all, Rolling Auto Service will bring any service your vehicle needs directly to you! Regardless of the oil preference, we’re happy to perform any oil change in Venice, FL. To learn more about who we are and what sets us apart, give us a call today at 941-493-6511.