Engine Maintenance

Pros and Cons of Synthetic Motor Oil


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One of the major decisions that most drivers face when they plan to change the oil in their vehicles is whether to use standard oil or synthetic motor oil. The two serve exactly the same function. They both help to lubricate the engine of the vehicle and to keep it from overheating. Without the proper oil, or if the oil you have is used up or bad, the engine will literally melt into itself as it heats up. This causes massive damage to the engine and the car, much of which is entirely irreparable. Read on for a brief overview of synthetic motor oil vs. conventional motor oil.

Pro Number 1 -- Temperature Resistance

Full synthetic motor oil is much better at resisting damage at higher and lower temperatures than standard motor oil is. This means that it's less likely to thin out and cause damage to the engine when the oil heats up, as on a very hot day, or as the engine operates for extended periods of time. This also means that it's less likely to freeze when the car has been sitting in an off position for a decent period of time, or while the vehicle is in below freezing temperatures over the winter time. Because of this temperature resistance, the vehicle is better able to operate smoothly throughout all different types of atmospheres and terrains.

Pro Number 2 -- Buildup Resistance

Synthetic oils also tend to be better at resisting the buildup of sludge and other semisolid substances that tend to come about through driving. As the oil is continuously processed through the parts of the vehicle, it tends to pick up small pieces of debris and other items, which causes it to lose its viscosity and to change in texture. As it becomes sludgy, in the terms of industry professionals, it is not able to lubricate the engine and the other components of the car as well.

Pro Number 3 -- Better Lubrication Capabilities

Due to the fact that synthetic oil is more "pure" than standard motor oil, it is better able to lubricate the engine parts. This means that an engine meltdown is less likely to occur, and synthetic oil is oftentimes able to work for longer periods of time or over greater distances than standard motor oil is.

Con Number 1 -- Cost

The primary disadvantage to choosing synthetic oil is that it is dramatically more expensive than standard motor oil. This means that you'll have to pay a bit more for each oil change. Because you can expect to change the oil dozens of times over the lifetime of most cars, this cost is not an insignificant factor in making the decision to use either standard oil or synthetic. Particularly if you're operating on a budget.

Ask a professional for additional advice about how to select the proper oil for your car and needs.

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