Conventional Vs. Synthetic Oil – Which One Is Right For Me?

Parts & Accessories, Service, Tips

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Car Engine Oil

You know the routine. Three months go by, you look at the sticker on your windshield, and you realize it’s time for another oil change. You head on into your service station to get it done. As you’re checking out, the attendant asks you a question. “Conventional or synthetic?”

You take a look at the price list. Synthetic is, say, 80 dollars, and conventional is 40. No brainer, right? You choose the cheaper conventional oil, get your service done, drive off, and move on with your life.

Well, making the decision of whether or not to choose synthetic oil is not quite as simple as choosing the cheapest product.

Synthetic oil offers many advantages over conventional oil – and in the long run, it can actually be cheaper. In this article, we’ll take a look at the differences between conventional and synthetic oil, and discuss which one is appropriate for your particular needs.

How Is Synthetic Oil Different From Conventional Oil?

It’s synthetic! Okay, you probably saw that one coming a mile away. But what does it mean?

Conventional oil is made from petroleum-based compounds, just like many plastics and fuel products. It’s usually composed of a specialized oil with some extreme-pressure additives to help it perform better as a lubricant in the high-pressure environment of your engine.

But here’s the thing about petroleum that lots of people don’t realize – it’s organic. Petroleum is composed of the remains of millions – or billions – of dead organisms, subjected to heat and pressure underneath the crust of the earth. And organic things decompose – they lose their form and effectiveness more quickly than synthetics.

Synthetic oil, on the other hand, can be synthesized from petroleum-based products and  polyalphaolefin or esters. These oils are processed to remove any and all impurities, customized with additional artificial additives, and crafted to offer ultimate engine lubrication performance.

What Advantages Does Synthetic Oil Have Over Conventional Oil?

There are five primary advantages that synthetic oils have over conventional oils.

Synthetic Oils Keep Your Engine Cleaner – Oil circulates through your engine at an astonishing rate when you’re driving, flowing around your engine parts to provide lubrication. During this process, oil has a tendency to pick up deposits and become sludgy – when oil is overloaded with deposits, it breaks down and can reduce the efficiency of your engine, and the longevity of your car. Synthetic oils are much more highly purified than conventional oils. This means that impurities have fewer opportunities for deposits to “grab onto”. This allows synthetic oil to better resist the formation of sludge.

Synthetic Oils Protect Your Engine – Conventional oils break down much more quickly than synthetic oils, so if you drive with a conventional oil that’s near the end of its life, your engine is probably suffering for it. As motor oil breaks down, engine parts are left unprotected. Synthetic oil lasts much longer than conventional motor oils, and can allow longer-lasting protection.

Synthetic Oils Work Better In Extreme Temperatures – Ever had to rush to work in the middle of a Winnipeg winter? Chances are that, even if your block heater has been working overtime, your oil is going to be cold and sluggish. Cold oil doesn’t protect engines well – it doesn’t flow easily between parts and offer friction protection. This is also true of extreme heat – conventional oil has a tendency to break down or evaporate in hot conditions. Synthetic oils work better in both hot and cold temperatures. They resist breakdown during extreme heat, and provide better lubrication even in extremely cold conditions where conventional motor oil would be sluggish.

Synthetic Oils Protect High Performance Engines – Turbochargers and other advanced engine components are extremely delicate, and require appropriate protection. Conventional oils break down more quickly in the environment of a turbocharger (which can reach 200,000 RPM), and they can leave deposits on critical components, leading to failure. Synthetic oils can protect these components and allow for maximum performance and efficiency.

Synthetic Oils Last Longer – Here’s the best part about synthetic oil. A traditional oil change will last you around 5,000 kms– maybe a little more, for high quality petroleum conventional oils. Synthetic oil, however, can last upwards of 10,000 kms. Some extremely high quality oils can last up to 15,000 kms, or one year – whichever comes first. This means that, even if a synthetic change is three times the cost of a traditional oil change, you’re still saving money (and time) in the long run)

Come To Ride Time – And Get Your Oil Changed Today!

Despite its numerous advantages, synthetic oils aren’t for everyone. If you don’t drive often and simply won’t experience most of its advantages, it’s certainly acceptable to go for a conventional oil change.

However, the advantages will outweigh the slightly higher prices for most – synthetic oil is a terrific investment for your car, and once you’ve tried it, you’ll likely never go back to a conventional oil blend.

So come in to Ride Time’s new Winnipeg service station today, and get your oil changed. We offer conventional oil, semi-synthetics, and full-synthetic blends in our all-new service station, and we can help you decide which motor oil is the best for your specific needs.

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