Understanding “what is the difference between synthetic oil and regular oil?” is very important when selecting the right motor oil for your vehicle. In general, here is the big difference between the tool:
The regular oil provides the basic engine lubrication, but it breaks down faster and creates engine sludge. The biggest advantage of this oil is its costs, as it's much cheaper than synthetic oil.
Synthetic oil provides additional benefits to the engine by lubricating it, cleaning it up, and preventing premature tear and wear. In addition, this type of oil lasts longer, and you don't need to change it frequently.
Your vehicle's oil is one of the most critical fluids that must be maintained at a specific level. It does not only help lubricate the engine but also maintains the engine temperature and prevents engine overheating, which could cause significant engine damages.
Among the different available motor oil in the market, the synthetic and regular oils are the top ones. While regular oil is considered cheaper, it does not provide the same characteristics and benefits the synthetic oil provides you. Also, your vehicle can sit without an oil change up to 7500 miles if it's using synthetic oil.
With the great benefits of synthetic oil, many people still wonder, “what's the difference between synthetic oil and regular oil?” And they're also interested in whether it's worth upgrading to synthetic oil or not.
This article helps you answer all these questions and provide you with additional details to make an informed decision about selecting the right type of oil for your vehicle.
Why does your car need oil?
Before we dive into the details about the difference between synthetic and regular oil, it is important to understand the main reason for oil in general in your vehicle. This way, you get an idea of how important it is to spend time researching the best type of oil in your vehicle.
In any combustion car, the engine is expected to generate a lot of heat, which increases the engine temperature significantly. Once the engine passes a certain temperature threshold, a critical situation happens, and the higher the temperature, the higher the chance for the engine to get self-destructed.
Therefore, the oil is used in the engine to prevent any interaction between the internal moving components. With the oil, the engine's components are fully lubricated, and there is no excess heat generated between these components due to friction.
What is the difference between synthetic oil and regular oil?
With this critical oil job in your vehicle’s engines health, choosing the right oil is an important task for any driver to prevent major damages.
Among the different motor oils available in the market, the regular or what's known as the conventional oil and the synthetic oil or the top ones.
Learning about the main differences between these two types of oil is very critical to help you select the right one that provides the best benefits while not breaking the budget. So let's take a closer look at some of the biggest differences between the two types of oil:
The difference between conventional and regular oil starts at the molecular level. Typically, the conventional oil is made of crude oil, which has many contaminants and does not have perfect regularity.
On the other hand, synthetic oil consists of more regular components. It also has many additives to help slow down the breakage of oil over time, and therefore you won't need to replace or change the oil frequently.
Conventional oil is suitable enough to provide the basic lubrication to the engine and the important components. It works just fine and preventing engine overheating at lower and medium speeds. However, the behavior of the conventional oil characteristics might change depending on the surrounding factors.
Synthetic oil does a better job in lubricating the engine and providing additional benefits than the basic needs from oil lubrication. For example, synthetic oil consists of several additives to help increase the engine's lifespan by cleaning up continuously.
Conventional oil is expected to break down much faster than synthetic oil due to it's made. That's why when going with conventional or regular oil, you'll need to change the oil more frequently than another person who's using synthetic oil for his vehicle.
The synthetic oil, however, is made in a certain way that does not breakdowns fast here. That's why as we mentioned earlier, you won't need to change the synthetic oil frequently.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a regular or conventional oil is the buildup of carbon around the engine components. When the conventional oil ages, it collects a lot of debris and contaminants that could block the engine and results in what's known as engine sludge.
Since synthetic oil is made of more uniform molecules, you don't expect any debris or contaminants to build up on the engine. Therefore, engines using synthetic oil are considered much cleaner and ran much faster for longer times without any issue.
Unfortunately, regular oil is not the best choice when it comes to dealing with extreme temperatures. In general, conventional oil tends to boil up when the temperature exceeds a certain level. This way, the oil will not provide the right amount of lubrication to the engine components.
Similarly, regular oil does not provide the best lubrication during the winter season or when the temperature drops below certain thresholds. The regular or conventional oil gets very thick and does not flow properly to reach some of the vital components inside the engine.
Luckily, you don't have to worry about extreme temperatures when driving with synthetic oil. The oil is made in a way that helps it operate properly despite the extreme temperatures. Therefore, there shouldn't be any problem for the synthetic oil to flow smoothly around the engine components during winter conditions. Likewise, it does not cause any premature wear when the engine servitor exceeds a certain threshold during hot summer seasons.
Regular or conventional oil is much cheaper than synthetic oil. However, it is important to consider all factors and do the math properly. For example, regular oil is cheaper, but it needs to be replaced more frequently than synthetic oil. Thus, to get a good idea about the total cost, it is important to consider how frequently you need to change the oil and how much it costs you for the oil change and then compare it to the one-time synthetic oil change.
The biggest drawback of synthetic oil is cost. Unfortunately, synthetic oil might be affordable to many drivers. Luckily, most automotive experts are now working on improving synthetic oil technology to help provide it with more affordable costs for every driver.
What are the disadvantages of synthetic oil?
Despite the amazing benefits your vehicle can get from synthetic oil, there are some drawbacks to keep an eye for to prevent damaging your vehicle and being fooled by these benefits:
As we indicated earlier, the first drawbacks of synthetic oil are cost. Many drivers cannot afford to use fully synthetic oil in their vehicles. It's not surprising that the cost will be very high because it is processed differently and requires high-quality manufacturing.
Despite the high costs, most automotive experts do not see cost as a disadvantage of synthetic oil. This is because the benefits you'll get from synthetic oil significantly overweight the disadvantages associated with high costs.
Brand new vehicles
According to experts, synthetic and semi-synthetic oil are not recommended for brand new vehicles. This is because, unlike older vehicles, no cars still need some level of friction between the internal moving components in your engine to operate and get going properly.
By choosing to go with synthetic oil, you minimize the friction between these components and prevent the brand-new vehicles from reaching their optimum operating level. Thus, you might want to rethink using synthetic oil and probably delay it till your vehicle passes a certain mileage.
Like brand new vehicles, older cars designed before the 1990s are not recommended for synthetic oil. This is because these vehicles are designed to handle only regular oil and do not have the right capabilities of handling these synthetic oil characteristics.
When using synthetic oil, this type of oil might clean up and remove internal engines seals by considering them as contaminants. Plus, synthetic oil can result in major engine damages in older vehicles that are not prepared to handle the effects of the synthetic oil.
Finally, Rotary engines are not also suitable for synthetic oil usage. Since these Rotary engines rely on spraying some of the oil inside the cylinders, synthetic oil cannot do the job and might cause some damages.
With the characteristics of synthetic oil, getting inside the cylinders can't cause some harm to the seals and the sidewalls. Thus, if you know that your vehicle is equipped with a Rotary engine, do not attempt to use synthetic oil.
Is it worth using synthetic oil?
Synthetic oil is worth it because of the different benefits your vehicle can get. As we indicated earlier, when going with synthetic oil, you don't have to worry about the frequency of oil changes, and your engine's lifespan can be extended due to the reduction in engine sludge.
However, if you know that your vehicle is not suitable for synthetic oil, it is obviously not recommended to introduce some damages to the engine and cause issues that might cost you thousands of dollars down the road.
According to experts at JD power, although synthetic oil has many benefits, it is not a must. In other words, if you rely on the conventional or regular oil while changing it properly as specified in your vehicle's owner’s manual, you should be OK.
Therefore, we advise that you compare your goals, budget, and the different benefits you'll get from synthetic oil. If you notice that it is important to you to eliminate the frequency of oil changes without worrying about the higher costs, it is worth investing in synthetic oil. On the other hand, if you think that budget is the most important thing to you and you're OK with maintaining oil change frequencies, you can stick with the regular conventional oil.
Synthetic oil is more expensive than regular oil, but it provides additional benefits that help maintain the lifetime of your engine without needing frequent oil changes.
Despite the high price of synthetic oil, many automotive experts recommend choosing it to keep the health of your vehicle. However, if your car is designed in a way that does not accept synthetic oil, you should not switch to this oil because it can't damage the internal components in your vehicle.
It doesn't matter the type of oil you're going with if your engine's condition is not in good shape. In other words, no matter how expensive and how good the oil is, the engine must be at a certain operating level to provide you all the benefits. So if you notice that your vehicle's engine suffers from many problems, it might be the right time now to sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer and use the money towards a better vehicle that does not have any problem and is worth investing in synthetic oil.
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