Some of the most common questions we get about oil go back to the age-old debate of regular versus synthetic oil.
Is synthetic oil better for your car? Is it worth the extra cost? Can you switch from regular to synthetic oil, or from synthetic to regular? Let’s get your questions answered!
Although synthetic motor oil is more expensive than conventional oil, you should use it if that’s what the vehicle manual specifies. Some engines, especially those tuned for performance, might require it.
Follow Those Directions
If it says in your owner’s manual that synthetic oil is required, then you should be sticking to that. But even if it’s not required you may want to use it! Here’s why:
• In general, synthetic oils have a longer life than conventional oils and perform better in most vehicles;
• Synthetics handle high-stress situations like pulling and towing better than conventional oils;
• Turbocharged engines often demand synthetic oil, as the high temperature and stress of lubricating a turbo will shear through traditional oil and can cause premature turbo failure.
Keeping Your Car Toasty When It’s Cold Out
Synthetic oil is often recommended for vehicles that run in cold climates due to their superior cold-weather viscosity and cold-starting characteristics. One of the primary differences between synthetic and regular motor oil is how they react to changes in temperature. Synthetic oil flows better at sub-zero temperatures, and also maintains its lubricating abilities better once the engine heats up.
Can I Switch from Conventional to Synthetic Oil?
Some mechanics will say that switching from conventional to synthetic oil is a bad idea. Contrary to popular belief, your engine won’t likely start leaking like a sieve the moment that you change oils, unless, of course, specified in the owner’s manual. But in general, you can switch back and forth between synthetic oil and conventional oil any time you want, no problem.
Always Change Your Oil as Needed
If your engine does start leaking oil, it will most likely be because of a pre-existing engine problem that you should get repaired anyway.
Regularly changing your car’s oil is one of the most important things you can do for your car. Keep doing it and always remember that oil is always less expensive than fixing your engine.