Synthetic motor oil. Customers will ask us here at All Tune & Lube Total Car Care Tempe if they should use or continue to use synthetic motor oil. First a couple myths that are very common to synthetics: If you’re using conventional motor oil there is absolutely no problem in switching to synthetic oil. The reverse is also true, switching from synthetics to conventional for most cars won’t cause you any problems, you just loose the advantages of the synthetics. The exceptions are engines that use turbo-chargers or that use the engine lubrication for a supercharger. Synthetics won’t give you markedly better fuel economy. Also, synthetics won’t make your car leak. If it was leaking before it sure won’t be any better but it also won’t be any worse.
Synthetic motor oils are better at handling heat. The reason as I understand it is that the molecules that make up synthetic oils are more uniform in length. In conventional oils a percentage of the molecules are short and that makes them volatile, subject to basically evaporating. That “evaporation” is what causes conventional oil to break down and get thicker. Turbo chargers deal with a ton of heat at the bearings and need the special properties of synthetic motor oil in order to stay alive. High performance engines and engines that are working hard for towing or hauling also create a lot of heat and benefit from synthetic motor oils. Additionally, synthetics last longer in your engine and don’t need to be changed as often. That can offset some of the additional cost of synthetics.
All that being said, conventional oils really do a great job. For most vehicles in most circumstances conventional oil is all that’s needed. I personally have two vehicles with over 225,000 miles and one with 175,000 miles that have never used synthetics and still run perfectly. The trick is to change the oil regularly.
Hope that helps. Your local mechanics, All Tune & Lube Total Car Care Tempe. Complete Car Repair and Maintenance.