Does Your Car Need Synthetic Oil?(Complete Guide)

Does Your Car Need Synthetic Oil?

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Does Your Car Need Synthetic Oil?

The availability of many different types of oil on the shelf can be a bit disturbing to the average car owner.

The oils are in two major categories, which comprise synthetic and conventional oils.

But does your car need synthetic oil? Well, what does your car manual say? If it says that is the type of oil to use, then you need synthetic oil.

However, many car owners struggle with the thought of either using conventional oils or spending a little more on synthetic oil.

Some will consider the price for synthetic oils as prohibitive, while others will focus on the advantages related to either of the two oils.

Therefore, although this may seem like a straightforward question, it may prove to be mind-boggling to may.

With every purchase of synthetic oil, you get a manufacturer’s assurance of more miles and improved engine performance.

However, this type of oil is more expensive, and it can go double during a single oil change. So, you might need to ask yourself, is this fancier lubricant worth the extra money?

What Cars Must Use Synthetic Oils?

From a general perspective, high-performance vehicles are more likely to use synthetic oil. Again, all cars with a supercharged or a turbocharged engine.

However, unless your car’s automaker has specified the oil that should be used in your vehicle, it’s not easy when it comes to the oil choice.

In most cases, they lack enough reasons to be decisive in saying this is what you need fully.

Does Your Car Need Synthetic Oil?

Initially, synthetic oil was only found in high-performance cars. Today, synthetic oils are found in all types of vehicles in the mainstream category.

The advantages associated with synthetic oils make them more enticing to use.

For instance, synthetic oils last for a long since they can resist oil breakdown. This is an attribute that cannot be found in conventional oils.

The relevance of this is that the engines can run longer at cold temperatures inside and reduce engine wear. This happens largely at frigid start-ups.

Therefore, if you do not worry about the downside, which is the double cost for the same quantity related to conventional oils, it’s okay to use synthetic oils.

Again, if you only drive for short distances and stops at short intervals, there is an aspect of synthetic oils you will need to consider.

A car that is used in this manner does not need to be lubricated with conventional oils.

As the car is started and stopped after a short while, and this with a high frequency, conventional oil seems to have a swifter breakdown.

This results from a lack of enough warmth in the engine to burn off moisture.

The water vapor will start to mix with the oil and dilute it. This will make the oil degrade at a faster rate.

Therefore, if your car is used in this manner, it’s best to use synthetic oil (Amazon Link) rather than conventional oil.

Also, if your engine is the old make and is very vulnerable to the build-up of sludge, synthetic oils are the way to go. As the oil breaks down, it forms a gunky residue sludge.

This can be addressed permanently by switching to synthetic oils.

Although synthetic oils withstand better for more miles, you will still need to pay the required attention to regular oil changes.

You may wish to avoid using the interval given by the manufacturers as you are guided by the way and where you use your car.

If you use your car in the conditions described above, the use of conventional oils will ensure many oil changes before the recommended intervals.

However, if you use synthetic oils, you will be guaranteed fewer changes, prolonging your engine life.

Again, due to the few oil changes, you may end up using less in the long haul.

What is synthetic oil?

Both synthetic and conventional oils come from crude oil. To many, crude oil is a term they only hear being mentioned when there are price fluctuations in the market.

Both of these oils need to be refined to achieve market usability. However, the process of refining synthetic oils is not the same as that of conventional oils.

Does Your Car Need Synthetic Oil?

This process boasts of more sophistication and consumes more time.

Indeed, synthetic oils are cleansed of all impurities as opposed to the manufacture of traditional oils.

As a consequence, individual molecules within the oil are effectively tailored to suit modern engine needs.

Many debates have envisaged synthetic oils. There is also a good measure of confusion that is attached to synthetic oils.

It’s good to note that these concerns are not necessarily unfounded.

For instance, manufacturers seem to disagree on the appropriate definition of synthetic oils.

All in all, there are a couple of differences that are readily identifiable regarding both synthetic and conventional oils.

These differences are mainly on the performance of these two categories of oil. A resounding question on many is, synthetic oils degrade over time.

As already implied, the chemical make-up of both synthetic and conventional oils is different. In the course of their use, conventional oils change.

Indeed, the changes are occasioned by a change in the chemical additives.

As conventional oils continue to be used, they thicken. This affects their overall functionality. This oil continues to degrade and is best disposed of.

Unfortunately, this can happen way before the appropriate miles are covered.

You will find that the way the car is used and the speeds at which it is used also play a role in the overall situation.

If the vehicle specializes in local running, this will come way before the expected mileage. This hurts the finances as it may be repeated over time.

When it comes to synthetic oils, it’s a different thing. Although synthetic oils change with usage, the rate at which they degrade is much slower than conventional oils.

As they degrade, they do not revert to the former state. When they degrade, they can be used like traditional oils.

It’s worth noting that this should not be relied on as the oil is already thicker and viscosity is different.

How Does Synthetic Oil Make A Difference?

Modern engines are different from engines we had a few decades ago. With every improvement in engine manufacture, there comes a new demand for its handling and lubrication.

Indeed, newer engines require more from their lubricants than they demanded a decade ago.

Reason, the computers are at the core of performance for modern car engines, different types of driving dictate different behavior from the engine.

These are great pressures that are exacted on the engine.

To counter this, there is a need to ensure that the engines are lubricated with effective lubricants that can withstand these pressures without fail.

The perfect lubrication that these engines require can only be obtained from synthetic oils.

When synthetic oils are used, all parts of the engine are lubricated as the oils flow much more freely.

After turning the key on, synthetic oil courses through the engine very swiftly.

As a result, all components end up being protected all the time. Conventional oils can scarcely perform this task.

When engines are started in the morning or during cold weather, by default, they seem to rattle when they are starting from cold.

This sound comes from the absence of oil as it drains to the sump when the car is parked overnight.

The sump is at the bottom of the engine. As a result, the top of the engine lacks any lubricant as all the oil is at the bottom, in the sump.

Does Your Car Need Synthetic Oil?

As you start such a car in the morning, you will hear the annoying rattling sound. Unfortunately, the sound is even more dangerous to the engine than it sounds.

Fortunately, synthetic oils have a friction modifier added to them. Oils with this additive defy gravity.

Unlike the conventional oils that drain to the sump when the engine is stopped, synthetic oils stay at the top. 

The top of the vital engine components are therefore covered, and this eradicates any rattling as the engine is started in the morning.

This ensures the safety of the essential parts of the engine hence prolonging engine life.

Are Synthetic Oils Better?

Oil firms argue that synthetic oils dictate an improved fuel economy. The reason the firms give is that the oil finds it easy to circulate the engine in a shorter time.

The engine will then get to its peak efficiency faster and ultimately consume less fuel. This will dictate minimal strain exacted on the battery.

Eventually, the emissions on the exhaust will be fewer and less harmful to the environment.

Since synthetic oils have no impurities, they are cleaners. When it comes to the benefits to the environment.

They leave a very small carbon footprint meaning that they are safer to use than conventional oils.

There are fewer exhaust emissions from synthetic oils. Fewer emissions assure a lesser volume of sulfur and other undesirable elements that can affect the ozone layer.

This is a friendly invention as it helps preserve the ozone layer.

Typically, real is considered better than fake. However, when you talk to any oil manufacturing company.

They will tell you that synthetic oils offer improved performance to engines compared to conventional oils. CLICK HERE to check current prices on Amazon Prime

As the engine warms up, it’s well protected when it has synthetics as the lubricant.

Additionally, even when the engine warms up, you don’t have to worry as it strikes a balance between the two. This acts as an assurance of the engine’s stability.

Which oil should I choose?

When choosing the best oil for your car, it will depend on the car’s age. For instance, engine models manufactured before 1993 do not need synthetic oils.

However, newer can models dictate that you use synthetic or semi-synthetic oils.

It’s also needful noting that even older engines have nothing to lose when lubricated with synthetic oils.

Indeed, this will avoid the formation of sludge and ensure that the engine is cleaner.

On the other hand, we also have synthetic blends. Synthetic blends are what their name suggests: blends of conventional and synthetic oils.

Although these cost more than conventional oils, they are indeed cheaper than synthetic oils. They also give more mileage since they will go for longer between oil changes.

However, the manufacturers are not precise when it comes to the intervals between the changes, and they can be somewhat vague.

Therefore, if your car doesn’t require synthetic oils, it’s needful to perform a cost-benefit analysis.

However, the vagueness of oil manufacturers on oil change intervals is a significant impediment to this.

You may not realize any reason that you have been spending more on synthetic oils while you can safely use the cheaper conventional oils with the same level of efficiency and protection.


There is an excellent difference between synthetic and conventional oils. Ideally, the difference is in the functionality.

When the oils are new, you may not be able to differentiate between the two.  

Synthetic oil tends to give longer mileage than conventional oils.

Although that is one reason you may consider using synthetic oils, there are other instances where you don’t have a choice. 

A case in point is when the car manufacturer states that you need to run the engine on synthetic oils.

Also, if your engine is turbocharged, you will need to consider using synthetic oils.

Additionally, if your engine is supercharged, you cannot do without synthetic oils.

The age of your car will also come into play since older cars do not require synthetic oils. However, if they are mostly used for short trips, you will need to switch to synthetic oils.

This is one area you will not consider the cost of the synthetic oil as it may prove cheaper after putting all things into consideration.

This is another instance where cheap may prove to be more expensive.

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