Synthetic vs Conventional Oil

Oil Change in GreensburgYour car is due for its routine oil change, so you swing by your local service center in the Greensburg, Jeannette, or Delmont areas. While you’re checking your car in, the technician asks if you’d prefer synthetic or conventional oil. Which would you choose?

The kind of oil you have running through your engine can make a big difference in your engine’s performance and longevity, so it’s important to know which kind is right for your car. Check out this synthetic vs. conventional oil guide from Hillview Motors for an overview of how these oils compare.

What’s the Difference?

Let’s start with a simple definition:

Conventional Oil: Conventional oil is crude oil that’s been pumped from the ground, distilled, and refined.

Synthetic Oil: Synthetic oil has the same beginnings as conventional oil but takes it a step further, getting purified and broken down to the molecular level. It can then be tailored to the needs of modern engines.

It’s this refinement process that makes synthetic oil the preferred oil for most modern vehicles. It manages to outperform conventional oil at its two major functions: lubrication and temperature control. It also lasts longer and can even improve your car’s performance.

Lubrication and Friction Damage

Conventional Oil Creating Sludge

During operation, the many parts in your engine move past each other rapidly. Oil serves the purpose of keeping these parts nicely lubricated so that they don’t cause friction, which can result in irreparable engine damage.

Over time, as oil moves throughout your engine, conventional oil can break down, leave behind impurities, and create a thick sludge, becoming less lubricating over time. Synthetic oil, however, has removed many of these impurities, making it more resistant to sludge formation. This keeps your engine clean and well-lubricated for much longer than conventional oil.

Oil Lifespan

Since conventional oil breaks down faster than synthetic oil, it needs to be changed more often to keep it clean. Conventional oil should be changed approximately every 3,000-5,000 miles. Synthetic oil, on the other hand, has a longer lifespan, and can go 7,500-10,000 miles between oil changes. These longer oil change intervals may save you time and money in the long-run.

Temperature Regulation

Pouring Synthetic Oil into a Car

Oil is extremely important for regulating the temperature in your engine. It can get hot during operation, and the viscous nature of oil helps it to dissipate that heat and prevent your engine from overheating. Synthetic oils tend to resist heat better, making them much more effective at regulating engine temperature, especially if you have a turbocharged engine that works hard to boost power.

In the winter, conventional oil may be more prone to thickening, which can take it longer to warm up on a frigid winter morning, meaning more time spent in the driveway warming up your engine when you’re already running late for work. Synthetic oil, however, is specially engineered to prevent this thickening and can keep your engine better protected when driving in cold temperatures.

Vehicle Performance

When your oil is doing its job correctly, it can keep your car performing at optimal levels. Since conventional oil is more prone to thickening and dirtying, it may be more likely to affect your car’s performance. Alternatively, synthetic oil, because of the factors we discussed above, has shown to reduce emissions, improve fuel economy, and can even extend your engine’s life.

Ask us about Synthetic vs Conventional Oil

If you want to learn more about the differences between synthetic vs. conventional oil, and how they can affect your drives around Jeannette, Delmont, and Greensburg, contact the service center at Hillview Motors. We’ll even be happy to get you scheduled for your next oil change.

Contact us to schedule your oil change today!