Synthetic Oil vs Conventional Oil

Since synthetic car oil started making an appearance in auto repair shops, over 50% of drivers these days opt for synthetic oil when getting their oil changed. With such a shift, it’s easy to assume that synthetic oil is clearly becoming the favored option. However, many cars and drivers still choose conventional oil when they go in for service. What’s the difference between them? you may ask. And which is right for you? Knowing the key differences between conventional and synthetic car oil can help you make an informed decision at your next oil change.

Conventional Oil

Conventional car oil was the standard in oil changes until the shift to synthetic around 2019. Derived from refined crude oil, conventional oil has a less-stable molecular structure than synthetic car oil. But what does that actually mean for you? Here are the pros and cons of using conventional oil in your car.

Pros
  • Conventional oil costs an average of 10% less than synthetic
  • Conventional oil works best in older cars that were designed for conventional service, as no other options were around
  • Conventional oil flows slower than other oil types, which offers more protection against wear and tear for cars with high mileage (over 75,000 miles)
Cons
  • Conventional oils are more likely to suffer chemical degradation, especially in extreme temperatures and harsh climates
  • Conventional oil is more likely to clog in small areas of machinery due to its thicker consistency
  • Conventional oil doesn’t last as long as synthetic oil and often requires more frequent oil changes to keep everything running smoothly

Synthetic Car Oil

Instead of refining natural resources, synthetic oils are manufactured by mixing artificial chemicals with crude oil. This new petroleum performs the same functions in your engine, but it has a more uniform molecular structure. What does a uniform molecular structure mean for your engine? Here are the pros and cons of using synthetic car oil.

Pros
  • Synthetic oil helps improve a car’s performance and keeps your engine running smoothly for longer than conventional oil
  • Synthetic oil works best in newer model cars that have design features that enhance the oil’s performance
  • Synthetic oils make the perfect choice for engines with lower mileage
Cons
  • Synthetic oils typically cost more than conventional oils when getting your oil changed
  • Synthetic oils can damage care engines that are older or that have high mileage
  • Synthetic oil may not be stocked at every auto repair shop

Should You Use Synthetic Oil in Your Vehicle?

Determining whether you should use conventional or synthetic oil in your car can be a bit difficult to figure out. There are some situations in which synthetic oils are better for your car, and some in which you’ll want to use conventional ones instead. You might want to use synthetic car oils if:

  • You have bought a newer car model designed for synthetic oil use
  • Your car has low mileage
  • Your vehicle goes for long periods of time without running (fully synthetic oils don’t settle as conventional oils do)
  • You live in a location with extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions

If you’re still not sure whether synthetic car oil is right for your vehicle, ask your Bosch Auto Service technician the next time you take your car in for service. They’ll help you figure out if your engine is a good candidate for synthetic oils and can perform an oil change for you right away to get you started. To schedule an oil change and learn more about which oil is best for your engine, locate your community Bosch Auto Service today.

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