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Which Is Better for My Car: Synthetic or Conventional Oil?

At Sun Devil Auto, we know that even the smallest details can make all the difference for your vehicle. Motor oil is one perfect example. This important fluid is responsible for lubricating your engine and keeping the moving parts from creating too much heat. Over time, the oil begins to break down and become less effective and must be replaced. Synthetic oils were created to make oil last longer between changes, help to improve gas mileage, as well as lubricate critical engine parts more effectively. While they are certainly more effective at handling high temperatures and have greater longevity, it is hotly debated whether synthetic is always the better option.

Chemical Differences

Conventional motor oil is derived from crude oil. The substance is made of pentanes and heavy hydrocarbons that are pulled from underground wells, processed to remove impurities and then separated according to weight.

Synthetic oil begins as conventional oil but is highly refined, distilled and purified to increase its stability, improve lubrication and reduce breakdown. The oil is then chemically engineered to achieve a certain desired composition that is both uniform and tailored to fill a specific need, such as servicing high mileage engines. The designing process results in highly stable end products that do not break down as easily as conventional oils.

Vehicle Types

The type of oil you should use largely depends on your environment and the age and make of your vehicle. Arizona is a dusty, dirty climate, so synthetic blends can help you go longer between oil changes while working more efficiently. Additionally, if you have a higher mileage vehicle, anything over 100,000 miles, you may want to choose a synthetic blend or high mileage oil, as well. Older engines tend to have more friction-related issues, and a full synthetic oil or blend can help keep these problems at bay. The best practice, however, is to follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations on oil types.

Price Matters

In a perfect world, price would not need to be a consideration. Unfortunately, synthetic oil is initially more expensive than its conventional counterpart. However, if you consider that you have to change your oil more frequently with conventional, then the costs effectively evens itself out.

Ultimately, you get what you pay for. Although synthetic oil and blends are initially costlier than conventional options, they have so many benefits for vehicles that the price is often well worth the added expense. Chances are, your car will do very well with synthetic oil. Come to Sun Devil Auto today for an oil change and guidance on which type of oil you should use in your vehicle.