Do you use synthetic or conventional oil for your vehicle? Both types of oil have pros and cons, and it is important to understand how they can both benefit or potentially hurt your vehicle.

What is Conventional Motor Oil?

Conventional motor oil is a lubricant that is derived directly from crude oil. It has excellent properties that allows it to provide lubrication at high temperatures and can maintain its stability over long periods of time.

What is Synthetic Motor Oil?

Synthetic oil is actually a modified and improved version of conventional oil. Some blends of synthetic oil are designed specifically to increase the performance and life of high-mileage cars, whereas others are specifically designed for high-performance engines. Some types of synthetic oil even  have the ability to increase your car’s fuel mileage by using special advanced lubricants.

Benefits of Using Synthetic Oil over Conventional Oil

Improved Lubrication

Most synthetic oils have added lubricants that increase the ability of the oil to keep engine parts slick, especially at high temperatures. This decreases wear over time, and may make your engine last longer.

In fact, in the last 10 years, vehicle manufacturers have redesigned engines to meet fuel efficiency and emissions standards. To do that, today’s engines have to work harder and burn much hotter, and conventional oil just cannot handle that heat tolerance. This is why most vehicles built after 2012 require synthetic oil.

Better Stability

Synthetic oils are specially engineered to maintain their viscosity (thickness) at higher temperatures and over longer periods of time. This prevents engine wear in several ways; it allows the oil to “stick” to engine parts more readily, providing better wear protection and it also protects your engine from dry starts.

A “Dry Start” occurs when your car has been sitting for an extended period of time. Gravity pulls the oil down to the bottom of the engine, allowing the components at the top of the engine to lose lubrication and run unprotected. By helping the oil maintain viscosity, synthetic oil additives decrease the effects of “dry starts.”

Reduced Breakdown

Synthetic oil is less likely to break down, which means it does not need to be changed as often as conventional oils. The more durable properties of synthetic oil also ensure that your engine is protected for longer periods of time.

Fewer Deposits

As conventional oils break down, it often leaves deposits on engine components. Mechanics refer to this as “sludge” or “scaling”. This is especially common in overexerted engines. As conventional oil breaks down, it literally sticks to different surfaces in the engine and bakes on.  Synthetic oil is less likely to do this due its increased lubrication elements.


The properties that separate conventional oil from synthetic oil affects your engine in many important ways. Although synthetic oil is slightly more expensive than conventional oil, it may extend your vehicles life and save you money in the long run.

What type of oil do you use in your vehicle? Tell us in the comments below!