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Synthetic or Conventional Oil: Which is better for your car?

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Have you ever given much thought to the difference between synthetic and conventional motor oil other than the cost? Your choice in oil affects more than just your wallet. It affects the environment and how your vehicle runs. Just like a professional athlete, the oil that you put into your vehicle goes a long way in determining how it functions.

Let’s start with the benefits to synthetic oil. Synthetic oil can last longer than conventional oil and it has the ability to withstand extreme high temperatures without breaking down. In terms of longevity, synthetics can last as much as three times longer than conventional oil. That adds up to you dumping less than 15 to 24 quarts of oil per year.

Conventional oil, on the other hand, is approximately half as expensive as synthetics. This is because it is a natural solution derived from petroleum instead of being formed by chemicals like synthetics are. The overall cost effectiveness is also affected by how long you wait between oil changes. If you follow the old adage of every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first, then it might be more cost efficient to use conventional oil so that you are not ‘wasting’ the longer lasting synthetic oil.

When you consider the environmental aspect, synthetics are a little cleaner. This is because it is created in a lab rather than by nature. The lower volatility that has been proven to exist in synthetics helps a vehicle from vaporizing out the exhaust quite as quickly. Synthetics also produce less resistance in the engine, thereby offering more horsepower and overall efficiency for the engine. This allows the engine to perform at the same level as before, but using less gas.

If you choose to go the synthetic route and depending on where, how far, and how much you drive, you could possibly wait 10,000-15,000 miles between oil changes. We all have busy days and going synthetic could help you free up a little time. That’s if you don’t mind overlooking the golden rule of every 3,000 miles.

There are plenty of options when it comes to synthetic, synthetic blends, and conventional oil. Just make sure you ask as many questions as you need and follow the recommendations in your owner’s manual, as well as what your service professional recommends. We’re here to help and to make sure you have a great experience in our service department.
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