When it comes to changing oil, cost and quality are taken into consideration. While synthetic oil tends to cost more, according to a AAA analysis done in 2017, that is the way to go. According to the organization, synthetic oil, during independent evaluation, outperformed conventional oil by an average of close to 50%. What this means is that it is able to offer engines better protection. AAA also pointed out that synthetic oil outperformed conventional oils in a number of industry-standard tests.
So, what are the benefits that come with switching to synthetic oil?
1- Reduction of Friction And Wear
Through lubrication, oil is meant to keep the moving parts of the engine rubbing together in a smooth manner. A lack of proper lubrication means that the energy will get lost as a result of friction. Once an engine runs on insufficient or old oil, more heat and friction are produced.
This not only takes its toll on the moving parts, but you will also notice a decline in gas mileage, given that fuel is taking more than the usual amount of time to perform the same task. By switching to specifically formulated synthetic oil, there will be a reduction in heat and friction in the engine – which in turn will make sure that the fuel economy doesn’t take a hit.
2- Getting Rid of Sludge
Sludge is the thick dark substance which forms once the oil loses its properties and gets old – it can be damaging to the engine. Once the sludge builds up, you need to take care of things and act fast.
Switching to synthetic oil will help prevent sludge from forming. In addition, in case sludge already exists, it will help scrub off most of it and send it into the oil filter – side note: the oil filter should be changed when you change the oil in order to make sure that you won’t pollute the new lubricant.
3- Better Handling of Temperature Variations
Ambient temperature is an element that needs to be taken into consideration when making the jump from conventional motor oil to synthetic oil. Generally speaking, cold temperatures thicken the oil, while hot temperatures make it runny. However, synthetic oil has less of a tendency to change its consistency as a result of temperature changes compared to conventional motor oils.
While synthetic oil won’t keep the same consistency forever and under all types of temperature, the consistency is retained for longer periods under lower or higher temperature conditions compared to conventional oil. This is important to keep in mind when starting your car in a cold or hot environment. Chances are that the lubricant film that is provided by the synthetic oils has remained on the engine parts no matter the temperature.
4- Slower Oxidation
Oxidation takes place once the addition of oxygen changes a chemical substance. Oxygen is able to cause rust to form on certain metals in relatively quick fashion. Motor oil is not immune to oxidation either. Oil oxidation can result in a number of problems such as an increased oil viscosity, a depletion of additives, an accelerated degradation, and the formation of deposits.
At one point, all motor oil will oxidize to some extent and there’s nothing to do about it. However, using quality oxidation-inhibitor additives and synthetic base oils can dramatically slow down the process of oxidation.
5- Less Frequent Oil Changes
Synthetic oils are either Group III type oils – which are very refined – or Group IV oils containing Group V additives. Synthetic oils can last up to 3 times as long as conventional motor oils. Group II oils, used by most conventional oils, include sulfur and nitrogen, which affect their lifespan. Moreover, conventional oils don’t have anti-oxidants additives. The additives keep the microscopic shavings of metal as well as other impurities that are emerging when the engine is running from thickening the oil and oxidizing.
The advantages that synthetic oil brings to the table are hard to ignore – from superior cleaning power to breakdown resistance. Speak to a mechanic next time you plan on changing the oil and you can learn more about the benefits of synthetic oils and which one is ideal for you to make the jump to from conventional motor oils.