Synthetic Oil vs. Conventional Oil: Which Is Better for My Car?

Everyone knows their vehicle requires oil for it to run correctly. If the oil gets too dirty or runs out, it can spell major problems and costly repairs to the engine. Therefore it is important to change your oil on a regular basis, based on your driving habits and the type of oil you use in your vehicle.

With conventional oils and synthetic oils as your options these days, how do you know which one is better for your used or new car? To help give you a better idea, let’s look at your options and discuss the pros/cons of each one.
synthetic oil versus conventional oil

If you browse your options of replacement motor oil products at your car dealer’s service and parts department or a big box retailer, you will quickly discover there three basic types of oils to choose from:

  • Conventional – 100% Motor Oil
  • Synthetic Blends – A mixture of both conventional and pure synthetics.
  • Pure Synthetics – 100% Synthetic Oil

In addition, there are different letters and numbers you will see on the packaging, like 5W-30, 10W-40, and so on. This alphanumeric configuration has to do with the viscosities and thickness of the oils.

The first part with the “W” simply means that lower numbers in front of it perform better in colder temperatures. The second part with the number, such as 30 or 40, means how thin the oil is, with lower numbers signifying thinner oils. To know which alphanumeric sequence you require, look in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Conventional Oil Pros

  • Costs less than synthetic blends and pure synthetic oils.
  • Easily accessible from a wide array of retailers, gas stations, car dealers, etc.
  • Can be used in any vehicle, regardless of age or mileage.

Conventional Oil Cons

  • Needs to be changed more often—typically every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or every three months.
  • The oil lubricants break down much faster.

Synthetic Blend Pros

  • May be able to be used in older models and high-mileage vehicles without affecting performance.
  • Does not need to be changed as often as conventional oils, with some lasting between 7,500 to 10,000 miles or every six to eight months.
  • Provides some of the benefits of pure synthetics for a lower price.

Synthetic Blend Cons

  • Costs more than conventional oils.

Pure Synthetic Blend Pros

  • Withstands breakdown from high heat better than conventional oils. 
  • Provides better engine wear protection.
  • Flows easier in colder temperatures.
  • The engine stays cleaner because there is no sludge buildup. 
  • Lasts an extremely long period of time with fewer oil changes required, which can range from 10,000 miles to 25,000 miles or every 12 months.

Pure Synthetic Blend Cons

  • The cost is often higher than conventional oils.
  • Not able to be used in older model vehicles.
  • Not recommended for vehicles with high mileages. As you can see, synthetic blends and pure synthetics do have several advantages over conventional oils.
differences between synthetic and conventional oil
However, not all vehicles are able to run and operate correctly with synthetics. Before switching from conventional to a synthetic blend or pure synthetic, remember to stop by Grava Chrysler Jeep Dodge and ask your service technician, or call us at (866) 809-7274 to schedule an oil change today!
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