Whether you like to change your car’s motor oil yourself or have it serviced by a mechanic, it’s important to know what kind of motor oil performs best in your car. This provides savvy car owners with things like the knowledge of how long they will have to go between oil changes, and if they are getting ripped off at the mechanic or not. This begs the question: which motor oil is best?
In this article, we will cover the primary differences between synthetic and conventional motor oil as well as which kind of motor oil offers superior engine performance.
Synthetic oil has gained in popularity since its use in WWII—but what exactly is the difference between synthetic and conventional motor oil?
Conventional oil was the first of the motor oils to arrive on the scene back in 1866 with the advent of the steam engine. Today, it is made from crude oil, which is a mix of sulfur, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. In order to render it useful for lubricating an engine, it is heated to various temperatures, causing molecules to “fractionate” or break away from the base oil. This is how conventional motor oil is made.
Synthetic motor oil relies on the same heating process to clarify the oil, but takes it a step further; with additives like antifoaming agents, wear inhibitors, and viscosity adapters added into the crude oil, the mixture is transformed from simple grease to an optimized engine performance lubricant. Think of it like your morning cup of coffee: one cup of black coffee may be enough to get you energized and moving, but it’s often better with cream and sugar. This of course depends on the individual, much like how the right motor oil for your circumstances depends on the condition of your car and other factors.
For more information on the differences between synthetic and conventional motor oils, check out our recent article on the topic!
If you’ve spent much time researching this on the internet, you’ll quickly find that the bias towards synthetic motor oil is hard to miss. Does this make synthetic better than conventional motor oil?
As we mentioned in the previous section, there are several considerations to weigh when it comes to selecting a motor oil for your car. The age of the car, the mileage, the climate, and the driver conditions can all influence the decision of which motor oil is best. For example, if you have an older car that you drive irregularly in temperate climates, you may not need to splurge for synthetic motor oil. In fact, conventional oil can absolutely fit the bill if you are in a pinch and just need simple lubricant to change your older car’s spent oil. It is cheaper than synthetic and is still a reliable option for getting your car a little further down the road.
However, if you are interested in maximizing your engine’s performance as well as the time between oil changes (thereby lowering your car’s frequency of oil changes), you may consider opting for synthetic oil. With a laundry list of motor oil additives comprising up to 30% of the volume of the stuff, synthetic motor oils can increase the longevity of your car’s engine, decrease undue wear and tear, and encourage your car to consume less oil. This does come with a price increase when it comes time to purchase the oil—however, with fewer oil changes (and fewer oil-related visits to the mechanic) required over the course of your car’s lifespan, this additional cost is negligible.
So, is synthetic oil better than conventional? According to a study by the American Automobile Association (AAA), synthetic motor oils tend to perform nearly 50% better than conventional oils. This improvement was particularly pronounced in cars that towed heavy loads, operated in extreme temperature ranges, or heavily-trafficked areas. By and large, most mechanics agree that synthetic motor oil is better for your car, long-term.
When it comes to selecting a synthetic oil, it can be daunting to select from the wide array of options at your local body shop. However, not all motor oils were created equal! Here are the top three reasons to choose AMSOIL over other motor oil brands:
1. AMSOIL keeps engines up to 5 times cleaner during operation than other kinds of oils, thanks to the proprietary deposit-resistant additives. Less “sludge” in your engine means less opportunity for things to go wrong, like burning oil, springing a leak, etc. This also is one of the reasons why car owners can go longer between oil changes!
2. AMSOIL synthetic motor oil discourages oil consumption by up to 38%. By keeping AMSOIL synthetic motor oil in the closed system of your engine’s sump, you can ensure that your engine performs well without fear of it seizing or spitting out toxic black plumes from the exhaust.
3. AMSOIL synthetic motor oils reduce fuel usage and environmental emissions. Plus, fewer oil changes thanks to synthetic motor oil means less waste oil, which is extremely noxious for the environment if not properly recycled.
Whether you like the sweet simplicity and low price tag of conventional motor oil or are looking for optimal performance and long-term engine health, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to selecting the right motor oil. The unassuming process of changing your engine’s motor oil can actually have long-term implications for your car’s performance and longevity.
When it comes to selecting the right motor oil for your car’s warranty, you can’t go wrong with AMSOIL synthetic motor oil—that’s the AMSOIL Warranty Secure® Guarantee. Interested in browsing AMSOIL motor oil products? Click here to get started!