Synthetic vs conventional motor oil

Perhaps you have already been asked by the service attendant or when you are getting the oil changed whether you want synthetic motor oil or the regular one. If you are not familiar with the two or the pros and cons of using these for your vehicle, you will only be left wondering. Well, it is time you are well clear about synthetic vs conventional motor oil, nor only for the sake of your wallet but environment too. You may wonder as to which oil will work better and what about the costs. How will the oil make the engine last longer?

Conventional Motor Oil

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The Conventional oil

The regular or conventional oil is made from the crude oil extracted from the oil wells and is made of complex mixture of molecules. These molecules are of different shapes and sizes and form longer series of carbon atoms that make for a thick, viscous fluid. The molecules forming shorter series make fluid that flows more easily.  The crude oil is refined after going through a complex distillation process and gets refined into numerous fractions,  and each has their distinct characteristics.

conventional oil

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The synthetic oil

The synthetic oil is not distilled from crude oil but gets created through Fischer-Tropsch process, a chemical process. These oils are a result of scientific treatment of non-conventional fluids and are an improvement over them.  The fully synthetic motor oil contains high-performance fluids.  Some blends of synthetic motor oil make use of non-conventional fluids along with conventional oil.

synthetic oil

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Now that you have some idea about what the conventional oil and synthetic oil is, let us compare the two.

Synthetic vs conventional motor oil

Common sense will prevail that anything synthetic is not good. But does the same notion apply to the oil we use in our vehicles. How do conventional motor oil and synthetic motor oil compare to each other? All motor oils are made up of base oils and additives.

Synthetic vs conventional motor oil

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  • Purity level

    Refining petroleum is an advanced science and there are always small amounts of contaminants such as reactive hydrocarbons and sulfur that cannot be removed completely. The conventional oil contains these impurities in some form.

Synthetic motor oil, on the other hand contains none of these contaminants.

  • The costs

    The synthetic motor oil is generally priced 3 to 4 times that of conventional oil. Vut the synthetics can last you at least  3 times longer than conventional oil

  • Hydrocarbon molecules

    Synthetic oil is an improvement over their conventional counterpart. The hydrocarbon molecules are very uniform, thus gibing the synthetic motor oil better mechanical properties at very low or very high temperature. The hydrocarbon molecules in the conventional motor oil are non-uniform.

  • Performance

    As the Synthetic oil is purified, distilled and broken down into its basic molecules, it performs better when it comes to protecting the engine against wear and tear, any sludge buildup, cold weather and high heat. Conventional oil could never match synthetic motor oil when it comes to its form and function.

The advanced technologies are making way for cleaner synthetic motor oil. These oils are known to offer lesser resistance in the engine, thus improving the overall efficiency for the engine. In a nutshell, summing the topic of synthetic vs conventional motor oil, we can say that synthetic is the lesser evil of the two. Many people like to take the middle route and make a blend of synthetic motor oil and the conventional motor oil, thus giving you better oil at better cost. For the conventional engines, there is no need for any special oil but the performance oriented vehicles will need synthetic because of the high heat build up in these engines.