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Tire Service Blog

Conventional And Synthetic Oils

Engine performance is always a major concern for any motorist. Fortunately, research in synthetic and conventional oils has resulted into great improvements over the years. The basic application of oil is to lubricate and cool down various moving parts. Therefore, this article takes the reader on a walk through some of the major differences between the two oil forms.

In terms of chemical ingredients, conventional oils and synthetic oils are very similar. However, the main difference between the two is that the ingredients found in conventional oils combine to form chains of hydrocarbon molecules whose characteristics are more desirable. Synthetic oils are more uniform than even the highest quality of conventional oils. Synthetic oils are becoming a more common factory fill. We put back into people's cars what the manufacturer suggests. Choosing between the two use to be common, in today's cars, you are less likely to have a choice.

Further, because of the superior mechanical and chemical properties possessed by the synthetic oil, it can be used to substitute the conventional oil. In fact, synthetic oils arose from the manufacturer's research for better alternatives over conventional oils. Whereas the synthetic has got fewer natural impurities in it, the conventional oil has sulfur, wax, and asphaltic particles. Therefore, synthetic keeps the engine cleaner, and its stability is more than that of the conventional because its additives do not break down faster.

Low temperature, especially during winter, aggravates oil problems associated with high viscosity. As a result, people had to look for better alternatives in form of synthetic forms. Therefore, the replacement of the conventional oils by the synthetic oils overcame the issues of high viscosity. It was discovered that the less viscous conventional oils would prevent freezing.

The synthetic oils used nowadays are manufactured out of chemical reactions. Conventional forms are prepared out of refining crude oil unlike the synthetic oils that are chemically processed through combining of different synthetic based fluids, such as synthetic esters, polyalphaolefin, and alkylated aromatics. Synthetic oils can withstand high temperatures because their molecules are uniform in both shape and size.

The advantage of using synthetic oils, instead of conventional ones, is that synthetic are free from contaminants. The impurities available in conventional oils include sulfur, wax and asphaltic materials. These impurities are agents of detonation. Asphaltic materials lead to building up of varnishes and sludge. At low temperatures, synthetic oils that do not have wax flow freely. For instance, synthetic oils rated between 0W to 30W flow seven times more quickly than the conventional rated between 5W to 30W, and are capable of flowing at temperatures that are lower than -63oF. In terms of peak numbers, synthetic oils are very beneficial because they make the engine to gain about 10hp unlike 7hp for conventional oils.

Synthetic oils provide a less initial drag. This allows the engines to run smoothly. The cost of synthetic oil in more than the conventional oil. Also, mechanical experts argue that it is not what oil your engine uses but how it uses it. Also, synthetic is not necessarily meant for drivers who spend a lot of their time driving. Engines become hotter at higher speeds, and the ingredients in them burn-off rather than break up into carbon deposits and stick on the engine. Also, for new vehicles, conventional oils are just as effective as synthetic oils. If your vehicle engine hardly experiences temperature extremes, it is needless to use synthetic oil. However, towing, city driving and older vehicles benefit a lot from synthetic oils.

In a nutshell, this article offers an idea about the conventional and synthetic oils, and as well the advantages of synthetic oils over conventional forms. The different points suggested will help you in decision making. If you are interested in more information, check out another article we featured on the same topic here.


Pfefferle Tire and Automotive Service is a two-generation, family owned and operated repair shop.  Our services include quick lube service, tires and auto repair, and routine maintenance.  What sets us apart from other shops?  Our technicians do not work on commission, so there is no need for them to oversell.  We like to say, "We advise and you decide!"  
Contact Pfefferle Tire and Auto Service to schedule your preventive maintenance appointment! (513) 829-1900.

Written on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 by
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