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Can You Use Synthetic Oil In Any Car? What You Need To Know!

pouring oil to car engine

Despite the myths and misinformation, synthetic oil is perfectly safe for use in any car, whether it is a 40-year-old classic or a brand-new sports car. In fact, some synthetic oils offer a host of benefits over conventional oil that make it a generally better choice for your vehicle. Primarily, synthetic oil works better at extreme temperatures and will retain its lubricating properties much longer than traditional oils.

divider 1 What Is Synthetic Oil?

Synthetic oil is artificially manufactured oil. Although some do use modified petroleum, others are made entirely from other raw materials. Manufacturers do not broadcast the components they use or the synthesis process that they use, but most do start from a crude-oil product.

pouring oil to car engine during oil change
Image By: r.classen, Shutterstock

The Benefits Of Synthetic Oil Over Conventional Oil

Synthetic oils have a number of potential benefits that they offer, including:

  • Heat Tolerance Levels – Some modern cars, especially those with smaller engines, tend to rev higher and produce more heat. This can lead to increased wear on the engine. Synthetic oils flow more quickly and uniformly, and they offer greater protection against these high heat levels.
  • Improved Flow At Low Temperatures – Conversely, synthetic oils are not as viscous at low temperatures. If you live in a very cold environment, it can take time before the engine warms up enough that a mineral oil will flow smoothly. Synthetic oil flows more readily at low temperatures so is ideal in cold conditions. However, it isn’t just external temperature that matters. When you first start your car, the engine is running cold, and it can take some miles before it warms up to an adequate temperature that encourages mineral oil to flow. Therefore, if you regularly use your car for shorter trips and rarely take it on long runs, synthetic oil will do a better job of keeping the engine lubricated.
  • Fewer Oil Changes – Mineral oil breaks down as it heats up and cools down, and as it is pushed around the car engine. While synthetic oil also breaks down, it takes much longer to break down completely. As such, the oil in your car will last longer and, therefore, may need less frequent oil changes. You should still follow your car manufacturer’s guidelines regarding oil change frequencies, however.
  • Reduced Engine Wear – Oil that flows more easily and that lasts longer without breaking down keeps the car engine and components better lubricated. Parts won’t grind because the lubricating oil acts to reduce friction and tension. Ultimately, this reduces the wear on car engines and helps ensure that they last longer.
  • Better For The Environment – Synthetic oil is not necessarily better for the environment because of a use of greener materials. However, it does require less frequent oil changes, which means less use of fossil fuels.

How Often Should You Change Synthetic Oil?

Car manufacturers provide advice on how often owners should conduct oil changes. Most recommend that oil be changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. However, experts claim that synthetic oil does not need to be changed as often, with most stating that 10,000 miles is fine for synthetic oil in some cars, and that some vehicles running on fully synthetic oil can go 15,000 miles before having to be changed.

divider 5 Conclusion

Oil is an essential additive to your car engine. It lubricates the moving parts of the engine and other components, thereby preventing them from wearing down, becoming damaged, and needing repair.

While rumors persist that older cars, in particular, need mineral oil to perform at their best, synthetic oils are not only suitable for use in all cars of all ages and types, but offer a number of benefits over their mineral-oil based alternatives. Benefits include a less frequent need to change the oil, improved engine performance, and greater engine longevity. Because of the less frequent oil changes, synthetic oil is also considered a better choice for the environment.

Featured Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock


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