There are many different choices for motor oil available today. Between conventional, synthetic, blend, and high mileage oils, it can be confusing to choose the best one for you. It is important to keep in mind vehicle age and mileage, your driving habits, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Let’s discuss the different types of oil and what they can offer you.
Conventional motor oil is derived from crude oil and is the most common and cheapest type of oil available. It is perfectly acceptable to use in most new cars and is typically what manufacturers put into them. It is also still recommended by many mechanics to use conventional oil in older cars and cars with high mileage that do not specifically require synthetic and have not used it previously.
Conventional oil does not perform as well at higher temperatures, so hot engines degrade it faster than they do synthetic. As it is used, it also leaves deposits, or sludge, in the engine due to impurities.
Synthetic motor oil is not completely derived from crude oil but created with chemical compounds that are made to mimic the desirable traits of conventional oil. It is less common than conventional but is still available in most places.
It flows more quickly than conventional oil, and contains fewer impurities, so it can last longer but does not coat the engine parts quite as well. However, due to fewer impurities, it is less likely to form sludge in the engine, and its viscosity allows it to perform well in a wide variety of temperatures.
Blended motor oils are a mix of synthetic and conventional oils and vary quite a bit in what they contain. The ratio of synthetic to conventional, as well as the quality of both, differs among brands.
A blend eliminates some of the impurities that are found in conventional oil and maintains the temperature stability of synthetic while costing less than pure synthetic.
High mileage motor oil is best for (you guessed it) cars that have been driven many miles and are newer models. It has additives that reduce the amount of oil burned and helps prevent oil leaks.
Which Oil Is Best for Your Vehicle?
As you can see, these motor oils were all created to do the same job, but they have different properties that make them better suited for certain vehicles and drivers.
Look at your vehicle’s age and mileage and determine if it has over 75,000 miles, or is considered to have high mileage. High mileage or conventional may be best for your vehicle if it falls into this category or has an older engine.
If your car is new, has few miles, or is not driven much, synthetic oil may be better. Synthetic oil or a synthetic blend may also be more beneficial for cars that are exposed to large changes in temperature and extremes.
Be sure to read the owner’s manual that comes with the vehicle to see what the manufacturer suggests and factor this into your selection as well.
Overall, many people may praise synthetic as superior to conventional, but it depends on the individual vehicle and the habits of the driver.
Your best bet is to do your research, check the manufacturer recommendations, and speak with a reputable auto shop such as Fred’s Auto Center about your options.
When it comes to changing your engine oil, always go for quality you can trust. Motor oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle and it’s really not worth saving a few bucks for the problems you might face further down the road.