Can synthetic oil be used in older vehicles?

Posted by on January 10, 2021 in All Season Maintenance Tips, Maintenance Tips, News, Technical Info | 0 comments

Can synthetic oil be used in older vehicles?

Enjoy the benefits of synthetic oil in older vehicles

Using synthetic oil in an older vehicle is not a problem.  If the vehicle is in good running condition with minimal leaks, running a synthetic oil will not harm anything at all.  You will enjoy all the benefits that a full synthetic oil has to offer.  Read on to find out more about why people are hesitant to change to full synthetic and how to go about it.

You may also be interested in the information provided in our article on “What type of Oil Should I Use?”

Why do people think synthetic oil should not be used in older vehicles?

There are some misconceptions out there that lead people to believe that problems may develop when changing from a conventional oil to a full synthetic oil in an older vehicle.

The confusion starts with the idea that synthetic oil is more slippery (lower in viscosity) than conventional oil.  This further leads to the concern that synthetic oil is not as compatible with seals and will therefore leak (or leak more) in places conventional oil might not.  These ideas are unfounded. The truth is that synthetic oils will enhance the engine protection in older vehicles just as they do for new engines.  In addition, most synthetic motor oils are fully compatible with modern seal materials. Most synthetic oils are formulated to condition seals, keeping them pliable to prevent leakage.

Another common misconception is that changing to a full synthetic oil will clean and loosen sludge from the engine and cause it to plug the filter and passageways. This too, is false. Switching from conventional oil to full synthetic oil in routinely maintained vehicles will not cause clogged oil filters or passageways, regardless of how many kilometres are on the vehicle. Sludge, which is caused by poor quality oil and neglected maintenance practices, would have to be present in significant amounts to plug oil filters and passageways. If this excessive amount of sludge is present in an engine, it is just a matter of time before oil filters and passageways clog, regardless of the installation of synthetics.  Regardless of the type of oil you put in your vehicle, it is important to take care of your vehicle by ensuring it gets routine maintenance.

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High Mileage Oil is optional for older vehicles

How do I switch from conventional oil to synthetic oil?

There are no special procedures for changing from conventional oil to full synthetic oil.  As a precaution in older vehicles or those with high mileage, it may be advisable to perform an engine flush first. This will ensure that the engine is clean and free of any accumulated contaminants which might have an effect on the service life of synthetic motor oils. You may also choose to use a high mileage oil which will have added seal conditioners to combat against engine leaks and friction issues with the motor. However, both of these suggestions are optional and completely at your discretion.  Many vehicles have no problem simply switching to a synthetic oil.

We service all makes and models of vehicles

How can Great Canadian Oil Change help?

At Great Canadian Oil Change we follow the manufacturer’s recommendation on types of oils and recommended service intervals for your vehicle, regardless of whether you choose to use conventional, a synthetic blend, or a full synthetic.  The choice is always yours! The technicians will answer any questions you have, backed by up-to-date information about your type of vehicle.

We offer high milage oil and engine flushes if this is what you choose when you are making the switch from conventional to synthetic oil in a vehicle with a significant number of kilometres on it.

For more information you may be interested in reading “What type of Oil Should I Use?

Happy and safe driving from the Great Canadian Oil Change Team!