What type of oil should I use? Conventional, Synthetic, or a Blend?
There are differences between the types of motor oil available to consumers. Here we try to provide information that will help you make a choice for your vehicle.
What is the difference between regular and synthetic oil?
Regular motor oil, also called “conventional” oil, is a mineral grade oil derived from crude liquid oil from the ground. It is created by a refining process.
Synthetic motor oil is also refined from crude oil from the ground. However it is processed further than conventional oil is. Synthetic oil is distilled, purified and broken down into its basic molecules. This process not only removes more impurities from the crude oil but also enables individual molecules in the oil to be tailored to the demands of modern engines.
What are the advantages or benefits of using synthetic oil?
A synthetic lubricant contains more highly refined base oils than those used in conventional mineral oils, offering you superior protection and performance. Synthetic engine oils provide a variety of benefits that keep your engine running at optimal performance for years.
Here are some of the benefits of using synthetic oil:
- Synthetic lubricants protect better at any temperature. In the summer, your engine will stay cooler and therefore use less fuel. In the winter, the engine receives lubrication sooner than with mineral grade oil. At any temperature, when an engine is first started, a mineral oil takes some time to circulate, allowing friction between non-lubricated parts to cause wear. In contrast, a synthetic lubricant starts circulating straight away, protecting every moving part within the engine. This results in less metal-to-metal contact and thus extends the life of the engine.
- Synthetic oil keeps your engine cleaner. As oil circulates through your engine it can pick up deposits. Over time, conventional oils can sometimes form sludge, which can reduce your engine’s efficiency and, ultimately, reduce the life of your engine. Sludge deposits can turn into varnish (sludge deposits that have hardened and coat internal surfaces) over time, thus synthetic oil helps protect against varnish as well.
- Use of synthetic oil helps to cut engine emissions when compared to conventional mineral oils. This makes them more environmentally friendly compared to regular oil. Conventional mineral oils contain greater amounts of impurities, such as sulphur, reactive and unstable hydrocarbons, and other undesirable contaminants that cannot be completely removed by conventional refining of crude oil.
- Synthetic oils can also significantly improve fuel economy and efficiency. During the warm-up period of a typical truck journey, mineral oils are thicker and move more slowly, making the engine thirstier and less efficient. Synthetics, however, get to work much more quickly, so the engine reaches peak operating efficiency that much sooner.
What about synthetic blend oil?
Synthetic blend oil is part synthetic oil and part conventional oil. It was created to counter the high price of pure synthetic oil, and imparts some of the benefits of synthetics into conventional oil, but at a lower price. The downside is that your vehicle won’t reap the benefits of a fully synthetic product.
What are the benefits of synthetic blend oil?
An analysis of the differences between synthetic, synthetic blends and conventional oil by Valvoline, suggest that SOME of their blends (not all) offer benefits that approach that of a full synthetic in the areas of protection, cleanliness & horsepower, and other areas. Some provide anti-wear protection and better cold start protection that conventional oil. Some help minimize sludge and prevent deposit formation. Some are better designed for today’s most advanced engines, and some contain special seal conditioners that rejuvenate engine seals to help prevent leaks. These advantages do not apply to all blends equally. This all means that if you choose to use a synthetic blend oil, you should choose which one to use carefully according to what benefits you are looking for.
According to Valvoline’s information, if you are looking for an oil to provide help maintain fuel efficiency for the life of the oil, or provide excellent protection in extreme hot and cold temperatures, you should look at a FULL synthetic.
For more detailed information, refer to the easy-to-read motor oil comparison chart found on the Valvoline website.
If I just want to use conventional oil, what do you suggest?
If you choose to use a regular or conventional oil, you will be happy to know that there have been improvements to conventional mineral oil over the years. Brands such as Valvoline produce premium conventional oils. Their premium conventional oil is an all-climate motor oil with stated benefits of:
- Helping to keep the engine clean by minimizing deposit formation
- Resisting oil thickening by providing solid oxidation control
- Improving gas mileage with the most commonly recommended grades by reducing friction.
- Providing anti-wear protection exceeding current U.S., Japanese and European wear tests for gasoline engines where each grade is specified
Visit Great Canadian Oil Change for all your oil change needs
At Great Canadian Oil Change we offer a wide variety of oil products to meet your needs. We will recommend the conventional and synthetic oil products which meet your vehicle manufacturer warranty requirements and leave the choice to you. Visit the services page on Great Canadian Oil Change Regina’s website for a description of the quality Valvoline products we offer.