You’ve heard it said before: Oil changes are essential for your vehicle’s performance abilities. The engine oil keeps all the moving parts lubricated and ensures you get to enjoy a dependable drive. But when you get your oil changed, you may have run into the terms synthetic and conventional oil.
If you’re wondering what they are and how they compare, check out this guide to synthetic vs. conventional oil from Arlington Toyota. We’ll make sure that you understand the difference between these oil types so you can continue driving around Palatine, Arlington Heights, and Rolling Meadows, IL, with confidence.
In the past, synthetic oil was mainly found in high performance vehicles, as it was able to contribute to enhanced vehicle performance. Once its benefits became more widely recognized, this type of oil began to become more and more mainstream.
Conventional oil is what had been used in vehicles for years. It’s derived from crude oil, and so is a little more irregular at the molecular level. This type is generally the cheapest option when it comes to oil, but it doesn’t have the same performance enhancing benefits that synthetic oil has.
Something else you may run across as you shop for engine oil is synthetic blend. This is exactly what it sounds like, a blend of synthetic and conventional oil. This is a popular option as it offers some of the same benefits as synthetic oil but it’s typically cheaper.
Synthetic oil generally has higher viscosity, which is how it’s able to improve engine performance. A more viscous oil can flow easier through the engine, which allows those internal parts to move faster.
Additionally, synthetic oil is meant to resist oil breakdown and handle extreme temperatures. These all are mainly meant to make the oil last longer than conventional oil might. Since it won’t break down or get burnt as easily, you can go much longer between oil changes with synthetic oil.
Conventional oil will need to be changed more frequently but will work better in older and vintage vehicles. Synthetic oil will typically only need to be changed every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
If your manual recommends using conventional oil, that’s generally the way go. While it may not have all the same benefits as synthetic, it will be able to do its job. It’s just especially important to stay on top of those routine oil changes with this type.
While you may like the benefits of one type of oil over another, the most important thing is that you check that it will work with your model. Consult with your vehicle owner’s manual to see what is recommended for your model.
The higher viscosity of synthetic oil might not work as well with your engine for a variety of reasons. Just as the less refined conventional oil could introduce its own problems if your vehicle isn’t made to handle it.
If you’re not sure which you should use, you can also talk with a service technician, as they can point you in the right direction with ease.
When comparing synthetic vs. conventional oil, make sure that you consider your vehicle’s needs first. If you need help determining which is right for your model, come talk to the experts at Arlington Toyota. They’ve conducted countless oil changes for various Palatine, Arlington Heights, and Rolling Meadows, Illinois, drivers, so they have the know-how to help you.
Contact our service center to learn more about oil changes today!