Are Synthetic Motor Oils Effective Compared to Conventional Oils?


Quick Answer

Synthetic oils are more effective than conventional oils at preventing engine wear, improving performance at high temperatures and providing adequate lubrication in older automotive engines. This improved performance comes at a cost, as synthetic oil is significantly more expensive than conventional motor oil.

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Full Answer

Synthetic oil is not only better for engines than conventional motor oil, but it is also gentler on the environment compared with traditional lubricants. The reduced impacts on the environment result from two factors: synthetic oil's increased longevity and its much higher flash point.

Depending on environment and driving habits, synthetic oil remains effective up to four times as long as conventional motor oil. Because synthetic oil lasts longer than conventional oil, drivers require fewer oil changes and thus use less oil.

Synthetic motor oils have a higher flash point than conventional oils, meaning that they require higher temperatures before they burn. This property causes synthetic oils to release fewer greenhouse gases and pollutants into the atmosphere, and it also reduces the amount of oil lost through burning.

A compromise between the performance and longevity of synthetic motor oils and the affordability of conventional lubricants is mixed conventional and synthetic oil. These mixtures combine varying amounts of the two different types of motor oil, creating a product that lasts slightly longer and performs somewhat better than conventional motor oil without the high price tag of a pure synthetic.

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