Pros and Cons of Using Synthetic Engine Oil

Pros and Cons of Using Synthetic Engine Oil

4th Mar 2021

mechanic checking engine oil

Conventional Engine Oil Versuis Synthetic

When getting your vehicle's engine oil changed, one of the decisions you'll have to make is whether to go with a conventional or synthetic formula. Conventional engine oil is the most common, but many drivers are now switching to synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is characterized by its use of synthetic chemicals and compounds. What are the pros and cons of using synthetic oil exactly?

Pro: Viscosity Retention

Synthetic oil offers excellent viscosity retention properties. In other words, it maintains its viscosity better than conventional oil. Even as it heats up, it won't become too runny or watery. Rather, synthetic oil has excellent viscosity retention properties to maintain the same flow rate.

Pro: Protection From Extreme Temperature

If you live in a region with particularly hot summers or particularly cold winters, you may want to choose synthetic oil for your vehicle. Both types of oil offer some level of resistance to extreme temperatures. Synthetic oil, however, comes out on top in this regard. It's better protected from extreme temperatures, including both hot and cold temperatures, than conventional oil.

Pro: Better Lubrication

Another benefit of using synthetic oil is better lubrication. Oil, of course, is designed to lubricate the inner components of your vehicle's engine. It coats the components to reduce friction between and, thus, protect your vehicle's engine from premature wear and tear. In terms of lubrication, synthetic oil is superior to conventional oil. It's formulated with synthetic chemicals and compounds to achieve the best possible lubrication.

Con: Costs More Than Conventional Oil

When compared to conventional oil, you can expect to pay more for synthetic oil. According to a study conducted by AAA, drivers pay an average of $38 for a conventional oil change. In comparison, a synthetic oil change costs an average of $70. Over the course of several years, choosing conventional oil can have a small but noticeable impact on your personal finances.

Con: Potential for Seal Wearing

Some types of synthetic oil have the potential to wear down seals within your vehicle's engine. If it contains ester compounds, for instance, synthetic oil may degrade engine seals. Ester compounds have a corrosive effect on many elastomeric materials from which seals are made. You can still use synthetic oil, but you should choose the right type to ensure that it doesn't wear down the seals in your vehicle's engine. Not all synthetic oils contain ester compounds. Without ester compounds, they shouldn't promote seal wearing.

Looking to select the oil that's right for your engine? Check out our selection of motor oil.