Auto Maintenance: Synthetic Oil vs. Regular


This is part of a sponsored series of posts. 

A few years ago, I was doing quite a bit of commuting back and forth to work. It was hard on my vehicle and with the recommended oil changes every 3,000 miles, I was spending a lot of time and money on oil changes. When I brought my vehicle in for the millionth time, the mechanic suggested switching to synthetic oil. So what’s the difference? Let’s take a look.

Synthetic Oil

Reasons why people use synthetic oil? It’s easy. Our friends at the Maryland Porsche dealer also told us that synthetic oil lasts longer (up to 6,000-7,500 miles instead of the regular 3,000) and can withstand higher temperatures and with that, there is less wear on the engine. Typically, synthetic oil is considered better for your vehicle when it comes to efficiency and performance.

On the flip side, you’ll find that synthetic oil changes are going to cost you more. While my conventional oil changes were around $20 at the shop, I’d find that my synthetic oil changes were anywhere from $50-60. Also, a vehicle can switch to synthetic oil easily, but it’s hard to go back if you ever change your mind.

Conventional Oil

Of course there is a reason why many vehicles still run on conventional motor oil. It’s less expensive, and is an easy swap for any mechanic. It’s been the go-to for decades and there is confidence in that for car owners. Just ensure that you are getting your vehicle serviced regularly to keep the engine healthy.

Which is better?

Although it’s hard to say one is better than the other, it’s been shown that vehicles that run on synthetic oil tend to have longer lives. The engines tend to be cleaner, and synthetic has been known to be especially good for older vehicles, vehicles that do a lot of city driving, and vehicles that do a lot of towing.

When it comes down to determining which motor oil is better for your vehicle, it’s best to do your research and decide. But for me, synthetic has been wonderful!

photo credit: ** RCB ** dipstick (365-233) via photopin (license)

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