Synthetic motor oil is an artificially-made (or synthesized) oil that is used as an alternative to conventional oil. It’s used as a substitute for common lubricants refined from petroleum and generally provides superior mechanical and chemical properties as opposed to traditional mineral oils. Many 4×4 and car enthusiasts recommend the use of synthetic oils, as they have a wide range of benefits.
Types of Synthetic Oil
There are two types of synthetic lubricants available for your vehicle. Synthetics made from a base stock, and semi-synthetic oils. Base-stock synthetics are completely synthesized and they are created from one of three types of lubricants: polyalphaolefin, synthetic esters or hydrocracked/hydroisomerized bases. Pure synthetic oils are generally more pricey, but have a wide variety of advantages for performance vehicles. Semi-synthetic oils, or more commonly known as synthetic blends, comprise of a mixture between conventional oil and synthetic oil. Synthetic-blends are a more affordable alternative and give you some of the benefits of pure synthetic oil without breaking the bank. To determine which oil is best for your vehicle, talk to your trusted 4×4 mechanic or auto service center.
Why Synthetic Oil?
As we mentioned earlier, synthetic oil has many advantages, especially if your vehicle is driven hard or is a performance vehicle.
Synthetic Oil Advantages:
- More efficient low and high temperature viscosity performance
- Effective chemical & shear stability
- Decreased evaporative loss
- Increased resistance to oxidation, thermal breakdown and oil sludge
- Environmental benefit of less oil waste
- Improved fuel economy
- Better lubrication on cold starts
- Longer engine life
Synthetic Oil Disadvantages:
The disadvantages of synthetic motor oils include:
- Potential decomposition problems in certain chemical environments
- Synthetics do not hold lead in suspension as well as mineral oil, thus caution is advised when the engine is run on leaded fuel.
- Synthetic oils are not recommended in rotary engines.
- Higher cost