Synthetic Oil—Is It Worth It?


If you’re buying parts and supplies for your next oil change or scheduling your next maintenance service, you might be debating whether to choose conventional oil or synthetic oil. But what exactly is synthetic oil and do you need it? Is it worth switching to synthetic oil?

The Difference between Conventional and Synthetic Oil

Conventional oil, also called mineral oil, is refined from underground petroleum deposits, the fermented remains of bacterial mats laid down eons ago. (It doesn’t actually come from dinosaurs. Sorry, kids.) Conventional oil is basically boiled out from its crude oil base and separated according to viscosity—generally speaking, by the length of its hydrocarbon chains.

On the other hand, synthetic oil is made from other chemical bases, such as methane and carbon dioxide. Synthetic oil is fine-tuned and more uniform, chemically speaking, than conventional oil. Synthetic oil isn’t all that new of a product, having first been developed in the mid-1930s.

Synthetic Oil Pros and Cons

Because of the way it is processed, synthetic oil has certain advantages over conventional oil.

Still, there are some disadvantages, especially if you’re switching to synthetic from conventional.

Synthetic Oil Myths

Only new cars need synthetic oil – No matter what you drive, synthetic can deliver better engine performance, fuel economy, and longevity.

You can’t switch back to conventional – While synthetic is better for your engine, if as the viscosity is the same, you can switch back and forth without a problem. Some oil weights simply aren’t available in conventional format, though, like this ENEOS 0W-16 motor oil.

As you can see, synthetic oil isn’t much of a mystery, and its long history proves it is a highly reliable, quality replacement for conventional oil in all kinds of engines, big or small. Considering the benefits it offers, switching to synthetic oil is a no-brainer.

Check out the oil change services available at any of our 600 NAPA AUTOPRO locations for your car routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on synthetic oil, chat with an expert at your local NAPA AUTOPRO service centre.

By Benjamin Jerew

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