Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil: What's the Difference?
Have you heard one of our service professionals discussing the benefits of synthetic oil versus conventional oil? We have encountered quite a few questions on the topic, so we want to make sure you are making as informed a decision as possible.
While both conventional and synthetic oils begin as crude oil, that's where the similarities end. Synthetic oil is refined, distilled, purified, and broken down into its basic molecules. This removes impurities from the crude and allows it to be tailored in a laboratory setting so that it can meet the demands of modern engines. That's not to say that conventional oils can't do the job, they just work a little differently.
Synthetic oil uses its chemical makeup to keep your engine cleaner. The crude oil has been refined to keep deposits from building up and reducing your engine's efficiency and overall life cycle. As oil travels through your engine, it comes in contact with and forms a protective barrier between the difference components that make up the engine. Conventional oils tend to breakdown a little faster than synthetics because they have not been altered as much from their natural state. Synthetics retain their wear protection properties for a longer period of time, which helps to increase engine life.
Conventional oil, on the other hand, is less expensive than synthetics. This is because it is purified from the petroleum it is derived from, but the overall chemical makeup is not altered like synthetics are. The overall cost effectiveness is also affected by how long you go between oil changes. If you follow the old standard of getting an oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first, then it would be more cost effective to use conventional oil.
This is especially true of older engines may not have been engineered to use synthetic oil. If you have questions about which oil is best for your vehicle, our service technicians are happy to help. Our goal at Penske Buick GMC is to make sure that our customers are happy and that their vehicles achieve their optimal performance levels.