Performance is a highly coveted feature in every car owner’s handbook. It is important that you get the most performance characteristics from your car’s engine. To get the best performance, you need to take care of your engine using only the best synthetic oils you can get.
Table of Contents
- What is Synthetic Oil?
- Benefits of Synthetic Oils
- Synthetic versus Conventional Oils
- Best Synthetic Oils Reviews and Comparison
- What to look for when choosing a synthetic oil
- Alternatives to Synthetic Oils
- How Long Does Synthetic Oil Last?
- Is Synthetic Oil Worth the Extra Cost?
What is Synthetic Oil?
Synthetic oil is a lubricant consisting of artificially made chemical compounds. They can be synthesized from different raw materials rather than whole crude oil. High-performance oils are manufactured using chemically modified petroleum components.
Due to their chemically modified nature, synthetic oils provide better performance compared to conventional oils.
Switching to synthetic oils can have several advantages; they include:
- Better low and high-temperature viscosity performance at service temperature extremes.
- Synthetic oils are quite environmental friendly as they generate less used oil waste.
- A higher viscosity index which means its viscosity is not affected so much by temperature changes.
- Better chemical and shear stability.
- Less chance of loss due to evaporation.
- Better protection against deposit formation in engine hotspots.
- Less initial drag in engine providing increased horsepower and torque.
- Longer engine life.
- Increased resistance to oxidation, thermal breakdown, and other oil sludge problems.
- Better lubrication especially during cold weather starts.
- Improved fuel efficiency, making synthetic oils quite economically efficient.
Synthetic versus Conventional Oils
Good synthetic oils use a combination of up to three synthetic base fluids, including synthetic esters, polyalphaolefin, and alkylated aromatics which grant them various similarities in regards to their nature and molecular size consistency. Conventional oils, on the other hand, contain molecules with varying sizes. As such, the non-uniformity of molecules means that they create more friction as they collide, and more friction means more heat produced.
What’s important to note is that the manufacturers of synthetics can design their own molecules to come up with oil with predetermined performance properties. They also mix in additives with different functions in varying amounts, tweaked so as to make a synthetic oil suited for certain environmental conditions.
This increased control over chemistry makes synthetic oils have an added advantage over conventional oils. Their controlled viscosity makes them flow better at all temperatures hence making engine starts much easier while offering superior protection.
Copyright: AAA (the American Automobile Association, Inc.)
Synthetics provide for smoother, cooler engine operation, which means that there is more horsepower generated and better gas mileage. However, in cases where there are preexisting leaks, this increased sleekness may only result in blow-by and burn-off. Also, in newer engines, the synthetic lubricants can prevent proper break-in of motor components.
While synthetic oils have a superior hand compared to conventional oils, it is no doubt that they are more expensive to obtain. Nonetheless, this added cost is easily offset by the longer intervals between oil changes. Another way in which manufacturers counter the increased cost is by providing part-synthetic oil, which, as the name suggests, is a combination of conventional and synthetic oils. This imparts some of the benefits of synthetics into conventional oils. Your vehicle, however, will not reap the full benefits of fully synthetic oils.
A detailed guide can be found here.
This synthetic oil has to be the best yet. It prides itself on offering better quality than any of its competitors. What’s more, Pennzoil users are more than happy to attest to the oil’s ability to withstand extreme weather conditions and last longer compared to other oils they may have used.
You may not realize it, but Pennzoil protects your engines from power losses while at the same time highly minimizing wear and tear on the heart of your car. This is very useful as it means that your engine maintains the high-quality standards it had from the time it was new.
2. Mobil 1 Extended Performance
With today’s extended oil change intervals, it is essential that you get an oil that can last longer before you need to change it. This is what Mobil 1 Extended boasts of having. You can keep your engine running like a new one while at the same time offering unlimited protection for a clean 15,000 miles.
The advanced full synthetic formula has exceptional stability under extreme conditions that make it overshadow most of its competitors in the same price range. The best part is, this fully synthetic oil is compatible with most types of engines and automobiles which makes it suitable for many users around the world.
3. Castrol EDGE
If your engine experiences higher pressures and is required to work harder than conventional engines, then this synthetic oil is perfect for you. Castrol Edge boasts of being three times stronger against viscous decay compared to other oils. It uses a unique titanium technology that completely changes the behavior of the oil in extreme pressures. This, in turn, reduces friction and improves engine performance further.
Mag 1 is dexos approved and has been formulated with FMX friction modifiers to reduce engine wear by as much as 56 percent compared to standard motor oils. It provides the leading OEM viscosity grade for fuel economy along with an excellent resistance to cold start wear. Another great thing about Mag 1 is that it doesn’t require to be changed so frequently.
5. Royal Purple
Specially built for most passenger cars and light trucks, Royal Purple Synthetic Oil offers improved protection and performance to your engine. This is the only fully synthetic oil that is highly compatible with ethanol-containing fuels because of its patented additive technology. Quite a useful trait, don’t you think?
What to look for when choosing a synthetic oil
Before you rush out looking for one of the above mentioned synthetic oils, there is something you should know. Just because an oil is ranked among the top motor oils does not mean that it is the best choice for you. There are things you should consider before making that purchase that will affect your entire driving experience. They include:
- Price of the oil
- Compatibility with your engine
- Additives in the oil and the properties they add
- Your personal needs depending on the conditions your car goes through
- Your car’s age and the amount of wear on its engine
- The environment you primarily live in. This includes the temperature conditions and the humidity of the place.
Alternatives to Synthetic Oils
If you want a suitable alternative to full synthetic oils, a good place to start would be to go for the synthetic blends. As you might not get the full benefits of fully synthetic oils, they will grant your engine some of the benefits at a much cheaper price.
Some of the leading manufacturers of motor oils provide alternative synthetic blends to their products. Also you may look for high mileage oils if you have an aged car.
How Long Does Synthetic Oil Last?
Some pundits claim that synthetic oils can last up to 10,000 miles before being changed. Some synthetics can go for much longer or even shorter periods than that. What is certain is that synthetic oils can go for much longer between change intervals compared to conventional oils. Some mechanics, however, insist that you should change your oil at regular intervals of 5,000 miles regardless of them being synthetic.
Oil shelf life is a different story. Some manufacturers claim that provided their products are stored under optimum conditions, an unopened bottle should last for an unlimited time whereas others give their products a maximum of five months on the shelf.
Is Synthetic Oil Worth the Extra Cost?
Deciding to go for synthetic oils is an expensive venture. However, you will not regret it. Synthetics protect your engine and parts much better than conventional oils and will, therefore, reduce the number of trips to the mechanic.
They also offer better gas mileage and have been proven to quite a fuel efficient in their functioning. This provides for better spending on the road than you would with conventional oils.
Once you choose synthetic oils you will not regret spending the extra cash to attain the extra miles of comfort and undoubtedly better engine performance and protection.
High-performance synthetic oils are undoubtedly the best products the industry has to offer. The additives infused in their formulation make them reach properties that conventional oils can only dream of. If you are looking to buy a new car, or already own one, the oil you choose for it will largely determine the degree of performance that your car will offer. Be smart when you choose a synthetic oil for your car.