Synthetic Oil vs Regular Oil

Synthetic Oil vs Regular Oil

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Synthetic Oil vs Regular Oil

Table of Contents:

Why should you use oil in your vehicle

Before we analyze in detail synthetic oil vs regular oil, first let us understand why we use oil in our vehicles. If you have had a chance to visit a typical garage setup or for that matter if you own a car of your own, you would have used the some kind of oil for your car’s engine. The reason behind this is, when the car’s engine is in continuous motion it liberates a lot heat due to friction, which is unhealthy for the engine but still unavoidable.

So as a remedy for this problem if we use oil it will lubricate the engine thus lowering friction. This will avoid the heating up of engine very quickly, thereby aiding in the smooth functioning of the engine. Also if this lubrication is not done the fuel efficiency of the vehicle will be very low. Let us now compare synthetic oil vs regular oil.

Regular oil benefits

For a long time now, consumers are aware of this technique to increase the productivity of engines by using the conventional oil (also termed as mineral oil) or the regular oil as we will refer it from now on in this article. The regular oil is a byproduct of crude oil or natural oil during a process known as frictional distillation. Some of the key properties of the regular oil are that, it is made of non-uniform sized molecules, and hence helps in smoothing the rough surfaces of a brand new engine quickly and effectively. The most important benefit of this regular oil is that it is omnipresent and easily available. Everyone knows about it and it is also cheaper of the two varieties which are under discussion.

Synthetic oil vs regular oil

The major drawback of this Regular Oil is that it adds considerably to the environmental pollution factor. While using Regular Oil a considerable amount of toxic gases are released & this adds to the already prevalent Air pollution. To overcome the above said problem of environmental pollution, researchers have invented man-made oil. This is in contrast to the other forms of nature which we use in our day to day life. Fruits and vegetables which are naturally grown are considered to be very healthy when compared to the soft drinks and pizzas. Silk got from silk worm naturally is costlier than the polyester or polythene clothing which is manmade.

Synthetic oil benefits

When it comes to engine oil the man-made oil is better, because it reduces environmental pollution and ensures the long life of the engine than the regular oils. Also unlike the silk and polythene analogy synthetic oil is almost 3 times costlier than regular oil. A very good lubricant should be formed of uniform molecular size and structure. The synthetic oil which is chemically prepared in the laboratory has this quality unlike the regular oil.

The other plus points of synthetic oils are that it can withhold both very high temperature and very low temperature where the regular oils fail to function efficiently. At very high temperature as high as 400F the regular oil with combine with oxygen molecules in the air and vaporize into toxic gases like CO (carbon monoxide) thereby contaminating the air around us. Also at very low temperature ranges as low as -65F the regular oils will freeze and form sludge and thus become useless, whereas the synthetic oils can flow at these temperature ranges also.

The next one is that you don’t have to change your oil very frequently because of the higher viscosity breakdown in synthesized oils. The man-made oil does not have any of these problems because man-made oils are engineered in two steps. The first step is manufacturing the base stock. This decides the molecule structure, chemical composition, physical properties etc and in this step it is taken care of for the synthetic oil to withhold very high and very low temperature.

Synthetic oils are made from alkylated aromatics, synthetic esters and polyalphaolefin (PAO).The second step is adding performance additives in order to handle various temperatures and reduce pollution. This is performed on both types of oils, but as the synthetic oils are fully engineered they show better results when compared to their counterparts.

Why you should not forget about regular oil completely

From the above discussion it is very clear that synthetic oils have a greater edge over regular oils. Then why not completely move over to man-made oils? The reason is regular oil also has its benefit. On a new engine the design is not 100% neat and smooth. There are lots of irregularities. When using regular oils, it helps in smoothing the surface quickly because of the non-uniform molecular size when compared to synthetic oils. The other important thing is that if your engine is a very old model one, it might not work very well with Synthetic oils. So you will happy using conventional mineral oil there.

The final conclusion of our comparison of synthetic oil vs regular oil

Synthetic oils could be used on an engine at any stage, either in the beginning or after driving several miles. It is a tradeoff between longevity of engine life, pollution free environment Vs cost of the oil and for how many years you are going to have the vehicle of yours. Synthetic oils give greater mileage when compared to regular oils.

If you are person who loves your vehicle and will keep it for a life time, then you are better off using synthetic oils to gain an extra mile. If you are a person who is going to change your vehicle every other year than you are better off using regular oils even if you lose on a mile. You can alternate between these two types as most of the modern day engines are capable of adapting themselves very quickly and dynamically.

Another recommendation for a cheap cost solution is oil blending, which ideally means you are going to mix some proportion of conventional oil with some proportion of synthetic oil. For this blending to be successful we have to make sure that the two oils which we mix are compatible with each other. So to avoid confusion mix the same brand of conventional oil and synthetic oil in the proportions specified or as an alternative buy blended oil. Although you can switch between various brands of oils and between synthetic and conventional or blended oils, it is always a good idea to stick to one.

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Another comparison can be found here:
http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/synthetic_vs_conventional_oil/index.html

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Further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_oil

Synthetic Oil vs Regular Oil


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