Synthetic vs Conventional Oil

Do you need synthetic or conventional oil for your car? While this may be a common question your mechanic asks before your oil change, you may not know the difference between the two.

It’s important to choose the oil that’s appropriate for your vehicle’s engine, however. Find out the difference between synthetic vs. conventional oil with this helpful article from Volkswagen SouthTowne.

Synthetic Oil vs Conventional Oil

Mechanic OilSynthetic oil is an oil that’s manufactured from different chemical compounds. Most synthetic oils use a conventional oil as the base to build upon, but that’s not always the case.

Conventional oil is crude oil that’s harvested from the earth and refined to make it suitable for your engine.

Check your owner’s manual to determine which oil is indicated for your specific engine, since certain vehicles require synthetic oil to run properly.

Why Choose Synthetic Oil?

Synthetic oil is the more expensive of the two, but it does come with several benefits. Synthetic oil is designed to last for 7,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes, whereas conventional oil needs to be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. This reduces your overall maintenance costs, which offsets the additional expense of synthetic oil.

Synthetic oil is also designed to maintain its protective abilities in extremely hot or cold temperatures, which is better for protecting your engine. Your engine is hot to begin with, but extreme external temperatures can break down your oil faster and lead to damage in your engine. On the other side of the spectrum, extreme cold temperatures can cause your oil to move slowly, but synthetic oil is designed to flow in extreme temperatures, so it can start protecting your engine sooner than conventional oil.

Why Choose Conventional Oil?

Mechanic oil changeConventional oil is the cheaper option between the two, which makes it appealing for many people. If you keep up with your vehicle’s oil changes, conventional oil is a fine choice, but it’s important to check your manual to ensure that your engine doesn’t require synthetic oil.

Frequent oil changes aren’t a bad thing either, since that gives your mechanic a chance to inspect your vehicle and alert you to any minor problems before they become severe.

Synthetic oil is designed for better performance, but most normal drivers won’t notice a significant difference in performance with synthetic vs. conventional oil.

How Often Should You Change Your Oil?

We mentioned that there’s a difference in the length of time between oil changes with synthetic vs. conventional oil, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to put your oil changes off. Ignoring your oil change can cause severe damage to your engine, so it’s important to follow your manufacturer-recommended oil change schedule for your particular vehicle, and adjust it based on your driving conditions.

Schedule Your Oil Change at Volkswagen SouthTowne

We hope this article helped you learn the differences between synthetic vs. conventional oil, but if you still can’t decide which is right for your vehicle, give our service experts a call today!

If you’re in West Valley, Murray City, or Orem and have questions about synthetic or conventional oil, contact Volkswagen SouthTowne. Our service technicians would be happy to help you learn more about which is best for your car, so call or visit us today!