What is Synthetic Oil, Which Oil is Better [2021 Guide]

There are a massive amount of debates about engine oil. “Which is the best, why it is the one, What’s the difference, how it is possible”. And with those debates comes confusion.

Thus, choosing the best oil for your beloved ride becomes difficult. Many folks struggle with selecting the most suitable oil for their cars. Sometimes the manual gets complicated too you know.

I also got into this trouble. I had my father helped me in knowing about these things. He has a Honda Every and he is always taking care of his ride. He taught me the most about oil and cars.

And to eradicate the problem for folks like you and me. I researched and finally, put this handy-dandy guide for my fellows.

The guide will help you know “what is synthetic oil? what is synthetic oil made of? Is synthetic better than conventional oil? What do the numbers mean? Also, tips about engine oil with videos. So, before you put oil in your ride and fire up the ignition. Fuel yourself with knowledge…

What is Synthetic Oil?

In simple words, man-made oil is termed synthetic oil. A lubricant that contains chemical compounds made by artificial techniques (synthesized).

There are 3 types of components in synthetic oil:

  • Base Oil
  • Powder Additives
  • Carrier Oil

Origin

The synthetic and conventional/traditional motor oils are made from the refining process. Many synthetics start’s their journey with highly refined crude oil. This crude oil is obtained from deep underground mining.

Thus, the source of all types of oil is the same. But, if the source is the same then how can we say that they are different? It’s quite simple…

The factor which differentiates the synthetic from other oils is the level of refinement. Based on the oil’s refinement we can divide it into different groups.

Division of Oil

As above I said that the level of oil refinement separates all the oils. These oils are placed into 5 groups.

  • Group I
  • Group II
  • Group III
  • Group IV
  • Group V

Group I to II are manufactured using petroleum base oils. They are known as conventional oils. Group III to V is called synthetic oils. Because of their superior qualities and the procedures, they have gone through.

Not only the performance of all grades of oils is increased by adding additives. The refinement processes and ingredients also give an edge to control molecular purity and size. Thus, reducing friction and engine sludge for efficient performance.

But, group rating alone is not enough to judge which oil is better from which. Each group has its own pros and cons that should also be kept in check. Overall the 5 groups can be generally classified into 2 classes. conventional oils and synthetic oils.

Types of Motor Oil

Also, I want you to know about a middle-man at play. Between the synthetic and conventional there is another type. And this one is the synthetic blend. So, now we have 3 types of motor oil.

  • Full Synthetic Oils
  • Semi-Synthetic or Synthetic Blend
  • Conventional Oils

Well, I am going to shed light on legitimate differences between them in the Battle of Oils. These battles will also enlighten you about “what these oils really are?”

Tip For Ya!

😇 There is a clear-cut difference between synthetic or other oils used in air compressors from the synthetic or other oils used in cars. Those are called “Air Compressor Oils” and these are referred to as “Motor Oils.”

Battle of Oils

battle-of-oils
Battle of Oils: Conventional Oil, Synthetic Oils & Full Synthetic Oils

Here in this battle, we’ll find the solution to different questions. We were able to determine how and why full synthetic oil is more preferred over others.

The Info You Need !

Also, check our most recommended guide on oil vs oil-free air compressors. That’ll give you a deep understanding of both lubricated air compressors as well as oil-free air compressors. What they are? and what they are not?

Synthetic Blend Vs Full Synthetic

In our first round, the full synthetic will go head to head with the synthetic blend.

Synthetic Blend

Synthetic blends are less refined. Produced by combining conventional oil with full synthetic oils. You do get the benefit of more refinement and additives with a superior quality synthetic blend.

But, impurities come along in lower degrees. Also, uneven molecular size from conventional oils remains in the blend at a minor level.

Surely they are low-priced than full synthetics. But they are more powerful than conventional oils.

Full Synthetic Oil

The full synthetic oils are extraordinarily refined. They are known as the purest type of synthetic oil. They are produced through complex chemical cycles i.e., chemical development from petrochemicals.

These cycles totally eliminate the impurities from the crude oil. Only even size molecules are left for the modern engine’s demand. The uniform molecular size grants potent protection and powerful performance to the engine.

Full synthetic oils are 3 to 4x more expensive than synthetic blends. But, with 3 to 4x more protection and performance. Here are a few examples of the best full synthetic oils:

  • Synthetic Oil 0w20
  • Synthetic Oil 5w20
  • Synthetic Oil 5w30

Synthetic Vs Conventional Oil

Next up the second round is between the synthetic and conventional oil.

Wear & Damage Protection

The engine oil act as a barrier between the engine parts. Because engine parts rub with each other and produce tremendous heat friction. This friction can damage your engine pretty quickly.

Synthetic oils maintain wear protective properties for a longer duration. Protects your engine parts from wear and damage caused by heat friction. Thus, it increases engine life.

But, conventional oils break down quickly. Their ability to halt the engine wear decreases accordingly. As a result, engine life will only decline as friction rises.

Engine Cleaner

Oil performs as your personal engine cleaner. It circulates through your engine and pickups the deposits.

Synthetic oil contains fewer impurities. Thus, it can greatly repel the deposit and sludge production.

On the flip side of the coin, conventional oils are not that refined. They can form sludge and deposits over time and can reduce your engine’s precious life.

Fast Flow in Low Temperature

When you are not riding your ride, the oil doesn’t flow and settles. But, when the ignition fires up, the oil is also fired up and starts flowing. The oil rushes towards the important engine parts and guards against the friction.

Especially in the winter months or if you live in colder regions. This process slows down to a greater extent. That’s why I always say that the cold temperature affects both you and your car.

Now in synthetic oils, this flow process is very quick even in winter. As you start your ride, the oils also start flowing. So, no damage-causing friction will happen as oil is flowing speedily and smoothly.

In the case of conventional oils, the oil takes more time until it’s ready for smooth flow. This gap in time allows friction to dig its claws and cause engine wear.

Burned in High Temperature

Whenever are you driving, the engine runs along and becomes hot. With the passage of time the high temperature evaporates or breakdown the oil. Thus, exposing the engine to wear out easily.

Especially, in hot climates or if you are native to hot regions. It can also happen when you are in situations like hauling and towing.

The synthetic oils become more resistant to hot temperatures. Because of their refinement procedures, the addition of additives, and process cycles.

But, the conventional oils are not the same. As soon as heat gets to them they start breaking down or evaporate at a quick pace. Exposing the engine to wear.

Turbochargers (Turbo)

Turbochargers known as Turbo are turbine-driven forced induction systems. They are used to boost the engine’s power efficiency.

Auto Manufacturers now are constructing smaller engines for maximized fuel performance. Plus, adding turbochargers to boost engine power.

These turbo-engines are way hotter than the normal ones. They burn internal fuels at immense speed.

According to one report of MobilOil, the temperature of the oil can go beyond 400° Fahrenheit. The turboshaft can speed up to 200,00 RPM which is twice the speed a normal engine can achieve.

The synthetic oils in this extremely stress-loaded environment can perform smoothly. They don’t burn that rapidly and don’t leave any deposits behind. Protect your car engine by boosting the overall engine power for peak performance.

On the dark side, the conventional oils burn at 2x speed, especially in turbo-engines. The burned-up oil leaves deposits on your engine parts. Which causes engine failure at an amazingly high rate.

Oil Change Intervals

The oil with the passage of time becomes thicker and blacker like black tar. Because of the impurities, it has absorbed. The more viscous it becomes the more sluggish it gets. Thus, the critical engine parts don’t receive the oil at the proper time and start falling apart.

For an average car, it requires about 6 months to change the oil. If you count in miles it would be 7,500 miles for an average car.

But, in the case of synthetic oil, you can only change the oil once a year. In terms of miles, it would range from 10 to 15,000 miles.

Synthetic oils have fewer impurities as compared to conventional oils. Their change interval is quite amazingly long. The additives in synthetic oils help cleaning the deposits effortlessly. Another thing I want to mention is that synthetic oil’s black thicker foam has more constant flow than the conventional.

As for conventional oils, they don’t have the added benefit of additives. They have the most thicker and viscous foam. Plus, the impurities like sludge and deposits are inside them. The very same oil that is the breathing source becomes the poison to your engine.

Behold The Other Benefits

  • Synthetic oils give better fuel and oil economy
  • Grants quick easier engine starts in chilly winter.
  • The synthetics enhance your car’s engine start time.
  • With synthetics, you can easily predict the oil quality.
  • All types of cars get perks from the additives in synthetic oils.
  • You can switch back and forth from synthetic to conventional oils without any harm.
  • Plus, superior gas mileage and save your engine from extra damage costs (engine damage due to old oil).

12 Tips About Engine Oil

tips-for-engine-oil

Why Use Synthetic Oil

Well, you should always prefer synthetic oils over others. Because it’s the best oil out there. Synthetics keep you away from the difficulty of regular oil checking and changes.

It withstands the heat, colder temperatures, sludges, deposits. It also has a better flow in cold temperatures and additives for performance.

Keep Oil’s Shelf Life In-Check

Oils usually last for 4 to 6 years on a shelf. Because with the passage of time, unused oils lose their profound abilities.

Well, if you opened your well-preserved bottle after a few years (3 years). And then see oddly hazy stuff with a disturbing layer in your bottle, get rid of the oil

The same oil that is your engine saver becomes the backstabber of your car engine. So, be careful.

Know the Oil Numbers

You always see different sets of numbers of the oil bottle. Simple oils have only one number. But, with motor oil, there are always sets of numbers.

These numbers determine viscosity. Higher the number higher the viscosity. Simple or basic oils have one number. Thus, they have higher viscosity when cold and are the thinnest when the temperature is hot. Such as SAE 40.

In the case of higher motor oils, as I told you a while back, they have dual numbers. Such as 10W-40, 10W-30, etc.

  • 10 – Viscosity in Cold Temperature
  • W – Refers to Winter
  • 40 – Viscosity in Hot Temperature

The smaller number “10” tells you how the oil will behave when the temperature is cold. So, you always want a lower number here.

While the bigger number “40” depicts how the oil works when the temperature is hot. You always want this number to be higher than the cold one.

Lighter is Better

As I already told you about the numbers. It’s crucial that you always use oils with lighter numbers. Lighter the number lower the viscosity. Thus, it’ll flow more efficiently. Grants quick easier ignition and better engine protection from the cold.

Such as 5W-40 are way better than the 10W-40 in winter case. So, don’t be a heavy lifter, or else your precious ride will suffer.

Oil Is Expensive

If synthetic oil is expensive then choose the synthetic blend. Or cycle between the full synthetic and conventional oil.

Synthetic blends are cheaper than synthetic oil (full synthetic oils). But powerful than conventional oil. (Check Battle of Oils > Synthetic Oil vs. Synthetic Blends).

Or you can follow the Synthetic Conventional Cycle. You can switch between the full synthetic and conventional oil at regular intervals. Remember, inter-changing between the oils doesn’t damage your ride. It’s just a simple myth with no basis running here and there.

Avoid Over Filling

Don’t over fillup your car’s oil box (crankshaft) to the brim. The air bubbles will make their way into the oil. The oil pump will not perform effectively while circulating bubbles and oil at the same time.

Oil Pan Plug Cleanup

If you change your car oil yourself, then clean the pan plug every time. Because many of these plugs are magnetic and can attract metal grains to them.

Add Oil Temperature Gauge

Add an oil temperature gauge to your ride. If there is then no worries and if isn’t then install. These specific gauges tell you about the situation of your engine oil. Either it’s cold, hot, or in optimal condition. Thus, they warn you about critical conditions before your engine gets the… hit.

Take Accurate Readings of Oil Level

Another thing I would recommend is to check the oil for the accurate level of readings. So, you add the right amount of oil according to your owner’s manual.

Drive for 10 to 20 minutes to warm the oil. Then park the car at a plain equal ground. Now, turn off the engine for 10 to 20 minutes to allow the oil to settle and drain back to the pan.

Now, pull out the dipstick, clean it, and reinsert it. Make sure you insert all the way through. Now, get the dipstick out again, and note the readings. For the last part, add the right amount and type of oil according to your owner’s manual.

Save The Record

Always save a record about mileage, oil change dates, types of oil you used, next oil you’re going to use.

Owner’s Manual

Whenever an oil-related problem occurs or you going to change the oil. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for viscosity grade and oil specifications.

Seek Professional Help

Finally, take professional help if the problem is beyond you. Connect to your mechanic, oil change service, or auto spare parts outlet. They’ll guide you better about the owner’s manual as well as your ride’s problem.

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