Any mechanic will tell you that the difference between synthetic oils and conventional ones is like day and night. Although both categories of oils are extracted from the same raw material – crude oil – synthetic oils are usually better refined and have a much different molecular structure.
Unlike conventional oils, synthetic oils consist of molecules that are about the same size and have the same mass, making them smoother. The consistency of the molecular structure of synthetic oils also means that they produce less heat. In this article, we’re going to examine some of the pros and cons of synthetic oils so you can see which option is the best for you.
Pros of Synthetic Oils
They are smoother: Typically, the purpose of oils is to keep the movable parts of your engine lubricated. This reduces the rate of tear and wear in these parts. Since synthetic oils have very little impurities as compared to conventional oils; they are smoother and therefore more effective as lubricants. It is also a fact that synthetic oils retain their lubrication properties for a longer period of time, which means that your engine will be protected for longer.
Synthetic oils keep engines cleaner: There is nothing as frustrating as a dirty engine. In addition to the risk of issues developing, dirty engines emit more carbon emissions and can be very unfriendly to the environment. You will definitely spend more time and money at the mechanic with a dirty engine. Motor experts agree that the type of oil you use can determine how clean your engine is. Conventional oils are prone to getting contaminated with deposits, which in return can form sludge in the engine. Using synthetic oils results in a cleaner engine since many of them have sludge resistance properties. Moreover, synthetic oils have fewer impurities from the get go and therefore are generally cleaner and safer for your engine.
Not affected by weather conditions: When your car is exposed to extreme weather, may it be very high or low temperatures, the effectiveness of conventional oils is greatly compromised. In cold weather, conventional oils condense and take time to flow to engine parts where they’re needed. In the same vein, when exposed to very high temperatures, conventional oils tend to evaporate leaving your engine exposed to friction. Synthetic motor oil retains its properties under any weather conditions and is perfect for people who have to deal with extreme climates.
Cons of Synthetic Oils
Synthetic oils are more expensive: Due to the prolonged manufacturing and refining process, synthetic oils tend to be more expensive. However, the price of conducting an oil change using synthetic oil is not that much more than with conventional oil. The cost will eventually even itself out when you consider the lesser cost of maintenance.
Synthetic oils are not recommended for racing cars: This might seem counter intuitive, but in some engines some friction can be good. For instance, race cars have engines that have roller lifters. These rollers are designed to turn against each other and some friction is necessary here. Synthetic oils tend to make these rollers to actually slide against each other instead of turning. In general, synthetic oils should not be used for rotary engines.