Synthetic vs Conventional Oil
Inside your engine exists a complex system of moving metal parts. Motor oil lubricates these components while reducing the heat caused by friction. An important question is whether to use synthetic or conventional oil. Understanding their differences might not only end up saving you money but can extend the overall life of your vehicle.
At BMW of Annapolis, our team is dedicated to keeping your vehicle in its best condition to take on the roads of Annapolis, Highland Beach, and Hillsmere Shores. To help you make a more informed decision during your next oil change, continue reading our synthetic vs. conventional oil guide!
The Different Types of Oil
When crude oil is extracted from the ground, it first has to go through a long distillation process before it can be added to the engine. The main types of motor oil you’ll find on the shelf of your local auto supply store include: conventional, full-synthetic, synthetic blend, and high-mileage.
Conventional oil is the most common and generally is what car manufacturers use in their brand-new models. Full-synthetic starts out as conventional oil but then goes through an additional distillation process, removing hazardous particles and rearranging its chemical compound. You’ll often find full-synthetic in vehicle’s with performance engines or in vehicles that are regularly exposed to extreme temperatures.
Synthetic blend has many of the same benefits as full synthetic but is often cheaper and less effective. High mileage motor oil is specifically used for older vehicles with more than 75,000 miles.
The Benefits of Synthetic Oil
While conventional oil is safe to use in most vehicles, most experts agree that synthetic oil provides a number of major benefits over conventional, including:
- Better Engine Protection. Synthetic is engineered to break down more slowly, increasing time between oil changes and decreasing the risk of components prematurely wearing.
- Stronger Fuel Economy. Since your engine is operating under less of a burden, it uses less fuel than with conventional oil.
- Resistant to Extreme Heat or Chill. Cold or heat tend to slow down conventional oil, making it less effective. Synthetic oil better withstands extreme temperature changes to ensure a steady performance.
Synthetic can also better safeguard against engine build-up and sludge since it contains far fewer dirty particles than conventional oil.
The Benefits of Conventional Oil
While synthetic oil offers clear advantages in maintaining an engine’s performance standards, conventional oil is also useful in a number of key situations, including:
- New Models. When a brand-new car comes off the factory line, the first 10,000 miles or so requires what manufacturers call a “break-in” period. Conventional oil is often used during this period when the engine’s parts adjust and settle into place.
- High-Mileage Vehicles. If your vehicle’s odometer is well over 100K miles, synthetic oil might just be a waste. Instead, conventional or high-mileage oil is a far better option.
- Cost. Synthetic motor oil tends to be more expensive than purchasing conventional. So, if price is an important, you might want to consider this cost-saving measure.
Schedule Your Next Oil Change Today!
Now that you have a better understanding of the pros and cons to using synthetic vs. conventional oil, make sure to ask your technician about it the next time you’re in for routine maintenance.
If you’re a driver near Annapolis, Highland Beach, or Hillsmere Shores and in need of an oil and filter change, simply stop by BMW of Annapolis or go online to schedule an appointment today!