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Conventional VS. Synthetic

The easiest way to explain one of the biggest differences between the oil types is with an extreme example. In the photo on the left we have both new and used conventional and synthetic oil. All 4 samples were chilled to negative -35°F and then poured out over an engine block made of the same materials found commonly in automobile engines. The results speak for themselves. The conventional oil just doesn’t compare in colder temperatures. There are also many other benefits, check out the clickable sections below to learn more.

Synthetic Oil is usually better in every way. Today many vehicle manufacturer’s requires it, this is because they design their engines specifically around the superior protection and performance properties of synthetic oils. At high temperatures synthetic oil doesn’t break down or oxidize like conventional. At cold temperatures synthetic runs smoother and flows. 

  • Better Protection and Performance
  • Better Temperature Resistance
  • Longer lifespan = Fewer oil Changes
You should have no problem switching back and forth. Adding a quart of mineral oil to a crankcase full of synthetic will be fine. Read the fine print — a lot of the “synthetics” on the market are blends containing a substantial proportion of mineral oil.
Early synthetics got a bad reputation for leaking. This was because, despite the claims of the oil manufacturers, the seal-swell characteristics of the new synthetics were different from those of the mineral oils they replaced. If the seal-swell rate was lower, the seals shrank and oil leaked from crankshaft seals and rocker cover seals. If the rate was higher, the seals swelled a little extra and the engine was tight. Then if the owner changed back to mineral oil, or added a quart when no synthetic was to be had, things got really bad. The crank seals had become worn, in their turgid state, and then relaxed. The valve cover seals were compressed when swelled, and when the different oil was added, everything leaked like, well, an old English sports car.
While conventional and synthetic oils can be blended. We recommend sticking to one or the other, or using a pre-blended oil provided by one of the many oil manufacturers available in stores.
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Rule of thumb

The best oil for your vehicle is usually the one recommended by the manufacturer. If you'd like our recommendation, feel free to ask.
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