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What makes synthetic oil different from conventional oil? There are two components that determine how well motor oil will perform in your car. One factor is the base oil and the second is the combination of chemicals (additives) that are added to the base oil.
Mineral or conventional oils are byproducts of refined crude oil. Refining helps reduce the impurities in the oil, but its end product has molecules that vary in size. This inconsistency in size can result in restricted flow when working its way through the engine. Synthetic oil molecules are manufactured and are all the same size and shape. This creates less friction in the engine and allows the oil to move throughout the engine smoothly resulting in better performance.
Additives added to the base oil are what give the oil the characteristics needed to do its job. Although additives are typically only 15 to 25 percent of the makeup of motor oil, they can impact a lubricantís performance much more than the base oil. For example, mineral-based motor oil with a very good additive package can easily outperform synthetic motor oil with a mediocre additive package. There is no easy way for a consumer to determine the quality of motor oilís additive package. Price is often an indicator of quality since the more advanced additive technologies cost more to produce. Performance is the ultimate measure of additive package quality.
There have also been advancements in additive technologies that allow synthetic oil manufacturers to offer consumers a product that will allow them to go more miles between oil changes. By going 10,000-12,000 miles instead of three, depending on your driving habits, you could be changing your oil once a year instead of four times. This benefit of using synthetic saves the owner time and money, and reduces the impact on the environment with less oil waste that has to be disposed of.
Did You Know
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