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What Is The Difference Between Synthetic And Conventional Oil?

Occasionally a customer of ABC Auto Care will ask us if they would be better off driving around the Ventura area with synthetic motor oil instead of conventional motor oil inside their vehicle. Our automotive repair technicians will them that aside from serving its primary purpose of lubricating and protecting the moving parts inside a vehicle's engine, motor oil is also intended to assist in ensuring the engine is cooled and operating cleanly. In the most ideal Ventura driving conditions, moving at a constant highway speed, vehicle manufacturer recommended conventional oils work fine. Unfortunately for many driving the roads around the Ventura area, such ideal driving conditions are seldom the situation. When driving around the streets of greater Ventura in stop and go traffic, extreme hot and cold temperatures, short excursions, and when hauling or towing heavy loads, the health of a vehicle can benefit from the extra protection provided by synthetic automotive motor oil.

The difference between synthetic and conventional motor oil is that while conventional motor oil is derived from crude oil removed from the earth and processed in a refinery, motor oils that are synthetic originate from "synthesized" materials which results in delivering more performance benefits, including:

  • A reduction in deposits in the engine that are "by-products" of an engine's combustion process
  • Increased thickness (viscosity) at extremely high temperatures
  • Easier engine starting in very cold temperatures due to better ease of flow than conventional oil
  • Less tendency to break down at extreme temperatures, commonly referred to as "volatility"
  • Significantly better protection from engine wear

ABC Auto Care tells all of our customers in the Ventura area that they should think that there should be any difference in time between oil changes when using a synthetic motor oil over a conventional one. While it is proven that synthetic oil provides better protection for a vehicle, having an oil change done according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendation is still the best option for protecting the overall performance and life of a vehicle.