Getting an oil change periodically is one of the non-negotiable auto repair costs that comes with owning any vehicle. But how much thought are you putting into the oil itself? Your two main options when it comes to oil change services are conventional motor oil or a synthetic oil change. But which is better? There are a few factors to consider:
The major advantage of conventional motor oil is that it is the more affordable choice, often costing half what synthetic oil does. However, your car may also require more frequent oil changes if you’re using regular oil, so the price difference may even out over time (synthetic oil can last two or even three times as long). If you’re looking for oil change deals, you should consider whether the special pricing affects the oil, the labor or both in order to determine how to get the most out of a limited-time special.
Also keep in mind that some newer cars require synthetic oil. Using the wrong kind of oil can damage your engine and cost much more in the long run, so you should always follow manufacturer recommendations.
Synthetic oil can last longer than conventional oil, and handles higher temperatures without breaking down. Some studies show that synthetics can also lead to less overall resistance in the engine, which adds horsepower and ups efficiency. This means that your engine may require slightly less gas to perform at the same level.
Synthetic oil is also superior when it comes to keeping your engine clean. The advantages of synthetic oil become most apparent in less-than-ideal driving situations, so you might want to consider shelling out the extra cash for synthetic if you drive in extremely hot or cold weather, stop-and-go traffic, or short daily trips (as opposed to freeway driving).
This is a somewhat complicated factor that actually includes several variables, but in general synthetic oil is considered to be better for the environment than conventional oil. Part of this is simply because synthetic oil’s longer lifespan leads to less oil that needs to be treated and dumped. Regardless of which kind you choose, the most important thing you can do to protect the planet is dispose of your oil properly, according to local regulations.
What’s your verdict: Are you going to opt for a conventional or synthetic oil change next time your car is in the auto repair shop? Share in the comments.