You have seen the commercials showing the engine oil breaking down and the dramatic claims made about how much better synthetic oil is for your car's engine. But are these claims really true or are we nothing more than a marketer's dream if we switch to synthetic oil from conventional motor oil?
Synthetic motor oil is made of two parts, base stock and performance additives. The base stock is created, rather than naturally occurring, making it purer than conventional motor oil. Synthetic oil withstands temperature changes much better and takes longer to break down which then leads to wear and tear on your car engine. Living in Northern Virginia this is important on those cold mornings when the car first starts up.
Performance additives are included in both synthetic and conventional motor oils but those found in synthetic oils are engineered to deter engine sludge and mineral deposits that occur in all oil types. Again, in this situation temperature is important since synthetic oil provides extra protection in extreme weather conditions.
The benefits synthetic motor oil provides include longer periods of time between oil changes, better protection in extreme driving conditions ( defined as several starts-and-stops in one trip, like driving in rush hour traffic ) and added protection for your engine, which may extend its life.
The one big disadvantage of using synthetic motor oil is the price concern. Synthetic oil is considerably more expensive, making oil changes more expensive. However, the price difference may be offset at least slightly by the extended period between oil changes meaning you will spend more on an oil change but do so less often. Typically, synthetic motor oil lasts between 7,000 ( 10,000 miles whereas conventional motor oil should be changed every 3,000 ) 5,000 miles.
Wiygul Automotive Clinic has been serving the Fairfax Station, Clifton, Fairfax City and Springfield areas since 1996. Burke offers a variety of services including routine maintenance such as oil changes and brake repairs as well as tire care and installation.