Oil: Synthetic vs. Regular

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Oil is a hotly debated topic in today’s world since now more than ever people are becoming more environmentally conscious. While this is a good turn around, one of the biggest debates is synthetic versus regular oil. What is the downsides or benefits of each of these oils? People often assume ‘oil is oil’, but there are a few key differences between the two people should be aware of from the start.

Synthetic

The first thing people need to know about synthetic oil is that it comes from the ground like regular oil. Unlike regular oil, the synthetic version is refined, distilled, purified, and finally broken down into basic molecules. This process removes the impurities found in crude oil. This also means the individual molecules of the oil can be tailored to fit the unique demands of the more modern engines. These molecules have been customized to provide a higher level of performance and protection compared to regular oil.

How the oil is made into a synthetic base is only half of the equation though. There are additives that go into the oil mix to create the synthetic oil base people have come to use. Synthetics usually outperform regular oil for providing more protection for a car engine. Synthetic oils do come in different formulas, so there is always a risk when purchasing a synthetic oil brand that may have a bad formula. The price of synthetic oil can also vary, in some cases costing up to twice as much as regular oil.

Regular

Regular oil is often given a back seat since in most cases it’s cheaper than synthetic, but may not help a car perform better. Regular oil is taken from the ground and is refined to make it useable for cars. The downside is regular oil is often seen in a bad light since it is derived from petroleum. This oil is harmful to the environment, but so is synthetic. Regular oil also has a short shelf life compared to how long synthetic oil can last too.

The upside is regular oil is that it can be recycled. Large portions of regular oil that has been used can still be recycled and used again. The process is extensive, but it’s still an option. Regular oil may also put a bit more strain on the engine, but this varies from vehicle to vehicle.

There has been debate about how often your oil should be changed, but the rule of thumb still stands. Change your oil every 3,000 miles or three months depending on which one has come first. The type of oil used for the car does not matter. Synthetic oil is the better option for more modern cars, but regular oil may be recommended for older vehicles.

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