Synthetic Oil Change Service in Fresno: What’s a Synthetic Oil Change and Why Get Synthetic Oil Changes
The Facts About Motor Oil and Oil Changes
Regularly scheduled oil changes will protect the engine in your vehicle more effectively than any other action you can take. This is an often-repeated statement because it’s true.
In our Ultimate Oil Change Guide we discuss the overall basics of oil changes, but let’s dig deeper into the substance used for lubricating internal combustion engines. Are there real differences between synthetic oil and synthetic blends? Or is it all a marketing ploy to improve the bottom line of companies that manufacture oils? Is conventional oil ever a valid choice?
The Facts About Synthetic Oil
A French chemist and an American collaborator produced synthetic hydrocarbon oils in 1877. In America, the Standard Oil Company of Indiana tried to commercialize synthetic oil in 1929, but there was no demand for the product. Then, a usable synthetic version of motor oil came about as a result of historical events, specifically during WWII.
Conventional oil froze in the vehicles used by troops in WWII as they pushed into enemy territory, which wasn’t the best scenario for victory.
Then, during the energy crisis of the 1970s, there was another effort to offset the dwindling supply of crude oil used in conventional oil. In addition to the fact that synthetic oils work well in extreme temperatures, they last longer.
You may be interested in knowing that certain engines today—jet engines, for example—require synthetic oils due to the oil’s superior performance. There’s no room for less than 100% performance while you’re in the sky at 30,000 feet! And the trend continues with synthetic oil improving fuel efficiency in all vehicles, including yours.
So, the movement toward more synthetic oils is not simply a marketing ploy. These oils are more expensive, but they provide more than the basic lubrication of conventional oil and aren’t affected by the climate. The finite supply of crude oil used in conventional oils is also being protected. Discuss which oil is better for your vehicle with our mechanics when you come in for your oil change service.
The base oils used to create synthetics begin at a higher quality than conventional oil, meaning synthetics provide:
Synthetic Oil Provides Better Engine Protection
There is a lot going on in a car’s engine, with many parts moving at high speed. Those parts are also coming into contact with each other as they move. This means the parts will wear down over time. The oil in the engine is the protective layer of lubrication between all these parts. The selling point is that synthetic oils don’t break down and can protect your engine for much longer than conventional oil, sometimes up to 250,000 miles. Let our oil change mechanics set up a schedule for your oil change service.
As oil moves through a car’s engine, deposits naturally form. Unfortunately, conventional oils form sludge from the deposits, cutting into the efficiency of the engine. Synthetic oil has fewer impurities to begin with, so sludge isn’t a problem.
Synthetic oils have better viscosity and stability than conventional or synthetic blends at high and low temperatures. This means that full synthetic oils will flow quickly in winter temperatures and resist extreme heat. The end result is your engine will run all year smoothly.
More cars today are being built with smaller engines and turbochargers. Critical parts in these engines get proper lubrication quickly from synthetic oils, allowing the engines to operate at peak performance. Conventional oils can’t stand up to the faster-turbocharged conditions.
All of this means that the upfront cost of a full synthetic oil change may be higher, but the positive effects on your car’s engine will mean that you can wait longer for another oil change.
Let’s Add Synthetic Blends Into the Mix
This is where many drivers get a case of information overload. If synthetic oil is so superior, why even consider a synthetic blend?
It helps to know that a synthetic blend, also called semi-synthetic, is an oil that’s formulated using both conventional and synthetic base oils. The blend offers drivers a cross between the improved performance of a full synthetic at a price closer to conventional oil. In marketing the blend, it is seen as a stepping-stone product to eventually move motorists towards using fully synthetic oil.
An obvious question to ask about synthetic-blend motor oil is, “How ‘synthetic’ is it?” Does the oil include 1% synthetic base oils? 20%? 40%? No industry regulations define the minimum percentage of synthetic components to be classified as a synthetic-blend. It varies by manufacturer and is considered a “classified” trade secret.
If you are persistent, you can still gather some information to help interpret the amount and quality of the synthetic base oils in your synthetic-blend motor oil. Go to an oil manufacturer’s website and look for the oil’s technical data information sheet. (It may be called a “product data sheet.”) Then, find the section labeled “Typical Technical Properties” and look for:
- Viscosity Index: Oils with a higher index include a better synthetic base oil that protects critical components. In addition, the oil maintains fluid thickness over a wide temperature range and provides a fluid barrier between engine parts.
- Pour Point: Lower numbers indicate a better synthetic base oil. The pour point tells you the fluidity of the oil in cold weather and indicates the lowest temperature the oil can tolerate.
With this information, you can decide whether a particular synthetic blend is worth the extra money.
We are Motor Oil Experts
The ordinary driver of a passenger vehicle generally chooses between conventional oil, a synthetic blend oil, or a full synthetic oil. There are other kinds of oil—diesel, for example—but only 2.8% of all passenger vehicles are registered as diesel. The number is higher for pickup trucks—10.6%—but the majority of drivers use the oils we have discussed in this article.
Let GoodGuys help determine which oil will give you the best value for your money and the best performance from your car! Make an appointment today! And don’t forget to save money with our oil change coupons!