Saving Money by Switching to Synthetic Oil

Posted on: April 9th, 2013 by Accurate Auto Body Repair No Comments

The days when only a few brands of conventional oil existed is long gone. Now auto stores here in Colorado carry dozens of different types of conventional oil, synthetic oil or a blend of both. When you have your oil changed, you are usually given a choice between conventional or synthetic oil. The question is: Does it really matter and is the savings worth it?

Synthetic oil has been around for a long time. It has been used extensively by the military since WWII. This is due mainly because of  the extreme temperatures military vehicles endured combined with the additional stress caused by towing or other power-demanding situations.

Today, synthetic oil is sold by all major oil companies. In “How Stuff Works” by Nathan Chandler, he explains why some people like it:

  • Because synthetics are slicker than conventional oil, they allow for smoother, cooler engine operation. That means more horsepower and better gas mileage.
  • This is why hybrids often use synthetic oil – it allows the vehicle to squeeze a couple more miles out of a gallon of gas. But even traditional cars use the oil in an effort to improve longevity of the vehicle’s engine, to reduce the frequency of oil changes or for increased horsepower.

Many consumers complain when they see the price of synthetic oil compared to conventional oil, causing them to question if the benefits outweigh the cost.

In a MotorTrend article “Synthetic Motor Oil – Is It Worth the Price?” Joe Goebel says conventional oils are usually sufficient to handle normal driving conditions. However, he explains, some vehicles may benefit from synthetic oil.

Owners who tend to run their engines in extreme conditions — such as very cold or hot temperatures or for extended towing — or tend to let oil changes stray beyond the recommended intervals, would probably benefit more from a synthetic or synthetic blend.

You probably don’t need to switch to synthetic oil unless your vehicle is used in extreme situations. But if you do change, most car experts say it is best to stick with one brand of oil, once you’ve made the switch.

We hope this blog post is useful. Happy driving and Happy Spring!

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