There are two major types of engine oils: synthetic oils and conventional (also called regular) oils. Blended oils, a mixture of the two, are also available, but they are less common. These oils are known as synthetic blends.
Today, though, we wanted to talk about the major differences between synthetic and conventional oils. While either oil can be used in most vehicles, there are some applications where one is preferred over the other. Our Bar’s Leaks customer support team members are experts in engine fluids, and we wanted to share some of these important differences so that you can make the right choice for your car, truck, van or SUV.
The molecules in synthetic oil are engineered to give the best mix of lubrication, protection, performance and wear resistance. Synthetic oil may cost more than conventional oil, but it generally allows longer times between oil changes (longer service interval) and gives back with improved protection and slightly reduced fuel consumption.
You will also see better extreme — cold and hot — temperature performance with a synthetic oil, which maintains its viscosity across a larger range of temperatures.
Standard engine oils work well in many applications and are more affordable than synthetic oils if you’re on a tight budget. It is important to respect oil change intervals with conventional oil, as they break down much more quickly than their synthetic counterparts — especially if you do a lot of driving in hot or cold temperatures.
Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, as conventional oils are not recommended for many high-performance vehicles. Their use could even void your warranty. Be sure to check your car’s OEM requirements and/or recommendations.
What the Differences Between Conventional Oil vs. Synthetic Oil Means
In simple terms, synthetic oil and synthetic blends are generally a better option for your vehicle than the conventional equivalent. The additional distillation and purification that go into producing synthetic engine oil mean it carries fewer impurities and can better protect your engine from friction and wear issues.
No matter which oil you choose, issues can arise and leaks do happen. You can always take care of annoying leaks, smoking and performance issues with Bar’s Leaks products, which have won awards for over 70 years. Our stop leak and engine repair products are compatible with both synthetic and conventional oils. Use our online locator to find a local distributor. You can also contact our team for more information or if you would like helping choose the right additive for your engine.