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Not all types of synthetic oils perform the same12 Jun 2019
Motor oils aren’t created equal. You might already know that synthetic oils typically outperform conventional oils, but you might not know the difference between synthetic blend oils and full synthetic oils. If you don’t, then pull up a chair.
First, let’s define “synthetic.” If it sounds high-tech or advanced, it’s because it is.
Where traditional mineral or conventional use refined crude oil (that stuff you find in the ground), synthetic oils consist of chemical compounds that are artificially made by breaking down and then rebuilding petroleum molecules. The end result is an oil containing specific molecules that are tailored to provide optimal lubrication properties.
Types of synthetic oil
There are different types of synthetic oil: synthetic blend oil and full synthetic oil. Here’s the difference.
Synthetic blend oil is a mix of conventional motor oils and synthetic base stocks. Because of the added synthetic base stock, you’re going to get more performance and protection than you would by using a conventional oil alone.
Full synthetic oil uses a synthetic base stock mixed with a variety of additives that boost the performance of the oil. While all synthetics on the market may offer a higher level of protection than conventional or synthetics blends, not all synthetics are equal. Each synthetic brand uses a mix of high-performance fluids and additives. How these formulations come together results in various protection levels and attributes.
To determine which synthetic is best for you, consider what type of protection you need. Is it better wear protection? Cleaner engine? Durability?
So not all synthetics provide the same protection? Why not?
Here’s why. Not all synthetics are formulated the same way. They can contain very different types and combinations of base oils and additives. Even minor differences in formulation can have a major effect on performance. For example, add a bit more of one additive and you get better cleanliness, but you might lose some wear protection. Cut back on this additive and you get better performance at high temperatures, but the cold-weather startup isn’t as good.
So, what’s a guy (or gal) to do? The best approach is to look for a full synthetic product that offers optimal performance in every area. That way, you’re not getting short changed in one area just to get better performance in another. Also, be sure to select synthetic oils that use high-quality base stocks to ensure powerful performance and protection.
To start enjoying the benefits of today’s synthetic lubricants, consult your owner’s manual, talk to your mechanic, and follow the links here to learn more about the motor oils that are best for your vehicle and your unique driving conditions.