Whether purchased used or bought new, it is likely that you have invested a significant amount of money into your vehicle. As a result, you want it to last as long as possible and take steps to help that along. From washing it with care to changing or rotating the tires, ensuring your headlights are in prime working condition, or changing the oil and topping off fluids as needed- you recognize that consistent, intentional car care is a must. The question begs to be asked, is synthetic oil really any different than conventional oil?
However, when it comes to proper vehicle care, there are several opinions about what to do, how to do it, and what products to use. One of those opinions is whether or not to use synthetic oil over mineral oil. Although many people think that synthetic oils are not a good choice, this is not the case.
Debunking the Synthetic Oil Myths
The following are INCORRECT myths about using synthetics:
1. You can’t use synthetics with a new engine.
You can use a synthetic oil at any point of owning your vehicle. While in the past vehicles needed a “break-in” period to help remove any metal flashing, this is no longer a concern. You can add a synthetic such as AMSOIL’s Signature Series 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil at any time.
2. You have to flush out the existing oil before making a switch.
Not true. You can swap to synthetic oil whenever you are ready.
3. Synthetic oil will leak out of older cars.
After extensive testing, rest assured that synthetics are compatible with an older engine. However, if that older engine already leaks then you should get it repaired before adding any leakage. It should also be noted that while some believe that synthetic will cause leaks, this is not the case- so long as your engine’s gaskets and seals are in good shape. If these parts are not in good condition, it won’t matter what type of oil you choose- there are going to be leaks!
4. Oil must be changed every 3,000 miles.
Once upon a time that was a true statement. However, new technology and better design means that you can now go much longer between oil changes. In fact, with synthetics, you can go anywhere from 7,500 to 10,000 miles (or more) between changes. AMSOIL Signature Series of oils is good for up to 25,000 miles and one-year between oil changes.
5. You can’t use conventional oil once you swap to synthetic.
False! Sure, you can and it won’t cause any damage if you do so.
6. The “w” refers to weight.
Actually, it stands for “winter” and is used to represent the oil’s viscosity during the winter. Depending on the age of your vehicle and where you live, you might need a particular oil to get maximum performance.
7. Synthetic is no different from traditional mineral oil-it just costs more.
A synthetic oil is made differently and offers a number of benefits. A few of these include better performance for a smoother ride, better gas mileage, a cleaner engine, and fewer engine problems when started in cold climates.
8. Changing to synthetic oil will void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Absolutely not. However, do stick with the manufacturer’s recommendation for the rated type of synthetic oil.
9. Only new vehicles can have synthetic oil.
This is a half-truth. If your vehicle was built before 1990, then swapping to synthetic might not be a good plan as it might cause leaks. Engines from that vintage weren’t manufactured with gaskets and seals as tight as more modern engines. Since the molecular structure of synthetic oil is smaller than mineral oil, if your seals aren’t tight to begin with, some oil may leak by. It’s not the oil causing the leak… it’s the older seals. However, vehicles since then will be fine with a synthetic oil.
Be Sure to Work with the Facts
Whether you drive a muscle car or a mom-mobile, using synthetic oils or other synthetic products is a great way to extend the life of your ride. If you have questions about what AMSOIL products will best boost your vehicle’s performance talk to LifeTimeOil, your AMSOIL dealer. They will be happy to help you determine the best choice for your ride.