When it comes to automotive lubricants, you do have a choice…either conventional oils, those derived from crude oil, or synthetic oils, those manufactured from hydrocarbons and other organic compounds. Almost every lubricating fluid (engine oil, transmission fluid, differential fluid) in your car or truck is now available in synthetic form. Why choose synthetic lubricants over conventional lubricants and vise-versa? This may make your decision “clear as mud”, but here are a few basic pros and cons relating to the physical properties of each:
· Costs less than synthetics – many synthetic lubricants can run nearly double the price of their conventional counter parts.
· Many older vehicles are designed to use conventional lubricants and cannot be introduced to some synthetics without adverse consequences (leaking seals and excessive oil consumption).
· You can probably find your favorite conventional lubricant in nearly every auto store supply store or repair shop, not necessarily so for your favorite high-performance synthetic.
· Reduces friction and subsequent heat production allowing mechanical components to run cooler and last (wear) longer.
· Higher resistance to “burn-off” and oxidation, both of which generate unwanted contaminates, sludge and deposits.
· Resists shear…literally, molecules being cut in half resulting in “thinning” of the lubricant.
See, clear as mud, huh? Do yourself a favor…ask your favorite Honest Accurate technician what they think…they’re looking at the insides of your mechanicals all day long. They can help you weigh the positives and negatives of synthetic oil, and decide whether the extra cost is worth it.