What is The Difference Between Conventional and Synthetic Motor Oil?

     You know that your vehicle needs an oil change but, do you know what kind of oil it needs or even how often? Today, we investigate some of the most commonly asked questions relating to oil changes.  What is synthetic and what is conventional oil? Why is Synthetic oil better for my car? Do I really need synthetic oil? Why do I even need an oil change?

     Your vehicle’s engine is a complex piece of machinery. It has multiple moving parts that are consistently under heavy stress. The engine is what provides the power to your vehicle while in motion. Maintaining the oil level in your vehicle is not something to take lightly. Your car needs oil because the oil itself is a lubricant for the parts within the engine. The oil also keeps your car engine relatively clean. As the oil filters through the engine, it keeps the debris from building up by transferring the debris through the oil filter. Over time, the engine oil can break down and lose its effectiveness. When it loses its effectiveness, it’s time to change the oil.

     There are a few different types of oil that are available on the market. By now, I am sure you are familiar with terms like Synthetic, Conventional, and even SAE 5W-30. But, what does it all mean? In short, the numbers are representative of the viscosity of the oil. The ‘W’? It stands for Winter. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) have established a system for measure motor oils in accordance with their viscosity. The viscosity of the oil will change with temperatures. Because of this, multigrade oils were developed as a protection for a wider range of temperatures. The number before the W describes the oil’s viscosity at low temperatures. The lower the number, the thinner the oil. When the oil is thinner, the cold start performance or cold temperature performance will be better. The second number will describe how thick the oil will be at the regular operating temperature of the engine. Multigrade oils are the most commonly used because, with the exception of very high or very low temperatures, these oils are thin enough to flow evenly at cold temperatures yet, they are thick enough to flow freely at high temperatures. When buying your own oil, always be sure to check your vehicle’s manual to ensure you are purchasing the correct oil for your car.

     Synthetic or Conventional? Both of these oils begin in the ground. Aside from that, they have nothing else in common. Conventional oil is derived from petroleum. As it breaks down in the engine, it can leave deposits on the engine components. The deposits left in the engine can stick to different surfaces in the engine. When the oil is not changed regularly, it can cause damage to the engine of your vehicle. Synthetic oil is a more refined oil. It is distilled, purified, and broken down into basic molecules. By following this process, the impurities from crude oil are removed. This also enables the customization of individual molecules to provide a higher level of protection and performance compared to conventional oil. Synthetic oil was made to withstand higher temperatures while reducing friction within the engine parts. It is made up of high performance fluids that create a formula which increases the resistance to viscosity breakdown. Synthetic oils provide improved lubrication of the oil to keep the engine parts moving freely at high temperatures. Because of it’s ability to endure more within the engine, synthetic oil needs to be changed less frequently. Some synthetic oil changes are due between 5-10k miles while conventional oil changes are typically due between 3-5k miles.

     Regardless of whether your vehicle needs conventional, synthetic, or even a blend, we at BMW of Bridgewater have what it takes to keep your engine running smoothly. 


Categories: Parts, Service

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