As we have seen in our previous articles, engine oil comes in a number of grades, viscosities and contain various additives. Another option that will find is whether you are buying synthetic or conventional engine oil. Synthetic engine oils generally perform better than mineral engine oils in areas such as providing protection for your vehicle or added lubrication, but you may not understand why. So what are the key differences between synthetic and conventional oil and what factors should you take into account?
Differences in synthetic and mineral engine oils
There are many types of synthetic oils that are available to buy including synthetic oils that are made from a base stock and semi-synthetic oils. Synthetic oils are refined and distilled and broken down to their basic molecules. This purification process removes impurities and allows for the oil to be tailored to suit modern engines. Semi-synthetic oils are a blended oil that is made up of no more than 30% synthetic base. Synthetic oils generally provide less friction and are more stable, frequently lasting longer than a non-synthetic oil.
Mineral motor oil, on the other hand, is a lubricant that is developed directly from crude oil. It has excellent properties that allow it to provide lubrication at high temperatures, as well as maintaining its stability over long periods of time. In reality, synthetic oils begin its life as conventional oil and are then modified to improve its protective and lubricant properties. Some blends of synthetic oil are designed specifically to increase the performance and life of high-mileage cars. Other oils are designed explicitly for high-performance engines and some to increase fuel efficiency.
Advantages of using synthetic oils
Increased Lubrication: The majority of synthetic oils start lubricating straight away increasing the ability of the oil to lubricate the engine parts, keeping them slick, particularly at high temperatures. This decreases wear over the long term and may make your engine last longer.
Better Stability: Synthetic oils are specifically designed to maintain their viscosity at higher temperatures and over longer periods of time. This helps you prevent engine wear in several ways. It allows the oil to “stick” to engine parts more effectively, providing better wear protection, as well as doing a greater job protecting your engine from dry starts. A “Dry Start” occurs when your car has been sitting for an extended period of time. Gravity pulls the oil down to the bottom of the engine, which causes components at the top of the engine to lose lubrication and leaves them to run unprotected. By helping the oil maintain viscosity, synthetic additives decrease the effects of “dry starts.”
Reduced Degradation: Synthetic oils are less susceptible to break down which means that they do not need to be changed as often as conventional oils. The more resilient properties of synthetic oil also mean that your engine is protected better through the whole service periods.
Lower Deposits: As conventional oils break down, they will regularly leave deposits on engine components that are referred to as “sludge”. This is especially common in engines that run for long periods of time or are driven under harsh conditions. As these oils break down, they literally stick to different surfaces in the engine. Synthetic oils are less likely to do this. In fact, some conventional oils are available that actually have the ability to remove some of these deposits.
The properties that separate conventional oil from synthetics affect your engine in a number significant ways. But remember that these types of oils are in no way completely necessary. Although the properties of the synthetic oil are considered superior, conventional oil will protect your vehicle’s engine just fine. The most important thing you can do to keep your car running smoothly is to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations and service interval guidelines.
Why does all this matter?
When engineers are designing the engine, they are aiming to reach a certain oil flow rate throughout the system, depending on the temperature of the engine and the speed at which it rotates. As oils age, they gradually begin to break down and their flow characteristics alter, changing how well your engine is protected from wear when it functions outside the realm of its original design. While it is felt that from a viscosity perspective, you may possibly meet the protection of a synthetic oil by changing your conventional oil regularly, most synthetic oils contain superior quality additives, leading to a cleaner, smoother running engine as well. For many vehicles, synthetics may be a better choice for general engine performance. The biggest issue that can affect your selection of lubrication may be simply down to cost. But if you are looking for superior protection and fewer oil changes, synthetic oils may be the recommended choice for you.
Quartz Ineo First 0w30
Quartz Ineo First 0W30 is an innovative, modern engine oil, developed using the highest levels of actual synthetic Technology. Providing significant fuel savings, engine wear protection and sustained performance, this synthetic oil, created in close cooperation with PSA is perfectly suited for petrol or diesel powered engines. Quartz Ineo First 0W30 is available from Finol Oils or one of its resellers. Click here to find out more about this industry-leading lubricant and how it can suit your needs. To learn more about the Total Quartz range of products you can click here.