The Truth About Synthetic Motor Oil

The Truth About Synthetic Motor Oil

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  1. Motor oil is one of the most essential fluids used in your car or truck. It plays many different roles. It lubricates the moving parts, reducing friction, so they do not destroy one another as they rub against each other. It prevents corrosion and keeps your engine clean. It acts as a coolant by carrying the heat to the engine’s water jacket where the engine’s coolant picks it up and carries it to the radiator. The problem with petroleum based motor oils is that they lose their lubricating properties with time. Processed lubricants break down when subjected to high temperatures and pressure. Synthetic motor oils, on the other hand, have a much higher tolerance for high temperatures and pressure.

    AMSOIL Incorporated, a company founded by Lieutenant Colonel Albert J. Amatuzio, introduced synthetic motor oils to the auto industry in 1972. Amatuzio knew the advantages of synthetic motor oils from his experiences as a fighter squadron commander. Synthetic oils were the only oils ever used in jet engines. Synthetic oils were developed for jet engines and exclusively in jet engines until AMSOIL introduced it to the auto industry in 1972. Mobil Oil Company entered the synthetic motor oil business in 1975.

    The Disadvantages Of Synthetic Motor Oils
    The singular disadvantage of using synthetic motor oil in automobiles is their cost. Synthetic motor oils cost four times that of petroleum-based oils. You pay more for synthetic motor oil, but its extended longevity off sets the higher cost. The Mobil Oil Company guarantees their Mobil 1 oil for 15,000 miles. Personally, I recommend changing it every 10,000 miles because the 10,000-mile rule for changing oil filters is still a valid one to follow.

    Synthetic Motor Oils And Petroleum Based Motor Oils Are Compatible
    Synthetic motor oil and petroleum based oil is fully compatible and can be freely mixed without doing any harm to your engine. Synthetic blends are available for purchase. Before switching to a synthetic blend, you should check your owner’s manual or the car manufacturer before switching to a blend because it may void your vehicles warranty.

    Do You Need To Step Up To Synthetic Motor Oil?
    Synthetic motor oil is superior in every respect, but your driving conditions may not warrant switching to synthetic motor oil. For most drivers, petroleum based motor oils are suitable as long as you change your oil every 3,000 miles and your oil filter every 10,000 miles. If you tow heavy loads, if you drive at high speeds and you live in an extremely hot climate, or if you drive a turbocharged vehicle, your vehicle will benefit from the switch.

    A Word Of Warning !
    Do not switch to synthetic motor oil if you are driving a vehicle with high mileage on the engine or if your engine burns or leaks oil. High mileage engines, engines with over 100,000 miles on them may suddenly start burning oil if you switch to synthetic oils. Petroleum-based oils have a higher viscosity and are not affected as much by worn engine parts. Synthetics pour like water and will run freely from worn seals and gaskets. With new engines, synthetic oils will prevent this problem from occurring as quickly.

    If you drive a real high performance vehicle, you may not want to switch to full synthetic oil because of a loss in oil pressure. Most real gear heads like to see 10-psi oil pressure per 1,000 RPM and you cannot get that with full synthetic oil. A typical oil pressure for full synthetic oil is 46 psi at 6,200 RPM instead of 62 psi with a petroleum-based lubricant. On tear down, the engines look fine but the lower oil pressure makes many performance car drivers nervous. The other side of the coin is that performance drivers gain 10 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque with the switch.

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