What’s the Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Oil Change?

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What’s the Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Oil Change?

At Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton, Colorado, one of the questions we get most from customers is: what’s the difference between synthetic and conventional oil change? While we can provide basic information on the spot, understanding each type is and what’s right for your car requires a broader explanation.

Generally speaking, here’s the breakdown of a synthetic versus conventional oil change:
  • Superior Service – Full Synthetic Oil
  • Enhanced Service – Synthetic Blend Oil
  • Standard Service – Conventional (Mineral) Motor Oil

So, What’s the Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Oil Change

When bringing your car, truck or SUV to the experts at Dakota Ridge Auto for an oil change in Littleton, Colorado, you’ll be asked what type of oil you prefer us to use. To make the right choice for your vehicle and decide whether or not you wish to pay the extra for synthetic, let’s take a look at each oil type.

What is synthetic oil?

Full synthetic oil is specifically designed and carefully engineered in a lab to help your vehicle’s engine perform optimally. More advanced methods are used to refine, distill and purify the oil, giving you maximum bang for your buck. By removing more deposits from the crude oil, nearly every last molecule is put to work cleaning and lubricating the vehicle’s engine. And over time, this improved protection helps to extend the life of your engine components.

One thing that’s desirable about synthetic oil is that it lasts longer. Of course, while you’ll get a lot more mileage between changes, you’ll still need to stick with regular intervals based on the specific synthetic oil used. Our Littleton oil change experts will advise you on the right schedule.

What is synthetic blend oil?

In looking at what’s the difference between synthetic and conventional oil change, this is your in-between option. It offers some of the benefits of synthetic at a cost closer to a conventional oil change. The advanced technology in modern cars along with more stringent rules regarding emissions has made it vital, if not required, to at least choose a part-synthetic and preferably go with a full synthetic oil change regimen.

What is conventional oil?

Derived from naturally-made crude oil, conventional oil has been distilled and refined for use in engines. While synthetic is on the rise, this option isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, conventional oil does a fine job of lubricating engines and contains additives that tolerate extreme engine heat, resist breaking down and provide proper viscosity. If the vehicle is older than 10 years, has low mileage and is gently used in the Littleton or Denver area, conventional oil should be adequate.

Benefits of a Synthetic Oil Change Versus Conventional Oil Change

Along with lasting longer, there are many benefits of full synthetic oil. So, if a customer asks what’s the difference between synthetic and conventional oil change, we have quite a list to cover.

7 Reasons Why Synthetic is Better than Conventional Oil:
  1. Improves vehicle fuel efficiency while reducing emissions
  2. Lubricates and cleans engines to better protect every part
  3. Prevents engine wear by maintaining viscosity for longer
  4. Fully effective between changes with less oil breakdown
  5. Greater stability during all seasons and weather extremes
  6. Cleans engine deposits and helps remove sludge build-up
  7. Also protects the performance of turbocharged engines
Are there any disadvantages of synthetic oil?

Ultimately, the biggest hurdle to overcome is paying more for a synthetic oil change. It can be quite the jump in price, you may even wonder if we’re trying to sell you a service that you don’t need. The truth is that today’s technology is quickly moving in the direction of synthetic, from being recommended to required by many manufacturers. Just remember, you’ll need oil changes less often, ultimately saving you both time and money down the road.

Oil Change Frequently Asked Questions

Once you understand what’s the difference between synthetic and conventional oil change, you may have more questions. Here are a few that we get from our customers here in Littleton along with the answers you need to know.

How often do you need an oil change with synthetic oil?

The short answer – it depends. But generally speaking, synthetic oil change intervals are around 7,500 miles up to 10,000 miles. We’ve even heard of going 15,000 miles. Compared to a max of 5,000 miles for conventional, going synthetic is far more convenient. If you pack on a lot of tough miles, like mountain driving or towing a camper, you should get in for oil changes no later than the 7,500 mark.

Is full synthetic oil worth it?

Yes. Based on how far synthetic oil has come and how many benefits it provides, our experts agree that it’s completely worth paying more. You’ll go longer between changes which save you time and money in the long run. More importantly, synthetic oil will thoroughly protect your engine and its components from premature wear and tear, sludge build-up and other issues that can lead to expensive repairs.

Can you switch from conventional oil to synthetic?

Absolutely. If your 2006 Corolla has only had conventional oil changes, you can switch to synthetic any time. While there may be rumors out there that converting can cause an older car to spring an oil leak, it’s not true. Come to Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton for a synthetic oil change at your next interval.

What is the best oil filter to use with synthetic oil?

There’s no specific filter that you absolutely must use when you have synthetic oil on board. The biggest priority is to choose a high-quality oil filter since your vehicle will be going longer between oil changes. Your best bet may be an oil filter that uses synthetic media to capture contaminants or it may simply be a premium pleated paper filter. Again, it’s about protecting engine parts which can be costly to replace!

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there are some pretty significant differences between a synthetic and conventional oil change with synthetic coming out on top. We recommend that you first take a look at the car owner’s manual for your specific vehicle. If your manufacturer recommends full synthetic, then it’s important to follow their advice. Deviating can cause problems for your car and potentially void your warranty.

Otherwise, come see our friendly professionals at Dakota Ridge Auto in Littleton, Colorado for your oil change and maintenance needs, plus expert repairs for all makes and models. We’d be happy to answer any other questions you might have and help you become a safer and happier vehicle owner.

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