When many people think of the maintenance tasks associated with their vehicle, motor oil is something they take for granted. While most realize their engine oil needs to be changed on a regular basis, they give little thought to whether the oil used for their vehicle should be conventional or synthetic. But since few chemicals used in a vehicle are more important to keeping it running smoothly than engine oil, taking some time to learn more about it can in the long run keep a vehicle running smoother for a longer period of time. If you are preparing to purchase motor oil or get your vehicle’s oil changed, here are four questions to ask when buying synthetic motor oil.
1- Will Synthetic Motor Oil Improve My Vehicle’s Gas Mileage?
While there are differing opinions from various automotive experts as to whether synthetic motor oil will improve gas mileage, numerous studies have shown it does tend to improve fuel efficiency in many vehicles. According to the results of these studies, fuel economy can increase anywhere from two to as much as 15 percent, depending on the type of vehicle, driving habits, weather conditions, and other related factors. On average, fuel economy increased by 4.5 percent overall, but as most auto experts stated, this is also contingent upon other maintenance tasks being done as well, such as regularly changing transmission fluids, power steering fluids, and engine coolant.
2- Can Synthetic Oil be Used in Any Type of Engine?
Yes. Just like conventional motor oil, synthetic motor oil can be safely used in any type of automotive engine, from an antique vehicle up to the latest Porsche or other high-priced luxury vehicle. This also includes vehicles containing engines that rely on diesel fuel, such as larger trucks and many European vehicle makes and models. And while some people have suggested synthetic motor oils can lead to gasket leaks or oil-seal leaks, no findings indicate this to be a common occurrence in vehicles using this type of motor oil. In fact, synthetic motor oil is made to meet the specifications of all automobiles that are imported to North America.
3- Is Synthetic Motor Oil Effective in All Weather Conditions?
Since some people live in very warm climates and others in areas that are prone to very low temperatures in winter, many drivers wonder if synthetic motor oil effectively protects their engine in all weather conditions. Based on research, synthetic motor oil generally outperforms petroleum motor oil in both high and low temperature extremes and is used by virtually all airlines to lubricate their jet engines. By having low pour points, synthetic motor oils can flow more easily throughout an engine no matter how cold the temperature may be, leading to reduced engine wear. And in conditions where temperatures are very warm, synthetic oil can also flow smoothly, protecting vital engine parts from wear and tear associated with friction. In fact, synthetic motor oil is widely used in many racing cars and is recommended for passenger vehicles that contain turbocharged engines.
4- Do I Need to Add Oil Additives to Synthetic Motor Oil?
According to leading automotive experts, at no time should you ever add oil additives to synthetic motor oil. If you choose to ignore this advice and add an oil additive to your synthetic motor oil, chances are you will decrease the oil’s ability to keep your engine working at its best. Also, if you use an oil additive with a turbo-GDI engine, also known as a gas-direct injection engine, engine damage will be such that you will have either very expensive repairs or face the prospect of a total engine replacement. And most importantly, if you use an oil additive in these types of engines and then need repairs, chances are your vehicle’s warranty will not cover the cost of repairs, which could leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars in major repairs. Therefore, rather than take this risk, it is best to always remember that synthetic motor oil is formulated to have all chemicals needed for maximum engine performance.