Should I Use Synthetic Oil In My Car?

Should I Use Synthetic Oil In My Car?

You take your car in to the mechanic and they recommend synthetic oil… and of course, it costs more.

What do you do?

When it comes to maintaining your car, this is one of the most important decisions you’ll make

Should you use synthetic oil in you car?

Understanding Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil is a lubricant consisting of artificially made chemical compounds. These compounds are synthesized from petroleum components, but also from other raw materials like natural gas or alcohol.

The main advantage of synthetic oil is its superior performance under extreme temperatures and pressures, which are common inside modern engines.

The Benefits of Synthetic Oil

There are several benefits to using synthetic oil in your car.

First, synthetic oil provides better engine protection. It’s designed to resist breakdown and maintain its viscosity (thickness) over a longer period, which means it can protect your engine better and for longer than conventional oil.

Second, synthetic oil improves fuel efficiency. Because it flows more easily, your engine doesn’t have to work as hard to circulate it, which can result in better gas mileage.

Lastly, synthetic oil can handle extreme temperatures better than conventional oil. It doesn’t thicken in cold weather or thin out in hot weather as much as conventional oil does. This means your engine gets the protection it needs no matter the weather conditions.

Considerations When Switching to Synthetic Oil

While synthetic oil has many benefits, there are a few things to consider before making the switch.

One is the cost. Synthetic oil is typically more expensive than conventional oil. However, because it lasts longer, you may not need to change your oil as frequently, which could offset the higher upfront cost.

Another consideration is the age and condition of your car. If your car is older and has always used conventional oil, switching to synthetic oil could potentially cause leaks. This is because synthetic oil has smaller molecules that can find their way into tiny cracks and crevices that conventional oil can’t.

Consult Your Car’s Manual

Before deciding whether to use synthetic oil, it’s always a good idea to consult your owner’s manual.

Many car manufacturers now recommend synthetic oil, especially for newer models. However, some older models may not be compatible with synthetic oil – so it’s important to check.

Can I Switch Back to Regular Oil After Using Synthetic Oil?


According to both Mobile and Pennzoil, you can switch back and forth between synthetic oil and conventional oil without damaging your engine.

In fact, synthetic oil actually includes a certain amount of conventional oil itself.

It’s a myth that you can never go back to conventional after using synthetic oil.

Final Thoughts

Deciding whether to use synthetic oil in your car depends on several factors, including the type of car you have, its age and condition, and your budget.

While synthetic oil offers several benefits, it’s important to weigh these against the potential downsides and consult your car’s manual before making a decision.

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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Faroh Sauder

Faroh Sauder has spent more than 30 years working as a journalist and educator. He has written on politics, international affairs, civil rights, and consumer education.

Now mostly retired, Faroh continues to stay current on tech and consumer issues and reports on his interests here at Consumer Press

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