All car enthusiasts know that the performance of their vehicles rely on the quality of the materials that they put together and in an engine. They know that if you put in a quality product, that they’ll get quality results every time. Quality is a good investment when it comes to your car.
That is why, as a car junkie, you want to know everything about anything that has got to do with improving the performance of your engines. You know every little bit counts – nothing is to be underestimated, as every detail matters in the long run. You wouldn’t want your investment getting thrashed just because you cut corners, don’t you?
As such, one of the most important things that you have got to know about is the synthetic oil you put into your engines. You don’t want to worry about getting the engine misfiring and getting damaged if the oil isn’t compatible with your components and your particular needs. Read on, and get to know as much as you possibly can. Again, every little detail count.
What’s synthetic oil?
Synthetic oil is a lubricant that is used to ensure that your engines are in proper running conditions. It is a chemical compound that is generally modified from the base crude oil and can even be made from other raw materials. Basically, synthetic oil is derived from conventional oil but is made better through several additional and transformative process.
Scientists in the laboratories of companies then alter the composition of these oils. They put in proprietary additives and other chemicals that would affect the efficacy of the product. Each producer has its own trade secrets which may affect the overall quality of the product. As such, when you find out the best synthetic oil for your engine, we suggest that you stick to it until the end.
How are they made?
As we have said, synthetic oils get manufactured in laboratories. However, just to be clear, synthetic oils are derived from ordinary petroleum as the base material. Different producers have different additives but among the most common materials added during the process include carbon dioxide, methane, and carbon monoxide.
The base of petroleum gets subjected to the Fischer-Trospch process. This is a procedure which got developed during World War II in Germany. It is during this process that the crude oil gets improved upon. The impurities get extracted and the materials get reduced to its base molecules. When the base materials get down to this state, producers then inject their special blend of additives. This alters the composition of these molecules and produces their own proprietary synthetic oil mixes.
There are two distinct types of synthetic oils – Group III and Group IV oils. Group III oils are made using petroleum which has been reprocessed after the producers have extracted the materials that would make gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, and all other crude oil products. They offer molecular stability and uniformity and also result in better performance. They are sometimes known as synthesized hydrocarbons.
Meanwhile, Group IV oils use simpler chemical compounds to synthesize and are made from polyalphaolefins (PAOs) which offer excellent stability, molecular uniformity and better overall performance in extreme hot and cold conditions.
Why should I use synthetic oils?
To be absolutely honest, synthetic oils are the way to go nowadays. With more and more of us craving for improved engine performance without sacrificing the integrity and stability of our components, synthetic oils are the answer. Not only because they are a better substitute but they promise to protect your engine better even at higher temperatures and more frequent revs.
We also know that engines are made of a million small parts that tend to rub each other which causes friction. Using synthetic oils decreases the chances of these units wearing out quickly as the blend is usually modified to address such concerns.
With synthetic oils, you wouldn’t have to worry much about engine sludge, oxidation, and temperature breakdowns. They provide better overall lubrication for engines that get exposed to extreme weather temperatures. They also promise longer engine life as using them would usually mean you wouldn’t have to worry about getting engine deposits and damaging your oil passageways.
We also are after better fuel and oil economy and with synthetic oils, this is a reality. With lesser blockages in the engine components, it results in better overall combustion. This also means lower emission levels and it also translates to better overall top speed and performance.
With synthetics, you are also assured of longer oil change intervals which helps you to save on the cost of maintenance and materials.
Can I switch to using synthetic oil, even after I have used conventional oil all these years?
The simple answer is, yes, you can. And, to be perfectly honest about it, if you want to switch back to using conventional oil after a while, you can do it, too.
If you are concerned about the oil switch damaging your engines, you need not have to worry about it all. You have got to remember that synthetic oils are derived from conventional oils and as such while definitely better, most engines would accept them. However, you have got to keep in mind the overall current engine condition and what kind of oil you have been using previously.
If you’re worried that switching back and forth would cause damage to your seals and gaskets, then you shouldn’t have to worry about it. Synthetic oil wouldn’t damage your engine seals, although it would definitely show you where an existing leak is. This happens because synthetic oils have smaller molecules which can pass through smaller holes or cracks where conventional oil molecules cannot penetrate.
While we are on that subject, using synthetic oil would also help in cleaning out the clogs and deposits that are present on your engine’s chambers. The smaller molecules could help dislodge them after some time. This would definitely result in better overall engine performance.
Another advantage of switching is the fact that you would be protecting your engine from wear and tear. Since synthetic oils have several additives that maximize your fuel and oil economy, you are also stretching the time between oil changes. Whereas before you’d be forced to change the oil every 3,000 miles or so, with synthetic oils, you could stretch to as much as 10,000 miles if you have impeccable maintenance done for your engines. Imagine the long-term savings!
The last word on synthetics
We must remember that over time, we get supplied better and better products that improve what we currently are accustomed to using. Synthetic oils are among the evidence that science is working for us. Scientists will undeniably continue to find ways to improve its quality. We just have to be on the lookout and be ready to try them. If they work the way they are designed to work, then we wouldn’t have to worry about our engines as they’d not only be improving their performance but more importantly protecting them as well.
And when it comes to choosing the best synthetic oils, you must remember that each engine is unique and would react a little bit different to what you put in. We know you know that you only need to listen to what your engine tells you and you’ll get the answer you need.