You've probably heard a lot about synthetic blend oil in recent years, but is it for you?
Some car owners prefer it — you can retain the unique qualities of a more natural type of oil and mix in the superior qualities of synthetic compounds (for a price, of course). Synthetic blend offers greater protection at a much better cost compared to most synthetic oils available on the market. Oil formulations that are marketed as “high mileage vehicle oil” are usually synthetic blends and contain friction modifiers and other additives that can help with the looser tolerances of a worn engine.
The Benefits of Synthetic Blend Oil
Mineral oil has been used for more than 100 years. Thanks to its lower cost, it’s still a preferred option for many car owners. However, the limited protection it offers has prompted manufacturers to come up with new synthetic replacements throughout the years that would double or even triple the life span of the oil, while also preventing oxidation and other damage to engine components.
The trade-off is that synthetic oil can be much more expensive. Synthetic blend oil offers a good compromise. Aside from being more affordable than synthetic oil, it’s almost as efficient at protecting your engine as some synthetic brands. Some of its most significant qualities include better start-up protection, improved wear protection and better performance during heavy-duty use when compared to mineral oil.
How Often Should You Change Synthetic Blend Oil?
Due to being a blend between synthetic and mineral oils, synthetic blend oil requires more frequent changing than synthetic brands, but can last much longer than most types of mineral oils. Conventional motor oil has to be changed between intervals of 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Synthetic oil can last for up to 10,000 or even 15,000 miles, depending on the brand and car you’re driving. When it comes to determining the interval for a synthetic blend oil change, you can normally aim for a number between 5,000 and 7,500. Also, because synthetic blend oil doesn’t break down as easily at higher temperatures, these figures are more likely to stand regardless of potentially intense driving conditions.
Synthetic Blend | Getty
How to Change to Synthetic Blend Oil
Changing synthetic blend oil is essentially the same as with any other type of motor oil. Before making the change, however, make sure the synthetic blend oil you’re using has the API seal for gasoline engines and that the weight and viscosity rating of the oil is suitable for your vehicle. Use a plain quality filter, as it will last just as long as the oil in most instances. Right after changing to synthetic blend oil, be sure to start and run the engine until full oil pressure is attained, then check the oil level to be certain it's full.
Transitioning to Synthetic Oil
The great thing about synthetic blend oil is that it offers an excellent transitional option when it comes to switching to synthetic oil. Even through synthetic brands no longer have the compatibility issues of the past (high alcohol content would demand that they only be used in engines especially designed for them), a synthetic blend transition period is still recommended for most vehicles. So before switching completely from conventional to synthetic, get a synthetic blend oil change at least twice after you stop using your conventional mineral oil.