The Correct Synthetic Oil Change Interval and Other Important Details
With an increasing number of cars using synthetic oil, learning about the correct synthetic oil change interval for your vehicle has become an essential task. In fact, many newer engines, with tighter tolerances and more intricate assemblies, are engineered for synthetic oil and manufacturers recommend it for warranty coverage on their vehicles.
In order to have a fair assessment of the situation, experts recommend that car owners get properly informed about the type of oil they are using, and find out more about how long that particular brand or variety of synthetic oil can last. The issue of considering the life span differences between synthetic and conventional mineral oil may also be an extremely essential matter that will require your consideration.
How to Avoid Oil Change Scare Tactics
The easiest approach of knowing how to avoid being scared into needless service is to make sure that you are properly informed. Unnecessary oil changes are often recommended in the idea that you are taking better care of your car. However, the 3,000-mile rule is more of a guideline turned into a marketing gimmick, rather than a practical recommendation. Older formulations of mineral-based oil may have needed a 3,000 mile oil change, before the days of detergents and friction modifiers, but that was a long time ago. Car owners buying new cars that require high quality synthetic oil can often extend the periods between oil changes to up to an entire year. Changing your oil only once every 5,000 miles may even be a good idea if you’re using good quality mineral oil.
Synthetic vs. Conventional Oil
While mineral oils are naturally occurring and produced as part of the oil refining process, synthetic oil is more expensive as a result of the intricate chemical engineering process involved in its creation. Mineral oil has been used ever since the first cars came off the assembly line, and continue to be an integral part of the industry today. However, advancements in engineering and refinement have led to new brands of synthetic oil being much cleaner, longer lasting and more stable at high temperatures and intense temperature fluctuations when compared to mineral oil. In other words, its stability at the molecular level means that synthetic oil doesn’t become viscous at low temperatures and doesn’t thin out in extreme heat. Compared to most types of mineral oil, the synthetic oil change interval can in many cases be twice as long.
What to Remember About Synthetic Oil?
Synthetic oil is not just refined, but also intricately processed, distilled and purified, until it’s broken down into its basic molecules. The chemical engineering process involved in the production of synthetic oil leads to the removal of nearly all impure elements. In the case of some advanced manufacturing procedures, individual molecules can even be tailored according to the requirements of specific, modern engines. As a result, most types and brands of modern synthetic oil will not only last up to 2-3 times longer than typical mineral oil, but will also protect your car from wear, keep your engine clean, and offer critical protection for costly turbocharger components.
How Long Does Synthetic Oil Last?
Depending on the brand and the specific manufacturing process associated with synthetic oil, some of the products available on the market can last for anything from 5,000 miles up to as much as 15,000 miles. Performance upgrade street oils have the best life span with oils like Mobil 1 and the API-licensed Royal Purple synthetic engine oil being rated from 12,000 to 15,000 miles. While recommended oil change intervals can also vary based on other factors, these figures are consistent with modern synthetic oil brands that offer higher than average quality.
Is Synthetic Good For My Older Engine?
Unequivocally yes. Years ago, there were persistent rumors that if you switched to synthetic, you’d have to use it forever – or that synthetic oil could make its way past dried-out, shrunken gaskets and seals and cause leaks that would be impossible to fix. None of that is really true with today’s synthetic or synthetic blend formulations; in fact, for a high-mileage engine it can offer better protection and longer service life. And if you use synthetic for one oil change interval, it’s not really a problem to switch back to mineral oil again (just don’t mix them).
The Correct Change Interval for Synthetic Oil
Today’s synthetic oil products are able to offer protection far longer than the old standard of 3,000 miles. Still, their recommended change interval is typically slightly lower than the limit they can withstand, and most experts will recommend changing your oil before that limit, in order to avoid unnecessarily straining the engine. According to ELF, the correct change interval for synthetic oil is between 7,500 and 10,000 miles. The special synthetic oil used for Toyota and Jaguar vehicles has been approved for change intervals of 10,000 and 15,000 miles respectively, while the shortest interval is that of 5,000 miles for Kia and Hyundai models with turbochargers. Mobil 1 is currently at the top of the charts with their Extended Performance oil guaranteed for a safe synthetic oil change interval of 15,000 miles. While it is safe to extend oil change intervals when using synthetic oil, keep in mind you should also upgrade to a premium oil filter designed for synthetic oil. These filters have larger capacities to contain impurities and will last longer service intervals.
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