Advantages and Disadvantages of Synthetic oil

by Chris Lewis.

Picture this, top elite football players for every position in the world brought together to play in the same team. It's simple, winning and top notch performance will be the way of life for that team. Engineering of synthetic oil flows along the same concept.

Synthetic oil manufactures draw its components from the best compounds and molecules of the crude oil. That is why synthetic oil is a better preference for most motor engines. However, it comes with a bag full of advantages and a small volume of disadvantages too. Let's get some insight on the pros and cons of the synthetic oil.

Types of Synthetic Oil

Types of Synthetic Oil
Types of Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil falls under either full or semi-synthetic categories.

Full Synthetic Oil

Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil 5 QT
Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil 5 QT

The full synthetic uses a synthetic base stock together with a variety of additives. However, full synthetic oils vary from one brand to another. While the synthetic base stock is constant for all, the extra additives are the distinguishers. Different brands add extra additives to their formula as a quality reinforcement to the oil.

Semi-synthetic Oil

Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil for Vehicles Over 75K Miles (5-Quart, Single-Pack)
Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil for Vehicles Over 75K Miles (5-Quart, Single-Pack)

It is sometimes known as the synthetic blend. It entails the combination of synthetic and conventional oil. The synthetic blend has a better performance yielding capacity compared to conventional oil. The synthetic part of the mix particularly is the reason behind all this.

It brings in viscosity and optimum performance at low temperature that the regular oil falls short of. The semi-synthetic has an upper hand on the economical perspective too. Compared to the full synthetic, it is much cheaper and you get quality performance from the same.

Advantages of Synthetic Oil

Advantages of Synthetic Oil
Advantages of Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil is less prone to contamination. Compared to the conventional oil, it holds a high resistance to oil contaminants. Such impurities pose a threat to the engine's well-being. The invention of the synthetic oil aimed at countering this problem and protecting your engine.

It is highly viscous

The viscous nature of the oil comes in handy during temperature shifts. The oil remains stable under temperature changes. Especially under low temperatures, that is when it showcases its viscosity ability. The regular oil becomes very viscous during cold temperature, which may starve your engine from oil supply.

On the contrary, it is business as usual for the synthetic even in freezing cold environments. Additionally, the stable thick oil mass ensures there's maximum lubrication to counter friction on metal moving parts at the engine.

Less evaporative

This particular attribute comes with an environmental advantage. The previous point mentions the stability that the oil possesses under high temperature. As a result, there is less exhaust stream that is emitted to the atmosphere.

Artificial products get a lot of stick for environmental degradation. The synthetic oil makers proposed to change that trend. Since we all care for our lovely planet, using synthetic oil can be a good gesture toward environmental conservation.

Long Lasting

Now here is where it gets better. The synthetic oil has interval changes ranging from 5000 to 8000 miles. Compared to the convectional oil, this is definitely a better run. Moreover, more advanced brands have their oil interval changes running for up to 25000 miles.

The reason behind the long run duration of the oil lies with the fact that it's less contaminable. The oil stays clean and keeps your engine running smoothly as you cover mileages. The long lasting pro should be enough reason to settle for the synthetic oil for your ride.

Highlighted pros:

  • Less contaminable
  • Less volatile
  • Highly viscous
  • Durable

Disadvantages of Synthetic Oil

Disadvantages of Synthetic Oil
Disadvantages of Synthetic Oil

Nothing is entirely perfect in this world, especially if it's man-made. The oil has a few drawbacks but not the serious ones that puts it out of favor. So here are some of its limitations:


High cost of the oil definitely has to factor in the disadvantages. Of course this is a high quality oil that has the best production work put into it. High cost of production for this product is the main reason for the cost.

As much as this is a disadvantage, look at it this way. You buy a less expensive general oil that takes you to up to 3000 miles or less. By the time you are changing up your oil for the second time, a car owner with synthetic oil is doing his first interval change. Cheap can sometimes be expensive too.

However, there is a better alternative that saves you from spending a lot. The semi-synthetic oil. Being a hybrid of both synthetic and conventional oil, it serves as a budget friendly quality oil. It contains both the best traits of the parent oils giving you better performance at a low price.

Limits breaking in for new vehicles' parts

New vehicles require some level of friction for their moving parts to break in. The synthetic oil limits this first baby step for brand new rides. Friction resistance of the oil brings about this effect.

The moving parts will get close to zero friction if synthetic oil is in use. It is therefore advisable not to use it immediately on new cars as you'll deny the car the chance to run as required.

Old vehicle models are at risk too

Old vehicle models, especially from 1990 dating back, don't go well with synthetic oil. Most old models use deposits as sealing in the oil system. What the synthetic oil does is cleaning out the deposits. The result of that is leakage that exposes your engine to risks from abrasive contaminants.

Highlighted Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Prevents breaking in for new cars
  • Incompatible with most old car models



If you want to reduce the frequent oil intervals change, switching to synthetic oil is the better option. It lasts twice as much time compared to the regular oil. However, the double figure also applies when it comes to pricing. That shouldn't be a worry though as it will be a good and yielding investment.

There's also the option of semi synthetic oil if the cost becomes a burden. Before getting the oil for your car, check the car manual to ensure it is compatible. Alternatively, you can consult your manufacturer if you are not so sure.

About Chris Lewis.

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