You’re standing in the motor oil aisle at your local store, desperately trying to find the answer written somewhere on the bottles: which oil is right for my vehicle? We’re here to break down the different types of motor oil and help you make the right choice for your trusty ride.
Conventional Oil: Old Faithful
The granddaddy of motor oils, conventional oil is your basic go-to option for everyday driving. Producers derive conventional oil from petroleum, and customers have been using it to lubricate engines since cars first hit the road. These days, it usually contains some additives to help protect against wear, but it’s still the most affordable choice for your average commuter.
However, conventional oil isn’t ideal for extreme conditions, such as high-performance driving or sub-zero temperatures. Plus, it might not have the fancy tech of its synthetic counterparts, but it gets the job done.
Synthetic Oil: The High-Tech Hero
Enter synthetic oil, the Iron Man to conventional oil’s Captain America. Synthetic oils consist of artificially created molecules, which gives them a more uniform and tailored structure. This uniformity translates to better performance in high- or low-temperature extremes, improved fuel efficiency, and a longer life for your engine components.
It’s more expensive than conventional oil, but if you have a high-performance engine or live in an extreme climate, the long-term benefits might just be worth the extra cost.
Synthetic Blend: The Best of Both Worlds
If you’re not quite ready to take the plunge into the synthetic oil pool, a synthetic blend might be the perfect middle-ground. These blends combine the affordability of conventional oil with some of the performance benefits of synthetic to give you a well-rounded option for your vehicle.
Synthetic blend oils provide improved fuel efficiency, better resistance to temperature extremes, and a longer change interval compared to conventional oil.
Racing Oil: For Speed Demons Only
You might be tempted to pour some racing oil into your engine to make your daily driver feel like a NASCAR champ, but hold your horses! Running racing oil in a daily driver can be detrimental to your engine’s longevity. Racing oil suits high-performance engines, often at the expense of essential additives and corrosion inhibitors that provide protection to standard engines. Unless you have a fully-fledged race car in your garage, it’s better to leave this one to the pros.
By investing a little time and effort in understanding each type, you can make an informed decision and keep your vehicle humming for years to come. Knowing which motor oil is right for your vehicle gives you one less thing to worry about when you’re in that motor oil aisle.