The synthetics motor oil

A miracle of the modern chimistry?

Synthetic motor oils raise many questions of quality and price when compared to conventional petroleum based motor oils. Synthetic motor oils are purported to be much better than petroleum-based oils and the price difference is substantial. Can engine owners justify the increased price for synthetic oils? The following facts and information may assist you in making decisions on selection and use of synthetic motor oils for your lubrication needs.

Synthetic oil is a product made by scientists under controlled conditions. Synthetic oil is a pure, idealized lubricant made from select chemical basestocks and additives. It is engineered to perform under rigorous conditions and extreme temperatures.

The molecules in synthetic oil are all the same size and shape. Synthetic oil is blended with a higher degree of lubricity. It is slicker. It contains more cleaning agents to keep the inside of engines clean longer. It contains less additives that can break down under adverse conditions, such as excessive heat and pressure. It contains no waxy contaminants that reduce lubrication in cold temperatures.


Natural petroleum-based motor oils are found in nature and contain natural contaminants. Oil refineries take crude oil from an oil well and refine it by removing some of the contaminants and adding chemical additives to improve the performance and quality of the oil. However, some contaminants such as wax, which is difficult to remove in the refining process, remain in the oil. Natural oil is comprised of a mixture of hydrocarbons of assorted sizes and shapes.

Comparison of Synthetic Oil to Petroleum Oils

1. Synthetic motor oils will withstand higher engine temperatures than petroleum oils — 600 degrees F, as compared to 450 degrees for petroleum oils.
2. Synthetic oils will begin lubrication at lower temperatures than petroleum oils — about -60 degrees, compared to about -20 degrees for petroleum oils.
3. Synthetic oils contain molecules of the same size and shape, which reduces volatilization of molecules compared to petroleum oils.
4. Synthetic oils contain more detergent additives, which allows more cleaning of internal engine parts than petroleum oils.
5. Synthetic oils are slicker than petroleum oils, which means less wear and tear, cooler engine temperatures and better performance.
6. Synthetic oils are more resistant than petroleum oils to molecular chain shear, which reduces lubrication and cooling capability of the oil.
7. Synthetic oils form fewer deposits inside the engine than petroleum oils.

Compatibility with Petroleum-based Oils

Synthetic oils are completely compatible with petroleum-based oils. Synthetic oil is better than petroleum-based oils. The decision to pay the difference in price is yours. The application you have for the oil may help you make your decision. Hardworking engines under full load in hot temperatures will benefit most from synthetic oils. Those living in cold climates will also benefit from almost instantaneous lubrication in cold engine-starting temperatures.


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