Difference Between Conventional and Synthetic Engine Oil - Toyota Service Information To Know in Salem, OR

If you want to make your car last longer and cost less in maintenance over the course of its life, you've got to take good care of it. That means getting the correct services at the recommended times. And since most modern Toyota vehicles are equipped with synthetic oil from the factory, you should continue using synthetic oil in your car for optimal performance. And if you've got an older vehicle, you can realize some significant longevity benefits by switching to synthetic if you haven't already.

But why is synthetic better? Is it just a ploy to get you to spend more on oil changes? Or is it really different than conventional oil? We'll answer these questions and more below with information from our expert service team at Capitol Toyota. They've been trained by the factory to know more about your Toyota car, truck, or SUV than the average independent mechanic.

Oil Draining From Oil Pan

5. Synthetic Oil Is Man-Made For Uniformity

Unlike conventional oil, which is just crude oil that's been through a particular refinement process, synthetic oils are totally man-made. They're synthesized at the molecular level, so that all the molecules are the same size. Various sizes of molecules in conventional oil aren't as ideal for squeezing in between tight gaps to lubricate your engine. The molecular uniformity of synthetic oil means it flows better, lubricates better and protects better than conventional.

Cleaning Car Windshield Of Snow

4. Synthetic Oil Flows Better In Extreme Temperatures

The oil in your engine flows differently depending on the temperature. Most engines run as hot as 220°, and that heat causes the oil to flow more quickly. On cold winter days, it'll take longer for the engine to warm up to operating temperature, and conventional oil won't flow as well at this temperature. Synthetic oil maintains its lubricating properties and flows better in the cold, so your engine is protected better while it's warming up.

3. Synthetic Oil Resists Sludge Formation

As the oil in your engine ages, the heat and friction of the engine will cause the oil to begin breaking down. The additives like viscosity modifiers, anti-foaming agents and corrosion inhibitors will break down and stop working. The oil will also begin to separate into a thinner oil that can't protect your engine as well and a thick, dark sludge. Sludge can clog oil channels, disrupt oil flow and generally gum up the works of your engine. Enough sludge and your engine may stop running altogether! That's why it's important to get your oil changed at the recommended intervals before sludge formation can occur. Synthetic oil has fewer impurities that can lead to sludge formation, meaning it's slower to form sludge than conventional oil.

Engine Oil Change

2. Synthetic Oil Costs More

When you arrive at the service garage, you'll find that a synthetic oil change service might cost about twice as much as a conventional oil change. However, if you're getting conventional oil, you'll have to come back sooner -- usually after just 3,000 miles. Synthetic oil means you can go twice as long or more in between oil changes, ultimately saving money in the long run! Take the all-new 2020 Toyota Highlander for example. While Toyota recommends the fluids be inspected every 5,000 miles, synthetic oil changes are only needed every 10,000 miles according to the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule!

1. Synthetic Oil Protects Your Engine Better, Longer

Not only does synthetic oil last longer, it protects your engine better the whole time. Modern car engines generate more power, heat and friction, and the advantages of synthetic oil are even more obvious in these advanced engines. And on older cars with a hundred thousand miles or more on the engine, synthetic oil can help remove sludge build-up, condition seals and fight engine wear better than conventional.

To get the right oil for your car to make the engine perform its best and last as long as possible, head to the Capitol Toyota service center. Consult with a technician to find the right oil and the right maintenance schedule for you.