Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Synthetic Oil

I recently delivered a couple of the new 2011 Mazda2 vehicles which come with synthetic oil (0W20) as part of the recommended lubrication.  Mazda recommends synthetic oil in these vehicles to improve and achieve the stated fuel economy and engine emissions levels.  Also, these state-of-the-art engines now run more efficiently (particularly under severe operating conditions such as in extreme heat or extreme cold) with synthetic oil.

Why Choose a Synthetic Oil?
Synthetic oil is engineered to do the job of a conventional lubricant, but better, as they can be specifically designed to fulfill particular needs.  Though a bit more costly to produce and therefore more expensive to buy, synthetic oil can offer significant performance advantage.  All lubricants fall into one of three categories: liquid (oil), semi-liquid (grease), and solid (graphite). All three are derived from vegetable, mineral, or synthetic base stock.  However, if raw materials alone are used to lubricate modern, high-precision machinery, they quickly overheat, catch fire, evaporate or emulsify. This allows fast moving parts to come into direct contact, and can result in irreparable damage to their surfaces. To guard against this, all lubricants are processed to remove impurities and are bolstered with chemical additives.

 Synthetic oils, however, are manufactured specifically to stand up to the severe conditions under which conventional oils might falter. They possess viscosity characteristics superior to those of mineral oils. The resulting lubricants have a molecular structure that meet and often exceed manufacturers' criteria for high-performance engines.

Among the many performance advantages that synthetic oils offer is their ability to remain stable at high temperatures (under which conventional oils begin to break down) and remain fluid at low temperatures (under which conventional oils begin to thicken). This provides optimum lubrication at extreme temperatures, reducing wear for a cleaner, more efficient engine.

Synthetic Oil Grades
Synthetics are sometimes mixed with conventional mineral oils to produce a cost-effective middle ground between the two, referred to as a "semi” or “part-synthetic." However, while semi or part-synthetics and conventional mineral oils are both capable lubricants, fully synthetic oils provide the highest level of engine protection.

Pros and Cons of Using Synthetic Motor Oil
Pros
•Synthetic motor will increase the life of an engine
•Longer oil change intervals, because of viscosity breakdown
•Better for extreme driving conditions, especially extremely cold or hot weather.

Cons
•Synthetic motor can cost up two three times more than conventional motor oil.
•Synthetic should be used in the beginning of the engines life not if the vehicle already has a lot of kilometres.
•Some experts suggest that synthetic probably should not be used when the vehicle is brand new due to engine break in of the factory oil in many new vehicles.

Is Synthetic Oil Better Than Conventional Motor Oil?
There’s no doubt that synthetic oil is better than conventional motor oil. Since synthetic oil is made with smaller molecules and less impurities it’s just a plain better lubricant. It’s especially better for today’s modern engines that have tighter tolerances and smaller oil passages that need a super lubricant. Car manufacturers are requiring that synthetic oil be used more and more. Most new vehicles are at least required to use a synthetic blend.

If you plan on keeping your vehicle for a long time, using synthetic oil is a good idea.