To use or not to use, for that is the question (apologies to Shakespeare). Both car lovers and those who simply use cars and trucks to get about, have wrestled in their own minds whether they should follow all the manufacturers guidelines or can they use after market parts, accessories and fluid (http://www.a1-car-truck-stuff.com/aftermarketcarparts)in their vehicles.
That battle has been waging for many years and though I'd like to end it here and now, you'll need to decide for yourselves.Is synthetic oil a better product to use in your car, truck, motorcycle, RV or any other motor? Well, first, lets keep in mind that synthetic oil is NOT man made - it is not an artificial or plastic like substance conjured up in the back of some mad scientist's laboratory. For if it was actually man-made, we could make it at will and wouldn't have oil shortages and huge gasoline price increases, would we?.Rather, synthetic oil can be thought of as a base oil that has been molecularly manipulated to function better under stress, heat and friction. As such, it requires crude oil as its base product and is then "built" from there.
Additives are added but some of those same additives are also added to "normal" oils as well - so its not an issue of what is in it as much as its how it's structured.In order for your engine to function properly and with adequate power, a lubricating motor oil must perform four main functions: IT MUST LUBRICATE to keep all the metal parts in your engine from literally "rubbing each other raw". The parts are made slippery by oil and they slide across and/or against one another without significant wear, thus increasing the longevity of the motor.Oil must also PROTECT not only against wear but also against corrosion of engine components, oxidation of the oil and contamination via condensation and combustion by-products all cause acids within an engine oil. a natural by-product of of combustion is acid - which of course is corrosive and will "eat" metal parts. Oil is designed to protect against this process (but as we'll see, not all oils are created equal).
In fact I've personally seen demonstrations where oil is placed in a dish (be it ATF, gear or motor oil) and a hand crank egg beater is used to stir it up. Some oils (usually synthetic) will climb that egg beater straight to the top, while others will stay in the bowl and begin to foam up. The demonstration is designed to show the ability of the oil to quickly get to the vulnerable parts and create a lubricant barrier against heat and friction.Oil must also CLEAN. An engine must remain clean, or it loses efficiency.
Deposits within an engine gum up the works and reduce fuel efficiency while robbing your engine of performance. In addition, contaminants within an oil that are left "unguarded" can cause incalculable wear within an engine. And lastly an oil must COOL. The crankshaft, camshaft, timing gears, pistons, main and connecting rod bearings and many other critical engine components are cooled mainly by the motor oil within your engine.The radiator is normally thought to be the primary cooling system, and while it plays a vital part, it is not the main cooler for the engine.
Heat is generated within an engine from both the combustion process and the friction caused by the motion of engine components. As oil passes through the system it is directed onto these hot surfaces in order to carry the heat away to the oil pan.From here the heat is dissipated to the air surrounding the pan.So we see in brief the purpose of oil, but the question remains -synthetic or off the shelf, "normal" oil - which will provide the best protection?.
Some Quick Oil Facts.** Oil filters are an important part of the equation here - and many motor oil filters are only efficient at removing particles larger than 40 microns, but one that efficiently filters particles just 10 microns smaller will reduce engine wear by 50%? As such, all oil filters are not created equal.** There at least four motor oil manufacturers that recommend 10,000 to 35,000 mile oil change intervals and that extended drain motor oils have been available for nearly 30 years? The problem is that companies that sell oil to consumers are not especially motivated to make that a well known fact for fear of lower profit.** Some synthetics aren't really "synthetic" at all.
Were you aware that many synthetic blends are consumed nearly as easily as petroleum oil, even though you pay at least twice as much for them?.** Extreme cold can be nearly as damaging to your motor oil as extreme heat.** Do you drive a motorcycle? Motorcycle manufacturers have a tendency to use outdated 1980's motor oil technology and charge you high prices for their so-called OEM Motorcycle designed oil. Yet you can buy excellent synthetic oil for the same price that will increase the protection and performance of your bike.
** Finding the proper viscosity - thickness: For many newer vehicles only 5w30 or 10w30 motor oils are recommended by the manufacturer - and in some cases only 0w20. According to the "Motor Oil Bible", if you choose to use a higher viscosity oil than what is recommended, at the very least you are likely to reduce performance of the engine. Fuel economy will likely go down. Engine performance will likely drop.
In the winter months it is recommended that you not use a heavier grade oil than what is recommended by the manufacturer.In cold start conditions you could very well be causing more engine wear than when using a lighter viscosity oil. In the summer months, going to a heavier grade is less of an issue, but there are still some things to be aware of. Personally, I spoke with the owner of an older Mercedes Benz who after he switched from regular motor oil to synthetic, noticed an immediate ease in starting - in fact his glow plug light lit up immediately rather than having to wait for the oil to warm as before.
Advantages of Synthetic Oil?.* Predictable properties and performance
Uniformity of product characteristics which results in lower production rejection and lower maintenance costs.* Longer oil life
Enhanced thermal and oxidation stability which saves money by using less oil, less downtime, and longer filter life.* Reduced oil consumption
Lower volatility saves money with less top off, less inventory, and better viscosity retention.*Satisfies specific requirements
Specific military specifications and severe operation conditions are accomplished where other lubricants fall short.
* Safer operation
Higher flash points, fire points, and spontaneous ignition reduces the risk of fire and equipment loss - saving you money!!.** Overall advantages of synthetic lubricants
· saves energy
· increases efficiency
· reduces operating cost
· reduces maintenance and downtime
· increases equipment life
· extends lubricant life.In the end, keep in mind that synthetic oils, these days, are completely compatible with petroleum oils. This was not always the case, but the widespread use of synthetics now makes that compatibility a necessity.
So, technically, you could even mix your own semi-synthetic oil. However, you will see exponentially better results by using a full synthetic than by going with a semi-synthetic oil. You won't cause any damage - you just won't get the results your paying and hoping for with a semi-synthetic.
The decision is yours - regular motor oil or synthetic? Your choice, but I believe the advantages are obvious..Mark Kirby is a long time car and truck enthusiast and an export manager for a manufacturer of motor oils, ATFs and other lubricant products. This article courtesy of http://www.a1-car-truck-stuff.
com.We invite you to stop by our auto and truck website for excellent parts, accessories, ideas and information. You may freely reprint this article intact without change on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact. Reference materials from The Motor Oil Bible: http://www.a1-car-truck-stuff.com/articles/index1.
By: Mark Whyte