The Shift to Synthetic Oil: What You Need to Know

November 17th, 2023 by


A close-up of oil being poured into an engine during an oil change in Cincinnati is shown.

In recent years, more car manufacturers and service stations have made the smart choice to shift from regular to synthetic oils. While the term ‘synthetic’ might make you pause, trust us when we say it’s a good thing. There are plenty of reasons why your service provider is making the change to your oil change.

Cincinnati isn’t as tough to navigate as some big cities, but you might run into trouble downtown during rush hour or getting to or from the airport. Regular oil changes can improve your fuel economy and help your car run smoother and cleaner. So, a couple extra dollars for an annual oil change is a worthwhile investment; whether you’re dealing with heavy urban traffic or heading south to take in the beauty of Kentucky, keeping your car roadworthy is easier than you think!

One of the best ways to ensure your car stays in peak performance is with oil changes. If you’re new to driving, hearing that “synthetic oil is becoming the industry standard” might not mean much, but if you’ve been a car owner for a while now, you might feel a little more concerned. Sometimes, change is good; sometimes, it proves to be a mess.

Let us put your mind at ease. We’ll be taking a closer look at the shift toward synthetic oil and, overall, why it’s a positive change for Ohio drivers and car owners nationwide.

Synthetic vs Synthetic Blends vs Conventional Oil

Conventional mineral oil is less refined than new synthetic oil and blends. This means it’s not as clean, has a lower quality, is less stable, and breaks down quicker. It is because of this that synthetic oil is becoming the new normal. Synthetics have shown greater tolerance to fluctuations in temperature—both high and low—and lead to an overall better performance than conventional oil.

Synthetic oil is shown to improve the performance of a car; it lasts longer and has few impurities. This is great news. So, what’s the difference between pure synthetic oil and blends?

Synthetic blend oil is just what it says: it’s created from a mix of synthetic and conventional oil. This can help slow down the oxidation properties of conventional oil, helping it last longer than just standard mineral oil alone. It also has more tolerance for low temperatures than conventional oil. When going with a synthetic blend, it’s important to keep in mind that blends can vary between manufacturers, so some will offer better performance and value than others. The bottom line is that not all synthetic blends are created equal.

This leaves us with pure synthetic oil, which is more homogeneous in nature, meaning fewer impurities. It is manufactured in a lab, so it can often carry a higher price than blends or mineral oil. It is a high-performance substance and adjusts better to extremely high and low temperatures. Synthetic oil is known to give drivers the best of the best and elevate the performance of their vehicles. If you want a superior oil for your Corvette, synthetic is your best bet.

Overall, synthetic oil and synthetic oil blends are great for drivers. Using synthetic means fewer impurities in your engine, less engine sludge, and improved homeostasis for your engine (to maintain an even temperature).

Car manufacturers are working toward preventive maintenance measures when designing their cars, which means less work and worry for the driver. One way they are doing this is by making synthetic oil and synthetic blends the ideal oil for their vehicles. In 2019, around 70% of all new models required the use of synthetic or blended oil as opposed to traditional mineral oil. The move to synthetics also means great efficiency for new cars, which is something at the top of many buyers’ must-have lists.A close-up of a black oil cap is shown.

What About Pricing?

One of the things that change leads to is customers asking, “How much does this change cost me?” We get it. Prices these days seem to always be going up instead of down, and we aren’t seeing much in exchange for this.

The good news is that synthetic oil and blends are great for cars, and they are affordable! But considering that synthetic oil is from a lab and requires more work to create, it does cost an average of 30% more than a blend. But if you have a high-performance sports car, you might feel it’s totally worth it to see your car reach its full potential.

Meanwhile, synthetic oil blends are more affordable and add to the overall performance of your car without straining your wallet. A synthetic blend is sustainable for drivers, it’s easy to get, and it’s a good value.

When to Get an Oil Change

Synthetic oil and synthetic oil blends might be a little higher in price than conventional mineral oil, but they deliver a host of incredible benefits and a lot of value for each drop: better performance, great engine health, and even fewer carbon emissions—it’s all plusses.

By this point, you might feel there is a catch—as if you’ll need to have twice the number of oil changes in a year—but that’s certainly not the case. In fact, when you use synthetic oil, the pure nature of it means you can go further between oil changes!

Since synthetic oil is fully refined with fewer impurities than a blend or mineral oil, it gives you the best performance as far as mileage is concerned. On average and at peak performance, expect to go between 10,000 and 15,000 miles between oil changes.

A synthetic oil blend can vary from maker to maker, but on average, a synthetic oil blend means drivers can go upwards of around 6,000 miles between oil changes; some claim to go as high as 7,500 miles.

As for conventional mineral oil, the average distance is between 3,000 and 5,000 miles. What a difference even a blend can make!

A close-up of oil being poured is shown.

A Change for the Better

It’s clear why technicians and manufacturers alike are making a switch from conventional mineral oil to synthetic oil and blends. While it might add a little to the overall price, it gives you a lot in return.

Switching to synthetic oil or a synthetic oil blend is one of the reasons for the jump in fuel economy in a lot of newer cars, which require it to reach their full potential. But it’s not only that, as synthetic oils reduce fuel consumption, which leads to fewer tailpipe missions! If you’re not ready to make the change to an electric vehicle yet, switching to a new model that employs synthetic oil is a simple way to help lessen your carbon footprint.

Drivers can invest in fully synthetic oil to go longer between oil changes and get maximum performance. The absence of impurities in synthetic oil makes it superior to oil of the past, which could lead to sludge in your engine or fluctuation in temperatures, among other things.

If your budget is a little tighter or you’re not concerned with performance since you just need to get down the road to Hyde Park Plaza or Rockwood Commons to run a few errands, a synthetic blend is a great way to go farther in between oil changes plus get plenty of benefits. For example, did you know that a synthetic blend is better for heavy-duty vehicles like trucks and SUVs? Plus, it can withstand extreme temperatures, both hot and cold. Extremes are something that drivers dealing with Ohio’s unpredictable weather know a few things about. So, having an engine that is capable of maintaining its cool when temperatures are melting the pavement is good to know.

Overall, it’s safe to conclude that the switch to synthetic oil and synthetic oil blends is a positive move for drivers and their cars. The next time you get your oil changed, make sure you review your options and check the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure you’re putting only the very best into your ride.