If you’ve ever taken a car in to be serviced, you’ve probably been asked by the mechanic, “What type of oil are you getting?” If you’re like most people, you probably just say “Whatever it takes,” or “Whatever you recommend!” Depending on your vehicle, the mechanic may recommend one of four types of motor oil: full synthetic, synthetic blend, conventional, or high mileage. Each type of oil has a specific chemical makeup and purpose it is best suited for:
Conventional Motor Oil: Conventional motor oil is the most commonly used type of motor oil. It is ideal for late-model, light-duty cars with low to average mileage and simple engine design.
Full Synthetic Motor Oil: Full synthetic motor oil differs from conventional motor oil in that it provides a higher viscosity level, resistance to oxidation and thermal breakdown, and helps prevent oil sludge from accumulating.
Synthetic motor oil can also reduce engine drag and improve your vehicle’s horsepower capabilities. Synthetic oil is much more expensive than traditional oil, but it is a good choice if you live in a climate where temperatures can reach extremes or if you have an older vehicle.
Synthetic Blend Motor Oil: Synthetic Blend Motor Oil is exactly what it sounds like – a blend of both synthetic motor oil and traditional motor oil, at a much more affordable price than full synthetic motor oil. Synthetic Blends are a great compromise for the driver that wants the added engine protection and performance of a synthetic oil at a more reasonable price than a full synthetic motor oil.
High Mileage Motor Oil: The fourth and final type of motor oil is High Mileage Motor Oil, which is designed specifically for engines with over 75,000 miles on the odometer. High Mileage Motor Oil is formulated to minimize engine leaks and oil seepage, reduce smoke and emissions, and reduce oil burning – all common issues with older engines.
Hopefully, this article will help you make a slightly more informed decision the next time your mechanic asks, “What type of oil are you getting?”