Synthetic oil vs. Mineral oil

Synthetic oil vs. Mineral oil
Written by Paarth Powale

We as automobile enthusiasts have all heard about synthetic oil, but do we really know the difference between synthetic and conventional mineral based oil? Let’s try and understand both.

Mineral engine oil is almost entirely natural, while synthetic oil is a mix of chemicals and includes performance enhancing additives like performance-enhancing additives like polyalphaolefin (PAO), synthetic esters and alkylated aromatics. Also the molecules in synthetic oil are more consistent than mineral oil. Look at both sides it’s obvious that synthetic oil provides far superior lubrication than mineral oil.

oil molecles

oil molecules

We recommend you use synthetic oil for you engines. Synthetic oil maintains viscosity at even at high temperatures and offers far outstanding performance than mineral oil. Synthetic oil also increases engine life and at time marginal increase in power. But remember, every manufacturer recommends either synthetic or mineral, stick to the factory recommendations. Using full synthetic in engines meant to use conventional oil may do more damage than good.

Do not use synthetic during run-in period: Synthetic oil has superior lubrication, when you’ve bought a new bike or car, the engine needs to have a little wear and tear for smoother combustion. This wear and tear is good for the engine. Use mineral oil till the first service of your vehicle or till the first 1500-2000 odd kilometers

Flush engine before oil change: Completely flush the existing oil before switching from conventionally to synthetic. Note that flushing is not necessary for some older engines, check with your local mechanic.

Use recommended grade: Remember use the recommended grade of oil for your engine. If the manual says 10W-40, be sure that you use that only.

Stick to regular oil change intervals: Though synthetic oil is known to last longer, keep changing the oil at intervals recommended in the manual. It will help improve engine life considerably. Also change oil filters along with change of oil.

Semi-Synthetic oil: A mix of mineral oil and synthetic, though it is not as superior as using only synthetic but it is friendly on the pocket.

The only major disadvantage pure synthetic oil has is the cost. Synthetic oil is much costlier than regular oil. But we think it’s worth the extra buck.