Synthetic Oil vs. Conventional Motor Oil
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  1. #1
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    Synthetic Oil vs. Conventional Motor Oil

    What are the Advantages of Using Synthetic Engine Oils?



    Dealerships, auto repair shops and fast lube facilities will often recommend using a synthetic oil when a vehicle is brought in for an oil change or routine vehicle maintenance. Naturally synthetic motor oil is much more expensive than conventional oil, so before making a decision, find out the differences between synthetic and conventional motor oil and what it means to a cars engine.
    What is Conventional Motor Oil?

    Conventional or regular motor is processed from crude oil out of the ground. The crude oil is separated at the oil refinery. The thicker oil is used for applications like roofing tar and asphalt. The thinner oil is used for applications like gasoline and engine oil, among other applications.




    This oil becomes the base stock for the oil. Engine oil base stock refined from crude oil contains small amounts of natural contaminants that can’t be removed from the base stock used in processing engine oil.
    What is Synthetic Motor Oil?

    There are two components to synthetic motor oil:

    Base Stock - Unlike conventional motor oil, synthetic motor oils base stock is artificially created or synthesized. Because of the higher purity of synthetic oil, the properties of synthetic motor oil can stand up to heat much better before breaking down than conventional motor oil. Synthetic motor oil can also withstand colder temperatures better than conventional motor oils. This a huge benefit when an engine is first started in cold weather.
    Performance Additives - Beside the base stock, performance additives are added to both conventional and synthetic motor oils. According to Castrol, the performance additives used in synthetic motor oils are engineered with special additives that help to fight off sludge and mineral deposits that are naturally caused in combustion. Performance additives in synthetic motor oil provide superior protection in extreme driving conditions like extremely cold or hot temperatures.

    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.

    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.
    Synthetic oil can be used at a any point in a vehicles life, when it's brand new or with a lot of miles. If someone plans on keeping a vehicle for a long time, using synthetic oil is a good idea if it was used from early on. On the other hand, if someone gets a new vehicle every year, why have the added expense of synthetic oil.

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  3. #2
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  4. #3
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    Here's my question. I own a 2012 Azera. The manual says to use SAE 5W-30 or 10W-30 engine oil that meets the following specs: "API Service SM/ILSAC GF-4 or above/ACEA A5 or above". I haven't been able to find a straightforward matrix that lists commercial motor oils on the market on one side and specs on the other, with check marks if met. Instead, I've been looking at spec sheets for individual oils. Unless I'm missing something, it appears that generally to satisfy ACEA A5, the oil must almost certainly be a synthetic. That seems a little odd to me. At my 7,500 mile service a few months ago, a Hyundai dealer used a conventional oil. Moreover, if synthetic oils were required, wouldn't it be much more simple to mention in the manual that in at least many/most (maybe all) cases conventional oils today don't meet ACEA A5? Is it possible that this is a "recommendation" only, in the sense that Hyundai "recommends" Quaker State oil (as the manual says), and not a requirement? In other words, while a synthetic oil provides safe operation over a longer interval so there is greater flexibility in scheduling oil changes -- but that if one sticks closely to the recommended oil-change intervals, conventional oil is probably fine? I find it puzzling that a Hyundai V6 engine that accepts regular 87 octane gas would require very high end engine oils -- it's a beautiful car and the engine performs nicely, but it's not a Ferrari . . .

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Bolt1955; 05-02-2013 at 01:50 PM.

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  6. #4
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    Welcome to the forum!...

  7. #5
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    Here's an interesting web site: www.oilspecifications.org . You can search for oil products that meet particular specifications among a variety (but not all) major brands. For instance, my 2012 Azera manual specifies (as I noted in an earlier post above) that engine oil ought to meet the following specs: (1) API service SM; (2) ILSAC G4 (or above); and (3) ACEA A5. Now I don't pretend to understand exactly what differences exist in the characteristics of motor oil, especially between the last two specs. But the specifications search web site identifies four products that meet specs (2) and (3) (I assume most products these days meet spec (1)): (1) AGIP eni i-Sint FE 5W30; (2) ARAL HighTronic F 5W30; (3) CASTROL EDGE Professional A5 5W30; and (4) CASTROL Magnetec Professional A5 5W30 . That's right -- just four, and not a 10W30 among them! (Note, however, that apparently Quaker State brand products, which Hyundai recommends explicitly, are not included in the database).

    Now the manual does indicate that some other products might be acceptable, including ACEA A3 (if A5 is not available), and ILSAC G5 (which is above G4). I didn't check those. I would welcome anyone else playing around with this tool, and checking other sources including spec sheets, to identify other oils that satisfy Hyundai's requirements (also, I don't know if the requirements are different for model years other than 2012).

    I would also reiterate my earlier question (perhaps in slightly different form): How serious ARE these requirements? If oil is changed every 3,750 miles (as recommended), would use of most of the oil products readily available on the market (for instance at national quick-lube type chains) present any risk? Opinions about that?
    Last edited by Bolt1955; 10-11-2013 at 04:09 PM.

  8. #6
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    My 2012 Azera says to use 5w30,however both dealers I have contacted say they use 5w20.Emailed Hyundai Corporate with no response.

  9. #7
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    Honestly, I'm not good when it comes to oil. So which is better to use in all types of car?

  10. #8
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    I have used synthetic oil in all of my new cars, 2005 & 2011 Toyota Avalon, and my 2013 Azera. Both dealers, Toyota and Hyundai, have used Pennzoil 5W20. Both dealers also recommended synthetic over regular motor oil.

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