Synthetic motor oils raise many questions of quality and price when compared to conventional petroleumbased motor oils. Synthetic motor oils are purported to be much better than petroleum-based oils and the price difference is substantial. Can engine owners justify the increased price for synthetic oils? The following facts and information may assist you in making decisions on selection and use of synthetic motor oils for your lubrication needs.
Synthetic oil is a product made by scientists under controlled conditions. Synthetic oil is a pure, idealized lubricant made from select chemical basestocks and additives. It is engineered to perform under rigorous conditions and extreme temperatures. The molecules in synthetic oil are all the same size and shape. Synthetic oil is blended with a higher degree of lubricity. It is slicker. It contains more cleaning agents to keep the inside of engines clean longer. It contains less additives that can break down under adverse conditions, such as excessive heat and pressure. It contains no waxy contaminants that reduce lubrication in cold temperatures.
Natural petroleum-based motor oils are found in nature and contain natural contaminants. Oil refineries take crude oil from an oil well and refine it by removing some of the contaminants and adding chemical additives to improve the performance and quality of the oil. However, some contaminants such as wax, which is difficult to remove in the refining process, remain in the oil. Natural oil is comprised of a mixture of hydrocarbons of assorted sizes and shapes.
"SP268-Q-Synthetic Motor Oils," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, SP268Q-2M-11/98(Rev) E12-2015-00-049-99, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexmach/4