Image: onamiaservicecenter.comA good number of car manufacturers recommend synthetic car oil in their new vehicles. The primary reasons for this are synthetics operate well at high temperatures, are less prone to breaking down, lasts longer than conventional oils, and remains "thin" at low temperatures.

If you consider all of these reasons for using synthetic oil, what’s there not to like?
One big stumbling block is the cost of these products; they can be priced anywhere from two to four times more than regular car oil.

The commercials on TV say that synthetic oil is the best oil you can buy and these oils are slipperier and provide more protection for your car. So should you or shouldn’t you use synthetic oil in place of your regular motor oil?

Lots of Short Trips?

Conventional car wisdom says that medium to long trips for your car is healthier than a lot of short trips. If your car uses standard motor oil, this is good advice because short trips don’t allow the engine oil to heat up to proper temperatures to “burn off” moisture and gunk.

So if you do a lot of short trips, it may be a good idea to switch over to synthetic oil because it will be less prone to breaking down. In extreme weather temperatures ranging from very hot to very cold, synthetic oil may be a good choice for your car.

Old Car?

If you own an older vehicle, the engines on these types of cars are more likely to develop sludge buildup. This nasty stuff can clog the engine’s oil circulation system and cause serious engine trouble, if not a quick breakdown.

Some cars that were manufactured during the years from 2000-2003 exhibited tendencies for engine sludge buildup, which forms when oil breaks down. If you have an older car, it may be cheap insurance to switch to synthetic oil to protect the engine.

Chrysler, Toyota, Volkswagen, and other car makers were identified with these problems.

Better for the Environment

As a whole, synthetic oil lasts longer than conventional oils, and as a result, you’ll do less frequent oil changes. Fewer oil changes mean a better environment that is freer of polluting oils dumped in the ecosystem.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t hurt to replace conventional oils with synthetic ones, and could possibly help your car by using them, depending on your situation and needs. Just be prepared to pony up some more cash for the product.

Source: Consumer Reports

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