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You have heard about how good it is for other cars to switch to using synthetic oils instead of regular oils for better performance. But you have a rather old but well-maintained car which runs well and has run more than 100,000 miles. So you naturally wonder if you can or should start using synthetic oil in it and which oil is best for your car. If you need some help here, the following information should help clear your doubts and apprehensions because you need to choose the perfect oil for a vehicle that has run so many miles.
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Synthetic oils are artificially made using chemical compounds, which is a contrast to conventional oils made from refined crude oil. There are two types of synthetic oils:
Full synthetic oil
This oil is blended using different types of additives to provide the best engine protection and for improved vehicle’s performance. These oils use the best-performance additives and fluids. While all oils are not equal, its brand and density don’t matter much.
These oils are also called synthetic blends which are a mix of mineral and not more than 30|% synthetic oil. It’s better than conventional oils and much more advantageous than full synthetic oils without the expense.
When your engine grows old
The engine tends to grow weaker as it grows old and doesn’t respond well to normal wear and tear. This is when it’s important that you regularly change oil otherwise the trapped contaminants will end up damaging motor parts. It’s only with regular oil changes that the aged parts are properly lubricated to prevent any possible premature engine failure.
Recommended synthetic oils for older cars
Full synthetic oils are always a good choice for older vehicles that have been used a lot. They are perfect for lubricating the engine parts as they do it much better than any other oil. And in the process, they helped increase your car’s fuel economy, reduce the emissions and in the process, help increase the car’s overall lifespan.
The only problem with using synthetic oils for your older car is that these oils are thinner than conventional oils. So this can lead to the oil bleeding more with time. This problem can, however, be rectified if you use a full synthetic oil that has a higher viscosity.
It is worth switching to high-mileage oil if your car has been fun for more than 75,000 miles. The benefit and reason for using this oil are because it contains many additives which can help seal, and stop possible leakage. It also helps reduce friction in the engine and holds an important role in reducing the amount of sludge deposited. And in the long process, it protects your engine so that it works better.
- Seal conditioners rejuvenate aging engine seals to help stop and prevent oil leaks
- Extra wear protection helps prevent future engine wear
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- For cars with over 75,000 miles
- Helps prevent catalytic converter and emission system failure
Benefits of using synthetic oils in older vehicles
You can reap the benefits of these oils in older vehicles as long as your vehicle is in good running condition and has minimal leaks. Some people are hesitant about using synthetic oils in older vehicles because they think that it may only trigger some problems. The main reason for this confusion is because synthetic oil has a lower viscosity than conventional oil, and is more slippery oil. Some also worry that the oil may not be compatible with seals and can leak in some places while conventional oils may not.
However, all this is a misconception because synthetic oil does protect the engine in older vehicles as well as they do the newer engines. Besides, most synthetic motor oils are more compatible oils, thanks to its modern seal materials. And as most synthetic oils are formulated to condition seals, they can be adjusted to prevent leaks.
Switching to synthetic oils
There is no particular formula or procedure for making the switch. However, as a precautionary measure, it’s better to first do an engine flush so that the engine is clean and free of any accumulated contaminants which eventually affect the synthetic motor oil’s life. It’s also better to use high mileage oil because they have seal conditioners which help protect against motor engine leads and friction problems. However, this is not a steadfast rule and it’s rather easy switching to using synthetic oils in all vehicles.
Some people worry about making a switch to using full synthetic oil because they fear it can lead to the cleaning and loosening of sludge from the engine. And all this removed sludge can end up plugging the filter and passageways. This is also false because there will not be any clogging of oil filters or passageways when you switch to using a synthetic oil from a conventional oil.
It is true older cars have a tendency to form engine sludge and their oil seals and gaskets aren’t as tight as newer cars. The sludge, in fact, works as a sealing mechanism so when a synthetic oil is used, its advanced detergent additive cleans out the sludge. So there’s a chance of some of the sludge which worked as a seal of getting removed. And this can lead to an oil leak.
However, this doesn’t imply you shouldn’t change from using a conventional to synthetic oil in your old car. You just have to note your car’s oil usage after making the switch and perhaps change the oil more often. You also have to change your oil filter at the same time.
And if you want some suggestions for synthetic oils to use in your old car, then some options are Castrol synthetic motor oil, Pennzoil 55004233-6PK Platinum Euro L Full Synthetic Silver 5W-30 Motor Oil Lubricant, Royal Purple ROY11748HMX SAE 5W-30 High-Mileage Synthetic Motor Oil and the Polaris 2877883 OEM VES Full Synthetic Oil are some of the top selling types of motor oil available in the market today.
You have to make your choice based on your budget, the respective pros, cons and features of the different oils to find and start using the best suited oil for older cars.
Synthetic oil vs. Conventional oil older cars
Cars that are referred to as older cars are vehicles manufactured before 1990 or so. This means that the gaskets, seals and other parts will not be as tight as the new models. HoweverRegular maintenance of the car engine, with a regular oil change, can go a long way in extending its strength and performance.
Failure to do so will lead to all the contaminants in the oil damaging motor parts. Regular oil changes lubricate aging parts to help save any potential premature failure. The question arises as to whether you should use synthetic or conventional oils in older cars because of the mixed opinions and feedback you get for the two. So here’s a comparative article between the two worth reading.
Advantages of synthetic oils
- As mentioned earlier, it’s a common myth that synthetic oils are not safe for older cars mainly because it’s slipperier or lower in viscosity when compared to conventional oils. It’s also thought that synthetic oils are not compatible with seals, and can lead to leakages in places where conventional oil wouldn’t have triggered leaks. This is all untrue because synthetic oils will, in the long run, help enhance and protect old engines just as they do new engines. There was a higher chance of this occurring in the past because most synthetic oils then contained esters, organic compounds mixed with alcohol. It was this combination that was hard on engine seals, and lead to potential leakage.
- However there have been improvements in synthetic oil technology over the years, and while it’s true that old car engine seals may not be able to handle the additives in the oils, it’s possible to make the switch if it’s done gradually and pre-planned.
- In fact, it’s better to use synthetic oils because they clean all the contaminants and sludge formed during the combustion process like soot, sulphuric and nitric acid and carbon generated by the engine. This leaves a clean and protected engine that boasts of a high-quality performance and works much better than dirty old and new engines.
- As synthetic oils take a longer time to break down they easily withstand high temperatures and flow easier in cold temperatures. This increased stability in cold temperature makes the oil best for vehicles in very cold winter regions or very hot summer regions.
- When it comes to synthetic oils, 80% is usually the oil’s base oil while the remaining 20% constitute additives. The synthetic base oil has chemically engineered molecules with uniform properties. This leads to cleaner oil.
- Regular use of synthetic oils in older engines leads to cleaner pistons, improved fuel economy and horsepower protection, extreme temperature performance and optimal wear protection.
- As synthetic oils are thinner than conventional oils, the engine may bleed if there’s a leak. There is also the chance of synthetic oils leaving leaks while cleaning out sludge, which in turn leads to the engine burning oil. The solution here would be to look around and to use higher viscosity synthetic oil. You will also have to monitor oil levels and replace it as required otherwise the engine or other parts may get damaged.
- Synthetic oil being expensive is another disadvantage. However not many realize that they actually end up saving money in the long run. They work and last for a longer time in engines, which means you require fewer oil changes. However just because it’s long-lasting doesn’t mean you can be careless with oil changes. You need to maintain a regular schedule for changing oils.
For Those who like Traditional Oils
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|Castrol Engine Oil, 5W-30 SAE, Petroleum, 1 Qt.||$21.86||Check it out on Amazon|
Advantages of conventional oils
- One of the main reasons to still use conventional oils in older cars is that it’s a more cost-effective option. Most synthetic oils cost twice as much as conventional oils, even amongst the same brand. This is why some people don’t consider it’s worth using such expensive oil in cars that don’t particularly require synthetic oil, like older cars.
- Synthetic oils in old cars that have run more than 75,000 miles tend to flow much more smoothly than conventional oils, which can lead to a higher chance of grinding gears in the engines.This is why many manufacturers recommend using conventional oil because they offer better lubrication for the old engines. This, in turn, leads to your engine lasting for a longer period, much longer before it’s meant to go.
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Disadvantages of conventional oils
- However conventional base oil molecules differ in shape and impurity levels. They also tend to break down quickly which is why these oils cannot perform well in high temperatures nor flow easily in cold temperatures.
- Conventional oils are not advisable if you have to make frequent short trips because the oil may not get hot enough to burn any moisture and impurities found in the oil. This in turn leads to conventional oils breaking down at a quicker pace.
There is no steadfast rule about which is better engine oil for your old car. It all depends on your car, its usage, where you live and the environmental conditions. While synthetic oils were once difficult to access, you can easily buy both types of oils online today.
To be on the safer side, it’s always better to make the switch after talking to your professional technician and to make a gradual switch. This protects your car and ensures it performs for a longer time.
Last update on 2019-12-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API