When customers bring their vehicles to Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs for an oil change, one of the first things we ask is if they want conventional or synthetic oil.
The typical answer is: I don’t know.
While we could waste the customer’s day going on and on about the differences, we typically give basic information so they can make the best choice for their car and budget on the spot. Today, we look a bit closer at the conventional oil change vs. synthetic, covering everything you need to know.
In the simplest terms, here are your options for when you come to Bowers for an oil change:
- GOOD – Conventional Motor Oil
- BETTER – Synthetic Blend Oil
- BEST – Full Synthetic Oil
Conventional Oil Change vs. Synthetic, Definitions
When bringing your car, truck or SUV to our shop in Colorado Springs for service, it’s easier to decide on the type of oil change you want by understanding the definition of each oil type and what it provides.
Conventional Oil Definition
While synthetic is being used more often, conventional oil isn’t exactly bad for your car. It comes from crude oil that’s been carefully distilled and refined. It’s been used for decades and provides a reliable way to lubricate engine parts, prevent heat damage and maintain viscosity between oil changes.
If you own an older model vehicle (10 years and up), don’t tow boats or trailers with it, and generally have lower miles, conventional should work just fine for your car.
What are Synthetic Oils?
This type starts with modified crude oil. Its components are then engineered in a lab using more advanced methods to refine and distill the oil, as well as remove more deposits. The end result is a cleaner product with greater purity per molecule.
Synthetic oils are designed to thoroughly clean, lubricate and protect a car’s engine, even extend the lifespan of engine parts.
When looking at conventional oil vs. synthetic, on big benefit is that you can go longer between changes, at least 5,000 miles and up to 15,000 or more. Maximizing mileage requires a high-quality synthetic oil brand along with the intervals recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
Come see us at Bowers Automotive, and we’ll set up a schedule based on the needs of your car.
Part-Synthetic (Synthetic Blend) Oil
This blend may not last as long or provide the level of protection as full synthetic, but it’s a good compromise when you’re looking for improved engine performance but don’t want to break the bank.
Depending on the age of the vehicle you drive and OEM requirements, a part-synthetic is the lowest you should go to protect advanced onboard technology and ensure your vehicle can pass emissions testing.
Again, we’d be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Conventional Oil Change vs. Synthetic Oil Change – Which One is Better?
When it comes to oil changes, it’s a natural reaction for many of our Colorado Springs customers to stick with what they know and what’s cheapest. Conventional oil changes have been around forever, so why try something new? Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?
Well, like a lot of things, vehicles have evolved.
Their technology, systems, parts and performance have all taken giant leaps forward. New vehicle prices have gone up, too. To protect today’s cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as your investment in them, it just might be time to upgrade your oil as well.
10 Reasons Why Synthetic Oil is Better than Conventional:
- Improves overall fuel efficiency
- Helps to reduce vehicle emissions
- Lubricates and protects parts efficiently
- Cleans engine deposits
- Removes sludge build-up in older cars
- Prevents engine wear and tear
- Maintains viscosity for longer
- Lasts longer with less oil breakdown
- Protects turbocharger performance
- Provides stability in all weather extremes
Does synthetic oil have any downsides?
If you’re used to paying around $25 for a basic oil change with conventional oil, you might have a little sticker shock if you choose to go with synthetic. You might even think we’re trying to push an upsell.
But here’s the thing.
Technology in today’s vehicles is moving in the direction of synthetic oil, from being recommended to required by the manufacturer. The upside is that you’ll need oil changes less frequently, even get double the miles that a conventional oil might allow.
Common Oil Change Questions & Answers
Now that know more about the differences between a conventional oil change vs. synthetic, you may need a few clarifications. Here are the top 4 questions from customers here in Colorado Springs, along with the answers from our oil change experts.
How many miles can you go on full synthetic oil?
Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer. Typically, synthetic oil change intervals are around 7,500 miles up to 10,000. We have even heard of super high-end synthetic oils providing 25,000 miles of protection but we don’t recommend it.
With the maximum for conventional closer to 5,000 miles, you can see the convenience and long-term savings that come with choosing a synthetic oil change.
Is full synthetic oil worth the extra cost?
In our opinion, absolutely. If your vehicle manufacturer requires it, using conventional could harm your engine. For cars where it’s optional, there’s still incredible value in choosing synthetic.
Not only does its molecular structure work better for all types of driving, low-mileage around Colorado Springs or towing trailers up into the mountains, but it can help extend the life of your vehicle’s engine.
You get less sludge build-up and better-lubricated parts; plus premature engine problems are all but avoided. So, when it comes to conventional oil change vs. synthetic, we think the choice is clear.
If I use conventional oil now, can I just switch to synthetic?
Absolutely. Even if you drive an older Honda (those things go forever), Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs can switch you to synthetic as soon as you’re ready.
We’ll drain out the old conventional oil and get you set up with quality synthetic oil so you can continue to enjoy your vehicle for years to come.
Does synthetic oil require a different oil filter?
While there are filters that use synthetic fibers that stop debris from getting into your engine, the key is to install a high-quality oil filter. Instead of a basic paper filter, it might use premium pleating. It might also be designed to work with synthetic oil.
Fortunately, you can trust that Bowers Automotive has gone through all the options and will be sure to use the right filter for your synthetic oil change service.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to a conventional oil change vs. synthetic, there are some pretty significant differences with synthetic being our top pick.
The first step is to check out the owner’s manual for your vehicle. If your manufacturer recommends full synthetic, then you should certainly stick with it. Otherwise, you could void the warranty, cause damage and potentially wind up paying for expensive engine repairs.
Is it time for an oil change? Are you ready to give synthetic oil a try? Then come to Bowers Automotive in Colorado Springs. We’ll provide all the maintenance and repairs needed for your vehicle – any make, model and year. We specialize in honest, professional auto repair at affordable prices.