Selecting the appropriate engine oil is of utmost importance when it comes to maintaining your car's engine. The smooth performance and longevity of your vehicle heavily rely on the engine oil's quality. In the market, you will find two main options: synthetic oil and conventional oil (also known as normal engine oil). This blog aims to conduct a thorough comparison between synthetic oil and conventional oil for cars, highlighting their respective advantages and disadvantages to assist you in making an informed decision. But before delving into the comparison, let's gain a clear understanding of each type of oil.

What is Synthetic Oil?

Synthetic oil is a specially engineered engine oil composed of artificially synthesized chemical compounds. Through a complex manufacturing process, it attains precise molecular characteristics, yielding a top-notch lubricant. Synthetic oils deliver consistent performance across diverse temperatures, decrease friction, and provide superior protection against wear and tear. They are formulated with fewer impurities, promoting cleaner engines and extending oil change intervals.

What is Conventional Oil or Normal Engine Oil?

Conventional oil, also known as normal engine oil, is derived from natural crude oil through a refining process. It contains a mix of hydrocarbons and various additives to meet the basic requirements of engine lubrication. Conventional oils are widely used and readily available, making them a cost-effective option for many car owners.

Synthetic Oil for Cars vs. Conventional Oil: Which Engine Oil is Good?

The discussion regarding synthetic oil and conventional oil frequently revolves around determining which one is more advantageous for your car. Let's assess them by considering various factors:

Synthetic Engine Oil vs. Conventional Engine Oil

  • Performance: Synthetic oil outperforms conventional oil in terms of performance. Its carefully engineered molecular structure provides superior lubrication, ensuring smoother engine operation and enhanced fuel efficiency. Synthetic oil also performs better in extreme temperatures, making it ideal for vehicles in harsh climates.
  • Engine Protection: Synthetic oil forms a stronger protective film on engine components, reducing wear and tear. It also resists oxidation and thermal breakdown, leading to cleaner engines and longer-lasting oil. Conventional oil may not provide the same level of protection under demanding conditions.
  • Price: Synthetic oil is generally more expensive than conventional oil. However, its longer-lasting properties and engine benefits may offset the higher initial cost.
  • Compatibility: Most modern cars are compatible with synthetic oil. However, it's essential to consult your vehicle's manual or a professional mechanic before switching from conventional to synthetic oil, especially for older models.

The Price of Synthetic Engine Oil for Cars

As previously mentioned, synthetic oil comes at a comparatively higher cost compared to conventional oil. This is primarily due to its intricate manufacturing process and exceptional quality. The actual price can differ based on the brand, grade, and quantity of oil you decide to buy.

Benefits of Synthetic Engine Oil

  • Enhanced Fuel Efficiency: Utilizing synthetic oil with its low friction properties results in improved fuel economy, enabling you to cut costs at the gas station and contribute to a reduced carbon footprint.
  • Extended Oil Change Intervals: Synthetic oil, as a rule, has a longer lifespan compared to conventional oil, enabling you to stretch the interval between oil changes. This can result in time and cost savings when it comes to maintenance.
  • Better Engine Performance:The advanced formulation of synthetic oil contributes to smoother engine operation, reduced engine noise, and increased horsepower.
  • Cold Weather Performance: Synthetic oil flows more easily at low temperatures, providing better engine protection during cold starts, a crucial factor for those living in colder regions.
  • Reduced Deposits and Sludge: Synthetic oil's purity and consistency help prevent the formation of engine deposits and sludge, keeping your engine cleaner and prolonging its life.

Disadvantages of Synthetic Oil

  • Higher Cost: As mentioned earlier, the upfront cost of synthetic oil is higher than conventional oil, which may deter some budget-conscious consumers.
  • Potential Leaks: Some older cars with worn gaskets or seals might experience minor leaks when switching to synthetic oil due to its different chemical composition.
  • Overkill for Some Vehicles: Not all vehicles require the high-performance benefits of synthetic oil, especially those used for short commutes or low-stress driving.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Conventional Oil

Benefits of Conventional Oil

  • Affordability: Conventional oil is more budget-friendly compared to synthetic oil, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious car owners.
  • Wide Availability: Conventional oil is readily available at gas stations, auto shops, and retail stores, making it convenient to purchase.
  • Compatibility: Conventional oil is suitable for most vehicles, especially older models, without the need for any modifications or special considerations.

Drawbacks of Conventional Oil

  • Limited Performance in Extreme Conditions: Conventional oil may not perform as well as synthetic oil in extreme temperatures or high-stress driving conditions.
  • Shorter Change Intervals: Due to its lower resistance to oxidation, conventional oil needs more frequent oil changes compared to synthetic oil.
  • Engine Deposits and Sludge: Conventional oil's impurities can lead to the accumulation of engine deposits and sludge over time, potentially impacting engine performance.

Which Engine Oil Should You Choose: Synthetic or Conventional?

Here's a brief guide to assist you in determining whether synthetic or conventional oil is the better option, considering various factors like your driving habits, vehicle type, budget, and climate.

Choose Synthetic Oil If

  • You own a high-performance vehicle or luxury car that requires the best engine protection.
  • You live in extreme weather conditions, such as very cold or hot climates.
  • You prefer longer oil change intervals and reduced maintenance.
  • You are willing to invest in higher-quality oil for improved engine performance and fuel efficiency.

Choose Conventional Oil If

  • Your vehicle manufacturer recommends conventional oil, and your car doesn't require synthetic oil for warranty purposes.
  • You are on a tight budget and need a more affordable option for regular oil changes.
  • Your vehicle has high mileage and is older, where synthetic oil might not provide significant benefits.
  • You use your vehicle for short commutes and light driving, without putting excessive stress on the engine.

Frequently Asked Question's

Q1: Is it possible for me to transition from conventional oil to synthetic oil?

Yes, most vehicles can switch from conventional oil to synthetic oil. However, it's essential to consult your vehicle's manual or a professional mechanic to ensure compatibility.

Q2: How often should I change synthetic oil in my car?

The oil change intervals for synthetic oil depend on the manufacturer's recommendations and your driving habits. In general, synthetic oil can last longer, and some vehicles can go up to 10,000 to 15,000 miles between oil changes.

Q3: Is synthetic oil worth the higher cost?

Synthetic oil's benefits, such as improved performance, engine protection, and extended oil change intervals, often justify the higher upfront cost for many car owners.

Q4: Can I mix synthetic and conventional oil?

It's best to avoid mixing synthetic and conventional oil, as it can compromise the performance and benefits of synthetic oil.

Q5: Will using synthetic oil improve my car's horsepower?

Synthetic oil's reduced friction and better lubrication properties may lead to a slight increase in horsepower, but the difference is generally minimal.


In summary, the decision between synthetic oil and conventional oil for your vehicle hinges on your individual requirements and inclinations. Synthetic oil provides enhanced safeguarding for your engine, longer gaps between oil changes, and improved fuel efficiency; however, it does come with a higher price tag. Conversely, conventional oil is more economical and widely accessible, appealing to those who are mindful of their budget. It's prudent to take into account your driving patterns, the type of vehicle you own, and the prevailing climate conditions before arriving at a choice. Whether you opt for synthetic or conventional oil, maintaining regular oil changes and proper upkeep is crucial to ensure your car's engine operates smoothly over the long haul. Always adhere to the recommendations of your vehicle's manufacturer and seek guidance from experts for personalized suggestions. Enjoy your time on the road!