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Man changing car oil

When selecting the right oil for your vehicle, it’s not only important to choose the correct weight, but also to use the right type of oil. There are three commonly used types of oil: conventional, full synthetic and synthetic blend. So, what do those designations mean and what type of oil should you be using in your vehicle?  

What Does Oil Do? 

Oil keeps your engine running smoothly by coating and protecting the moving parts inside. Proper lubrication is important as it prevents your engine from overheating and creates a thin barrier between the parts so that they don’t scrape up against each other and wear out or get damaged. This is why it’s so important to change your oil as part of your regularly schedule maintenance to ensure top performance and engine protection.  

Three Common Oil Types 

Conventional Oil

Conventional oil, or non-synthetic oil, is made from refined crude petroleum with various additives depending on brand. Generally, this is the type of oil that benefits from the three months or three thousand miles rule, as there aren’t any synthetic ingredients to prolong the life of the oil. While this oil is the most affordable of all the options, it can also degrade more quickly and need to be replaced more often.  

Full Synthetic

Full synthetic oil still uses a petroleum base but is highly modified with synthetic additives to improve performance. Synthetic oils have the longest life span of all the oil types and can perform at a high level in demanding situations. While conventional oil can use chemical additives to formulate a multigrade option, synthetic oils are specifically designed to be multigrade, so they provide good protection in varying temperatures. While full synthetic offers many benefits, it’s also the costliest option. However, since it does have an extended life span, vehicles that use full synthetic can go a long time between oil changes.  

Synthetic Blend

Synthetic blend is just that, a blend of conventional and synthetic oil. There is no industry standard for the amount of conventional to synthetic oil that must be used, so brands will have their own formulations. To some this offers the best of both worlds, as a blend can be somewhat more affordable than a full synthetic, but provide some of the protection and longevity that a full synthetic would offer.   

What Type of Oil is Best?

This depends a lot on the year, make and model of your vehicle. Most older vehicles were designed to use conventional oil, so the manufacturer might recommend continuing the use of that oil type. However, many newer vehicles are designed to use synthetic or a blend. Follow your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendation for the type and weight of oil you should use. 

Need an oil change?

The service departments at our dealerships offer a full range of oil types and weights. Learn more about how they can help you keep your engine in top shape with an oil change based on your vehicle’s manufacturer recommendations.      

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While great effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site, errors can occur. Please verify all pricing information with a customer service representative. This is easily done by calling us or visiting us at the dealership.

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