About Engine Oils

Conventional Oils

Conventional oils, or also known as natural oils, are produced from crude oil in a very long process similar to the production of gasoline. They contain several other chemical ingredients in the form as an additive pack that may also be natural or synthetic. They offer good protection in extreme heat and cold.

Conventional oils lag behind a bit in the advantages of the other types of oils. They are relatively cheap when compared to the synthetic or blend oils, but they lack those advantages as well.  All motor oil has to meet certain standards set forth by the American Petroleum Institute to be sold and marketed as motor oils. These natural oils still meet those standards, but they may fail much sooner than synthetic oils. Most vehicles that originally came from the factory with conventional oil also advised a service interval of 3,000 miles.

Conventional oils must be used in a brand new engine during the break in process. Synthetic oils can not be used! Usually the break in process is done by the vehicle manufacturer during exit from the factory and during removal after shipment. Use of conventional oil after first oil change is not required.

Regardless of the type of oil used, always change them regularly based on manufacturers recommendations. The additive packs in oils are what fails after a short while.

Synthetic Blends

This is where the advantages of both synthetic and conventional oils meet. Synthetic blend oils carry over all of the advantages of pure syntehtic oils, like the superior protection of engine components in all operating conditions, and combine them with conventional benefits, price. Synthetic blend oils only have to be at a minimum 30% synthetic to acheive the blend status. On average, blend oil costs about double as much as conventional, but half as much as synthetic. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Some professional third party shops only use synthetic blend oils as their main oil change packages now - those shops do not even offer conventional oils anymore. With all the advantages of these oils, why would anyone use anything different?

Regardless of the type of oil used, always change them regularly based on manufacturers recommendations. The additive packs in oils are what fails after a short while.