Synthetic Oil vs. Regular Oil: What’s the Difference?

Auto Mechanic Checking Oil

Here at the Lexus of Pleasanton service center, we take pride in our ability to provide car owners from Fremont to Livermore and far beyond with a wide range of automotive service & maintenance expertise. If you’ve been scratching your head and wondering “what’s the difference between synthetic vs. regular oil?”, then this piece is for you! Read on to find out, then contact us with any remaining questions!

What is Conventional (Regular) Oil?

Conventional oil, or “regular” oil is a petroleum based substance that has been used in internal combustion engines for many years to provide lubrication to internal parts and reduce engine wear. Motor oil is essentially distilled from crude oil that’s mined from the ground, and it also services to protect your car’s engine from high temperatures.

What is Synthetic Oil?

Synthetic oil is petroleum based like regular oil, but it provides enhanced lubrication properties and is more stable. Synthetic oils oxidize less easily than conventional oils, and are also less quick to retain protective properties. They’re chemically developed from petrochemicals in intense processes to provide pinpointed properties that make them superior (and also more expensive) than conventional oils. Synthetic oils also:

  • Are less viscous at lower temperatures
  • Offer enhanced engine cleaning properties
  • Better protect critical turbocharger parts (when equipped)

How Do Full Synthetic vs. Synthetic Blends Differ?

In addition to synthetic oils and conventional oils (often called mineral oils), there are synthetic blends. These, as you might expect, are made up of part synthetic oil and part conventional oil, which helps to reduce the cost vs. choosing full synthetic, but also provides enhanced properties vs. standard conventional oil.

Note: some vehicles to require full synthetic oil, and that could just include your Lexus vehicle! Be sure to check your owner’s manual or contact our service experts if in doubt about what kind of oil your car requires.

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