The number of motor oils available today is overwhelming and the variety seems big as the soft drink section at the grocery store. Not too long ago, there only were a handful of motor oils on the market. However, beginning in the 1970s, synthetic oil first became popular with fleet owners, auto enthusiasts and racers. Then, in the 90s, the market exploded when synthetic oil was offered to the general public.

Drivers know there are many things that can affect the life of their vehicle and motor oil literally is the lifeblood of the engine. It reduces engine wear, cools the engine, and helps keep it clean. However, many people don’t fully understand how synthetic oil does its job better than regular oil.

Ideal driving conditions

Most conventional oils can handle the job under ideal driving conditions. Unfortunately, ideal driving conditions aren’t the norm for a lot of Texas drivers. For instance, if you find yourself driving in stop and go traffic, traveling in extreme summer heat, or towing heavy loads, then your vehicle could benefit from the extra protection synthetic oil delivers.

A key difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil is how they respond to temperature changes. For instance, synthetic oils, unlike conventional oils, are less likely to break down under rough service, thin out at high temperatures, or congeal at subzero temperatures. This means your vehicle could see an increase in fuel economy and a bump in performance.

How is it made?

While 100 percent synthetic oils are available, they are hard to find and pricey. Most synthetic oils on the market today are distilled from crude oil and are modified using different chemical processes like hydrocracking and hydrofinishing. They’re also enhanced with various additives. That’s the reason why synthetic oils reduce friction better than conventional oils and why some drivers find they can go longer between changes.

Because of high-tech refining methods, synthetic oils cost more than conventional oils. So, when making your decision at your next scheduled service, factor in the type of vehicle you drive, how many miles it has, and your driving style.

Despite modern refining techniques, all oils have contaminants. These contaminants can build up and eventually can damage your engine. To keep this from happening and to extend the life of your vehicle, pay attention to your service engine light, follow the correct car maintenance schedule, and change your oil and oil filter regularly.

Is it time for an oil change?

There are a lot of options when its time for an oil change in Fort Bend County – and there’s more to it than Googling “oil change near me,” searching for an “oil change coupon,” or finding an “express oil change.” Whether you decide to do it yourself or go somewhere for service, you still need to choose between conventional oils, semi-synthetic or blended oils, and synthetic oils, and each type has its advantages. On top of that, there are many additives manufacturers add to motor oils to further improve their efficiency.

Generally speaking, most auto maintenance experts advise car and truck owners to use conventional oil during a new vehicle’s break-in period. Afterwards, drivers can make the switch to semi-synthetic or synthetic oil if they like. Today, we are even seeing automobile manufacturers equip some of their new vehicles with synthetic oil straight from the factory, thereby making their decision easy: just go with a synthetic oil change.

Still not sure which type of oil to go with? Visit us to learn more about which type of oil is right for you. First Tire & Automotive has been serving the Fort Bend County area since 1988. Our knowledgeable service team will help keep your vehicle running great for years to come throughout the Fort Bend County area. Give us a call or stop by today.