Should I Use Synthetic Motor Oil in My Car in Cold Weather?

Synthetic motor oil is making a splash in the auto service industry. Many new cars already have the manmade oil in them before they’re driven off the lots. Some people believe you should always change from convention to synthetic oil during cold weather, but this isn’t absolutely necessary. It depends on a few things which Stringer Auto Repair, LLC explains below.

Differences Between the Two Oils

To understand why it might be wise to switch to synthetic in cold weather it’s nice to know the differences between the two oils. Synthetic oil is manmade and contains additives to help it stand up to extreme cold and hot temperatures. Conventional motor oil is made from crude and might contain additives, too, but generally does not.

Synthetic it Is!

Not so fast. Yes, synthetic oil can withstand temperatures that drop into the teens but if you park your car in a garage both at home and at work, you probably don’t need to worry about conventional motor oil getting too cold. If you park outside, the only difference between synthetic and conventional oil is warm-up time after you start your car.

Because of the additives, synthetic oil makes its way to the parts it lubricates faster than conventional motor oil does when the engine is cold, but if you don’t want to spend the money on synthetic oil, you can still use conventional motor oil. You just have to allow your vehicle to warm up before you drive it. Some people like to do this anyway to warm the cabin.

So, No Synthetic?

Not necessarily. If your vehicle manufacturer recommends synthetic oil, you should use it no matter what the season. If your vehicle is older, synthetic will do a better job of lubricating engine parts in cold weather. As discussed above, if you park your vehicle outside, synthetic oil will resist freezing better, and if you have a rough commute, synthetic performs better in stop-and-go traffic.

What About the Cost?

Synthetic oil is more expensive than conventional motor oil but you don’t have to have your oil changed as often so the cost difference balances out. Conventional motor oil should be changed every 3,000 miles, especially in the winter, whereas synthetic motor oil doesn’t need to be replaced until 7,500 miles. You get two for the price of one, if you will, with synthetic motor oil.

If you’re still uncertain which motor oil is best for your vehicle in the winter, stop by Stringer Auto Repair, LLC in Johnstown, OH.


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