Best Synthetic Oil for Longer Oil Change Intervals
Synthetic oils have become ubiquitous in modern cars, and it's getting increasingly uncommon to find a new vehicle that doesn't come filled from the factory with a synthetic blend. Most experts agree that the main benefit of using synthetic oil is the convenience of longer oil change intervals. While conventional non-synthetic oil is recommended to be changed every 3,000 miles, you can typically go 5,000-7,500+ miles on the best synthetic oils in 2021 without worry. And though synthetic is much more expensive compared to conventional motor oil, it's worth the extra cost for drivers that dont want to change their oil as frequently.
One of the most notable automotive trends in the past decade is the widespread adoption of turbocharging. What was once a niche technology reserved for high-performance sports cars and top-spec race cars can now be found in popular mainstream models like the Honda Accord and Chevy Equinox. Turbochargers are a great way to boost power output from smaller engines, but the extreme heat and high turbine speeds tend to place heavy demands on the oil used to lubricate and cool their inner workings. If your car is equipped with a turbocharged engine, it's important to make sure that the synthetic oil you select will function well with turbochargers.
That said, when shopping for oil, it's hard to go wrong if you use a brand approved by the manufacturer and the correct viscosity. We've narrowed down our selection based on performance and availability, and factored in user feedback including used oil analysis results. Our picks for the best synthetic oil show consistent performance over long drains.
Mobil 1 High Mileage Full Synthetic Oil
Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil
AMSOIL Severe Gear Synthetic Oil
Castrol 06412 Power RS Synthetic Oil
AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil
Best Synthetic Oils Worth Considering in 2021
Mobil 1 is easily one of the most popular synthetic oil choices in the world today, and is readily available online and in retail stores. It's the factory fill in many new vehicles, and its proven performance under extreme conditions beyond daily commuting make it a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade for the next oil change. Mobil 1 synthetic oil is a known quantity in the racing world as well; NASCAR teams run Mobil 1 full-time, and Porsche GT3 Cup cars filled with Mobil 1 oil compete on tracks around the world. Most versions of Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil are very reasonably priced, especially compared to conventional oil, and many drivers share feedback regarding engine longevity going beyond 150,000 miles.
Pennzoil Platinum performs well, is easy to find at retail locations, and costs much less than boutique synthetic oils such as Redline or Amsoil. You can pick up a 5 liter jug for around $20 from Walmart, making it an excellent value. Used oil analysis of Pennzoil Platinum consistently shows very good results, even with long oil change intervals. Factoring in a combination of performance, availability and value, this is one of the best overall synthetic oils for most drivers.
It's been several years since Castrol rebranded their 'Syntec' line of synthetic oils to "Castrol Edge", but not much else has changed - and that's a good thing. Castrol Edge remains one of the most popular factory fill oils among both American and European manufacturers, and is a proven oil in both street and racing applications alike. Castrol Edge is available in a wide variety of weights and variants; choose the correct weight for your engine and you're good to go. Our recommendation is for the standard Castrol Edge variant that comes in the black bottle - consumers are split on whether the gold bottle "Extended Performance" version provides any extra performance benefits that are worth the increased cost. There's no harm outside of your wallet in spending the extra cash for the gold bottle, so the decision is up to you.
AmazonBasics is known for their quality HDMI cables and various electronic accessories, so the brand itself has some real-world staying power. Of all of the random items that carry the AmazonBasics label, synthetic oil is probably one you'd least expect. This particular synthetic oil is produced and packaged by Warren Distribution (the same company that produces oil for Walmart's Super Tech private label, another favorite amongst consumers), and is branded with Amazon's private label and distributed directly by Amazon themselves. It carries extremely positive reviews across the board, and is available in the most popular grades. Best of all, there's no confusion about availability - just select the right grade for your car and order via Amazon Prime, possibly even with same day delivery.
Synthetic oils have become the norm for most modern automobiles. In fact, you’d be hard-pushed to find a car that is not filled with synthetic oils when it departs the factory. Many car enthusiasts would argue that synthetic oils are much more convenient, particularly because you do not have to change the oil nearly as often.
But how do you know which synthetic oil is best for your car? To help you decide, we have provided this useful buying guide, complete with everything you need to know about purchasing the right product for your needs.
Want to know more? Check out the full article below.
What is synthetic oil?
Generally speaking, synthetic oil is a manufactured oil that you put in your car engine to help it run smoothly. These types of oils have become increasingly common among motorists and offer fantastic fuel economy.
Benefits and drawbacks of synthetic oil
As we have previously mentioned, the main benefit of synthetic oil is that it does not need to be changed as much as the non-synthetic alternative. For example, most mechanics would recommend that non-synthetic oil should be changed roughly every 3,000 miles. However, you can generally wait for as long as 7,500 miles before performing a change when it comes to synthetic oil.
However, the largest drawback is the expense. Synthetic oil costs a lot more than standard motor oil. In fact, synthetic oil can cost as much as four times the price of petroleum-based oil. That being said, many drivers favor the decreased frequency of oil changes and see the added expense as a worthwhile investment.
Things to consider when buying synthetic oil
There are many things you should consider when purchasing synthetic oil. These include:
Full synthetic or synthetic blend?
One of the most important things to keep in mind is whether or not your engine is better suited to a full synthetic or synthetic blend oil.
Many oils formulated for heavy-duty engines are full to the brim of synthetic additives. If you are looking for this type of oil, you should check the label to see if the product has passed numerous performance tests. These types of synthetic oils are usually more viscous at low temperatures and protect against any deposits. In addition, they also retain their viscosity at even the highest of temperatures inside the engine. However, as aforementioned, they are costly.
Synthetic blend oils, on the other hand, feature a mixture of synthetic and organic oils. They are designed to protect your engine against high temperatures. As such, they are usually less volatile and will not evaporate as much as organic oils. This means you’ll achieve a higher fuel economy. This type of oil is great for anybody who drives a big vehicle like a pickup truck or anything that has to carry heavy loads. In addition, synthetic blend oils are somewhat cheaper than the full synthetic alternative.
One of the most important aspects of synthetic oil is its ability to avoid thinning in extra hot temperatures. Ideally, you want an oil with a high viscosity index as it will mean the oil lasts more miles until a change is required. However, you would do well to remember that oil will eventually lose some viscosity over time. As such, you want to look for oils that offer shear stability (which prevents the oil from losing viscosity as it slides between the engine’s metal surfaces), as this will prevent the majority of viscosity loss.
If you are buying synthetic oil online, we strongly advise that you check out customer reviews before purchasing. Car enthusiasts love to talk about their automobiles. Head over to vehicle-related forums and see what other people are saying about a particular synthetic oil. This may help you decide in regards to the right choice for your own car. If you find an oil you like, contribute to the online discussion and leave your own feedback. You’ll be helping future buyers with your opinion.
Synthetic oil price range
When using synthetic oils, you can expect to pay a lot more than you would for organic oils. As mentioned previously, synthetic oil costs roughly four times as much as its natural counterpart. For example, two liters are going to cost you somewhere around $25, although you’ll make some savings if you buy in bulk.
Can you go more than 10,000 miles on synthetic oil?
If you are using a fully synthetic oil, there’s nothing to say it won’t last more than 10,000 miles. However, the lifespan of synthetic oils varies depending on the brand. That being said, we have known certain oils to last nearly 20,000 miles.
To be on the safe side, you should still change your oils every 7,500 miles if you can.
What oil should I use in the winter?
When using synthetic oils in the winter, we recommend using an oil marked 5W or less. The W just means “winter.” However, many synthetic oils are rated as low as 0W and are specially formulated to be more viscous when cold.
What happens if you do not change your oil for a long time?
If you go too long without changing your oil, you will find that the oil in your car cannot move through the engine efficiently. Furthermore, the oil will eventually thin and cause a buildup of dirt, metal, and other debris.
What is synthetic oil made from?
Typically, synthetic oil is formulated with chemically modified ingredients from petroleum. However, the base material is usually distilled from crude oil.
Is changing the oil in your car easy?
If you know what you are doing, changing your car’s oil is a relatively straightforward process. Of course, you will need some rudimentary tools like an oil drain pan. You will also need to know how to dispose of the waste oil correctly (some companies specialize in disposing of your waste oil responsibly).