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The Best Synthetic Oil for Your Car in 2022

  1. Mobil 1 Full Synthetic Oil
  2. Castrol EDGE Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil
  3. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil
  4. AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Motor Oil
  5. AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil
  6. Buyer's Guide

Synthetic oils have become ubiquitous in modern cars, and it's becoming increasingly rare to find a new vehicle that doesn't come from a factory filled with synthetic oil. 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 3,000-5,000 miles, you can typically go 7,500+ miles on the more premier synthetic blends. Synthetic is much more expensive than conventional motor oil, but it's worth the extra cost for drivers who don't want to change their oil 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 ensure 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 we also factored in user feedback, including used oil analysis results. Our picks for the best synthetic oil show consistent performance over long drain intervals.

Our Top 5 Synthetic Oil Choices

Mobil 1 Full Synthetic Oil - Best Synthetic Oil Overall

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.

Castrol EDGE Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil - Best Performance Synthetic Oil

It's been 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.

Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil - Runner Up

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 $25 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.

AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Motor Oil - Best Premium Synthetic Oil

Widely considered to be the best synthetic oil money can buy, AMSOIL would be the #1 choice if it weren't for its high price tag and the fact that it's harder to find unless you're ordering online. AMSOIL synthetic oil can withstand extreme temperatures and holds up very well under extended drain intervals, as shown by scores of used oil sample analysis results. If you want the best and don't mind paying for it, it's the way to go.

AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil - Best Value Synthetic Oil

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.

Buyer's Guide

Synthetic oils have become the norm for most modern automobiles. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a car that is not filled with synthetic oil 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 type of motor oil derived from chemically treating petroleum products rather than refining crude oil. Synthetic oil has become the most common type of oil used in modern cars.

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 often as conventional oils. For example, most mechanics would recommend that non-synthetic oil should be changed roughly every 3,000-5,000 miles. You can generally wait for as long as 10,000 miles before performing an oil change with 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. If you're not sure, it's best to check your owner's manual.

Full synthetic oils are exactly what they sound like: engine oil derived from synthetic processes. Unlike conventional oils, synthetic oils are produced by chemically treating certain petroleum products to derive the final product. They often contain additives and detergents to allow the oil to remain stable under extremely harsh conditions and to help keep the internal components of your engine clean and free from sludge and deposits. Due to their composition, synthetic oils can often be found in much lighter weights compared to conventional oils.

Synthetic blend oils, on the other hand, feature a mixture of synthetic and conventional oils. These oils are not as common as full synthetic or conventional, and there are only a handful of engines that the manufacturer specifies that synthetic blend oil should be used. They're much cheaper than full synthetic oils, and they're a great option for older engines that originally used conventional oil from the factory. If your vehicle manufacturer specified synthetic oil for your engine, you should continue using only synthetic oil.

Viscosity index

One of the most important aspects of synthetic oil is its ability to avoid thinning in extra hot temperatures. Because synthetic oil can be formulated with specific use cases in mind, many of these oils can remain viscous and provide effective lubrication in conditions that would cause conventional oils to fail. 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.

Customer reviews

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.

Note: We'll also warn you in advance that many people get rather passionate about their choice of oils, and you may find that some of these discussions tend to devolve into mudslinging and personal insults. Try to avoid getting too emotionally invested - it's only engine oil, after all. Despite the fighting and the fluff, you'll find that there's still a lot of good information out there.

Synthetic oil price range

When using synthetic oils, you can expect to pay a lot more than you would for conventional oils. As mentioned previously, synthetic oil can cost up to four times as much as its natural counterpart. Expect to pay anywhere from $20-30 for a 5-quart jug of synthetic oil from a reputable brand.

Some Buyers Also Ask

Can you go more than 10,000 miles on synthetic oil?

If you are using 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 oil every 7,500-10,000 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. Of course, if you live in an area with relatively mild winter weather, feel free to continue using the same oil year-round.

What happens if you do not change your oil for a long time?

If you go too long without changing your oil, several things will occur. First, the oil itself will begin to break down and lose its ability to lubricate engine components. This causes accelerated wear and tear, and will potentially lead to engine damage and failure. Next, the contaminants suspended in the oil (dirt, microscopic metal shavings, other debris) will begin to build up as the filter loses its effectiveness. This also leads to a loss of lubrication and will cause internal wear. In extreme cases, the oil will begin to solidify and create deposits known as "sludge". If this condition remains unremedied, it will eventually destroy your engine. It's easy to avoid any of these situations - just make sure you change the oil on a regular basis.

What is synthetic oil made from?

Typically, synthetic oil is formulated with chemically modified ingredients from petroleum. There's an ongoing debate about what truly qualifies as "synthetic" oil, but the generally accepted standard refers to an engine oil with artificially derived ingredients.

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).

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