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Synthetic Oil vs. Mineral Oil: Which is Actually Better for Car Engines?

18 Januari 2024 | 0 Likes


The transition from the use of mineral oil to synthetic oil in car engines experienced a rapid transition from the 1980s to the 1990s. At that time, the development of car engine technology was also developing rapidly.

Several technological applications such as injection that replaced carburetors, variable valve timing, and the birth of Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) engines demanded better lubricant quality as well.

Nowadays, synthetic oil is widely used in almost all cars with the latest engine technology. But is synthetic oil definitely better than mineral oil?

Difference between Synthetic Oil and Mineral Oil

Synthetic Oil

Synthetic oil is oil made from chemical engineering and technology, so the molecular structure of synthetic oil is more uniform than mineral oil. Therefore synthetic oils are better able to withstand heat and oxidation in the engine, provide minimal evaporation rates, and also have a longer service life.

Synthetic oil is able to provide lubrication to every cavity of the latest technology engines that have narrower gaps or clearances than conventional car engines.
In accordance with its quality, synthetic oil is priced more expensive than mineral oil. However, the higher price is directly proportional to the longer service life.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is oil derived from petroleum processing. The molecular structure of mineral oil is more non-uniform than synthetic oil, so the lubrication performance is also not as good as synthetic oil. Generally, mineral oil has a thicker viscosity number unit, such as SAE 20W-50, SAE 40, and others.

Mineral oil is suitable for conventional engines, because the clearance of engine components is more tenuous. Even so, the service life of mineral oil is shorter than synthetic oil. For the use of mineral oil, the oil change interval in cars is recommended every 5,000 km.

Which is Better, Synthetic Oil or Mineral Oil?

Although synthetic oil is textbook superior in all aspects, it does not mean that synthetic oil can be used in all cars. An older car with conventional technology such as carburetor and single valve may not be suitable for synthetic oil.

Thinner synthetic oils are less optimal when used in conventional engines. The thin viscosity also makes the lubrication not optimal, which can result in a hotter-than-normal engine operating temperature.

The same thing will happen if an engine with modern technology uses mineral oil. Lubrication will be uneven because the thick oil is unable to reach the narrower gaps or clearance of modern engines. In addition, cold start will also be more difficult due to the thick oil condition in cold engine temperatures.

So in conclusion, synthetic oil is indeed better in quality than mineral oil. But that doesn't mean synthetic oil can be used in all cars. Older cars produced in the 1970s and 1980s are better off using mineral oil, in accordance with the provisions when the car was released in its time.
To find out what Fastron oil is suitable for your car, let's visit Dr.Lube website!


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