If you’re a casual car owner you may not know the difference between synthetic and conventional oils. If you’re a more serious auto enthusiast you may know the differences and have a preference, but wonder about switching, mixing, or the benefits of your current preference. It’s important information for every car owner and auto enthusiast to understand, as it improves your car’s function and performance.
- Conventional oil is basic crude oil with simple additives to increase heat tolerance and improve lubrication. It’s cheaper than synthetic options, and it will get the job done if you’re a casual driver in totally normal conditions. Some people believe that conventional oil is much worse for the environment, despite it’s cost.
- Synthetic oil, on the other hand, is a more complete package. Synthetic oils are designed to give the best possible lubrication and protection for your engine. They work much better than conventional oils, especially in very hot or very cold climates, or if you drive a high-mileage vehicle. Synthetic oil is generally accepted as the best possible choice for most cars, but it is more expensive than conventional oil. Not all cars require synthetic oil - consult your user’s manual and an expert to see if your car could benefit from synthetic oil use.
Now… can you mix conventional and synthetic oils?
There are a few reasons why people might want to mix conventional and synthetic oils. The most common is when you have some oil in your engine but you need more - and can’t find the match to whatever is already in your engine. For example you usually use synthetic oils, but you need to top it off and only have access to a conventional oil. Other people have tried to mix a cocktail of conventional and synthetic oils, trying to get the benefits of synthetic oils while decreasing the cost by adding conventional oils. Some people just mix oils without realizing that there is a difference between synthetic and conventional oil.
Technically the answer is yes, you can mix conventional and synthetic oils. Your car will not explode, seize up, or fail to run for you. If you absolutely need to mix your engine oils you can do that. Try your very best to get a flush and oil change as soon as you can, though. Mixing these oils is generally not the best idea.
Mixing conventional and synthetic oils will actually decrease the performance qualities you enjoy from synthetic oils alone. Conventional oils will ruin the cleaning and lubricating functions of the synthetic oils because their chemistry is completely different. They don’t necessarily work together like you think they would.
Switching to a synthetic oil could be a great option for you. Conventional oils may also work. Choose an oil that works best for your car and your needs and try to stick to it.
Remember to get regular oil changes and consider using an oil additive like CleanBoost EMT to increase the performance, lubrication, and engine efficiency of your car.