Nov 10, 2012

Synthetic Oil Change Interval

What is Synthetic Oil?

Normal mineral oil is derived from nature by fractional distillation of crude oil. It continues to be used as a lubricant for automobile engines and became very popular amongst car and bike users. But over a period of time, scientists began to wonder if a better, more efficient engine oil could be created. With that in mind, researchers tried different chemical combination and came up with an engine oil which seemed to minimize some of the disadvantages of mineral oil. They came up with an engine oil formula which could work better in extreme temperatures, improve the fuel economy of the vehicle, be more resistant to oxidation and thermal breakdowns, decrease losses through evaporation and generally reduce car problems. This oil is known as synthetic oil. And now, as synthetic oil comes to the fore in the engine oil market, people are interested in knowing more and more about this revolutionary kind of oil.

How Often Should You Change Synthetic Oil?

Its essential to know how often you should change the engine oil. The performance of the engine relies very heavily on the quality of the engine oil which is used. Hence, it's a good practice to change oil regularly so that your car doesn't face any car engine problems. Its generally assumed that the synthetic oil change interval is more than the mineral oil change interval, but one still should not discount the importance of a regular oil change.

The synthetic oil change interval greatly depends upon the engine usage. And by usage I don't mean the number of miles you stack up over a period but how you drive your vehicle. If you routinely drive faster than normal and put more pressure on the engine than what it is designed to take, the synthetic oil change frequency will be much more than normal, to avoid frequent car repairs.

The 'normal' synthetic oil change interval recommended is between 5000 miles and 7500 miles. So after driving 5000 to 7500 miles after your previous oil change, you should go for the next one. For the time parameter, I would say that 6 months after your previous oil change would be a good time to change the oil again. But I feel that the distance parameter should be given more importance than the time parameter, especially if you drive extensively. This will ensure good fuel economy and good engine performance in general.

These days, most cars come with a device, which tells the user that the oil needs to be changed. This device monitors the quality of the oil, the usage and the time for which the car has been driven. When the device senses that the oil needs to be changed, it alerts the user regarding the same.

Impact on the Environment

The thing with changing oil regularly is that it can have quite a bad effect on the environment. Regular oil needs to be changed a lot more often than synthetic oil. That results in more unclean oil and therefore, more oil getting trashed or dumped into the ocean. With synthetic oil, the changing interval is a lot bigger, giving the environment a little breathing space. With current levels of toxicity on the planet, a 'little' breathing space might still be too less to suffice, but it's still better than none at all.

Other Factors Affecting Oil Change

While the oil change interval given above was the normal interval, your synthetic oil change interval may reduce on account of the following reasons. The first, like I mentioned before, is the way you drive. If you drive too fast or you push the limits of the engine or you use the car too roughly, then the engine oil will need to be changed a lot more often in order to protect your engine. The other factor is the engine itself. Some engines claim to require a less frequent oil change while others may require a more frequent oil change. The next factor affecting the oil interval is the age of the car engine. It is understandable that older cars may require a more frequent change in oil. And lastly, the quality of the engine oil you used the previous time is also very crucial. If you use a cheaper, low quality engine oil, you might have to change it more frequently.

Many people can't resist talking about the awesomeness of their car and how they never had to change their engine oil over 100,000 miles of driving. While this may be true, it is always better to maintain a normal synthetic oil change interval. The cost of an oil change is certainly a lot lesser than what you may have to pay in case of an engine breakdown. It's always better to be on the safer side, isn't it!

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