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What is the difference between a mineral oil and a synthetic oil?

News - What is the difference between a mineral oil and a synthetic oil?

It is a known fact that engine oils play a vital role to make engines perform to their best. Let’s explore the two main categories of engine oils: mineral oils and synthetic oils.

What is a mineral oil?
Mineral oils are directly derived from refined crude petroleum oil. During the process, natural contaminants and unwanted hydrocarbons are removed. However, mineral oils are thicker and flow through the engine circuit slowly, resulting in increased fuel consumption.
Features of mineral oils:

  • Mineral oils are ideal for older vehicle models
  • Mineral oils are much lower in cost
  • Mineral oils require frequent oil changes

If your automotive manufacturer recommends a mineral oil, go ahead and use one for your vehicle’s engine without thinking twice.

What is a synthetic oil?
Synthetic oils are products derived by mixing many synthetic components. They are refined, distilled and broken down to their basic molecules. The difference with mineral oils resides in the transformation process: synthetic oil undergoes more sophisticated modifications.  

Features of synthetic oils: 

  • Synthetic oils contain fewer impurities than mineral oils
  • Synthetic oils are chemically modified
  • Synthetic oils are mainly designed for high-performance engines

What are the advantages of synthetic oils?

  • No frequent need for oil changes
  • High-performance engine oils
  • Excellent flow at low temperatures
  • Stable viscosity, even at high temperatures 
  • Less formation of deposits
  • Less wear on parts
  • Optimised fuel consumption

The main drawback of synthetic oils is that they are slightly more expensive. 

All oil types are not suited to all engine types. Before choosing between a mineral oil or a synthetic oil, it is important to read your automotive manufacturer’s recommendations or check your owner’s manual.