How do I choose the right oil for my vehicle?

You should always consult the car or vehicle manual, issued by the original manufacturer. There you will find the most suitable viscosity grade an performance level. Then, check the oil pack label to make sure you have the right viscosity grade and it at least meets the performance level. Note that for many older vehicles the performance level recommended may now have been superseded by newer specifications.

Why are some oils called synthetic and others mineral ones?

This refers to the origin of the base fluid. Mineral oils are derived by refining processes, essentially a complex series of purification and separation steps, from crude petroleum oil extracted from the ground. Synthetic base fluids are made by chemical processes, generally by building up larger molecules from smaller ones. Because these chemical reactions and starting materials are well defined, the synthetic fluids are not only relatively pure chemicals but are deliberately made to deliver the performance characteristics required in a lubricant.

Why do oil companies sometimes recommend more than one product for the same application ?

Different drivers and different motoring conditions call for different oils. Thus, a car that is driven under very arduous conditions, with a lot of high-speed motoring, may be better lubricated with a synthetic oil which can better resist the high temperatures.

Are synthetics compatible with mineral oils?

The synthesized hydrocarbons, polyalphaolefins, diesters and other materials that form the base stocks of high quality name brand synthetics are fully compatible with mineral oils . In the old days, some companies used untested ingredients that were not compatible, causing quality synlubes to suffer a bum rap. Fortunately, those days are long gone. Today's sinhtetic and mineral oils are fully compatible.

Can synthetics be used with catalytic converters or oxygen sensors ?

There is no difference between synthetic and mineral oils in regards to these components. Both synthetic and mineral oils are similar compounds and neither is damaging to catalytic converters or oxygen sensors.

Are synthetics too expensive?

Tests and experience have proven that synthetics can greatly extend drain intervals, provide better fuel economy, reduce engine wear and enable vehicles to operate with greater reliability. All these elements combine to make synthetic engine oils more economical that conventional non-synthetics. Synthetics have enjoyed increasing acceptance as car buyers look first to performance and long term value rather than initial price. As more sophisticated technology places greater demands on today's motor oils, we will no doubt see an increasing re-evaluation of oil buying habits in this country as well.

Do synthetics cause cars to use more oil ?

Synthetic motor oils are intended to use in mechanically sound engines, that is, engines that don't leak. In such engines oil consumption will actually be reduced. First, because of the lower volatility of synlubes. Second, because of the better sealing characteristics between piston rings and cylinder walls. And finally, because of the superior oxidation stability (i.e. resistance of synthetics against reacting with oxygen at high temperatures.)

Do synthetic lubricants produce sludge?

In point of fact, synthetic motor oils are more sludge resistant than their petroleum counterparts, resisting the effects of high temperatures and oxidation. In the presence of high temperatures, two things happen. First, an oil's lighter ingredients boil off, making the oil thicker. Second, many of the complex chemicals found naturally in petroleum basestocks begin to react with each other, forming sludges, gums and varnishes. One result is a loss of fluidity at low temperatures, slowing the timely flow of oil to the engine for vital engine protection. Further negative effects of thickened oil include the restriction of oil flow to critical areas, greater wear and loss of fuel economy. Because of their higher flash points, and their ability to withstand evaporation loss and oxidation, synthetics are much more resistant to sludge development.

Do synthetics void warranties?

Major manufacturer of automobiles specifically recommend the use of synthetic lubricants. In point of fact, increasing numbers of high performance cars are arriving on the showroom floors with synthetic motor oils as factory fill. New vehicle warranties are based upon the use of oils meeting specific API Service Classifications (for example SM/SL/SI). Synthetic lubricants which meet current API Service requirements are perfectly suited for use in any vehicle without affecting the validity of the new car warranty.