What’s Best For Your Vehicle: Conventional vs. Synthetic Engine Oil?

When it comes to maintaining your vehicle’s performance and longevity, choosing the right engine oil is crucial. Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or a new driver, understanding the differences between conventional and synthetic engine oils can help you make an informed decision that best suits your vehicle’s needs and your driving habits. Let’s explore the differences with specific examples from the Sasol Techno Oil range.

What is Conventional Engine Oil?

Conventional engine oil, also known as mineral oil, is derived directly from crude oil and has been the standard for many years. It’s a tried-and-true option that’s widely available and cost-effective, making it a popular choice among drivers.

Pros of Conventional Engine Oil:

  1. Cost-Effective: Conventional oil is generally less expensive than synthetic oil, making it a budget-friendly option.
  2. Suitable for Regular Driving: If your driving conditions are relatively mild – moderate temperatures, average speeds, and routine trips – conventional oil will likely meet your needs.
  3. Availability: Conventional oil is widely available in various formulations, so you can easily find the right type for your vehicle.

Cons of Conventional Engine Oil:

  1. Lower Performance: Conventional oil doesn’t perform as well as synthetic oil in extreme temperatures or high-stress conditions.
  2. Frequent Oil Changes: You’ll need to change conventional oil more frequently, which can add up in maintenance costs over time.
  3. Sludge Formation: Conventional oil is more prone to forming sludge and deposits, which can affect your engine’s performance and longevity.

Examples of Conventional Sasol Techno Oil:

  • Sasol Techno Multi-Fleet 15W-40: A versatile engine oil suitable for both diesel and petrol engines, providing reliable protection and performance for everyday driving conditions.
  • Sasol Techno Motor Oil SAE 40: A monograde oil ideal for older engines that require a reliable and cost-effective lubricant.

What is Synthetic Engine Oil?

Synthetic engine oil is chemically engineered to provide superior performance and protection. It’s designed to withstand extreme conditions and deliver optimal lubrication, making it a preferred choice for modern vehicles and high-performance engines.

Pros of Synthetic Engine Oil:

  1. Superior Performance: Synthetic oil excels in both high and low temperatures, maintaining its viscosity and providing excellent lubrication under all conditions.
  2. Enhanced Engine Protection: It offers better protection against engine wear, deposits, and sludge formation, keeping your engine cleaner and running smoothly.
  3. Longer Oil Change Intervals: Synthetic oil generally lasts longer than conventional oil, meaning fewer oil changes and lower maintenance costs over time.
  4. Improved Efficiency: By reducing friction and engine drag, synthetic oil can enhance fuel efficiency and increase horsepower.
  5. Ideal for High-Stress Conditions: If you drive a high-performance vehicle, tow heavy loads, or frequently encounter extreme temperatures, synthetic oil is your best bet.

Cons of Synthetic Engine Oil:

  1. Higher Cost: Synthetic oil is more expensive than conventional oil. However, its longer lifespan and superior performance often justify the higher price.
  2. Not Always Necessary: Older vehicles that have run well on conventional oil might not see significant benefits from switching to synthetic oil.

Examples of Synthetic Sasol Techno Oil:

Factors to Consider When Choosing Engine Oil

1. Vehicle Manufacturer’s Recommendations: Always check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommended oil type. Some modern engines are specifically designed to run on synthetic oil. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines ensures you’re using the best oil for your engine’s design and requirements.

2. Driving Conditions:

  • Regular Driving: If you mostly drive under normal conditions – moderate temperatures, average speeds, and routine trips – conventional oil might be sufficient.
  • Extreme Conditions: For extreme temperatures, heavy loads, high speeds, or stop-and-go traffic, synthetic oil provides better protection and performance.

3. Vehicle Age and Mileage:

  • Older Vehicles: Older vehicles with high mileage may not need synthetic oil, especially if they’ve been running on conventional oil without issues.
  • Newer Vehicles: Many newer vehicles benefit from the enhanced properties of synthetic oil, which can help maintain engine performance and longevity.

4. Maintenance Habits:

  • Frequent Changes: If you prefer or don’t mind changing your oil frequently, conventional oil can be a cost-effective option.
  • Extended Intervals: If you prefer fewer oil changes and longer intervals between maintenance, synthetic oil is advantageous.

Making the Right Choice for Your Vehicle

Deciding between conventional and synthetic engine oil ultimately depends on your vehicle’s specific needs, your driving habits, and your maintenance preferences. Here’s a quick summary to help you decide:

  • Conventional Oil: Suitable for standard driving conditions, older vehicles, and cost-conscious drivers who don’t mind more frequent oil changes. 
  • Synthetic Oil: Ideal for newer vehicles, high-performance engines, extreme driving conditions, and drivers looking for longer intervals between oil changes and better overall engine protection.

By considering these factors and following your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, you can choose the right engine oil to keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently. Whether you opt for conventional or synthetic oil, regular maintenance and timely oil changes are key to ensuring your engine’s health and longevity. 

If you’re ready to give your car the healthier option, don’t settle for anything less than the best. As an approved Sasol Techno Oil™ Distributor, Enterprise Lubricants offers a wide range of engine oils and other lubricants. Explore and shop our full range at oils.co.za