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Selecting the Perfect Motor Oil: Understanding the Differences Between Conventional and Synthetic for Your Vehicle

Welcome to our March blog at John's Automotive Care La Mesa, where we're dedicated to ensuring the longevity and health of your vehicle. 


This month, we will dive into automotive oils, exploring their essential role in your vehicle's performance. We'll be shedding light on the various types of oils and their unique benefits, helping you make an educated decision for your vehicle. Have questions about the right oil for your vehicle? Don't hesitate to drop by and consult with our expert team today in La Mesa!

The automotive industry has seen significant improvements in engine technology over the years. One area that has evolved is the engine oil. Today, you'll find both conventional and synthetic oils on the market. But are there notable differences between the two? This blog will explore the differences in performance, requirements for modern vehicles, cost, and current customer trends in engine oils.


Are you curious about the distinctions between conventional and synthetic oils for your vehicle? Let's make it easier to understand these concepts to improve your understanding of their differences, ensuring you make the most informed choice for your vehicle.

How Are Conventional and Synthetic Oils Different?

Conventional oils come from underground crude oil, while synthetic oils are made from special chemicals. This difference in how they are made can affect how well they work in your vehicle.

Conventional Oils: 

These are derived directly from crude oil extracted from the earth. The process involves refining the crude oil to various degrees to produce motor oil. This natural base means that conventional oils contain a mix of different hydrocarbon chains with varying properties. While effective for essential lubrication, these oils can have impurities and inconsistencies in their molecular structure, which might affect their performance under extreme temperatures or heavy engine loads.

Synthetic Oils: 

In contrast, synthetic oils are created in a lab using specific chemicals and processes. Manufacturers design these oils at the molecular level to have a uniform and consistent structure. This controlled composition allows synthetic oils to perform more effectively across various temperatures and conditions. They provide superior lubrication, better stability, reduced breakdown, and enhanced engine cleanliness compared to conventional oils.

How Synthetic Oils Perform

Tests have shown that synthetic oils usually work better than conventional oils in many ways. Synthetic oils help your vehicle start more easily in cold weather and protect your engine better in hot weather. They also last longer, which means you don't have to change your oil as often.

Do New Vehicles Need Synthetic Oil?

As vehicles get more advanced, more vehicle makers recommend synthetic oils for their new models. Today, over half of new vehicles are estimated to come with this recommendation. This is because synthetic oil can help protect modern engines and make them run more efficiently.

Is Synthetic Oil More Expensive?

While synthetic oil usually costs more than conventional oil, the price difference has decreased. But, considering the benefits, like not having to change your oil as often and better fuel efficiency, it might be worth the extra cost.

What Oil Are People Choosing?

With a growing understanding of synthetic oil's advantages, its popularity is rising. Here are some key trends we're noticing:

Choosing High-Quality Oil

Increasingly, vehicle owners are seeking top-tier protection and performance for their vehicles, leading to a growing preference for synthetic oils.

Being Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally conscious individuals increasingly choose synthetic oils for their vehicles due to their eco-friendly benefits. Synthetic oils contribute to reduced pollution and better fuel economy. They burn cleaner than conventional oils, leading to lower emissions and less environmental impact. Additionally, their superior lubrication properties help improve fuel efficiency, meaning vehicles consume less fuel and emit fewer greenhouse gases. Furthermore, synthetic oils last longer, resulting in fewer oil changes and reduced waste over time. These factors make synthetic oils an attractive option for minimizing their environmental footprint.

Longer Time Between Oil Changes

One of the most noticeable changes in synthetic oil is how long-lasting it is. Compared to conventional oil, synthetic is made to be resistant to challenging driving and all types of harsh weather. The synthetic oil makes it so you can go longer between oil changes, meaning fewer trips and saving money over time. So, even though synthetic oil can be a little more expensive, it can lead to even more savings in the future and make it more convenient. 


Comparing conventional and synthetic engine oils shows that synthetic oils have some significant advantages. They generally work better in different temperatures and last longer. More new vehicles now require synthetic oil, and even though it can be more expensive, the benefits are worth it. People increasingly choose synthetic oils because they want the best for their vehicles and the environment.


If you need help determining which oil suits your vehicle, come into John's Automotive Care La Mesa and let our certified team help you make the right decision today!

Remember, regular maintenance is not just about the health of your vehicle; it's also about the safety and comfort of you and your passengers. So, be proactive about your vehicle's care. We'll ensure your vehicle is as prepared as you are to face whatever comes your way. By choosing the John's Automotive Care team, you can have confidence in their ASE-certified technicians with the expertise and knowledge to perform tune-ups, fluid changes, air conditioning replacements, and other necessary services. Our trustworthy approach ensures that your vehicle receives the care it needs to remain reliable and perform optimally throughout all 12 months of Southern California weather. You can trust that your vehicle will receive top-quality service and repairs by choosing John's Automotive Care in La Mesa. Our skilled technicians, transparent approach, competitive pricing, AAA Certifications, and comprehensive warranty make us a dependable choice for maintaining the reliability of your vehicle. We at John's Automotive Care in La Mesa are there for you in many ways. Our ability to provide honest feedback is crucial in ensuring your vehicle remains in good condition throughout the year in Southern California. This makes us the best in the area. By receiving honest feedback from the professionals at John's Automotive Care, you can also make informed decisions about the maintenance and repairs needed for your vehicle.


John's Automotive Care La Mesa is committed to ensuring effective communication and digital accessibility to all users. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone, and apply the relevant accessibility standards to achieve these goals. We welcome your feedback. Please call John's Automotive Care La Mesa (619) 461-3600 if you have any issues in accessing any area of our website.