When we want to change the engine oil in our car, we are faced with the many oil options available.
Of course, the main benchmark for choosing engine oil is thw viscosity. But if you look at the composition of the oil, there are conventional oils that come from minerals (crude oil) and others are synthetic oils that are made without using crude oil.
Then which one is better? synthetic oil or mineral oil?
Synthetic oil as an improvement in engine lubricants
Initially, oil was made from crude oil. Crude oil contains natural oils that can be used as lubricants. However, the molecular size of natural oils is uneven.
At first glance, mineral oil and synthetic oil are the same. But if we look at it from a microscope, the molecular size of mineral oil is uneven.
What happens if the size of molecules are uneven ?
Imagine that you have marbles in two containers. In the first container, it is filled with marbles of various sizes, from 1/4 to 3/4 inch. In the second container, filled with marbles with the same size.
If you run your hand across both containers of marbles, what happens?
In the first container your hand will go up and down because the size of the marbles is not flat. While in the second container, your hand will run forward steadily because the size of the marbles is same.
That's the picture when we use mineral oil.
But the oil molecule is super micro, so when compared to the gaps in the engine components it still doesn't have any effect. mineral oil can be a good lubricant for the engine.
The problem arises when the engine has developed rapidly. Currently, the components inside the engine have very narrow friction gaps. If the oil molecules are uneven, it makes the movement of the rubbing components unstable.
In the long run, it will damage engine components.
Because of this, the engineers created a lubricant with an even molecular size. This oil is not derived from minerals, because the size of natural oils from minerals is not evenly distributed so they have to make everything themselves from 0.
This produces synthetic oil with better performance than mineral oil.
Pros of synthesis oil
The oil molecule is not easily damaged, so the oil still lubricates the components well even though it has reached the replacement interval.
Containing more detergent, it has an impact on engine components that are always clean.
Not easy to form sludge, sludge in mineral oil is common. Sludge will form when oil is used continuously.
In general, synthetic oil is created as a lubricant for high performance engines.
Should I switch to synthetic oil?
There is one cons of synthetic oil, it can be 3x more expensive than conventional oil. The process required to create synthetic oil is quite complicated, therefore, it must be paid a high price.
If you are used to using mineral oil, and that is fine for the engine then you shouldn't think about switching to synthetic oil.
Currently conventional oil has also been added with several additives, so that its performance also increases.
So you can simply use conventional oil for your car, with several notes, change the oil immediately if the replacement interval has been reached and make sure the viscosity is appropriate.
But for those of you who are looking for oil with longer durability, there's nothing wrong with trying full synthetic oil. According to the recognition of many people, the engine performance is better and the oil also lasts longer.
So, the conclusion
Are synthetic oils better than conventional oils?
The answer is yes, but it is more expensive. So if you are accustomed to using conventional oil, and it is good for your car engine, you don't need to think about switching to synthetic oil, because conventional oil produced now contains a lot of additives. So that its performance can compete with synthetic oil.