Do You Need Synthetic Oil for an Oil Change?

BY: Groupon Guide |Jul 8, 2015
Do You Need Synthetic Oil for an Oil Change?

A Los Angeles oil change is just like any other oil change, except that you might exhaust a whole quart’s lifespan during one afternoon on the 405. Cars in Los Angeles are a way of life, and as such oil-change places can be found throughout the city. While most places will carry out a change with regular oil, some will offer the option to use synthetic oil. Read on for a brief overview of the synthetic stuff’s potential benefits—and caveats.

Why Synthetic?

For the most part, the advantage of synthetic oil is its durability. The US military began using synthetic oil during World War II, when massive tanks and jet fighters required a source of oil not tied to strategic regions in enemy hands. There was another advantage, though: under the high heat of a jet turbine or the bitter cold of a winter battlefield, naturally derived lubricating compounds could fail or freeze, but impurity-free, man-made oils churned along. Currently, synthetic oils are capable of keeping a car's moving parts humming for up to 7,000 miles between changes.

Pros and Cons

Whether or not synthetic oil is worth it sparks some fierce debate among auto enthusiasts. Some tinkerers fervently believe in the superiority of naturally derived lubricants, citing synthetic's relatively high cost or the tendency for early man-made compounds to leak. However, most sources insist that modern synthetic oils run perfectly fine in most vehicles, though high-mileage or older vehicles may not be the best option. Either way, car owners using synthetic motor oil may rest assured that their pistons (most likely) are churning away safely and securely, even without the help of dead dinosaurs or rendered whales.