Differences between mineral and synthetic oil
natural or dino oil, is product of
nature, which means that mineral oil occurs naturally.
Some of its main characteristics are:
· Providing the least protection to engine components.
· They are cheap.
· They need to be changed often.
· They can’t withstand high temperature
First characteristic is the reason why mineral oil is recommended for break in periods since it allows the engine components to wear and set in more comfortably. In other words, due to its poor protection the engine components wear perfectly like the cylinder bore for optimum engine break in procedure.
- Synthetic oils can be a fusion of man made oil and mineral oil or fully man made oil, and that means that they are artificial made in a lab and they are manufactured product. As the name states, they are "synthesized".
Some of main characteristics of synthetic oil are:
· Better high and low temperature performance. They act more like a thinner oil at lower temperatures and like a thicker oil at higher temperatures, without the disadvantages of multiviscosity oils. They are especially useful when initially starting.
· Reduced problems with sludge, breaking-down, particularly in very high temperatures like in the turbo.
· Better lubrication properties.
· Extended change intervals.
· Providing highest level of protection for engine components.
· Much smoother engine compared to mineral oil.
- Lasts much longer than mineral oil.
- Higher cost then mineral oil.
- They are too slippery for properly seating parts during initial break-in.
Synthetic oil can further be:
1. Semi synthetic
2. Fully synthetic
Semi synthetic oils are usually blended from group of base oils with lower spec base oil which is made by using a process called ‘hydro-cracking’ to convert natural oil into suitable base oils. Some better quality semi synthetic oils can contain some group base oils which are completely man made, synthetic base oils made from various blends of chemicals.
Fully synthetic oils are blended using group base oils which are man made, synthetic bases blended from various chemicals. Fully synthetic oils are blended with number of different additive packs to obtain the required viscosity and characteristics.
Synthetic/fully synthetic oils do not allow engine components to wear as much as mineral oil thus they are not suitable during break in periods.
The main selling point for synthetic over organic oil is that is manufactured, so that means far less impurities and product which is much more consistent. Organic oil can be influenced by the product what it was made from or from what was the ground where it was extracted from.
It is not case that one kind of oil is unconditionally better than the other. For example, rotating engines, such as in the Mazda RX series should not run synthetic oil, or, some vehicles that come from factory with synthetic oil recommend usage of mineral oil for initial break-in…
There is also a debate about whether using synthetic oil in a car that has run regular oil for a certain amount of time is a good thing. The theory is that synthetic oil can clean out sludge and varnish that developed. This sludge can dry up seals, and then when cleaned out leaks can develop inside an engine that otherwise would have been tight. Synthetic oil is better in many regards, average automotive applications aren’t demanding enough to take advantage of them.