What’s the Difference Between Synthetic and Conventional Oil?

October 1st, 2023 by

All vehicles require routine maintenance, such as oil changes, tire rotations, and brake service. Your Toyota needs a specific type of oil to keep its engine functioning smoothly. When it’s time for an oil change, you’ll have the choice between conventional and synthetic oil. If you bring your Toyota to Classic Toyota of Tyler, your service advisor will recommend the best engine oil for your vehicle’s condition and mileage.

What are the Benefits of Synthetic Oil?

Most late-model vehicles benefit from full synthetic oil and synthetic blend motor oils. Manufacturers engineer synthetic motor oil to last longer than conventional oils. Synthetic oils often include additives that help reduce engine wear. Because full synthetic and synthetic blend oils lubricate longer than conventional oil, they have higher price tags.

Synthetic motor oil lasts longer than conventional oil, so the higher price balances out in the long run. When you use synthetic oil in your Toyota, you can drive between 6,000 and 10,000 miles before needing another oil change. For the best engine protection, conventional oil needs to be changed every 3,000 miles or once per season.

If you have an older Toyota with high mileage, synthetic oil isn’t the best choice. Synthetic oil has a smaller molecular structure than conventional oil, so it is more likely to leak and cause engine problems.

Why Choose Conventional Oil?

Because conventional oil is not processed as much as synthetic oil, it is less expensive. Conventional oil needs more frequent oil changes every 3,000 miles, which is more frequent than full synthetic motor oil change intervals. The difference between synthetic oil and conventional oil is that conventional oil is crude oil, while synthetic is manufactured oil.

Older vehicles benefit from conventional oil because it is thicker and lubricates the gaps between engine parts. If you use your vehicle to tow or spend significant time in extreme temperatures or stop-and-go traffic, your vehicle will benefit from using conventional oil.

Your Toyota owner’s manual recommends the best motor oil for your vehicle’s engine and mileage. Choosing between synthetic and conventional oil can affect your fuel economy and engine performance. The service technicians at Classic Toyota of Tyler can help you make the best choice for your driving habits and vehicle’s engine needs.

Is Synthetic Oil Better than Conventional Oil?

The debate over whether synthetic oil is better than conventional oil hinges on various factors, each contributing to the overall performance and longevity of your engine. Synthetic motor oil is equipped with additives that offer superior engine protection against corrosion, rusting from water contamination, and other detrimental effects of engine wear. This makes synthetics particularly advantageous for high-performance engines and vehicles that accumulate substantial mileage throughout their lifespan. Unlike conventional oils, synthetic oils prevent the accumulation of sludge over time, ensuring consistent engine performance and an extended engine life.

One notable advantage of fully synthetic oil is its ability to flow swiftly and seamlessly throughout the engine, even in cold conditions or after prolonged periods of inactivity. While conventional oils may require a waiting period for proper circulation, synthetics eliminate this inconvenience, promoting instant lubrication and protection. Moreover, synthetic oils maintain their stability at extreme temperatures, resisting breakdown and evaporation even under the sun’s prolonged exposure or during demanding tasks such as towing.

Perhaps one of the most compelling arguments in favor of synthetic oil is its extended oil change intervals. Unlike conventional oils, which typically necessitate changes every 3,000-5,000 miles, synthetic oils can endure up to 15,000 miles before requiring service. This not only streamlines maintenance schedules but also provides consistent engine protection on both short trips and extended journeys. It’s crucial to note that the exact mileage for oil changes may vary based on driving style, conditions, and the specific synthetic oil brand, emphasizing the importance of consulting your vehicle owner’s manual for personalized guidance before scheduling your next service at Classic Toyota of Tyler.

Does My Toyota Need Conventional or Synthetic Oil?

Determining whether your car needs conventional or synthetic oil for optimal performance is a straightforward process, and the first step is consulting your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Within the manual, either in its printed or online version, you’ll find a dedicated page detailing the specific oil type recommended by the manufacturer. This information is crucial as it aligns with the engineering specifications of your vehicle’s engine, ensuring proper lubrication and performance.

While the owner’s manual provides the primary guidance, there are additional factors to consider. If your vehicle routinely operates in demanding conditions—such as navigating dusty roads, tackling off-road trails, engaging in race track driving, undertaking heavy-duty towing, enduring extreme summer heat, or facing harsh winter cold—you might want to lean towards synthetic oil, even if it’s not explicitly mandated by the manufacturer. Synthetic oil offers an extra layer of protection and longevity, making it a prudent choice in scenarios where conventional oil may fall short. Despite the relatively higher cost of synthetic oil, the enhanced durability and resistance to extreme conditions make it a worthwhile investment, providing peace of mind for both your engine’s health and overall vehicle longevity.

In essence, while the owner’s manual serves as the primary reference, thoughtful consideration of your driving conditions can influence the decision between conventional and synthetic oil. Classic Toyota of Tyler understands the importance of making the right choice for your vehicle’s unique needs. Our service advisors are ready to assist you in navigating these decisions, ensuring that your Toyota receives the optimal oil type for peak performance and longevity.

Schedule Service at Classic Toyota of Tyler, TX

In conclusion, the choice between synthetic and conventional oil for your Toyota boils down to factors such as your vehicle’s age, mileage, and usage patterns. Synthetic oils offer extended mileage between changes and enhanced engine protection, making them ideal for newer vehicles. On the other hand, conventional oils are cost-effective and better suited for older models with high mileage.

Whatever your choice, routine oil changes are crucial for maintaining the longevity and efficiency of your Toyota’s engine. Classic Toyota of Tyler is committed to providing expert advice and reliable service to keep your vehicle running at its best. Schedule an appointment at our Service Center to ensure your Toyota receives the right oil for optimal performance. Trust us to keep your Toyota in top-notch condition for miles to come.


Image by Tim Mossholder Licensed via Unsplash

Posted in Service