The debate over which conventional oil is best has been a long one indeed, but new to the scene is the debate on which synthetic oil is the best. Most experts agree that there are a lot of benefits to using synthetic oil over conventional. One major benefit is the oil change interval. Using synthetic oil or even synthetic oil blend greatly increases the amount of time you are allowed between oil changes. Let’s elaborate a bit.
Conventional oil changes are usually recommended every 3,000 miles. But synthetic oil changes can be as much as 25,000 miles! Now you’re obviously going to be paying quite a bit more for engine oil that may not have to be changed for two years of normal driving, but in same cases it can be well worth it. On average though, synthetic oil seems to double or triple the amount of time between oil changes.
So what is the best synthetic oil?
One of the ways to measure synthetic oil is by the size of the wear scars found on the engine gearing. Oil is not only used as a lubricant but also a protectant. So, if you pop your hood and take a look at your transmission you’ll notice wear scars on your gearing. A good oil will reduce these wear scars significantly.
So, which synthetic oil performs the best in terms of wear scars? Take a look at the chart below to find out.
As you can see, AMSOIL is clearly the winner here. But you might also notice that AMSOIL is a bit more expensive as well. Is AMSOIL worth it? If you’re a casual driver, like most people, then probably not. Unless you’re hitting speeds of 100 mph or driving in extreme cold or hot temperatures you’re not likely going to notice a large change in your wear scar, at least not a change that will impact your engine greatly. Really, any of the synthetic oils on the list above will be fine.
With all that said, which synthetic oil is actually the most popular?
Judging from the previous graph your first guess would probably be AMSOIL, while your last guess is probably Mobil 1. Well, if those were your guess you are dead wrong. Take a look at the pie chart below that shows just how large of a market share Mobil 1 has in the synthetic oil industry.
Mobil 1 is taking 58% of the market while AMSOIL is only grabbing 4%. That’s incredible. The question begs, which is actually the best synthetic oil?
It’s a difficult question to answer, but let’s repeat what we said above. If you’re just a casual driver that puts around 15,000 miles on their vehicle every year driving around town and a little on the interstate, then any of the above products will work better than conventional oil.
What other factors put Mobil 1 above the competition?
Marketing. If you didn’t know, Mobil 1 is the sponsor of NASCAR, so this has quite a bit to do with it.
Synthetic Oil Change Coupons. That’s right, you can find Mobil 1 synthetic oil change coupons everywhere.
In the end, the best thing you can do is consult your manufacturer’s handbook and decide to go with synthetic oil. Just make sure you grab all the synthetic oil coupons you can!