How Does Synthetic Motor Oil Increase Fuel Economy?
Synthetic Oils have been ahead of the game for years, in production, performance and efficiency. But why? It comes down to the production of the oil and how it interacts with your engine. The best synthetic oils have taken years of research, development and testing and become far more advanced as engine technology advanced as well.
What makes synthetic oil?
A synthetic oil is exactly that, it has all of the properties of a mineral oil, but manufactured to reach new levels in flow, viscosity, efficiency, performance and last but not least, mileage.
It effectively does the same thing as a blend or mineral oil, but better in every way. And that’s the goal right?
But, synthetic oils are stripped of their impurities and instead supplemented with additives (that have names far too long to include in our word count). These additives help the flow of the oil, make it less susceptible to clogging and failure and much more receptive to sudden changes in the engine. In performance vehicles, strictly synthetic oil should be used to get the most out of your high-revving, high-power engines. Synthetic oils also have no wax content in them. Wax content in mineral oils helps when the engine is heated up to produce better flow and efficiency, but only after the engine has reached running temperature.
Why is it better than a mineral/semi-synthetic oil?
Better can be subjective, but years of development have shown us that mineral oils, as reliable and cost-effective as they are, have downfalls in modern day machinery. Especially when that machinery is built for a purpose, like racing, or outright performance. Old synthetic oils were too much for old engines to handle, breaking seals and resulting in engines running out of power due to the oil over-compensating for the fact that old engines just were not smooth.
What’s changed is, engine technology has come far enough that they can keep up with the additive-heavy, smooth-running synthetic oils. After all, a premium machine needs premium parts, oil being near the most important part. Synthetic oil’s additives help with three key processes –
- Cold Starts – The wax in mineral oils which make it buttery-smooth at high temperatures can coagulate in the cold and make starting in temperatures below 10 degrees C a big problem.
- High-End Performance – Anticoagulants and anti-clogging additives result in the engine oil not picking up as many metal shavings, carbon dust and other impurities that build up in the engine over time, especially at high temperature and RPM
- Oil Flow – This is the most important feature of an engine oil. Flow depends on viscosity and synthetic oils have the best in the business. From cold starts to high temperature ripping, synthetic oils are consistent and flow the perfect amount for the engine’s requirements.
A combination of the way synthetic oils affect these processes help with stopping fuel wastage, efficiency and the friction between engine parts. All of these factors come together to make your engine cleaner, faster and more fuel efficient.
How to make the switch?
Before you make the switch, research and consult with your mechanic if synthetic oil is the correct choice for your engine and your wallet. An economy car won’t benefit too strongly from the switch, but a two-door sports coupe will have a day and night difference. Remember to drain your oil completely and run an engine flush before you make the decision to change to a synthetic-high performance oil.