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Here's Why You Should Switch to Synthetic Motor Oil Immediately

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It's all about viscosity.

​Road and Track
Jul 6, 2016

You've probably heard folks talking about the superiority of synthetic motor oil. You may even use it yourself—if you drive a newer high-performance car, it's probably mandatory per the owner's manual. But full-synth oil is one of those things that's gone from smart car maintenance advice to car dad folklore. You know it's the right thing to use, but maybe you don't know why.


to help demystify the difference between conventional and synthetic motor oil, with a simple visual explanation that's so brilliant, you'll learn something even if you already know all the ins and outs of synthetic oil.
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See, it all comes down to viscosity, or how well the oil flows. Cold oil is thick, and it moves slowly (the animation above has been significantly speeded-up; the oil was chilled to -35 degrees Celsius, and the used conventional oil was molasses-like in its slowness). That low-temperature flow problem gets worse and worse with every mile you put on your oil, so that by the end of your 5000-mile oil change interval, your oil behaves very differently than it does when new.

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Flow rate is one of the best indicators of oil life when you get oil samples done, which helps alert you to either a too long of an interval, or in many cases, too short of one! Of course, the cdi engines, being diesel and having timing chains requiring internal lubrication, you will never hear anyone argue against shorter intervals... but a friend of mine ended up changing from 6,000 kms to 8,000 kms on his Subaru Impreza, simply because the oil samples showed the oil had LOTS of life left in it at 6,000....... (they have a traditional external timing belt)

I'm going to take samples of my Mazda CX-5 (direct injection, timing chain, 2.0 litre) just to make sure the 8,000 interval is doing the engine a good service. It's a synthetic 0w20 type of engine like so many Japanese engine of today.....

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